Access to evidence-based information enhances the nurse practitioner’s ability to deliver high-quality, safe, and effective care. With the breadth of information available on the Internet, clinicians can often wonder where to find the best reference tools. This blog post outlines 16 high-quality smartphone and tablet apps that will serve as excellent resources for any nurse practitioner. The post concludes with a list of 15 specialty apps pertinent to different types of providers including family, women’s health, adult gerontology acute care, pediatric, and psychiatric nurse practitioners. These apps were selected for their usefulness and high-quality, evidence-based content.
Providing high-quality care can be a challenge with patients who speak little to no English. In 2012, the AHRQ published a study that found that individuals with limited English proficiency experience longer hospital stays and a greater risk of infection, falls, pressure ulcers, and readmissions. Google Translate is a free app that allows nurse practitioners to input English text and receive translations in up to 90 different languages. You can also use the Word Lens feature to take a picture of a sign and the app will instantly translate the text.
Sanford Guide is the long-time trusted reference for antimicrobial therapy. This app includes the same topics-based organization as the textbook, but the content is updated once per month. Topics include syndromes organized by site of infection, pathogens, anti-infective medication, and prevention. This app is comprised of interactive dosing calculators and algorithms, as well as links to external peer-reviewed medical journals.
Electronic Preventive Services Selector allows nurse practitioners to search and browse the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommendations. The app was offers high quality information published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The app can be searched by specific patient demographics including age, sex, and behavioral risk factors. Clinicians can bookmark specific recommendations for later viewing and can set email alerts for recommendation updates. This app can be especially useful for screening, counseling, and providing preventative medical services. Windows app can be downloaded here: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/ahrq-epss/9347f509-025f-479a-84c8-ff4e6671e238
Published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Mobile application is a distinctive app that provides updated access to medical stories, podcasts, videos, and statistics related to diseases, conditions, family life, insurance, health status, risk factors, injuries, life stages, and populations.
Happtique is not actually an app, but rather a means to distribute high-quality apps to your patients. Happtique allows you to select from a range of medical apps and send them directly to your patient’s smartphone or tablet. This program makes patient education simpler, and it helps clinicians select only the best, most scientifically-reliable apps.
Breath & Heart Sounds by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins provides 90 different, high-definition sounds to help clinicians perfect their auscultation skills. This app includes an explanation of the anatomical and physiological changes associated with different sounds, and it allows you to take short quizzes to test your knowledge.
Eponyms is a simple, free database of all medical eponyms. An eponym is a discovery named after a person who was associated with the new finding. Wernicke’s area and Lou Gehrig’s disease, for example, are an eponyms. This app provides a short description of over 1,700 medical eponyms drawing from Andrew Yee’s website.
Standard Dictations is truly a one-of-a-kind app. It includes dictation templates for a variety of medical procedures and exams. While the bulk of the dictations are in the field of ophthalmology, there are a handful of time-saving standardized texts including admission orders, discharge orders, discharge summaries, and history and physicals.
Human Anatomy Atlas provides detailed 3D models of over 4,000 anatomical structures for 12 different body systems. It includes both male and female anatomy, and you can easily zoom in and out while displaying Latin terms. What makes this anatomy app better than others is your ability to save and share different 3D views, create study notecards from screen captures, and test your knowledge using built in quizzes.
While this app specifically markets itself to physicians, Doximity is still a useful social networking app for nurse practitioners. It touts to be one of the largest networks of healthcare providers. Doximity allows you to connect with other professional and earn continuing education credits by reading posted journal articles. This app also includes HIPAA-secure e-faxing capabilities.
Omnio is a newly launched, highly customizable medical reference app. Like many medical apps, Omnio includes drug information and medical calculators. What makes Omnio unique is your ability to archive and organize medical information from other sources such as journals, textbooks, and websites. This app includes a feature that allows you to subscribe to your favorite medical blogs to create a customized news feed. Omnio also allows you to purchase electronic textbooks and organize them on a virtual bookshelf.
Medscape Mobile offers a breadth of clinical references. Like Epocrates and Micromedex, Medscape Mobile includes a medication prescription guide and interaction checker. Medscape Mobile, however, also includes an incredibly handy formulary with a list of 1,800 insurance plans across all 50 states so that nurse practitioners can easily check to see if a patient’s medication cost is covered. Moreover, this app includes 129 different medical calculators, 30,000 clinical images, and detailed instructions for over 1,000 clinical procedures. Importantly, this app also includes professional development courses that allow you to earn accredited continuing education.
