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.

Presentations during the session:
The Need for Systems Integration in Health Systems: Point-of-Care Decision Support Technology for Improved Patient Care. Presented by:  Christopher Fortier, Pharm.D.

Current Examples of Systems Integration in Health Systems – Effectively Minimizing Medication Errors. Presented by: Richard D. Paoletti, M.B.A., B.S.Pharm.

Making it Happen in Your Institution: Improving Your Medication-use Process with Closed-Loop Technologies. Presented by: William W. Churchill, M.S., B.S.Pharm.

While there was a significant amount of information presented during the session, here a few of my “take-aways”:

– Integration between healthcare systems is lacking.
– One reason for lack of integration is that there are currently no best practices to successfully implement a comprehensive system; focus is mainly on individual technology implementation.
– Reporting structure for pharmacy informatics is important. What is the best structure?
– The current pharmacy practice model needs to change with changes in technology.
– Time and motion studies can be helpful when implementing new technology.
– Simplify.
– Pharmacy directors need to think big when thinking about technology and pharmacy practice.
– Pharmacy leaders need to stop putting out fires and begin developing systems for the future.
– Encourage experimentation with systems even if that means failure.
– Formation of a medication safety technology leadership team is essential; need a dedicated safety officer.
– Healthcare systems need to be designed with a central repository in mind that will provide real-time information to all systems on demand.

Following the medication-use session I had planned on attending a session on selecting robotic IV technology but changed my mind at the last minute and attended a session on E-Professionalism: The Emerging Impact of Social Media on Pharmacy instead.

The session was an interesting panel discussion on the perception of social media use by pharmacists and students. The panel consisted of a pharmacy student, a new practitioner, and the director of pharmacy at Stanford. The moderator of the session was Jeff Cain who specializes in research on social media.

It appears that employers are searching social networks for information on prospective employees. So basically you shouldn’t say anything online that you don’t want someone else to see in a negative light. In other words keep it clean, and be particularly careful with photos.

In the afternoon I attended the Ambulatory Care Informatics Networking Session. The first topic on the agenda was an update on electronic prescribing. Wow, was I out of place. Apparently I know almost nothing about technology in the ambulatory setting. I remember feeling the same way on the first day of physical chemistry as an undergrad. I looked around the room at a bunch of faces filled with interested and understanding. Unfortunately, I was thinking “I have no idea what they’re talking about”; never a good thing.

I polished off the day by spending some time with groups from Pharmacy OneSource and Talyst talking about various pharmacy and non-pharmacy related topics alike.

It was a good day to be a pharmacist at ASHP. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

2 thoughts on “Update ASHP #Midyear2009”

  1. Jerry,

    Glad you made it to our e-professionalism session. Wish I would have had a chance to meet you. I enjoy reading your blog. take care.

  2. Thanks Jeff. the session was informative and I would have liked to meet you face to face as well; next time around perhaps.

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