2011 brought many new and exciting changes not only in my personal life, but in the world of pharmacy and technology as well. Iâ€™ve learned many new things, gained some new skills, made some new friends, explored the world of pharmacy more deeply, traveled more than ever before and discovered that I once again know nothing. I am excited to see what 2012 has to bring.
Below is a list of opinions Iâ€™ve gathered over the past 12 months. Some are pharmacy related, some are technology related, some are personal, and some are just random thoughts. If you donâ€™t agree with my opinions thatâ€™s fine, but I donâ€™t want to hear about it. On the other hand if you have something useful to add please feel free to leave a comment.
2011 was the year I took a hiatus from blogging, got bored, came back
2011 was the year my wife and kids bought me a Barnes & Noble Nook Color and I rooted it; makes a great Android tablet.
2011 was the year that I learned you have to be a jerk to be successful. I don’t need to be successful that badly. Just sayin’.
2011 was the year I completely divorced myself from Apple. I moved my music to the Amazon Music Player first and then to Google Music, and threw my iPod in a drawer. I havenâ€™t missed it.
2011 was the year I bought my first suite, and it was about as fun as a prostate exam.
2011 was the year the online tech pundits became little more than sounding boards for Apple. Even my favorite tech bloggers in 2010 have become little more than sheep.2011 was the year I realized that people basically donâ€™t want to think for themselves anymore.
- 2011 was the year Christina Aguilera screwed up the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Nothing could have been more disgraceful.
2011 was the year that Android took a giant leap forward.
2011 was the year of patent trolling.
2011 was the year that form overcame function and thatâ€™s a real shame.
2011 was a year in which mobile became more than a smartphone.
2011 was the year of infographics. Still not sure what value they hold, but theyâ€™re everywhere, and theyâ€™re pretty cool.
2011 was the year in which healthcare may have become the most regulated industry in the world. Donâ€™t believe me? Spend some time in a hospital chasing down all the departments, people and forms needed to keep up with all the regulatory garbage.
2011 was the year when everyone finally realized a unified EHR wasnâ€™t going to be easy.
2011 was the year that my family and I saw
4950 movies in the theater.
2011 was the year that RIM and BlackBerry died (just you wait and see)
Best idea in healthcare in 2011 – An integrated healthcare solution (same as last year)
Worst idea for healthcare – Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)
Most overused words in healthcare 2011 – mHealth, ACO and meaningful use
Best pharmacy conference/meeting attended in 2011 – ASHP Conference for Leaders in Health-System Pharmacy in Chicago, Illinois, October 17-18.
Best ideas in pharmacy that hava yet to mature â€“ Clinical Decision Support (CDS), PPMI and tech-check-tech
Best drug information resource, hardcopy â€“ Lexi-Comp Drug Information Handbook
Best drug information resource, handheld/electronic â€“ Lexi-Comp Lexi-Drugs
Best pharmacokinetics calculator, handheld/electronic â€“ RxCalc for the iPhone, of course
Best medical reference, electronic/web based â€“ UpToDate (includes access to Lexi-Drugs, online version)
Best automated dispensing cabinet technology – Omnicell. With that said, Pyxis (CareFusion) appears to have noticed Omnicell’s push and is finally doing some innovative things once again.
Most active area of pharmacy automation/technology in 2011 – IV room stuff, specifically “IV Workflow Managment”.Â
Best IV Room Workflow Management system â€“ DoseEdge by Baxa
Biggest story in pharmacy 2011 – Drug shortages. It goes without saying that drug shortages are a real problem that are not only frustrating, but are affecting patient care as well.
- Most underutilized thing in pharmacy in 2011 â€“ Data. Data rules people. We need to learn how collect it, analyze it, group it and use it.
- Healthcare technology in 2011 thatâ€™s poised to leap forward â€“ Teleprescence â€“ telepharmacy, telemedicine, etc.
- Most over-utilized thing in pharmacy in 2011 â€“ Warnings/alerts. When is it going to end?
