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  1.    #1  
    Hi folks,

    July 1st we get 10 new employees, all newly minted intern physician trainees. Most of our trainees have PDA's, but few take full advantage of how helpful they can be in medical practice. I have a proposal to change that by giving all 10 new trainees a Palm (either Centro, 750, 755, or T-E2, depending on what administration approves, if anything). I am a doctor, not a system administrator or tech support for anyone but myself, so what I want to do is set these new trainees off with a well-stocked PDA chock full of helpful PDA stuff (medical calculators, medical references, contacts full of all the physician beepers and hospital phone numbers, etc.) and then let them get to work. I envision that they'll take them home and make the PDA's their own, hotsync'ing with their home personal computer and using it creatively as they get more sophisticated in their medical training and practices.

    Anyway, I have always worked on no one else's Palm PDA except my own. How would I set up 10 Palm PDA's to be fairly identical, and yet make them individual enough so that each trainee can take it home and set it up to sync with his/her own computer and use it as they will forever after? Literally, how would I load a wide variety of programs on 10 Palms, some of which require individual user accounts like ePocrates, and how would I load 10 identical sets of contacts into each?

    And how would I have a chance of the trainees not screwing it up by overwriting the thing when they get home after day 1 when they try hotsyncing?!?

    How plausible does this sound?

    -- Josh
  2. #2  
    You could set the contact up on one of them and then bean the contacts database to all of the other ones.
  3. #3  
    You could setup one handheld/smartphone with the basics without setting the hotsync back it up to an external card then restore to each. Or setup the handheld/smartphone and restore all the databases & files except saved and unsaved prefs so you will end up with the files. (All contacts etc would be over-written to the ones on the card)

    This is the way I have setup Treo's for similar users in-house in the past.
    PalmIII > PalmIIIx > PalmIIIxe > TRGPro > Handera 330 > Zire71 > Treo600 > Treo650 > Treo680 > Treo750 > Centro > TreoPro > iPhone 32GB 3GS

  4. #4  
    Hi

    have you looked at Mo al-ubaydli's book? talks about just this sort of thing! (Handheld Computers for Doctors - http://www.handheldsfordoctors.com/book/index.htm) although jamesgangut's solution sounds the easiest. either way one thing is important: individual time (even if it is 20-40min) with them regularly for the first few weeks.ensures that they get the most out of it and its not sitting in their oncall rooms somewhere a few days later.

    these days thou chances are they already have one and it will be a matter of convincing them to ditch their old one (not a problem if urs is an upgrade!).
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by psychs View Post
    Hi

    have you looked at Mo al-ubaydli's book? talks about just this sort of thing! (Handheld Computers for Doctors - http://www.handheldsfordoctors.com/book/index.htm) although jamesgangut's solution sounds the easiest. either way one thing is important: individual time (even if it is 20-40min) with them regularly for the first few weeks.ensures that they get the most out of it and its not sitting in their oncall rooms somewhere a few days later.

    these days thou chances are they already have one and it will be a matter of convincing them to ditch their old one (not a problem if urs is an upgrade!).
    Neat. Didn't know about that resource. I will definitely use the advice I'm getting in this thread and others.
    -- Josh
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by steinbej View Post
    (Dammit Jim!) I am a doctor, not a system administrator!

    -- Josh
    I am so sorry, the nerd in me just couldn't resist that!

    I just bought a Treo 680 because all of the best medical software is written for the Palm OS and I have used many of these great programs as a paramedic and ICU nurse. I start my nurse practitioner rotation in the ER in a bit, and I didn't want to have to carry both my Palm T/X and a phone.

    Ivan
    Visor Deluxe-->Tungsten E-->Palm T/X-->Treo 680 (Cingular unlocked)-->Centro (ATT unlocked)

    "Don't fight in here...This is the war room!"
  7. #7  
    Because some of these medical apps require specific installs (ePocrates comes to mind) this will be a challenge. All of the standalone freeware apps could be copied onto an SD card and then copied onto each device in sequence with FileZ.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by detective View Post
    Because some of these medical apps require specific installs (ePocrates comes to mind) this will be a challenge. All of the standalone freeware apps could be copied onto an SD card and then copied onto each device in sequence with FileZ.

    So here's my latest plan. I'll set up all 10 PDA's with the same hotsync device ID and make it generic like "intern". I'll easily load all the freeware medical (and non-medical, like NV Backup). For the software like ePocrates which requires individual accounts, I'll set up a g-mail address like "intern@gmail-dot-com" or such, make an account at ePocrates based upon this, and load it. Since the hotsync ID's will be the same on all 10 devices, I'll back up to card and then restore to the 10 PDA's. Within a month or two of the trainees using the PDA's, one of the lessons on using them will be setting up one's personalized hotsync ID, syncing to one's personal computer, and setting up real personalized accounts at ePocrates and similar sites. That way the trainees will soon have functional hotsyncing on their computers and ePocrates (and other similar software vendors) will have the personal accounts with real customers (the free software version, but they're still customers) so that ePocrates is not upset about breaking EULA terms.

    Anyone see any big flaw in this approach?
    -- Josh
  9. #9  
    Seems reasonable to me. Go get them jump started.
  10. hkklife's Avatar
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    #10  
    Personally, I'd go with 10 TX's....the extra memory, wi-fi, and larger screen can be a tremendous over any of the 320x320 models you list.

