The ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 continues … (#ashpsm)

ASHP 2011 Summer Meeting and Exhibition

I had planned on blogging daily during the Summer Meeting, but obviously that didn’t happen. Perhaps it was the big dinner I had yesterday evening followed by the insanely good gelato that put me into a food comma, or then again maybe it was just laziness. Regardless, I skipped a day.

The Summer Meeting continues to roll on with some great sessions and lots of interesting conversation. All-in-all between yesterday and today I’ve attended the following:

  • Opening session and keynote – The opening speech was what I expected; a lot of chest thumping and self promotion. Not to say that that’s a bad thing. It is what it is. The keynote, however, was nothing short of spectacular. Dr. Jay Kaplan was engaging and effective in delivering his message on change. I rarely sit through these things, but found myself staying nearly until the very end.
  • Putting a face on medication errors: the patient perspective and how humans factor into safety – Medication safety is a big theme this year at the Summer Meeting, and why not. The testimonial given by Robert Weber, Pharm.D. was eye opening. As a pharmacist he experienced some fairly significant errors during his treatment for cancer. It’s hard to believe these type of mistakes still happen day in and day out in healthcare. The presentation on human factor engineering by Terry Fairbanks, MD was great. Healthcare should be making better use of human factor engineering. It may be time for me to go back to school.
  • Management Case Studies C: Informatics – Meh.
  • Redefining, reconstructing, reinventing: levering technology to impact and achieve the future pharmacy practice model – This was the crown jewel of the informatics sessions at the Summer Meeting. Fortier, Adamson, Churchill and Paoletti did an incredible job of presenting information on the use of technology in pharmacy practice. If you missed this session, you missed out. The session was recorded and I highly recommend you go to http://ce/ and grab the audio-synched slide presentation as soon as it’s available. I know I’ll be sitting through it at least one more time.
  • Taking IT to the next level: optimizing automation and technology beyond the vendor – Another great session. Both Schlesselman and Cavanagh were credible in explaining how to approach optimization of systems to not only save money, but improve efficiency and create a better work environment as well. This is another session you should watch and listen to when available at http://ce/
  • Informatics credentialing: is the time right? – Not what I expected. This session was really more about the credentialing process and what’s available than it was about providing evidence for or against pharmacy informatics credentialing. I have a rather interesting opinion about the topic if anyone would like to hear it. I won’t blog about it as it would come out more as a rant than a well thought out position.

The informatics sessions made good use of technology. The room was set up with two large screens; one for the presentation slides and the other for displaying the informatics Twitter stream for Brent Fox’s (@Brent_Fox) ASHP SM 2011 Informatics list. I love the idea, but I did experience some lag between the time I sent my Tweets and when they appeared on the screen, which created a minor problem as described below. 

The informatics sessions also used a new hi-tech polling system. Questions were displayed on the screen and answers could be submitted in real-time using a mobile phone via SMS, via the web at or by Tweeting @poll YOUR ANSWER. I tried Tweeting my responses, but the lag mentioned above was problematic. SMS, i.e. texting worked great. I didn’t use the at all. I would encourage ASHP to continue using this system as the interaction with the speaker and instant feedback was terrific.

I have to give ASHP credit for making this one of the most social media rich events they’ve ever hosted. ASHP promoted their new ASHP Connect platform, promoted the online version of InterSections, had signs encouraging attendees to blog about their experiences, encouraged the use of Twitter, etc. Which is why I find it inexcusable that there was no Wi-Fi offered in the conference rooms. I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea of promoting the use of the web at every turn and then not offering ubiquitous access to it for it’s members. I am dumbfounded. I asked about it at the meeting information booth and I was told that ASHP elected not to purchase it. Bummer. I’d pay an extra $5-10 per day for registration to have continuous Wi-Fi access. How about you?

Overall, the last two days have been exceptional. I would encourage everyone to consider attending the Summer Meeting next year if given the opportunity. Waiting an entire year between meetings, i.e. one Midyear to the next, is simply too long to wait when there’s so much happening in our profession.

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