Saturday morning coffee [October 26 2013]

I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure characters is the only thing that can produce fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always tempts its owners irresistibly to abuse it. Can anyone imagine Moses, Jesus, or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?” – Albert Einstein

So 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….

MUG_SMC

Anyone ever heard of Tonx? “Tonx is a small team of coffee experts who believe it’s easy to make a better cup in your kitchen than you’ll get at the best cafes – and for a fraction of the cost. By sourcing the finest coffees in the world and roasting them 24-hours before shipping, you’ll have the freshest coffee delivered straight to your door. And for a limited time, get a free trial to taste for yourself.” They offer a free trial. I think I’ll give it a shot. I’m in need of a coffee change.

The New York Times: “A new study shows that the naturally caffeine-laced nectar of some plants enhances the learning process for bees, so that they are more likely to return to those flowers.” – See, it’s not just humans that fall prey to caffeine’s awesome power.

Gravity held on to its #1 spot at the box office last weekend. So far the movie has taken in more $170 million in the U.S. My wife and I finally went to see it. Meh, not sure what I expected, but it’s exactly what you might think it should be by watching a 30 second trailer.  It wasn’t a bad movie, but I wouldn’t call it a good movie either. Visually stunning, if you’re into that kind of thing. Definitely best seen on a big screen, and one of the few movies I’d recommend spending the extra cash on 3D.

The most visited post at jerryfahrni.com over the past 7 days remains Why pharmacy continues to fail. I should probably go back and rethink that post to make sure that my rationale is still up to date.

My brother and I recorded our first podcast this week. It was a lot of fun. I need to work on the intro and the exit.

Things seemed to have smoothed out a bit in my job hunt, but I am still actively looking. I’ve talked with several companies as well as sent out more than a few CV’s. I have two job interviews next week. One via phone and the other in person out of state. Wish me luck.

This week I received a very interesting response from one potential employer: “… impressed with [your] skills but I am afraid this is not the current profile we are looking for”. I always find it interesting when people feel the need to say something good before telling you to get bent. Just say no.

Apparently the healthcare.gov site has been having issues, just ask the contractors that had to appear at a congressional hearing on Friday. The government cracks me up. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) totally dropped the ball, but somehow it’s someone else’s fault. New strategy for me at work next week: when in charge, blame someone else. Hey, wait a second, that’s the strategy my bosses used at my last job. Hmm.

True/False: The best way to secure protected health information of patients is to store it on an unencrypted laptop? – My gut reaction would be false, but this continues to happen in healthcare so it must be true. Health Data Management: “AHMC Healthcare Inc. in Alhambra, Calif., has suffered a huge data breach and is notifying about 729,000 patients across its six hospitals after two unencrypted laptop computers were stolen in a burglary at an administrative office.”

Here’s another piece of consumer technology that has far reaching potential in pharmacy: Chop-Sync – “a tablet with a custom software and a scratch-proof surface designed to be used in the kitchen. In addition to functioning as a surface for slicing and dicing, the tablet includes a recipe manager, a scale and a visualizer to help you measure out (healthy) serving sizes of food, such as pasta.” (Engadget)

Financial Post: “TellSpec, is developing a laser-driven, handheld spectrometer that analyzes the food on your plate, in your fridge, or at the supermarket for chemicals, gluten, dyes, allergens, neurotoxins, moulds and bacteria. The scanner sends its findings through your smartphone to TellSpec’s cloud-based service, which examines your results and compares them to its pre-existing food database. The service then tells you what that scan found in your food, and what other scans found in the same food.” – I’ve read about this technology before, and have been meaning to get around to writing about it. Can you imagine the healthcare application for something like this? Tremendous potential.

ASHP Midyear 2013 is coming up in December. Midyear is the granddaddy of all pharmacy meetings each year. This year it will be held in Orlando, FL. Not my favorite place to visit, but I think I’m going to try to attend. So if you find yourself at Midyear give me a buzz and we’ll grab some coffee.

I had reason this week to look up some stuff on diuretic mechanism of action. Sometimes it surprises me just how much I’ve forgotten about pharmacy. I found a great chart at the McMaster Pathophysiology Review. I also found the great image below, which I have seen a thousand times in varies textbooks, articles, etc. It’s a great summary of where diuretics to their thing.

diuretic site of action

iMedicalApps: “…prior to just jumping on the bandwagon, the selection of an app addressing the nature of the non-adherence problem will need to be solved. For medical prescribers who are facing patients that are forgetful about taking their medications, there are plenty of options. However, the ones that will stand out will be the ones that possess creative ways to remind and encourage patients to take their medications, capable of handling complex dosing regimens (e.g. tapering, stop dates, and those take every X amount of time), alert caregivers and providers when patients are non-adherent, and feeds data back into a pharmacy and EHR system.” – Medication adherence is a huge issue in the U.S.; actually it’s a global issue. The problem is a central theme in many pharmacy practices. I spent quite a bit of time on adherence in my SoCal HIMSS talk back in May. Drop by iMedicalApps and read the entire article. It’s worth 10 minutes of your time.

This was a good week for tablets. Apple announced their new line of iPads: the iPad Air and the new iPad Mini. By all accounts they’re both nice tablets. Gizmodo has a quick and dirty summary if you’re interest. If that’s not enough information for you just Google it.

Not to be outdone, Nokia announced their first Windows 8 Tablet this week, the Nokia Lumia 2520. The 2520 is a nice looking Windows 8 tablet. I’m a little surprised that Nokia decided to build a tablet around Windows RT. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on one. I’ve always liked the look and feel of the Nokia line of Windows Phone, and I’m hoping that their new tablet is similar. If you’re interested is seeing how the Lumia 2520 stacks up against Surface 2 – the only other Windows RT tablet on the market – just hope over to CNET where they have a pretty decent comparison.

The first BCS rankings came out last Sunday, October 20, 2013. No surprise that Alabama is sitting at the top with Florida State at #2 and Oregon at #3. A lot of people have issue with the BCS, but I really don’t. For the most part they tend to get it right. Each year people stand on the rooftops and scream about how crappy the BCS is, but in the end it always seems to work itself out.

Speaking of the BCS rankings, our very own Fresno State is sitting at #17. That’s very exciting for much of the Central Valley. It’s not often that we get to see the Bulldogs in such a lofty position.

Last week UCLA suffered a demoralizing loss to Stanford. I wasn’t able to attend the game, but my family and I did make the trip North to see my oldest daughter, Josslyn. She had some free time after her UCLA cheering duties to spend some time with us. We had dinner at the Yard House in San Jose and just chilled out for a few hours. It was nice. UCLA has their hands full today with Oregon. I’m pulling for UCLA, but honestly don’t hold out much hope. Oregon is a scoring machine. Don’t expect a whole lot of defense in that game. Actually, don’t expect to see much defense at all in any of the college games this week. Good defense has gone the way of the dinosaurs, i.e. extinct.

Watching Texas A&M go up in a giant ball of flames last week warmed my heart. Is that wrong?

Games worth watching today: Texas at Alabama (‘Bama stays #1 until someone knocks them out), UCLA at Oregon (if Oregon wins this the PAC-12 is all but decided), South Carolina at Missouri (Missouri is a pleasant surprise, and I hate South Carolina), and finally Texas Tech at Oklahoma (remember when Oklahoma was a running powerhouse? Not anymore).

Have a great weekend everyone.

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