Pat Lynch’s Calendar

January 20, 2013 by Pat Lynch

Ask me anything at  plynch@gmi3.com

2011-09-01 08.22.35

2014 Calendar

April 8 – HTMA-Nevada, Las Vegas

April 9-11 – MD Expo in Las Vegas

April 29 – Gateway Biomedical Society, St. Louis

April 30 – Meeting of Biomedical Service providers to Haiti

May 9 – HTMA-SC Conference (Columbia, SC)

May 20 – CMIA Orange County

May 30 – Manny’s Meeting at AAMI – Philadelphia

May 31 -June 2 – AAMI in Philadelphia

July 15, 16 – MD Imaging Expo – Indianapolis

Sept 3,4,5 – NCBA (NC) in Concord, NC

Sept 10, 11, 12 – NCBA (MN)

Sept 17, 18, 19 – VBA – Richmond, VA

Sept 24, 25, 26 – BAW – Wisconsin (presentation via teleconference)

October 1,2,3 – MD Expo/FBS – Orlando

October 24 – Oregon Biomedical – Portland, OR

 

CMS Approves Outlet Strips!

October 1, 2014 by Pat Lynch

In a major reversal of their position, CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services) has issued a nationwide waiver on their recent prohibition on RTPs (relocatable Power Taps) in hospitals.

Hospitals have always had a shortage of electrical outlets in patient care areas.  More medical devices need to be plugged in than there are outlets to accommodate them.   Adding new electrical outlets are a major construction project – not something that can be done on the spur of the moment or for trivial dollars.   Hospitals have long relied upon ad hoc fixes, like adding a multiple outlet strip which increases the number of available outlets from 1 to either 4 or 6.  These are usually purchased from an office supply company and are not inspected either at the time of installation of at regular intervals thereafter.

CMS unilaterally banned then in June of this year.  Their position (which followed NFPA 99-2005)  allowed no option for proper management of these units – removal was the only choice.

This new statement, issued September 26, 2014, is a common  sense approach to this problem, requiring much-needed controls.  Please download the Waiver from the HTMA-SC website at www.HTMA-SC.org .  Also, you may download the official definition of an SRPT (Special Relocatable Power Tap), entitled NPFA 1363A.

Thanks to AIV (www.aivinc.com) and TrippLite (www.triplite.com) for their support and education on this very important subject.

Pat

How Your Intuition Reveals Your Brain’s Best Decisions

September 18, 2014 by Pat Lynch

By Luis R. Valadez August 22, 2014

Brain Power, Human Brain, Psychology & Health, Uncommon Science intuition brain

 

There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance. ~Albert Einstein We often hear a lot about the great strength of the human intuition, but rarely are we taught how to accurately listen and perceive our intuition. Even though it has been proven time after time, that our intuition is often a better decision maker than our rational mind. And so, one must ask, how do we develop our ability to utilize our powerful decision-making machine? One thing is for certain and is supported by psychologists world-wide, it is possible to master your intuition with practice and mindfulness.

 

Let’s Start With The Basics

 

Before jumping straight into how to become a master of your unconscious mind, you have to understand the differences between your instinct and intuition. And how to tell them apart because it will be essential for you to differentiate the two when it comes time to formulate the best decisions.

 

Instinct: Is your inclination towards a specific behavior that dates back to our cavemen ancestors. It is not a learned response such as that of modern day behaviors.

 

Intuition: Is the complex system in your brain that acts as a bridge between your unconscious and conscious mind. It is the process of your brain that does not require extensive analytical reasoning. Your intuition also connects your primal instinct with your ability to reason.

 

Gut feeling: Is the sensation you first experience when your intuition is activated and is trying to communicate something important to your mind. It will often feel like a hunch or pull towards a certain decision. Sometimes it may even come as a whisper or the very first thought that comes to your mind when trying to decide on something.

 

Why Listen To The Whispers?

Famed and prominent psychologists, Carl Jung and Rogers argued that your intuition is one of the most powerful mechanisms of your human brain. Going as far as to say that it is absolutely necessary for a positive mental health to cultivate your intuition. Rogers exclaimed that in order to be at your optimal functioning state of living, you must trust your intuition and be capable of expressing yourself through continuous and spontaneous forms of self-expression.

