Back it up, sir. Back it up.

When it comes to backing up data I feel a little like the Featherduster in Beauty and the Beast when she says [to Lumiere]…”I’ve been burnt by you before!”

I have several back-up solutions that I use based on my location. My primary machine at work is a Dell Latitude D520. I prefer a laptop for many reasons and do not have a desktop machine at work. My data is automatically backed up to the network. Because I’ve lived through a couple of hard drive (HD) melt downs, I like to keep an up to date image of my laptop around just in case. A Maxtor OneTouch 4 Plus 1 TB drive with Norton Ghost does the trick. I get a complete image of my laptop every Thursday at 4:00pm.
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Innovations ’09

Siemens Innovations ’09 is being held in the “City of Brotherly Love” this year (i.e. Philadelphia). I received the registration packet in the mail just a few of hours ago. A lot of great minds gather at this meeting to discuss many timely topics. I highly recommend attending. I attended the meeting last year in Las Vegas, NV and picked up some great tips on how to make our pharmacy system run smarter and more efficiently.

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iPhone as a mobile healthcare device?“A community medical center near Philadelphia, Doylestown Hospital relies on a mobile workforce of 360 independent physicians to provide a highly responsive healing environment for thousands of patients. Those physicians stay connected 24/7 to colleagues and hospital staff with their first responder: Apple iPhone 3G. With iPhone, doctors get access to patients’ vital stats, medical reference applications, and breaking health alerts to provide collaborative and efficient patient care.” The article goes on to describe how the iPhone has physicians linked to the hospital’s exchange server and also allows them access to the hospital’s electronic medical records system (MEDITECH Client/Server 6.0) via the phone’s Safari browser. The mobile access certainly doesn’t have to be from an iPhone, but the popularity of the device has certainly sent creative minds in the right direction.

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Tablet recognition for safe dispensing…why not?

I recently spied a Twitter post regarding a “pill geometry” database. The idea of a database that houses the geometry of prescription tablets piqued my interest and sent my brain into overdrive. I don’t think that was the intention of the Twitter post, but it jump started by brain nonetheless.
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Safest and most efficient distribution model “The findings of this analysis demonstrated that in a decentralized medication distribution model, as the percentage of medications in an automated dispensing cabinet (ADC) is increased, there is a direct correlation with:

  1. Decreased time to initial dose
  2. Decreased missing doses
  3. Decreased pharmacist and pharmacy technician labor
  4. Decreased non value added nursing activities
  5. Increased predictability

This is no surprise as many leaders in the pharmacy world have been trying to move to a decentralized distribution model for years. The biggest roadblock thus far has been cost and lack of automation. As automation improves and becomes more available and less costly, the decentralized scenario becomes more and more likely.

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First AGPS-Enabled Asthma Inhaler for Landmark Research Program “US-based GPS product design firm, SiliconSky GPS, designs and develops a GPS-enabled asthma inhaler that will help a cutting edge epidemiology researcher to better understand asthma triggers. Our client needed the medical device to be compact enough for convenient daily use. To achieve that end, it took efficient circuit design and meticulous 3D modeling to fit the electronics, battery and antennae into a package the size of a Zippo lighter.” The use of technology to gather important data during studies is not only practical, but an important concept that can be extended to issues surrounding medication compliance in general.

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Cool Pharmacy Technology


Thin clients are computers that depend on a centralized server for processing power. They are simple devices that typically contain only the most basic hardware, and frequently do not contain a hard drive. Thin clients essentially serve as the interface to the server.

Thin clients are mostly inexpensive compared to traditional desktop PCs, and offer easier management and security secondary to their connection based on a singular source.

Our facility has plans to utilize the Dell thin client as a major component of our bedside barcode scanning system. Thin clients will be attached to monitor, keyboard, mouse and scanner creating a complete scanning solution in each patient room. The result is a simple, low maintenance platform.

I wouldn’t want to use a thin client computer as my primary work machine. I like to customize my work environment and they lack the flexibility. They are, however perfect when a secure, inexpensive solution is needed for use in high trafic areas like hospital wards.

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Pharmacists aren’t completely worthless after all.

An article in the most recent issue of Archives of Internal Medicine reports the results of adding a pharmacist to a health care team to offer up expertise on appropriate use of medication in heart failure and hypertension.

The results showed a 35% reduction in adverse drug events, a 48% reduction in preventable adverse drug events and a 37% reduction in medication errors. They did not analyze the economic impact. However, medication errors occur in at least 1.5 million people annually and add somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.5 billion a year to the cost of healthcare.

Now, about that raise….

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Digital Medicine Article in Business Week

A Business Week article this week took a look at the current state of electronic medical records (EMRs) and technology in healthcare. The author managed to deliver a mixed message without clearly differentiating between electronic medical records and patient safety issues. The article clearly focuses on the negative.
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CDC Recommendations for the Treatment of Swine Flu

The questions are being asked. Get the answers here.

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