Health & Medical Question

Learning Goal: I’m working on a health & medical question and need guidance to help me learn.

Go to either to Apple Store or Google Play and download the free version of the Epocrates app. Epocrates (free version) offers a comprehensive drug database with an interaction checker, pill identifier, formulary and provider directory. The paid program adds other tools such as an ICD-10 searchable database, guidelines, disease monograph, differential diagnoses and secure messaging.

    1. Explore the multiple features by selecting a drug such as amlodipine and notice that there are both generic and brand names. Amlodipine can also be combined with other drugs. Note the sections: adult dosing, Peds dosing, Contraindications, Adverse reactions, Drug interactions, Safety/monitoring, pregnancy/lactation, Pharmacology, Manufacturing/Pricing, Pill Pictures and Notes. Look at each section
    2. First, see if there are any known drug-drug-interactions (DDIs) by checking that section. Next, perform a drug-drug interaction (DDI) check by going back to the main menu and selecting “Interaction Check”. Input amlodipine and then add verapamil. Did you find an interaction? What was it?
    3. Lastly, go to adverse reactions >> common reactions. What is the most common side effect for amlodipine? What if most patients do not know this? (In my experience most are not told to look for this side effect, in spite of it being the most common)
    4. Starting from the home screen in Epocrates find how long it takes you (in minutes) to use this tool to research the drug, “ramipril.” Report the leading side effects and whether this class of drugs is safe during pregnancy. For those of you who have used the classic Physician Desk Reference (PDR) or other electronic drug reference in the past, is this faster? Other comparisons?

Take a look at the Electronic Preventive Services Selector (ePSS) developed by AHRQ for adult preventative care guidelines (!/ (Links to an external site.)). Input your age and gender and see what is recommended and what is not.

  1. What are the advantages of having the software on the smartphone, instead of online?
  2. Should patients access this site to see what immunizations they need?
  3. What barriers to incorporating mobile technology (lack of wireless or prohibition on synchronizing to PCs) exist within your organization (or organizations that you know about) and how might you help facilitate overcoming these obstacles?

A site for immunization advice is (Links to an external site.)

  1. Should the varicella vaccine be given to pregnant women?
  2. Is there a vaccine to prevent rabies in humans?
  3. What one vaccine is recommended for all adults regardless of age?

Go to the Apple app store or Google play store and find a free personal health record that has the capability of doing medication alert reminders. Download it and enter data on a fictitious person taking a couple of medications (your choice on which ones) with diabetes and high blood pressure. Set a daily medication alarm for a medication that is taken 3 times a day.

  1. What is the name of the app?
  2. How easy is it to enter data?
  3. How easy is it to retrieve data?
  4. Is it possible to connect with a medical practice to download lab results?
  5. Does it keep track of whether or not the person actually took the med?
  6. Is this an app that your over 60 relative could easily use and set up?
  7. Can you add additional family members with separate reminders (e.g. children)?

Visit WebMd (Links to an external site.) and MayoClinic (Links to an external site.) symptom checkers for the next few questions. Compare the information obtained when you check the symptoms of intense lower abdominal pain, fever, and fatigue in a 39 year old male. For webmd first check that abdominal pain is bothering you the most and then back up and see what happens if it is the fever that is bothering you the most.

  1. Did they both predict the same first 2 possible diagnoses?
  2. What were the first 2 possible diagnoses?
  3. What happened in WebMD when you said fever was the most troubling symptom?
  4. Compare and contrast the ease of use of both sites.
  5. Do they both offer suggested treatments?
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