- Technology with most potential for healthcare that absolutely no one is talking about – Near Field Communication (NFC)
- Coolest piece of healthcare technology I saw in 2011 – IV Check by SEA Medical
- Coolest piece of consumer technology I saw in 2011 -Â ReRFIDgerator. Seriously, someone needs to make one of these for use in healthcare.
- Weakest link in health information technology â€“ Standardization and interoperability (no one wants to play with the other guy and everyone wants to do it “their way”)
Best â€œthrow awayâ€ pharmacy journal/magazine in 2011 â€“ Pharmacy Purchasing & Products. This journal/magazine is the best source for pharmacy technology related information out there at the moment.
Best pharmacy organization in 2011 â€“ American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
Best pharmacy automation and technology mind in pharmacy in 2011 â€“ Dennis Tribble
Best pharmacy IV room mind in pharmacy in 2011 â€“ Eric Kastango
Best social media mind in pharmacy in 2011 â€“ Kevin Clauson
Thing I missed most professionally in 2011 – Access to primary medical literature
Things I should have done more of in 2011 – Blogged. I hope to get back to it in 2012
â€œOldâ€ technology that’s finally starting to take off – “Cloud computing”
Most useful data gathering device in 2011 – Pen and paper, or pencil and paper; the choice is yours. The plethora of tablets hitting the market have yet to replace good old pen and paper for note taking.
Speaking of pens. The best pen on the market â€“ Uni-ball Jetstream RT pen. I started using these as a pharmacy student and have yet to find anything better.
Most overused piece of mobile technology – BlueTooth headsets. You people look like morons.
Funniest commercials I saw in 2011:
- GEICO Smartphone, dumb things – “Is the gentleman with the BroStache invited to this party?“
- Allstate Mayhem Blind Spot â€“ â€œYouâ€™re goodâ€
- Most over-hyped death of 2011 – Steve Jobs. A man died, and that is tragic and sad, but câ€™mon, really?
- Worst thing to happen to innovation and advancement in 2011 â€“ Patent trolling.Â Companies are doing everything in their power to slow competition via the courts instead of in the market.Â
- Dumbest move by a company in 2011 – HP dumped the Touchpad….and eventually the webOS. Fools. What a shame, it was a beautiful operating system with tons of potential. However, I was able to grab a TouchPads in the fire sale, so good for me. I like the tablet hardware and OS, but the lack of applications for it is rough.
- Best movie I saw in 2011 in the theater â€“ This is a tough one for me because we saw so many movies, but Iâ€™m going to go with Battle Las Angeles.
- Best movie I saw in 2011 honorable mention â€“ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. For those of you that know me you know that I am not a Harry Potter fan, but the movie was well done, exciting and most of all it entertained me. I would see it again.
- Worst movie I saw in 2011 in the theater â€“ Season of the Witch. Nick Cage just keeps getting worse.
- Weirdest movie I saw in 2011 in the theater â€“ Drive
- #1 Movie at the box office in 2011 â€“ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Interesting that the #1 grossing movie in 2011 made less than the #1 grossing movie in 2010 and 2009. In addition it sold fewer tickets than any of the #1 box office hits in the last decade. What does that tell us? Probably nothing, but it is interesting nonetheless.
- Best online movie service â€“ Still Netflix
- Best place to get a pizza – Pizzeria Uno, Chicago, Illinois. â€œRealâ€ Chicago pizza according to my friend. Itâ€™s nothing like California pizza to be sure. Regardless itâ€™s incredible. Now I know where the phrase â€œpizza pieâ€ came from.
- Best place to kill time while on the road – Microsoft Retail Store, Bellevue, WA. I enjoy being able to lay my hands on all the different Windows 7 laptops and tablet PCs. It makes me smile :-)
- Best new thing in social media in 2011 -Â Google+ (pronounced â€œGoogle Plusâ€)
- Worst thing in social media in 2011 – Checking in everywhere you go and applications that post photos like Instagram. Well, I suppose it’s not Instagram itself rather it’s how people use it. Do you really need to post 500 pictures of your cat or dog napping, or the food you’re about ready to consume, or the beer bottles you’ve collected during your drinking binge? Seriously people, get a life.Â
- Best social media platform in 2011 – Twitter. Sorry Facebook, but I just don’t like you that much.
