PDA/Smartphones Software for nurses.

  1. Hi!
    So I've been looking into this whole business of getting a PDA/Smartphones and could use some advice. I've looked up other posts on the subject and got some of my questions answered, but I need a little more. I'm using Sprint and would like to stick with them. I see a lot of people with Blackberry or Palm phones/PDAs, but I know that there are several types of Blackberrys and Palms on the marked. I was thinking of a Blackberry Curve or a Plam Treo. Any suggestions? I have also been looking but can't find how much memory they hold? Do smartphones have internal memory that nursing programs are downloaded to or is there some sort of card used like I use on my camera?

    My other question is about the nursing programs that I would like to have on the smartphones. I've been looking and have found these 'brands' Skyscape Constellation, PEPID, Epocrates, and Unbound. They all seem to have a "all-in-one" clinical suite, but after reading the descriptions I can't tell if the program does what I want it do.
    I want a program that:
    -Has a Lab/Diagnostic Procedure guid
    -A Drug guide that does IV compatibilities
    -Clinical Procedure Guide
    -Something that lists diseases, describes the diesase, sypmtoms, pathology, and nursing care recommendations.

    Which of the brands has all of those functions...if I can buy individual programs that do what I'm asking what are the titles? Can a smartphone/PDA have more than one program downloaded? Do smartphones/PDAs require constent internet connection for the programs to work or are they functional no matter what once downloaded and can have the internet accessed once a year or so for updates?

    Well I know that was a lot of questions, so thanks ahead of time for responding!
  2. Visit KalipsoRed profile page

    About KalipsoRed

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 219; Likes: 577
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Telemetry


  3. by   Be_Moore
    Some smartphones have fixed internal memory. Some have micro-SD slots for additional storage. Both the PalmOS and Blackberry OS are compatible with ePocrates (more of an MD program, but pretty useful). The Palm Pre currently does not support ePocrates (sad day). ePocrates has all of those things except the nursing specific stuff...it's more of an MD program. But you can infer the nursing stuff from the diagnoses.

    Smart phones work without constant internet access, but most of the time you will have internet access either via WiFi or through 3G/EVDO cellular internet. The programs typically get downloaded onto your home computer and then installed onto the phone that way.

    Honestly, your best bet is to go to your sprint store and tell them what you need and go from there.
  4. by   Silverdragon102
    Moved to the mobile computing forum
  5. by   RockyCreek
    I have an ATT Tilt [more like a small laptop than a phone] with both ePocrates and SkyScape. Each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. For nursing functions, I would have to say SkyScape wins but when I want more depth of information, I turn to ePocrates. Neither of them have IV compatibilies in an easy to use format and both could use help in the patient teaching areas. I would stay away from Pepid, not because it isn't good but because it is really intended for advanced practice nurses or doctors . . . and it is outrageously expensive.
  6. by   KalipsoRed
    Thanks for all the responses so far, they are helpful. As far as going to Sprint and asking questions is concerned. I did that and the sales guy told me about ePocrates in the sense that it was a tool for medical personnel, but I could tell that he didn't really understand the differences in the needs between doctors, nurses, and other personnel. Plus it is the only program that Sprint offers with their products, he had no clue that there were any other sorts of programs.
  7. by   roamingessential
    I can only speak for the pda/smart phones I've used recently but this is my opinion so far:

    First, the phone:
    I had sprint. The palm-pre is what I feel was most 'user friendly' and (from what I've seen) Epocrates, skyscape and unbound all have platforms that are supported on it. No matter what phone you buy it is usually an expense but WELL worth it for the convenience, knowledge and professional ability you will have after. Just make sure the phone is one you will find helpful for the next two years if you stick with sprint. Because this is a tool for work, you can save your receipt and use it as a tax write-off. DO NOT SETTLE for something you feel is 'just acceptable.'

    I recently switched to TMobile from sprint. Everyone has providers they prefer so I'm not going to share details of that choice- what works for one is detestable to another and golden to someone else, but I'm VERY happy with my G1 phone. The only drawback is this: Epocrates and Skyscape will not be releasing the support platform for tmobile apps (ANDROID) until "next month." (I dont know about Epocrates but I do believe the skyscape developers will come through by december. This means that currently your choice for software is Unbound (the 1 yr Nursing Central subscription will meet all the things that you wanted included.) I LOVE it. I work as a CN in LTC and it more than exceeds my expectations- I am much more efficient thanks to my little brain in my phone.
    Your other option is just to use the free version of Epocrates drug guide online....but that is only the drug guide.
    As for the phone, well, I think it's better than the palm-pre, and I love that it still has the querty keyboard. It makes it larger than the i-phone (ATT) but I can text and write easily without the fat finger mistakes of typing incorrect letters. I like it that it has a sim card / and memory card. If I purchase a new phone later I dont have to reprogram ALL my information.
    Prior to my G1. I tried a blackberry 8100. Nice phone but I really like the touch screen and simplicity of the G1 or I-phones. The blackberry has a computer type set-up where your selections are word choices with a roller ball. Some people prefer this- it wasnt for me- I found the blackberry setup so confusing (yes even after using the setup dvd and user guide) that I wanted to toss it in my garbage disposal after driving over it with my car....
    BUT I'm not very computer savvy, and I know many nurses who just love their BB and didnt care for touch screens. I was able to return mine to tmobile and they just laughed with me and helped me get my G1 back. Like the Iphone and the palm pre, all the above nursing applications carry the BB platform.

    Now the Application downloads:

    I don't think any of the apps are bad choices.

    Epocrates- the free drug guide works just as well as the others. You can purchase additional programs with each type of resource you prefer. (Individually or as a package)

    Skyscape- They have a larger selection in my opinion, a good customer service. They issued a refund within a day when I switched phones and my new platform was not supported by the software. I had purchased it two wks prior and I had the Nursing Constellation. It has all the resources that you requested above and then some..... easy to use and although more expensive than epocrates, you do get more information.

    Unbound- I have the Nursing central ap now. It is also simple to get set up. Wonderful customer service- they speak fluent english which to me is a bonus. Skyscape subscription has a few more resources, but I'm not lacking for any information I need with UB either.

    It's all personal preference, but hope that helps give you a place to start. :spin:

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