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Jenn’s HIMSS Report – Wednesday

February 24, 2017 News No Comments

My last full day at the conference started off cloudy and cool, which made for a comfortable, early-morning walk to the convention center. I have really enjoyed not having to rely on the shuttle this time around. I think I’ll look into booking my room for HIMSS18 within the next month. I must add, though, that I am not looking forward to heading back to Las Vegas. It’s one of the few cities I’ve visited around the world that just doesn’t agree with me (or perhaps it’s the other way around).

After catching up on email and other tasks in the press room, I sat down with Quest Diagnostics SVP and CIO Lidia Fonseca to get a feel for what the company has been up to. I’ve been keeping an eye on their patient-initiated testing pilots (check out my latest coverage at HIStalk Practice), and was eager to learn if the high-profile rise and fall of Theranos had offered any lessons learned. She was quick to tell me they don’t comment on the strategies of competitors, but did add that Theranos had “certainly created a heightened awareness of diagnostics.” It seems reasonable to assume that consumers might trust a company like Quest over a startup like Theranos, given that Quest has been very intentional about playing by the regulatory rules, and seems to be rolling out consumer-directed testing methodically.

After hanging out at our booth for a bit, I trekked over to the Nuance to meet with Ehab Hanna, MD, CMIO at  hospital management company United Health Services of Delaware. He took me through his organization’s roll out of several Nuance transcription technologies, the most recent of which includes PowerMic Mobile, and Cerner’s Document Quality Review, which includes Nuance’s CDI tech. He pointed out that the majority of his physicians (there are still a few holdouts who employ scribes at their own expense) are beginning to see the impact transcription can have on quality scores now that everyone is preparing for MACRA. Hanna added that he would spend some time in the exhibit hall looking at analytics and data warehousing for population health management initiatives, and mobility tools for providers and patients.

Walking to interviews certainly works up an appetite, and so Lorre was kind enough to hand me a HIMSS Bistro ticket left over from the HIStalk CMIO lunch. I set off on quite the adventure to find the place, which ended up being on the lower level of Hall A, tucked away in an inconspicuous wing. It was a nice excuse to get away from the multitudes and enjoy a meal that was a few steps above press room fare. I have a huge sweet tooth and was quick to take advantage of the dessert bar. I’ve tried to eat well while I’ve been here. Any slip ups have been justified by the reality that the miles I’ll walk afterward will surely burn everything off.

I found a much quicker way back to our booth, where I spent some time chatting with readers, many of whom stopped by to ask, “Was that really the last HIStalkapalooza?” Most everyone had an idea of how to save it. I found the notion of charging for tickets interesting, though I’m not sure that would actually cut down on the hassle Lorre suffers through every year. A Swiss provider on the prowl for new ideas said HIStalk could donate anything above and beyond breaking even to Donors Choose, which sounds good in theory. I was happy that everyone was so excited about the event, but I’m not sure that enthusiasm will be there seven months from now when we’d typically start canvassing for sponsors.

My last chat of the day was with CommonWell Health Alliance Executive Director Jitin Asnaani. Their booth, much smaller than in years past, was crawling with reps from their member companies. The organization now has 5,100 sites live, an exponentially huge jump from the 700 sites it was touting at HIMSS in 2015. Asnaani has been pleased by the expansion of membership beyond traditional EHR vendors. Representatives from the long-term and post-acute care worlds – long overlooked by programs like Meaningful Use – have expressed interest in connecting to the CommonWell network. Even ONC has approached the alliance about the ways in which those sectors of healthcare can tap into the care coordination benefits offered by the interoperability it affords.

When I asked what had stood out to him at HIMSS thus far, Asnaani was quick to say the lack of buzz around interoperability, which everyone seemed to be touting the last time around. He’s hopeful that providers are starting to think of interoperability as par for the course. He also noted that attendees and exhibitors seemed to be a bit subdued given the uncertainty surrounding the new administration’s ACA plans. “ONC’s sessions have never been so popular,” he joked.

Exhibit hall closing time was looming, so I took a quick walk through the exhibit hall to see if there was anything left worth seeing.

Quite a crowd had gathered to watch GE Healthcare’s "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" game.

The Nordic team was fun to chat with. They were in full unload mode, and are sending me home with quite a treasure trove of goodies.

The Bottomline Technologies team was happy to pose for a picture. I was pleased to see they had prominently displayed their HIStalk sign.

Conduent Health’s booth was booming.

I noticed quite a few exhibitors with arcade-like grabbing games. I’m not sure I’d stand in a line to try and win a T-shirt. The men at ExtraHop’s booth had no such qualms.

The Access booth seemed busy. I had a nice chat with one of their writers earlier that morning. It’s always nice to compare tips, tricks, and quirks with fellow scribes.

I had to stop by LogicStream Health’s booth to express my regret at not being able to attend their party Tuesday night, which I heard was a blast. They’ve kindly invited me several years in a row, and every year I RSVP with the best of intentions. But then #HIMSSanity overwhelms me …

The closing bell finally rang, at which point all of the remaining exhibitors cheered and clapped loudly. That didn’t stop attendees from continuing to wander the hall as sales teams boxed everything up. I finally got a chance to wander towards the Interoperability Showcase, where I passed this eye-catching setup.

The Showcase still seemed to be hopping; a presentation was even about to get underway, which surprised me. This marked the first time I’ve ever stayed until the bitter end of exhibit hall hours, and I was surprised to see so many folks still around. I did later hear that the conference center taxi queue and airport check-in lines were insane, making me love my decision to depart Thursday even more.

I began the packing process back at my hotel rather than tackling my inbox, which I don’t think I can bear to attempt until I’m back home. Two of my favorite giveaways include a full bag of coffee beans from Nordic and this messenger bag from Chilmark Research, both in the same color scheme of my favorite college football team. I would have included Arcadia’s Survival Kits, but I either used everything in mine or gave it away to friends suffering from blisters or impending colds. Note to just about everyone: Band-Aids and Emergen-C are must haves at HIMSS.

I’m going to take a few days to decompress and then get back into the swing of things over at HIStalk Practice on Monday. Thanks to everyone who took the time to chat with me, invite me to parties, and stop by our booth to tell me how much they enjoy reading. HIMSS may be crazy, but it’s definitely one of the professional highlights of my year. See you in Las Vegas!

