UpToDate versus DynaMed: a cross-sectional study comparing the speed and accuracy of two point-of-care information tools





point of care tools, UpToDate, DynaMed


Objective: To compare the accuracy, time to answer, user confidence, and user satisfaction between UpToDate and DynaMed (formerly DynaMed Plus), which are two popular point-of-care information tools.

Methods: A crossover study was conducted with medical residents in obstetrics and gynecology and family medicine at the University of Toronto in order to compare the speed and accuracy with which they retrieved answers to clinical questions using UpToDate and DynaMed. Experiments took place between February 2017 and December 2019. Following a short tutorial on how to use each tool and completion of a background survey, participants attempted to find answers to two clinical questions in each tool. Time to answer each question, the chosen answer, confidence score, and satisfaction score were recorded for each clinical question.

Results: A total of 57 residents took part in the experiment, including 32 from family medicine and 25 from obstetrics and gynecology. Accuracy in clinical answers was equal between UpToDate (average 1.35 out of 2) and DynaMed (average 1.36 out of 2). However, time to answer was 2.5 minutes faster in UpToDate compared to DynaMed. Participants were also more confident and satisfied with their answers in UpToDate compared to DynaMed.

Conclusions: Despite a preference for UpToDate and a higher confidence in responses, the accuracy of clinical answers in UpToDate was equal to those in DynaMed. Previous exposure to UpToDate likely played a major role in participants’ preferences. More research in this area is recommended.

Author Biographies

Glyneva Bradley-Ridout, University of Toronto

Gerstein Science Information Center, University of Toronto Libraries

Erica Nekolaichuk, University of Toronto

Gerstein Science Information Center, University of Toronto Libraries

Trevor Jamieson, University of Toronto


Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

Division of General Internal Medicine, Unity Health Toronto

Claire Jones, University of Toronto


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto
Mount Sinai Fertility, Sinai Health System, Toronto

Natalie Morson, University of Toronto


Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

Mount Sinai Academic Family Health Team, Sinai Health System, Toronto

Rita Chuang, University of Toronto


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto

Elena Springall, University of Toronto

Gerstein Science Information Center, University of Toronto Libraries


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Original Investigation