#ASHPMidyear, the end

Here I sit in the airport on my way home as another great ASHP Midyear has come to a close. This feels strangely familiar.  Anyway, the end of the Midyear meeting is always bittersweet. I’ve taken in about all the information my brain can possibly handle, but each day at Midyear brings something new and exciting, which I will miss. Many attendees departed prior to the final sessions today so it was a virtual ghost town compared to the previous days of the event. The exhibit hall was closed, the small stands for food and drink were gone, the line for coffee was non-existent and session attendance was clearly affected. With all that said, it was still worth hanging around for the final session. Huh, I had to, I was presenting at it; more on that later.

Before I talk about the presentation here are some general observations from this year’s ASHP Midyear:

  • I love the exhibit hall and try to spend as much time as possible walking around taking it all in. This year’s exhibit hall contained more automation and technology than I’ve seen at previous ASHP Midyear meetings. This is encouraging as it appears that pharmacy as a whole is starting to understand the need for automation and technology in our profession. Unfortunately there is also a bit of a downside as well. While there were plenty of vendors displaying automation and technology, none of it was new and exciting. Most of what I saw could affectionately be called “me-too” technology. Still, increased vendor participation means increased competition which ultimately leads to better products.
  • Android phones were every bit as popular as iPhones this year. If you know me at all, then you know that I can’t look at someone without looking at what type of smartphone they carry, and I saw a lot of Android devices. I saw a lot of iPhones too, but there’s clearly a shift in user choice. More interesting yet was the carrier mix by Android phone users. I saw Android devices from every major carrier. Cool.
  • I spied two Samsung 7-inch tablets in the wild at Midyear along with a slew of iPads. The tablet market is heating up and I can’t wait.
  • There was a lot of excitement in the air this year from pharmacists I spoke to as it appears the profession has made a commitment to push their way into healthcare with force. Finally.
  • ASHP did an incredible job this year with their media at Midyear. Videos, newspapers, Twitter updates, etc. It was great. The Tweetstream from this year’s event was impressive. I consider myself a fair Twitter user, but I’m happy to say that I found myself dwarfed this year as Tweets were coming in from all directions. The ashptv.com site was also a welcome addition. I found myself watching video clips in the hotel room prior to retiring for the night. Bravo ASHP.
  • From what I gathered from colleagues and prospective employers, this year’s class of residents was the best they’ve seen. I’m encouraged by that and optimistic for the future of pharmacy practice. Conversations about the right things were taking place everywhere I turned.
  • In addition to the great host of residents this year, I found myself speaking with pharmacists about grassroots movements to change the way we practice. Excellent

The final session:

I had the absolute pleasure of being part of a presentation panel on mHealth at this year’s ASHP Midyear. The moderator for the session was Kevin Clauson (@kevinclauson) from NOVA Southeastern University in Florida. I’ve known Kevin for about a year and have great respect for him and his work in mHealth, Web 2.0 and social media. The other panelists were Elizabeth Sherman, PharmD, also from NOVA, who presented on her work utilizing SMS reminders to service HIV patients; and Dr. Jennifer Dyer (@EndoGoddes) who shared her success with SMS text messaging for teens with Diabetes. My part of the panel presentation focused on the use of the iPad in acute care pharmacy, which can be found below. I’ll post the entire slideset when it is available.

View more presentations from Jerry Fahrni.

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