Saturday morning coffee [August 10 2013]: 2 Guns, Office 365, barriers to analytics in healthcare

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….

City Brew in a neat little coffee shop in Billings, Montana. I was in Billings visiting the Billings Clinic Hospital for work. That was the last trip I made as product manager for the company I worked for prior to being laid off. City Brew is a pretty cool coffee shop; they roast their own beans! I thought the place was cool enough that I wanted to buy a City Brew Coffee mug. Unfortunately they didn’t offer mugs for sale, but I noticed that they had mugs behind the counter for use by patrons that were planning to drink their coffee in-house. So I asked the girl behind the counter if she’d sell me one. She hesitated, but then I explained that I was from California and I thought City Brew was pretty cool. She relented and sold me a mug, the one you see below. Tah-dah.


2 Guns was #1 at the box office last weekend pulling in just over $27 million. I’m not a big fan of Denzel Washington, but I like Mark Wahlberg. I think it’s a movie worth seeing on the big screen. I did manage to make it to the movie theater earlier this week. On Tuesday afternoon my wife and I took in a matinee. We saw The Wolverine. Meh.

Jerry Fahrni unemployment chronicles, day #16: Five years ago it was easy to get a job working as a pharmacist in a hospital. Those jobs were plentiful. That is no longer the case. Apparently the shortage dried up while I was away. This might be harder than I originally thought.

The most visited post at over the past 7 days is still Why pharmacy continues to fail.

The list of 20 most caffeinated cities (data from 2010) includes four cities from California: San Jose, (#3), San Francisco (#5), Los Angeles (#8), San Diego (#12). That’s more than any other state. I’m obviously living in the right state. Oh, the #1 most caffeinated city in America? Seattle, Washington.

Ever heard of World Time Buddy? “World Time Buddy (WTB) is a cross between a time zone converter, a world clock converter, and an online meeting scheduler. It’s one of the best online productivity tools for those often finding themselves traveling, in flights, in online meetings or just calling friends and family abroad. ” – I found WTB quite handy when I used to have to schedule meetings across multiple time zones.

This is very interesting: “The world’s first truly solar-powered laptop“, the SOL Laptop. “SOL is a solar powered laptop. It never needs to be plugged into the grid. It’s rugged, incredibly fun to use and most importantly, it is affordable. SOL was developed to enhance education in developing countries but is also great for all adventurers around the world. Its unique design allows you to take SOL with you wherever life takes you.” According to the website SOL is environmentally friendly, rugged and waterproof, runs Ubuntu Linux, and comes fully loaded with productivity and creativity tools. The specs aren’t too bad for what it is: Atom processor, 320GB HD, 4GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 13.3-inch screen and host of ports.


I’ve been reading through my old posts this week. I think some, like my IV room workflow management system comparison table, need to be updated. There’s a lot of information in that little table, and some of it is out of date. Since my visit to Stanford a couple of weeks ago I’ve been thinking a lot about the IV room.

I’ve been using Kingsoft Office for a while. Kingsoft is a pretty solid Microsoft Office alternative, and it’s free. However, I ran into a major problem earlier this week. Someone sent me a Microsoft Excel 2013 file. Kingsoft Office had considerable trouble with some of the stuff in the spreadsheet. This combined with the fact that I desperately miss having Microsoft OneNote at my disposal lead me to reconsider using Kingsoft Office. Long story short, I decided to sign up for a 30 trial of Microsoft Office 365. So far I’ve been impressed. I initially thought that Office 365 was a cloud-based only solution. Not so. As soon as I signed up for Office 365 the entire Microsoft Office Suite was downloaded to my computer. I have five licenses, Mac or PC. Five! Not sure why I don’t hear more about Office 365. Marketing problem?

I came across an article, 25 eye-popping examples of parallax scrolling websites at this week. All the example websites are pretty cool, but example #2 The Lab – provided by Alzheimer’s Research, the UK’s leading dementia research charity – is absolutely amazing. I dare you to click on the link and not spend at least 20 minutes roaming around the site.

This is pretty cool: “Michel Pahud demonstrates the research project of an Actuated 3-D Display with Haptic Feedback. The system consists of a touchscreen with a robot arm, engineered for instant, sensitive responsiveness, smooth forward and backward movement, and applications that support multi-touch screen interactions, force sensing, 3-D visualizations and depth movement..”

Medscape: Dr. Paul G. Auwaerter, MD in response to possible removal of ketoconazole from the U.S. market. “As an infectious diseases physician, I don’t think I have prescribed ketoconazole in more than 15 years. The last time was for a newspaper carrier with a limited income who came down with histoplasmosis in western Maryland, and he couldn’t afford the very expensive drugs itraconazole or fluconazole. “ – I have to side with Dr. Auwaerter on this one. As a pharmacist I can tell you that ketoconazole was rarely used for systemic infection. There are better drugs out there.

Ever heard of an app called iFunny? Well, it’s pretty funny. I find that I have a lot of free time these days, and I fill that time with iFunny.  The other day someone posted something about Aerogel. I’d never heard of Aerogel, so I did what every red-blooded American does when they don’t know what something is, I Googled it. It turns out that Aerogel is pretty cool. Check the video below if you don’t believe me. Side note: when I entered college I wanted to be a materials chemist. True story.

Medium – A Product Manager’s Job: “Product management is one of the hardest jobs to define in any organization, partially because it’s different in every company. The job of a product manager is to: Help your team (and company) ship the right product to your users. The ultimate truth is that no product will never quite be right for everyone; it’s an ongoing process of continued development and iteration to make it better. The best product managers are the ones who simply roll up their sleeves and help their team through this journey.” – This is a pretty good read. I’ve found that the biggest obstacle to being a product manager is resistance from “the team”. You’d be surprised how many differing opinions there are around the simple idea of helping the “team (and company) ship the right product to [the] users”.

Not that it comes as a surprise to anyone, but ASUS will no longer make Windows RT tablets. According to the WSJ, “Taiwanese personal computer maker Asustek Computer Inc. said Friday it will no longer make Windows RT tablets, which run a version of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8 for ARM Holdings PLC’s chips, citing weak sales“. – Windows RT was doomed from the start, but for all the wrong reasons. Each week I have to talk myself out of buying a Surface RT tablet. I don’t need a Surface RT tablet, but I would love to have one. I may not be able to hold out much longer if the price keeps dropping.

I’ve downloaded several new apps for Windows 8 this week. One that’s worth mentioning is News Bento. It’s a news reader. Access to several good feeds are provided up front, and you can add additional feeds via URL as you see fit. As an added bonus News Bento syncs my feeds across all my machines. The one thing I’ve found a bit frustrating is that I can’t figure out how to share a link via Twitter from within the app. Strange, but true.


I love Family Guy. They make fun of everything, even Jason.

HIT Consultant: “84% of CIOs and other C-Suite health care executives believe that the application of big data analytics in healthcare organizations is a significant challenge, according to a survey from the eHealth Initiative and the College of Health Information Management Executives.Despite the growing focus on big data and analytics, the survey identified four major barriers: Lack of appropriate trained staff (64%), Data ownership and/or governance issues (53%), Data integration (40%), Lack of funding (39%)“. I see data ownership and/or governance as the biggest problem of the four listed. Data integration, lack of trained staff, and funding have always been a problem for healthcare systems. Ownership of information coming from engaged patients is a new problem.

Only 26 days until the NFL season kicks off. Preseason is already here. I can taste the regular season, and can barely contain myself. Here’s the Countdown clock just in case you were wondering.

Have a great weekend everyone. Until next week.

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