Remember back in the prehistoric days before the Internet? Before Facebook, before Google, before smartphones? When you needed to find medical information, you hoped you saved that particular journal in the stacks on your desk or shelf? Or, even more time consuming, you would take a trip to the library and search endlessly through medical textbooks and research journals? Remember that time, before the saying became, “Oh, don’t worry! There’s an app for that!”
Medicine the Traditional Way
Before the instant access to medical information we have today, healthcare professionals relied on their minds and the knowledge of their most trusted colleagues with whom they would consult on tricky diagnoses. But now, we have the ability to access all of the algorithms that we spent days, weeks or months reading over, studying, and incorporating into our daily clinical practice. Think of it as your best friend in the hospital, office, or research lab: your pocket internal-pedi-urolo-cardio-pulmonolo-gastro-gyno-endocrino-etc-ologist all wrapped into one trustworthy tool that’s available at your fingertips every day.
Clinical Practice Today
A 55-year old male admitted to the hospital with fever, tachycardia, and mild tachypnea, along with the appropriate workup from the ER or hospital should have a MEWS (modified early warning score for a hospital inpatient) done as well. The MEWS algorithm and calculator is available through the Medal IOS app, and with a few entries into the calculator, the patient’s risk for ICU admission or death would be determined. While a MEWS score alone does not dictate treatment or replace the physical examination and laboratory data, it does provide the hospitalist physician, nurses, and ancillary support staff with the tools necessary to best care for this patient.
A 3-year old female with no significant past history is seen by the pediatrician for complaint of leg pains. With musculoskeletal complaints being a common concern for parents and often written-off as “growing pains”, following an evaluation in the office which warrants an initial laboratory evaluation, their risk for occult malignancy can be determined using Findings in a Child with Musculoskeletal Complaints Suggesting an Occult Malignancy. Echoing the findings of Goncalves, et. al, malignancy always needs to be ruled out in cases of children with musculoskeletal complaints.
Improve Patient Care with Medical Treatment Algorithms
Whether evaluating an adult hospital inpatient or a pediatric patient in a rural office, determining the best next step in management, or helping to narrow a differential diagnosis within a medical subspecialty, Medal provides the tools to complement a physician’s medical knowledge. Along with the information obtained from answering a few questions within a specific calculator, the resulting information can help make your clinical assessment more complete and increase the likelihood of having further investigations covered by the patient’s insurance company, saving you and your staff countless hours of dealing with denials. The next step in your algorithm of better doctoring and improving outcomes for your patients is to start using the largest international knowledge base of medical algorithms in your daily practice.
Chad Rudnick, MD, FAAP is a pediatrician practicing in Boca Raton, FL. He serves as a consultant for Medicalalgorithms.com, a world-leading resource in the medical and healthcare field. Medal owns and operates the largest international knowledge base of medical algorithms and computational procedures for medical diagnosis, treatment and administration.