 

Carl Jung made great strides in the field of psychology and sociology through his extensive research into the unconscious mind. Jung concluded later in his life that humans who possessed optimal mental health possessed a certain level of openness to the deeper messages coming from the unconscious mind. Researchers nowadays have come to a similar conclusion about the importance of this deep connection to your unconscious. Primarily because according to present psychological research —your brain’s gray matter consists primarily of the unconscious mind. Roughly 80% of your brain’s entire gray matter is dedicated to the unconscious, while only 20% of your gray matter is utilized in your rational mind.

 

That’s a significant amount of your intellect, being completely devoted to supplying your intuition with brain power. Just like the famous Sigmund Feud image of the iceberg where only the tip of the iceberg can be seen from the top while the bottom lies below, with much greater size. The size and scale comparisons are spot on when it comes to your brain’s gray matter.

 

How To Pay Attention To The Whispers

 

What you need to understand that is crucial about your intuition, is that it’s essentially a file matching game, turned up to an omega-level. Which means that when you are in the middle of an important decision, let’s say deciding on what to wear to your interview today — your brain searches through your entire bank of memories and experiences in order to make the best decision.

 

Your brain may come back with a decision like “red”, but then your rational mind decides against it. Your rational thoughts begin filtering the whisper that your intuition brought to you because you think that red may be too bold for an interview and you just want to wear black and blend in.

 

What you don’t know is that your intuition decided on “red” because it’s your favorite color, and you have past experiences when wearing red brought you success in past jobs (of which your rational mind forgot about) — it also makes you feel incredibly confident which your intuition decided is essential in your interview.

 

So in that small amount of time, your complex system that is your intuition was able to gather all the positive data associated with colors in your life and gave you the absolute best answer. Turns out it was right, you wore red, you felt confident and you landed your dream job. Had you listened to your rational mind and contemplated for several minutes, much longer than your immediate intuitive mind, you might have been seen as “average”and turned down for the job.

 

The Moral of The Story

 

Honing into your intuition is incredibly important to developing intellect and comprehensive decisions. The key is to listen to your thoughts and “feelings” when making important decisions. Your intuition isn’t going to be loud and will more than likely be drowned out by your rational (irrational) thoughts, but that’s where the mindfulness comes into play.

 

What you need to understand is that the rational mind works in a different part of the brain, specifically parts of the brain that deal with language. Thus the reason you can quite literally “talk” yourself out of just about anything, if you really choose to. Where as your intuition primarily works in your limbic system where your language is not processed; thus the reason your intuitions will always be felt rather than openly spoken in your head.

 

You may not be able to turn the volume down immediately, but with practice and mindfulness, you can learn to listen to the wise whispers of your unconscious mind. They’re there, but only if you pay attention and simply, listen.

 

To Learn More About Your Intuition (References)

Chabris, C. (March 18, 2010)The Invisible Gorilla. http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/index.html

Bolte. A (September, 2003) Emotion and Intuition. http://pss.sagepub.com/content/14/5/416.short

‘Wilder R.L. (May 1967) The Role of Intuition. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/156/3775/605.short

Read more at: http://www.learning-mind.com/how-your-intuition-reveals-your-brains-best-decisions/

More stupid signs – explaining that a 2×4 is actually smaller than 2″ x 4″ – duh!

September 17, 2014 by Pat Lynch
  LITIGATION NATION: Lowe’s pays $1.6M settlement over 2×4 labeling

Posted by /

Lowe’s has new rules regarding how it can label building products in California. A Superior Court judge laid out terms by which the retailer must advertise its 2x4s and other dimensional materials in a $1.6 million settlement order and final judgement filed on August 27. The order, brought on as part of a civil consumer protection action, lists three main rules for the retailer to follow going forward:

  • “Common descriptions” must be followed by actual dimensions and labeled as such. For instance, a 2×4 must be followed with a disclaimer that the wood is actually 1.5-inches by 3.5-inches and include a phrase equal or similar to “actual dimensions.”
  • “Popular or common product description,” like the word 2×4, must be “clearly described as ‘popular name,’ ‘popular description,’ or ‘commonly called.’”
  • Dimension descriptions are required to use the “inch-pound unit,” meaning they must include abbreviations such as “in., ft., or yd.,” and can’t use symbols like ‘ or ” to denote measurements.

