CKN's clinical decision support tools - helping you make optimal decisions for patient care

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CKN is committed to helping improve patient outcomes state-wide. That’s why it has invested in a uniquely comprehensive suite of world-class clinical decision support tools, including leading products such as BMJ Best Practice, ClinicalKey and DynaMed. These tools are designed for rapid consultation, to quickly provide current evidence-based information, and offer you support when making clinical decisions for your patients.

Image courtesy of Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service

Each tool provides valuable reference resources supporting clinical decision-making (diagnosis, treatment and dosing) with summarised or synthesised evidence for specific conditions or treatments. Importantly these resources typically include levels of evidence, rating scales or grade recommendations as well as citations back to the original or primary research studies, systematic reviews, or guidelines.

Clinicians are encouraged to become familiar with, and consult, the range of tools provided by CKN.

Read on for more in-depth information about these tools.

NEW: Control of Communicable Disease Manual (CCDM)

New to CKN’s stable of point-of-care tools is the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual (CCDM). This is one of the most widely recognised reference volumes on the topic of infectious diseases. Published by the American Public Health Association, the CCDM compiles comprehensive scientific data about communicable diseases, which significantly contribute to mortality and morbidity around the world. The CCDM emphasises the epidemiological aspects of communicable diseases and provides information about their identification, reporting, control and prevention.

This high-value resource was funded for state-wide use by the Deputy Chief Health Officer, supporting Queensland clinicians in the fight against serious disease.

While recent worldwide focus has been on COVID-19, pandemics have been an ongoing public health priority, with 2009's H1N1 influenza in recent memory. In flood times in Queensland there is increased concern about conditions such as melioidosis, leptospirosis, tetanus, hepatitis A, and bacterial infections. That is alongside the ever-present threat of zoonotic diseases such as Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) and Hendra virus (HeV), and mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and Ross River virus. And of course, influenza.

According to Queensland public health clinicians: “this is the handbook most public health practitioners use to review communicable disease evidence. It is a trusted resource for CDNA guidelines for management of communicable diseases. While one of the most important resources for public health clinicians, it is also very useful for any clinician managing a person diagnosed with a communicable disease. All clinicians can refer to this for communicable diseases they are not familiar with.”

The Control of Communicable Diseases Manual is presented in a consistent and standardised format, with each disease chapter including content on:

  • Disease name
  • Clinical features
  • Causative agent(s)
  • Diagnosis
  • Occurrence
  • Reservoir(s)
  • Incubation period
  • Transmission
  • Risk groups
  • Prevention
  • Management of patients
  • Management of contacts and the immediate environment
  • Special considerations


BMJ Best Practice  |  App version available


CKN provides access to BMJ Best Practice, a top-ranked generalist point-of-care tool containing trusted clinical information to help you make confident diagnosis and treatment decisions. Featuring over 1,000 evidence-based condition and symptom topics across 32 specialties, it is intuitively structured around the patient journey to support real-life clinical demands.

The BMJ Best Practice in-house evidence team collaborates with over 1,600 international expert authors and over 2,500 peer reviewers to ensure that you always have access to the latest evidence-based information. Updates are made daily, with practice-changing updates flagged via visual alerts within topics.

Some of BMJ Best Practice’s features include:

  • A 4.8 star-rated, award-winning app with full offline functionality, providing fast and easy access to the latest evidence based information on diagnosis and treatment.
  • An innovative Comorbidities Manager, unique to BMJ Best Practice, allowing you to generate a tailored treatment plan for your patient encompassing their acute condition and any pre-existing comorbidities.
  • More than 500 evidence-based patient leaflets, also available to share directly from the app via SMS, WhatsApp and email.
  • Evidence scores and tables based on GRADE, links to Cochrane Clinical Answers and an EBM Toolkit.
  • 5,000+ integrated case reports from BMJ Case Reports, providing quick access to information on rare diseases and uncommon presentations.
  • Over 50 3D-animated videos providing demonstrations of common procedures such as central venous catheter insertion, as well as supporting information for each technique.
  • Automatic CPD activity tracking, and the ability to create reports and certificates as evidence of your learning.
  • 6,000+ international treatment guidelines, 5,000+ images, 250+ medical calculators, 65,000+ embedded references.


ClinicalKey  |  App version available


ClinicalKey is a clinical search engine and point-of-care database designed to support clinical decision making, from quick, credible answers at the point-of care to trusted, comprehensive medical evidence. Keeping up with the latest evidence-based practices and treatments across the wide variety of patient presentations can be a challenge for clinicians trying to deliver optimal care as quickly and effectively as possible. Streamlining the path to critical answers can help reduce a clinician’s cognitive load, build confidence, and free up more time to spend with patients.

