Conclusion of the ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 (#ashpsm)

I attended one final session at the Summer Meeting today before heading back to the hotel to pack up my stuff, have some lunch and head for the airport; which is where I’m sitting now.

The session was titled Mobile Devices and Social Media: Enabling Your Professional and Personal Lives, and was delivered by Bill Felkey and Brent Fox. It was great. I thought I was pretty technology savvy, but I quickly found out that I still have a lot to learn. As with many sessions at this year’s Summer Meeting, this one was recorded and should be available at shortly. Do yourself a favor and go watch the audio-synched presentation. You won’t regret it.

I’ve always wanted to hear Bill Felkey speak, but until today had never had the chance. I was reading articles on pharmacy automation and technology written by Felkey a decade ago. I dare say that he was my inspiration for ultimately entering the informatics field. He’s engaging, incredibly intelligent and simply a master of his craft. And then there’s Brent Fox. He’s one of the brightest young minds in pharmacy informatics, and a Felkey protégé to boot. Fox has a great understanding of pharmacy informatics and has an obvious passion for what he does.

That’s enough of that. On with some general observations.

The conference

  1. Probably the best ASHP Summer Meeting I’ve been to. ASHP did a great job of promoting the conference and getting people to attend. Registration was simple, the conference center was great, the social events were a welcome edition, etc.
  2. The addition of a medication safety tract complimented the amount of informatics presented at this conference. The two disciplines, i.e. informatics and medication safety go hand in hand. You really can’t practice one without the other.
  3. The use of social media is much better this year than in previous years. Pharmacy as a whole has come a long way when it comes to social media, but we still have a long way to go. Involvement of professional organizations is necessary, and ASHP has made it clear they’re taking a leadership role.
  4. The double screens in the informatics sessions was well done; one for the presentation and the other for the informatics Twitter Stream. I thought it was pretty funny when the Twitter stream didn’t move for long periods of time. I’ve seen video of medical conferences where the stream is moving so fast that it’s hard to read.
  5. The lack of Wi-Fi in the conference rooms was a real bummer. I think ASHP should take a long hard look at this for future conferences. With today’s technology Wi-Fi should be available at all times at conferences.
  6. I noticed that this conference had more informatics content than I can recall in recent memory. Is that a sign of where the profession is headed or simply a coincidence? Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain, the profession will need more advanced automation and technology as it marches toward a new practice model.
  7. Some of the presentations were a bit long. I think the day of 50-60 minute presentations is over. Perhaps it’s time for pharmacy conferences to take a long, hard look at the TED model; short, sweet and informative.
  8. To my chagrin bullet points are not dead. I’ve had it hammered into my brain over the past 18 months that bullet points are evil and presentations should be more organic. Unfortunately most of the world doesn’t buy into that philosophy. I’ve found in both my work and professional life that people love bullet points. They don’t want to hear what you have to say, they want to read what you have to say.
  9. The ASHP Summer meeting was “paper light”, meaning that the presentations were available online instead of given out as paper handouts. Bravo to AHSP for taking this step. On the other hand I sat at the “recharging station” and watched attendee after attendee print off presentation after presentation. It was disturbing. Get with the program people. What do you do with all that paper once you leave the conference? File it? I used to do that – take presentations home and file them, only to go through my file cabinet every couple of years and throw them out without ever having looked at them.

The city

  1. I found Denver to be a nice little town.
  2. The convention center was great. It was easily accessible, big enough to handle everything that was going on and close to plenty of things to do.
  3. The hotels were all within a short walk of the convention center. MellowMushroomPizza
  4. The 16th Street outdoor mall area was very nice. I found a lot of things to do down there in the evening. I also found the Mellow Mushroom pizza joint. Dude, that was some seriously good pizza.
  5. People in Denver ignore the Walk/Don’t Walk signs. Cross streets at your own risk.
  6. The cab drivers really like the sidewalk.
  7. The weather was good this time of year. Not too hot and definitely not too cold. I walked around in short sleeve shirts the entire time and was comfortable.
  8. The views were spectacular. I was in a room of the 9th floor of my hotel. Outside my window was a picturesque view of show capped mountains and green trees. Quite nice really.


The ASHP Summer Meeting was great. I learned a lot and had the chance to catch up with a few people. I would have loved to see more of my colleagues at the meeting as it seems none of us have time for anything these days. Regardless, I recommend that everyone considers attending the Summer Meeting 2012 in Baltimore. As I mentioned previously, information is moving too fast to wait a full year between major conferences.

My thanks to ASHP and all the presenters. Until next year.


6 thoughts on “Conclusion of the ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 (#ashpsm)”

  1. Jerry – thanks for livetweeting the event and especially for the blog wrapups of the Summer Meeting. They were very helpful to see what has stayed the same and all of the changes that have occurred. It is also encouraging to see all of the informatics programming; wish I could have made it.


  2. Jerry,

    * Nice recap
    *It was nice meeting up with you and look forward to collaborating in the near future. Chris

  3. Jerry,

    thanks for info, review and wrap-up. Nice to hear ASHP upgrading tech and informatic portions of meeting. Looking forward making upcoming meetings. and looking to get to unSummit as well.


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