Morning Headlines 2/24/17

February 23, 2017 Headlines 2 Comments

Screening for medication errors using an outlier detection system

A JAMIA study evaluates the effectiveness of using outlier detection software to identify potential medication errors.  5 years worth of EHR data was screened using the system to detect potential medication errors, and 75 percent of flagged charts had confirmed medication errors.

Letter to HHS Secretary Thomas Price, M.D

CHIME, MGMA, and 14 other medical societies co-sign a letter to HHS Secretary Thomas Price, MD lobbying for an indefinite delay of Meaningful Use Stage 3.

LabCorp buying Spokane-based PAML

LabCorp announces it will acquire Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories, a national medical reference lab co-owned by Providence Health & Services and Catholic Health Initiatives.

Republican-Led States Push to Reshape Their Medicaid Programs

More than half-dozen states are seeking federal permission to reshape state Medicaid programs to impose coverage restrictions as ACA reform efforts stagnate.

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Wednesday

February 23, 2017 News 1 Comment

I have to say, after two days of walking the halls at HIMSS and attending social functions in the evening, my feet were tired this morning. Nevertheless, I took my cocktail of four ibuprofen, two Tylenol, and a Pepcid and headed back to do it all again.

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I spotted this sweet ride in the parking lot behind the Hyatt.

Today’s schedule included a couple of meetings with vendors who attend HIMSS but don’t have booths. It’s always a challenge to find quiet meeting space. We used the meeting area outside the HIMSS Bistro, which was nearly empty at 11 a.m. Speaking of HIMSS Bistro, I can’t wait to hear Lorre’s recap of the CMIO luncheon yesterday. She always takes good notes on the discussion so we can share what CMIOs and clinical informatics folks are thinking as they attend HIMSS.

I noticed lots of vendors sporting their HIStalk sponsor signs today. Thanks to all of you, especially HBI Solutions, Harris Healthcare, Wellsoft, Nordic Consulting, Kyruus, Datica, and Medicity. DrFirst also had their sign out and I stopped in to see their secure texting solution, which is configured as a patient-centered chat.

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My booth crawl BFF this afternoon said she thought this giveaway pen looked like me until I pointed out that the physician doesn’t appear to be wearing a shirt.

I took a deeper look at several vendors, including Jellyfish Health, which has solutions to make anywhere the waiting room. My urgent care practice has an online registration and queuing system, but it’s not entirely reliable. I was impressed by what I saw at Jellyfish Health, but we’ll have to see what the COO thinks.

LogicStream Health was showing demos and data from their solutions, which really caught my interest since driving clinician behavior is going to be a big part of organizational success under healthcare reform.

One of my booth crawling pals today is attending her first HIMSS, and was dedicated to seeking out the wildest swag to take home to her granddaughters. She scored at CompliancePoint, who was giving out flashing LED eyeglasses.

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We were more impressed by the shirt that Bonny Roberts picked up at Banyan. I wish I had seen it before the hall closed so I could snag one myself.

I also spent a bit of time cruising the hall with @techguy John Lynn. I’m sorry I missed out on the salsa dancing at the New Media Meetup last night, but I learned he knows a thing or two about country western dancing, so I’m hoping a country-themed meetup is in the works. I’ll break out my boots for sure.

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He was able to talk me off the ledge when I saw this rounding cart from Omnimed, which caused some bad flashbacks to medical school. I haven’t seen paper charts in a hospital in years, but the rep told us people are still buying them, although with a better top surface to hold a laptop. They also have an IV pole that holds an iPad.

We stopped to talk to Travis Good, MD at Datica, particularly about the company’s rebranding from Catalyze. It takes quite a bit of effort to research potential names, investigate securing web domains, and starting the process for trademark protection. Travis mentioned he thought warm cookies would be a great addition to the booth, and then the discussion turned to pizza. Vendors, take note for next year — you can’t underestimate the power of pizza.

As far as other booth draws, Mimecast had Nerf guns where you could take aim at ransomware, but the line to take a turn was long, which is an interesting commentary. SecureIdeas had a great tagline about being “professionally evil” to protect systems from real evil. Quite a few vendor people were heads-down on their phones and others were just throwing their giveaways at passersby so they didn’t have to ship it home. The rep at Retarus global messaging told us to take what we wanted because “everything must go” and didn’t even ask us what we do or what we’re looking for at the show.

I traded booth crawl partners and spotted some more people in white coats at Marco Inc. and Carepoynt. Why, oh why, does that continue? On the positive fashion side, booth staff at Cerner were wearing the most beautiful orchid-colored sweaters.

The interesting giveaway of the day was at MAD Security, whose offering was a bottle of Macallan 12 scotch. Several vendors were giving out insect repellent this year, including Healthcare Informatics (lemon/rosemary oil) and Battelle with what they were calling their “Zika Pen.” They engaged us by saying, “We’re the biggest company you’ve never heard of,” and after checking out their website, I have to say they’re quite the interesting vendor.

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We spotted more funny name badge ribbons at AbbaDox and I snagged a couple for next year.

As the show wound down, many vendors began tearing down their booths while people were still walking through. I headed out for a quick drink with some old friends and we ran into Nick van Terheyden @drnic1, who asked if we were headed to the Harry Potter event. Although it was pouring rain at the time, he said he really wanted to go so he could get a wand – because that’s the only thing that will fix healthcare.

On that note, I closed out HIMSS17. Back to the hotel for packing, blogging, catching up on 200+ emails, and getting a little rest before Disney’s Magical Express whisks me back to the airport.

From HIMSS 2/22/17

February 22, 2017 News 6 Comments

From Spitfire: “Re: being anonymous. Why would you want to be anonymous and miss the exposure and benefits?” Being anonymous means I can do exactly what I want. No boss, no ability to be threatened or bribed, and no having people bug me because they know who I am. I can roam the HIMSS floor just like anyone else since I always make up a non-descript employer and title. I don’t want attention and I’m more effective by far without it. More power to those folks who try to milk their tepid fame by taking speaking engagements, accepting vendor-written puff pieces for cash, or  wangling invitations to parties or events, but that’s just not me. I’d rather work alone and without a master.

