Personal vesus professional social media, where’s the line for you?

Earlier this week @ASHPOfficial tweeted “Where should pharmacists draw the line at social networking? Protect your professional reputation and get tips for safety and privacy in the Summer issue of ASHP InterSections.”  The tweet included a link that took me to Facebook where I found another link to an article in ASHP Intersections Summer 2010 about pharmacy and social media; nothing unusual about that. I’ve read the article before and it contains some pretty good information. With that said, I did find it odd that ASHP was pointing pharmacists toward Facebook to retrieve professional information. It got me thinking about Facebook and where the professional line-in-the-sand between professional and personal social media should be drawn for pharmacists.
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What type of techie are you?

Technology is a funny thing. It’s as diverse as it is interesting. Like many other disciplines, the field of pharmacy technology offers a host of options for pretty much every taste. And not everyone considers all types of pharmacy technology interesting, which has become abundantly clear to me as I continue to meet more professionals in my field.

My opinions on certain key pharmacy and automation technologies are clearly in conflict with many of my friends and colleagues. It’s an odd thing being in the minority and it can drive someone to think their ideas are wrong. However, after serious consideration I realized that the main difference between many of my colleagues and myself is that I tend to be drawn toward hardware based technology while they are drawn toward software technology and regulatory affairs. While it’s true that I like playing with certain types of software, in general it doesn’t have much to offer. Thinking about how to make a piece of software easier to use might be interesting, but if you really think about it that is a gray area between software and hardware, i.e. user interface not necessarily software functionality. That’s probably some type of human engineering discipline to be sure, but I don’t have an official term. And let’s face it, regulatory affairs is simply boring. It’s a necessary evil in healthcare as every governmental agency thinks they need to regulate pharmacy and medicine with more rules then you can shake a stick at, but there really isn’t a while lot you can do with it besides learn it and use it.
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A little Saturday morning fun with Wordle

Wordle is a neat little online application that allows you to make word clouds. All you do is enter a bunch of words or the URL to your favorite site and boom, you get a fancy word cloud to call your own.  The word clouds change every time you do it, but every once in a while you get a keeper. I just think it’s cool.
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Hey, I’m a year old today!

This blog was started one year ago today. During that time I’ve learned a great deal about a great many things and have met some incredibly interesting people along the way. The site doesn’t generate much traffic, which just goes to show you that pharmacists are an interesting group that rarely crawl out of their comfort zone. To date not a single pharmacist that I work with is even aware that this blog exists. I’ve had one nurse and one person from the Quality Assurance department at Kaweah reach out to me about something I’ve posted, but that’s it; funny.
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Monday morning musings

For some, weekends are a good time to sit around and relax. I tend to do that in the early morning hours of the weekends because the house is quiet and it doesn’t take away from any of the activities that happen during the “normal hours”. It gives me time to catch up on things that I like to do; surf the net and read articles.
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Year end thoughts for 2009

2009 brought many new and exciting changes not only in my personal life, but in the world of pharmacy and technology as well. I’ve learned many new things, gained some skills previously absent from my armamentarium, met some great new people, discovered the “real” internet for the first time, traveled more than ever before, discovered I don’t know diddly squat about a great many things, and am more excited about the next year than I can remember in recent history.

Below is a list of opinions about a great many things that I have seen and done over the past year. Some are pharmacy related, some are technology related, some are personal, and some are just random thoughts.
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Update ASHP #Midyear2009

Today was a good day for informatics at ASHP Midyear.

Pharmacy 2.0: How the Web is Changing How We Practice
This was a great session moderated by John Poikonen (@poikonen), PharmD or John defined Pharmacy 2.0 as the combination of ASHP’s practice model, participatory medicine, health reform, and self-reform, i.e. changing the way you work. In an interesting move Poikonen asked the audience how many of them were familiar with the term “hashtag” and mentioned the use of #Midyear2009 as a way to follow the meeting on Twitter. Unfortunately very few pharmacists raised their hand to acknowledge the term. I wish we had a way to quantify the number, but it was only 10-20 in a crowd of a couple hundred. It’s obvious that the crowd had an interest in the subject by their presence, but as I already suspected pharmacy has a long way to go before we can be considered tech savvy.

