Pros and Cons of Using Apps in Clinic Practice

The article “Pros and cons of using apps in clinic practice” was written by Sally Moore, Susanne Cox, both safety research nurses and John Anderson, a clinical safety fellow at Bradford Institute of Health Research. The article appeared in The October 2012 issue of the Nursing Management journal. The issue of the author is to examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of applying Smartphone apps in clinical practices. The paper is triggered by the use of Smartphone apps and similar technology in many different professions including nursing and goes a long way in weighing the merits versus the demerits of the same. The article finally provides a guide for determining which application software to use to the practitioners.

Many health practitioners often encourage the use of new technology in their profession as the said technology usually increases the efficiency of their work. The magnificent strides that have been made in the communication field have had a profound effect on nursing and related medical fields. Many practitioners have therefore settled for using these technologies, chief among which are the smartphone applications that enable the users to have high levels of interaction and extremely effective real-time communication. While the use of these apps is limited in the nursing field in the United Kingdom, the same is quite widespread in the United States. Moore, Cox and Anderson examine the situation to put into perspective what nurses in the U.K. have been missing by failing to use these technological features and what risk those in the US are taking to use the apps. Other health professionals have undertaken to undertake similar research mainly due to the sensitivity of the profession and the need to upgrade the same to the current level of information dispersal on health. Initially, apps in this field were limited to only availability of drugs. Currently they provide vital information on diagnosis and management of disease. Personalized apps like HemaGo from Novo Nordiskhave enabled patients to take control of their health care. Stakeholders are currently using apps to disseminate health information (Information week, 2012). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance has designed apps that are currently available on Windows 8 and Android and gives vital information through health articles, emerging disease, popular journals and timely updates on public health (CDC, 2013). The extensive research in and documentation of the use of apps in health underscores the need clinicians have felt to examine this.

The authors were no doubt motivated to write the article to bring some order in the use of apps in clinical practices. The authors, all clinicians of no mean repute, understand the grave consequences of use of unregulated software in nursing that could lead to nurses offering the wrong medical care to the patients if the information in the apps is flawed. Though the writers appreciate the need for apps in nursing practice they understand the need for regulation of use of the same and use this article to bring air their views on the subject.

The article’s scope is broad and multi-faceted and hence it targets a wide range of readers. Its main target however, is health workers especially those who are in the nursing field. It mainly targets junior nurses who are on the ground and provides a guide for them on what factors to consider before using apps in their practice 

“Have they been approved for use and if so by whom?

Are they easy to use correctly?”

The article also targets senior nurses who ideally approve or disapprove the use of specific apps and gives them a guide on what indices to use in determination of whether a given app software should or should not be used by nurses.

The use of language in the article is denotative.  It puts the subject matter without putting emotion or the authors exhibiting their attitude, or putting in much hype and color. This is mainly due to the fact that this is an academic article tackling a serious issue. The authors use a formal tone to get their message across. This being an educational paper, however, the authors’ use of features of speech is limited as they have to remain formal. However, they employ expansive application of features that enhance understandability including repetition to bring the point home. The article also uses terminology that is easily understandable to the lay man by desisting from overuse of medical terminology. These features make the article a great read.

The article is rhetorically effective as it enables the reader to identify with the issues raised. The fact that the article is centered on nursing and technology, both of which affect all the people on their day-to-day activities and that it makes reference to issues and occurrences that reader can easily identify with, makes the article interesting and objective. The fact that the article puts into perspective issues that are often discussed but which rarely appear side by side (health and phone apps) prompt the reader to make a deeper investigation into the issue.  That the article is written by professionals of utmost fame in the field give it more credibility and make increase the level of confidence of the reader toward the paper.This coupled with the simple language and the concise presentation of ideas makes the article easy to understand and follow. The author therefore achieves his chief objective of airing his opinion in the matter.

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