Prescribing is a common task in medical practice. While it is often critical to the success of medical therapy, it may also compromise the patient safety, especially if the prescribers lack knowledge and training in relation to prescribing.
Most common prescribing errors happen mostly because of inadequate knowledge of the drug or the patient, failure to select appropriate drug dosages, and lack of knowledge of relevant rules, for example how to adjust a drug dose for a patient with certain health conditions.
Having a good, evidence-based prescribing guidelines is important to avoid these errors, not only for junior doctors but seasoned physicians as well. Other medical professions, such as pharmacists could also benefit from these guidelines.
More than 80% of healthcare professionals own smartphones, and approximately 50% are using mobile apps in their clinical practice. There is a multitude of medical mobile apps that provide a wealth of information and resources to support clinical decision making, including prescribing.
One of the best apps when it comes to helpful prescribing information is Monthly Prescribing Reference (MPR) app. It is a mobile version of the popular Monthly Prescribing Reference, a publication providing drug information and monographs on often-used prescription and OTC medications, trusted and used by more than 800,000 healthcare professionals.
Upon opening the app, the users may register an account by providing basic information, such as name, email, profession, primary and/or secondary specialty. Users can also provide their NPI number. Registration, however, is completely optional. Providers can skip this step and use MPR app without registration.
Users who decide to create an account will benefit from frequent updates. Basically, the app would update its content each time the user signs in.
After the registration is completed, the MPR app would open to the homepage that is divided into two portions of the screen. Upper portion contains icons featuring the app's main features, including Drugs, News, Chart, Calculators, and so on. The lower portion of the screen features the five most recent news. Users can browse through the content by swiping the screen right and left.
The most important feature of MPR app is drugs database that contains more than 4,300 prescription and OTC medications, organized by therapeutic area and health conditions, from allergic disorders to endocrine disorders to urologic disorders.
Each of these categories is further divided into subcategories that contain medications used for a treatment of a particular disorder.
Users can also use a search function to look up the drugs by therapeutic category, brand, and generic name, disease, or manufacturer. Thanks to autocomplete, it provides accurate results as you type.
Drug monographs contain concise information regarding medication class, indications, and dosing for adult and children patients, contraindications, warnings/precautions, interactions, adverse reactions, how it's supplied, generic availability, manufacturer info including address, phone number, website, and all other drugs made by the company. Users can add monographs to Favorites and access them later in Favorites section.
Drug monographs also contain related resources, usually charts about the use for particular conditions, treatments, formulations, effects with other drugs/supplements/food, etc.
Related resources, however, don't contain links to the source material, so it's not clear where any of the drug monograph information is derived. Also, some of the information may be outdated or provided for discontinued drugs.
Charts are another useful feature that can be also accessed from the home screen and are also organized by disorders, similar to Drugs section.
There are more than 150 charts that cover treatments, indications, risk assessments, comparisons, guidelines, and more. They're structured as tables that can be zoomed in for a better view on smaller screens. Charts can also be added to Favorites or shared via email or message.
Monthly Prescribing Reference app also features more than 120 clinical calculators, listed alphabetically from A-a O2 Gradient and Ration to WFNS SAH Grade. Most calculators contain references and formula, however, some don't. Also, calculators don't provide additional explanations, for example about scores in CHADS2 calculator.
The app provides users with up-to-date medical news stories. Five recent are shown in the lower portion of the screen, but can also be accessed along with other stories in News section.
The news can be refreshed, and the users can personalize the news feed according to medical specialties of interest. Most news opens in the app with the link to the source or full text, which can sometimes require payment.
Overall, MPR app is very useful tool for the practicing clinicians to have. It provides comprehensive drug prescribing information in an easy-to-use format. Lots of useful charts and calculators complement the information making this app essential for making clinical decisions at the point of care.
Benefit: All healthcare professionals who prescribe medications, or who want to have better prescribing knowledge should try this app