Answered By: Lukas Miller
Last Updated: Mar 18, 2024     Views: 55

Q: What is UpToDate?

A: UpToDate is a clinical decision support tool (also sometimes called "point of care tools") intended for clinicians and medical students to find evidence and guidance for patient care. It can be accessed via web browser or a mobile app. 

Q: Does the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) or SHA Library have an institutional subscription to UpToDate?

A: No, but there are a number of similar alternative tools available from the Library - including DynaMed and BMJ Best Practice.

Q: What can I use instead of UpToDate? What are the alternatives?

A: BMJ Best Practice and DynaMed are considered similar tools to UpToDate. Both are available through the SHA Library at no cost to users.

These are some additional clinical support tools available through SHA Library subscriptions:

You can find these and many more evidence-based resources on the library's homepage or our A-Z List of resources. If you still have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us via email or submit a service request.

Q: Why can't the library get access to UpToDate? I depend on it for my clinical practice!

A: The library has investigated subscribing to this product several times in recent years. Unfortunately, we are unable to do so for a number of reasons and justifications:

  • UpToDate’s pricing model is primarily geared towards individual subscribers. Institutional subscriptions for UpToDate are prohibitively expensive, particularly when remote (off-site) access is a requirement. 
  • UpToDate is not the only point-of-care tool on the market. The SHA Library provides access to a number of similar resources.
  • Studies have compared UpToDate with other tools. Most findings show only minor differences between the quality and content that they provide. The general consensus from published studies is that no one tool outshines the others.
  • Alternative tools are available at much more reasonable cost than what UpToDate demands. 

Q: I was able to access UpToDate before, why can I no longer access it now?

A: Neither the SHA nor SHA Library have made any agreements with UpToDate's publisher to date. Your access ended likely as a result of:

  • A subscription was arranged for your site and has since lapsed due to non-renewal. 
  • An individual subscription was being shared between multiple personnel, resulting in the publisher revoking or cancelling account access. Sharing account information and UpToDate content is a violation of the terms of use and licensing agreement.
  • In both above cases, an UpToDate account representative must be contacted in order to restore access or renew the subscription.

Q: Can I purchase my own (individual) subscription to UpToDate?

A: Individual subscriptions are available directly from the publisher at modest rates. You might be eligible for a discount if you are a student, or member of certain professional associations.