Breadth of Coverage, Ease of Use, and Quality of Mobile Point-of-Care Tool Information Summaries: An Evaluation
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Background: With advances in mobile technology, accessibility of clinical resources at the point of care has increased. Objective: The objective of this research was to identify if six selected mobile point-of-care tools meet the needs of clinicians in internal medicine. Point-of-care tools were evaluated for breadth of coverage, ease of use, and quality. Methods: Six point-of-care tools were evaluated utilizing four different devices (two smartphones and two tablets). Breadth of coverage was measured using select International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, codes if information on summary, etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis was provided. Quality measures included treatment and diagnostic inline references and individual and application time stamping. Ease of use covered search within topic, table of contents, scrolling, affordance, connectivity, and personal accounts. Analysis of variance based on the rank of score was used. Results: Breadth of coverage was similar among Medscape (mean 6.88), Uptodate (mean 6.51), DynaMedPlus (mean 6.46), and EvidencePlus (mean 6.41) (P>.05) with DynaMed (mean 5.53) and Epocrates (mean 6.12) scoring significantly lower (P<.05). Ease of use had DynaMedPlus with the highest score, and EvidencePlus was lowest (6.0 vs 4.0, respectively, P<.05). For quality, reviewers rated the same score (4.00) for all tools except for Medscape, which was rated lower (P<.05). Conclusions: For breadth of coverage, most point-of-care tools were similar with the exception of DynaMed. For ease of use, only UpToDate and DynaMedPlus allow for search within a topic. All point-of-care tools have remote access with the exception of UpToDate and Essential Evidence Plus. All tools except Medscape covered criteria for quality evaluation. Overall, there was no significant difference between the point-of-care tools with regard to coverage on common topics used by internal medicine clinicians. Selection of point-of-care tools is highly dependent on individual preference based on ease of use and cost of the application.