HUDSON, Mass. - September 22, 2003 - Skyscape, Inc.,
today announced that the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
has selected its handheld references for use in the schools
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner program.
Having mobile versions of the same trusted textbooks I
would normally assign to my students is extremely advantageous.
And with Skyscapes technology combined with the student
discount program, the PDA references provide more value,"
said Renee McLeod, program director, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Program at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. "Skyscapes
technology enables my students to seamlessly smARTlink from the
Five Minute Pediatric Clinical Consult to Stedmans Dictionary
or A2Z Drugs, whether in an open-PDA exam or in their
clinical site. A PDA loaded with Skyscape solutions is a valuable
tool that supports the learning process now and will reinforce
diagnostic and prescription decisions in the future.
Additionally, Vanderbilt is taking mobility to a new level with
its Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program. This modified distance
learning program allows the students and the instructor to travel
to the university from their homes across the United States and
meet for approximately one week per month for classes. All other
instruction is online, and students can perform their clinical
work at a location where they live. Palm Tungsten C or other Palm
OS devices, loaded with several Skyscape references are being
used by the students to develop an evidence-based practice.
In addition, Dr. McLeod along with Marilyn Hall from San Diego
State University were recently granted funding from the National
Library of Medicine to examine the way school nurses access and
use electronic digital data on the Internet and on their PDAs.
A large part of this study involves teaching these nurses how
to access the Internet and use their PDAs and medical reference
software effectively. The results of this yearlong study titled,
Clinical Effectiveness Using Handheld Technology will
be available in the fall of 2004. They also plan to apply for
a larger grant to examine how nurse practitioners across the country
access and use their PDAs and medical references on their PDA
to decrease errors, save time and create an evidenced-base practice
in their clinical area.
Nurses who regularly travel between different locations,
such as the more than 11,000 school nurses across the United States,
have difficulty in accessing resources and support tools. Even
carrying a laptop can be a struggle, said McLeod. Having
a PDA with key references on it can really impact their work.
It can be taken right to where the patient is for quick, accurate
Benefits of PDAs in Healthcare Education
Research has shown that having critical information in context
at the point-of-care helps students learn faster and reduces medical
errors for all healthcare practitioners.
According to a July 2002 report by the Health Resources and Services
Administration, 30 states were estimated to have shortages of
registered nurses (RNs). The shortage is projected to intensify
over the next two decades with 44 states expected to have RN shortages
by the year 2020. The unique modified distance learning program
at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing allows for the continued
education of nurses through a flexible and future-thinking approach.
Today more than 20 percent of residency programs and many medical,
nursing, pharmacy and physician assistant programs in the United
States require their participants to use PDAs. Many provide their
residents and students with a stipend with which to purchase software
and tools for the PDAs. Now students and educators can quickly
access nursing references on their handhelds to check symptoms,
make diagnoses and prescribe drugs.
Many enterprise organizations, such as Vanderbilt, are
embracing PDAs as a way to bolster the skills and enhance the
learning process of their students, and Skyscape expects many
more to follow suit in the coming year, said RJ Mathew,
vice president marketing and business development for Skyscape.