As a hospitalist, Rebekah Allen, DO, constantly fields calls from nurses inquiring about patients. If it’s a question of whether a patient can take a Tylenol, the answer is rather simple. But for more complicated questions, she may need to do some research on current treatment modalities.
“Time is of the essence. Often when nurses call you, you need an answer right then and there,” says Dr. Allen, who believes the launch of medical software Zenxmed will provide her with an easily accessible tool that will ultimately allow her more time to spend with patients.
Zenxmed is a free, evidence-based clinical resource with content written and peer-reviewed by physicians for physicians.
Physicians can use similar apps to research complicated patient questions, but they are often text heavy and can require integrating many different sources into one cohesive answer, according to David Stephen, DO, who is currently beta testing Zenxmed.
“We’re trying to create a map of information,” says Colm Murphy, MD, Zenxmed founder. “A lot of platforms out there right now tend to be pretty text heavy. That’s a challenge at point of care because you’ve only got 15 minutes with a patient, so we tried to think outside the box to make it very visual.”
Beta testing began this April and Zenxmed needs participation from all practicing physicians, according to Dr. Murphy.
“We really want to get the DO community involved,” says Dr. Murphy, a cardiologist. “We are building a community of physicians helping each other to make cutting-edge and precision-guided decisions at the point of care for patients.”
Because clinical evidence is continually changing, the critical decisions physicians make really impact the entire care of a patient, according to Christina Lang, DO, who has been involved with Zenxmed since its inception.
“Zenxmed simmers down information about the pathology of a disease state and evidence for different treatment modalities to what you need in real-time when you’re at the bedside treating patients,” says Dr. Lang.
Zenxmed also offers a patient-facing component that will help quantify the risks and benefits of a particular treatment option as well as provide takeaway messages that patients can relay to family, friends and loved ones.
“If we really empower the physician-patient relationship, it will make our jobs easier as physicians,” says Dr. Murphy.
Bridging regional disparities
For Dr. Murphy, making the physician’s job easier meant strengthening the Zenxmed platform to include specific recommendations to meet regional guidelines.
Ava Stanczak, DO, FACOP, who has been peer reviewing Zenxmed content, is the assistant dean of clinical medicine at Lincoln Memorial University – Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) in Harrogate, Tennessee. She foresees the platform being extremely useful in under-resourced areas, like Appalachia and some areas of Western Texas that are over an hour from a care center.
As the platform grows, Dr. Stanczak is hoping Zenxmed can be a handy tool for practicing aboard mobile clinics and on international medical mission trips.
“This would be great to have on DOCARE trips,” she says. “I was in Honduras last week and this would’ve been very helpful for physicians to have.”
No matter where you are in the world, having a tool to help assure treatment is on the right path can be helpful and stress-reducing, according to Dr. Stanczak.
Reducing physician stress
In a world where more than half of physicians experience burnout, improving physician wellness is paramount.
Dr. Stephen, discipline chair for pathology and histology at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine—Auburn Campus in Alabama, thinks Zenxmed will help revitalize the overworked, overstressed physician by facilitating less time at the computer and more time with patients.
“Zenxmed allows physicians to utilize the most current, updated information we need for patients,” he says. “It is critical for osteopathic physicians to get involved in beta testing and writing content for Zenxmed so people can see the value of some of the additional tools we have.”