-Technology and Emergency Medicine Conference

The Florida Emergency Medicine Foundation (FEMF) invited Kathy Robinson, RN, to speak on PDAs at their annual EMS Summit on the topic of the use of PDA technology in emergency medicine. Ms. Robinson's presentation focused not only on the use of PDAs in the field but also the "usefulness" of PDAs in the field.

"The proportion of physicians who used handheld devices increased from 15% in 1999 to 26% in 2000," said Robinson. "Estimates have shown that half of all doctors will be using PDAs by 2004/2005." More and more schools of both medicine and nursing are requiring PDA usage with their students. "It's critical that these students be prepared for the way healthcare will be practiced in the future," added Jennifer Proctor, AAMA.

But the PDA is only as good as the "usefulness" of the information contained on the PDA. "Useful information has three attributes: relevant to everyday practice, valid and current, and easy to obtain," said Robinson. "Easy accessibility to a comprehensive, point-of-care reference tool increases the likelihood that a healthcare professional will consider the most current and accurate information when caring for a patient."

PEPID ED was reviewed as part of this presentation and cited as the only medical and drug reference software originally written for the PDA. It's easy to use, comprehensive, and continually updated.

With the advances in both technology and medicine, it makes sense that a health professional needs portable reference tools that they can use wherever they are—in the office, at the bedside, or even after being paged by a patient.