Lexi-Comp's PDA Applications Review

By: Scott Erdley DNS, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor School of Nursing, University at Buffalo


Sylvia Suszka Hildebrandt, RN, BS, MN, ARNP, CCNI, Editor PDA cortex

Lexi-Comp's PDA Applications

When discussing applications needed to function in today's every changing healthcare arena, what would make your professional life complete? While the ultimate super application may be different for each user, Lexi-Comp has been watching and listening to the needs of the mobile health professional. Sit back, relax and think about how your life as a "corridor cruiser" will be enhanced by the following.

Lexi-Drugs Platinum

Lexi-Drugs Platinum - not just your basic drug information program. Lexi-Comp actually has combined 8 of its drug handbooks into this one database:

  • Drug Information Handbook
  • Drug Information Handbook for Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Drug Information Handbook for Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Dosage Handbook
  • Drug Information Handbook for Cardiology
  • Anesthesiology and Critical Care Handbook
  • Drug Information Handbook for Oncology
  • Pediatric Dosage Handbook

You get up to 56 fields of information! Its not just dosing, use and drug interactions but more detailed information such as, Cardiovascular Considerations, Effects on Mental Status, Effects on Psychiatric Treatment, Emetic Potential, Monitoring Parameters, Physical Assessment/Monitoring, Pregnancy Issues, Anesthesia/Critical Care Comments and much more. We would recommend prior to downloading this applicationm, that you take a tour of the components and learn what this program has to offer. By taking the tour you will be introduced to the data and will be able to decide if you want the essential, comprehensive or comprehensive plus specialty application installed. Once installed just look for the icon on the handheld named Lexi-Comp On-Hand. Tapping that icon will take you to the Lexi-Drugs application. Three index choices are offered. You can search by alphabetical, pharmacologic category and even special alerts (primarily drugs containing "black box" warnings issued by the FDA). Once you choose a medication, you have the quick jump function to quickly choose from up to 56 fields for viewing. All dosing parameters are offered including pediatrics and geriatric considerations. There is also the ability to link directly to other areas within the database or even other programs without exiting the drug monograph. That's right, seamless linking between all Lexi-Comp programs, what a bonus!

At any time you can also return to a previously viewed document from any database by using the History icon, or return to the Index by choosing the back arrow. These tools are invaluable when you are searching for information for the poly pharmacy patient. Lexi-Comp did their homework by including Herb interactions for pertinent medications. Today's savvy patient often has many combinations of prescribed and OTC supplements, so be certain to ask the patient and check that particular field. The presented information in the fields is doubled spaced with each main subfield in bold text thus allowing an easy reading format. This certainly surpasses ePocrates with the detailed information presented.

Scott says: " If I am in the ICU or telemetry, the information is so comprehensive, that any drug information needed is always available. I find the content out shines ePocrates." He also related that the content is applicable for nurse anesthesia drugs.

Lexi-Diagnostic Medicine

Lexi-Diagnostic Medicine - Accessed via the same reader is a companion application that we would highly recommend. This comprehensive application is a combination of Lexi-Comp's Laboratory Test Handbook and Diagnostic Procedures Handbook. It can be accessed by tapping on the title bar in the upper left corner of the screen. A hidden drop down list appears titled "installed books". By choosing installed books you can choose to enter any of the available Books in the reader. You are presented with a choice of either an alphabetical or key word index. This is an eBook that will prove invaluable to nursing, from students who often need to carry one of those diagnostic manuals that generally do not easily fit in your lab coat thus making you untether your backpack and play hunt for the right reference.

Up to 32 sub fields can be accessed giving you a comprehensive presentation to view. Some choices available are indications, limitations, name, normal findings, patient preparation, special instructions, synonyms, and usual turn around time from test to results. A special field is included called references; complete with journal or book referenced with the accompanying volume, date and pages. Where else can you access this information along with the test information simply by tapping a field?

A comprehensive review is offered regarding what is included in the procedure. One of our favorites has been the information on colonoscopy. Having received a call from an elderly patient who did not understand the written instructions regarding her diet, I simply accessed the information from the application. Detailed information was there regarding the time frames and amounts of milk of magnesia to consume with alternatives plus a great list of foods included in clear liquids. Along with the references Lexi-Comp included a special footnote category. This invaluable application allows fast, comprehensive access to any diagnostic test currently performed. Think of sharing this information with your patients. It is easier than you think. With a few easy instructions on how to tap and choose, you'll have your patients awed with the information at hand.

Lexi- Interact

Lexi- Interact For those who have PC access to Lexi-Comp Online, this will be a companion application for your handheld. The information is essentially similar and is available for both the Palm OS and Pocket PC. One can even link directly to the Interact package from the above applications. Once a medication is selected you are presented with interacting categories. Each monograph is assigned a risk rating from A, B, C, and D or X. These are interpreted as common academic scales. Rating of A or B is of academic but not clinically a concern. C, D and X require the user's attention. The included text of patient management will provide assistance regarding the types of actions that could or should be taken. Agents that are of lower risk are generally handled by identification in the patient management or discussion section of the drug monograph.

Current selections are visible in their own list, thus making frequently used drugs available for your review. If you are caring for selected patients, beginning this list will afford you a quick reference guide for interactions available without the need to return to the main list and reading through each monograph. Tapping the analyze button elongates the list with the important information. What a comprehensive method to store all the medications currently used which provides a mobile solution for prescribing additional pharmaceuticals.

Congratulations to Lexi-Comp and their forward thinking capabilities and making your products well worth their price. Pocket PC handhelds have long had the capability to multitask and have a few folders open simultaneously. Palm has lagged behind; however, Lexi-Comp has adjusted their readers to include all of the above mentioned applications under one icon for the reader. You no longer have to exit the entire application but choose a different book from the handy drop down screen accessed in the upper left corner or link directly to another databases from within a monograph or topic.

Technical specifications:

Lexi reader with the platinum drug, diagnostic med needs 5325k. Interact adds another 1963k of memory needed.

Palm OS 3.07 with 2-4 mb free space

Pocket PC 2-4 mb memory, interact requires 3mb free space

Lexi-Drugs provides daily updates for download and synchronization.


Both Scott & Sylvia can be reached by email


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