Saturday morning coffee [May 18 2013]

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 below was a gift that I received from the unSUMMIT U for giving a barcoding webinar back in January. For those of you that don’t know, the unSUMMIT is all about barcoding, of which I have a fair amount of experience/expertise.  The unSUMMIT U is an extension of the unSUMMIT that offers webinars about barcoding throughout the year. I’ve attended a couple.


- Iron Man 3 was #1 at the box office last weekend for a second straight week. No surprise. The Great Gatsby did surprisingly wee. I have no desire to see Gatsby. Looks like crap. Don’t expect Iron Man to hold the #1 spot next week. Star Trek Into Darkness was released Wednesday night and it will likely pull in more than $100 million this weekend.  I have not had a chance to see the new Star Trek movie, but my wife and daughter did. The went on opening night. My wife loved it. My daughter said it was “very good”, but also said “there are some things you won’t like”.  The actress playing Uhura bugs me. She’s quite annoying on screen and doesn’t hold a candle to Nichelle Nichols, the original Uhura. The rest of the cast seems to be spot on, but she’s off. And the love story between her and Spock annoys the crap out of me. It’s completely unnecessary and does nothing more than take up screen time and make for awkward moments in the film. It’s just about the only thing in the new Trek series that doesn’t fit for me.

Lifehacker did a survey last week asking people what the best coffee maker was. People chose the French Press. I’m a drip guy myself, but will occasionally do a pour-over when I’m in a hurry or just want a single cup, which is almost never. I’ve had coffee that’s been run through a French Press, but never felt compelled to buy one, until now. I went out and picked up an 8-cup Bodum. Interesting how the flavor changes when I make the same coffee with the press vs drip. Having the press sitting next to me on my desk is both a blessing and a curse. It offers great convenience, but I find that I consume a lot more coffee. Doh!

– The most viewed post at over the past 7 days was A view of pharmacy through Google Glass [simulated]. Finally something dethroned Why pharmacy continues to fail. It’ll crawl back into the top spot next week, just watch.

– Check out playgroundlabs vision for Google Glass in the video below. Can you spot where Glass might fit into pharmacy practice? Hint: about 40 seconds into the video, and again around 1:05.

First Look: Evernote for Google Glass: “Our current implementation focuses on two actions. First, you’ll be able to quickly capture a photo or short video and send it to your Evernote account from the Google Glass sharing menu. Second, you can choose a note from Evernote Web and send it directly into the Glass Timeline so that you have it available right in your field of view when you need it.” – I love Evernote, and this is exciting.

– On my return trip home this week I was forced to go through LAX. I hate LAX. The place is a pit. For whatever reason my travel plans tend to completely unravel when I’m forced to use that airport. I avoid it whenever possible. In two and a half years of travel I’ve only had to go through there a handful of times. This week American Airlines lived up to their universally accepted low standard of service. For those of you that don’t know, changing planes at LAX often involves taking a shuttle from one terminal to another. Sometimes more than one. Sometimes more than one plus having to go outside the airport and coming back through security; no joke. Anyway the shuttles typically run every few minutes, unless of course you’re flying American Airlines and you have a tight connection. In that case they run every 30 minutes. So American Airlines is my “you-suck-as-an-airline-company” award winner for the week ending May 18, 2013. Congrats.

Google’s I/O conference was held on Wednesday, May 15. For the first time ever I was able to watch some of the keynote live. Google continues to impress me with the innovative things they roll out on a consistent basis. And the fact that most of these things are free blow my mind. Of great interest to me is the ability to sync games across multiple devices, the improvements to Google+ and the new Hangouts app. The auto-recognition and auto-enhance features inside Google+ are quite impressive as well. There’s a quick and dirty look at the 6 most exciting Google I/O announcements at the site.

– Does it make me a bad human begin because I find this compilation of shopping cart fails hilarious?

Pharmacy Practice News: “As pharmacists, I think we have a great opportunity to save lots of money both for our patients and ourselves if we improve adherence.” A lack of symptoms is one predictor of nonadherence, but complex treatment regimens, a lack of confidence in the treatment or the care provider, the presence of mental illness and high treatment cost also are associated with poor adherence, Dr. Yankovskaya said. “By using what we already know about an individual from electronic health records and claims data, we can intervene proactively,” she noted. “Tailored interventions using a predictive model that takes variables into account can address particular problems that can lead to nonadherence.” – The next frontier of pharmacy.

