Ah yes, another day of ASHP Midyear is in the books and it just keeps getting better with each passing day. Today was probably the busiest day I’ve had since arriving on Saturday, and it went something like this:
- I was fortunate enough to start my day by discussing RFID tracking of medications with a colleague over breakfast. MedKeeper is working with Swisslog to utilize the RFID tracking capabilities of their Pneumatic Tube System. You can read more about Swisslog’s RFID for pneumatic tube systems here.
- There was an interesting impromptu get together among several informatics pharmacists this morning to discuss the future of pharmacy practice and the results of the recent ASHP PPMI Summit. There were some great ideas tossed around. Obviously the future of pharmacy practice isn’t something you work through in a couple of hours, but one thing is for certain: the future of pharmacy will be patient centric and make judicious use of technology as the pharmacists move away from the physical drug. Other themes that popped up were the increased use of pharmacy technicians in an expanded role, and the need to collect and analyze data from cutting edge practice models currently in existence. One item that I found particularly interesting was the notion that the act of prescribing a medication will someday be obsolete. I initially dismissed the idea, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it may not be outside the realm of possibility. Think of the number of standardized protocols, initiatives and treatment guidelines that are used today. Couple that with the advancing field of pharmacogenomics and you have a recipe for therapy directed completely by disease state and genetic typing. Not too futuristic after all.
- The Midday Symposium of choice today was The Power of Control, which was supposed to be a presentation on patient safety, lean pharmacy and data management and reporting. Unfortunately it turned into a long infomercial for DoseEdge. I believe DoseEdge is awesome technology that I’ve blogged about before, but the presenters spent a little too much time praising the workflow manager instead of talking about the importance of other pieces of the puzzle in the IV room. Good points were presented by all the speakers, but I felt that Pranish Kantesaria, the Director of Pharmacy at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, IN did the best job of presenting the reason for pushing for safety in the IV room. He talked about the human brain’s inability to multi-task, distractions in the IV room and trust bias. In addition he presented some great information on how to measure the reliability of a process as well as what constitutes the hierarchy of controls in patient safety. I took away a lot of good information from his section of the talk.
- Secondary to my discussion on RFID medication tracking earlier in the day, I ventured over to the exhibit hall after the Midday Symposium to visit the Aethon booth and get a demonstration of their asset tracking and recovery solution that makes use of RFID tags, a tracking board and a little TUG robot. Overall the system was quite impressive, and the technology is exciting. The video below gives you a basic idea of what the TUG robot can do, but appears to be a little dated. The TUG unit I observed today looked a lot more up to date than the one in the video.
- After my jaunt through the exhibit hall I had a meeting with another group of informatics pharmacists where we discussed a project by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) involving Pillbox. There’s quite an effort underway to develop a standardized library of images that can be used to better identify tablets using readily available technology. Words like “the cloud”, “high resolution imaging”, “pixel recognition”, etc were used. Absolutely fascinating stuff.
- My day concluded with the 13th annual ISMP Cheers Awards Reception and Dinner at Anaheim Stadium. I was excited to be there as it was the first time I’d ever attended an event like that. Barbara Olson (@SafetyNurse) was honored with the ISMP Volunteer Award for her efforts centered on the use of social media to increase awareness of patient safety issues. Barbara is a great advocate of patient safety and a positive example of how one can use social media to advance knowledge. Mark Neuenschwander (@hospitalrx) received the ISMP Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work in advancing patient safety through the use of bar-code technology at the point of care. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Mark on several occasions and have been impressed with his knowledge and passion about healthcare and patient safety. Congratulations to both Barbara and Mark for their achievements.
Time to get some sleep and hit it again tomorrow.