Tic Tac dispenser as alternative prescription bottle [video]

All the companies that have spent millions developing a “better way” to dispense medications (tablets) should watch the video below. The company that makes Tic Tacs has you all beat. And just a guess here, but I bet that little plastic Tic Tac dispenser doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Someone needs to develop a prescription bottle that works like this. Walgreens has been doing a lot of consumer prescription stuff lately. Perhaps they would be interested in investing a little time, energy and effort. Never know.

File this one under idea: #10987.

Cerner “smart room” tour [video from 2010]

“…a tour of the All-Digital Smart Room and discusses components including Cerners Room Wizard, Clinical Dashboard, myStation, medical device integration and RxStation.”

The video references Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk.

  • “Medications tab” ~5:33. Home meds, current meds, and discharge meds presented with option to view drug information.
  • “Medical device integration” ~8:45 to feed info into the EHR.
  • “Cerner RxStation” ~9:35. Not sure why they call it RxStation. Looks like an ADU to me. The first thing that comes to mind when I see “Rx” is “pharmacy”. “RxStation” is a poor choice of name in my opinion.

Next generation smart hospital [video from 2009]

The video below is from 2009 shows some pretty cool uses for RFID (smart card).

Things I found interesting:

  • Geotagging your parking location [~0:30]. You ever forget where you park? Happens to me all the time when I travel.
  • Some of the software shown in the video [~2:00 min] was developed by Microsoft, including simple things like Windows and PowerPoint. Why don’t we hear the boys in Redmond weighing in more on healthcare software?
  • “Automatic payment machine” [~2:25] outside the exam room. Hey, pay on your way out. And when you’re done paying you can have your prescription [~2:40]. When you print the prescription it’s also electronically submitted to the pharmacy of your choice.
  • The amenities found in the VIP rooms [~3:30].
  • Use of RFID tags on medication (chemotherapy) labels [~4:23]
  • Web-based healthcare information [~5:25]
  • Anticoagulant results available to patients from the comfort of their own internet browser [~6:15], among other pertinent information.

You can read more about the “u-Severence” system in this 2010 article in Healthcare Informatics Research.

RFID-based solution for med trays

This is pretty cool use of RFID technology. The concept isn’t new to me, but it is the first time I’ve seen it in practice. The ability to track lot and expiration in real-time is a great advantage when compared to barcoding.

RFID Journal: “The pharmacy department of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), a 750-bed hospital located in Baltimore, is employing an RFID-based solution to aid in the stocking of medication kits transported around the hospital for use with patients in the event of emergencies. Thanks to the technology, provided by RFID startup firm Kit Check, the hospital knows what was loaded onto each tray to form a crash-cart kit, as well as which medications were used and which are approaching their expiration dates. In addition, the facility has reduced the amount of time employees must spend loading each emergency medication tray, from approximately 20 minutes down to less than 5 minutes.”

4 technologies every hospital pharmacy should be using right now

There are lots of useful technologies out there for pharmacies, but I see precious few being put to good use. Why? Oh, who the heck knows. It’s a mystery to me. People whine all the time about how bad pharmacy operations are, but they never do anything to fix it. Human nature I suppose. If I were a DOP or CPO I’d be using anything and everything I could get my hands on to improve operations and make life easier for my pharmacists, and in turn easier for “pharmacy” and nursing, which in theory leads to better patient care. It’s the great circle of life. Sort of.

Here are four things I think every hospital pharmacy should be using, in no particular order:
Continue reading 4 technologies every hospital pharmacy should be using right now

Remington: The Science and Practice of Pharmacy, new edition coming in September

Remington’s is an interesting pharmacy reference. It’s on my list of must-have reference books because it has always had a bit of information that you can’t find elsewhere. This is especially true in older editions which contained great information on extemporaneous compounding and manufacturing. I used to collect old Remington’s. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

You can check out a sample chapter here.


Greater adherence to diabetes drugs linked to less hospital use, could save billions [article]

Medication adherence/compliance is an important issue for all patients with chronic disease, but some are potentially worth more in healthcare dollars than others. Disease states like diabetes, heart failure, asthma and HIV/AIDS, among others rely heavily on proper medication use to prevent frequent visits to urgent care centers, or in worst case scenarios hospital admissions. It’s not hard to imagine where reducing urgent care visits and hospitalizations could add up quickly.

Medication adherence/compliance is also one of those areas where it makes sense for pharmacists to be heavily involved. A little proactive counseling, MTM and follow-up with patients goes a long way. The abstract below makes no mention of pharmacists, nor does it mention how they mined their data. If I had to guess I’d say they used insurance claims data to get their information. Not the most accurate way to go about it, but interesting nonetheless.

Saturday morning coffee [August 18 2012]

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….

The coffee mug to the right is my trophy for winning the 2010 ASHP Midyear Twitter contest. It was the second year in a row that I was voted winner of the Midyear tweeting contest. I have since retired. The mug was accompanied by a $50 Best Buy gift card. I can’t remember what I purchased with the gift card, but I’m sure it was something cool.

- The Bourne Legacy was the new #1 at the box office last weekend, knocking the Dark Knight Rises off its perch. My family and I saw it. It was good, but not great. I would see it again. The problem with a new Bourne movie is that Matt Damon is who I think of when someone says “Bourne” regardless of whether or not the movie is about his character. Don’t expect The Bourne Legacy to sit in the number one spot for long. I think The Expendables 2 will likely take over the top spot next week. I’ll certainly help it gain the title as it’s on my movie agenda for this weekend.
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [August 18 2012]

Infographic for future of RFID

Found this little jewel over at the ThinkMagic website.

According to the commentary: “There is no doubt that over the next decade, RFID systems will become an integral part of the consumer and business experience. The convergence of wireless technologies will be augmented by RFID systems. The development of passive RFID as part of this platform will be driven by the potential to measure, report and monetize a growing number of transactions in the physical world.  Purpose-built systems will incorporate passive sensors and computational systems will emerge.  In certain applications, it is hard to imagine everyday physical objects without “built-in” RFID.” – RFID is one of those technologies that should be used more in healthcare, but isn’t. It’s inexplicable.
Continue reading Infographic for future of RFID

New hydrogel research gives new meaning to “sustained released” medication

Medical Xpress: “Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed injectable, reformable and spreadable hydrogels which can be loaded with proteins or other therapeutics. The hydrogels contain up to 99.7% water by weight, with the remainder primarily made up of cellulose polymers held together with cucurbiturils – barrel-shaped molecules which act as miniature ‘handcuffs’….

 The hydrogels developed by Scherman, Dr Xian Jun Loh and PhD student Eric Appel are capable of delivering sustained release of the proteins they contain for up to six months, compared with the current maximum of three months. The rate of release can be controlled according to the ratio of materials in the hydrogel.” –  I think you’ll see more and more treatment with proteins in the future as we continue to advance “drug therapy”. Given that chronic conditions cause major problems for healthcare in terms of patient adherence, a system that acts as a six month reservoir offers up some serious potential.

The article referred to can be found below. Unfortunately I could only access the abstract, which was almost useless.