Using UpToDate clinical tools

Learn how to quickly and easily find answers to your clinical questions using UpToDate®. In this section, explore clinical tools, like graphics, calculators, patient education and clinical updates.

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  • Graphics
  • Calculators
  • Patient education
  • Clinical updates


UpToDate contains more than 37,000 graphics – including videos, images, tables, and algorithms. UpToDate allows you to search graphics relevant to your search term.

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UpToDate contains more than 37,000 pictures, figures, tables, graphs, algorithms, and videos.

Additional information

  • How to find and use UpToDate graphics

    There are multiple ways to find and use graphics in UpToDate.

    Graphics can be accessed from the search results screen. Use the links at the top of page to filter graphics that are related to your search term.

    UpToDate Shoulder Dislocation Graphic

    Upon accessing a graphic, notice the arrows on either side of the window. Click the arrows to conveniently scroll through related graphics. Graphics can be bookmarked, printed, shared, and exported to PowerPoint. In PowerPoint, the graphics are fully referenced and copyrights have been preserved.

    A list of topics in which the graphic appears is available on the right. Clicking the topic name brings you into the topic, where the graphic you just viewed is referenced.

    UpToDate expanded shoulder graphic

    It is also common to access graphics directly within topics. For a quick peek at a graphic, hover over the graphic link to reveal a thumbnail that includes the graphic title. Click it to reveal the full graphic. Using the graphics viewer, you can see and scroll through all graphics available in a topic.

    UpToDate shoulder dislocation graphic 3

    In the search results page, look for any of the graphic icons. Hover over the link to see a thumbnail, or click directly into the graphic. If usage data and input from our expert physician editors suggest that a graphic or graphics are likely what you are looking for, they will appear at the top of the search results page, above the topic results.

    UpToDate shoulder dislocation graphic 4

    Graphics can also be found in the graphics gallery. At the top of a topic, select the “Graphics” tab for a convenient, one-stop view of all relevant graphics - including algorithms, tables, charts, and pictures. The graphics gallery is accessible on desktop and mobile devices.

    graphics gallery

    graphics gallery 2

Downloads and related links

  • How can I view only specific types of graphics in a topic? View Article
  • What is an UpToDate graphics search? View Article


UpToDate provides easy access to more than 210 medical calculators right in the workflow. All calculators are fully referenced and continuously updated.

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UpToDate provides easy access to more than 220 medical calculators right in the clinical workflow.

Additional information

  • How to find and use calculators

    Calculators can be found in the blue clinical tool bar. They are indexed by specialty, or can be listed alphabetically. Calculators are also linked to throughout UpToDate clinical topics.

    UpToDate calculators

    UpToDate calculators list

Downloads and related links

Patient education

With UpToDate, you can provide patients with resources to help them stay engaged in their health, which can be the difference between the path to wellness or a possible readmission. Engaging patients in their medical care and treatment decisions often reduces costs and leads to better outcomes.

Developed in-house and edited by the same physicians who edit UpToDate medical topics, UpToDate patient education topics provide information that is consistent with the evidence-based content that clinicians use to make clinical decisions.

Patients have varying information needs. Some want just a brief overview, while others want more in-depth information. UpToDate meets the varying information needs of patients by offering both The Basics and Beyond the Basics:

  • The Basics: These topics are 1-3 pages in length and are written in simple language. They answer the four or five most important questions a person might have about a medical problem. The Basics topics are best for readers who want a general overview.
  • Beyond the Basics (available and free to the public): These topics are 5-10 pages long and are more detailed. Beyond the Basics topics are best for readers who want a lot of information and are comfortable with some technical medical terms.

UpToDate provides more than 1,500 patient education topics, plus more than 1,000 translated into universal Spanish and Arabic, that facilitate clinician-patient communication. Written at an accessible level and infused with pictures and graphics, these materials educate and promote shared decision making based on medical evidence, clinical recommendations, and patient preference.

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UpToDate provides more than 1,500 Patient Education topics so you can easily share information with patients.

Additional information

  • Accessing Patient Education

    Users can access patient education topics in the following ways:

    When viewing search results in UpToDate, in the left-hand navigation, click on Patient to prioritize patient education topics to the top of the search results list.

    patient ed asthma search results

    Find Patient Education in the top left “Contents” dropdown.

    patient education dropdown 

    When viewing a topic, click Patient Education in the outline on the left of the screen to go directly to the Patient Education section.

    Note: The Patient tool is available only in professional-level topics for which there is related patient education information.

    patient education in topic outline patient education basics and beyond basics

Downloads and related links

  • What is UpToDate patient education information? View Article
  • What patient education information does UpToDate provide? View Article
  • UpToDate Patient Education Read More

Clinical updates

Stay in the know with important changes in medicine. Practice Changing Updates are recommendations and/or updates that our editorial staff feels may change usual clinical practice. What’s New entries provide clinicians with a summary of, in our editors’ view, the most important new information recently added to medical literature.

What's new
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UpToDate editors hand-select key content updates and share them in ‘What’s New,’ allowing you to keep abreast of some of the most important updates by specialty.
Practice UpDates
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View updates that may have an immediate impact on clinical practice.
Continuous publish
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UpToDate publishes every business day to keep clinicians abreast of changes in medical research and practice.
Send topic feedback
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The ‘feedback’ button enables users to submit comments or questions directly to our editorial team.

Additional information

  • What's New

    To keep abreast of some of the most important updates by specialty, click on What's New. UpToDate editors hand select key content updates and share them here for a quick reference.

    UpToDate What's New search

    Scroll through the list and choose a specialty to review “What's New” updates from the last six months. 

    UpToDate What's New results 

    Notice the topic outline on the left. The information is arranged alphabetically by sub-topic. The content is in paragraph format and displays a summary of the update.  

    UpToDate What's New in allergy and immunology 

    To see this update in context, click on the link to the full topic. If there is a topic that you bookmarked that has recently changed, an orange bullet will be displayed next to the topic title. 

    UpToDate What's New allergy and immunology highlight

  • Practice Changing Updates

    To view updates that may have an immediate impact on clinical practice, click on Practice Changing Updates  from the Contents menu.

    UpToDate practice changing updates search 

    Notice the topic outline on the left. Information within Practice Changing Updates is arranged with the most recent update on top. The content is in paragraph format. This is a summary of the update.

    UpToDate practice changing updates results

    To see this update in context, click on the link to the full topic.

    UpToDate practice changing updates COVID example

Downloads and related links

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