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Apps to Improve Any Doctor’s Work/Life Balance

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Hadeel Abdelkariem, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Hadeel Abdelkariem

    Hadeel Abdelkariem Golden Member

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    Dose makes the medicine. You might say the same thing about technology. That computer you keep in your pocket — which is more sophisticated than the ones that got us to the moon — has the power to make your job and life easier, or drain your attention like your needy mother in-law. The key is to put your phone to work for you by using some of the best apps for doctors.

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    With that in mind, we set out to create the ultimate compilation of smartphone apps that physicians can use to better balance their job with their life. In order to make the list, the apps needed to improve efficiency on and off the job. Here’s what we came up with.

    Apps for doctors at work
    Epocrates
    Epocrates bills itself as the #1 medical reference app, boasting that it saves doctors 20 minutes or more daily. That especially got our attention. Where Epocrates excels is in providing drug information. In addition to informing doctors about basic drug safety, the app guides physicians on adult and pediatric dosing, off-label indications, contra-indications, and pregnancy risks, among many other pertinent information categories. Epocrates will cost you $175 per year.

    UpToDate
    Having UpToDate on your smartphone is a lot like having a consulting physician on speed dial. Think of it as Google on steroids, built for doctors. You can search by condition, drug, or symptoms. You can even search by common medical abbreviations. Digging into the results will offer segmented clinical guidance. For example, you can look at information specific to a certain patient population. UpToDate costs $495 annually for individual physicians. Options are available for group practices and healthcare systems.

    Figure1
    Ever encounter a rare disease or a complex case that you think belongs in medical textbook? Now’s your chance to share it. Figure1 is an online learning platform for doctors. It streamlines the process of uploading and sharing interesting case information so that other physicians might learn from what you’re experiencing. It also minimizes HIPAA violation risk by providing patient consent forms and blocking faces. Think of Figure1, which is free, like a social network, but you know, one that isn’t a complete waste of time.

    Read by QxMD
    Read by QxMD makes keeping up with medical literature a bit easier. The app puts the medical journals that interest you and are relevant to your practice all in one place. You can even store articles or share them with colleagues. While Read by QxMD contains all of the usual suspects, as it pertains to free medical journals, you can also use your institution’s or employer’s credentials to peruse password-protected content.

    Apps for doctors at home
    Google Calendar
    Nearly every physician has a work calendar. Why do so few keep a personal calendar? To schedule is to take ownership of your time. To choose not to schedule is to allow others to dictate what you do with your time. Google Calendar is great for family scheduling because it allows you and your significant other to collaborate or see each other’s calendars. It removes all of the back-and-forth typically associated with planning. It’s also free.

    Tody
    Household chores: Either you have to do them, or you have to pay somebody else to do them. If you elect to do them yourself, chances are there are some you hate more than others. The complexity of maintaining a cleaning schedule for an entire house is also a force to be reckoned with. Tody keeps you organized and on a cleaning schedule. It also will save you from one marathon cleaning day and instead breaks cleaning into manageable bursts. You can even assign the chores you hate to other people in your house! Tody has a one-time fee of $6.99.

    Mint
    You have to have a budget. But you don’t have to spend hours tracking your budget and inputting your expenditures into a spreadsheet. Unless, of course, you’re into that. Then by all means. If not, Mint links to your accounts, tracks your expenses and income, and lets you know if you’re blowing your budget. It’s relatively painless to set up and it’s free. Keep in mind, there’s no free lunch in this world. Mint Makes money by pointing you toward specific credit cards and other financial offers.

    MyFitnessPal
    You should take your own health as seriously as you take your patients’. Plus, they’re far more likely to listen to you if you appear to be fit and healthy. MyFitnessPal can help. The app makes tracking what you eat as easy as possible, letting you input food from a pre-programmed database or using a barcode scanner. The app can guide you toward specific weight loss goals and accounts for activity and exercise. It’s a great place to start your fitness journey. You can’t out-work a poor diet. MyFitnessPal is free, but contains in-app upgrades and purchases.

    TL;DR
    Apps for making clinical life more efficient:

    • Epocrates: Drug database
    • UpToDate: The latest clinical information
    • Figure1: Share and learn about complex cases
    • Red by QxMD: All the studies you could want at your fingertips
    Apps for making life outside practice efficient:

    • Google Calendar: Keep your personal life in order
    • Tody: Better manage household chores
    • Mint: Stay on top of your spending
    • MyFitnessPal: Improve your eating habits

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