1. Stoner, Marilyn Smith PhD, RN, CHPN, CNE

Article Content

Many home care clinicians work for small agencies that don't have the many resources that large health systems have. Evidence-based practice is the foundation of quality care and all clinicians should be able to access the latest evidence-based care recommendations. Here are five apps available in Apple and Android formats that you can download on your phone. They are free and some have additional features that can be accessed for a small fee.


1. PubMed is a free resource that is developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (2019) at the National Library of Medicine. They also have a website with quality information on many subjects. Look for systematic reviews that means teams of research experts analyzed high-quality research studies on a selected topic and summarized the best evidence.


2. Medscape is another resource for papers and quality articles on healthcare topics. In addition to the articles curated on Medscape (2019), there are other types of quality medical information. There are curated lists of resources for physicians, nurses, and other specialties.


3. The Cochrane Network is an international collaboration that promotes evidence-informed decision making through publishing only systematic reviews of high-quality research. Summaries of reviews are available on the app (Cochrane US, 2019).


4. Professional Associations-such as Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association provide access to guidelines and position statements. Once you join the organization, you also have access to their journal. Some content is public and some require membership.


5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a variety of topical apps for vaccinations, general health and opioid guideline, among thousands of other topics (CDC, 2019).



To use the information effectively, you may want to use a model for incorporating new information into your home care practice. Consider this five-step model from the University of Hawaii Nursing Program (2019): ASK an answerable question that relates to patient care. ACQUIRE the information you think will help you the most. When acquiring information on your phone, take screenshots of the best information so you can refer to it later. APPRAISE the evidence you find to see if the people in the study were similar to your home care patients. If not, get as close as you can to the local population. APPLY what you obtained to your patients. ASSESS the impact of the intervention in measurable terms.


Example of a Search

A patient is assessed for chronic pain. You would like to know if a visit from a therapy dog may help the patient's pain. Use the five-step process to answer your question. ASKdoes pet visitation decrease episodes of chronic pain?ACQUIRE the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Medscape and PubMed both had many resources to answer this question. APPRAISE the articles to find those with the largest number of participants, are the most recent, and the most structured studies. Review the people and pet types used in the studies you find and pick the ones that are closest to your patient's population. APPLY the information gathered on pet visits to people with chronic pain in your home care practice by asking a local association of therapy dogs to provide patient visits. ASSESS the impact of the intervention. You might measure how much pain medication the patient used before and after. You could also look at steps in ambulation or food intake. The measurement should reflect the problem you are trying to fix.




Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). CDC mobile app. Retrieved from[Context Link]


Cochrane US. (2019). About us. Retrieved from[Context Link]


Medscape. (2019). Simplify your professional life. Retrieved from[Context Link]


National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2019). PubMed. Retrieved from[Context Link]


University of Hawaii Nursing Program. (2019). Nursing: Evidence-based practice. Retrieved from[Context Link]