“What’d I miss?” – Week of October 31, 2010

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.

  • Saw 3D was #1 at the box office last weekend. It’s not my kind of movie so I won’t be seeing it. My wife and I saw Due Date instead. It was good and definitely worth a laugh.
  • Check out the Mirador Biomedical Compass Vascular Access pressure measurement device at medGadget. “Making sure that you are not in a carotid (or subclavian or femoral arteries, etc) is not always as simple as many think.” – Yikes! I didn’t need to know that.
  • MedShare for the BlackBerry is now available in Quebec. “MedShare’s BlackBerry solution allows home care workers to access their client list, client health information and schedule on the popular BlackBerry device.” Cool. I will be getting my first BlackBerry device in a couple of weeks (new job) and I’ve been scouring the internet to see what’s out there for the device. The idea of having a BlackBerry smartphone is making the new BlackBerry Playbook look better and better every day.
  • Well, it looks like IT jobs will be safe for a while longer. According to a survey by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives “more than 60% of hospital IT executives believe tech staffing shortages, which some estimate to be a shortfall of 50,000 qualified IT professionals, will definitely or possibly affect their chances to achieve meaningful use.” And we all know what meaningful use means to hospitals; money. Now might be a good time to start thinking about outsourcing your IT department.
  • There’s a great article at Healthcare IT News titled “Six best practices for EHR implementation”.  Even though the list is aimed at EHR implementation, the recommendations can be applied to nearly any healthcare technology project. Actually, you could apply to principles to nearly any type of project. The best practices include:
    • Tailor your EHR to fit within staff workflows.
    • Identify ways the EHR could potentially fail in order to prevent problems in the future
    • Don’t rush implementation, take time to train
    • In EHR implementation, practices are not extensions of the hospital
    • Eliminate duplication
    • Work with experts who have EHR implementation experience
  • Speaking of EHRs, did you know that statistics show the United States is one of the slowest countries in the race to adopt electronic health records? This according to the EHR Bloggers website. In addition the site goes on to say “while the US tends to rise above other countries in other business sectors, we are severely lagging in health IT.” As odd as this may sound I’m not surprised by that statement. The coolest gadgets in the world land in the US last or are severely crippled secondary to some regulatory issue when they get here. It only makes sense that this trickles into health IT.
  • If you’re looking for a unique gift idea look no further than fake product boxes. These things are funny, and what’s even funnier is that I thought the iArm Forearm Mount was a real product. It’s exactly what I would expect from an Apple Fanboy. Ha!
  • Remember Dell’s Inspiron Duo? I certainly do. Sure it’s just another tablet, but the screen flips over when converted to slate mode from convertible mode. It’s just plain cool. I’ve been critical of Dell in the past, but they’ve really ramped up their game lately. Dare I say they’ve been innovative? No, let’s not get carried away just yet.

  • Want the yin and the yang on whether you should buy a new tablet for Christmas? If so, then have a look at GottaBeMobile.
  • The Motorola Defy was released this week. This little Android based smartphone sports a 3.7-inch display with Gorilla Glass, and is both water and dust resistant. Gotta’ love it.
  • A recent article in The Annals of Pharacotherapy compared the “severity ranking of proprietary databases to clinician assessment” for drug-drug interactions, i.e. man versus machine. The clinicians didn’t necessarily agree with the software. Interesting. All this says is what I already knew; technology and common sense go hand in hand. Software can’t really replace a pharmacist with good deductive reasoning and lots of experience, but it can make his job easier. (Ann Pharmacother ;44:1718-1724 )
  • There’s a decent article at KevinMD.com on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC). According to the article “the pressure to prescribe an advertised medication that a patient asks for by name can be great. Physicians may feel compelled to comply with the patient’s wishes.” On the surface this can seem like a bad thing, but on occasion it could benefit the patient. For this reason I remain on the fence regarding DTC advertising. For the most part I’m opposed to it, but on the other hand it is one way to disseminate information.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued another recall for Symbiq One- and Two-Channel pumps. This is the third recall for these pumps. Oops!
  • Do you ever get the feeling that Apple uses a lot of smoke and mirrors to get people to buy into their singular view of the world? It appears that putting Flash on the new 11-inch MacBook Air kills about a third of the batter life. Bummer.
  • Google instant is now available for mobile devices. I love the instant search feature in Google, and it’s simply awesome on a mobile device.

  • The NFL Network has been doing The Top 100 Greatest Players of all time. Well, they finally made it to #1 and it’s Jerry Rice. No disrespect to Mr. Rice, but are the people at the NFL crazy? Look at the people that they put Rice in front of: Lawrence Taylor, the man that single handedly changed the way offensive lines play, particularly the left tackle position; Walter Payton. Enough said; Dick Butkus, are you kidding me? This guy defined NFL toughness at the linebacker position; Jim Thorpe at #37. Do you know what this guy did? The credibility of the list is suspect to say the least.
  • It’s week 9 in the NFL people, and there are some great games on tap. Who would have thought Tampa Bay would be playing a meaningful game against a divisional opponent in November? Not me. Miami and Baltimore is going to be a slobber-knocker, as will the Pittsburgh – Cincinnati game on Monday night. Oh, so much football to watch. I can’t wait.
  • Oh yeah, San Francisco won the World Series. Here’s something of interest. On Sunday night, NBC’s Steelers-Saints game drew an 11.8 national rating, while Fox’s Giants-Rangers Game 4 drew a 10.4 rating. And on Monday night Fox’s Giants-Rangers Game 5 earned a 10.6 national rating, while ESPN’s Texans-Colts game drew an 8.6. So a couple of mid-season NFL games nearly trumped the World Series. That’s worth noting. There was a time when the NFL wouldn’t dare televise a game at the same time as the World Series, but now they couldn’t care less. Baseball is a boring, slow moving sport with little of interest, while football is an action packed dynamo still building steam. Take the hint Bud and cut the baseball season back before it’s too late. I’m just sayin’.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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