Todd Eury (@toddeury) of Pharmacy Technology Resources and Pharmacy Web 2.0 presented on “Healthcare System Communications Evolution: Pharmacy and Web 2.0”. In his presentation he introduced many of the most commonly used social media available today; specifically LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. He did an excellent job of defining their role in pharmacy practice and communicating not only their benefits, but pitfalls as well. One thing of particular interest in Eury’s presentation was the need to monitor your online reputation and occasionally “Google yourself”. Try it; you’ll be surprised at what you find.

Kevin Clauson (@kevinclauson), PharmD of Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy presented “A Pharmacist’s Web 2.0 Toolkit for Information Management.” He covered the use of RSS Readers, like Google Reader, PeRSSonalized, and Clinical Reader, as well as Twitter and Evernote as a way for pharmacists to keep up with the ever changing world of information that we have to digest and assimilate. I consider myself pretty well versed in the ways of the web, but Kevin offered up some great pearls of wisdom that I can immediately put into practice.

The final segment of the Pharmacy 2.0 session was a video presentation by Dr. Daniel Sands (@drdannysands) in which he spoke about physician’s use of social media and the web to communicate with his patients. He also covered ways that patients can get involved in their own healthcare through the use of online societies specific to their condition. Dr. Sands spent several minutes in the video interviewing physicians in his own practice about their views on social media and its impact on their relationship with patients. Not surprising some physicians spoke positively about the technology, while others were not so flattering.

Pharmacy Informatics Education Networking Session
This session offered up some of the most interactive discussion that I’ve been involved with during my time here at Midyear. The discussion centered on what informatics education standards should be for pharmacy students and how that should translate into a “qualified informatics pharmacist”. It was interesting to see the difference in opinions from pharmacist to pharmacist. While I won’t go into exactly what was covered I think everyone in that room needs to remember that pharmacists are highly educated clinicians that deserve to practice informatics at that same level. A <insert title here; clinical informaticist, Informatics pharmacist, pharmacy informaticist, clinical informatics pharmacist, medication management informaticist> should not be the guy sitting in a cubicle writing reports day in and day out, or the guy that has to edit each line item in the pharmacy information system because “G” should be “GM”. The <insert title here> should be the individual involved in making sure that systems are designed to include pharmacy workflow, that the reports being written provide the necessary information to be clinically relavent, that current clinical standards are adhered to during implementation of new systems, be the representative at the table during discussions of integration and interoperability of hospital systems, etc. Pharmacy informatics is a young discipline and a step in the wrong direction can harm the profession for years to come.

Informatics Bytes 2009: Pearls of Informatics
This session, which is still going on, has a little bit of everything when it comes to pharmacy informatics and patient safety. They announced that the session would be recorded. Maybe they’ll even create a podcast out of it; one can only hope.

Update ASHP #Midyear2009

The first, and most interesting, session I attended today was “Integrating Technology to Improve Medication-Use Patient Safety”. The session was sponsored by Hospira and consisted of three separate speakers covering areas of the medication–use process where breakdowns typically occur. The focus was on closed-loop medication administration. I’m sure there are different opinions on what closed-loop medication administration is, but for our purposes it consists of orders from the time written until the medication is administered to the patient. Many technologies were discussed, including computerized provider order entry (CPOE), bar code medication administration (BCMA), intelligent infusion devices (IIDs), and electronic medication records (EMRs) among others.
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Twitter vs. RSS Reader … who cares.

I’ve been following an interesting debate about the benefits of Twitter versus RSS readers like Google Reader. The debate started with a question posed by Robert Scoble on friendfeed and spilled over into several blogs; siliconANGLE,, Scobleizer and Newsome.Org.

I love reading stuff like this because you can see the passion that everyone has for their little corner of the technology world. It’s even more interesting when you consider that it’s a completely personal choice. Boxers or briefs, who gives a crap as long as you’re comfortable.
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