Palms/pda in homehealth

  1. I am new to home health nursing. I am trying to figure out how to organize all the information I need to case manager my patients. I was wondering if anyone out there used any PDA or Palm Pilot software to help them organize things. If not a Palm, does anyone use any PC software to help them? My agency is still with paperwork, not laptops, but I figured I might be able to use some software to help me organize my day.. Thanks
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    Hi Paula,
    Great idea, but nothing I have found out there!
    One VNA in calif developed their own, but they don't sell it.
    Try here www.handango.com they have some free downloads, and some low-cost, most will not sync, so if all you want is a palm reference, you can try turbo doc, or RNkeeper, or pt keeper. But, why stop there? If you have a IRd-ready printer, you could beam your reports to a printer and it would spit out your notes!!

    If you wanted to develop your own program, try access program by microsoft, very $$ software. Make your own program, or try Hand-D-Base, a program that lets you make a database for your palm, but it has to run on access.

    This is a project of the future I want to try. But, I have no idea how to make a databse program, but I know that you can program certain fields to print diff types of reports. So, you could generate a PT referral form, a 487, or 485, letters, nurses notes, etc, depending on how it's programmed.

    Good luck. I limited myself by wanting to do it all at once, but to just keep a grip on the case load, and your phone/address contacts for docs, pharmacies, etc, it would be great. You must download Epocrates, a drug ref, it updates daily via sync. I wished I had it a long time ago!! Best thing I ever loaded onto the palm.
  4. by   hoolahan
    You know what? I am an idiot! I am using mine in a way that could work for you right now!

    Use the address book. Make a new category that says... Active cases, and one for discharged cases, and use the buz contacts one to enter in all you doc's, venders, DME's pharm's, etc.

    Use memo pad to make notes on managed care co pref's. Like XXX likes to use YYY for supplies, and must fax an assessment.

    Use your active address book category to enter pt name addy etc...

    There are some extra spaces like custom1 custom 2 etc... ON those custom i I enter DOB: Age:
    custom 2 SSN
    Custom 3 SOC
    custom 4 other insur name & id #

    IN the note, USE the note, I enter all the docs, what pharm and meds, DME dealers, and addy's phone and fax numbers. OR you could just put the names, then look up the biz addy area seperately for the phone and fax info, but me being anal, I enter it twice.

    I enter diagnosis, dates of any tests, md appts, surgeries, allergies, etc... and a log of highlights of the progress of the case.

    Use the calender to enter your case load and schedule, you can put when HHA sup is due, when auth for HMO is out and when the update form is due, when recerts are due.

    I sync everything to my PC, and then you can rpint out the address bnok selection if you want to keep on the chart.

    Only bad thing I haven't been able to figure out is getting a month-veiw calender.

    That shoud give you a good start with what you already have!
  5. by   KP RN
    Hoolahan, you are truly AMAZING!!!!
    How did you figure all that palm pilot stuff out????
    Now I'm thinking I gotta get me one of those....hhhmmmmmmm..
    if I paid you a lot of money, could you come over to my house and help me get one programmed???? hehehe
  6. by   RoAbreu
    The HHVNA I work for is using HealthWyse software and we do all our charting on a PALM, which we were provided with, along with an external modem that we use to upload/download our stuff; our daily charting comes up in the manager's computer for any necessary editing or approval and vo's are sent out to the doctors from the office for signing. Since I'm new to home care and have only learned this system, I'm not sure what all it has replaced, but I'm sure it's a pile of papers. We have a few forms we still have to do, but not a lot.

    While the software isn't perfect, and they are still upgrading periodically as we find gaps, we are able to do our OASIS and 485 stuff through it as well as our call logs and chart information like med lists and directions.

    I carry the PALM around in a belt pack and do quite a bit of my charting right there in the home, so it saves a lot of time, IMO.

    I'm new to this forum, as I've just started working in home care, but I'm glad I found it. Good luck using a PALM, I think you will like it!
  7. by   globalRN
    I have eRecs which is a free computerized patient charting software...PDAs are great...I have Epocrates. Tarascon. I also
    use the free software from:
    www.statcoder.com
    for pediatric growth charts, ATPIII guidelines
    and tons of other software.. to give my patients and myself a handy reference to current research-based treatment.
    Type in 'free Palm programs' and you will find many freeware programs. I also use a 64 MB MMC card.
    I am literally bonded to my Palm.
  8. by   RoAbreu
    WooWoo, globalRN, I looked at StatCoder and that is *rad*. I am going to ask my boss if I can put that in my Jornada, I am at a constant loss with the ICD-9 coding.

    I'm going to do a google for eRecs... did you download it off the net or purchase it separately? Do you sync your Palm to your main computer or what?

    What kind of multimedia card is that? What does it do for you?
  9. by   hoolahan
    I downloaeded erecs too, it is very nice, but I wanted to tweak it for my own needs and couldn't figure it our.

    You should be able to download e-recs from a google search. I think I got it from handango, but might have been somewhere else. Do your google search for PDA software, and that should bring up toms of pages. I find that MOST have the same software, but with lots of seaching, you can find different stuff.

    HealthWyse sounds great, but for one to purchase individually, I am sure it is too costly! What a blessing to be able to do your oasis on that!

    I think erecs has a sync-able program, but it may me $$$$$.

