(WASHINGTON, August 17, 2004) (UPI) - It beats pockets full of reference notes. That is what started it all for Dr. Mark Rosenbloom, a board-certified emergency physician and founder of the Chicago company PEPID, LLP, which creates and maintains large databases of medical information accessible to doctors via personal digital assistants—PDAs—or PCs.

"It was meant to combine every single source of information I felt I needed as a doctor," Rosenbloom told UPI's HealthBiz. He meant medical calculators, information on drugs, dosages, diagnostic procedures, treatments, interactions—and the list goes on.

PEPID offers databases for primary care, emergency medicine, clinical rotations, nursing, pre-hospital emergency, drugs, interactions, and now—responding to terrorist attacks, including weapons of mass destruction and biochemical threats. There are some 2,000 areas of medical topics and information on 5,000 drugs—all a click away in a small, hand-held PDA.

Rosenbloom said as he thought of things he needed he "just added it to the database, so I never had to keep any other programs or notes in my pocket."

That evolved into volunteer physician-experts writing for the databases on their specialty areas—providing easy-to-use, best-practice data. Now, a team of 35 physicians contributes and they are moving toward evidence-based medicine to add and refine the information.

Physicians and nurses click on a link that can help them diagnose what is wrong with a patient, read up on information about a specific disease, look into best treatments, get instructions on how to interpret tests, find the best drugs, calculate dosages, and ensure there are no adverse interactions.

"The fact that it is all there—you could go through this whole process in probably under a minute," Rosenbloom said. "Physicians tend not to access outside information if it's going to take them five minutes—then tend to rely on memory. Memory is fallible."

Saving time means being able to spend more time face-to-face with patients and potentially reducing healthcare costs. An analysis of PEPID shows it could save emergency physicians an average of 12 minutes per shift, which when multiplied by about 200 shifts adds up to 40 hours per year.

Testing out the terrorist attack data online, HealthBiz was quickly able to access information on anthrax, cholera, plague, and other bacterial agents; viruses such as smallpox; toxins such as ricin and botulinum; chemical agents such as cyanide; nerve agents; radiation exposure, and primary blast injuries. There are nationwide emergency contacts and diagnosis information that details what a physician should look for in specific cases and recommended treatments.

Rosenbloom said for the terrorist attack sections he went to "what was readily available," meaning U.S. Army publications. That information has been reviewed by specialists so that "We're very comfortable that the information is the best available."

PEPID, a portable medical information database, is designed to assist in the reduction of medical errors and improve patient outcomes. It provides healthcare professionals access to current pharmacological and clinical information at the point-of-care via personal digital assistants (PDAs). PEPID was founded in 1994 by Dr. Mark Rosenbloom, a board-certified emergency physician at Northwestern University School of Medicine. PEPID covers medical and trauma topics as well as drug topics typically encountered in emergency and primary care settings.

For more information about PEPID products, visit or call 888.321.7828.