- Best desktop Twitter Client – no idea, don’t use one
- Best Web-based Twitter Client â€“ Silver Bird (Google Chrome extension)
- Best Google Chrome extensions, from left to right:
- Silver Bird â€“ My favorite Twitter Client when working on my laptop(s)
- Tweet Button â€“ Self explanatory.
- SGPlus â€“ Allows me to post to Twitter and Facebook from within a Google+ post. Itâ€™s not perfect, but itâ€™s the best Iâ€™ve found so far.
- Session Buddy â€“ Saves my current Google Chrome Session so if anything happens I can easily re-open all my previously open tabs
- Readability Redux â€“ Gets rid of a lot of the fluff on a web page, making it easier to read.
- Diigo Web Highlighter â€“ Allows me to bookmark a web page, annotate it, highlight it, share it, etc. Itâ€™s pretty handy
- Evernote Web Clipper â€“ The most valuable Chrome extension ever made. Allows me to clip part or all of any web page Iâ€™m on, tag it and send it to Evernote.
- TabCloud â€“ Similar to Session Buddy, but the info is saved in the cloud. I can retrieve my session from any machine. Why even use Session Buddy? I like the UI better and Iâ€™ve been using it longer.
- Awesome Screenshot â€“ Allows me to capture all or part of a webpage and turn it into a JPG, along with some other cool features.
- ScribeFire â€“ A full-featured blog editor from within Google Chrome. It works with all my existing blog platforms: Windows Live, Tumblr, Posterous, Blogger, etc.
- XMarks â€“ Cloud-based bookmark extension. I had to find an alternative after Google decided to scrap Google Bookmarks.
- Best mobile Twitter Client for Android – Official Twitter app for Android
- Best email client â€“ GMail
- Best decision(s) by Google this year – Google+ and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus
- Worst decision by Google this year – Getting rid of Google Bookmarks. That really pissed me off.
- Best thing that happened in the NFL in 2011 â€“ They settled the holdout before it impacted the season.
- Worst thing in the NFL in 2011 – The holdout because it makes them all look like greedy bastards, and the new rules. The NFL continues to dilute the game. I can barely recognize the game I played and loved as a boy. Itâ€™s more about entertainment now than anything else, and thatâ€™s sad.
- Lamest penalty in the NFL â€“ Pass interference. It’s the only penalty in the world that has the potential to be worth the entire length of the field; it’s a spot foul.
- Dumbest penalties in the NFL – The ridiculously stringent rules surrounding hits on quarterbacks and wide receivers. Dear Comissioner Goddell, please consider putting flags on them, it would make things a whole lot less confusing for the rest of us.
- Most amazing play I saw in the NFL in 2011 – Jerome Simpson Front Flip Touchdown against my beloved Arizona Cardinals
- Best rookie in the NFL 2011 â€“ A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals. This kid is a game changer. Honorable mention: Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals and DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys. I know, I know, whereâ€™s Cam Newton? Iâ€™m not talking about fantasy football here. The numbers donâ€™t mean anything to me. Itâ€™s all about the â€œWâ€™sâ€.
- Most polarizing figure in the NFL in 2011 – Tim Tebow. I will admit here and now that Iâ€™ve flopped on Tebow. I didnâ€™t like him in collage. I said he was overrated and would fail miserably in the NFL. I was wrong, and somewhere along the way, despite my best efforts, I started pulling for the guy. Perhaps itâ€™s the fact that â€œthe expertsâ€ say he canâ€™t succeed in the NFL because heâ€™s not a prototypical QD. Well, we all know that â€œthe expertsâ€ are pretty much a bunch of sheep; they all say the same thing. Maybe itâ€™s time for someone to shake up the NFL.
- Biggest surprise team in the NFL in 2011 – The SF 49ers. Who would have thought a coaching change would have made that big a difference.
