Saturday morning coffee [April 20 2013]

MUG_IndianapolisSo much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

The coffee mug to the right comes straight from Indianapolis. I was there for work as part of a multi-city five hospital rampage through that section of the country. It was pretty nice for the most part, but trying to get home turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. Indianapolis was hit by severe thunderstorms the day I was supposed to leave – high winds, lightning, hail, and so on – which caused all sorts of chaos and delays at the airport. The delays made me miss my connection in Denver, which just happened to be the last flight out to Fresno on the night in question. I got lucky as the last flight to Los Angeles from Denver had been delayed by an hour so I grabbed an available seat and headed for the city of Angels. I landed at LAX about 1:00AM Friday morning, rented a car, got a hotel room, stole a few hours of sleep and finally drove the short four hours home. Total travel time from Indianapolis airport to my front door: approximately 20 hours. Not how I planned it. When I talk to the sales guys they tell me this is “no big deal”. If you were to talk to me I’d tell you it sucks.
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [April 20 2013]

ResolutionMD diagnostic imaging for Android clears FDA

MobiHealthNews: “Calgary Scientific announced this week that the US Food and Drug Administration had cleared its ResolutionMD software for diagnostic medical imaging on Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy.

Calgary Scientific claims that its ResolutionMD software, which now has six FDA clearances is the first diagnostic imaging app cleared for use on mobile devices, according to the company.

In 2012 a study at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix found that radiologists using ResolutionMD Mobile versus a traditional PACS workstation were able to access CT scans of stroke victims 24 percent faster, according to the company. Calgary Scientific says the study found its software saved an average of 11 minutes per patient. This data appears to be new as our report at the time focused on the accuracy of the diagnoses instead of the specific time to diagnosis.”

This is cools stuff. It’s also good timing. I was talking to a colleague today about where I think Android in heading in healthcare. What I see is similar to what I saw in the early days of iOS when it was just starting to gain traction in the healthcare arena.

I’ll be at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix in a couple weeks, maybe they’ll let me check it out.

Saturday morning coffee [April 6 2013]

MUG_AlienJerkySo much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

Welcome to April 2013 everyone. The year is flying by.

The coffee mug to the right comes straight from Alien Fresh Jerky in Baker, CA. Baker is small town located near the Nevada border. The population is less than a thousand people, but they do have the worlds tallest thermometer, and of course Alien Fresh Jerky. My family and I drive right past Baker, CA every time we head to Las Vegas. I’ve seen the Alien Fresh Jerky sign a hundred times, but for one reason or another had never pulled in for a visit. This time I decided to swing in and take a look. Turns out that it was a good decision. Not only did I pick up a coffee mug, but I purchased some seriously good jerky. I’m a traditional kind of guy so I stuck with the beef in two flavors: Honey Teriyaki and their Road Kill Original. Great tasting jerky. Oh, I’d recommend staying away from their “Invisible Jerky”, it just doesn’t fill you up like the others.
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [April 6 2013]

NFC medication tracking system

Well, well, well, here’s one page in my idea book that I can put a big read “X” through [December 6 2011 – Page #42]. And for all those people that told me it was a stupid idea – you know who you are – I have one word for you: Harvard. Yeah, that’s right, Harvard. It seems that some intelligent, forward thinking people over at Harvard Medical School have developed an NFC system for medication administration at the bedside.

Ah, justification. Feels good. Sorry, sometimes being petty feels good.

NFC World: “Harvard Medical School’s teaching affiliate Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has developed an NFC system aimed at making it easier for nurses to track and administer each patient’s medication.

The new bedside system uses a combination of Google Nexus 7 NFC devices, which run the new application and store details of each patient and their prescribed medications, and NFC tags attached to patient wristbands, medication packages and employee ID badges.

When administering medication, nurses use the NFC tablet to tap the tags on the patient’s wristband, on the medication and on their ID badge. The application running on the tablet then checks to see if the medication and dosage is the correct one for the patient and records which medication was administered to the patient and by whom.”


