According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019), six in ten Americans have at least one chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, or cancer. These diseases are the leading causes of death in the U.S. and are a driver of increasing healthcare costs in the industry. Frost & Sullivan acknowledges that the high mortality from these diseases is a direct outcome of non-standardized care. In the U.S., the Advisory Board estimates that unwarranted variation in care represents a $20-30 million problem per $1 billion in revenue for a typical healthcare organization. The estimated global cost of medication errors was $42 billion, almost 1% of total healthcare spending in 2017.

Unwarranted variability in care is a problem every healthcare provider organization faces, but there are realistic steps that can be taken to reduce inconsistent care practices and align care through more effective decision support.

Healthcare professionals need point-of-care, in-workflow access to medical guidelines and protocols, including operational and administrative processes, in order to standardize care, reduce clinical reconciliation and ensure positive treatment outcomes.

Trusted by nearly two million clinicians worldwide, Wolters Kluwer’s UpToDate® acts as a  point-of-care clinical resource, which offers up to 12,000 searchable medical topics using clinical terms, phrases, or questions.2   In 2021, there were 681 million views of UpToDate topics. The platform allows immediate access to original, peer-reviewed clinical content directly from the clinician workflow. It supports clinical decision-making with patient-specific treatment information at the point-of-care and for individualized study as well. Clinicians can confidently plan improved treatment strategies from the knowledge extracted from the platform. It is the only resource associated with improved outcomes such as better quality of care, shorter hospital stays, and lower mortality rates. Clinicians using UpToDate3 change patient treatment decisions 37% of the time.[1]

Medical practitioners also rely on Wolters Kluwer’s flagship drug information solution Lexicomp®. With 115 million topics viewed per year, the platform promptly incorporates newly released information such as regulatory agency approvals and regulatory, manufacturer, and scientific reports used by the editorial team to create or revise referential drug monographs.[2]

With Lexicomp, clinicians benefit from a more holistic view of drug information because Lexicomp and UpToDate content is harmonized, ensuring consistent guidance for care team members. The editorial team of pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and other advanced-degree clinicians discuss medication decisions, evaluate evidence together, and embed the resulting clinical insights into drug content.

Wolters Kluwer’s drug data solution, Medi-Span®, assists clinicians in making better and safer medication decisions for their patients, which is especially important given the rise in adverse drug events worldwide and the pace at which clinical evidence evolves. Compared with other solutions in this category, Medi-Span can present clinicians with fewer, more meaningful alerts by considering granular patient data like comorbidities or relevant lab results, and by applying sophisticated drug data that is updated regularly based on the latest evidence. This reduces the clinicians’ cognitive load, making it easier to focus on fewer, patient-specific alerts rather than seeing a high volume of broader alerts at the end of a drug entry.

Education is an essential step in enabling patients to make informed care decisions. But education is just the first step toward providing patient-centered care that achieves sustained behavior change.

To provide more patient-centered care, providers have to actively work to partner with patients through a more committed level of engagement that reaps longer-term benefits. Wolters Kluwer calls this the Patient Partnership Maturity Model.

A reconsidered approach that fosters engagement and partnership with patients can provide consistent, authentic, and personalized connections that build trust, encourage alignment among patients and their care teams, and empower patients to make shared evidence-based decisions. When organizations provide this level of optimized care, they build lasting relationships with patients and reap the benefits of better clinical, financial, and quality outcomes. Wolters Kluwer’s Patient Partnership Maturity Model can help healthcare organizations identify where they are on the path to providing optimized care and assess their strategy and technology needs for moving forward.

To help achieve that sort of more robust patient-provider relationship, Emmi® programs embody the art and science of empathic communication, generating human connection virtually. As more organizations are moving to virtual care solutions, it is more important than ever that the patient’s experience aligns with what they hear from their clinicians.

The artificial intelligent-enabled solution has facilitated more than 39 million patient interactions to engage users, support informed decisions, and nurture healthy behaviors without taking much of the clinicians’ time.[3]

Wolters Kluwer’s COVID-19 Approach
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the strain on the healthcare industry with the increased pressure to recruit and retain physicians, who were quickly overwhelmed by the caseloads of patients presenting to their hospitals. As the pandemic worsened in the U.S., the volume and pace of clinical research about the novel virus made it impossible for clinicians to keep up with the latest literature. When the pandemic began, healthcare professionals reviewed COVID-19 topics in UpToDate 319,880 times, which tripled to 921,207 by the end of March 2020.[4]

The platform’s rigorous editorial model provides a framework for an immediate and dynamic response to emergencies such as the coronavirus crisis. UpToDate now has a total of 93 COVID-19 topics, 47 of which came about in 2021. Since February 4, 2020, COVID-19 topics in UpToDate have been viewed 31.1 million times by 1.3 million individual clinicians. Additionally, medication treatment, interaction, and vaccine information related to COVID-19 in Lexicomp and Medi-Span has been continually updated as it has become available and evolved, and patient engagement outreach campaigns from Emmi have helped organizations with efforts related to COVID-19 education, vaccination rollout, and overcoming vaccine hesitancy.

Wolters Kluwer continues to offer free access to COVID-19 topics, which clinicians can access on the Wolters Kluwer website.

Empowering Patients with Emmi®”, Wolters Kluwer.

CME in the Time of COVID-19: Educating Healthcare Professionals at the Point-of-care and Improving Performance Outcomes”, US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, October 2020.

Wolters Kluwer extensively contributes to the North American clinical decision support (CDS) systems industry. The CDS team at Wolters Kluwer  provides tools that incorporate the best evidence to support and inform  aligned decision-making within the clinical workflow.

In that pursuit, among the company’s array of solutions, its CDS portfolio (includes UpToDate®, Lexicomp®, Medi-Span®, Emmi®, Sentri7® and POC Advisor™) ensures that clinicians can make highly informed and evidence-based clinical decisions at the point of care, directly from their workflow, irrespective of the disease and situation. Ultimately, the company’s healthcare solutions strive to optimize engagement among clinicians and their patients, effectively helping to reduce care variability and measurably improve clinical effectiveness.

1 Wolters Kluwer Analyst Briefing with Frost & Sullivan, Wolters Kluwer, September 2021

Utility of the electronic information resource UpToDate for clinical decision -making at bedside rounds, Singapore Med J 2012; 53(2)

2 “CME in the Time of COVID-19: Educating Healthcare Professionals at the Point-of-care and Improving Performance Outcomes”, US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, October 2020.

3 Use of UpToDate® and outcomes in US hospitals, Journal of Hospital Medicine, February 2012.

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