- Biggest disappointment in the NFL in 2011 â€“ The Indianapolis Colts. Yikes!
- Biggest scandal in college football in 2011 – Take your pick: Ohio state, Syracuse, University of Miami? With that said the worst thing to hit college football in the history of the sport had to be the Penn State scandal, hands down.
- Worst thing in professional sports 2011 – The NBA lockout.Â The NBA already has a bad reputation of catering to a bunch of spoiled, rich thugs. All the lockout did was reinforce that idea. Iâ€™m not a big fan of the NBA, and all this did was make me go from a casual fan to no fan at all. I wonâ€™t be watching an NBA game anytime soon.
- Biggest surprise in pro sports – The World Series. First time in recent memory that it I felt any interest at all in watching MLB. The sport was almost dead. Perhaps this was enough to resurrect it.
- Best in sports talk radio â€“ The Herd with Colin Cowherd (ESPN). I think Cowherd rambles on at times, but at least he rambles on about sports.
- Worst in sports talk radio â€“ The Dan Patrick Show. Honorable mention Mike and Mike.
- Best new TV series â€“ Suits
- TV series that used to be good, but turned to crap in 2011 â€“ Burn Notice and The Closer. Itâ€™s the beginning of the end for both. The storyline for Burn Notice is getting old and I find myself rooting for the bad guys in The Closer because the main character has become such a self-righteous witch.
- Best traveling companion other than my wife and family in 2011 â€“ SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Why? Because the stations are always the same, no matter where I go: 84-ESPN Radio, 85-ESPN Xtra, 86-Mad Dog Radio, 88-SiriusXM NFL Radio.
- Coolest thing I did at work in 2011 – AutoPharm Mobile (itâ€™s my first product)
- Best trip for work – Europe: Amsterdam; Paris, France; DÃ¼sseldorf and Cologne Germany
- Worst trip for work – Overnight trip to Las Vegas
- Best thing about being a PM – Visiting “customers”, i.e. getting paid to talk with other pharmacists
- Worst thing about being a PM â€“ Tons of useless paperwork. Honorable mentions: 1) having to prove that an idea can make money before itâ€™s deemed a â€œgood ideaâ€. 2) having to put on a suite and tie.
- Best mobile operating system â€“ Android. Honorable mention, Windows Phone 7 (Mango)
- Best Android Tablet – Asus Transformer. I suspect the Transformer Prime will be better, but I havenâ€™t actually seen one to be sure. The original Transformer tablet is a great device, and the keyboard docking station only makes it that much better.
- Best new Windows 7 Slate â€“ Samsung Series 7 11.6-inch Slate.
- Best new rugged tablet – Panasonic Toughpad. I would really like to get my hands on one of these. I like the idea of being able to use a slate tablet on the road without worrying about pampering it.
- Biggest impact from a new tablet device – The Kindle Fire. It made waves.
- Best new Windows 7 convertible tablet â€“ Nothing here to report. 2011 will go down in history as the year of the slate tablet to be sure. I miss the keyboard revolution. To all you great computer makers – Lenovo, Dell, Samsung, HP â€“ please bring the keyboard back to tablets, whether as a convertible machine or as a docking station similar to the Asus Transformer.
- Best not-exactly-computer-related technology of the year -Â Wacom Inkling
- Best e-reader – Amazon Kindle DX. E-Ink is still the best screen type for reading.
- Most amazing piece of technology that no one is talking about â€“ Microsoft Kinect for the Xbox 360. Some of the things that have been done with this technology is amazing, but all-in-all you donâ€™t really hear that much about it.Â
- Best synching solution across multiple computers â€“ Sugarsync
- Best “cloud” based back up solution â€“ Sugarsync
- Most indispensable piece of software on a tablet PC â€“ Microsoft OneNote
- Best PDF editor – PDF Annotator
- Best screen capture utility – FastStone capture. I believe Version 5 is still freeware and is absolutely indispensable. I use it multiple times everyday
- Best information collection tool I used in 2011 – Evernote. I couldn’t live without it. It’s so valuable, and I use it so often, that I pay for the premium version
- Best application used to temporarily-park-content-you-intend-to-read-later in 2011 – Â Read it Later. Read it Later works better on my smartphone than Evernote. I canâ€™t clip an entire webpage to Evernote on my smartphone, but I can send it to Read it Later.