The final HIStalkapalooza count, at least what House of Blues billed me for, was 693. That’s pretty much perfect since it was right at the minimum headcount I had to pay for without going over. I broke even financially thanks to the participation of some last-minute sponsors, so I’m happy about that since it looked like I was going to lose dozens of thousands of dollars. We invited 1,576 people and got RSVPs back from 974. Even after letting in anyone with a HIMSS badge in later in the evening — once we realized that the usual no-shows would preclude us from hitting our HOB minimum, so we might as well at least get something for the money that was going to be spent no matter what — we only got to 693 attendees. You can see why trying to budget for an event this size is full of risk and uncertainty – the no-show rate is frustratingly massive. Everybody lusts to attend, but at least 70 percent of those we invited didn’t actually show up. Which is a good thing, because if they had, since we built in a big (but not big enough) no-show factor, I would be bankrupt right about now.

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I’ll declare the most interesting product I saw at HIMSS as Salesforce. Here’s why I think so:

  • Existing EHRs and other healthcare software products are way behind the times in meeting new requirements for health systems to treat patients and doctors as customers and to build relationships with them, including patient engagement.
  • It lets health systems that are willing to change their relationships with patients and doctors to do so effectively, with strong analytics and communications.
  • It’s cloud-based and is purchased on a relatively inexpensive per-user, per-month price with no capital outlay.
  • It’s built on the standard Salesforce CRM that has been battle-tested for years, with just those customizations needed to make it work for healthcare.
  • It integrates with the EHR and other patient and provider data sources.
  • The Salesforce open ecosystem allows using third-party apps when needed.
  • It Includes tools that allow users to build their own rules and apps.
  • Salesforce is a juggernaut that can force EHR vendors to open up their systems to obtain the data it needs.
  • Salesforce isn’t Oracle or Microsoft – they didn’t create a healthcare-specific product from scratch or acquire a questionable one, so they have no incentive to rebalance their product portfolio and walk away from healthcare and leave users hanging as big healthcare toe-dippers tend to do.

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Bistro HIMSS looks like this. It’s down on the 100 level on the end of the concourse. Anyone can wander in and buy a $25 lunch that includes one trip through the buffet (which includes a decent salad bar), fruit, desserts, and coffee and tea. You can buy a table for the price of 10 tickets and use it for the whole day, which is what we did for the CMIO lunch.

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People on phones — at least those who are courteous enough to not stumble slowly through the main aisles and risk getting rear-ended while yapping publicly — love spots like this where they are shielded from passers-by. It’s like police officers trained to park their cars a couple of feet to the left of one they’ve stopped to give themselves a protected channel for walking to the driver’s-side window of the stopped car without getting mowed down by a careless driver.

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Something was going on here, but I’m not sure what. Does anyone really listen to recorded audio like HIMSS radio and podcasts? I never have.

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The concession stand’s Mexican food is apparently so authentic that the employees arriving for work placed their commuting sombreros right on the counter. I also saw attendees eating food from the “Asian” restaurant with chopsticks, which seems odd when the exotic cuisine of the Far East that required authentic tableware is Americanized crap that that no actual Asian would recognize, like orange chicken (Happy Meal-style fried chicken nuggets smothered in marmalade to deliver a megadose of fat, sugar, and salt).

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I hope this ill yet resolutely attractive woman recovers to the point that she can be transferred from the HIMSS exhibit hall to Orlando Regional Medical Center. Perhaps someone should start an IV.

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The non-profit WGU (Western Governors University) was boldly touting its low-priced yet accredited degrees vs. those of for-profit competitors like Capella, Kaplan, and University of Phoenix. They offer degrees like an RN-to-BSN, MSN, MBA in healthcare management, and  MSN in nursing informatics.

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I continue to seek examples where the word “currently” adds value.

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Someone had an operation game going. Maybe these white-coated folks are actual surgeons to compete against.

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This is one of the more elegant spreads offered. I’m not sure if the sparkling drink was real or fake champagne. I think the vendor was Mozaic Medical.

Random booth observations:

  • The magnificent magician / psychic / comedian Bob Garner made someone cry at every one of the several performances I watched at the NTT Data booth today. For example, he asked an attendee to write down the name of a deceased loved one, and with nothing more than that to go on than that, described her father in precise detail right down to his description, name, military service, cause of death, and the exact layout of the military group photo of him that she keeps. I can’t do it justice with any description that I can conjure, but it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen no matter how skeptical I might be of the whole concept. He sought Lorre and me out as the show closed to say hello and to describe his message and purpose as one of hope. I’m jaded, cynical, and a scientifically driven debunker and yet I found myself feeling like I was watching something unknown and yet comforting. Bob has retired, but NTT Data convinced him to return to HIMSS17 and he seemed begrudgingly willing to consider returning to HIMSS18. He’s a nice guy besides. 
  • First Databank offered a five-question patient safety quiz kiosk and donated $10 for each correct answer to the National Patient Safety Foundation.
  • I said hello to Teresa from Eclipse because she was fully alert and engaging passers-by from the company’s tiny and bare booth. They offer project management tools, and to me at least, a free tee shirt.
  • The trend I saw this year was tilted, large touch-screen monitors for doing demos without a mouse or keyboard, also playing video as needed. They are effective.
  • I remarked to one vendor that it seemed like there were fewer multi-level booths this year. He said HIMSS started charging by volume rather than just area, so taller booths now require paying more.
  • I proposed to one vendor that HIMSS fund a free B2B mixer Wednesday as the show closes to allow exhibitors to strike up conversations that could lead to partnerships or even acquisitions, but then when I saw the huge, snaking line of sales reps towing wheeled bags to the free HIMSS airport shuttle bus within minutes of the exhibit hall’s 4:00 closing, rethought whether anyone would bother sticking around.

Predictive analytics vendor Inovalon reports Q4 results: revenue down 20 percent, adjusted EPS $0.05 vs. $0.13, beating expectations for both.

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EMDs hires Eric Weidmann, MD (South Austin Medical Clinic) as chief medical officer.

Arnot Health (NY) selects Harris Healthcare’s ED PulseCheck  ED information system.

That’s all for me from HIMSS17. I’m spending a few more days in Florida, but will keep working from the beach.

