PDAs best in rapid response situations

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Two recent studies indicate, but are not conclusive, on the value of PDAs in two settings:

  • A pandemic simulation set up by researchers at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, indicates that prescribed medications could be easily and rapidly dispensed by clerks using PDAs with the assistance of decision tree-type algorithms for making decisions.  Although there was no significant difference between PDAs and paper forms in accuracy or time, PDAs were less fatiguing to use than paper.  Article.  Journal (summary).
  • A University of Sydney analysis of thirteen studies on PDA usage in hospitals, published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, indicates PDAs have the greatest benefit where time and rapid response are critical factors.  But improvement in outcomes and workflow efficiencies because of mobility is inconclusive–more studies needed.  JAMIA article (PDF)

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