How I Use My Mobile Device

How I Use My Mobile Device

by Joseph Crozier, MD/PhD

Joe Crozier

As a psychiatry resident at an academic medical center I am in contact with many patients each day with a wide range of psychiatric and other medical diagnoses. I use my mobile device – a Palm Centro – as a way to carry medical references with me wherever I go in the hospital or clinic with the ultimate goal of having key information available to aid medical decision-making.

The main applications that I use are the Epocrates Essentials suite and several digital books that I read using Mobipocket. These books include the DSM-IV Handbook of Differential Diagnoses, the Quick Reference to the APA Practice Guidelines, and the Quick Reference to the DSM-IV Text Revision. The main utility for me of these mobile applications is in having clinically useful information available immediately when needed. For instance, when I am admitting a new patient to the hospital I can use Epocrates to check the patient’s medication list for harmful interactions and for a guide in dosing medications that I may add to the patient’s regimen.

In the past I have also used the full Epocrates Professional suite including Epocrates Lab for advice in interpreting labs and Epocrates Dx as a quick refresher on medical conditions that I don’t encounter frequently. In addition to Epocrates, I use more psychiatric specific applications through digital textbooks that I purchased from PsychiatryOnline. These textbooks are useful for constructing differential diagnoses, planning initial work-up of patients, and provide advice in constructing evidence-based treatment plans.

I have found that having information on medication, labs, and diagnosis readily available saves me time in that when I have factual questions I do not have to find an open workstation and log on to look up information. I just pull out my mobile device and most of the times can find what I need. I have also found some of the attending physicians that I work with have grown to appreciate that fact that I have this information readily available and will also rely on what I can quickly find on my various references to help with decision-making.

Specialty: Psychiatry (Resident)
Location: Duke University Medical Center
Device: Palm Centro (Verizon)
Processor: Intel PXA270 technology, Bulverde processor, 312 MHz
Operating System: Palm OS 5.4.9
Internal Memory: 64MB available user storage
External Memory: 4GB MicroSD
Applications: Epocrates Essentials
  MobiPocket Reader
E-Books: DSM-IV-TR Handbook of Differential Diagnoses
  Quick Reference to the APA Practice Guidelines
  Quick Reference to the DSM-IV Text Revision

Favorite Non-Clinical Apps/Uses:

What I use my device most for is texting my girlfriend who lives a thousand miles away. I also use the Palm calendar for my work and non-work appointments and as an alarm clock.

(Joe was kind enough to kick-off what I hope is a long and successful series of first-hand accounts from clinical-users in the trenches.  Please tell us your story.)

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