The order, handed down by Judge Paul M. Haakenson, came as a response to a case involving claims by the Marin County, Calif., district attorney’s office that the retailer “unlawfully advertised structural dimensional building products for sale.”

According to the judgement, the retailer was ordered to pay $1.47 million in civil penalties and costs of the investigation, and an additional $150,000 to fund further consumer protection-related activities.

Lowe’s spokesperson Amanda Manna said the company has begun to conform to the product description requirements in nearly 100 of its stores across California.

“Consumers should expect when making product purchases that retailers are providing accurate information,” said Marin County District Attorney Edward S. Berberian. “Especially when misinformation could adversely affect building projects that more often than not rely on precise measurements.”

In a statement, Cobb added: “Periodically, representatives of local Weights and Measures departments visit retailers, and they expressed concerns about common product measurements, such as a 2×4 piece of lumber.

“Historically, Lowe’s provided information about product dimensions received from vendors. Moving forward, customers will now be able to locate product by actual and common dimensions as provided by vendors for certain building products. For example, for a piece of lumber commonly known as a 2X4, customers will see both the common name (2×4) and the actual product dimensions (1.5 x 3.5 inches).

“Both Lowe’s and the California DAs agreed that a settlement is in the best interest of all parties. It allows us to continue moving forward with our program to provide both actual and common product dimensions and meet our shared goals.”

The settlement was ordered by Marin Superior Court Judge Paul Haakenson.

Read more at http://threepercenternation.com/2014/09/litigation-nation-lowes-pays-1-6m-settlement-over-2×4-labeling/

UPS Primer

September 16, 2014 by Pat Lynch

The uninterruptible power supply – or UPS – is one of the most misunderstood components of the IT and power infrastructure. Yes, it can save your bacon, but it can also be an intimidating piece of technology. As Eaton product manager David Windsor once put it, “You don’t have to have an engineering degree to understand it, but it helps.” Whether you’re on the verge of implementing your first UPS or are gearing up for your next upgrade or replacement, this guide can help you make sense of things.

What it is and why it’s awesome

A UPS is a battery-based power supply that keeps your critical equipment running in the event of a power outage. A UPS is generally used to provide enough power to allow a graceful shutdown of your equipment when the power goes out. In situations where no downtime can be tolerated, a UPS can be used until systems can be cutover to a backup site or until an alternate source of power, such as a generator, can be brought online.

But wait – there’s more! Depending on the type of UPS you have, it can also protect equipment against power surges and power “sags,” which is important because both can wreak havoc on sensitive IT systems. This process of regulating incoming power to eliminate surges and sags is sometimes known as “power conditioning.”

Depending on your environment – and your budget – you may want to protect every system in your infrastructure with a UPS of some kind. Or you may have to prioritize and protect only the most business-critical components.

Basic types

Most UPS devices fall into three basic categories:

A standby UPS allows your equipment load to switch quickly to battery power when power through your normal sources is disrupted. There can be a micro-second delay while the UPS takes over. Depending on what equipment you’re supporting with your standby UPS, this blip may not hurt anything. This is the base model UPS, and it may or may not regulate incoming power to even out surges and sags.

A line-interactive UPS does the same thing as a standby UPS in terms of switching quickly to battery power after a micro-second delay. But unlike most standby UPS devices, a line-interactive UPS regulates incoming power before passing it through to protected equipment. You’ll pay a little more for this type of UPS, but it offers better protection against power fluctuations.

A full-time UPS (also known as an “online UPS”) is always ready to take up the load and therefore can take over seamlessly when a power outage occurs. This is the kind of UPS you want when your equipment cannot tolerate the momentary blip of a standby or line-interactive UPS. A full-time UPS provides the best power protection – and is also the most expensive.

