Clinical Reference Resources On-Line

Increasingly, doctors are turning to on-line resourses for clinical information. I first noticed the trend when we installed computers in each of our exam rooms with  connectivity to the Internet.  We found Google was a great tool to find information and direct us to sites we trusted.  I was amazed at how quickly each of our clinicians complained to me when our connectivity was interrupted. I even heard clinicians stating they could not provide quality care without connectivity to the Internet.

The trend continued when our local hospital (St. Michal’s Hospital in Stevens Point, Wisconsin) started a digital library and provided MedConsult and UpToDate access.  Our collection of books began to get dated as we turned to online resources containing the latest information.  About the only books we updated were radiology and dermatology references.

In late 2006, our system developed an enterprise level Library Without Walls. Our local hospital library was moved offsite since most services were provided on-line.  Use of these resources has been increasing at a steady pace.  Below you will find the number of topic views per quarter for just one resource, UpToDate.

I expect the trend to continue since online resources are more current than printed textbooks and are far easier to search.

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