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Practical Guidelines for the Use of Electronic Applications by Advanced Practice Nurses in the Emergency Department

      Although numerous electronic applications are available to health care providers on enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets, these resources remain underutilized. Available literature suggests that utilizing electronic applications provides a number of benefits, including improved rapid decision making, reduced error rates, increased quality management and accessibility, improved practice efficiency, and knowledge. These benefits translated into a reduction in adverse events and hospital lengths of stay. Despite the vast number of available applications and known benefits of their use (Table 1), limited data exist regarding overall efficacy and individual safety. Recommendations for routine use of electronic references have been developed (see Table 2).
      Table 1Electronic application usage benefits
      • Reduction in adverse events
      • Reduction in hospital lengths of stay
      • Improved efficiency
      • Enhanced patient safety
      • Rapid decision making
      • Improved practice efficiency
      Table 2Daily practice recommendations
      • Utilize reference applications in daily practice to reduce errors and increase knowledge.
      • Ensure that all applications are peer reviewed or from professionally developed sources such as Medscape or EMRA.
      • Validate calculators and scoring tools prior to routine utilization.
      • Utilize new or nonprofessionally developed sources cautiously.
      • Utilize electronic resources to improve decision making, not substitute for it.
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      Biography

      Victoria A. Morgan is Nurse Practitioner, Poquoson, VA.

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      Joanna Jhant is Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Harker Heights, TX.

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      Will Carpenter is Nurse Practitioner, San Francisco, CA.