Morning Headlines 2/23/17

February 22, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Epic’s new app program tries to connect EHR networks

Epic moves forward with its FHIR-based app store, Orchard.

Soon-Shiong’s new cancer vaccine is the “culmination” of NantWorks’ science

NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong announces at HIMSS that his company has received FDA clearance to move forward with a “Cancer Vaccine” that he says will isolate the mutations that define a tumor and then prepare the patient’s immune system to fight back with four vaccine components administered over a 14-day cycle.

The Price of Health Records: Electronic Healthcare Data In the Underground

A Trend Micro cybersecurity report analyzes the dark web value of a stolen EHR database.

Obamacare launched a new wave of startups. Now they’re bracing for what’s next.

The Chicago Tribune profiles Stride Health in a piece on the uncertain future of digital health startups that proliferated under ACA.

Jenn’s HIMSS Report – Tuesday

February 22, 2017 News 1 Comment

I think it goes without saying that after Monday night’s dancing I was fairly wiped out Tuesday morning. I really enjoyed looking at everyone’s pictures from the event via Twitter. The above is one of my favorites. Power health IT couple Ross and Kym Martin make it look so easy, don’t they?

But, as HIMSS-goers know, you find a way to power through, buoyed by the knowledge that throughout the day you’ll run into friends you haven’t seen since the last conference, have promising conversations with potential business partners and prospects, and, hopefully, learn a little something about an industry that paradoxically strives for moonshots but implements them at a glacial pace.

And speaking of glaciers, Tuesday was unbearably cold. I was glad I packed a shawl, because I stayed wrapped up in it the entire day.

My morning officially kicked off with a HIMSS-hosted roundtable focused on women in health IT. It was an amazing table to sit at. I was surrounded by judges and winners of this year’s inaugural Most Influential Women in Health IT Award, who talked about what receiving the award meant to them, advice they might offer to younger women looking to move further up the corporate ladder, and how to make the awards program more actionable throughout the year. I was pleased to hear that HIMSS is looking into building out a mentoring program, and pulling its state chapters more into the overall effort.

Nuggets of wisdom included:

  • Nursing informatics pioneer and IBM’s Senior Advisor of Healthcare Informatics Marion Ball: "Help promote your fellow female colleagues." As the admittedly most senior woman in the room, Ball emphasized that this wasn’t a common occurrence in her day, and thus is more important than ever.
  • Former National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD: "Enjoy the journey. Be open to new opportunities. Focus on what you want to do, not necessarily what you want to be."
  • DoD Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Karen Guice, MD: "Step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid to fail. Even your failures can be some of your life’s greatest moments."
  • CHIME VP of Education Adrienne Edens: "It’s important to realize just how influential women are. We can make such a huge difference if we are intent about spreading that influence."
  • Verizon ED of Enterprise Solutions Helen Donnelly: "Never stop learning. Be the person you needed when you were younger."

It was so gratifying to be in a room full of accomplished women, each of whom mentioned her desire to ultimately make the world a better place by giving back.

After that, I spent some time with the ladies above talking about mental health tech. It’s definitely a growing space. Consumers are already paying attention and providers are catching on as the industry attempts to better integrate primary and behavioral healthcare.

I had the opportunity to chat with Christine Moberg, head of psychology at startup Pacifica Labs, which has developed a consumer-facing app to help patients cope with anxiety and depression. The company announced an early-stage funding round alongside a measurements-based, provider-facing version earlier this week, as well as an impending teletherapy feature.

My walk around the exhibit hall included a stop at the Georgia Pavilion, where I chatted with the folks at RightPatient about the current state of biometric patient identification technology.

Dimensional Insight had a nice set up.

Coding services company PJ&A had a prime booth location. The friendly rep and I chatted about our similar experiences of having a small booth in a high-traffic location. I wonder if they spent as little as we did?

I snapped this pic of @innonurse trying out McKesson’s virtual reality surgery demo. You can see what she’s seeing on the screen behind her. It was pretty cool, though I didn’t stay to try it out because the idea of putting on a device that’s been worn by dozens of others grossed me out a bit.

PokitDok’s booth looked busy. I wonder if they’re getting a lot of questions about their blockchain technology? It’s a buzzword/hot topic that seems to be coming up quite a bit this year, along with security, AI, and telemedicine. I’m bummed I won’t make the concurrent blockchain conference going on Wednesday.

Greenway seems to have a much smaller booth in year’s past. The company has been very quiet over the last 12 months in terms of news, though they did announce new care coordination services from Orlando. I’d love to tell you more about them, but my WiFi connection is so atrociously slow that I can’t access the release in a timely manner.

Stoltenburg Consulting had a cool space theme. I’ve been in their dome before. I seem to remember it having a jungle theme several years ago. I always like to see how marketing folks repurpose their spaces year after year.

I may have found MedData’s rival in baked goods. Black Box had tasty, fresh-baked M&M-filled cookies at its booth. I was happy to taste test.

Hunger pains now at bay, I headed over to the Athenahealth booth (one of two) to chat with New Jersey-based Summit Medical Group CIO Paul Shenenberger. Part of Summit Health Management’s MSO, the 700 hundred-plus-physician medical group has seen explosive growth over the last several years thanks to integration (he wouldn’t use the word "acquisition") and organic growth. "We’re the anti-hospital," he said, "perfect for physicians who don’t to move over to the dark side of hospital employment."

Aside from communing with the Athenahealth team, Shenenberger hoped to hit the show floor looking for security solutions and telemedicine offerings, though he was quick to add that Summit is currently looking at telemed startups that are already part of Athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program, including Hale Health, Chiron Health, and SnapMD. "We’re not looking at big telemedicine vendors," he explained, no doubt referring to American Well, Teladoc, and the like. "They want to use me to eliminate me," he added, explaining that, "the primary care physician is a commodity and the price is going down."

My next stop was a pleasant chat at Meditech’s booth with Beaufort Memorial Hospital (SC) CMIO Stacey Johnston, MD, a Meditech super user since her residency days. Johnston regaled me with the trials and tribulations of a rolling go live ("They never seem to end.") and the benefits of a big-bang strategy, which she led her team through last year when the hospital went to Meditech 6.1. Her non-Meditech-related HIMSS priorities include conversations with MModal and Nuance, both of which are interested in helping the hospital bring down its transcription costs. Though the organization is in the middle of an IT buying freeze, Johnston is already looking to free up funds for an integrated patient portal and better sepsis surveillance technology.

