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Useful Applications for Your Mobile Device

Clebone, Anna MD

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000126
Media Reviews: Multimedia Review

Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio,

Conflicts of Interest: Anna Clebone is a member of the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia, Quality, and Safety Committee (the committee, along with others, authored the Pedi Crisis App).

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Emergency in your pediatric operating room? Now there’s an application for your mobile device that provides algorithms for treating 18 different pediatric crisis situations, from anaphylaxis to venous air embolism, in an easy-to-use interactive interface. The Pedi Crisis App was created at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, based on Pediatric Critical Events Checklists from the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia. On launching this program, a list of possible emergencies is displayed. Users click on the applicable event and are walked through a crisis step-by-step, starting with entering the patient’s weight. A definition and age-specific information about the crisis is provided, followed by an interactive checklist of treatment options. Numerous important details are included about specific treatments, such as “monitor blood glucose levels” when administering glucagon. Total time since the crisis began is documented, and a log is generated of the options selected and medications administered, which can be e-mailed to the user with 1 click. This app can also be useful for teaching residents and medical students to be well prepared before a crisis occurs, for example, by going through the “bradycardia” checklist before inducing a Down Syndrome patient, or the “difficult airway” checklist when reviewing management before a case. The Pedi Crisis App is a free download for iPhone and Android.

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You are going through your patient’s medication list at 2 AM for an emergency appendectomy, and a drug name shows up that you haven’t heard before. Epocrates Rx is a quick way to obtain information about a medication, from the generic name, to adverse reactions, to black box warnings. In many cases, information can also be obtained about both Federal Drug Administration-approved and off-label uses. Epocrates is meant as a quick reference, so scientific information about the mechanism of action of a medication can sometimes be lacking but usually includes at least a sentence or 2. If you’ve ever had a patient bring in a medication bottle that wasn’t labeled, this app is for you; the “Pill ID” feature can identify a medication based on its shape, color, and imprint code and will provide a picture of the medication. Although the app will occasionally nudge you to buy their other clinical references, Epocrates Rx itself is a free download for the iPhone and Android. The application can be found by searching for “Epocrates Free” in the app store on your device.

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At a meeting and want to take notes on your phone? Evernote is an application that not only allows note taking but comes with many features to make these notes useful, such as searchability within and across notes, as well as shortcuts and reminders. Audio and picture files can be easily added by pressing the applicable button from inside the note. The easy-to-use graphic interface provides for your list of notes to be displayed either as snippets or cards and can be switched between modes to display notes in alphabetical order or by most recently created or updated. Swipe your finger across a note in your list, and options will be given to set a reminder; add the note to your favorites list or delete the note. Notes will sync between your computer and mobile device and can be shared with colleagues. Need even more organization? Notebooks can be created to contain categories of notes, and tags can serve as keywords to make notes more searchable or sortable. Importantly, although information is encrypted and secure, it is stored on the Evernote server and therefore does not meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations. Users should avoid storing patient-identifiable information such as images or documents in Evernote. Evernote is a free download for the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry, although a premium version is also available, that provides more search features. The application can be found by searching for “Evernote Free” in the app store on your device.

© 2014 International Anesthesia Research Society