I’ve just returned from a week in Las Vegas, NV at ASHP Midyear 2012. The ASHP Midyear conference is the pinnacle of clinical meetings each year for most acute care pharmacists. For me itâ€™s not that interesting anymore as I donâ€™t attend as a pharmacist. It just more work days for me; long work days. IÂ didn’tÂ attend a single â€œsessionâ€, but did manage to find some time to walk through the exhibit hall once and catch up with some old friends.
Enough of that, on with the thoughts:
- This yearâ€™s Midyear was the biggest I can recall in recent memory. I donâ€™t have any numbers to back that up, but it just felt big. The exhibit hall was usually full.
- People were engaged. Everywhere I looked people were deep in conversation: the exhibit hall, waiting for elevators, over coffee, standing here and there, and so on. It was good to see people excited over whatever it was they were discussing.
- You can spot a pharmacy resident a mile away. Someone should reconsider what theyâ€™re telling the residents to wear these days, they all look alike.
- Too many suits and ties. Dude, relax. Those things donâ€™t make you smarter, seriously. The first thing that pops into my mind when I see some guy in a suite is â€œused car salesmanâ€. Just sayinâ€™.
- Social media has finally settled in around pharmacy. It was good to see a real Twitter stream flowing from ASHP Midyear. You can read more about the Twitter stats from ASHP Midyear here.
- Lots of talk about the IV room and the NECC fiasco.
- IV room safety/automation/technology was well represented in the exhibitor hall:
- Omnicell (I still see green bags when I close my eyes)
- Health Care Logistics
- Talyst had an RFID-enabled refrigerator in their booth
- MEPS Real Time, Inc had their Intelliguard system on display. I was able to spend a few minutes talking to the people in the booth and even received a quick demo. Itâ€™s really cool. The functionality on the med tray management system is well done.
- Kit Check RFID-enabled med tray management system was there as well. I received a quick demo of that as well. Neat stuff.
- SencorpWhite had literature referring to their RFID product line, but no product in the booth.
- Medsnap â€“ what a cool concept. Use a smartphone camera to visually identify an oral solid medication. The only negative is that it looks to only be available for iOS, which makes it worthless to me as I choose Android as my platform of choice. Maybe theyâ€™ll catch up given enough time.
- S.E.A. IV Check â€“ â€œIV Check measures IV samples in the hospital pharmacy or anywhere IVs are prepared, and instantly reports the drug, dose and diluentâ€. If it works as advertised why wouldnâ€™t you use this technology to improve the safety of IV preparation?
- Grifols Phocus Rx â€“ I cannot find information online, but Grifols was displaying their new IV room product with components built directly into the hood. Their product is similar to other IV room products that use barcoding, cameras, and telepharmacy. The big difference with the new product is that the camera and touchscreen are built directly into the IV hood. I was thoroughly impressed. Love the concept. Love the technology. Love the design.
I had some great conversations with lots of people during the week. Some were kind enough to come by the booth and break up the monotony, while others met me after hours for dinner or simple conversation. Here are some of the conversations that immediately come to mind:
- Eric Kastango â€“ Anyone thatâ€™s been in pharmacy for more than a few minutes know who Eric is. Â Heâ€™s pretty much the go-to guy for anything that has to do with IV rooms, compounding safety and USP <797>. Iâ€™ve heard Eric speak on several occasions and have been corresponding with him via email for a couple of years. During that time weâ€™ve tried to meet in person on several occasions, but the fates had conspired against us. Fortunately for me Eric went out of his way to drop by the booth and give me about 30 minutes of his time to discuss IV room safety, technology and the future. I wish Iâ€™d had about another two hours as his insight is greatly appreciated, especially now that things in the IV room are going to get infinitely more complicated.
- Mark Neuenschwander â€“ Mark is an interesting guy and I love talking with him. Heâ€™s passionate about patient safety and is intimately involved in the unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding. He and I talked about patient safety, barcoding and IV room compounding one night over a plate of nachos and a coke. If you ever have a moment, and Mark is available, I encourage you to engage him in conversation.
- Denis Lebel (@Hamstav) â€“ Denis and I met via Twitter. Heâ€™s the only guy I follow whose Tweets I have to run through a translator as he sometimes Tweets in French. Denis works in pediatrics and does some incredible research with auto-detection of fluid volume in syringes (YouTube video here). We talked quite a bit about his work, some about pediatric pharmacy, and a bit about the need for standards in healthcare. Great conversation.
- Kyle Townsend, Clinical Manger for Pharmacy Services at Billings Clinic in Billings, MT â€“ I met Kyle several months ago while working on a project for work. Heâ€™s intimately involved in promoting the use of color on medication labels to enhance patient safety, and thatâ€™s what we talked about. If youâ€™re interested in what heâ€™s doing you can view an on-demand webinar he did back in January of 2012 (this year). He has some interesting things to say. He and Kastango should get together and discuss particulate matter and printers in the IV room.
Thatâ€™s it, my thoughts on ASHP Midyear 2012. Until next year.