My last stop of the day was back at the HIStalk booth to spend time with WebPT CEO Nancy Ham, who kindly doled out career advice to several folks that stopped by. The conversation at one point veered into the challenges women in the investment world have historically faced in light of many veering onto the "mommy track," the differences between mentoring men and women, and the need for salary negotiation training — a topic that has come up in every women-centric event I have attended at HIMSS thus far.

After a quick shoe change at the hotel, I walked across the street to Pointe Orlando and detoured into the shopping area. I had to snap a pic of this pedicab storefront, given that I have never seen anything like it. They seemed to be a popular form of transportation for those leaving the area to head to condo rentals a mile or so away. Every time I see a pedicab, I think of this Portlandia skit.

The area was hopping with parties. Meditech obviously invested in a nice ice sculpture.

The New Media Meetup had a nice crowd. There seemed to be far more social media enthusiasts than influencers, which made me wonder what type of ROI sponsor Stericycle Communications hoped to get from the event.

First Databank looked prepped to show customers a good time. I had hoped to make it to Imprivata’s party, but decided to head for the hotel when I found out it was not within walking distance. It was nice to turn in somewhat early and get a solid seven hours of sleep. I know it’s not the norm at HIMSS.

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s a little warmer …

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Tuesday

February 22, 2017 News No Comments

Today brought a less-stressful commute to HIMSS and easier parking. I started the day at Medicomp Systems (Booth 2303) playing their Quippe Virtual Experience game. Players use Quippe Clinical Solutions to solve a variety of problems. Responses are timed and high scorers receive prizes. They’re giving away Apple watches, so worth checking it out.

From there, it was over to CoverMyMeds (Booth 1214), whose business must be booming based on the size of their booth. They had mailed a scratch-off game card to my house and I left with a lovely parting gift – a beach ball, which was thankfully deflated. Normally I’m not into swag, but I’m thinking about bouncing it around the crowd at the next hospital medical staff meeting.

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After that, I headed to the Interoperability Showcase, stopping by the MedData booth for a scone. Today’s flavors: lemon and blueberry. I spoke with a sales rep who was very engaging and it turns out he grew up just a few miles from where I live. We had a nice chat and I realized I’ve done some work for a couple of their clients, so it was nice to make a connection.

The Interoperability Showcase was buzzing with lots of demos. I spoke with Apex Data Solutions about some work they’re doing with the VA regarding data reconciliation. The reps were engaging and knowledgeable. The Showcase had some areas with clinical vignettes demonstrated by various vendor partners, so I checked out this one illustrating asthma care from telemedicine through hospitalization to discharge and outpatient management of complications. The reps did a great job, but I was a bit annoyed by the guy live-casting the entire thing, including the attendees. It’s one thing to catch people in the background of a photo, but it’s another thing to pan your phone around on a selfie stick getting close-ups of unwitting people who happen to be standing next to you and broadcasting them to the universe.

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Jenn already scooped me with a picture of the giant Connect Four game at the PEPID booth, but I did stop by for a match. I liked this artwork at the Q-nomy booth.

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I’m not sure what happened to the picture I took on the show floor, but I fell in love with the Ballo chair at Humanscale (Booth 1513). I’ve tried the exercise ball chairs and found them to be uncomfortable, but this one was very different. I’m seriously thinking about tracking one down when I get home. They also have wheeled workstations that adjust to a user’s height electronically, which makes users more likely to adjust them, therefore preventing ergonomic problems.

Vendors use a variety of gimmicks to get people into their booths – pens, stress balls, hot/cold packs, hand sanitizer, lip balm, candy, and more. DSS Document Storage Systems was screen-printing tee shirts in their booth, where eSolutions was holding a drawing for a Coach bag. NextGen has a giant Plinko game in their booth, while IBM Watson has live moss and some kind of fuzzy ground cover plants growing on displays in their booth. I haven’t seen too many people in costumes like we used to see on the show floor. Although it’s more professional now, I miss it.

I overheard two women speaking about the Disruptive Women luncheon, which they felt was well worth attending. I also overheard someone talking about vendor reps being rude on the shuttle bus, and naming them specifically. Apparently on yesterday’s morning shuttle, two of them refused to hold their laptop bags on their laps, placing them in seats next to them, which meant people who were trying to board the bus had to be turned away. If you’re wearing a vendor shirt and a name tag, don’t forget that makes you “on stage” in Disney terms. People notice when you’re doing things that aren’t courteous and kind and it might just cost your company business.

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Liaison had some sweet badge ribbons at booth 5570. I’ll let you guess which one I chose.

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Bottomline Technologies had their sponsor sign on display.

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From the exhibit hall, I headed straight to Nordic’s HIMSS reception at Del Frisco’s Steak House. We had a lovely outdoor balcony and I made some new friends, including marketing guru John Pollard and data analytics expert Tim Grilley. They were great to talk with and Tim certainly impressed with the best bowtie and shoes of the day (although his wife apparently thinks the shoes would be more appropriate on a sixth grade girl with pigtails). His suit brought the accessories together nicely.

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From there it was off to the New Media Meetup where I spied Jenn and some other social media glitterati. I always feel like the odd man out at events like that since I’m anonymous. I brought a friend with me who didn’t really understand the depth of what is going on with social media and healthcare IT, and by the end of the night, I think she was ready to start her own blog about dysfunctional vendors she works with.

After the Meetup, we headed to meet some friends for one last drink before crashing for the night. I’m averaging more than 10 miles of walking a day, so it’s definitely time for a break.

From HIMSS 2/21/17

February 21, 2017 News 12 Comments

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From Hooligan: “Re: hot Epic news. They just quietly brought their App Orchard live. It was announced years ago, but it really only applied to customers that wanted to build their own app. This is Epic’s latest thinking on allowing third parties.”

