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
(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
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
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
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.
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)