Admit it: You’ve looked at your phone at least once at work when you weren’t supposed to. And for some people, that “once” means every chance you get—texting, playing yet another level of the latest match-three game craze, or just doing anything to get away from your responsibilities for 20 seconds.
What if there were a way to make your phone actually useful at work (besides having to call that one physician’s office for the tenth time)? We gathered 10 apps we think could change your whole pharmacy experience, from how you look up information to how you relax at the end of a long shift.
Ever come across an interesting study or scholarly article you meant to read but didn’t have time for (or an interesting Drug Topics feature)? Most people handle this in a three-step process: Leave 20 tabs in a browser, accidentally close those tabs, never get around to refinding them.
Pocket aims to solve this problem by giving you a central location to store anything you find on the web—articles, videos, images, tweets, etc.—and then view it when you finally have a minute to sit down. If you save anything in Pocket, it’s available wherever you have Pocket installed. Best of all, you can see anything you have in Pocket without an internet connection.
Speaking of scholarly articles, there’s nothing like having a world of knowledge at your fingertips.
Remember when your grade school teachers told you that you would never carry around a calculator at all times? Now you walk around with a supercomputer in your pocket. Why not let your phone do the same for your healthcare knowledge as it did for basic math?
The Merck Manual has long been the go-to source for medical knowledge, and now you can put all that in your pocket—without having to lug around a 20-pound book and flip endlessly through thousands of pages. The app contains thousands of regularly-updated articles, drug reference information, illustrations, and much more—all available for free.
This is one of those apps that does exactly what the name suggests. This app is relatively simple, but provides important information in an easy, one-stop location.
The app pulls information from both the FDA and ASHP shortage lists, helping you keep up with any medication shortages that could affect you and your patients. Designed by a pharmacist, this open-source app is free and provides a place to track shortage trends and get the most up-to-date data. It also allows you to see the most-viewed medications, so you can see if other facilities are having the same problem.
statDISPENSE is another app that could help you out in your day-to-day pharmacy job. It’s a virtual lock that provides software-controlled access to the “tackle-box” style emergency medicine kits that are stored in senior living or long-term care facilities.
These kits can be accessed by anyone and typically, there’s no way to track who accesses them or—even more concerning—when or if patients receive their medications.
To fix this, healthcare workers can use statDISPENSE to open the kits. This prevents unauthorized users from accessing medication and it also tracks who opens the box at what time. This eliminates the problem of manual documentation while still giving immediate access to vital medications.
Working in a pharmacy is stressful, so before you think about getting to all those articles you never got around to reading, why not try to relax a little first?
If you’re looking to relax better, there’s no better place to start than with a little guided meditation. Headspace is an app designed to walk you through the basics of meditation, aiming to give you the tools to be more relaxed and stress-free.
Headspace claims that meditation can reduce stress and help you stay focused—two things pharmacists desperately need to do their jobs effectively and safely. Best of all, it doesn’t have to cut into your precious time: the app has a series of short, guided meditations designed for those with busy schedules.
If you’re looking for more ways to stay focused—at work or at home—you may want to start paying attention to how you approach the tasks you’re doing. You can’t get more hours in a day, so why not be more productive with the hours you have?
That’s where FocusList comes in. It’s an app based on the Pomodoro technique, a time-management method invented in the 80s by Francesco Cirillo. Essentially, it involves working on a single task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break, followed by another 25 minutes. It requires you to accurately estimate how long a task will take in total. FocusList helps you track the tasks you want to get done, then focus on those tasks when it’s time to complete them.
If you’re still looking to be better at using your time wisely (or if you just really like having lots of data to pore over), try out Strides. It’s an app that can help you develop better habits by tracking everything you do.
Want to drink more water in a day? Set a goal for an amount that makes sense for you (the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 3.7 liters/day for men and 2.7 liters/day for women) and tell the app what you’ve done. Want to sleep more? Track how many hours you’re getting. The app will help you plan your days and weeks to make sure you get everything done.
If you ever feel like you’re trapped in a bubble because you can’t find time for the news, Flipboard is for you. Flipboard is a news aggregator, pulling in news from the sources you like and trust.
Your feed is personalized to give you the news you actually care about, so you don’t have to wade through all of the other news you don’t. This allows you to focus on the news that matters to you and filter out distractions that might otherwise make catching up on the latest stories a chore.
Podcasts are a great way to pass the time while driving to work or cooking dinner or any of the thousand other things you do in a day when you’re mindlessly performing a task.
If you’re looking for a better way (read: more efficient way) to listen to podcasts, Overcast wants to help. It’s a great way to organize all of your podcasts in one handy place, but what really makes it stand out are all of its extra features.
Perhaps its most exciting feature is Smart Speed, which shortens silences during podcasts. This helps you listen to more podcasts in less time and also makes the podcasts you do listen to more interesting.
If podcasts aren’t your thing, or if you’re just looking to expand your horizons, you should check out Blinkist. Like other apps on this list, it’s designed to take lots of information and boil it down into something more digestible.
Blinkist takes over 2,500 nonfiction books and gives you a quick look at what you need to know in them. The summaries are designed to take only 15 minutes and are available in either audio or text form.
The books included with Blinkist cover everything from leadership to economics to business to self-help to science. You can check out summaries of classic books like “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People,” “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity,” and many others.