The Ultimate Smart Phone App List for Nurse Practitioners and Healthcare Providers

Nurse practitioner holding a smart phone

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Smart phone Apps make our lives easier in many ways.  Who can carry around textbooks during the clinical day?  Also if you need places to store notes or tools to keep you organized, you’ll find them here. We’ll explore the ultimate smart phone App list for nurse practitioners and healthcare providers. We even have Apps for students. There are some oldies, but goodies, and unconventional Apps as well. Let’s dive in.

Prescribing Apps

1. Epocrates– Cost: Free. Epocrates is hands down the App that I utilize the most in clinical practice.  Its drag and drop interface is easy to use and intuitive. It’s a prescribing tool that allows you to look up trade and generic monographs. Each drug lists pharmacology, prescribing and safety information, adverse drug interactions, manufacture/pricing, and pill pictures. There is an option to upgrade to additional features in Epocrates Plus for $16.99/month. Additional features include labs, ICD-10 codes, diseases, and peer reviewed content from the BMJ.

2. Doximity–  Cost: Free.  Doximity is a healthcare App meant to make clinician’s lives easier and more productive.  Doximity has several features such as Doximity dialer which allows you to disguise your cell phone number if you need to call patients from home. Doximity also gives every physician, NP, PA, and pharmacist a free, HIPAA- secure efax number.  You can electronically fax and sign documents from the App.  There’s a newsfeed with current articles customized to your specialty.  You can network and connect with colleagues and search for relevant content via their search feature.  This App has been extremely helpful with work from home tasks.

3. GoodRx– Cost: Free. GoodRx is a useful tool for finding discounts on medications.  You can search and compare prices of prescriptions at more than 70,000 US pharmacies.  You can pick up coupons saving your patients hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run.  Just tell your patients to show the GoodRx app to their pharmacist when picking up their prescription for applicable discounts.

Multi-color pills

4. Micromedex – Cost: Free if you have an institutional subscription.  Most hospitals have subscriptions to Micromedex. I would only take advantage of this App if you have free access. Otherwise go with Epocrates.  Micromedex is a compendium of evidence based drug and disease insights, pricing information, and patient education materials. For nurses on the floor, the most useful is their IV drug compatibility and Y-site compatibility database.

5. MPR– Cost: Free. Monthly prescribing reference is a good App for optimizing medication management. The drug database is comprehensive. It also provides a newsfeed with real time updates and clinical tools such as medical calculators.  I particularly find it helpful that once you sign up you have access to the Haymarket medical network which includes Clinical Adviser, myCME, and other clinical practice e-magazines based upon your specialty.

6. Pocket Pharmacist – Cost: Free. Pocket pharmacist is another drug prescribing reference. It is curated and summarized by a pharmacist.  The App provides unbiased information, easy access to full FDA prescribing information, med organizer, interaction checker, and quizzes to test your knowledge.

Clinical Decision Making Apps

7. Medscape – Cost: Free. Medscape comprises the WebMD network and partners. You will have access to prescription and OTC drugs, herbals, and supplements. Reference articles for clinical decision making and support. Clinical tools such as interaction checker, calculators, and pill identifier. This App also features a newsfeed with relevant content and networking capability where you can crowdsource medical answers from your peers. Lastly you can earn CME credits.

8. UptoDate -Cost: Free if you have an institutional subscription. Otherwise a paid individual subscription is required. And even though as awesome as UptoDate is, I would not splurge for the App unless you have an institutional subscription since you can more than likely get a ton of the same information using a combination of the Apps above.  UptoDate provides access to interactive evidence-based pathways to address specific clinical questions. It helps to increase your productivity by providing information at your fingertips.  You can also earn CME credits utilizing the app. I like UptoDate because the data is continuously being updated.  It’s reliable information and links to full text articles.  The App also provides medical calculators, patient education tools, and drug information.

9. CDC Mobile – Cost: Free.  The CDC mobile app is the official App of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Here you can find relevant public health guidelines, articles of the week, outbreak and travel notices.  There are articles, data, fact sheets, and access to podcasts.

10. CDC Vaccine Schedule – Cost: Free.  This App provides the recommended immunization schedules for persons ages birth through 18 years old and adults ages 19 years or older.  The interface is easy to use and demonstrates color coded vaccine charts similar to what you can find in their online printouts.

11. Visual Dx – Cost: Free if you have an institutional subscription.  If not, then individual subscriptions cost $19.99 per month to access approximately two thirds of the content, $29.99 per month to access all of the content, and $38.99 per month to also earn CME.  Visual Dx touts that it provides access to the World’s best medical image library.  The App allows you to build and visualize a differential diagnosis based on a chief complaint, exam findings, or patient history.

12. MDCalc – Cost: Free.  MD calc provides access to medical and clinical calculators by specialty. Here you can find medical equations, algorithms, scores, and guidelines. Examples are creatinine clearance (Cockcroft-Gault Equation), absolute neutrophil count (ANC), and Glascow coma scale (GCS).

Practical Apps

13. Google translate – Cost: Free. Google translate provides on the go translation.  The App can store languages offline, type to translate, write on the screen to translate, speak to translate, use your camera to translate real world text, save common phrases, and tap for instant translation.

14. LastPass – Cost: Free.  LastPass is a password manager to store all your passwords from Amazon to Netflix. It helps to keep your secure logins and data organized and safe. It’s great to keep all your passwords in one place. The free features include access on all devices, one to one sharing, save and fill passwords, password generator, secure notes, security challenge, multi-factor authentication, and security dashboard. There is a cost to upgrade, but the free features are enough for standard users.

If you are a student, your ultimate smart phone app list must include:

Of course you can use any of the Apps above, but also try out these handy tools. Strongly consider a note taking App or digital planner.

15. Picmonic – Cost: Pricing is variable based upon how long you intend to use the app. Picmonic is an audiovisual learning platform established by medical professionals to help students retain and recall large amounts of facts that you’re required to learn during your studies. The name is a combination of “picture and mnemonic”. The app provides access to video quizzes and lessons. It touts the ability to provide quick mnemonics-based videos, a comprehensive library of topics, links to related topics, real medical imagery, and spaced repetition based daily quizzes.

16. Boss personal planner/ digital planner for Goodnotes, Notability or similar Apps – Cost: $29.00.  The Boss personal planner is praised as the best digital planner of 2020. This is not an App by itself. It is intended to be used with 3rd party Apps such as Goodnotes or Notability. The planner features a hand-sketched interface and has multiple tools to track your progress on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Features include a habit tracker, decision-making matrix, priority planner, time manager, and note sections. 

17. Evernote– Cost: Free.  Evernote is one of my favorite Apps for note taking, organizing, task management, and archiving.  It’s great that you can even scan receipts and save them for later.  You can create notes in text format, drawings, photographs, and saved web content. 

If you are an EPIC EMR database user:

18. Haiku – Cost- unknown since it’s part of the EPIC EMR purchased by institutions.  I’m including the Haiku app since I’ve worked at three institutions that utilize EPIC as their electronic medical record and only one has promoted Haiku. So it may be useful to those EPIC users to know that there is an App for handhelds. Be sure to check with your institution to see if they support the App. Haiku is the App designed by EPIC Systems Corporation for use with Apple iphone, iPod touch, or iPad and Android smartphones.  Android tablets are not supported. It’s great for accessing patient information on the go, your clinical schedule, and signing orders. It’s just like your desktop EMR, only portable.

19. Fluency Direct microphone Cost- unknown since it’s purchased by institutions as part of their EMR.  If you are using EPIC, more than likely you’re using some sort of speech recognition software such as Dragon or Fluency Direct. Be sure to download the mobile Apps for your speech recognition software for easier dictation. Great for dictating at home or away from the office.

Other Smart phone Apps:

20. ResolutionMD – Cost: unknown since it’s purchased by institutions.  ResolutionMD is a diagnostic imaging App that allows you to view your patient’s imaging on the go. It’s tied to your EMR and imaging software. If your institution has purchased the App, definitely take advantage of the features it has to offer. It’s nice to view imaging at home when reviewing and preparing for cases. This is not one for our primary care private practice folks since hospitals are usually the main consumers. 

In this post we explored the ultimate smart phone App list for nurse practitioners and healthcare providers. I hope this has been useful as you move through your clinical day, gather CME credits, and take care of your patients. What Apps would you recommend?


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