Line-interactive and standby devices that regulate incoming power are known as “single-conversion” devices. A full-time UPS is known as a “double-conversion” UPS because it does more than just regulate power as it comes through – it converts the AC power to DC, then converts it back to AC again before passing it through to protected equipment. The purpose of this process is to completely isolate the IT equipment from the original power source. It may help to think of the line-interactive device as a power filter – and the full-time UPS as a power purifier.

Mixing it up

What if you need full-time UPS protection for some equipment but not others? Mix it up! Since full-time UPS protection is the most expensive, it doesn’t make sense to use it for your entire infrastructure. Use a full-time system to protect your most sensitive workloads, then provision a line-interactive or standby system to protect the rest.

Nowadays you can also buy what’s known as a “multi-mode” system that can act as either a line-interactive or a full-time UPS device, depending on the power situation. This is more of an enterprise or data-center solution, though. For the average SMB, it will probably be cheaper just to divvy up your systems based on the protection they need and buy separate devices.

Key terms you should know

Before you jump into any UPS discussion – either online, with colleagues, or with a vendor – there are a few key terms you should be familiar with:

VA: VA stands for volt-amperes and is how the power rating for a given UPS is expressed. A small UPS might have a rating as low as 500 VA. Giant ones have ratings in the millions. The average SMB is probably looking at closer to 20,000 to 100,000. Also, don’t confuse VA with wattage, as they are completely different things!

Single-phase vs. three-phase: These terms are referring to the type of power delivered to your facility by your power utility. Generally, residences receive single-phase power, and businesses receive three-phase power. The UPS you choose will likewise be single-phase or three-phase. Of course, single-phase UPS devices are cheaper than three-phase, but they are only appropriate for protecting relatively low-amperage systems (less than 20,000 VA).

Output load: In simplest terms, this is the load your UPS is capable of supporting in the event of a power outage. Keep in mind that you don’t ever want to have to run your UPS at 100% of its capacity. You could easily overload it and cause everything running on it to fail. Aim to run your UPS at no more than 80% load to give yourself some breathing room.

Runtime: This is the length of time that the UPS will support the load you have assigned to it. The higher your output load, the shorter your runtime. Likewise, the lower your output load, the longer your runtime. Needless to say, if your runtime is too short, you won’t have enough time to react when a power failure occurs. Supporting appropriate output loads, most UPS devices are designed to provide five to fifteen minutes of runtime. Make sure your UPS will give you sufficient runtime to get your IT affairs in order.

Rightsizing your UPS

How do you know what size of UPS to buy? That’s the $64,000 question, and it’s one you should probably get a UPS vendor to help you answer. But here is a fun math calculation you can do on your own to help you know if you’re in the ballpark:

  1. Identify all the equipment the device will be protecting, then use OEM information to determine the volts and amps each device draws.
  2. Multiply volts by amps to get the VA of each device, then add them all together.
  3. Multiply that figure by a minimum of 1.2 to allow for breathing room. If your business is growing quickly or you’re planning to add or upgrade servers in the next few years, you’ll want to use an even higher number.

You should also have an idea of whether you prefer a rack-mounted UPS or a freestanding device. Depending on the size of UPS you need, you can probably have your choice of form factor.

Need more than the standard five-to-fifteen minutes of runtime? You can always augment your UPS with supplemental external battery modules. Depending on the capacity, these can give you hours of emergency runtime instead of mere minutes.

Replacing batteries vs. replacing the UPS

According to industry averages, most organizations will get eight years of reliable life out of their UPS device and will need to replace the batteries once during that lifespan. If your batteries are more than four years old or the UPS itself is more than eight years old, you may be starting to press your luck, especially if you’re seeing any alerts or errors. Both age and errors dramatically increase the risk that your UPS will fail when you need it most. And an unreliable UPS defeats the purpose of having one! That said, a well-made and well-maintained UPS has been known to provide upwards of 20 years of safe and reliable service, assuming it’s still sized correctly to meet the output load.