UpToDate has become a popular, go-to app for healthcare professionals due to its practical and high-quality content supported by Wolters Kluwer Health. UpToDate provides an immense amount of information including best practice recommendations, medical calculators, drug interactions, and links to full-text research articles. What makes UpToDate really stand out is the integrated patient education tool, which include 1,500 printable handouts. An excellent selling point for nurse practitioners is that they can earn continuing education credit by merely looking up information on the UpToDate app.
Micromedex produces a unique medication resource app called Mircomedex Drug Reference Essentials. This app includes important information about over 4,500 different medications including adult and pediatric dosing, adverse effects, critical interactions, and black box warnings. Uniquely, Micromedex Drug Reference Essentials contains pregnancy considerations for each medication such as dose adjustments, contraindications, pregnancy category, and effects on breast feeding.
A diagnostic clinical decision support app, VisualDx can improve a family nurse practitioner’s diagnostic accuracy and patient engagement. This app was designed to be used at the point of care, and it allows you to search by symptom, visual clues, patient diagnosis, and medication. It supports an archive of high-resolution medical images and includes a differential diagnosis builder. This rare collection of detailed images shows disease variation by age, skin type, immune states, and body location. Even more impressive, VisualDx includes pictures of diseases at different levels of severity and in people of different ethnicities
CDC Influenza features updated information on national flu activity and includes influenza vaccination recommendations. It also provides usual information on the diagnosis and treatment of influenza including the antiviral treatment guidelines published by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. This app also allows you to watch videos from flu experts and to order official CDC designed posters and brochures to distribute at your practice.
Published by the CDC, The STD Tx Guide app is an excellent reference guide for nurse practitioners working in obstetrics and gynecology. This app combines information from the CDC’s Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines as well as the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. STD Tx Guide helps healthcare professionals identify and treat their patients for 21 different sexually transmitted diseases and sexual assault.
The Wheel HD app simulates the classic pregnancy wheel. Perfect for a women’s health nurse practitioner, this app accurately determines the estimated delivery date based on your patient’s last menstrual period or date of conception. It also estimates fetal weight based on gestational age, and it displays the month and trimester of pregnancy as well as the number of days remaining until due date. The Wheel HD is a prefect app to recommend to your patients too.
As a pediatric nurse practitioner, KidsDoc is an excellent app to recommend to your patient’s parents. Published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, this app provides parents with guidelines to help them make smart decisions about the level of care needed when their child feels sick. Parents can input their child’s symptoms and receive a decision chart to determine the best action based on severity. The app also provides home care advice, pediatric dosage tables by weight, and first aid illustrations.
Pedi STAT is a rapid reference app designed for pediatric nurse practitioners. This app provides quick access to critical information including weight-based and age-specific medication dosages. Built in algorithms help you calculate Glasgow coma scale ratings and burn size estimates. The toxicology section covers decontamination, dextrose, and opioid and acetaminophen overdose.
SuperBetter is an excellent app that psychiatric nurse practitioners can recommend to their patients. It was developed by game designers to help patients build self-efficacy and personal resilience. SuperBetter helps patients build up physical, mental, emotional, and social strengths through daily challenges, interactive quests, and social networking. The game was developed to promote positive emotions and social connections to help patients help each other.
This app includes access to the full text of Prescriber’s Guide: Stahl’s Essential Psychopharmacology. Each medication entry lists the range of indications, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as tips for dosing and avoiding adverse effects. The apps includes the same colorful images that psychiatric providers are used to seeing in Stephen Stahl’s psychopharmacology textbooks.
There are 100s of medical apps published, but only a few offer high-quality, reliable, and useful information. This blog post included a list of 16 of the best smartphone and tablet apps available for nurse practitioners. These apps covered a variety of topics applicable to all specialties and levels of care. This post also listed 15 additional apps for specialist providers including family, women’s health, adult gerontology acute care, pediatric, and psychiatric nurse practitioners. Ultimately, using technology to access best practices will help nurse practitioners lead change, advance health, and improve patient outcomes.