The Great Digital Divide

By: Michael Grzesik, Infrastructure Security Specialist

With the latest disclosure by Yahoo on December 14, 2016 that it lost the information for one BILLION e-mail accounts, I have finally decided that after nearly 20 years, it is time for me to part ways with my beloved Yahoo e-mail address.

This proves to be no small task!  When I put pen to paper, I have a laundry list of e-commerce sites that contain that address.  The ones that I am most worried about involve my credit cards and any site that has a password recovery feature.  If a cybercriminal can get into my e-mail and recover passwords from a website I use, it’s game over.

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How To: Gain Efficiency by Optimizing Your Carousel

By Beth Richter, Pharmacist Consultant

Carousels are ubiquitous in the health system pharmacy space.  Often times, the pharmacy staff will pick more than 85% of all doses from a carousel.  Carousels are the primary engines that drive medication distribution and workflow; pharmacy technicians spend hours in front of a carousel each day.  Their day is divided into buckets of activity: receiving the day’s orders from the wholesaler, processing cart-fills, cabinet-fills, and returns from the floors while staying on top of the STAT and first dose orders that filter in throughout the day.  It’s important to consider why optimizing your carousel(s) will make long-lasting efficiency improvements for all functions performed.

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Measuring Patient Harm in Canadian Hospitals

By: Irene Wasilewski, Application Consultant

Despite health professionals’ focus on safety, a small proportion of patients experience some type of unintended harm as a result of the care they receive. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) in conjunction with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) recently released a report using 2014/2015 data to measure patient harm in Canadian hospitals. This report provides an overview of the status of these patient safety events in Canada (outside of Quebec) and identifies how the data and associated improvement resources can be used for improvement.

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Why Coders Should Not Be Testers

By: David Pilkington, Software Developer

I’ve been a software developer all my adult life and then some – back to the days when we were called “computer programmers.” In those 35 years I’ve learned a few lessons, and one has definitely been that those who write the software should definitely not be the ones charged with vigorously testing it.

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So you need to move a Data Center?

By Dan Hawkins M.B.A., Director of Information  Technology

Edited by Mike Grzesik, Infrastructure Security Specialist

 

My team and I just finished up a project that left me exhausted, elated, proud, and much wiser than before we started. We moved a Web-based Data Center application from one Internet hosting provider to another in a 60 hour weekend.  The specifics of what we did, why we did it that way, and what I would have done differently are the learning points that I want to share. Three stages of the project played a major role in our success.  These phases:  Preparation, Move, and Go-Live support draw parallels with terms in the medical field.  Some of you may have been through Pre-OP, Surgery and Recovery.   Whether the patient is human, or a virtualized stack of computers, mass data storage, switches and firewalls doesn’t matter.   The goal for a successful outcome is much the same.

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Where’s My Data?

By: Betty Plummer, Software Developer

Pharmacy software generates a lot of data.  It needs to be saved (or persisted) for reference or reporting.  The gold standard for the past few decades has been to use a relational database, where data is pulled apart and stored in tables as related bits that can be put back together in different ways, depending on the questions (queries) being asked.

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What will your technology legacy be?

By: Nancy Panos, Application Consultant

You are about to spend hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions on a new technology for your pharmacy operation.  You did all the work to get the project signoff, got the funding and you’re eager to have the installation done, because the business benefits are going to be AMAZING.  But in our 20 plus years of experience with technology projects, there is one clear and consistent fact:  Implementing a new technology into the pharmacy is not simply a fact of install and hit the ground running.  It’s a people project.  You’re about to press a button and tell everyone in the team to change; change how they worked (maybe for the last 20 years), what to do, where to go, and how to do it.  Success is not solely based on the performance of the technology, but the acceptance and engagement of the people who are intended to interact with the system.  So before you dive headfirst into 2 feet of murky water consider the fact that you need to manage the people aspect of this project as much as anything else.

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New NAPRA Compounding Standards

By: Irene Wasilewski, Application Consultant

What is NAPRA?

The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) is a voluntary association of Canadian provincial and territorial pharmacy regulatory bodies as well as the Canadian Forces Pharmacy Services.  NAPRA members regulate the practice of pharmacy and operation of pharmacies in their respective jurisdictions in Canada. Their primary mandate is to protect the public.

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Why should pharmacies develop work standards for pharmacy technicians? What is a work standard?

By: Erica Ellis, Application Consultant

As an Industrial Engineer, I have a unique perspective on how work is done in a pharmacy.  Whether it is inpatient, outpatient, long-term care, mail order, etc. each pharmacy has specific processes that must be completed by both pharmacists and technicians in order to deliver medications to its patients. Many of the pharmacies I work with are searching for ways to make their processes safer and more efficient for their employees and patients.

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The Next Data Breach: Don’t Become a Victim

By: Michael Grzesik, Infrastructure Security Specialist

It’s back to business as usual for the hacked hospitals that were highlighted in my last post.  Undoubtedly, they have learned a big lesson from the events just weeks ago.  January, February and March were busy months for healthcare data breaches.  Here’s an update:

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