They say up to 85% of UPS failures are caused by battery failures. It’s a depressing thought that the UPS itself can be fine but the batteries can conk out, rendering the entire device useless. But that’s exactly how it works: The batteries are the heart of the UPS, and they have to be in good shape if the UPS is going to do you any good. Keep in mind, however, that batteries represent roughly 80% of the cost of the UPS. So if the UPS itself is nearing retirement age and has already had the batteries replaced once, you may want to seriously consider replacing the entire unit instead of just replacing the batteries, especially if it’s time to reconsider your output load.

reprinted from Spiceworks.com

Stanford engineers aim to connect the world with ant-sized radios

September 15, 2014 by Pat Lynch

Costing just pennies to make, tiny radios-on-a-chip are designed to serve as controllers or sensors for the ‘Internet of Things.’

By Tom Abate

Video by Kurt HickmanAmin Arbabian, assistant professor of electrical engineering, talks about the ant-sized radio.

A Stanford engineering team, in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, has built a radio the size of an ant, a device so energy efficient that it gathers all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna – no batteries required.

Designed to compute, execute and relay commands, this tiny wireless chip costs pennies to fabricate – making it cheap enough to become the missing link between the Internet as we know it and the linked-together smart gadgets envisioned in the “Internet of Things.”

“The next exponential growth in connectivity will be connecting objects together and giving us remote control through the web,” said Amin Arbabian, an assistant professor of electrical engineering who recently demonstrated this ant-sized radio chip at the VLSI Technology and Circuits Symposium in Hawaii.

Much of the infrastructure needed to enable us to control sensors and devices remotely already exists: We have the Internet to carry commands around the globe, and computers and smartphones to issue the commands. What’s missing is a wireless controller cheap enough to so that it can be installed on any gadget anywhere.

“How do you put a bi-directional wireless control system on every lightbulb?” Arbabian said. “By putting all the essential elements of a radio on a single chip that costs pennies to make.”

Cost is critical because, as Arbabian observed, “We’re ultimately talking about connecting trillions of devices.”

A three-year effort

Arbabian began the project in 2011 while he was completing a PhD program and working with Professor Ali Niknejad, director of the Wireless Research Center at UC Berkeley. Arbabian’s principal collaborator was his wife, Maryam Tabesh, then also a student in Niknejad’s lab and now a Google engineer.

Courtesy of Amin ArbabianTiny radio-on-a-chip resting on a pennyThe tiny radio-on-a-chip gathers all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna.

Arbabian joined the Stanford faculty in 2012 and brought a fourth person onto the team, Mustafa Rangwala, who was then a postgraduate student but is now with a startup company.

The work took time because Arbabian wanted to rethink radio technology from scratch.

“In the past when people thought about miniaturizing radios, they thought about it in terms of shrinking the size of the components,” he said. But Arbabian’s approach to dramatically reducing size and cost was different. Everything hinged on squeezing all the electronics found in, say, the typical Bluetooth device down into a single, ant-sized silicon chip.

This approach to miniaturization would have another benefit – dramatically reducing power consumption, because a single chip draws so much less power than conventional radios. In fact, if Arbabian’s radio chip needed a battery – which it does not – a single AAA contains enough power to run it for more than a century.

But to build this tiny device every function in the radio had to be reengineered.

The antenna

The antenna had to be small, one-tenth the size of a Wi-Fi antenna, and operate at the incredibly fast rate of 24 billion cycles per second. Standard transistors could not easily process signals that oscillate that fast. So his team had to improve basic circuit and electronic design.

Many other such tweaks were needed but in the end Arbabian managed to put all the necessary components on one chip: a receiving antenna that also scavenges energy from incoming electromagnetic waves; a transmitting antenna to broadcast replies and relay signals over short distances; and a central processor to interpret and execute instructions. No external components or power are needed.

And this ant-sized radio can be made for pennies.

Based on his designs, the French semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics fabricated 100 of these radios-on-a-chip. Arbabian has used these prototypes to prove that the devices work; they can receive signals, harvest energy from incoming radio signals and carry out commands and relay instructions.

Now Arbabian envisions networks of these radio chips deployed every meter or so throughout a house (they would have to be set close to one another because high-frequency signals don’t travel far).

He thinks this technology can provide the web of connectivity and control between the global Internet and smart household devices. “Cheap, tiny, self-powered radio controllers are an essential requirement for the Internet of Things,” said Arbabian, who has created a web page to share some ideas on what he calls battery-less radios.

