Do doctors already have a source of comparative effectiveness research?

Comparative effectiveness research is the current, trendy buzzword in the health care debate.

And certainly, doctors need an authoritative, unbiased, source in which to base their decisions on.

But, do we already have that kind of information? Why, yes, we do. It’s called UptoDate.

For those who don’t know, UptoDate is a peer-reviewed, evidence-based, medical encyclopedia available via DVD or online that’s revised every 3 months. It does not carry advertisements, and is funded entirely via paid subscriptions. I am a big proponent, and like many other doctors, could not practice medicine effectively without it by my side.

In fact, a recent study showed that hospitals who used UptoDate scored better on patient safety and complication measures, as well as length of stay, when compared to institutions who did not use the resource.

Val Jones wonders, what if we incentivized doctors to use UptoDate? It can range from pay for performance bonuses to malpractice immunity for physicians who adhere to UptoDate’s, evidence-based, unbiased, clinical recommendations.

It will never happen, of course. But it sure beats spending $700+ billion to fund comparative effectiveness research that will only serve to re-invent the wheel.

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