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ClinicalKey Patient Education

14 Sep 2018

Susan Isaac

Patient education has a huge role in achieving shared decision making, improving understanding and adherence, motivating, and encouraging self-management. Studies show that patient education interventions are beneficial in terms of decreased hospital admissions, visits to A&E and are an effective tool to reduce costs.

Una Stenberg - “Health economic evaluations of patient education interventions a scoping review of the literature” Patient Education and Counselling, 2018-06-01, Volume 101, Issue 6, Pages 1006-1035.

ClinicalKey is an Elsevier clinical search engine available to RCS users. It provides a wide range of resources across various specialties and the different stages of the patient journey: from assessment and diagnosis, through treatment and managing complications, to discharge information and patient education.

ClinicalKey Patient Information 1: Computer

The Patient Education materials in ClinicalKey cover conditions, procedures, drugs and behaviours, plus approximately 10,000 individual patient information leaflets. You are able to customise the leaflets by adding additional comments for your patient, and contact details. This allows you to share Patient Education information with individual patients, as a printed handout or electronic pdf file for their personal use.

Accessing ClinicalKey

Fellows, Members, postgraduate Affiliates and Associates can access ClinicalKey with their College Login details:

  1. Go to the RCS England website and log in using your College login
  2. Go to and select ‘Login’ from the top right of the page
  3. On the ClinicalKey login page, click on ‘OpenAthens login’

FGDP Members and Associates can use their Athens accounts by going directly to step 2 and logging into Athens when prompted.

Please see our help page for more information and illustrations.

How to customise and share Patient Education

Use Search or Browse to find the Patient Education items that best suit your patient’s case.

ClinicalKey Patient Information 2: Patient information

You will be able to see the source of the information directly under the title you select. Click on the print button to select the preferred language and add additional comments, before downloading the handout to your computer as a PDF and printing or emailing it for your patient.

ClinicalKey Patient Information 3: Patient information example


We’re aware that the sources that supply this feature of ClinicalKey come from the US (e.g. Elsevier’s Interactive Patient Education and Ferri's Netter Patient Advisor) and would therefore be very interested in your comments on how useful it is for UK patients.

What else can you use?

ClinicalKey provides access to over a thousand textbooks and 600+ full text journals, it also has 17,000 videos and over 2.2 million images.

You can use ClinicalKey to help you create presentations

Click on your name and use saved content and the presentations tabs on the customised user menu to guide you through the process. See our earlier blog post Images for Academic Presentations: Using ClinicalKey for more information about this feature.

Latest developments?

From the 8th May, Elsevier has added drug information from the BNF and the British National Formulary for Children (BNFC).

A clinical tool for you

The College Library has been shifting to greater use of academic technology and expanding its coverage of a range of electronic resources for members in the UK and overseas in the last ten years. There has also been an increasingly strong emphasis in clinical settings on a more evidence-based model of care. The addition of this strong and well-received clinical tool, within the digital resources offered to members, has enabled the Library to better support these changes.

Susan Isaac, Information Services Manager

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