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From Skippy Snodgrass: “Re: Epic. They’ve upped their claims about clients making more money and seem to have found a way to involve either Allscripts or Cerner in almost every piece of booth décor. It’s one thing to have some fun in your booth, but I was surprised to see that messaging show up in the Interoperability Showcase… After a great presentation on the VA’s joint viewer project, I visited a demo that featured Epic, Cerner, and Siemens Healthineers. The Epic presenter’s monitor was set to a slide show that replayed the same competitive messaging from their booth on a loop. Maybe I’m naive, but it seemed to be in poor taste given the showcase is built for vendors to demonstrate their collaboration and commitment to bettering our industry. For their end of it, the Cerner and Siemens reps were unarmed – no fancy screensavers – you only saw a HIE diagram and a patient portal UI.”

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From Flinty White: “Re: HIMSS. Spotted today at 2:30 pm near the I Drive entrance. Sometimes those feet need a little rest and a post-lunch nap is in order!” I agree. It’s nice to get out in the sun and take a break from the noise, glad-handing, and merchandising.

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From HIT Girl: “Re: Mt. Auburn Hospital satellite clinic. Makes EHR training look like a bumpin’ party.” To which I would also reply, in my best J. Walter Weatherman (“Arrested Development”) voice, “And THAT’s why you use punctuation, like hyphens.”

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It was a beautiful sunrise over Orlando this morning, although I didn’t fully appreciate it after the two hours of sleep I got.

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Edifecs had a “What I Run” campaign that supports women, including offering a female-only event going on tonight.

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It is comforting to know that should one of us attendees or exhibitors be stricken, there’s a clinician-staffed hospital right there on the show floor. Either that or we could get a makeover while awaiting the arrival of actual clinicians.

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Intelligent Medical Objects has this cool coding timeline thing going on, where visitors were invited to record a notable health IT event on a sticky note and place it in its proper time location. People were really getting into it.

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Then there’s this, wherein I reward slightly off-color behavior by unavoidably providing a link to those exhibiting it (pun intended).

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The HipLink people were fun, as evidenced by the one on the right who used a stack of flashing pens to create a runway-like arrow leading into their booth. Her self-satisfaction is evident.

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The trouble with spell-check is that any version of a word’s correct spelling gets the green light, even when (as in this case) it is spelled very, very wrong for the context in which it was used. This is a big mistake (literally, since it is looming large over the exhibit hall floor).

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This is a smart giveaway from PerfectServe.

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I asked the personable Zebu rep if I could take a photo of his cool, color-coordinated shoes. He obliged by slipping one off to give me a better angle.

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Industry long-timer and WebPT CEO Nancy Ham held court in our booth, offering advice to women interested in career development or mentoring.

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Strata Decision Technology is giving away this book, which looks very good. I’ll read it after the conference,

I bought some extra tickets to Bistro HIMSS, so I had lunch there today. It was pretty good and it was nice to escape the chaos, choose fresh food from a decent buffet, and enjoy a semi-quiet moment at a table and chair without being stink-eyed by would-be diners who can’t find anywhere to sit and silently implore you to get up and eat your dessert on the way out the door so they can slide in. Today it was cowboy steak, yellow rice, fresh vegetables, tortellini, rolls, and a few dessert items. Even the iced tea was pretty good.

I should mention that my frequent gripes about HIMSS that usually involve their juggernaut-like domination, cozy vendor financial relationships, and vendor-shilling and questionably knowledgeable media group, they really know how to make a conference run like a Swiss watch.

Random booth observations:

  • I saw a quick, over-the-shoulder demo of Meditech’s Web EHR. Apparently they re-built the LSS ambulatory product into an entirely new Web Ambulatory, while other 6.1 modules got a high-tech facelift to give a consistent presentation. I had to circle their booth three times each during three separate visits to finally get someone to make eye contact, but the guy who finally greeted me was friendly even though my enthusiasm had diminished considerably by then.
  • I had a fun talk with someone at the InstaMed booth about patient payments in the era of high-deductible plans that push more of the payment burden on them (and more of the collection burden on providers).
  • Arcadia Healthcare Solutions gave me an overview of their data aggregation, transformation, and analytics.
  • I saw a demo of Spok Care Connect, which greatly broadens the old Amcom Smart Web paging console product into a complete solution for secure communications, alarm notifications, critical lab value alerts, etc.
  • I saw a short overview of the Qvera visual interface engine, which is free to use on a limited scale.
  • I talked to a rep who predicted that Wednesday morning will be quieter and more deliberate as decision-makers emerge from the shadows to take a deeper look into products that they or their underlings have seen. The rep also said that Wednesday afternoon will be crazy since that’s like a vendor version of “Supermarket Sweep” as they all run around chucking cards at each other in hoping to explore partnerships or other B2B opportunities.

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Vince Ciotti chose an interesting HIMSS badge.

Epic will enhance its MASS patient scheduling system, being tested by the VA in a $624 million contract, to allow disabled veterans to schedule appointments using Nuance-powered speech instructions.

Salesforce will integrate patient-generated data into its CRM and Health Cloud using Validic-powered integration.

Jvion, which offers a predictive engine, acquires the healthcare practice of competitor Predixion.


HIStalkapalooza

I heard the event was pretty fun, although I didn’t see most of it other than the band (which was as amazing as I expected). I had a little plate of food and that was fine, especially since the HOB’s house salad is one of my favorite things ever. I enjoyed spending private time backstage with Judy Faulkner and Andy Slavitt.

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The House of Blues people said they were getting calls all week from people hoping to score a ticket to the event, which is funny since HOB had nothing to do with ticketing. We also had a few folks (tourists, I assume) who heard Party on the Moon rocking it out and tried unsuccessfully to sweet talk their way in. HOB said it had to be the hottest ticket in Orlando this week based on the constant inquiries they were receiving.

I hope to have photos and videos from our photographers soon. Meanwhile, here are a few shots sent over by attendees.

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Nordic quickly put together a great teaser video of the event, to be followed shortly by a longer and more fully edited one. This one is really good, and it’s fun to hear Party on the Moon playing live from last night. Note in the video the Nordic-emblazoned ties they had made for the House of Blues Servers. I talked to two of the females who were wearing jauntily them around their heads “Karate Kid” style as their own form of flair, while I overheard one of the guys telling his co-worker (not sarcastically) that he loves his tie and wishes he could wear it to work at HOB every day.

