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Baxter SL, Lander L, Clay B, et al. Comparing the Use of DynaMed and UpToDate by Physician Trainees in Clinical Decision-Making: A Randomized Crossover Trial. Appl Clin Inform. 2022;13(1):139-147. doi:10.1055/s-0041-1742216
Background: Costs vary substantially among electronic medical knowledge resources used for clinical decision support, warranting periodic assessment of institution-wide adoption.
Objectives: To compare two medical knowledge resources, UpToDate and DynaMed Plus, regarding accuracy and time required to answer standardized clinical questions and user experience.
Methods: A crossover trial design was used, wherein physicians were randomized to first use one of the two medical knowledge resources to answer six standardized questions. Following use of each resource, they were surveyed regarding their user experience. The percentage of accurate answers and time required to answer each question were recorded. The surveys assessed ease of use, enjoyment using the resource, quality of information, and ability to assess level of evidence. Tests of carry-over effects were performed. Themes were identified within open-ended survey comments regarding overall user experience.
Results: Among 26 participating physicians, accuracy of answers differed by 4 percentage points or less. For all but one question, there were no significant differences in the time required for completion. Most participants felt both resources were easy to use, contained high quality of information, and enabled assessment of the level of evidence. A greater proportion of participants endorsed enjoyment of use with UpToDate (23/26, 88%) compared with DynaMed Plus (16/26, 62%). Themes from open-ended comments included interface/information presentation, coverage of clinical topics, search functions, and utility for clinical decision-making. The majority (59%) of open-ended comments expressed an overall preference for UpToDate, compared with 19% preferring DynaMed Plus.
Conclusion: DynaMed Plus is noninferior to UpToDate with respect to ability to achieve accurate answers, time required for answering clinical questions, ease of use, quality of information, and ability to assess level of evidence. However, user experience was more positive with UpToDate. Future studies of electronic medical knowledge resources should continue to emphasize evaluation of usability and user experience.