St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City Relies on UpToDate for Evidence-Based Recommendations to Help Maintain High Standards of Care
St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City, Republic of the Philippines, is one of an elite group of hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI). JCI is the world's leader in healthcare accreditation and the author and evaluator of is the world's leader in healthcare accreditation and the author and evaluator of the most rigorous international standards in quality and patient safety. St. Luke's Medical Center's state-of-the-art approach to healthcare combines the expertise of locally and internationally trained doctors and medical professionals with industry-leading technologies to deliver excellent medical care. The Center hosts several international symposia and conferences each year, which helps the staff to stay current on the latest advances in medicine.
St. Luke's continuously evaluates technology that will help to ensure its position as an internationally recognized academic medical center with clinical success rates on par with the best healthcare institutions in the world.
In 2013, St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City became one of the first hospitals in the Philippines to adopt UpToDate to provide its clinical staff with the world's most trusted online clinical decision support resource. "With new medical research being published every day, what is considered to be the standard of care is constantly evolving," said St. Luke's President and CEO Dr. Edgardo R. Cortez.
Evidence-Based Medicine Improves Patient Care
To derive the full benefit of UpToDate, St. Luke's-Global City made the resource available to all members of its clinical staff – more than 1,000 professionals – at all points of care across the hospital.
"We know that evidence-based medicine plays a central role in effective decision-making, so we wanted to ensure that all of our clinicians had access to current, accurate information at the point of care," said Dr. Brian Michael I. Cabral, Assistant Vice President, Assistant Head of the Medical Practice Group and Assistant Medical Director. "UpToDate is an important reference that our team can rely on to help ensure that we provide the excellent care our patients deserve."
"To maintain our high standards for patient care, we recognized the importance of adopting UpToDate, providing our clinical staff easy access to the latest medical information as well as evidence-based recommendations for screening, diagnosis, and treatment."
— Dr. Edgardo R. Cortez, President and CEO, St. Luke's Medical Center, Republic of the Philippines
Dr. Cabral, FASN, also heads the hospital's Center for Renal Diseases. He trained in the United States, where he used UpToDate extensively in other facilities. Based on this experience, he knew the value of UpToDate in providing expert patient care, particularly in emergency situations where time is of the essence. "I find that for actual patient care, UpToDate is easier to use than any other online medical reference," he said.
The St. Luke's-Global City team finds UpToDate particularly helpful with unusual, complex cases. UpToDate incorporates the collective clinical domain expertise of more than 5,700 physician authors, editors and peer reviewers. With this knowledge base at their fingertips, physicians can make diagnoses and treatment recommendations with a high level of confidence for even the most difficult cases. UpToDate can be used to prepare before each patient meeting and, based on any new information obtained during the encounter, its content can be consulted to revise the course of treatment, if needed. Numerous global studies of UpToDate show that clinicians change their clinical decisions between 20% and 30% of the time after consulting UpToDate.
The St. Luke's-Global City physicians employ UpToDate at all department conferences reviewing recent patient cases with the patient care team. "UpToDate helps to make these sessions more useful and informative," said Dr. Cabral. "If there's a question, we can immediately review an evidence-based approach for a particular scenario."
"I see UpToDate as a reflection of how 99% of doctors should ideally handle a given case – what our peers consider to be the current standard of care," Dr. Cabral continued. "Having this resource available enables us to see what ‘standard of care' actually means in a particular situation. And that makes for a more productive discussion in conference."
Easy Access to Resources for Patient Information and Clinician Training
Clinicians also rely on UpToDate Patient Information content, comprising nearly 1,500 articles that they can review with patients in the exam room, print out as handouts, or send via email. Dr. Cabral reports that patients find these easy-to-understand articles useful in learning about their condition and in improving their own care.
"Medicine is such a quickly evolving field... what we considered to be the accepted course of treatment for a given condition even last year may have changed last week. We are very satisfied with UpToDate because it provides concise, evidence-based information that is invaluable in improving patient care and for our use in research and other academic activities."
— Brian Michael I. Cabral, MD, FASN, AVP and Assistant Head of Medical Practice Group; Assistant Medical Director Head, Center for Renal Diseases, St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City
Since St. Luke's is a teaching institution with its own College of Medicine, UpToDate plays an important role as an online resource for educating residents and fellows, who can use it to learn about topics that fall outside their primary expertise. Dr. Cabral reports that these young medical professionals have been trained with a focus on practicing evidence-based medicine. Therefore, they greatly value access to UpToDate, as it is not yet available at most institutions in the country.
Since UpToDate was first made available to clinicians at St. Luke's in 2013, utilization has increased dramatically. The entire clinical team has become more familiar with the value of the resource in supporting their mission to continually improve patient care, and in the one year since UpToDate was adopted, the average weekly number of topic views has increased fivefold.
"Medicine is such a quickly evolving field," said Dr. Cabral. "What we considered to be the accepted course of treatment for a given condition even last year may have changed last week. We are very satisfied with UpToDate because it provides concise, evidence-based information that is invaluable in improving patient care and for our use in research and other academic activities."