My phone has become quite a ‘cheat sheet’ for me these days. Medical apps assist with drug dosing information, assessing lab values and appropriate antibiotic prescribing. Building up a list of on-hand resources as a nurse practitioner, however can be a daunting task. Which apps are worth forking over a few bucks to help answer day-to-day clinical questions?
There are plenty of free diagnostic and prescribing apps on the market, but some of the best smartphone resources come with a price tag. For the busy nurse practitioner, sometimes it’s worth investing in a few clinical resources. Here are a few of my favorite ‘worth-it’ medical apps.
1. 5 Minute Clinical Consult
I owned the 5-Minute Clinical Consult textbook as a nurse practitioner student. Impressed with its ease of use and well laid out, easy to reference information, I was confident the app would make valuable resource as well. 5-Minute Clinical Consult guides nurse practitioners in diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions and offers ongoing care recommendations. Easy to use algorithms make clinical decision making easy. Priced at $99.99, 5-Minute Clinical Consult certainly isn’t cheap, but the investment is well worth it for this all encompassing resource.
2. CORE – Clinical ORthopedic Exam
Forget the steps to diagnosing a meniscus tear with the McMurray exam? Or, Lachman’s test for ACL injury? CORE has a solution. The app offers a robust database of over 400 clinical tests with descriptions of how to perform them. Video demos and the ‘why’ behind the exam are also available for some tests. CORE Clinical ORthopedic Exam will set you back $39.99 but stands to improve your orthopedic exam and decision-making skill set.
3. The Merck Manual
The Merck Manual is a highly regarded resource for medical professionals. And, it’s available to nurse practitioners as a convenient app. Organized by body system, NPs can search through medical conditions or symptoms aiding in diagnosis and clinical management. Pathophysiology, symptoms, prognosis and treatment of each condition are discussed. The Merck Manual app isn’t free, but with a price tag of $34.99 it still proves to be a ‘worth-it’ resource for nurse practitioners.
4. Family Practice Notebook
Nurse practitioners who are a fan of Cliffs Notes will be drawn to the simplicity of the Family Practice Notebook app. Succinct outlines get right down to the details primary care and emergency NPs need in practice. The Family Practice Notebook collection is updated monthly and contains more than 6,000 topic pages. The app can be purchased with a monthly subscription fee of $1.99 or an annual fee of $19.99. Users do warn that cancelling your subscription is a hassle.
5. Omnio: All-in-one clinical resource
Too OCD to have a bunch of apps cluttering the screen of your phone? Omnio, the all-in-one clinical resource, serves as an app library storing your medical apps in a single location. Nurse practitioners may use free medical apps within the Omnio system or, purchase additional apps expanding their on-the-go clinical database. The Omnio app itself is free but NPs can expect to pay for most apps purchased within the Omnio library.
6. Medical Spanish by Mavro
If your clinic day occasionally requires Spanish speaking ability but you ‘No hablo Español’, the Medical Spanish by Marvo app can help. Nurse practitioners simply click a pre-populated phrase and the app speaks the words aloud in Spanish. Phrases are organized by body system making head-to-toe history taking easy. And, questions are conveniently asked in ‘yes’ or ‘no’ format so medical providers can interpret the reply. Marvo is availably free with limited functionality. For full functionality, nurse practitioners pay $3.99.
Which apps do you think are totally worth-it in your nurse practitioner practice?