I’ve been thinking...

Amazon box
I’ve been thinking about apples, cookies, Delta, Amazon, and the relative importance of sterility and accuracy when compounding IV medications.
Each day, the sisters at St Philip’s filled the apple bowl at the front of the lunch line with exactly 52 apples—one for each student. When sister Mary Grace learned that three students were not getting their apple-a-day because three rascals were consistently copping two instead of one, she penned a piece of her mind […]
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Bud Collyer Beat The Clock game show host 1958

I’ve been thinking about medication safety technology and beating the clock.

Mark Neuenschwander

Sixty years ago, I enjoyed the popular ABC black-and-white television game show Beat the Clock. “America’s number one clock watcher” and host, Bud Collyer, gave contestants simple, fun assignments

Dr. Kenneth N. Barker hospital-pharmacy icon

I’ve been thinking about my first lecture on pharmacy automation, the life work of Dr. Kenneth N. Barker, and the autographed baseball I keep on my desk.

Mark Neuenschwander

On August 23, 2017, I received word that hospital-pharmacy icon and dear friend, Kenneth N. Barker, passed away earlier that morning. Below is a blog I wrote upon his retirement in 2009. I have made a few edits to bring it up to date.

Robotics in pharmacy

I’ve been thinking about robots, dogs, and the drugs we push into patient’s veins

Mark Neuenschwander

2030. A robot, a dog, and a pharmacist walk into a bar. A chatty bar tender learns that his three customers comprise the entire pharmacy department of the large hospital in town. When asked what each does, the robot starts, “I prepare medications.” The dog follows, “I keep the pharmacist away from the robot.” The […]


I’ve been thinking about ants, Amazon, IVs, and weed.

Mark Neuenschwander

Whoever concluded we are direct descendants of apes must have missed Solomon’s advice about considering ants. Seriously, nonhuman primates travel light. More like ants, we humans spend our days schlepping stuff around. We pack suitcases and briefcases, pull them through airports, stow them overhead, and drag them to taxi stands, hotel rooms, meetings, and back […]

Mind The Gap painted warning underfoot between the platforms and trains

I’ve been thinking about minding the gap, looking right, and a potential blindspot in the medication-use process.

Mark Neuenschwander

There is little pedestrian about being a pedestrian in the UK. It pays to heed the painted warnings underfoot between the platforms and trains throughout the color-coded labyrinth of the famed Underground—“MIND THE GAP.” It is paramount, however, to heed the painted curbs at nearly every intersection—“LOOK RIGHT.” Perhaps you’ve had your close call with […]

George Laurer, Mark Neuenschwander and Bill Selmeyer

I’ve been thinking about how the work we do today may impact the world we live in tomorrow.

Mark Neuenschwander

This afternoon, I received an e-mail from my friend George Laurer (to my right), the inventor of the UPC bar code—the very same code scanned on the items I purchased this morning at Costco and Trader Joe’s. It arrived on the anniversary (June 26, 1974) of the first bar-coded product being scanned at a point […]

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