    Paula, I would meet you halfway! I am in NJ, and I was just in Columbus, too far to drive!! But, we could meet midway thru pensy, why not?

    Seriously though, I learned about this stuff just by a google search on PDA tutorials. I read a lot of articles I found searching on-line, then decided which palm I wanted. I have a handspring visor Pro, 16 MB, black and white, didn't want colors since they drain the battery too fast. I didn't bother w e-mail on it, too much hassle for me personally.

    One thing I got with mine was palm software called Desktop Palm, and that is what I sync everything to. I don't have an IRd-ready printer, so I can only print from the desktop PC. I searched and searched for when I selected my new printer, for one that was laser and IRd-ready, but that little combo was sooooo costly, I just couldn't lay out that kind of money, and I definitely needed a laser, b/c the inkjets I have used, the ink runs when wet, can't do that when I type up permanent records for my new job. PLus I wanted a multifunction printer, so that narrowed by choices down extremely.

    But for right now, you can simly use the palm to type in the datebook things like when not to enter a pt for a visit b/c they have an MD appt, or when they do need to be seen again. So hard to tell a pt when you will be back exactly, but having your schedule with you helps a lot.

    In my field case managers worker's comp job. I go out for lunch, whip out my palm, and start reports in the memo section. I come home, sync it to the desktop software, copy and paste it into word, and just touch it up. Saves me a ton of time!! I also used memo section to write down the instructions for my calling card, how to retrieve VM from home, directions to diff doc's offices. and hospitals.

    Speaking of the directions, someone mentioned that. I just want to add that I tried that software for the directions, and did downlaod mapquest, but the map itself didn't download to my palm, opnly the written directions. AND, I mistakenly assumed it would allow me to navigate maps, zooming in and out, but you have to have your palm "on-line" for that, and I am not about to bother. We have a ton of traffic in NJ. Friday, there was an accident on the NJ Turnpike at 7:30 am, traffgic was divterted to the interstate that I was on, and it was backed up for about 5 miles still at noon. I am so glad I missed my exit for the turnpike while daydreaming, took an alternate route through farmland, just by following signs for county route east! I knew eventually I'd come to one of 3 highways I could go from. So, I just inversted in the county maps, I like to be able to look up alternate routes realy fats, and the palm is a little small compared with the Huge pages of the haagstrom maps.

    Paula, pm me, I'll give you my home number, and you can call me if you want.
  10. by   renerian
    Is this your palm pilot or the agencies? If it is your be careful a surveyor will ask you how you secure the data and is there a policy for its use, security and removal of data at DC. Sorry I am a QI nerd by heart.........I still use a paper secured box file.

    renerian
  11. by   hoolahan
    It's my own, and I have it password protected. Good point to remind people of though renerian. Honestly, I think the stupid travel charts are far more risky to carry around, if they fell into the wrong hands, nothing could stop someone from getting confid info, the palm is so much safer in my opinion.
  12. by   RNpalm
    Hi Paula

    You may want to read an article or two about PDAs in home healthcare:

    See:

    Visiting Nurses Using Mobile IT to Counter Nursing Burnout
    http://www.pdacortex.com/VNA.htm

    Case Study: A day in the life of Nurse Heavensent
    http://www.pdacortex.com/Heavensent.htm

    Palming It ... All the Way Through Home Care
    http://www.pdacortex.com/Home_Telehealth.htm

    Regards
    Ken
  13. by   globalRN
    Hello to all:
    Hoolahan pretty much answered all the questions which came up. I use a multimedia card(MMC) for expansion of my Palm's memory. The large databases eat up all the RAM my Palm 505 has available. I would highly recommmend using a MMC card; it is cheaper than SD(secure digital) cards and pretty much works the same. For my Palm, I use PiDirect to run programs of the MMC- I really like the program and they have good-great tech support. I also use Hackmaster and App-Hacks to overclock
    my Palm (get it running faster).

    You can find free Palm programs by typing in 'free palm programs'
    in the internet search. There are lots!!!

    When Palm software gets to another level...I will probably get a Sony Clie....with MP3 record and playback function...and great color. Wouldn't it be great to load up a derm program and then you can check to see which one the patient has....in color...at the bedside!!!! Or record heart sounds on your Welch Allyn electronic stethoscope and save it to your desktop/Palm for comparison?

    Yes, confidentiality is an issue when we put patient data in our Palms regardless of who owns the Palm. I think a password will usually protect the information. The person who picks up the PDA
    can't access the information...they can only delete all the data with a hard reset.
    I literally have a watch chain with which I have attached my Palm to my beltloop. I am afraid that I will accidentally put down my Palm and forget it....losing my Palm would be tough but losing all my programs(takes time to load and see if they are compatible with each other, see if they run off memory cards etc)is tough and the toughest of all is all the information, contacts I have loaded.
    Incidentally, that is why I have a BackupBuddy program on my Palm..it is worth every penny when you lose your data or for those of you with battery operated PDAs..lose your data cause your batteries ran out of juice.
    backs up my Palm to my expansion card...
    So my recommendation is once you have important data on your PDA...you need to think about a backup program and an expansion card to back up to. Syncing to the desktop daily is OK but I prefer a handy backup that is right there with me all the time.
  14. by   paularn
    Thanks to everyone for all your replies. I can see I have lots to learn!!!

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