Research: Dr. Adam Landman: Near-Field Communication Technology at the Patient Bedside from BWH Public Affairs on Vimeo.

Clinical Dilemmas and a Review of Strategies to Manage Drug Shortages [article]

Here’s an interesting article in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice. The article, Clinical Dilemmas and a Review of Strategies to Manage Drug Shortages appears online ahead of print (doi: 10.1177/0897190013482332). Unfortunately you’ll hit a paywall, so if you don’t have a subscription all you’ll get is the abstract.

That’s unfortunate because according to the article “The expanded phased approach outlined here [in the article] provides a consistent, systematic approach for the management of drug shortages“. You would think they’d want everyone to know about the expanded phased approach due to the “health care crisis” created by drug shortages. Just sayin’.

Objective: The objectives of this article are to review the clinical implications of drug shortages highlighting patient safety, sedation, and oncology and introduce an expanded phase approach for the management of drug shortages. Data Sources: Literature retrieval was accessed through a PubMed search of English-language sources from January 1990 through April 2012 using the medical subject heading pharmaceutical preparations/supply and distribution and the general search term drug shortages. Study Selection and Data Extraction: All original prospective and retrospective studies, peer-reviewed guidelines, consensus statements, and review articles were evaluated for inclusion. Relevance was determined considering the therapeutic class, focus on drug shortages, and manuscript type. Data Synthesis: The increased number of drug shortages has created significant challenges for health care providers. Two particularly vulnerable populations are critically ill and oncology patients. A lack of therapeutic alternatives in critically ill patients may impact patient safety as well as treatment outcomes. Similarly, a chemotherapy agent in short supply may contribute to adverse outcomes in oncology patients. Conclusions: The mounting number of drug shortages has created a health care crisis, requiring changes in management strategies as well as clinical practice. The expanded phased approach outlined here provides a consistent, systematic approach for the management of drug shortages.

Gamification for medication compliance: Mango Health

mango-health1GigaOM: “Mango Health, founded by former executives from mobile gaming company ngmoco, is using game mechanics to get people to be more conscientious about managing their health.

Mango Health… believes that by combining game mechanics with an intuitive, fun design and useful features, they can keep patients on track. Since August, the company has been beta testing the app with a small set of users, but on Tuesday it said it had launched in the app store.

The app offers several tools, including a simple way to check for medication interactions and timed reminders to take your meds. The app’s colorful, clean design is more inviting than many health apps on the market. But the real trick to getting people to stay hooked is a reward system. Each day, users have the opportunity to earn 10 points for letting the app know that they took their medication. Over time, those points can be redeemed for perks like Target gift cards and charity donations.”

Details at the Mango Health website are a bit sketchy, and I couldn’t locate a video of the app in action.

Mango Health is available only for the iPhone, which is a bit of a bummer.

What report service/software does your pharmacy use?

I wrote about Pandora back in December 2009. It was a great piece of software back in the day.

I remember a time when nearly everyone in pharmacy that used Pyxis ADC’s to control their medication distribution at nursing units also used Pandora to generate reports, look at data, and detect controlled substance diversion. The two simply went hand in hand. If you had Pyxis, you used Pandora.

Pandora was acquired by Omnicell a few years ago, and since that time it’s popularity appears to have declined. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but it sure feels that way. I talk to a lot of pharmacy personnel, and recently it appears that pharmacies are starting to use solutions other than Pandora.

Carefusion’s Knowledge Portal seems to be a popular response these days when I question people about their metrics, reports and analytics. I suppose that makes sense when you consider that a majority of hospitals in the U.S. use Pyxis ADC’s, which we all know are made by Carefusion.

Perhaps the acquisition of Pandora by Omnicell had something to do with it. Maybe my cross section is skewed. Who knows. This will be something that I will pay close attention to over the next several months. I’ll think I’ll add this to my list of standard questions when I visit pharmacies.

Data is important, and becoming more important by the day. Whoever has the best solution wins.