Clinical Use of Palm Pilots

  1. I am interested in hearing how nurses use Palm Pilots at the bedside.

    How are they helpful?
    What software do you use?
    Should other nurses use them?

    Please feel free to contact me directly with your comments and/or stories.

    Last edit by BBFRN on Jul 28, '08 : Reason: TOS
  2. Visit dwoodruff profile page

    About dwoodruff

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 29; Likes: 6
    Nurse Educator
    Specialty: ICU, ED, Med-Surg, Progressive Care


  3. by   acauchi
    Hi there David. Interesting question. I would like the same feedback if you can forward any you might recieve. In fact shall be giving a lecture to fellow colleagues explaining to them the potential of using PDA's near the bedside. I introduced the hospital telephone directory in excel format to be uploaded on PDA's. The MD's use this frequently as they recieve frequent calls on Pagers which they want to verify a number where location is before answering back. As PDA's are not that cheap few are those nurses who personally own one.

    Would be a great idea if we can discuss in more detail between us. You use MSN Instant Messanger by any chance?


  4. by   Bexz
    Hey There

    I'm a second year nursing student and come next year I will be using PDA's on clinical placement. I'm interested in finding out what other nurses have to say about using them in day to day on ward life. Can anyone help me?
  5. by   love4neos
    I LOVE MY PALM PILOT!!! I use my drug book most on it, but I also have lab values, personal patient info, and my own tidbit notes stored. My date book and address book are also there, and that is very convienent. I keep it in my back pocket of my scrubs at ALL times. It has to be the handiest tool ever, and though they are expensive...they are tax deductible!!
  6. by   rninformatics
    Nursing/bedside uses for a PDA include but are not limited to:

    *Drug reference, standards of care, treatment regime/guideline databases
    *ABG decoders
    *IV drug/drip rate calculators
    For additional uses see links below:

    Nursing Pocket PC Users Group


    PDA Cortex
  7. by   rninformatics
    Courtesy of

    Bob Pyke Jr.

    Professional and Patient Use of Palm Tops, PDAs, and Hand
    Last edit by rninformatics on May 30, '03
  8. by   new2nursing
    I would like to know how a nurse would get into being the resource for this lucrative market?
  9. by   nightingale
    I wonder what seminars or informationals are available to go to or read about for RN Clinical use. I once saw an upcoming Expo on PDA's but it was in Canada. Does nayone know of anything coming up here in the US?
  10. by   nightingale
    On another note: it seems like PDA software peaked a few years back with applications trickling in now. My humble observation. Any comments or thoughts on what the future has in store?

    I am glad to see information updated annually such as drug books, lab data etc. I just wish those applications on updates were free.

    I am thoroughly enjoying my Palm M515 and hope to expand on its use with my Entrepreneural Nursing. Any other ideas? What do you find uses for in clinical applications other then reference?
    Last edit by nightingale on Jun 7, '03
  11. by   rninformatics
    Hi All

    To see uses for the PDA do a web search using the terms PDA, handhelds clinical, nursing or medical.

    documentation, data collection and aggregation are two of the most common uses for PDAs/handhelds in the clinical setting.
    Related to entrepreneurial endeavors you will need to learn more about this area and then ask your self what skills you bring to the table.

    The links below should get you started.

    Nursing Pocket PC Users Group


    PDA Cortex
  12. by   babies
    Just an FYI. If you keep patient on your personal PDA it could violating HIPAA laws as well as could be used in a malpractice suit. Lawyers hav begun to ask about papertowels, scrubs etc. used to make notes on during an emergency. Learned this from experience. Babies
  13. by   rninformatics
    Originally posted by babies
    Just an FYI. If you keep patient on your personal PDA it could violating HIPAA laws as well as could be used in a malpractice suit. Lawyers hav begun to ask about papertowels, scrubs etc. used to make notes on during an emergency. Learned this from experience. Babies
    Babies makes an excellent point about patient health information (PHI) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

    Understanding and complying with this federal mandate affects nursing and nursing informatics practice. Everyone who deals with identifiable patient information needs to be aware of the implications as HIPAA directs how we handle patient information written, verbal and electronic. Everyone who works in healthcare has a responsibility to keep patient information confidential.

    In the case of such PHI stored on a PDA a responsible clinician needs to ask themselves: Is the information protected and secure? If you lose the device will that private pt info (identifiable pt. information includes: the patient's name, diagnosis, lab tests, vital signs, ss #, address, etc.,) be accessible to someone who is not involved in that patient's care and therefore has no right to view such information?

    There are penalties for failure to meet the privacy regulations and for inappropriately disclosing or receiving patient health information. Penalties can be either criminal or civil and can result in monetary fines, imprisonment, or both. Monetary penalties range from $100 to $100,000 depending upon severity. Imprisonment can be for up to 10 years depending on severity. Both institutions and individuals can be held liable for breaches in patient privacy and confidentiality, as the penalties do not just apply to organizations. HIPAA compliance requires the use of appropriate technology, education, changes in previous practice patterns and implementation of organizational policies and procedures.

    3 articles that cover the use of PDAs and HIPAA--
  14. by   dwoodruff
    Thank you to all who have posted!

    I've found lot of nurses who use PDAs for holding reference materials such as: drug guides, medical texts, and lab references. Most nurses don't carry patient information on PDAs, but should keep in mind the HIPPA regulations regarding privacy if they do.

    Some highly recommended software titles include:
    PEPID-RN: general nursing reference
    Epocrates: drug guide
    Check out for more titles.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on what device is best?
    Palm Pilot vs. Pocket PC?
    How much memory?
    Is a color screen necessary?
    Any important accessories?

    Thanks again for all the great posts! I look forward to your recommendations.

    Best Wishes,

    David Woodruff, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN
    Ed4Nurses, Inc.
    Continuing Nursing Education

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