Mobile Apps & Resources: Chief Complaint


To keep you updated on the go, our ‘app of the month’ highlights one free informational app every month!


Librarian reviewers consider the audience and purpose of the apps, as well as highlighting additional features:
  • In the ‘Evidence’ section, we assess how easily an app user can identify the app’s currency and support from the evidence
  • In the ‘Usability’ section, we assess the organization of information and other usability factors that may contribute to user experience

Our complete grading criteria for evidence and usability are embedded in the review.

Please note that the reviewers are not healthcare professionals, and so cannot appraise the quality of any recommendations within the app. The reviews are not endorsements.

View the AHS policy on Mobile Wireless Devices and Services.


Chief Complaint

The Chief Complaint

 Versions reviewed

 iOS version 2.3 (LF); Android version 2.1 (EW)

 Device & OS used

  iPad Mini 3 iOS 12.5.5 (LF) ; Samsung Galaxy A52 (EW)

 Date of review

  July 14, 2022 (LF); July 15, 2022 (EW)

  Lance Fox, Erica Wright

 Technician Support 

 Melanie Belliveau

 Similar Library Apps    n/a

Image Source: The Chief Complaint. Retrieved on July 26, 2022 from:

Stated Purpose  
Evidence based and meticulously referenced. An invaluable resource for all emergency medicine healthcare professionals. Treat with confidence!

How would you like to walk into the ER confident that you knew what to do, no matter what comes through the door? The Chief Complaint app uses an algorithmic approach to over 50 of the most common complaints encountered in emergency medicine. Never feel lost or overwhelmed again, not knowing what the next step in the work-up is. Not sure what tests to order or if the patient can go home? The Chief Complaint helps you answer all those questions and more!

- Algorithm based approach to the most common emergency medicine complaints

- Based on the #1 bestselling emergency medicine clinical guide "The Chief Complaint"

- Used by the residents of LA County + USC emergency medicine program, one of the top emergency medicine programs in the world

- Color coded by organ system for easy navigation

- Exhaustively referenced to the most important studies and articles in emergency medicine (over 400 citations!) with direct links to PubMed abstracts for easy access to original sources

- Over 60 high resolution clinical management and decision support algorithms

- Direct subject-specific links to EM:RAP, Essentials of Emergency Medicine and for further resources and deeper dives on all subjects

- Journal club feature allows you to dive deeper into the evidence basis of your decisions

- Peer reviewed by leading physicians in emergency medicine

- Important medical calculators and scores commonly used in the ER

- Emergency medicine drug guide easily accessible right from the content pages

- All content, including treatment algorithms, is built-in, network access is only required for content updates

- Automatic content updating keeps app's contents constantly up to date free of charge

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Image Source: The Chief Complaint. Retrieved on July 26, 2022 from:


Emergency medicine

Physicians, Residents, Medical Students, Nurses



Part 1: Editorial committee, content updates, and evidence grading

Names and affiliations are provided in the app for author and editorial committee.

There is no specific “conflict of interest” statement but there is a Disclaimer and a Privacy Policy which are both quite detailed.

This book was published in 2014 as seen in the Amazon listing for the print edition. The app was created in 2015 and indicates it is updated regularly, but there are no specific dates given as a whole or for individual entries to indicate when the content was last updated. It’s hard to comment on the currency of the content and the frequency of updates as we can’t really tell.

No grading system. This is more of an e-Book.

Part 2: Source and authorship information for 3 entries

In-text citations are provided and the full reference list is found in another section of the app (rather than within each individual entry).

Various types of sources and studies are referenced. There are many systematic reviews and meta-analyses, including Cochrane systematic reviews. There are also guidelines, other external emergency medicine resources, and other types of articles that are referenced. Articles link to PubMed.  

Specific authorship information is not provided for each individual entry but it can be found in another part of the app for the entire resource as a whole.


Organization of information

On the home screen there are a number of images for the different categories (chief complaints by organ system) you can browse.

  • Resuscitation
  • Cardiology
  • Pulmonary
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Genitourinary
  • Infectious Disease
  • Neurology
  • Pediatrics
  • OB/GYN
  • Trauma
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Environmental
  • Renal/Electrolytes
  • Endocrine
  • Heme/Onc
  • Toxicology

There are also three icons for:

  • Drugs (browse dosing information by type of drug and condition)
  • Calculators
  • References (full list for the entire resource as a whole)

There is also a menu along the bottom middle of the screen:

  • Home
  • Bookmarks
  • Notes
  • Search
  • More (contains information about the app)


Select an option from the main menu and then you are provided with another list of more specific chief complaints, drugs, or calculators that you would like to use. It just takes 2-4 clicks to find what you need.


User Account required: No
Internet connection required for use: No
Text search field: Yes
Browsable content: Yes
Advertisements: No
Pop-up advertisements: No
In-app purchases: No


Compatible with: iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch

Requires: iOS 12.0 or later.
Last updated (as per App store listing) : March 14, 2022

Compatible with: Android SmartPhone & Tablet

Requires: Android 4.1 and up.
Last updated (as per Google Play listing): August 28, 2019

81.4 MB (iOS); 105 MB (Android)

App Developer

Escavo Inc. 

Country of Origin
United States


8391 Beverly Blvd #449, Los Angeles, CA 90048, United States