“What’d I miss?” – Week of July 13

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.

Bruno was #1 at the box office last weekend. I can already give you results for next week, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. “Potter” brought in just over $22 million on opening night.

Florence dot com (Barbara Olson) offered an interesting look at how the medication use system resembles a bunch of train cars linked together. According to the blog “medication error literature suggests that errors originating in the prescribing car account for about 40% of all errors and represent 28% of harm-causing errors.” Many of these errors get caught by pharmacists and never reach the patient, but several errors still manage to squeeze through the cracks. CPOE is introduced as one possible means to reducing the number of errors reaching the pharmacy. This in turn reduces the number of errors that get through the cracks. Barbara goes on to give a great synopsis of information that should be included on each and every prescription (i.e. drug, dose, route, frequency, indication, etc,).

– Pharmacy Technology Resources (PTR) takes a look at how independent pharmacy can stay competitive in an ever changing market place. I remember working for a compounding pharmacy in San Jose during the first few years of my career. Their specialization in compounding, specifically veterinarian compounding, allowed them to not only stay alive, but thrive in an area ruled by large chain pharmacies. I loved working at that little compounding pharmacy. It still ranks as one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.

– It appears that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery isn’t such a good thing after all. A recent article in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy states that “the use of NRT in a postoperative CABG surgery population resulted in a significant increase in mortality when adjusted for baseline characteristics.” Of course, the article was the result of a small retrospective study in a 22-bed cardiothoracic surgery ICU. Still, it’s worth taking note of the information.

-A recent article in JAMA suggests that the use of corticosteroids in severe sepsis may reduce short-term mortality [again]. Treatment with steroids appeared to increase the reversal of shock and reduce ICU stay without significantly increasing complications. Corticosteroid use in severe sepsis has been a hot topic since I graduated from pharmacy school. Opinion changes every few years. For now, it appears we have a green light for use. Who knows what developments will spring to life next week?

The Angry Pharmacist talks about how pharmacy has turned into a profession fighting with everyone, including patients, doctors, insurance companies, other pharmacies and technology. The blog is an interesting and slightly entertaining read, but not for the faint of heart.

Life in the Fast Lane offers some great advice on how to handle information overload. Tips include using a feed aggregator to pull all your information to a single location, going mobile with smartphones and podcasts, and my favorite piece of advice, “relax”.

– Hoping to improve census data, India plans to fit every citizen with a biometirc ID card containing all sorts of personal data. Really? That’s over one billion biometic ID cards. Good luck.

Apple is at it again as they have filed patent applications for object and facial recognition on the iPhone. What will they think of next? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to what ever it is.

– The Mac tablet rumor generated lots of interest around the “tablet” form factor this week. Because I love the idea of “tablets”, I thought I would provide links to articles I found interesting this week:
1. Matt Miller: Can Apple Make Tablets Viable?
2. ‘ReiterPad’ Beats CrunchPad, Apple Tablet
3. Entelligence: Why the pen isn’t mightier than the keyboard
4. Motion Extends Superior Display Technology to the C5 and F5
5. GBM InkShow: Motion Computing J3400 vs Fujitsu ST6012 Head to Head
6. Apple Tablet to have PA Semi Chip? Two processor teams at Apple?

Have a great weekend everyone.

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