Saturday morning coffee [November 23 2013]

“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” ― Leo Tolstoy, A Confession

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….

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Thor was #1 at the box office again last weekend. Don’t expect it to be in the same spot next week. By all accounts The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will easily knock Thor from the #1 spot.

Before I decided to lose a bunch of weight a few years again I used to drink a lot of Café Mochas from Starbucks. Have you ever looked at the nutritional value for one of those bad boys? I always ordered whole milk and whipped cream. Totals for a 20 oz. Venti: 450 calories, 23g Fat, 55g Carbohydrates (45g Sugar), and 17g Protein. Ouch! Compare that to my occasional indulgence these days, i.e. a 20 oz. Venti Skinny Mocha about once a week: 180 calories, 2g Fat, 23g Carbohydrates (19g Sugar), and 18g Protein. What a difference.

Speaking of nutritional information, have you seen the new interactive McDonald’s Menu? It’s really well done. In my opinion McDonald’s tends to get a undeserved bad wrap for their food. No one forces people to eat a Quarter Pounder with cheese every day of the week. I rather like their Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken: 230 calories, 9g Fat, 10g Carbohydrates, and 30g Protein. The Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing adds less than 50 additional calories. I think that’s a great meal. In fact I’ve had it many, many times over the past few years.

Why pharmacy continues to fail reigns supreme as the #1 visited blog post on my website over the past week.

Just in time for the second installment of The Hobbit, Google Chrome and Warner Bros. have launched a site where you can explore Middle Earth. Yeah, it’s cool.

MiddleEarth

I was finally able to play with my new Moto X last night. The phone arrived on Tuesday, but I was out of town working. I’ve only had a few hours to play with the device, but suffice it to say the Moto X is a cool little smartphone. I love all the new features. I’m 100% satisfied with my decision to purchase one.

Medium: “Health authorities have struggled to convince the public that this is a crisis. In September, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued a blunt warning: “If we’re not careful, we will soon be in a post-antibiotic era. For some patients and some microbes, we are already there.”” – This was a thoughtful read. It brings up some scary things for one to think about. Having been an ICU pharmacist for several years I can tell you that there are some scary infections out there. How do we combat this potential for disaster? I don’t know that you can, to be perfectly honest. We’ve failed to respect the enormity of this problem for the better part of the last decade, and I think we’ll eventually pay for it.

Here’s a great example of a headline suckering someone in looking for information that’s simply not there. According to Pharmacy Times (PT) “In this video, Joe Moose, PharmD, Pharmacist Manager at Moose Pharmacy in Concord, North Carolina, discusses how his pharmacy has used technology to monitor medication adherence and to demonstrate to patients and physicians how big a problem it can be.” – Yeah, not so much. Details! I need details. Show the software. Show the dashboard. Show examples of where this has helped improve care. That was lame PT, really lame. There’s two and a half minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

Google Glass is a hot topic right now. For reasons unknown the device has resonated well in the healthcare community and has quickly become something that everyone from surgeons to bedside nurses are deeply interested in; not pharmacists though, they’re still caught up in how to “get the internet on their phones”. If ever there was a backwoods redneck discipline in healthcare technology, pharmacy would be it. I digress. One of the minor issues I’ve heard people complain about with Glass is using the side bar to navigate. There are several potential options. One such option is Remotte, a Kickstarter project that looks pretty cool. Of course the idea of adding a piece of technology to control your other piece of technology seems weird, but I can see compelling use cases.

AJHP is offering free access to Major publications in the critical care pharmacotherapy literature: February 2012 through February 2013. It’s not often that AJHP offers anything for free so go grab it while you can. PDF version can be found here.

The Institute for Safe Medical Practices (ISMP) is a great organization. ISMP is “the nation’s only…nonprofit organization devoted entirely to medication error prevention and safe medication use”. They provide a wealth of information on medication safety. While rummaging around their site this week I found the Proceedings from the ISMP Sterile Preparation Compounding Safety Summit. Worth a read.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently issued a new set of guidelines for the management of blood cholesterol. The guidelines were published in the November 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. People have been waiting on these guidelines for a while. So when people started reading those guidelines and found that the new risk assessment tool and grading system might significantly increase the number of patients who qualify for statin treatment, it was only a matter of time before a bit of controversy ensued. And ensued it has.

Still struggling with what laptop/tablet PC to buy. Tablet PC Review has a great reference lists for all the Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets and convertibles that are on the market. It appears to be up to date, and it’s very informative. Gotta’ love the internet and the people who live there.

Speaking of my tablet PC search, I’m trying desperately to get down to a single machine; minus my phone of course. Current frontrunners are the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga and the Sony VAIO Flip 13. I thought for sure the Sony was the one, but I’ve read several reviews now that have complained about the noisy fan. That could be s show stopper depending on how loud it really is. The ThinkPad Yoga is a fine alternative. The only think that makes me pause is the 12.5-inch display. I really wanted to go 13.3 this time around.

The Google Doodle for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is a cool game. You should check it out. Oh, and then there’s this:

Wired: “Recently, diagnostics company Theranos opened its first “wellness center” in a Walgreens drug store a few miles away from its Palo Alto, California headquarters to help make this [faster turnaround and more frequent and coordinated testing] happen. For the last 10 years, the company has been developing new chemistry and technologies that could make it possible to do the same clinical laboratory tests as services like Quest Diagnostics, but much more quickly, cheaply and with about one thousandth the volume of blood that’s normally taken from patients. The small volume, paired with a fast turnaround time, is the key.” – The ability to quickly “draw” labs with a drop of blood, and get the results in just a short few minutes opens up a whole new can of worms for ambulatory care pharmacists. Soon you’ll be able to put a drop of blood on a smart watch and have the results pop up in your Google Glass display. A tad bit gross, but cool.

Here are some college games worth watching this weekend:

  1. #19 Arizona State at #14 UCLA – A win for either team puts them in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12 South.
  2. #3 Baylor at #11 Oklahoma State – Baylor is a pleasant surprise. Still hate the spread offense
  3. #9 Texas A&M at #18 LSU – Dare I hope for an A&M loss? Hopeful, but doubtful.
  4. #8 Missouri at #24 Ole Miss – Always a good game

The College football venue is much better than the NFL this week. NFL games worth watching:

  1. Steelers at the Browns – Good old fashioned AFC North clash
  2. Colts at the Cardinals – A win for the Cardinals keeps them in the wildcard hunt in the NFC
  3. Broncos at the Patriots – I hate the Patriots and everything associated with the brand. Go Broncos!

Thanksgiving week is upon us. I love this time of year. It’s all about family, friends, football and food. I can assure you that I’ll be having my fill of all those on Thanksgiving Day. Somewhere there’s a whole pumpkin pie with my name on it. I hope you all do the same. Until then have a great weekend everyone.

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