Iâ€™ve spent a fair amount of time in rental cars this year, and one thing I hate is trying to figure out the controls. They seem simple enough, except when youâ€™re in a hurry. Whether itâ€™s the cruise control, the wipers, environmental controls, the lights or the radio, it always takes me a while to get things ironed out. Kind of reminds me of the mess healthcare is in; you never know what systems youâ€™re going to get.
Evaluating my travel technology
My typical travel gear includes: Lenovo T410S Laptop or Lenovo x201t Tablet PC â€“ I go back and forth between these two machines. The T410S has a bigger screen, faster processor and more memory, but itâ€™s not a tablet PC. The x201t is smaller, easier to use and I can take notes directly on the screen. … Read more
Coolest looking laptops on the market
I have a thing for laptops and tablets, no question about it. Doesn’t matter who the manufacturer is, as long as it looks cool I’m drawn to it. It’s a good thing I don’t have unlimited funds or I’d have stacks of machines all over the house. While I’m not prejudiced against any particular laptop maker I am drawn to a certain style. For example, I like smaller laptops with screens typically less than or equal to 14-inch, and the thinner the better.
Cleanrooms â€“ the forgotten realm of acute care pharmacy
Cleanroom environments, a.k.a. IV rooms, inside acute care pharmacies compound some of the most complex and dangerous medications used inside a hospital. Unfortunately this area is often overlooked when implementing safety features such as bar-code verification, identification of high-alert medications, advanced training and competency and so on. I was reminded of the dangers of intravenous products by a recent story coming out of Alabama where the death of 9 patients was linked to TPN (total parenteral nutrition) contaminated with Serratia marcenscens.
While IV rooms remain a high risk area they tend to fall off the radar of many hospital administrators when it comes to implementing technology capable of reducing risk. USP <797> tends to get all the glory even though much of the guidelines proposed in this USP chapter have yet to be shown any more effective than diligent hand washing and impeccable technique.
Touchscreen technology still rocks
Earlier today I created a blog post about touchscreen technology for another website. While that piece was informative, it didnâ€™t contain some of the cool stuff I found during my research.
Playing video games is serious business
JAMA: â€œThe efficacy and mechanism of action of games targeting health outcomes are not well defined. Time spent playing entertainment games can enhance psychomotor skills, judgment, and high-level social skills such as leadership and collaboration.3 However, evidence also exists for the negative influence such media exposure can have on the health of children, particularly those … Read more
Where will automation and technology make the biggest impact in pharmacy?
I was planning on writing a rant this morning about lack of motivation, leadership and dumbasses – hey, I was in a fould mood when I got up – but then I opened an email from a friend. HeÂ asked me â€œHow can retail pharmacists get involved in this [pharmacy informatics] industry?â€. My first thought was … Read more
First Impressions – Lenovo T410s Laptop
Thereâ€™s a new Lenovo T410s laptop in the house. Itâ€™s technically not mine because it has a giant company asset tag on it, but itâ€™s mine for the duration of my employment and itâ€™s one incredible machine.
The configuration is as follows:
- Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
- Intel Core i5-M560 Processor
- 160GB Intel Solid State Drive
- 8GB RAM
- 14.1-inch WXGA touchscreenâ€¦yes, thatâ€™s right, it is a touchscreen
- 6 Cell Li-ion battery
- 3-cell ultrabay battery that fits in the DVD slot when I need additional battery
- And all the typical stuff that goes with most laptops, i.e. camera, Bluetooth, wireless (no 3G), etc
Time to accept pharmacy robotics as our friend and ally
As the word â€œrobotâ€ passes its 90th birthday1 – introduced by Karel Capek in his play R.U.R. (Tossumsâ€™s Universal Robots) in January 1921 â€“ it’s become obvious that robotics has not only captured the imagination of geeks everywhere, but has become a point of interest in many industries including healthcare.
Late last year ASHP began pushing the idea of a new pharmacy practice model, PPMI. TheÂ movement was a hot topic for a while, but seems to have lost a lot of steam recently â€“ â€œHence the name: movement. It moves a certain distance, then it stops, you see? A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your faceâ€ (Tommy Lee Jones in Under Siege 1992) – Anyway, when the PPMI movement was still going strong many important people in the pharmacy world struggled with the best way to approach a new pharmacy practice model. Many believe, and rightly so,Â that the best way for pharmacists to reinvent themselves is to becomeÂ the cornerstone of a more robust patient care model. After careful consideration I believe the best hope for developing such as model will be to rely heavily on pharmacy robotics to handle much of the repetitive dispensing duties now handled by pharmacist on a day to day bases. You know, free up the pharmacists. It’s not a new concept, but one that seems to escape us.
Obviously it will take some time to develop robotics to the point where it will be effective inÂ such a system, and it certainly wonâ€™t be cheap, and pharmacists will have to fight with state boards of Â pharmacy to accept it, and pharmacy administrators will have to work closely with their hospitals to develop such a systems, and someoneâ€™s going to have to be brave enough to step up to the plate and get stated, and so on and so forth. In other words it’s going to be hard and it wonâ€™t happen overnight.
Whoâ€™s up for a little project? For now let’s just take a quick look at some of the things that lead me to believe robotics is worthÂ another look as a potential solution.
Who’s to blame for the lack of advancement in pharmacy automation and technology?
Without question there is a lack of advanced automation and technology in the acute care pharmacy setting. Spend some time in several acute care pharmacies if you donâ€™t believe me. Thereâ€™s clearly a need for it, but itâ€™s just not being used.
I am a fan of automation and technology in any setting, but especially in the acute care pharmacy. I believe that the continued use, development and advancement of pharmacy technology should be a key component of any plan to change the current pharmacy practice model. Unfortunately, the situation is problematic because current pharmacy technology is either poorly designed for the needs of the pharmacy or the pharmacy in which it is used has a poorly designed workflow that doesnâ€™t take advantage of it. Why is that? Whoâ€™s to blame; someone, anyone, no one? Valid questions.