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5 Must-have Medical Apps for Physicians and Advanced Practitioners

By Debra Wood, RN, contributor

Just as people download apps to their smartphones to help with anything from banking to ordering lunch, physicians and advanced practitioners have turned to medical apps to save time, to stay informed and to become more efficient. 

But how do you choose the right apps, among the hundreds available? Start with these top apps for physicians, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants:

Doximity

More than a million physicians and advanced practitioners rely on Doximity as a social network exclusively for clinicians, a news feed and a telehealth platform. The app creates a profile for each clinician who joins the network and has a separate area for medical students.

“It’s like LinkedIn for doctors,” said Pete Alperin, vice president of product at Doximity in San Francisco. “We have the most comprehensive profile collection of physicians in the United States.”

Doximity customizes its news feed, presenting information from journals and the lay press tailored to each physician’s interests.

“It learns,” Alperin said. “We use a combination of machine learning and human editors. … It helps physicians stay up to date on what is important to them.”

The app also offers a HIPAA-compliant and secure telehealth platform to conduct virtual visits with patients. The app allows physicians to call with the patient seeing the office telephone number or another number rather than the doctor’s cell number, and Doximity offers a free fax number. App users also can earn continuing medical education (CME) credits. 

DynaMed

DynaMed aims to provide physicians with the best information available at each decision point when evaluating, treating, and following a patient. This medical app offers immediate access to research results from the medical literature, provided in the context of the current state of knowledge in the field, explained Jessica Holmes, communications director for parent company EBSCO Information Services. 

“DynaMed’s mission is to provide the most useful information to healthcare professionals at the point of care to improve health outcomes worldwide,” Holmes said. “DynaMed’s multidisciplinary team systematically and objectively surveys emergent scientific literature and clinical practice guidelines. Relevant information is captured, appraised and synthesized rapidly into DynaMed’s clinical content. The resource surfaces actionable recommendations, key takeaways and synopses.”

Users are encouraged to create an account and designate content of interest. Content can be used offline. And physicians can earn CME and maintenance of certification credits each time they use the app. 

epocrates

epocratesremains one of the top apps for physicians. For more than 20 years, epocrates has been a valuable tool for more than 1 million clinicians. It is designed to provide answers in seconds at the point of care. App content is continually researched and updated clinical content and decision support. 

Centered around robust drug reference information, such as dosing, adverse reactions, drug–drug interactions and pill identification, epocrates is used by clinicians to make safe and confident prescribing decisions throughout their day, said Acey Albert, MD, FACP, director of clinical content at epocrates in Austin. He began using the app during medical school. 

“Ultimately, physicians want to provide safe, effective, high-value decisions for their patients,” Albert said. “epocrates was always my trusted source for helping with those decisions.” 

Other features of the app include concise guideline synopses, aimed at distilling society recommendations into salient points for the patient. With instant access to personalized answers, healthcare professionals can keep their attention on the patient and focus on delivering optimal care. 

The basic epocrates is free. Paid users also have access to an ICD-10 code lookup, a disease reference from British Medical Journal and information on alternative medications and supplements. 

“With so much information at their fingertips, epocrates users have estimated that the app saves them at least twenty minutes per day,” Albert said. 

Medscape

The free Medscapeapp offers news and medical topics, including conference coverage. It also contains information about medications and supplements and interactions, procedures and a variety of diagnoses. It offers CME and professional online education. The app’s Medscape Consult feature allows sharing challenging cases and receiving crowd-sourced answers from fellow physicians and access to leading experts.  

PEPID

PEPID is an all-in-one solution for medical professionals for rapid access to evidence-based drug and clinical information alongside powerful and timesaving clinical tools,” said Megan Brown, marketing coordinator for PEPID in Phoenix.  

The content is tailored to medical specialties including emergency medicine, primary care, ambulatory care, professional nursing, pharmacy, medical students and medical residents. The app includes a drug-interaction checker, a pill identifier tool, an IV-compatibility checker, a drug-allergy checker, an indications lookup tool, an adverse drug reaction tool, a differential diagnosis tool and more. 

“Our products deliver both drug and clinical content including safety, diagnostic and treatment information written in bullet-point format to answer clinical inquiries faster than any other resource at the point of care,” Brown added. “PEPID executes an aggressive editorial cycle in which content is reviewed and contributed to by leading professional organizations, and in-house physicians, nurses and pharmacists.” 

PEPID offers new subscribers a complimentary two weeks on a PEPID Trial. No credit card is required. 

Carestream reports that mobile health can save each clinician 18 minutes per day and reduce medication errors by 30 percent. One or more of these medical apps can help physicians and advanced practitioners in caring for patients. 

Related:
10 Top Apps for Emergency Medicine Practitioners


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