Archive July 2018 XIX, No. 7

Editor's Page

Can You Teach an Old Guy New Apps?

Dan O

Dan O'Connor, Editor-in-Chief


Tech Support
TECH SUPPORT My son, Dan, taught his old man how to Venmo on GroupMe.

My son, Dan, taught me how to Venmo on GroupMe. Say what?

He introduced me to both apps a few months ago while studying abroad for a semester in Singapore. On GroupMe, a free texting app, he happened to mention that his funds were running low. The only way to replenish his account was to use a money-transferring app called Venmo, he said.

"Can I figure Venmo out?" I asked.

"Just need to link bank account and credit card, probably confirm an email or phone number, and give your username," Dan texted back.

"Ok. How do you get $?" I asked.

"I press a button and it transfers to my bank account," wrote Dan. "Very reliable. Everyone uses it today all over the world."

Everyone but me, I thought. But damn if I didn't download the Venmo app, set up an account and Venmo (yes, it's a verb!) my 19-year-old money. What in the world just app-ened? Hey, if I can learn a new app, anyone can.

Just ask Christine Gambrel, RN, BSN, the administrator of the Surgery Center of Rockville (Md.), and this month's cover model. Guess what Ms. Gambrel did on her 53rd birthday last month? She took the day off to celebrate, but she also took a minute to app-rove a supply order on her Samsung.

Ms. Gambrel Venmoes, too. She also uses apps for banking, movies, music, shopping and social media. And like a growing number of you, she's taking advantage of the numerous apps designed for surgical professionals. We take a look at some useful apps, most free, in "There's An App For That" on page 18.

Ms. Gambrel's center uses online preadmission, the time-saving program that lets patients fill out their health histories at their convenience and at their computer. Ms. Gambrel figures she's charged $5.60 for every patient that fills out an online preassessment.

"But it saves a nurse at least 30 minutes a patient," says Ms. Gambrel.

The program also sends patients automated text reminders before surgery and a few days after surgery sends a text asking them to take the satisfaction survey sent by mail.

Before I get carried away with my technological app-titude, it's only fair to point out that I had a major glitch last month with surveymonkey, our online survey software we use often to question our readers for articles. I prepared a survey about surgical apps for this issue and sent it to a few thousand readers. Zero responses! Hmmm. I sent it again to a new list of reader emails. Nothing. Turns out the "logic" I applied to the survey backfired, causing the responses to a key question — What's your favorite surgical app? — not to register. I was app-alled that I could Venmo, but I couldn't surveymonkey. OSM

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