Focus on nursing point-of-care tools: application of a new evaluation rubric




point-of-care tool, evaluation rubric, nursing, decision-making


Objective: Point-of-care tools (PoCTs) provide evidence-based information on patient care and procedures at the time of need. Registered nurses have unique practice needs, and many PoCTs are marketed to support their practice. However, there is little reported evidence in the literature about evaluating nursing-focused PoCTs

Case Presentation: The investigators developed a rubric containing evaluation criteria based on content, coverage of nursing topics, transparency of the evidence, user perception, and customization of PoCTs for supporting nursing practice. The investigators selected five PoCTs cited in the literature and of interest to local nursing leadership: ClinicalKey for Nursing, DynaMed, Lippincott’s Advisor and Procedures, Nursing Reference Center Plus, and UpToDate. Application of the rubric found Lippincott had the highest coverage of diagnoses, while ClinicalKey for Nursing had strong content focused on interventions and outcomes. Nursing Reference Center Plus provided the most well-rounded coverage of nursing terminology and topics. DynaMed and UpToDate were more transparent with indicating conflict of interest, but both had lower coverage of nursing terminology, content, and care processes.  

Conclusion: None of the five PoCTs strongly met all of the evaluated criteria. The rubric developed for this study highlights each PoCT’s strengths and weaknesses that can then be used to inform the decision-making process based on priorities and budget. The investigators recommend licensing a nursing PoCT and a PoCT like DynaMed or UpToDate to provide comprehensive, evidence-based, patient care coverage and to meet the diverse information needs of nurses.

Author Biographies

Annie Nickum, University of Illinois Chicago

Annie “Nicky” Nickum BSN MLIS AHIP

Assistant Professor & Information Services & Liaison Librarian

Library Liaison to the UIC Chicago Nursing Community

Emily Johnson-Barlow

Emily Johnson-Barlow, MLIS, AHIP 

Associate Professor & Regional Health Sciences Librarian 

Library of the Health Sciences - Peoria 

Rebecca Raszewski, University of Illinois Chicago

Rebecca Raszewski, MS, AHIP 

Associate Professor & Information Services & Liaison Librarian  
Library Liaison to University of Illinois at Chicago Graduate Nursing 

Ryan Rafferty, University of Illinois Chicago

Ryan Rafferty 

Visiting Instructor & Regional Health Sciences Librarian 

Library of the Health Sciences-Urbana 


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Case Report