Participating in the ASHP Summer Meeting from afar #ashpsm10

The inability to physically be in Tampa, FL shouldn’t stop someone from participating in the ASHP Summer Meeting. Technology doesn’t care that I’m 2700 miles away or that I’m sitting in my home in my bunny slippers with Diet Pepsi in hand. With a webcam and speaker phone I was able to join a user group discussion held by Talyst.
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Update on AutoPharm software only pilot

A couple of months ago we became a beta site for a Talyst AutoPharm software only solution. It’s not really a “software only” solution as it consists of a POS-X PC117 workstation, a Code CR3 scanner and a Zebra ZM400 printer, and of course Talyst’s AutoPharm software, but there are no carousels attached to it.
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Today’s presentation on pharmacy automation

The health care system I work for, Kaweah Delta Health Care District, uses quite a bit of automated technology from Talyst in our inpatient pharmacy. Well, today I spent the day in Bellevue, WA with the good folks from Talyst talking about all kinds of pharmacy automation and technology.

The day started with me giving a brief presentation at their quarterly meeting about Kaweah Delta’s experience installing Talyst equipment, and ended with a tour of their warehouse facility in Preston that included a peak at their process for managing and testing canisters for their AutoPack Oral Solid Packaging System; very interesting stuff.

Talyst was a wonderful host and I had a great time visiting their facilities and speaking with a bunch of very intelligent and interesting people. I learned a lot and had fun at the same time. You can’t ask for more than that.

View more presentations from Jerry Fahrni.

Cool Technology for Pharmacy – AutoPharm

Our facility utilizes several software and hardware products from Talyst to manage our pharmacy inventory and support our goal of bar coding 100% of the pharmacy inventory. The entire system consists of the Talyst AutoCarousel system for automated carousel storage, their AutoPharm software for inventory management, their AutoPack system for packaging and bar coding our bulk medications, and their AutoLabel system for generating bar coded labels for items that aren’t bar coded from the manufacturer or whose bar codes aren’t easily read.
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Cool Technology for Pharmacy

While this item isn’t specifically designed for pharmacy, it is one cool piece of hardware; the POS-X PC117. The all-in-one workstation is on the list of hardware I received from Talyst as part of a new system that Kaweah Delta will be beta testing in the coming months. So, I wandered over to the Talyst customer portal where I found some additional information. I’m not positive, but it looks like this is the new workstation that the company will be using on their AutoPharm installations.

The POS-X workstation is a big improvement over the traditional use of a monitor and standard PC tower. It’s not exactly petite, weighing in at 24 pounds, but it’s still a real space saver.
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Talyst goes live with new customer portal

Talyst has been beta-testing a new customer portal for several months now. The idea was introduced to Talyst customers at their user group meeting during the ASHP Summer Meeting in Chicago last June. Beta-testing took place between the summer meeting and December 2009 when Talyst unveiled the portal to a larger user group meeting in Las Vegas at the ASHP Midyear. Attendees were given a demonstration of the portal and offered an opportunity to provide feedback on possible issues or features they’d like to see. Well, it appears that the portal is out of the beta phase and ready for use.


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Code Corp bar code scanners

As I’ve mentioned before our AutoCarousel system from Talyst utilizes barcode scanners from Code Corp, specifically the Code Reader 3.0 (CR3). As you my or not be aware, I’ve been working with Code Corp and Talyst over the past several months in an attempt to replace our aging CR3 with Code Corps newest version of the scanner, the Code Reader 3500.

The Code Reader 3500 uses newer technology over the CR3 and performs much better with our carousel. The reader is easier to use due to its wider target area and “reflection and glare reducing illumination”. It’s also quite a bit faster. The technicians love it.
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Siemens Innovations ’09 – update, part deux

I spent the day attending the following educational sessions:

Where did My Mumps Job Scheduler (MJS) Go? – This was a pretty basic “how-to” session covering the new job scheduler, Cache, used in the latest version of the pharmacy system. Boring, but helpful.

Integrating Siemens Pharmacy to Maximize the Pharmacist Role – This was the most interesting presentation of the day, by far. Yakima Valley Memorial hospital is located in Yakima, Washington. Their pharmacy department is clinically solid and technologically advanced. They make extensive use of various custom pharmacy system reports to monitor antibiotic therapy, follow patients with poor glycemic control, and follow-up on patients with questionable orders. In addition, Yakima is in the process of writing advanced rules against their pharmacy system to track patients receiving warfarin therapy with no INR within the previous 24 hours. The warfarin monitoring is necessary to meet National Patient Safety Goal 3E. Much of the information is practical and can be reproduced at my facility.

Hitting the Mark with MAK! – Everyone wants to learn more about MAK, Siemens BCMA solution, and there have been presentations on just about every aspect of the system. This was no exception as the entire presentation was on how to develop a project plan for MAK implementation. This one nearly put me to sleep.

Leveraging MAK/MAR Integration to Achieve Increased Operational Efficiency – Centra State Healthcare System has done some pretty amazing things with their MAK data and the electronic medication administration record (MAR) found in Soarian. Soarian is Siemens system for collecting and displaying clinical information such as labs, allergies, patient assessments, physician notes, etc. Centra managed to create an integrated solution that offers physicians a one-stop-shop for clinical information as well as previous, current, and future medication administration. I was impressed. It appears I have a little reading to do when I get home.

I spent most of the afternoon talking with other pharmacists about computerized provider order entry (CPOE) and pharmacy automation. One pharmacist from CaroMont Health in Gastonia, NC was particularly interesting as his facility uses almost the exact same setup as ours; Siemens Pharmacy, Pyxis, and Talyst automation. He and I shared quite a bit of information. The time spent talking with other pharmacists was very valuable, possibley more valuable than all the presentations combined. 

Tomorrow is the final day of Innovations ’09 with more of the same on my agenda. Sessions on my radar for tomorrow include: Extending Patient Safety with MAK Beyond the Acute Inpatient Setting, Building the Bridge between MAK and Soarian, and Raising the Bar for Patient Safety. After that, it will be time to pack up and head for the airport; until then.

Siemens Innovations ’09 – update

I just finished my last session of the day here in Philadelphia, and overall I would have to say it was a productive one.

My first session today was an update on various future enhancements to both the Siemens Pharmacy System and their barcode medication administration system (BCMA), fondly referred to as MAK. The future enhancements bring much needed functionality to a system that, in my opinion, wasn’t ready for prime time.
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