Print

Print


Dear Medlibbers,

Thank you on behalf of my colleague. She was thrilled with the information.  
Here is the original question:

Dear Medlibbers,

Has anyone compared MDConsult and UpToDate? One of colleagues is trying to compare these software and decide which one to purchase. If there is interest, I will compile the responses for the list.

Jean


Here are the responses which many requested:

We have to have off site access to any resource requiring a megabuck subscription -- essentially all of our 3rd and 4th year students are off site.  MDConsult offers off site access and UptoDate doesn't (or said they didn't when I talked to them earlier this summer).  

Don't know if this is an important issue for you, but thought I'd mention my experience.  


Oh, get both. We find them complimentary (but we're not rally a medical 
library--we do a lot of research where we need to know about clinical
trial results and medical practice patterns). 
Up-To-Date is geared to residents, and as such gives good, thorough, 
current literature reviews (especially authored for Up-To-Date) about
the diagnosis and treatment of hundreds of the more common disease 
states. 

We use MDConsult to look at the state of medical research (not 
necessarily practice). There are full-text review articles from several
journals on disease states and medical techniques. MDConsult also
carries full-text of several leading textbooks in a variety of 
disciplines, as well as GenRx. 

I don't feel that they overlap in coverage, and both are well-worth
their rather low subscription rate. 


I subscribe to the CD ROM product of UpToDate, and a subscription to MD
COnsult through a consortia.   It seems that the residents, and students
really like UpToDate. Its fast, concise, and provides good "review" of the
topics covered.

The physicians, and other health professionals seem to like MD CONSULT, more
comprehensive and broad.  I use them as my particular need dictates. I think
they are good complements to each other.

I would recommend that your colleagues check to see who would benefit most
from:
1) adult medicine, broad reviews of topics , then go with UpToDate
2)All topics & ages, more comprehensive & broader scope, and extras (Pat.ed,
Health News), then go with MD CONSULT.

Both Customer Services seem to be very helpful.


I believe there was a thread on just that, on MEDLIB, maybe last year?
Give the Archives a check.
Searching the MEDLIB-L Archives.

First, either be sure to go to the main entry site,
http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/archives/medlib-l.html

and select Search the Archives, which appears just above the list of weekly
dated posts [not the upper right hand side of the web page, which is search
of UB's CIT dept. website].

OR, if you can, go directly to the Search The Archives url:
http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/wa?S1=medlib-l

Then, for a subject search, enter your term in the top search box.
If you check the "Substring Search" box, your search will match any word
containing the string you have entered. For instance, a substring search for
chem would find both "chemistry" and "alchemy."

(use the appropriate boxes for date limits, searches for author, etc.)

Next, click on the Start the Search button bar, which is down below all of
the search boxes.

I found that it's not only a matter of software (searchability), but
coverage. All three, I believe, have web-based versions.  One can search
right on the company's site and see the latest upates, no loading required
anymore.

MD Consult is an electronic collection- of textbooks, has patient education
materials, some full-text journals, a MEDLINE search engine, news items,
drug information, and CME opportunities. The textbooks are popular with our
medical students and residents and misc. staff/faculty alike. There is a
licensing scheme in place for institutions as well as for individuals and
has CME features.

We don't have UpToDate, but it's my understanding that UpToDate is not the
same "animal" as MD Consult. It consolidates findings from about 100
journals, but does not have electronic textbooks. It's my understanding
that UpToDate is geared towards clinicians and does not have a good
licensing policy in place for institutional licensing, but is affordable
for individuals.

Another product that has textbooks/books is Stat!REF.  It offers different
textbooks from MD Consult, with little overlap, is more affordable for
institutions to license, but doesn't have some of the other MD Consult
additional information resources, nor the bells and whistles. I believe it
does not have CME features.

I found that it's not only a matter of software (searchability), but
coverage. All three, I believe, have web-based versions.  One can search
right on the company's site and see the latest upates, no loading required
anymore.

MD Consult is an electronic collection- of textbooks, has patient education
materials, some full-text journals, a MEDLINE search engine, news items,
drug information, and CME opportunities. The textbooks are popular with our
medical students and residents and misc. staff/faculty alike. There is a
licensing scheme in place for institutions as well as for individuals and
has CME features.

We don't have UpToDate, but it's my understanding that UpToDate is not the
same "animal" as MD Consult. It consolidates findings from about 100
journals, but does not have electronic textbooks. It's my understanding
that UpToDate is geared towards clinicians and does not have a good
licensing policy in place for institutional licensing, but is affordable
for individuals.

Another product that has textbooks/books is Stat!REF.  It offers different
textbooks from MD Consult, with little overlap, is more affordable for
institutions to license, but doesn't have some of the other MD Consult
additional information resources, nor the bells and whistles. I believe it
does not have CME features.

Our library has both MDConsult & UTD, but I don't think the products are equivalent.  MDConsult provides a variety of information resources in full-text, but it ultimately boils down to reading a journal article or a very reputable book.  MDConsult does not let you search the full-text of the book, just browse TOC or the index.  Both products are great & used frequently by our staff.  They co-exist very nicely

UTD, on the other hand, provides answers to clinical questions in a succinct format prepared by authoritative clinicians.  You may end up with the same information, but UTD provides the answer much more quickly.  For use at patient point-of-care, speed & accuracy are very important.

We rated six products at once: MD Consult, Scientific American Medicine
Online, UpToDate, Books@OVID, Harrison's Online, and Stat!Ref.  We had 13
usable surveys with a mix of physicians, residents, pharmacists, and 2
librarians.  We tried to make it as objective as we could by asking each
evaluator to complete the same search in each of the databases.  (That's why
we only ended up with 13.  Many of the evaluators skipped at least one!)We
then asked specific questions as to content, ease of use, and value.  We
then asked the evaluators to rank the databases overall. MD Consult was the
winner by a substantial margin.  The results follow:

Content:
1. MD Consult
2. Books@OVID
3. UpToDate
4. Stat!Ref
5. Scientific American Medicine Online
6. Harrison's Online

Ease of Use:
1. MD Consult
2. Scientific American Medicine Online
3. UpToDate
4. Books@OVID
5. Harrison's Online
6. Stat!Ref

Value:
1. MD Consult
2. UpToDate
3. Books@OVID
4. Stat!Ref
5. Harrison's Online
6. Scientific American Medicine Online

Overall:
1. MD Consult
2. Books@OVID
3. UpToDate
4. Harrison's Online
5. Scientific American Medicine Online
6. Stat!Ref


Isn't this rather like comparing apples and oranges?  MDConsult is basically
medical textbooks/Medline interface and UpToDate is a compilation of
original articles written by UpToDate's cadre of "experts".  Comparing
search interfaces between MDConsult/OVID/PubMed would be logical, but I'm
not sure if I can see the connection with UpToDate.  Perhaps a comparison
between the content of these two could be undertaken, but then you are
talking about qualities relating more to accuracy, authority, and currency.
A better comparison might be between UpToDate and EMedicine.
I am definitely interested in what the responses are to this inquiry. Thank
you for raising an interesting topic.  If nothing else, it has prompted me
to take another look at UpToDate.  I dismissed them months ago because of
price.





Jean L. Siebert
Learning Services Coordinator/IS Librarian
Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center
Health Sciences Library
PO Box 9801
Morgantown, WV 26506-9801
[log in to unmask]
(304) 293-1920 (phone)
(304) 293-5995 (fax)