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Here’s how the finale looked from the stage, as captured by the band at 11 p.m. I expect there were some aching heads and feet in the convention center today. A lot of the behind-the-scenes HIStalkapalooza work is frustrating, annoying, and demanding, but I absolutely love watching people dancing joyfully and interacting with the band. My view of HIStalk is sitting alone in an empty room filling up an empty screen every day, so seeing people come together is the best part of the year. I’m most overjoyed when I see someone who is tentatively lingering just off the dance floor for the first few songs trying to overcome their fears, then tentatively yielding to POTM’s exhortations to get out there with the group and move in whatever way feels good to them. I see that moment of child-like rapture and human connection from a normally restrained healthcare IT person and it is magical. It’s hokey, but I feel like I helped them, in some small way, regain the freedom and lack of self-consciousness that they might have otherwise forgotten they ever had. I was proud of every dancer out there.

These photos just started arriving from our photographer:

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Thanks to our hosts Barry Wightman, Julie Yoo, and Bonny Roberts. A couple of folks from Optimum Health IT spent forever getting the red carpet background assembled, then joined their co-workers in managing the check-in process. Brianne, Aly, Heidi, and Camille were all over the venue putting out fires. Lorre arranged the entire event and managed a maddening onslaught of issues that didn’t stop until about the time Party on the Moon started playing – I could see her glazing over from mental and physical exhaustion as well as hypoglycemia after a super-long day in which she had eaten only one early-morning banana due to lack of time.

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Thanks to our special guests Judy Faulkner, Andy Slavitt, and John Halamka.

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And of course, thanks to the sponsors who made this tenth and final HIStalkapalooza possible. Some of them are pledging their support and encouraging me to do it again at HIMSS18, but I’m not enthusiastic about it. It’s a lot of work, involves huge financial risk, and carries high opportunity cost without any real benefit except to attendees. Maybe I will re-engineer it into a different format that I can manage more easily.

Here are the HISsies winners as shown on stage Monday evening. I was sorry that Neal Patterson of Cerner declined to attend, but he’s not big on lifetime achievement awards, he said, since his work is a long way from complete.

Morning Headlines 2/22/17

February 21, 2017 Headlines No Comments

One in Four US Consumers Have Had Their Healthcare Data Breached, Accenture Survey Reveals

Accenture publishes a report concluding that 26 percent of US consumers have had their personal medical information stolen from technology systems. The report says that half of those impacted went on to become victims of medical identity theft.

Swedish CEO resigns in wake of Seattle Times investigation

Swedish Health Services CEO Tony Armada resigns following a Seattle Times investigative report exposing internal pressures to increase patient volumes and a deference to unnecessarily complex procedures that appears to be taking a toll on patient care.

athenahealth Partners with Specialty Medical Societies to Roll Out Network Medicine Health Campaigns

Athena will work with a series of medical specialty societies to create patient registries for various diseases that will be used by Athena to develop search algorithms capable of scanning the Athenahealth network, identifying at risk patients, and alerting their care providers of the risk.

EHR and Clinical Documentation Effectiveness

Nuance announces survey results from hospital IT and clinical leaders, finding that only 37 percent are confident that their organization will be able to realize the intended benefits of their EHR.

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Monday

February 21, 2017 News No Comments

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Monday at HIMSS was a blur of activity – it’s a good thing I make notes as I go. Due to traffic and parking issues, I didn’t quite make it to the keynote, but all was not lost since it put me in the right place at the right time to spot these Valentino boots.

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As the hall opened, I spotted Judy Faulkner in the Epic booth doing what looked like a final walk-through. The HIStalk crew hit the floor handing out sponsor signs. I spotted the team at Orchestrate Healthcare admiring theirs. Healthfinch also had their sign prominently on display, right next to the fascinator hat created by Karen Hitchcock to wear to HIStalkapalooza.

The morning’s booth crawl revealed several vendors with people in white coats – will they never learn? One group of booth attendants looked like they were ready to work the Clinique counter at Nordstrom as opposed to telling us about hot new healthcare technology. I met up with HIStalk reader Evan Frankel and we stopped by the Hyland OnBase booth to see their magician, who continues to impress. After the usual card tricks and coin tricks, he did one with books and having the audience pick words from the pages, that left me speechless. It was probably in the top 10 of magic tricks I have seen.

Several vendors have downsized their booths (or at least it feels that way), including Greenway and Athenahealth. Hopefully they’re spending more dollars on research and development instead because the industry certainly needs it. The industry might also want to take a cue from the AMIA meeting and offer HIMSS-related childcare. We came around a corner and saw a young boy sitting curled up under the counter of the Meehealth booth. Even more unnerving than that was the hospital beds with patients in them at Masimo and the woman on the table at Novarad. It might be good for building your performance art or modeling resume, but it just seems weird.

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I had a nice chat with the gentlemen at Ascent Testing Group, which hails from Fort Worth. They offer assistance to physicians in brokering genetic testing and provide easily interpreted reports. They were also engaging, easy to talk to, and a great example of what booth staff should be. We also passed the HP Enterprise booth (1979) with its charity cash grab chamber, but I wasn’t lured into being blasted with swirling money, even for charity. As the day wore on, I was wishing I had a pair of these nifty shoes spotted in the healthfinch booth because my feet were getting tired.

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The HIStalk booth is amazingly located this year. I had a chance to stop by to chat with former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD.

I ran into lots of people I knew in the hall, including informaticist extraordinaire Bill Hersh, but missed some old friends that have moved on from the industry. The happy hour at Orion Health featured New Zealand wines, which gave us a boost to head back to get ready for HIStalkapalooza. The party had a bit of a slow start due to traffic, but once Party on the Moon hit the stage, things picked up. It’s always great seeing readers having a good time and catching up with the people who keep me sane in this topsy-turvy industry. Of course, no HIStalkapalooza would be complete without my annual Matthew Holt dance party. As things wound down I headed out to get some much-needed rest.

Jenn’s HIMSS Report – Monday

February 21, 2017 News 1 Comment

My second day at HIMSS started off with the morning keynote from IBM CEO Ginny Rometty. I could have watched it from the comfort of the caffeine-fueled press room, but instead decided to join the masses in the Chapin Theater for overflow viewing. Rometty spent a good bit of time talking about IBM Watson and the work it is doing in major health systems and community hospitals alike, in the areas of both oncology and genomics. It seems to have come a long way from its “Jeopardy” roots.