    Only potential issue I could forsee would be some kind of HIPA violation in regards to using a wireless-enabled device and/or using any kind of external SD card-based storage for the databases.
    Pilot 1000-->Pilot 5000-->PalmPilot Pro-->IIIe-->Vx-->m505-->T|T-->T|T2-->T|C-->T|T3-->T|T5-->TX-->Verizon Treo 700P-->Verizon Treo 755p-->Verizon Motorola Droid + Verizon Centro--> Verizon Motorola Droid X + Palm TX-->Verizon Droid Bionic + Palm TX
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by hkklife View Post
    Personally, I'd go with 10 TX's....the extra memory, wi-fi, and larger screen can be a tremendous over any of the 320x320 models you list.

    Only potential issue I could forsee would be some kind of HIPA violation in regards to using a wireless-enabled device and/or using any kind of external SD card-based storage for the databases.

    I hear you, that is a good suggestion. The WiFi would have been a nice perk. But to move up to TX's would have exceeded the budget I had for this little pilot project. My expectation is that folks will be impressed with how our trainees do with PDA's this year, and next year they'll be ready for me to propose Treo's for everyone. What kind of Treo that'll be by then, who knows!
    -- Josh
  12. #12  
    Would you be able to let them choose the one that's right for them, and then help them get everything set up individually? I know my cousin that's in med school is using a 680, but he only takes that when he's at school/work. The rest of the time, he carries around a standard cell phone.

    If it was me going in there, I would want to choose my own. Rather it's because I'm on a different carrier and don't want to switch, or if I want a TX instead of an E2 and am willing to pay the difference. Maybe you can have an allowance, say $200, and if they want more, or something different, they can pay that themselves.

    On a side note, and not that I dislike Palm (even though I temporarily left to a BlackBerry), once iPhone 2.0 comes out in a month or so, there are supposedly a lot of medical software that should be coming out, which should also work with the iPod Touch. This could be an alternative. I showed a demo of one of the apps to my cousin and he was very impressed.
  13.    #13  
    Turns out we're going the plain PDA route (Tungsten E2), not the phone-PDA combo route. The smartphone was too much novelty for hospital administration to take on. And too many potential headaches for me to take on myself. I'm not an IT system adminstrator, I'm a fulltime practicing doctor, so I can only take care of so many headaches from the tech world on top of taking care of medical stuff (including actual headaches, of course!).

    Giving everyone the same device will standardize what folks have and what kind of problems they might have. Also simplies solutions, such as, when all else fails, wipe PDA clean and restore with my backup card copy of the original configuration set.

    As for iPhone, seeing is believing. Right now there are no iPhone apps and no App Store. How long did it take for Win-Mobile to build up a set of medical apps, years? Palm is right now still vastly preferable for medical PDA use to Win-Mobile and iPhone and everything else, in my personal opinion.

    As a big Apple Mac fan (user since 1980), you can be sure that I'll pay attention if iPhone medical apps take off.
    -- JOsh
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by steinbej View Post
    As for iPhone, seeing is believing. Right now there are no iPhone apps and no App Store. How long did it take for Win-Mobile to build up a set of medical apps, years? Palm is right now still vastly preferable for medical PDA use to Win-Mobile and iPhone and everything else, in my personal opinion.

    As a big Apple Mac fan (user since 1980), you can be sure that I'll pay attention if iPhone medical apps take off.
    -- JOsh
    Josh,
    I don't think you will have to wait that long for iPhone apps. Skyscape and Epocrates both offer "web" apps for iPhone, and I don't imagine it will be that much longer before the actual programs are ported over to the iPhone platform. I do love my Palm OS, and I have to say, dollar for dollar, my unlocked Treo 680 was well worth the 170 bucks, but the iPhone is killer. I will be getting on board that train after I am done with my nurse practitioner training.
    Ivan
    Visor Deluxe-->Tungsten E-->Palm T/X-->Treo 680 (Cingular unlocked)-->Centro (ATT unlocked)

    "Don't fight in here...This is the war room!"
  15. #15  
    Here's an example of what Epocrates came up with when the SDK first launched... http://www.epocrates.com/iphone/compatibility/. The app store is supposed to launch July 11. I'm not sure if you can or want to wait, but, it is just around the corner.
  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidg4781 View Post
    Here's an example of what Epocrates came up with when the SDK first launched... http://www.epocrates.com/iphone/compatibility/. The app store is supposed to launch July 11. I'm not sure if you can or want to wait, but, it is just around the corner.

    Thanks. I saw the ePocrates demo video months ago, and it is impressive. But that is just a single application. If iPhone catches up, it will take quite a while. Meanwhile I've got a shiny lovely Treo 680 bursting with medical software. I can sit back and watch how the competition shakes out when (a) iPhone 2.0 and App store appear, and (b) when Palm new OS and related devices appear. I'm in no hurry.
    -- Josh
  17. #17  
    if this is off topic plz xcuse my virgin post. I've a mac osx10.2.8 radio Slack gave me many empty promises...ive palm centro. cancelled my landline (dsll) as a sprint tech assured me usb internet connection through my palm...4 give my off topic. couldn ya twirl me in the closest proximity of unlimitted data for my laptop. I'm talkin checkin email....not a lot of data....i know pc users & sprint employees.use it..thanxahead of time....brian

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