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View Full Version : The Doctor is In: House Call Medicine Growing

Jason Dunn
09-02-2003, 08:30 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_news/article/0,1426,MCA_437_2226262,00.html' target='_blank'>http://www.gomemphis.com/mca/local_...2226262,00.html</a><br /><br /></div>This article is about a doctor that's going back to the tradition of doing house calls, and a Pocket PC is part of the gear for doing his job. Do you have a doctor that uses a Pocket PC? Or are you a doctor using a Pocket PC? Tell us!<br /><br />"Having a physician visit the patient saves the patient having to sit in a waiting room filled with perhaps-contagious patients. And when Weber has to take longer with an earlier patient, the waiting patient is more comfortable and understanding. "From the patient's standpoint there's a real loss of productivity for people with paying jobs if they take off a day of work to do some trivial test," Buchanan said. "I don't think that lost productivity is well measured." <br /><br />During the visit to the Seratt home, Susan Weber scheduled the next appointment on a Pocket PC, took calls from other patients and fetched a portable scale from the Honda for her husband. The expense, cumbersome nature and limited availability of medical technology are part of what drove physicians to concentrate on office practices in the 20th Century, Buchanan said. Likewise, it's the affordability and availability of highly mobile medical technology that is making house-call medicine easier today."

09-02-2003, 09:37 PM
I am an ER physician and I must say I use my pocket pc all the time. I have several drug reference programs that are indespensible. It is also possible at the institution I used to work, to check patient data and labs using my ppc. This makes tasks a little easier. I think documentation would be extremely more efficient on a ppc/computer if anyone could come up with a better method of input besisdes touch typing. Also, wireless connection of prescription writing via a handheld is now possible and eliminates errors caused by poor penmanship or spelling errors.

09-02-2003, 10:03 PM
Obviously, any doctor reading this forum is likely to be using a PPC :D

I disagree with the article in many ways, but since this is a PPC forum, here's what I mostly use my PPC for (when at work):

- several reference books loaded that would otherwise require a large backpack to carry;
- synched national drug database (available on the Net or as book);
- obviously, contact and calendar information, as well as e-mail (with BT connection to a Nokia);
- calculator is still a must (mcg/kg/min... how much is that in mg/hr for that patient? etc.).

And, not quite off-topic:

You'd think that there are many quality medical applications available for PDA's. Well, think again. Despite their being vastly overpriced (quite often more expensive than the printed version), they are mostly just poor e-book adaptations without any added value. I like the Griffith 5 MCC but all of the electronic versions are a disaster. The best one is the Skyscape implementation, but it still looks as though the reader was designed by a dumb & blind sociopath. It's not the price; it's the value. I don't mind shelling out some dough for something I like and/or need, but I demand some value for my money. The most expensive non-medical application I purchased for PPC was 50 bucks; compared to medical titles, it looks like a Rolls Royce next to Ford model T. Medical title publishers really should get their rear in gear.


C Brandt
09-02-2003, 10:32 PM
I graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001 and started working for the school to develop PDA applications for the students here. We currently have 5 home grown applications that the students are using to improve their efficiency during their first 3 instructional years as well as their 4th clinical year.

VetPDA - general database of useful info including
Pocket VMACS - Wireless, real-time access to patient records through our comprehensive HIS
VetPDA-Rx - Drug formulary
Parasitolog-PDA - PDA version of 180 different parasites. Includes search functionality based on species and location found
VetPDA-Labs - includes information on all lab tests offered by the hospital.

Students in the first 3 years can also download a personalized schedule which includes information for all of their classes. No two weeks are the same, so this saves them quite a bit of time over hand entering the informatin into outlook, etc.

09-02-2003, 10:45 PM
Do you have a doctor that uses a Pocket PC? Or are you a doctor using a Pocket PC? Tell us!

According to my mom (a nurse) some of the doctors here use them, but I have yet to witness that first-hand.

Dr. Grabow
09-02-2003, 10:55 PM
I've got my Ipaq set up to view all my patient dictations over an encrypted wireless link while I'm in an exam room. Hence, my charts are very thin. My next big project is to make use of my Fujitsu scanner and convert outside records to .pdf, and then view them on my Ipaq using Repligo or some such, again while in the patient's room. Sure beats carrying charts, or a tablet pc, or a notebook computer ...

And you would think that electronic versions of medical texts would be cheaper than print, but they are not, and they are often abridged ...

Brad Adrian
09-03-2003, 02:11 AM
My orthopedist is a Pocket PC user and technophile like me. So, it's always fun when I go in for my visits to show him all my latest toys and software. He kind of scared me one time a few months ago, though, when I got an urgent voice mail from his assistant. I was afraid some of my tests had come back "bad," but he simply couldn't remember the model number of Pocket PC I had shown him the previous day!

09-03-2003, 02:59 AM
as some of you know, i use a t-mobile pocket pc phone in boston -- coverage stinks :roll: (so much so that i'm waiting for my nextel motorola phone from amazon.com but i digress...)

for medical stuff i mainly use the pocket pc for reference books via handheldmed's ezreader: tabers medical dictionary, physician drug handbook, merck manual, griffiths 5 min consult are the main ones i use often.

i used a program by http://www.medcomsys.com to track patient information on my clinic patients but honestly its too cumbersome compared to pen and a 4x6 notecard....

repligo has also been a blessing for keeping my journal articles with me -- my filing cabinets havent been used as much since i bought the program.

i also use it to check email on the go as well as regular pim functions.

Brad Adrian
09-03-2003, 03:55 AM
For you physicians out there...What are the implications of HIPPA for the use of mobile devices? I had heard at one time that mobile devices wouldn't be allowed now because of the privacy risk they can create. Or, does it simply mean that strong password protection is sufficient?