“What’d I miss?” – Week of October 24, 2010

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.

  • Paranormal Activity 2 was #1 at the box office last weekend. It’s not my kind of movie so I won’t be seeing it. I see movies to be entertained, not to be scared, grossed out or depressed. So last weekend my family and I took in Life As We Know It.
  • There’s a video on YouTube showing a much longer demonstration of the BlackBerry PlayBook. In my opinion the most impressive thing about the PlayBook demonstration is the card-type application management borrowed from the webOS. You get a peek of what I’m talking about at about 1:15 into the video and again at about 3:00. I thought about this type of interface for a project I recently worked on. It would be perfect.

  • A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the post “Fired for Blog Post” at RxInformatics.com. Revisiting the post I found the following user comment posted on October 28: “You’ve articulated issues with ASHP’s power structure that I’ve seen personally in the past. In 1991, I turned down a job with ASHP in Bethesda because as an employee for ASHP, I would be PROHIBITED FROM WORKING AS A HOSPITAL PHARMACIST. So, with staff that are forbidden to be in the real world, what do you think happens to the passion and advocacy for our profession by ASHP staff?” Hmm, that’s not good now is it.
  • Speaking of ASHP, The Pharmacy Practice Model Initiative (PPMI) Summit 2010 is set to begin in Dallas, Texas on November 7. You can attend even if you can’t be there in person via virtual participation. This is a big step for ASHP and I hope it is successful. I’ve signed up for virtual access and hope to see you there.
  • Lately I’ve been experimenting more with Springpad. It’s kind of a miniature version of Evernote. Springpad is available via the web, for the iPhone and for the Andrid OS. It offers a very nice interface and a great way to sort items that you want to remember. For a nice review of the similarities and difference between Springpad and Evernote see the excellent article by Wade Roush at Xconomy.
  • KevinMD – How Apple can fix the usability problem in healthcare: “I say this [wanting Macbooks to replace PCs] because my mind was opened to a new world when I started using Apple products — usability. Usability means making tools easier-to-use so you can complete your job quicker or easier than you previously could. Windows-based PCs are notorious for their usability problems…Since we have all used a Windows-based PC they are great at exemplifying usability problems.” This is an interesting opinion. I believe the author is correct that Windows offers some usability challenges and that Microsoft needs to redesign the Windows environment to be more user friendly. However, simply converting everyone’s hardware over to Apple products isn’t the answer; it’s simply a band-aid approach to the problem. And healthcare is good at applying band-aids to problems.
  • GottaBeMobile: “Now let’s define that “good Inking experience.” What’s good enough for me may not be for you. What’s not good for me, may be more than sufficient for you. As I say over and over my note taking with Digital Ink is quick, down, and dirty. In rehearsal I’m watching the stage and scribbling on a screen simultaneously. I can’t afford to watch my hand and/or the stylus. This isn’t meticulous work, it is quick and I need the medium to not get in the way. With a Tablet PC, not only could I do that, but using OneNote I could, in most cases, find what I scribbled with its excellent search. I don’t think we’ll ever see that on an iPad. Up until now the iPad App, Penultimate has come the closest to giving me what I am looking for on the iPad.” – I have great respect for Warner Crocker, the author of the article, but in my opinion the inking experience on the iPad doesn’t even come close to the tablet PC.
  • I took a look at the new MacBook Air last week. What can I say; I think it’s pretty cool. Like everything Apple it’s sexy, but I have to agree with Joseph Kim at Mobile Health Computing, the MacBook Air is simply overpriced for what you get. With that said, people will eat them up because Apple’s Commander in Chief says you should.
  • There are a couple of new drugs that have recently been approved:  fidaxomicin for Clostridium difficile and ceftaroline for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and acute bacterial skin infections, including those caused by MRSA. Both approvals are significant secondary to a general lack of medications available to treat each disease states, i.e. Clostridium difficile and MRSA based skin/soft tissue infections.
  • Pfizer announced that it intends to recall more Lipitor secondary to “an uncharacteristic odor related to the bottles.” More information can be found here (PDF).
  • The Medicine Guy has a nice summary article on what a drug interaction is. “You should always check for an interaction if you are taking more than one substance (drug, herb, vitamin, etc.). Ask your pharmacist to explain the effects as well, and for a recommendation on how the problem should be addressed.” A sound piece of advice.
  • HealthLeaders Media: “The report’s executive summary estimates that an even greater number, 6.3 million medical injuries, occurred in the U.S. in 2008. Of those, 1.5 million were associated with a medical error.” Ouch! And what  are the top 10 most expensive types of errors? Well, I’m glad you asked. According to the article they are:
      • pressure ulcers
      • postoperative infections
      • mechanical complications of a device, implant or graft
      • postlaminectomy syndrome
      • hemorrhage complicating a procedure
      • infection following infusion, injection, transfusion, vaccination
      • pneumothorax
      • Infection due to central venous catheter
      • other complications of internal prosthetic device, implant and graft
      • ventral hernia without mention of obstruction or gangrene.
  • I’ve had reason lately to move more of my document storage to the cloud. My cloud storage of choice is Dropbox. I use SugarSync as a alternative depending on my needs. Recently I decided to give Box.net a try. While it offers some advantages over Dropbox and SugarSync, like the ability to create a Web Doc directly inside the application, it is much more expensive on a gigabyte basis than Dropbox and SugarSync. For now I’ll stick with Dropbox.
  • I’m still looking for a new tablet. Almost pulled the trigger on an HP Slate 500 Tablet PC today. Almost. The reviews haven’t been bad, but they haven’t been great either. I need more recon before I can make a decision.
  • I saw a bunch of tweets the other night about the San Francisco Giants. It took me a few minutes to realize they’re still playing baseball. Don’t they know it’s almost November. When you have to wear a jacket and you can see your breath, it means you shouldn’t be playing baseball. The only saving grace is knowing that it will soon be over and no longer take valuable media time away from football.
  • One gotta see college football game this weekend is USC vs. Oregon. The Ducks may be the best team in college football at the moment, but USC always plays tough in the Pac-10.
  • Do woodchucks chuck wood? I don’t know, you tell me.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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