- Best new smartphone – Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I have one. Itâ€™s my first new smartphone in almost three years. Suffice it to say that it is simply spectacular.
- Technology Iâ€™d like to see manufacturers work on the most in 2012 â€“ Battery technology. The functionality, processors, screen technology, etc has outpaced smartphone batteries. Itâ€™s an issue.
- Favorite family trip 2011 â€“ There were two trips that stick out in my mind this year: 1) My family and I drove to Oregon in July to attend my nieceâ€™s wedding. We spend five days near Eugene. We had a great time. 2) In early August my family and I spent two weeks running around Washington State. During that time we ventured into Idaho and Montana and took the kids into Northern Washington to visit Forks and La Push (of course we had to do this because of the Twilight books and movies). Both trips were awesome. They each generated enough good memories for a lifetime.
- Favorite family trip 2011 honorable mention – Disney World. My daughter’s competitive cheer team qualified for “Worlds“, a world-wide cheerleading championship, and it was held at Disney World in April 2011.Â
- Coolest barcode scanner I used in 2011 â€“ KoamTac KDC300
- Best RSS reader – Google reader. With that said, the idea of an RSS reader is beginning to fade as social media platforms like Twitter and Google+ take shape.
- Best mobile news reader – Google Currents and Pulse. I like Google Currents better on my smartphone and Pulse on my tablet.
- Worst “improvement” to web-based system – What Google did to Google Reader and GMail. I donâ€™t like the “new look”
- Best desktop OS â€“ Windows 7. Looking forward to Windows 8
- Best desktop office suite â€“ Still MS Office
- Best cloud-based office suite â€“ Google Docs
- Best â€œdesktopâ€ browser â€“ Google Chrome. I don’t even have Firefox on my machine anymore
- Best cloud music storage/player – Google Music. Honorable mention goes to Amazon Music Player.
- Favorite technology blog/website 2011 â€“ Engadget
- Favorite medical technology blog/website 2011 â€“ Medgadget. I love this site.Â
- Honorable mention for healthcare technology blog/website 2011 â€“ DirkMD â€“ Free CMIO Perspective
- Favorite mobile technology blog/website 2011 â€“ GottaBeMobile
- Favorite medical mobile technology blog/website 2011 â€“ FierceMobileHealthcare
- Favorite website for videos and short presentations about cool stuff 2011 â€“ TED
- Favorite website for great science stuff 2011 â€“ sciencebase. David Bradley has created a great site that I enjoy immensely. I loved chemistry and other science long before I became a pharmacist and this site satisfies my ever present curiosity.Â
- Best new pharmacy informatics blog/website 2011 â€“ rxINFORMATICA
- Most interesting pharmacy blog/website 2011 â€“ The Cynical Pharmacist
- Best place to order technology not available in the US â€“ Dynamism.com
- Best online retailer â€“ Amazon.com
- Best airline I used in 2011 â€“ Icelandair. I flew to Europe on Icelandair for work and they were great.
- Worst airline â€“ Oie! Thatâ€™s a bit more difficult than the best airline. They’re all pretty bad, but I think American takes the cake.
- Worst idea by and airline – In flight advertisement, especially this one.
- Best travel experience in 2011 â€“ Received a free upgrade to first class on two occasions. Both were short flights â€“ Denver to Fresno â€“ but it was really cool.
- Worst travel experience in 2011 â€“ Flight was cancelled and I got stranded at SFO; literally stuck in the airport overnight. The experience was pretty lousy as the airline customer support and our company travel agent were about as helpful as a bag full of rocks to a drowning man.Â Â Â
2011 was an amazing year. I wonder what 2012 will bring? Only time will tell. Happy New Year everyone.