Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Health Info Libr J. 2006 Mar;23(1):51-9.

Knowledge in the Palm of your hands: PDAs in the clinical setting.

Author information

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK.



To explore the impact of hand-held computers on patient care by identifying: (i) how often clinical staff accessed resources on hand-held computers to inform their clinical decision making; (ii) Which hand-held resources were thought to be most useful in the clinical setting; (iii) the barriers to using hand-held resources to support patient care.


A descriptive study comparing aspects of Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) resource use in two phases, between August 2002 and December 2003. There was variability in the way that resources were accessed between the two studies.


University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, an acute teaching hospital, and one primary care practice.


A purposive sample of 14 clinical and librarian staff participated in phase one and 14 in phase two of the study. Participants consisted of consultants, nurses, pharmacist, junior doctors, clinical librarians, and a general practitioner.


Baseline Data Questionnaire to identify the participants' level of knowledge and use of hand-helds on entering the study. End-of-phase questionnaire with self-reported measures of use of the hand-held and PDA resources during the study.


All of the participants used hand-helds in their clinical setting to support evidence-based practice and education, but with varying frequency. More staff reported using the hand-held to answer specific patient questions in phase two than phase one of the study. UK resources were preferred to American resources. The 'plug-in and go' method using Secure Digital (SD) cards was preferred to downloading resources from the Internet.


Hand-held technology is emerging as an effective clinical tool to aid evidence-based practice and support the educational needs of clinical staff. The hand-held can provide a critical mass of information that is relevant, quickly accessible and in a coherent format: delivering clinical information at the point of need with a resulting benefit to patient safety.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center