From the desk of Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, October 7, 2011

Editor's note: This feature is written by nursing professional development expert Adrianne E. Avillion, DEd, RN. Each week, Adrianne writes about an important issue in the area of professional development or answers reader questions. If you have a question for Adrianne, e-mail her at

Navigating through the world of healthcare apps

Having recently entered the world of the smart phone, I find myself testing (reluctantly) and enjoying (most of the time) the ability to check my e-mail from any location and access the Internet whenever and whenever I please. Part of these technological wonders includes the myriad of applications (apps) available. There seem to be apps for every conceivable topic. I can take notes during project meetings (check out the "awesome notes" app) and e-mail them to whomever I please. I find I can also keep track of the progress of my various knitting projects and even take a virtual tour of the remarkable 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero.

There are also more healthcare apps than I could have imagined. Here are a few you may find useful. Note that many apps come with a free version as well as more sophisticated versions for which you must pay. Always start with the free version, regardless of recommendations for others. I believe that we must personally evaluate the usefulness of each app for ourselves.

Here are some apps you may find interesting:

  • Continuing education trackers: Track professional courses, expenses, license and certification renewals, and required continuing education hours.
  • AHRQePSS: The Electronic Preventive Services Selector (EPSS) is designed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The app was developed to help primary care clinicians identify screening, counseling, and preventive medication services for patients.
  • Dosage Calc: Assists in drug calculations
  • Emergency Medical Spanish Guide: The Emergency Medical Spanish Guide Life (EMSG) is designed for non-Spanish speaking healthcare professionals to obtain necessary medical information.
  • MedCalc 3000 Complete: This is the most popular medical calculator system on the Web as of this writing.
  • Pocket EKG-Basic: Helps you to interpret the 25 most common cardiac dysrhythmias. An interactive quiz is included.
  • Medical Bible: Black's Medical: Black's Medical Dictionary has been the best-selling medical dictionary for more than 100 years. Provides clear explanations of medical terms.
  • CCRN Exam Prep: Upward Mobility's CCRN app for Android is designed to help prepare nurses for the AACN critical care certification exam.
  • Human Atlas: Animated illustrations and 3D rotating body systems in one app for Android.
  • Nurse's Pocket Drug Guide 6th Edition: Provides information on 1,000 commonly used medications.
  • IV Drug Handbook: Offers practical guidelines pertaining to administration of intravenous drugs.

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