ClinicalKey, as a complete clinical knowledge resource, gives health professionals accurate and reliable information, to diagnose and treat patients efficiently and effectively, enhance patient outcomes, promote advanced critical thinking skills, and find credible clinical answers quickly. 

Some of ClinicalKey’s features include:

  • Quick clinical answers, including Clinical Overviews, with hyperlinked coloured icons for summaries, diagnosis, workups and treatment plans. 
  • Simply type your clinical search term into the search bar to begin reviewing results and click on the coloured icons to jump to your chosen section or treatment plan. 
  • Alternatively, you can browse the 1,300+ Clinical Overviews available in the Clinical Content section.
  • Clinical Overviews provide concise, easy-to-scan summaries which include evidence-based information, as well as current guidelines and the latest advances on medical conditions in 30 medical specialities. 
  • To further support your clinical decision-making access the 1,200+ Australian Drug Monographs from the Australian Medicines Handbook database, with links out to the PBS. 
  • ClinicalKey searches across 1,100+ latest books and 700+ journals, as well as multimedia content.



ClinicalKey for Nursing


ClinicalKey for Nursing is a clinical search engine that helps nurses and other health professionals make better decisions in any patient scenario. ClinicalKey for Nursing brings you the most clinically relevant answers, from both local and international nursing content, including evidence-based monographs, books, journals and practice guidelines.

Some of ClinicalKey for Nursing’s features include:

  • Over 350 Clinical Overviews: easy-to-read, clinically focused medical topic summaries designed to match the clinician workflow. The Clinical Overviews sections include the following: Synopsis, Terminology, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications and Prognosis, Screening and Prevention, Images, and References.
  • 180 nursing topics with disease overview pages, providing a comprehensive overview of key diseases covering diagnosis, risk factors, treatments, interventions and more.
  • Elsevier’s valuable local and international nursing ebooks, including Lewis’s Medical-Surgical Nursing, and ANZ versions of Potter and Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing, and Understanding Pathophysiology.
  • Top local and international journals from Elsevier, including journals from leading ANZ professional societies such as Australian Critical Care, Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, Collegian, Scholarship & Research, and Birth.
  • A continuously updated library of skills and procedures-based content, including step-by-step procedural videos and convenient competency management tools to help measure and document knowledge.
  • Over 300 full text local Australian and New Zealand Guidelines.
  • 15,000+ patient education handouts, customisable to fit each patient’s specific needs and your hospital's branding.
  • Mosby’s Evidence-Based Nursing Monographs, AMH Drug Monographs and searchable MEDLINE Abstracts.
  • Calculators, Labs and Diagnostics: Normal lab values, nursing implications of abnormal values and measurement considerations for common labs.


DynaMed  |  App version available


DynaMed provides high-quality evidence-based recommendations for patient management and guidance from leading experts. It publishes over 11,000 clinically-organised evidence-based topics which are continuously updated, whenever new information indicates a need for change in practice. Content is written by a world-class team of physicians and researchers who synthesise the evidence through a systematic literature surveillance process, and provide objective analysis.

Some of DynaMed’s features include:

  • Content ranging from comprehensive reviews of diseases, conditions, and abnormal findings to highly-focused topics on evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management. 
  • Drug and laboratory monographs developed and maintained by Micromedex. 
  • DynaMed content, including updates to its extensive drug and drug interaction information, is updated, transparently, multiple times each day.
  • The DynaMed app provides full access to content while working offline.
  • CKN users are able to create a personal DynaMed account using your Queensland Health or personal email address. A personal account provides you with practice-changing evidence alerts, and lets you manage time-based CPD points/certificates.
  • DynaMed links to Queensland Clinical Guidelines, the Primary Care Clinical Manual (PCCM) and the Chronic Conditions Manual (CCM) supporting rural and remote health, as well as recommendations from respected national organisations such as the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne guidelines, the Australian Resuscitation Council, Asthma Council Australia, Lung Foundation Australia, and Choosing Wisely Australia.
  • An extensive list of over 500 calculators, searchable by specialty, including Paediatrics and Nursing. Including A-Z lists of Medical Equations and Clinical Criteria sets, Decision Tree analysis tools, Units & Dose Converters and Statistics Calculators.
  • Integration with the Isabel diagnosis checklist tool to help you broaden your differential diagnosis.



