Medical errors remain a problem despite years of effort

I recently read an article at Senator Bernie Sanders website about preventable medication errors. The article lists preventable medical errors in hospitals as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. behind only heart disease and cancer.

The article goes on to say that “the Journal of Patient Safety recently published a study which concluded that as many as 440,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals. Tens of thousands also die from preventable mistakes outside hospitals, such as deaths from missed diagnoses or because of injuries from medications.” I’m not exactly sure what article they’re referencing here as they didn’t provide a link or additional information, but I assume they’re referring to the article by James in September 2013. Just a guess, I could be wrong.1 Regardless of the actual reference, the bottom line is that the number of patients that die from preventable medical errors is high.
Continue reading Medical errors remain a problem despite years of effort

Saturday morning coffee [July 26 2014]

“Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes that reason is you’re stupid and make bad choices” – unknown

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 is relatively new. I received it as a gift from my brother Robert and his wife, Kim. Very cool. I’ve had a running joke about monkeys for years. Once upon a time, not too many years ago, an administrator in the pharmacy where I worked told me that a monkey could do my job. Made me pretty angry. Sad part was he was right.

MUG_Monkey
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [July 26 2014]

Desire to see more collaboration between pharmacies and local universities

Bitwise Industries in Fresno is an interesting place. It’s basically a tech hub pulled together by some great local minds. Located in a nice little area in downtown Fresno, BitWise has tasked itself with taking “a burgeoning tech industry that was growing in silos in California’s heartland, add places that inspire community, collaboration, and growth, create accessible education that equips and empowers a homegrown army of technologists, deploy talent to execute technology success stories”. I visited the facility with my brother, Robert when it first opened. Impressive and inspiring.

But this post is not about BitWise. It’s about something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years. BitWise was simply a catalyst to remind me to revisit my idea.
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Moving from the Motorola Moto X to the Samsung Galaxy S5

s5_blackA short time ago I was an unwilling participant in my Moto X being dropped on a concrete floor.

Over the past year or so I’ve been working with a colleague on a book about the state of automation and technology in pharmacy IV rooms. During this time I’ve made several site visits to acute care pharmacies to look at the technology, workflow, etc in their IV rooms. As part of the data collection process I not only take a lot of notes, but snap lots of photos and record video of technicians working with the technology. I find the photos and video invaluable when reviewing my notes.

Prior to entering the cleanroom at one large hospital back east, the pharmacist in charge insisted that he wipe down my Moto X with alcohol. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but it was either let him do it or not take it in. I opted to let him wipe it down. During the process he dropped my Moto X. It hit the concrete floor pretty hard and bounced. The back popped halfway off. Not good. Since that time my Moto X has been acting weird, freezing up, not taking voice commands, and so on. I finally decided to replace it through the insurance I carry on the device.
Continue reading Moving from the Motorola Moto X to the Samsung Galaxy S5

Color labels for pharmacy – Quick Label Systems

QuickLabel

I was rummaging through my travel bag and found some items that I collected during the ASHP Summer Meeting back in June. Most of the information had to do with IV room systems, tablet identification, and so on. But there was one item that caught my eye that didn’t fit with the rest: color labels.

I’ve written about the use of color on pharmacy labels before. It has its place, but in my opinion the major barriers have been cost and label quality. That’s why I was so interested when I saw the booth from Quick Label Systems at the ASHP Summer Meeting. The labels they had on display were spectacular. It’s difficult to see in my photo, but the image quality and label stock are top notch. The labels are tough –  really tough – resistant to water, and don’t smear. Very nice.

The quality of the label and print gives users the ability to place a crazy array of information on the label, including the ability to embed audio or links to video using bar code technology. It’s pretty cool.

The company isn’t a pharmacy solution in the traditional sense, but do provide OEM services for other companies. In other words, if you have a need for color labels Quick Label Systems will build color label printers with your name on them.

Not every product that leaves the pharmacy needs a color label, but they could certainly be useful in the IV room. Using color to differentiate or highlight something that requires special attention like chemotherapy is always helpful to pharmacy and nursing.

I’ll try to get the rest of my bag’s contents up over the next few days.