– Ever heard of Medication Management Systems? Me neither until a friend of mine shared a link with me. It’s a company out of Eden Prairie, MN that provides medication therapy management services. Their software, Assurance System, is pretty nice. I watched a 15 minute video on it. Very comprehensive. I only see one significant hole in the process, and I’m not sure if it’s an oversight or if they simply don’t address it in the video or on the website.

Drug Topics: “First, every day thousands of patients benefit tremendously from the services of medications compounded by pharmacists, whose practice is regulated by the state Boards of Pharmacy. Without these services, many patients would not have access to necessary compounded medications. Second, federal and state policies should reflect the fact that the actions of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) were vastly out of step with compounding as practiced by community pharmacists. The allegations of NECC’s misconduct include failure to adhere to standard practice for compounding, sterility procedures, and record-keeping requirements.” – As pharmacists we have to be acutely aware of what’s going on with compounding regulation. First and foremost patients should feel confident that the medications they receive are both safe and effective. At the same time, it is important for regulatory agencies to understand that compounding by pharmacies remains an effective method to fill a much needed gap in patient care.

– Remember the guy who did the happier-than-a-bodybuilder-directing-traffic commercial for Geico? That’s Kali Muscle. The guy is monster. I’ve always been impressed by what bodybuilders can do to their bodies. I tried that for a couple of years back in my youth and got nowhere. Anyway, check out this dude knocking out pull ups. Even more impressive is watching this guy do muscle ups. I tried those once. I still have mental scars.

Medical News Today: “In a survey of 689 patients who received inpatient anticoagulant therapy, patient satisfaction increased significantly using the PDAS [pharmacist-directed anticoagulation service] compared to patients’ reviews of their care in a previous pharmacy model.” – Those darned pharmacists, always doing cool stuff. Too bad the data is old as dirt. Seriously, the data was collected for patients that received traditional management from February 2001-April 2007 and PDAS from December 2008-December 2010. Nothing like outdated information to make a point irrelevant.

- I’ve been looking at cameras this week. A friend of mine recommended that I look at the Sony a77, so I did. What a spectacular DSLR. It’s a great looking camera with full 24.3-megapixel resolution, quick auto focus, and an insane 12 fps shooting rate. Oh, and did I forget to mention that it will shoot full HD video at 1920 x 1080 resolution? Must have slipped my mind. Throw in the fact that the a77 is sealed for water resistant shooting in the rain, and I have to say that this camera is at the top of my list. The only hesitation I have is what it’s going to cost me to replace my Canon 30D and multiple lenses. Not an easy thing to justify. I liked this guy’s video review the best because of his no nonsense approach.

– I’m still working hard to find a replacement for Google Reader. I’ve been using Feedly this entire week;  kind of cold turkey approach to getting myself off Google Reader. I’m starting to get the hang of it. The web-based version is getting better, and the mobile version for Android is actually better than Reader on Android, but it’s still not ideal. Comma Feed may be an option, but the speed seems to be a problem, which may just be all the people running to it following an article I read somewhere this week. Feedly has a survey on their site asking whether or not people would pay for their service. Sorry, I know you guys have to come up with some type of business model, but I’ll never pay for Feedly.

– The ASHP 2013 Summer Meeting & Exhibition is approaching rapidly. It’ll be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 1-5, 2013. I’ve only been to one summer meeting and I’m looking forward to going back. It’s looks like there as some good session in the hopper. Hope to see you there.

– Speaking of the Summer Meeting, ASHP has an app that will help you navigate the meeting, set up your schedule, etc. The Android version can be found here. I don’t care about the iOS version, but I understand there’s one available. The app is pretty simple to use. There are a couple of things I would have done differently, but overall it’ll serve its purpose. I used the app to select what sessions I was interested in. Now I have an easy to view electronic itinerary, which I can share with other people. Happy to share it with you if you’d like.

– Interesting article in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making (2013, 13:57 doi:10.1186/1472-6947-13-57) this month on the use of REST architecture with electronic health records (EHR). My brother is a big fan of REST services, but it’s not common in healthcare. He always looks at me with a cross between amusement and pity when I tell him about the status of healthcare technology like this. I know some groups are working toward better use of REST in the healthcare sector, but by the time they get things moving the rest of the world will have moved onto something else.

The weather in Fresno today is going to be awesome: 84 degrees F, sunny and clear. Have a great weekend everyone.


1 thought on “Saturday morning coffee [May 18 2013]”

  1. I also have been looking for a Google Reader replacement. I am currently using Taptu – not perfect, but worth a look. http:\\

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