Media Contact

Tom Abate, Stanford Engineering: (650) 736-2245, tabate@stanford.edu

Dan Stober, Stanford News Service: (650) 721-6965, dstober@stanford.edu

How hospitals are luring IT employees

September 4, 2014 by Pat Lynch
Written by Helen Gregg (Twitter | Google+)  | August 29, 2014

Hospitals are offering IT employees a variety of employment perks, but a competitive salary and benefits package is the top tool for hiring the best IT staffers, according to a recent HIMSS survey.

According to the survey, the most-offered components of a compensation package among healthcare providers include:

  • Competitive salary or benefits program (78 percent)
  • Relocation package (31 percent)
  • Full or part-time telecommuting option (26 percent)
  • Signing bonus (19 percent)
  • Time off for volunteer participation (8 percent)
  • Independent coaching services (3 percent)
  • Loyalty program (2 percent)

About one-fifth of the 200 respondents reported offering none of these to IT employees.

Best practices don’t matter. Here’s what does.

August 29, 2014 by Pat Lynch
Written by Lindsey Dunn | August 27, 2014
High-reliability organizations don’t implement best practices. They continually make new best practices.

Healthcare is an industry obsessed with best practices. And for good reason. Our costs our growing almost uncontrollably, and quality is highly variable from hospital to hospital, department to department and physician to physician. It makes sense, then, that organizations seeking to improve a measure would look to those who are top performers and emulate their processes.

However, instituting best practices isn’t the approach taken by the highest-performing organizations.

What is?

To read the entire article, click here.

Hand-Held Medical Sensor – Tricorder?

August 28, 2014 by Pat Lynch

Finally, that nerdy dream has come true in the form of the Scanadu Scout, a small scanner that lets you conduct sophisticated medical examinations without any of the uncomfortable conventional medical instruments.

real-life tricorder health data measuring device

Scanadu was created in NASA’s Ames Research Center after a two-year mission to create a portable medical scanner. The Scout, which can fit in the palm of your hand, measures temperature, heart rate, and pulse oximetry (or oxygen in the blood). All of the measurements are performed simply by holding the Scout up to your forehead.

hand-held health analyzing device

The Scout transmits this vital health information via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Users can then keep their own medical information stored safely and track trends as they emerge. The information can be shared with doctors as needed, or users can spot trends related to how stress, medications and certain situations are affecting their health. It’s a device that can change the way consumers manage their own health, minimizing needless trips to the doctor and alerting patients to possibly serious conditions.

Who are you hiring for your C-suite? 10 statistics

August 27, 2014 by Pat Lynch

Written by Dani Gordon  August 25, 2014

Forty-four percent of internal hospital or health system CEO promotions were former COOs, according to a recent Billian’s HealthDATA report.

The healthcare market sees a plethora of C-suite moves each year. Billian’s HealthDATA released a report pooling data from 384 executive moves from January to July of 2014. Here are 10 statistics on hospital hiring, according to the data.

1.    Forty percent of placements were internal promotions, whereas 60 percent of hospital placements involve an outside-hire.
2.    More than half (58 percent) of CEO outside-hires were former CEOs of other hospitals.
3.    CEO moves to other CEO positions at sister campuses made up 12 percent of internal movements.
4.    The promotion  . . .        read more here .   FROM Becker’s Hospital Review. . .

60 things to know about healthcare reform

August 25, 2014 by Pat Lynch
Written by Dani Gordon (Twitter | Google+)  | August 19, 2014

Health reform is and has been a hot-button issue for both politicians and healthcare leaders for the last few years, though talk of significant, government-led reform has been discussed for decades. In the wake of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, healthcare reform is a highly contested and very politically polarizing issue. It is therefore very important to know what is going on and where. The following are 60 things to know about healthcare reform in the United States.

1. The Senate passed the PPACA on Dec. 24, 2009 with a 60 to 39 vote after months of heated partisan debate. It then passed in the House on March 21, 2010 with a vote of 219 to 212 to approve the measure, and on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the original PPACA into law.

Read the rest at Becker’s Hospital Review

http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/lists/60-things-to-know-about-healthcare-reform.html