5MCC (5 Minute Clinical Consult) Review

By: Cynthia Francis Bechtel, MS, RN, CEN, EMT-I

Cindy has been employed by MassBay Community College, Framingham, MA since 1993. An Associate Professor, she teaches in both the Nursing and Paramedicine programs. She received her Master's Degree in Nursing administration from Regis College, Weston, MA in 1998. This summer she achieved her goal of becoming certified in Emergency Nursing (CEN). In her spare time she is a pre-hospital emergency care provider with the Southborough Fire Department as well as a member of the Southborough Emergency Management Planning Board and the Northborough-Southborough Critical Incident Stress Management Team. Cindy is never without her Palm m515 and uses it constantly for her own knowledge and organization and also to assist her students.

5MCC (5 Minute Clinical Consult), an application which covers more that 1000 clinical topics, is based on the book by the same name. The text by Griffith is updated yearly, as is the PDA program.

Installation & Memory Requirements

5MCC is available in the Skyscape format for the Palm OS and the Pocket PC. I found it very easy to load this application onto my Palm m515. As with other Skyscape products, the program loads without much effort or thinking on my part. This is so important for those of us who are novices. Part of the program automatically loads to my memory card, saving much needed space on my Palm. Skyscape lists the 5MCC as needing 3.8MB on the Palm. When I checked info on my Palm it said the application on the Handheld was 173K with the balance of the 3.8MB residing on the expansion card.

Ease of Use & Navigation

5MCC provides a number of ways to locate information within the application. I personally use the Main Index or type in the topic in the'Look for' area.
Also available are a Medication Index, ICD-9-CM Index and Table of Contents.

I found the application to be user friendly and easy to navigate using the six tabs on the right hand side of the screen; Basics, Diagnosis, Treatment, Medications, Follow-up, and Miscellaneous.

  • The Basics tab displays a concise description of the disorder, systems affected, genetics, incidence or prevalence in the USA, predominant age and sex, signs and symptoms, causes, and risk factors.
  • The Diagnosis section includes differential diagnosis, laboratory findings including drugs and disorders that may alter findings, pathological findings, special tests, imaging, and diagnostic procedures.
  • Treatment addresses health care related to the disorder, general procedures, surgical measures, activity, diet, and patient education. Especially helpful are addresses where you can order printed patient information.
  • Medications lists drugs of choice and alternative drugs. This is a brief overview and not a comprehensive discussion of medications.
  • Follow-up contains patient monitoring, prevention/avoidance activities, possible complications, and expected course/prognosis
  • Miscellaneous wraps up the coverage of each condition with associated conditions, age-related factors, pregnancy, synonyms, ICD-9-CM, see also, other notes, abbreviations, references, and author. Some of the categories also include Internet references that are quite helpful. Illustrations were listed, but noted that images were not available on Palm.

To personalize the application, notes may be added under each topic.


The Skyscape technology also allows me to link with other Skyscape products when researching a topic. This is especially helpful when you want additional information on medications. For example you can easily switch to DrugGuide (Davis's DrugGuide for Nurses) for a quick drug reference. I also have Taber's (Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary) and RNDiseases (Diseases and Disorders: A Nursing Therapeutics Manual) on my Palm and am able to get varied information on the topic. 5MCC gives me information with a medical focus while accessing RNDiseases adds specific nursing implications. I can effortlessly change back and forth between applications with the Skyscape technology.

The Downside

On the downside, I was disappointed to find that the 2000 American Heart Association guidelines for Advanced Cardiac Life Support have not been incorporated into treatment and medications. Under ventricular fibrillation, lidocaine, bretylium, and pronestyl were still recommended rather than Amiodorone.


5MCC lists for $64.95, which is priced on the high side. I personally have no problems purchasing applications under $50. (I love applications in the $25 range.) I do hesitate when prices go over $50, especially if the application will have to be replaced yearly. On the plus side, the 5MCC PDA application is only priced $5 over the 5MCC text price of $59.95. 5MCC does cover over 1000 clinical topics, making it a very comprehensive application.

Summary & Recommendation

5MCC has already proven its worth for the medical community. From a nursing standpoint, I feel all nurses need a comprehensive guide to patient conditions. In our fast-paced healthcare setting it is essential that nurses be able to access information quickly. 5MCC is an application that meets this need for nurses as well as other health care professionals.

Cindy can be reach by email

Get 5MCC HERE (A trial download is available)



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