Searching in UpToDate

UpToDate® allows you to perform a search from many different places, including:

  • The UpToDate home page
  • The New Search page (the page displayed when you click New Search on the toolbar)
  • Most other pages in UpToDate

To search for information in UpToDate:

  1. In the search box, type a search phrase consisting of one or more terms.

    After you enter one character, UpToDate displays a list of possible matches for your entry.

    Click on an item from the list of possible matches to search for results for that item.

    Note: At any search box, as you begin entering a search expression, your recent searches will be displayed at the top as you type. You can select the recent search to see the results. Or you can prevent this recent search from displaying again by clicking remove.

  2. Or, type all of the characters for your desired search phrase and then click Search .
  3. Using the dropdown to the right of the search term, select one of the facets: All topics, Adult, Pediatric, Patient, or Graphics. The search results will prioritize search results for All Topics, Adult, Pediatric or Patient results. For Graphics, only graphics are displayed.
  4. On the Search Results page, do either of the following:
    • Click on the title of a topic to display that topic.
    • Click on a subsection within a topic.  These are quick links to the most commonly referenced sections within a topic that specifically relate to your search query.
    • Position the mouse pointer over a topic title to display the topic outline for that topic, then click on a section within the topic.

    Note: The system may require you to accept the UpToDate Subscription and License Agreement before you can display a topic.

See the following for further information about searching in UpToDate:

Specifying a search phrase

Accessing topics from the Search Results page

Prioritizing search results

Using search suggestions

Using topic outlines

Changing Settings
 

Finding text in topics

Rerunning searches and viewing recent topics

Searching for drug information

Search in your own language


 


Specifying a search phrase

Use the search box to specify a search phrase, which can consist of one or more terms. Possible search terms include — but are not limited to — names of diseases, symptoms, laboratory abnormalities, procedures, drugs, and classes of drugs.

The more specific you are about the information that you want to search for, the more likely it is that the search process will return the desired results. For example, if you want to find information about how to treat hypertension in pregnancy, specifying treatment of hypertension in pregnancy as your search phrase will most likely be more productive than specifying hypertension.

Some additional facts that you should know about searching in UpToDate®:

  • UpToDate® generally recognizes common synonyms, abbreviations, and acronyms. For example, the search term GERD will return results for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
  • It is not necessary to capitalize search terms, as capitalization is not considered in the search processing.
  • UpToDate automatically searches across all included specialties.
  • UpToDate provides fully-referenced and updated information that addresses specific clinical issues and makes clinical recommendations. However, UpToDate is not a Medline search. Therefore, an author's name, journal, or year is not a valid search term.

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Accessing topics from the Search Results page

When you perform a search, UpToDate® displays the results on the Search Results page , as shown in the following example.

page with no outline for the search results

You can click directly on the title of a topic in the Search Results list to display the topic.

You can also position the mouse pointer over a topic title to display a preview of the topic outline for that topic. This allows you to quickly scan the contents of different topics by moving the mouse pointer over the topic titles. In the following example, the mouse pointer is positioned over the title of the "Management of hypertension in pregnant and postpartum women" topic, displaying the topic outline preview at the right side of the page.

page with outlines for the search results

Each heading in the topic outline preview is linked to the corresponding section of the topic. Thus, you can click on a heading in the topic outline preview to directly access a specific part of the topic.

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Prioritizing search results


You can prioritize the list of search results by selecting one of the content types on the Search Results page, as follows:

  • All Topics — Topics are listed without regard for whether they are adult, pediatric, or patient information topics. This is the default setting.
  • Adult — Adult topics are listed first in the search results.
  • Pediatric — Pediatric topics are listed first in the search results.
  • Patient — Patient topics are listed first in the search results.
  • Graphics — All graphics associated with the search term are shown in a thumbnail view. Graphics include: pictures, algorithms, graphs, tables, movies, figures.

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Using search suggestions

In some cases, UpToDate® provides suggestions as alternate or additional possibilities for your search. The following are some common situations in which this may occur:

  • There are multiple meanings for an acronym or abbreviation that you specified.
  • There is a misspelling or other typographical error in a search term.
  • There are broader categories of information related to a search term.

The search suggestions appear near the top of the Search Results page.

For example, suppose that you perform a search using cea as the search phrase. There are two terms that are commonly associated with this acronym, "carcinoembryonic antigen" and "carotid endarterectomy." The Search Results page displays both of these as search suggestions, as shown in the following figure.

page with search suggestions

If "carotid endarterectomy" is the term in which you are interested, you can click on it in the search suggestion area; UpToDate will then rerun the search using "carotid endarterectomy" as the search phrase, thereby eliminating any unwanted search results that might have been returned for "carcinoembryonic antigen."

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Using topic outlines

When you display a topic in UpToDate®, the topic outline for that topic appears at the left side of the page. This makes it easy to quickly scan the contents of the topic.

You can click on a section heading in the outline to directly access the corresponding part of the topic, as shown in the following example.

ouline heading shown linking to section in topic

In addition to the section headings for the topic, the topic outline also includes links to any associated graphics and related topics.

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Changing Settings

You can change your settings for how you would like to see search results:

  • Click "Collapse Results" and you will not see subsection links displayed.
  • Click "Expand Results" and you will see subsection links displayed.

You can also hide the topic outline:

  • Click "Hide Topic Outline" and the Topic Outline will not show.
  • Click "Display Topic Outline" and the Topic Outline will show.

These changes can be made on the search results page

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Finding text in topics


To find specific text within a topic, do the following:

  1. Click Find to highlight all occurences of the text that you have specified.
  2. Un-check the Find synonyms checkbox to find exact matches.
  3. To clear your search expression and enter a new one, click "x" (to the right of the search box.)  Then click Find.

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Rerunning searches and viewing recent topics

You can display a list of recently-performed searches and recently-viewed topics from which you can rerun a search or redisplay a topic. For further information, click here.

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Searching for drug information

UpToDate® includes the drug information database, Lexicomp® that contains information on drug dosing, interactions, adverse effects, and other drug-related content.

You can search on a drug name just as you would search for any other medical term in UpToDate. Searching on a drug name will return information from both Lexicomp® and any other UpToDate topics that contain information related to that drug. If a Drug Interactions link appears in the search results, you can click on that link to access the drug interactions program with the drug name pre-populated.

Note: The first time that you open a topic from Lexicomp®, a drug information disclaimer statement appears. Click the Click here to continue link in the disclaimer to display the drug information topic.

Drug information topics are structured similarly to other topics, with a topic outline displayed at the left side of the page. You can click on a heading in the topic outline to go directly to a section of the topic, and you can click on a linked reference number (either within the body of the topic or in the References section at the bottom) to display the Medline abstract for that reference.

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Search in your own language

You can conduct a search using a search expression in your own language. You can also see navigation items displayed in this language.

You can change your language preference at anytime. Just click on "Languages" (shown on the top right side) or "Search in another language" (shown above the search box when you click on "New Search"). You will then be presented a screen which allows you to see what languages are available and change your language setting. This setting will be saved when you return to the site.

After entering a search expression, it will be translated into English. You can rate the translation and provide translations that you would suggest. Topic content is always displayed in English.

Search in Your Own Language uses proprietary technology and methodology protected by U.S. Patent 8,914,395, filed January 3, 2013, and issued December 16, 2014.

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