Saturday morning coffee [December 13 2014]

“A doctor who works without error is not a genius. He is a liar.” ~unknown

So much happens each and every week, and 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 Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 remained #1 at the box office last weekend. Don’t expect the same next week. With the holiday movie season upon us, we should see new names appearing at the top of the list. Exodus arrives in the box office this weekend. While I have no interest in seeing Christian Bale in anything since he ruined batman for me, plenty of people will be happy to line up and throw their money at his new film. .

7 Gifts for the Adorably Obnoxious Coffee Snob: “Coffee connoisseurship has reached epic levels in the past few years, and we all seem to know someone who is just never content with a no-frills cheap coffee…I’m here to guide you toward some lovely, useful gifts for the coffee snob in your life.” – I’m certainly not a coffee snob, but I do like coffee. There are a few things on the list worth looking at, namely the Kalita Wave for doing your own pour-overs, and a thermal carafe. I’ve added both to my Christmas list. (via: Gizmodo)

Medscape: “It’s unclear, however, whether many of these newly eligible institutions are using revenues from 340B drug discounts to help needy patients. One report from the healthcare advisory firm Avalere Health found that a minority of 340B-eligible hospitals today (20%) appear to shoulder the bulk of the charity care (80%) delivered by all eligible hospitals, and that 69% of covered hospitals provide charity care rates below the 3.3% national average for all hospitals.Perhaps most worrying, however, is a 2014 report from the Office of Inspector General that uncovered many eligible entities that are failing to pass on 340B discounts to their uninsured patients.” – The 340B drug pricing program was designed to help hospitals servicing large populations of poor, indigent patients. As with all good things, many companies have seen it as an opportunity to make a lot of money. They continue to play in a moral gray area, which will ultimately lead to the program losing funding. In the end it will be the patients that are hurt by corporate greed. It’s a shame that people simply can’t “do the right thing”.

Mashable: “NFL owners unanimously approved the new set of rules and procedures. The biggest change is that disciplinary decisions can no longer solely be made by Goodell…The new policy says a committee of nine franchise owners will oversee conduct matters and that a “special counsel” appointed by the league will take the lead on disciplinary matters.” – I’ve heard a lot of talk this week about the new policy. It remains to be seen whether or not it will provide more consistent handling of disciplinary issues, or if it’s simply a smokescreen to get the media off the commissioners back.

This is disturbing for many reasons: “A pharmacy worker at an Oregon hospital mistakenly gave a patient the wrong medication, and the error led to the patient’s death. St. Charles Medical Center officials stated the pharmacy worker filled an IV bag with rocuronium instead of fosphenytoin…The prescription was entered correctly into the electronic medical records system, and the pharmacy received the correct medication order….The IV bag was also labeled properly.” – Rocuronium is a paralytic. It would be terrifying to receive a paralytic if you were awake and alert. The drug paralyzes you, but your other senses remain intact. There are any number of currently available technologies that could have prevented this error. As I’ve said many time before, the i.v. room in pharmacies is one of the most dangerous areas in a hospital. Unfortunately they remain the most underserved in terms of safety and technology. That’s a bad combination. (via: Pharmacy Times)

Here’s an interesting slide deck from Dr. Heather Leslie: CODING IN THE ‘REAL WORLD’. I’ve had some great discussions with Dr. Leslie. Her work is fascinating, and has tremendous application in healthcare. Enjoy!

Telemedicine seems to be gaining in popularity, but not necessarily in benefits seen. A recent article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that “Home telemonitoring did not reduce the number of patients’ HF-related hospital days and did not improve the patients’ clinical condition. Patients in the telemonitoring group contacted the Cardiology Outpatient Clinic more frequently, and on this way increased the use of health care resources.” That would be the exact opposite of what you’d hope for. As with most tools, telemedicine isn’t going to work in every situation. The trick will be to find where it does work.

A group researchers have developed a polymer designed to mimic the elastic and high-resolution sensory capabilities of real skin. “The polymer is infused with dense networks of sensors made of ultrathin gold and silicon. The normally brittle silicon is configured in serpentine shapes that can elongate to allow for stretchability….What’s more, the researchers tuned the sensors to have the right stretching ranges depending where on a hand they’d be located.” That’s pretty amazing. (via: MIT Technology Review)

I’ve been singing the praises of Microsoft OneNote for a long time. It’s hard to explain why OneNote is so great,  so I’ve included the video below to help explain. The guy is using a Mac, so it’s not as good as it can be, but he does a pretty good job explaining things at a basic level.

When Facebook purchased Instagram the internet was lit up with people preaching to demise of Instagram. “Facebook is going to kill Instagram.” “I’ll give it a year.” Oh, how the naysayers are eating crow. According to the Wall Street Journal “Acquired for $1 billion in 2012, Instagram said Wednesday it added 100 million users since March, pushing its base to 300 million monthly active users. That’s more than Twitter, which reported an average of 284 million monthly active users in the quarter ended Sept. 30.” Hmm, doesn’t sound dead to me. I’m not sure where all the hatred for Facebook comes from, but it’s deep-seated in many. Facebook is a tremendous accomplishment in my opinion. I use it for what it is and see it as a model for healthcare. You don’t have to look far to find companies in the world more deserving of our hatred.

This is brilliant: “Leveraging Synaptics’ fingerprint ID technology, SecurePad is the first solution to be integrated directly into the TouchPad, delivering high level security without sacrificing any convenience for the consumer, while also eliminating the need for OEMs to implement duplicate hardware components, simplifying the supply chain and reducing manufacturing cost and complexity.” (via: Yahoo! Finance). There’s a great article by Patrick Moorhead in Forbes in you’re interested in hearing more.

And just for fun, how about Online Spirograph. Seriously. It’s pretty cool. If you’re my age I know you remember doing this as a kid. Spirograph was one of many ways we entertained ourselves when we were young. Yes, that’s my doodle in the image below.


And I leave you with a little Evil Stewie. Have a great weekend everyone.

2 thoughts on “Saturday morning coffee [December 13 2014]”

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