Isabel – The differential diagnosis tool 



Isabel is a diagnosis checklist tool which helps clinicians construct or broaden their differential diagnosis and recognise a disease at the point-of-care. Isabel uses the information normally captured in a patient workup - whether free text or structured data - and provides clinicians with a list of possible diagnoses to help them construct their thinking and make an accurate final diagnosis quickly and easily.

Isabel includes more than 6,000 disease presentations by multiple signs and symptoms. The web-based Isabel tool uses the patient's demographics and clinical features to produce a list of possible diagnoses, including flagging critical "Don't Miss Diagnoses” and diagnoses that could cause significant harm if not considered. Users enter clinical features including age, gender and symptoms and a result list is presented in order of likelihood of a match to specific conditions.

Isabel helps clinicians improve diagnosis quality, leading to more cost-effective care through:

  • More appropriate tests and referrals.
  • More appropriate admissions.
  • Reduced length of stay.
  • Increased patient satisfaction.
  • Reduced clinical risk.
  • Ensuring the appropriateness of care.
  • Supporting medical education and training.
  • Encouraging review of the latest evidence via DynaMed.

Isabel has set standards for the clinical testing of decision support systems in health care, having undergone a robust, peer-reviewed validation process to demonstrate its accuracy, effectiveness and value – supported by the results of dozens of review articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.

Seamless Integration with DynaMed

Isabel is also fully integrated with DynaMed, with results linking directly to relevant DynaMed topics. Queensland clinicians can get powerful clinical decision support by combining the leading diagnosis technology of Isabel with the latest evidence-based clinical information from DynaMed. Isabel and DynaMed work together to give clinicians the evidence-based information they need to provide the best care to their patients. Clinicians can easily start their diagnosis journey from either platform by accessing Isabel differential diagnosis from the DynaMed homepage (“DDx” in the main menu) or linking directly to DynaMed topics from Isabel's list of potential diagnoses.



Nursing Reference Center Plus App version available


Nursing Reference Center Plus is a comprehensive reference tool designed to provide relevant, evidence-based clinical resources to nurses, directly at the point-of-care. It offers the best available and most recent clinical information from thousands of full-text documents. Nursing Reference Center Plus provides access to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, patient education handouts, point-of-care drug information and nursing care plans.

It also provides nurse educators and nursing management with a resource that supports education goals, with best practice information for continuing education, nursing skills and competency checklists, and nursing practice and leadership topics. It includes multimedia and video content associated with skills that helps nurses improve patient care.

Some of Nursing Reference Center Plus' features include:

  • The Nursing Reference Center Plus mobile app gives nurses instant access, both on and offline, to content on their iPhones, iPads or Android devices.
  • Diseases & Conditions - Explore the latest information about diseases and conditions in easily digestible formats that map to the nursing workflow.
  • Skills & Procedures – Based on best practices for performing nursing tasks with competency checklists.
  • Drugs - Access information about trade and generic drugs, drug classes, IV therapy best practices etc.
  • Personalised Folders - Store your favourite searches, topics, alerts and images in personalised or department-wide folders.
  • Spoken Audio - Listen to the audio version, e.g. while on your way to work. Choose from female or male voices, in UK or US accents.
  • Management Topics - Enhance leadership skills with nursing management topics.
  • Continuing Education - Take continuing education modules for professional development.
  • Patient Education - Access high quality patient education handouts.
  • Multimedia – Access images, eBooks and videos and to get quick visual guidance on a skill, demonstration of a procedure or topic.


Paediatric Injectable Guidelines (PIG)

The Paediatric Injectable Guidelines (PIG) is a decision support tool compiled by pharmacists at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne to assist in the safe and effective administration of injectable medicines in children. The guidelines have been developed to provide concise and consistent, practical information for clinicians on medicines administration.

The Paediatric Injectable Guidelines provides advice tailored for nursing, pharmacy and medical staff on preparation and administration of injectable medications.

The information is specific to the paediatric setting with important details such as powder volume to calculate part vial doses, maximum concentrations to reduce fluid volume, and line access considerations.

They also offer important information on:

  • Specific parenteral administration advice for paediatric patients.
  • Compatibility of medications with IV fluids – including compatibility with Plasma-Lyte 148.
  • Parenteral nutrition and fat emulsion compatibility & incompatibility.
  • Intravenous fluid additive calculations.
  • Infusion solution composition details.
  • Precautions around administration are also given without distracting the user with unnecessary detail.