How Nagoya University Hospital uses up-to-date information to their advantage

Updated information takes the quality of care at Nagoya University Hospital to a whole new level. It improves patient outcomes, clinicians’ skills, and overall quality of care.

We’re living in the information age; every question has a lot of answers and every answer is accessible with but a click. But information, oftentimes, is overwhelming that we aren’t able to optimise its use. Nagoya University Hospital rejects this pessimism as it turns to credible information to fulfil its role as a world-class hospital that promotes a high quality of care.

Japan’s first National University Hospital to receive accreditation from the Joint Commission International (JCI) as a world-class institution, Nagoya University Hospital shares how they use up to date rather than outdated information to enhance decisions, improve clinicians’ skills, and deliver efficient patient care.

Realigning care with the newest evidence

Evidence guides decision-making. We see this not only in hospitals and clinics but also in police investigations and court proceedings. Doctors cannot just decide on a treatment policy “just because other clinicians use it” or “just because they have previously used it for another patient.”

To avoid unnecessary harm and risks to patients, clinicians need to use evidence-based practice, but this is not just about using any evidence available. Rather, it asks for the use of most updated and current evidence. As we all know, the only thing constant in the world is change. What we know to be an effective vaccine or medication a few years ago may not work today.

Without adequate access to up-to-date information, physicians are in trouble for variability in care which can negatively impact patient outcomes. Contrast it with when all clinicians have access to the same medical knowledge, therefore, can collaborate underneath a shared reliance on updated evidence.

No need to know everything

The clinical mind can only take so much information. It also forgets, makes mistakes, and says ‘enough.’ Dr Takeshi Kondo from Nagoya University Hospital’s Department of General Medicine, also a training instructor at two other hospitals in Aichi prefecture, highlights how access to the latest treatment options, clinical successes, and medical findings are key to “deepening doctors’ and trainers’ knowledge.”

In the educational conferences he holds, Dr Kondo sees the wide use of UpToDate®, a clinical tool by Wolters Kluwer, which allows participants to investigate relevant cases, symptoms, treatment methods, and images in order to come up with the best diagnosis.

The same evidence-based resource has been in use at Nagoya University Hospital since 2009 and Dr Kondo has been relying on it for more than 10 years prior to joining the hospital. Through the years, he has observed how UpToDate® helps elevate Nagoya University Hospital’s status as a hospital that plays the lead role to “diagnose cases that are difficult to determine in other hospitals, to examine all possible treatment methods, and to determine the right direction.”

While clinicians always need to continue sharpening what they know, they don’t need to stretch their brains past what they can hold. Evidence-based clinical resources are able to provide them with the most current and relevant information they need to guide their medical decisions.

Patients deserve what’s best

We cannot underscore this enough, but patients require the best care hospitals are able to provide whether they’re inpatient or in visiting medical care. Today, time is no longer an excuse not to thoroughly investigate a patient’s medical history and symptoms to come up with the correct diagnosis.

In the field of visiting care, for example, quick research for more information about a disease is already possible with technologies like smartphones and tablets. Electronic health record systems, too, have proven vital to easily review what drugs a patient has taken, his allergies, his past diagnoses. Patient records are indispensable to making future decisions, Dr Kondo believes.

The accessibility of all such information allows healthcare providers to avoid medication errors. Patients then are given the treatment they deserve based on their preferences and their symptoms.

Making an excuse for slovenly medical care can no longer be justified at a time when information is at our fingertips. Patients expect better outcomes and physicians are expected to use the latest and the most accurate information there is. Updated evidence can just be the key to achieving both.

About UpToDate

More than 1.9 million clinicians in 190+ countries rely on UpToDate® to make the best care decisions and stay abreast of contemporary standards in the workflow and on-the-go. UpToDate is the only resource associated with improved patient outcomes and hospital performance, and studies show that clinicians who use UpToDate change their decisions 30 percent of the time.

More than 7,100 world-renowned physician authors, editors, and reviewers use a rigorous editorial process to synthesize the most recent medical information into trusted, evidence-based recommendations. Every day, clinicians view topics covering 25 specialties over 1.6 million times. For more information, visit