An essential part of life as a surgeon is recording a personal log of operations completed. Most surgeons have some method by which they accomplish this often tedious task – a pile of notecards, a notebook, and so on. A lucky few have electronic means to do this via their EMR.

Surgical Logbook is a universal iOS app which aims to assist surgeons and trainees at all levels to record the operations they have completed. Read on to find out whether it could help making tracking cases easier for you.

Surgical Logbook has an a attractive user interface which is well thought out and easy to use. Adding a new case is remarkably easy and there is a good range of predetermined fields to complete.

It is easy to add details to each case and it is helpful that all the fields are recorded which makes entering repeat procedures less time consuming.

Additional fields are easily added and is also possible to store patient photos with each case record. Exporting the logbook is simple and robust and a CSV file is emailed out. This can then be opened with a range of other programs/printed.

Unfortunately, there was no option to import logbooks previously made in CSV format.

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One of the major concerns about using any app used to store sensitive data is security. The ramifications of losing patient data and potential breaches of confidentiality are severe thus it is of essential importance that device security is considered. Surgical Logbook offers the option of setting a password although there is no information given regarding the security of the database that confidential data is stored in. The ideal solution would be some form of encryption although it is not clear whether or not this is the case. Many institutions have policies regarding storage of PHI on mobile devices, which anyone considering using this app would be wise to review.

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Another potential drawback is the inability to have your logbook verified by a more senior surgeon. During training years, surgeons are required to maintain a log and, in some cases, have this verified by their senior. There is no easy way to accomplish this task without exporting the complete logbook each time and asking the senior surgeon to verify it. There is no sync function available so it is not possible to alternate between devices (such as iPad or iPhone) and keep an up to date record.

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The stats tab is a useful addition and allows you to filter records by any of the criteria which was stored e.g. Procedure, Hospital or Surgeon. There is a useful ability to export the filtered results in a CSV file via email. There was no search function which means that finding specific operations within your logbook will rapidly become challenging if there are a significant number of entries.

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  • $3.99


  • Attractive user interface
  • Easy to add cases and add relevant fields
  • Stats section helps analyse,sort and export case records


  • No information on security
  • No search function available
  • No ability to sync between iPad/iPhone version
  • No way to have records verified with a senior surgeon using the app

Overall Rating:

  • Surgical Logbook is a basic logbook which comes with some robust features such as statistics and export
  •  The overall design and user interface is highly commended and the app is easy to use
  • However, there is no information given regarding the security of the logbook which is an important consideration before storing sensitive patient data

iTunes link