HealthJune 02, 2021

Mongolia Ministry of Health boosts rural healthcare with UpToDate national access

From the Gobi Desert to the mountainous north and west, Mongolian clinicians have, in the palms of their hands, a vast medical library of thousands of continually updated clinical topics in 25 specialties authored by global experts. 

Wolters Kluwer, Health announced today that the Ministry of Health of Mongolia is now providing healthcare professionals throughout the country of three million people with full access to UpToDate, the clinical decision support resource trusted by more than two million clinicians worldwide. Thousands of rural doctors and healthcare professionals in the world’s most sparsely populated nation are now using the UpToDate app, often without a cellular signal, to quickly find answers to clinical questions across 25 clinical specialties.

Tools for the best care everywhere

“Mongolia is different from other countries in that it has a vast territory, unevenly distributed population and medical facilities are located hundreds of kilometers away in the countryside. As a result, rural doctors and healthcare professionals do not have the opportunity to receive new information every day and to study in the classroom,” explained Ms. Oyunbolor Ganzorig, officer for the Ministry of Health, Mongolia. “However, using the UpToDate platform to access the latest medical information daily on a mobile device means there is no delay for patient care. UpToDate increases quality of care, evidence-based medicine usage and less delay of care.”

Thousands of clinical answers, even without a signal

With the UpToDate clinical decision support app, Mongolian clinicians from the Gobi Desert to the mountainous north and west, have, in the palms of their hands, a vast medical library of more than 12,000 continuously updated clinical topics in 25 specialties with 9,500 graded recommendations authored by global experts. Clinicians in far-flung regions can download the entire contents of UpToDate onto their mobile device for uninterrupted access to clinical answers—even when no cellular or wifi signal is available for kilometers.

Suvd Nergui, MD, an attending physician at the 96-year old First Central Hospital of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar, explained how UpToDate is making an impact on care particularly in vast rural areas: “Doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals want to improve their knowledge. But we lack timely access to evidence-based medicine. UpToDate gives us that opportunity even for doctors in the countryside without internet access. Instant access to UpToDate improves our patient care with more diagnostic capabilities, reduced healthcare costs, the same standard of care as many developed countries and most importantly, helping to save lives.”

Rapid, widespread adoption by Mongolian healthcare

With national access first available in December 2020, clinicians throughout the 1.56 million sq. km country quickly added UpToDate to their most-used resources. In the first three months alone, more than 100,000 clinical questions were answered with UpToDate users exceeding 7,000 in number. As a country with more than a quarter of the population under the age of 14, improving healthcare for children has been a key application of UpToDate. Pediatrics quickly emerged as one of the most used specialties alongside infectious diseases.

A “trusty friend” for tomorrow’s clinicians

At the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, UpToDate is playing a role in the formation of Mongolia’s future clinicians with access for 142 faculty members across 23 clinical departments. “I have been using UpToDate on the mobile app and website for my everyday medical practice and teaching sessions since December 2020. It definitely helps me to find the best care for my patients and it helps keep my confidence to the highest level in medical care. Thus, the UpToDate app is just like my trusty friend,” said Bat-Erdene Nyamsuren, MD, a cardiology faculty member at the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences. “As a medical school teacher, I have to always update my knowledge and give proper feedback to my students. So, I am very grateful to Mongolian government and its organization on behalf of all Mongolian medical professionals and Mongolian people.”

Achieving a vision for better care

In 2017, the Mongolian government, working with the WHO, launched a bold ten-year initiative called the State Policy on Health 2017-2026 which aimed to mainstream universal healthcare and bring medical diagnosis and treatment in the country to international standards. Now, UpToDate is helping Mongolia achieve the program’s objectives by providing clinicians with access to globally trusted medical resources. And by monitoring usage of UpToDate, the Ministry of Health also gains continuous insights on improvements in the quality of care that citizens receive.

“The Mongolian Ministry of Health is truly a beacon for countries around the world seeking an achievable plan to improve health on a population level,” said Denise Basow, MD, President and CEO, Clinical Effectiveness, Wolters Kluwer, Health. “Wolters Kluwer is honored to play a role in Mongolia’s long-term strategy to drive improved health outcomes by ensuring their clinicians have the most current medical knowledge even in the most remote rural parts of the country.”

Analysts at the market research firm Outsell, Inc. emphasized the significance of UpToDate for driving gains in care at a national level, particularly in unevenly distributed health systems like Mongolia, in their report, It's More Than an App: UpToDate Anywhere Works toward Standardizing Quality of Care. Outsell found “the respected clinical support tool is actually addressing a population health ‘meta-metric’: variability in the quality of healthcare. Access by municipal, regional, or national health ministries or agencies can directly impact and equalize care at a higher level, whether in a hospital, community clinic, or at home through a visiting nurse.”

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About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the health, tax & accounting, governance, risk & compliance, and legal & regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.