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Guide to Library Resources and Services for Doctors (Medical and Surgical): Clinical Decision Support

This guide aims to provide information about the resources and services we provide which are particularly relevant for Doctors in all specialties

BMJ Best Practice

The National Health Library and Knowledge Service (HSE Library) has made BMJ Best Practice freely available to everyone in Ireland. BMJ Best Practice provides fast, easy access to the latest evidence on health conditions. 

BMJ Best Practice features:

  • Detailed overviews of over 1,000 conditions
  • Links to BNF drug information, medical guidelines and medical calculators
  • Images and procedural videos
  • Treatment algorithms and differential diagnosis information
  • Educational information for patients

Register for a free personal account to enable you to download the App and track your CME.


UpToDate provides topics covering 25 specialties.

Each UpToDate topic has been compiled using a rigorous editorial process to synthesise the most recent medical information into trusted, evidence-based recommendations.

We recommend that you set up a personal account to download the UpToDate App and to track your CME.


ClinicalKey provides full-text reference books and journals, point-of-care monographs, drug information, videos, practice guidelines, customised patient education handouts and clinical calculators.

ClinicalKey can be accessed via desktop, mobile and App. A personal ClinicalKey account is required to use the ClinicalKey App, in addition to an OpenAthens account.

Steps required to set up your personal ClinicalKey account (required to use App):

  • Go to click ‘Login’ and look for ‘OpenAthens login’. Login with your OpenAthens username and password.
  • Does your name appear in the menu in the top right corner of the screen? If so, you’re all set! If it says your Hospital name and ‘Activate’, click on this.
  • Complete form and select Register.
  • Download the ClinicalKey App, selecting Global and then ClinicalKey from the menus.
  • Open the App, scroll down to ‘OpenAthens login’ and enter your OpenAthens username and password to log in.
  • You can access ClinicalKey anytime, anywhere using your OpenAthens details.

BMJ Learning


BMJ Learning offers high-quality continuing medical education for doctors and other healthcare professionals. It features hundreds of accredited, peer-reviewed learning modules in text, video, and audio formats.

Access BMJ Learning using your OpenAthens username and password on our homepage.

Medicines Complete

Medicines Complete logo

Medicines Complete

MedicinesComplete is accessible from our homepage using your OpenAthens username and password and features:

  • BNF
  • BNF for Children
  • Clarity's Diagnosis and Treatment Guidance
  • Clinical Calculators
  • Critical Illness
  • Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation
  • Handbook on Injectable Drugs
  • Injectable Drugs Guide
  • Martindale's Adverse Drug Reactions Checker
  • Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference
  • Palliative Care Formulary
  • Stockley's Drug Interactions
  • Stockley's Interactions Checker


National Medicines Information Centre (NMIC)


National Medicines Information Centre (NMIC)

The NMIC team provides evidence-based information and advice to prescribers on all aspects of the therapeutic use of medicines.  They offer a clinical enquiry answering service on all aspects of the therapeutic use of medicines including indications, drug interactions and drug use in pregnancy/lactation. This service is available to all prescribers.

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
(01) 473 0589 or 1850 727 727

The NMIC also produces publications and has an educational role in promoting safe and effective use of medicines.

More information is available on their website.


PubMed Clinical Queries

The Clinical Queries feature of PubMed limits results of searches to the following  specific clinical research areas:

It is a useful resource for rapidly filtering and displaying methodologically sound and clinically relevant articles.

iRefer - Clinical Radiology

The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) publish RCR iRefer Guidelines: Making the best use of clinical radiology (iRefer). iRefer promotes evidence-based imaging. Guidance is provided for adults and paediatrics suggesting the most appropriate imaging modality depending on the clinical presentation.

Access iRefer via automatic IP login from a HSE site. Select the green "Log in automatically" option on the right hand side to access this tool.

Cochrane Reviews

Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews which have been conducted to a very high methodological standard to identify, appraise and synthesise all empirical evidence which meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question.

Authors aim to minimise bias to ensure that their findings can reliably inform decision-making. Cochrane Reviews are updated regularly to reflect the findings of new evidence when it becomes available.

The Author's Conclusion segment of Cochrane Reviews feature short recommendations for further research and clinical practice, both of which are very useful to clinicians. 

Cochrane Clinical Answers

Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) provide a readable, digestible, clinically focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane Reviews.

They are designed to be actionable and to inform point of care decision making. 

Here are some recent highly accessed Clinical Answers:

What is the accuracy of changes in white blood cell (WBC) count for diagnosing COVIDÔÇÉ19?

What is the accuracy of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) blood testing for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis in immunocompromised people?

National Health Library & Knowledge Service. Health Service Executive. Dr. Steevens' Hospital, Dublin 8. Tel: 01-6352555/8. Email: