One of the most critical yet easily overlooked tasks during any clinic visit or hospital discharge is to ensure patients are up to date on their vaccinations. Recently at our clinic, we have been working on two new large vaccination initiatives — one involving the HPV vaccine and the other implementing new Army vaccine guidelines for deploying soldiers. I was surprised by how much basic education was required for all the clinic staff from providers to nurses to patients to get these initiatives off the ground. The myriad of vaccines and administration schedules can lead to confusion. Yet nearly every age/visit type from well-child visits to sports physicals to routine obstetric appointments to annual exams has their own specific vaccine recommendations. Existing “shots” apps such as Shots by STFM, CDC Vaccines, ACP Immunization Advisor, PneumoVaccines, and the Vaccine Handbook by Dr. Gary Marshall do an outstanding job in educating providers and clinic and hospital staff about vaccines.
Recently, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) jointly released their 2018 version of their popular Shots app with an entirely new design. The app has seen some minor and not so minor changes over the years, but this time the app was nearly completely redesigned. Shots contains the most current version of the ACIP/CDC vaccine schedules, basics about each vaccine, proper dosing schedule, high-risk indications, adverse reactions, contraindications, catch-up, excipients/additives, and even a section for resident education on each vaccine.
The 2018 version of STFM Shots incorporates the most current vaccines guidelines published by the ACIP/CDC in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly. The app is chock-full of additional information on vaccines from the basics of dosing, to catch-up schedules, to vaccine additives, and resident education. The app is not meant to be a complete text on vaccines like Dr. Marshall’s book but contains valuable details in a lightweight, easy-to-navigate app.
What providers would benefit from this app?
Students, residents, mid-levels, family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, nursing staff and, any provider who administers child or adult immunizations.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Contains the current ACIP/CDC vaccine recommendations
- Interface is the easiest and most responsive to navigate yet
- Abundant information about each vaccine including catch-up schedules, additives, and even info for resident education
- Some color schemes can be difficult to read
- Tables can appear busy on a smaller smartphone screen
- Some sub-categories such as military personnel are not up to date
The latest version of the STFM Shots is outstanding. The app has consistently improved over the years and despite a few minor quibbles, this latest version is the best yet. The app provides comprehensive detail without reading like a textbook, yet even has sections to teach residents more about vaccines.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Much improved interface from prior versions of the app with responsive interface, scrollable tables, and checkboxes to get specific immunization recommendations quickly.
- Multimedia Usage
The app contains many working hyperlinks and quality tables. The app makes the rather large immunization tables easy to navigate and users can drill down quickly to key info.
App is free.
- Real World Applicability
A fantastic immunization resource for providers via a wonderful collaboration of reputable sources. A must have for all providers and clinic/hospital personnel who give vaccines.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 8 running iOS 11.4
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad