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Inspired by Patients, Invented by Nurses

Inspired by Patients, Invented by Nurses


June 08, 2008

2) RNpalm:

Think those fancy handheld computers are just for businesspeople? Think again. An increasing number of software companies are designing healthcare-related programs for the devices, although most are tailored to the needs of physicians. That frustrated Yvonne Stolworthy, RN, who saw that nurses could use the devices as more than a phone book or appointment calendar.

“Physicians and researchers have their palm programs, but when I went searching for nurse-friendly programs, there were none.” That’s when Stolworthy joined forces with two other nurses, one from the Pacific coast, the other from Australia. Together with a computer wizard, they developed RNpalm, a website that offers free, downloadable software for nurses’ handheld devices.

“Nurses can use their palms to decode arterial blood gases, calculate the time left in an oxygen tank, or a host of other things,” says Stolworthy. Complete with a listserv and an area to post clinical questions, RNpalm encourages nurses to use this portable technology and invites older, less computer-savvy RNs to jump in, too.

“The palm operating system is easy to use, and tapping into this technology helps level the playing field for nurses,” says Stolworthy. “Other professions have had the luxury of this technology. Now it’s our turn.”


Perhaps the most interesting aspect of RNpalm is its potential for helping prevent problems. Specially designed drug index and calculation programs offered on RNpalm provide up-to-date information for busy clinicians, says Stolworthy. “This is definitely one way to decrease the potential for medication errors.”

Invented by Yvonne Stolworthy, RN

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