“What’d I miss?” – Week of March 21, 2010

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.
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Nice look at Web 2.0 and pharmacy in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Am J Pharm Educ. 2009;73(7):1-11: “One positive aspect of Web 2.0 applications is that they create a participatory architecture for supporting communities of learners. Unlike learning management systems (which are closed systems) and static Web pages (which are singular-owned), blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking sites are open to learners from multiple schools and facilitate collaboration on content creation. This participatory culture is, in essence, a key component of Web 2.0 and one that gives promise to educators who seek a means to include students in the creation of knowledge.”

The article does a good job of describing several commonly used components of Web 2.0 such as blogs, social networks, aggregation, podcasts, etc. While the information in the article is specifically aimed at pharmacy education, it is valuable to practicing pharmacists as well.

The application of Web 2.0 was a popular topic at ASHP earlier this month; I mention it here. Web 2.0 is nothing new. In fact it’s rather old in terms of technology. But like many other technologies, pharmacy has been slow to adopt it. The key to all this is to remember that many of these services can be used to disseminate valuable information to other pharmacists and healthcare professionals. Think of Web 2.0 as just another tool in the pharmacist’s armamentarium. More information on Web 2.0 can be found here.

“What’d I miss?” – Week of December 13th

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.

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Update ASHP #Midyear2009

Today was a good day for informatics at ASHP Midyear.

Pharmacy 2.0: How the Web is Changing How We Practice
This was a great session moderated by John Poikonen (@poikonen), PharmD or RxInformatics.com. John defined Pharmacy 2.0 as the combination of ASHP’s practice model, participatory medicine, health reform, and self-reform, i.e. changing the way you work. In an interesting move Poikonen asked the audience how many of them were familiar with the term “hashtag” and mentioned the use of #Midyear2009 as a way to follow the meeting on Twitter. Unfortunately very few pharmacists raised their hand to acknowledge the term. I wish we had a way to quantify the number, but it was only 10-20 in a crowd of a couple hundred. It’s obvious that the crowd had an interest in the subject by their presence, but as I already suspected pharmacy has a long way to go before we can be considered tech savvy.

Todd Eury (@toddeury) of Pharmacy Technology Resources and Pharmacy Web 2.0 presented on “Healthcare System Communications Evolution: Pharmacy and Web 2.0”. In his presentation he introduced many of the most commonly used social media available today; specifically LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. He did an excellent job of defining their role in pharmacy practice and communicating not only their benefits, but pitfalls as well. One thing of particular interest in Eury’s presentation was the need to monitor your online reputation and occasionally “Google yourself”. Try it; you’ll be surprised at what you find.

Kevin Clauson (@kevinclauson), PharmD of Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy presented “A Pharmacist’s Web 2.0 Toolkit for Information Management.” He covered the use of RSS Readers, like Google Reader, PeRSSonalized, and Clinical Reader, as well as Twitter and Evernote as a way for pharmacists to keep up with the ever changing world of information that we have to digest and assimilate. I consider myself pretty well versed in the ways of the web, but Kevin offered up some great pearls of wisdom that I can immediately put into practice.

The final segment of the Pharmacy 2.0 session was a video presentation by Dr. Daniel Sands (@drdannysands) in which he spoke about physician’s use of social media and the web to communicate with his patients. He also covered ways that patients can get involved in their own healthcare through the use of online societies specific to their condition. Dr. Sands spent several minutes in the video interviewing physicians in his own practice about their views on social media and its impact on their relationship with patients. Not surprising some physicians spoke positively about the technology, while others were not so flattering.

Pharmacy Informatics Education Networking Session
This session offered up some of the most interactive discussion that I’ve been involved with during my time here at Midyear. The discussion centered on what informatics education standards should be for pharmacy students and how that should translate into a “qualified informatics pharmacist”. It was interesting to see the difference in opinions from pharmacist to pharmacist. While I won’t go into exactly what was covered I think everyone in that room needs to remember that pharmacists are highly educated clinicians that deserve to practice informatics at that same level. A <insert title here; clinical informaticist, Informatics pharmacist, pharmacy informaticist, clinical informatics pharmacist, medication management informaticist> should not be the guy sitting in a cubicle writing reports day in and day out, or the guy that has to edit each line item in the pharmacy information system because “G” should be “GM”. The <insert title here> should be the individual involved in making sure that systems are designed to include pharmacy workflow, that the reports being written provide the necessary information to be clinically relavent, that current clinical standards are adhered to during implementation of new systems, be the representative at the table during discussions of integration and interoperability of hospital systems, etc. Pharmacy informatics is a young discipline and a step in the wrong direction can harm the profession for years to come.

Informatics Bytes 2009: Pearls of Informatics
This session, which is still going on, has a little bit of everything when it comes to pharmacy informatics and patient safety. They announced that the session would be recorded. Maybe they’ll even create a podcast out of it; one can only hope.

“What’d I miss?” – Week of November 22nd

Turkey_cartoonWelcome to the Thanksgiving edition of “What’d I Miss?”. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time that marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump until the New Year.  Squeeze Christmas in there and you have the best 6 week span of the year. Good times, good times.

As usual there were a lot of things that happened during the week, and not all of it was pharmacy or technology related. Here’s a quick look at some of the stuff I found interesting.
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Twitter vs. RSS Reader … who cares.

I’ve been following an interesting debate about the benefits of Twitter versus RSS readers like Google Reader. The debate started with a question posed by Robert Scoble on friendfeed and spilled over into several blogs; siliconANGLE, louisgray.com, Scobleizer and Newsome.Org.

I love reading stuff like this because you can see the passion that everyone has for their little corner of the technology world. It’s even more interesting when you consider that it’s a completely personal choice. Boxers or briefs, who gives a crap as long as you’re comfortable.
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Pharmacy students may be a little too transparent with their social media

transparencyA study in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (Vol: 73, Issue 06, Article: 104) took a look at issues related to Facebook usage, accountability, privacy, online image and e-professionalism among students entering pharmacy school

The study was conducted via a questionnaire consisting of 21 questions administered to 299 incoming pharmacy students. Of the 299 students surveyed, 244 (88%) had an existing Facebook profile. The average daily time spent of Facebook was approximately 22 minutes.
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Yes, another article on Twitter and healthcare

TELEMEDICINE and e-Health (July/August 2009):  “Although as a “social entertainment” Twitter is remarkably successful—it’s a wonderful time-waster—the more significant question, especially as it pertains to telemedicine and e-health, is: What good is it? Joseph C. Kvedar, M.D., Director of the Center for connected Health (Partners Healthcare System, Boston, MA), says that one way to look at Twitter is as a method of mass communication. “It’s a bit like having a group of people you can instantly send a blast fax or blast e-mail or a blast communication to because it’s real-time and because it was designed for mobility. Instead of being like texting my daughter, I might now text 30 people or 50 or 100 people, whatever the number is who are following you.” Several healthcare practitioners and organizations are putting Twitter to use.” – I have to admit, I’ve made contact with more interesting and intelligent people in five months of “Tweeting” then in my previous 12 year career as a pharmacist. That’s certainly important to me.