Now in its 32nd edition, the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics has earned a glowing reputation over the past almost-half-century as an invaluable reference for use on inpatient medicine wards by residents and students alike.
In fact, the Manual has become the best-selling medical title worldwide. Here we review the “WashMan” (Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics) app from Lippincott (available through Skyscape), a user-friendly way to access all that the Manual has to offer from your iPhone or iPod touch.
The Manual is a joint partnership of (I am proud to say) my very own Washington University School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine and LWW (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). Wash U SOM’s Medicine Department (whose attendings and residents write and edit the Manual) represents a prolific tertiary care referral center, a nationally-ranked medical residency program, and a global leader in research.
LWW, for those unaware, is a highly regarded and productive publisher of professional healthcare content. Skyscape, a trusted name which “hosts” the WashMan app through its basic app environment, features over 500 medical titles accessible through this single port-of-entry app, allowing for seamless integration of all these resources (most impressively through the ability to cross-index these different titles).
As for the WashMan app itself, it offers easy access to the contents of the Manual. The home screen features the Main Index with a search box for easy hunting of any desired topics (shown below).
Alternatively, from the drop-down arrow at the top of the home screen, the app can also present a Medication Index or a Table of Contents (shown below) as the home screen, in place of the Main Index. This function is useful for those browsing and learning about topics in a more traditional textbook chapter-style method.
Regardless of whether accessed via the main Index or the table of contents, topics are organized by sections (shown below). In this example, “Hypertension” is presented with its definition as the first section.
Throughout the WashMan app, various links like these to relevant tables, graphs, and the like make for an intuitive, user-friendly interface through which to reference information quickly. For example, shown below is the Rumack-Matthew nomogram, just one illustration of the many helpful graphs embedded in the WashMan app.
In summary, the WashMan app offers a user-friendly way to access all that the Washington Manual has to offer. The dual options of using the Main Index to search or the Table of Contents to browse is welcomed.
If you already use and enjoy the Washington Manual on the wards, this app offers a more compact and accessible way to reference the same information. It will also work on the iPad, but has not yet been customized for it. Moreover, the WashMan app offers a powerful advantage over the book form by having a comprehensive search engine built in.
-Hyperlinks to references and many terrific tables and graphs
-Ability to fully cross-index the WashMan with any of the other 500+ Skyscape medical titles
– There are very few resources you’d rather have accessible during your intern call nights!
Dislikes/Future Updates I’d Love to See:
-Price: the WashMan app runs $69.99 through Skyscape, which is ~$20 more expensive than the print version of the WashMan (paperback or spiral-bound)
-The app’s embedded calculators for the Glasgow Coma Scale and Body Mass Index are cumbersome to access; dedicated medical calculator apps can more easily handle these calculations
Pricing: The basic Skyscape app is free, and includes a medical calculator and drug reference, among other tools. More importantly, it is through this app that one can access and purchase from Skyscape collection of over 500 medical titles, including the WashMan app, which are then installed into the Skyscape Medical Resources environment on your iPhone. WashMan costs $69.99.
Conclusion: The Skyscape Washington Manual app arguably brings the premier established medical references to the fingertips of any resident or medical student serving on inpatient medical wards. A must-have for call nights!