Saturday morning coffee [March 30 2013]

MUG_MPSo 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 comes straight from Moonstone Pottery in Los Osos, California. It’s a pretty cool mug. It was a gift from my brother, Robert. Thanks bro.

The Croods was #1 at the box office last weekend to the tune of nearly $44 Million. I didn’t see that one coming. I knew that the movie was out, but had no interest in seeing it. My family chose instead to see Olympus Has Fallen. It was terribly predictable and a bit corny, but I liked it. It was full of lots of gratuitous violence and gun play, which makes it my kind of movie. Just for the record, Jack the Giant Slayer has officially flopped at the box office.
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [March 30 2013]

Saturday morning coffee [February 23 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….

MUG_MinneapolisThe coffee mug from the right is straight out of the Twin Cities area, i.e. the Minneapolis-Saint Paul in Minnesota. I picked it up at a Caribou Coffee shop in Minneapolis. Apparently Caribou Coffee is a locally owned business in the Twin Cities area. I have no idea really, but that’s what I was told and the website does list a local address (3900 Lakebreeze Ave N., Minneapolis, MN 55429). The coffee is pretty good I thought the mug looked cool. It was the first time I had ever been to the Minneapolis area. I don’t recommend it as a tourist spot in the winter. It was cold boys and girls. The first night I was there it was a cool 0 (zero) degrees F. One neat thing about the trip was that I got a chance to go to the Mall of America. Impressive place.
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [February 23 2013]

Effects of interruptions in healthcare [article]

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association1 caught my eye. The article, A systematic review of the psychological literature on interruption and its patient safety implications, looks at various tasks and variables associated with interruptions in healthcare. The article is a meta-analysis, and we all know what that means, but it is interesting nonetheless. The authors of the article say that it’s a complex issue, but I think at the heart of the matter interruptions are simply bad. Our brains just don’t multi-task the way we’d like them to, and interruptions cause a break in concentration and therefore a break in our focus. I know it always takes me a few seconds to regain my thoughts when someone interrupts me. This is especially true when I’m performing a complex task. And wouldn’t you consider providing care to patients a complex task? I would.

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What’s wrong with this picture, err, I mean with these words?

I was reading an article in the most recent issue of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare and I ran accross the paragraph below. I had to chuckle to myself. Would this be the definition of irony?

Feel free to comment on what you think is wrong with this paragraph. Don’t look too hard because it should be immediately obvious to all healthcare providers. I’ll update the post tomorrow.

MedEx: a medication information extraction system for clinical narratives

The practice of informatics: Application of information technology: MedEx: a medication information extraction system for clinical narratives

Hua Xu, Shane P Stenner, Son Doan, Kevin B Johnson, Lemuel R Waitman, Joshua C Denny

Abstract

Medication information is one of the most important types of clinical data in electronic medical records. It is critical for healthcare safety and quality, as well as for clinical research that uses electronic medical record data. However, medication data are often recorded in clinical notes as free-text. As such, they are not accessible to other computerized applications that rely on coded data. We describe a new natural language processing system (MedEx), which extracts medication information from clinical notes. MedEx was initially developed using discharge summaries. An evaluation using a data set of 50 discharge summaries showed it performed well on identifying not only drug names (F-measure 93.2%), but also signature information, such as strength, route, and frequency, with F-measures of 94.5%, 93.9%, and 96.0% respectively. We then applied MedEx unchanged to outpatient clinic visit notes. It performed similarly with F-measures over 90% on a set of 25 clinic visit notes.

Xu H, Stenner SP, Doan S, et al. MedEx: a medication information extraction system for clinical narratives. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2010;17(1):19-24.

Keeping up while on the information superhighway

Web 2.0 has certainly created an information revolution. I used to rely solely on journal articles to keep me up to date. Now I rely on an internet connection. Unfortunately, this creates a situation where information arrives faster than I can digest it, and if you’re not careful you can drown in the excess and end up not learning a thing.
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