EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

EBM, Education, PDAs: Getting Up to Speed with PDAs

It’s been a busy week here and so I am getting back to blogging. The second-year medical students have purchased new PDAs this month in preparation for their clinical clerkship which begins in July. They are also starting a formal course on clinical reasoning. Reference librarians are assisting them in getting up to speed with various clinical software – chiefly Lexi-Comp, DynaMed, Diagnosaurus, Archimedes, Shots – and “best ways” to use these decision support tools. As anyone who has used PDAs knows, what looks to be an easy and straightforward install can turn out to be anything but that… I spent hours trying to get an updated DynaMed on my PDA on Monday – with no luck at all so far. 😦

The standard rule of “smaller, cheaper, faster” definitely applies to PDAs. The newest models are slimmer, sleeker and offer more features including higher screen resolution than the model I am using currently (which is barely 3 years old). With a PDA in your pocket you can search for potentially dangerous drug interactions, calculate normal values (for example, determine a patient’s creatinine clearance rate), check your email or read an pertinent review article from NEJM using the hospital wireless network – all at bedside and without getting anywhere near the library! What a benefit for busy students and clinicians!

If you are interested, here are a few links to PDA resources. The first page was written by library staff for use by students, faculty and clinicians:

P.S. And I really like Lexi-Comp! *

lexicomp.jpg
Image/Photo Credit: Lexi-Comp Inc. – Copyright 2008 – All rights reserved.

* Just in case you are wondering: Lexi-Comp. Inc. did not pay me to say that. Our subscriptions to Lexi-Comp – accessible on the internet or the version for PDA use – are great products, updated daily and well-utilized in this clinical setting. Heck – only librarians would say they loved a database, anyway! 😉

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