New medical tablet from Sanwell offers RFID, barcode scanner

Samwell has introduced a tablet PC designed specifically for the medical industry. The tablet is dubbed the MCA9 and offers a 1.6GHz Atom processor, a two megapixel camera, a RFID reader and optional bar code scanner, and an 8.9-inch TFT-LCD touch screen that is readable in sunlight.

According to Samwell: “designed for medical application, the ability for data capture, record and transmission is highly valued. The built-in 2-megapixel camera is centrally mounted on the backside. The 1D/2D Barcode Scanner and 13.56 RFID reader support electronic medication administration records, reliable patient identification, and medical tracking.”

I’m skeptical of tablets with built in bar code scanners designed for “medical application”. The Motion Computing C5 tablet has a similar design. Our facility trialed a C5 tablet earlier this year and nurses found it difficult to use and too heavy to carry for extended periods. The two megapixel camera and small screen may also present a problem for documentation and viewing patient data.

Cool Technology for Pharmacy

This weeks cool technology comes by way of a comment left at in response to a recent post I wrote on smartphones and pharmacy practice.

The author of the comment, @pillguy, is an iPhone fanboy and pharmacy technology guru.

@pillguy:  “The iPhone certainly has some promising applications related to EHRs. Airstrip is one of the coolest I have seen.

The smartphone takes PDAs to the next level with access to realtime information. I can see a TheraDoc, Pharmacy OneSource, or Zynx type clinical monitoring/alerting app fit in with the Airstrip suite nicely.”
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The 10,000-hour rule to becoming an expert

Non-Clinical Medical Jobs: “According to this article on “It takes 10,000 hours of dedicated effort to become an expert performer in any field.”

Dan Coughlin from The Coughlin Company attributes the conclusion above to the best-selling books “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell and “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin as well as the new hit TV comedy series, Modern Family. Dan writes about his personal experiences as a consultant for 12 years and he says: “From these sources as well as my own 12 years of consulting work, I have found that the key to great performance can be summarized in three words: thought-filled practice. That comprises executing a simulation of the actual performance while consciously observing the outcome.” Dan outlines the following “six steps of thought-filled practice:”

• Select a role for which you have passion and strengths.
• Identify the five critical aspects of that role.
• Create simulations of the actual performance that let you focus on improving one or more of the role’s critical aspects.
• Gain relevant, timely feedback on the simulated performance from a skilled observer .
• Consider the feedback and make adjustments.
• Repeat steps three to five for 10,000 hours.”

Bummer, I’m about 8,000 hours shy of becoming an expert in my field. Guess I have some work to do.

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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Are smartphones a viable platform for pharmacy practice?

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of tablet PCs. In fact, I can’t imagine life without one. The reason why acute care pharmacists haven’t adopted the tablet PC platform escapes me. My complete opinion on the matter can be found here.

With the growing need for real-time access to patient data it no longer makes sense to be anchored to a desktop PC at the point-of-care. Couple this with the rapid growth of portable technology and you have a rare opportunity to develop a mobile pharmacy practice in the acute care setting. Whether that model will utilize tablet PCs, UMPCs, WebStations, netbooks or other mobile device remains to be seen.
Continue reading Are smartphones a viable platform for pharmacy practice?

Top 10 most read CE activities for Pharmacists in 2009

MedscapeCME/CE has compiled a list of the top 10 most read CE activities by Pharmacists in 2009.

1. Avoiding Medication Errors in Psychiatry – 1.00 knowledge-based ACPE (0.100 CEUs)

2. Avoiding Errors Associated With Insulin Therapy – 1.25 knowledge-based ACPE (0.125 CEUs)

3. FAQs in the Modern Management of Gout – 1.00 knowledge-based ACPE (0.100 CEUs)

4. Fast Facts in Gout – 1.00 knowledge-based ACPE (0.100 CEUs)

5. A Home-Bound 65-Year-Old Woman With Chronic Constipation – 1.50 knowledge-based ACPE (0.150 CEUs)

6. Special Considerations for Potential Adverse Drug Events and Medication Errors in the Pediatric Population – 1.25 knowledge-based ACPE (0.125 CEUs)

7. Evaluation and Treatment of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation – 1.00 knowledge-based ACPE (0.100 CEUs)

8. Implementing Changing Guidelines on Adult Immunizations: An Expert Interview With Gregory A. Poland, MD, MACP – 0.50 knowledge-based ACPE (0.050 CEUs)

9. Managing MRSA in the Community Practice Setting – 0.50 knowledge-based ACPE (0.050 CEUs)

10. The Science of Acid Control — Therapeutic Implications – 0.50 knowledge-based ACPE (0.050 CEUs)

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Dual screen laptops are pretty cool

When I first heard of the concept of a dual screen laptop my initial thought was that it was a ridiculous idea. Then I spent a little time researching the product and have changed opinion. Now I’d like to put my hands on one.

The Kohjinsha DZ dual-screen laptop is much smaller then I expected, which is a good thing. The device offers two 10.1” screens, giving you some nice screen real estate when both are open. Additional features include biometric fingerprint identification, 1.3 megapixel webcam, up to 4 GB RAM, built in wireless, a 3-in-1 media slot and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Continue reading Dual screen laptops are pretty cool

“What’d I miss?” – Week of December 20th

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.
Continue reading “What’d I miss?” – Week of December 20th

Merry Christmas

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch of their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:8-11

Cool Technology for Pharmacy

Pandora Data Systems (PDS) is a company that, in the past, has designed software solutions to take information from automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs) like Pyxis, store it, manipulated it, run queries against it and produce reports that allow pharmacy departments to view medication usage trends; including trends to identify diversion.PDS now appears to be expanding their role with the introduction of PandoraVIA.

PandoraVIA is the next generation of data crunching software from the company. According to the PDS website “PandoraVIA is the new, full-featured reporting system from Pandora Data Systems. It’s designed to be a highly scalable and affordable platform built with Microsoft’s latest technologies. These technologies take the full functionality from our Pandora (Legacy Edition) and PandoraSQL products and move them to the next level.”

The new software framework is designed to accommodate various modules depending on the needs of the customer. The system currently supports Pyxis, AcuDose, Omnicell, MedDispense and Cerner. However, after spending some time with the Pandora representatives at AHSP Midyear they informed me that their new system could add custom data from almost any source based on need.

PandoraVIA utilizes XML, SOAP, and WSDL to meet the needs of the healthcare system, and is capable of a host of reports that can be exported in a variety of formats.

A system that can aggregate data from many different sources offers real value to many healthcare disciplines, especially pharmacy which is often driven by data. Data mining is important, but not always easy because of the myriad of systems utilized and the general poor quality of integration. In addition, many IT departments aren’t equipped with the necessary resources to handle a project of this magnitude; believe me, I’ve tried.

Data I would like pulled into such a system include our Alaris Smart Pump data, our pharmacy information system (Siemens Pharmacy) data, our automated dispensing cabinet (Pyxis) data, our carousel, packaging and inventory control (Talyst) data, and our bar code medication administration data. Aggregate data from these systems could be mined for an infinite number of possible trends and uses.

Posted via email from fahrni’s posterous