Saturday morning coffee [December 20 2014]

“Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.” ~Thomas S. Monson

So much happens each and every week, and 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_Christmas
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [December 20 2014]

Saturday morning coffee [December 13 2014]

“A doctor who works without error is not a genius. He is a liar.” ~unknown

So much happens each and every week, and 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_SMC
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [December 13 2014]

Monitoring Pharmaceutical Products in Twitter [article]

Pharmacovigilance of TwitterThere’s an interesting article in the April 2014 edition of Drug Safety that looks at English Twitter posts from November 2012 through May 2013 to see if there is any correlation between adverse event (AEs) reporting via Twitter and more “official” channels.

The authors collected public Tweets, which were subsequently stored for analysis using Amazon Web Services. See how they did that? Nothing magical about it. They used readily available information and a commercially available storage source.

Through the use of some human ingenuity, a “tree-based dictionary-matching algorithm”, and some manual labor, the authors collected 6.9 million Tweets, of which 61,402 were examined, ultimately leading to 4,401 AEs identified; referred to as Proto-AEs by the authors. During the same period 1,400 events were reported by consumers to the FDA.

While not perfect, and most certainly limited, I think the results were surprising, encouraging, and disappointing all at once.

Surprising because of the number of Proto-AEs found in the Twitter stream. People are savvy. “There was evidence that patients intend to passively report AEs in social media, as evidenced by hashtags and mentions such as #accutaneprobz and @EssureProblems. Even within 140 characters, some tweets demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts of causation in drug safety, such as alleviation of the AE after discontinuation of the drug.”

Encouraging because being able to mine social media streams like Twitter could open up an entirely new avenue of real-time AE tracking; we all know that AEs are under reported, which leads to a lack of information for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.

Disappointing because of the limited number of AEs reported to the FDA. I used to see AEs in the hospital that were never reported. I’m as guilty as many for not reporting AEs.

More work needs to be done in this area before we can begin to rely on data mined from social media, but they again it’s probably as reliable as information collected elsewhere.

The article is open access and the full version is online for free, so there’s no excuse not to read it.

Is it just me or is the pharmacy presence on Twitter growing?

My daughter had a three-day volleyball tournament over the weekend. While there’s a lot of action during these tournaments, there’s also some downtime. I usually pass the downtime by reading through my social media streams. I have a system that typically goes something like this: Twitter –> Google+ –> Facebook –> LinkedIn –> RSS-feed-reader-of-the-week –> start over.

This weekend I found myself clicking on, and reading, a lot more pharmacy related Tweets than usual.
Continue reading Is it just me or is the pharmacy presence on Twitter growing?

Saturday morning coffee [March 9 2013]

MUG_genericSo 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 isn’t one of my personal mugs. Instead it’s the kind of generic mug you get in cheesy hotel restaurants. And that’s because I’m not at home. I’m in Las Vegas for my daughter’s volleyball tournament. In lieu of that, and the fact that I had to crawl off into a “quiet” corner to open my laptop, I’m going to make this quick.

Jack the Giant Slayer was #1 at the box office last weekend. Not a big surprise as again there was little in the way of competition at the box office for a second week in a row. Jack brought in a measly $27 Million on its opening weekend. Not too bad, but when you consider the $195 Million production budget that makes it a flop. Yikes! My family and I saw Jack over the weekend. We enjoyed it. Identity Thief continues to do well as it came in second place for weekend box office totals.
Continue reading Saturday morning coffee [March 9 2013]

Year end thoughts 2012

fathertime_babynewyear2This is my final post of 2012. Random thoughts about things that I’ve seen, heard and/or read over the past twelve months.

Twenty-twelve was an interesting year for the Fahrni clan, and not in a good way. We lost one of our own and had some bad things happen. We also had some good times, but it won’t be a year that I’ll miss all that much.

We all survived the Mayan Apocalypse

We experienced the last repeating date of the century: 12-12-12
Continue reading Year end thoughts 2012

Changes to Twitter finally hit home

I’ve read quite a bit lately about all the changes to Twitter. The incessant complaining, the non-stop blood-clot cryin’, the “Twitter has gone too far” rhetoric, and so on. Whatever Twitter has done has irritated a lot of people, but doesn’t seem to have hurt them much, if at all. I don’t really care one way or the other. I use the native Twitter client on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Samsung Tab 7.0 Plus; seems to work just fine.  No problems noted. I use the Silver Bird add on for Google Chrome to handle my Tweeting when I’m online, and I use Buffer when I’m inside Google Reader. Haven’t seen any problems there either.

I’ve been using a service called IFTTT – awesome tool by the way – to send all my Tweets directly to an Evernote Notebook where they’re archived for all eternity, or until something happens to the cloud. So each time I compose a new Tweet it’s automatically captured and appended to my “IFTTT Twitter” Notebook in Evernote. It’s great.

Unfortunately it looks like that’s all about to come to an end. I received the following email yesterday:

It’s a real bummer. It won’t stop me from using Twitter, but it’s still a bit frustrating that something so incredibly effective at automating the archiving of my Tweets is being shut down.

Yeah, my Twitter account was hacked

A couple of nights ago I fell for a phishing scam on Twitter. I pride myself on being careful while online and especially when I use social media, so you can imagine my embarrassment when I discovered that I’d been duped.

Many of my followers were kind enough to tell me I’d been hacked prior to unfollowing me. And of course Twitter followed suite several hours later by sending me an email letting me know they’d reset my password and encouraging me to check my settings for suspicious third party apps. It didn’t really matter by then as I had already changed my password a couple of times. The damage had already been done.

I don’t typically believe in violence to resolve a problem, but this is one of those rare occasions where I think violence is the perfect answer. Just me, a locked room with the person who created the hack inside, a blowtorch, some sharp objects and a long rope with a noose at the end. Sounds fair to me.

twitter_hack_notice

The ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 continues … (#ashpsm)

ASHP 2011 Summer Meeting and Exhibition

I had planned on blogging daily during the Summer Meeting, but obviously that didn’t happen. Perhaps it was the big dinner I had yesterday evening followed by the insanely good gelato that put me into a food comma, or then again maybe it was just laziness. Regardless, I skipped a day.

The Summer Meeting continues to roll on with some great sessions and lots of interesting conversation. All-in-all between yesterday and today I’ve attended the following:

Continue reading The ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 continues … (#ashpsm)

And so it begins, the ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 (#ashpsm)

As you read this the ASHP Summer Meeting is taking place in Denver, Colorado. While the ceremonial start isn’t until after the Opening Session and Keynote tomorrow (Monday, June 13) things have been in full swing since Saturday.

Continue reading And so it begins, the ASHP Summer Meeting 2011 (#ashpsm)