It was a vendor speech at the end of the day, and so Rometty didn’t shy away from touting the "moonshot" ideas she and the company have for the technology. She also touched on AI, which I’m thinking might become a HIMSS17 buzzword over the next several days. She also mentioned blockchain and its potential, referencing the company’s internal work with the ledger tech and suggesting everyone take a look at the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project. (Check out HIStalk’s "Breaking Down Blockchain’s Potential" for a deeper dive into its implications for healthcare.)

Attendees wasted no time in queuing up for the exhibit hall just before its doors opened at 10 a.m. HIStalk somehow scored prime booth placement this year. Our booth, 4845, is just inside of the doors above, which has been such a blessing in terms of telling people how to find us and sneaking away for a few minutes to grab a bite to eat or use the restroom.

HIMSS has a DJ this year, which I find to be a lot of fun. I hear he takes requests, and so I’m trying to come up with health IT-related songs to ask for. Feel free to weigh in with suggestions in the comments. I’d love to create a playlist to share with readers.

My next stop, back in the Chapin Theater, featured a panel discussion on the challenges female executives face. HIMSS EVP Carla Smith, who is a great moderator, led a very conversational discussion on what it means to be the only woman in the room, how men can support a gender-diverse workforce, and the need for women to take a more proactive (or even aggressive) role in salary negotiations. It was a great session, and I was happy to see Ruben Amarasingham, MD represent the male perspective. He earned a round of applause when he told the audience that his physician-led company, Pieces Technologies, had achieved gender wage parity. (You could devote an entire session to how they achieved that, I’m sure.)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t add that EHealth Services Group CEO and chair-elect of HIMSS Denise Hines also offered many words of wisdom related to being a minority female CEO and business owner and the mother of seven kids. Her work-life balance advice was VERY strategic.

After that, I headed over the HIStalk booth to meet and greet readers and passers-by. It’s so nice to connect with the loyal folks that visit HIStalk on a daily basis. I only wish Mr. H could have been around to hear the many kudos he received. It seems that folks in this industry are really appreciative of the non-biased, tell-it-like-it-is voice he brings to this industry.

I attribute much of our booth’s activity to the Survival Kits the Arcadia Healthcare Solutions team shared with us. I wonder if they’re prepared to share more, because we’ve already gone through a few hundred.

The provider readers I had a chance to chat with — who included clinicians from the Netherlands, China, and Argentina — didn’t have any particular IT items on their exhibit hall shopping lists. Many seemed to be walking the floor to get a feel for what was out there. One gentleman explained that, unlike last year’s itemized list, his hospital is now more in the market for optimization services.

I had an hour and a half to spare, so I headed over to Pivot Point Consulting booth’s (723) for a foot massage and refreshments. It was the nicest break I’ve had at HIMSS in several years. I will definitely visit again today. Plus, I love the fact that they are donating to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as part of their HIMSS17 #GoesBeyond campaign.

Massages are apparently a thing this year, as I saw them at multiple booths on the show floor as well as outside of the exhibit hall. I may expand my horizons tomorrow and seek out a neck and/or back massage.

I ran into the folks at Pepid, whose booth was a ton of fun with oversize games like Connect Four, Jenga, and cornhole.

My brief exhibit hall walkabout included a quick pass around the Google booth. I don’t recall them having exhibited before. I managed to spy Karen DeSalvo, MD walking the floor by herself. I wonder if she was looking for the latest in population health tools?

It was nice to see the Aprima team proudly showing off their HIStalk sign. I hope to get by their booth tomorrow to find out how their solutions fit in with the HIMSS hospital crowd.

And then it was on to …

HIStalkapalooza

The Optimum Healthcare IT team did a great job of moving people through our check-in line. It was only after the party that I realized their lanyards included helpful skin cancer screening tips.

Our hosts, Bonny, Barry, and Julie did a fantastic job of greeting guests on the red carpet.

All of our guests seemed to have a great time. Health IT luminaries seen amongst the crowd included Judy Faulkner and Carl Dvorak from Epic, John Halamka from BIDMC, and Any Slavitt, formerly of CMS and now of Twitter. I was bummed I missed meeting him. He seemed to disappear after receiving his HISsies award (Hi, Jenn, Mr H here … Judy and Andy came backstage to hang out with me a little during and after the HISsies, so I apologize for stealing them from you since I know you were dying to meet them).

Speaking of awards, I had the privilege of running the slide deck while they were being given out. Above is my view from stage right.

I had the pleasure of meeting and dancing with the HIStalk Queen, a fresh-faced Allscripts rep who wowed the crowd at her first HIStalkapalooza. I hope she takes me up on my advice to wear her sash throughout the rest of the conference. It’s the best conversation-starter you could ask for, especially if you’re working a booth.

More to come tomorrow.

From HIMSS 2/20/17

February 20, 2017 News 6 Comments

Happy Presidents’ Day (or “Not My President’s Day” for protestors in some cities). George Washington has to share his Monday-convenient birthday celebration with those who followed him, but then again he probably doesn’t care since he’s dead.

I’ll have HIStalkapalooza items and the HISsies slides up tomorrow. It’s a bit late to finish up tonight.

I feel like trying to read the educational session descriptions in the The HIMSS Resource Guide is an eye test that I failed. The font size is as tiny as the lengthy disclaimers at the end of a credit card pitch.

Stymied about which companies are doing something interesting? It’s not too late to check out my HIMSS guide of HIStalk sponsors.

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I was skeptical when someone told me that I should apply the Band-Aid-like product called moleskin to the pressure points of my feet to prevent HIMSS-induced blisters and chafing (of special interest to me since I made the tactical error of bringing a new pair of shoes). Darned if it didn’t work like magic – I just cut it to fit a couple of potential trouble areas and today’s endless walking didn’t bother me at all.

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MedData’s scones were outstanding as usual, both the pumpkin and cranberry-orange ones they baked today.

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InTouch Health had an actual pastry case filled with stuff, although I didn’t sample any.

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Cerner was doing a podcast with HL7’s Chuck Jaffe when I walked by. The studio was pretty cool, with what looked like live TV news streaming on the monitors (not that we need more of that).

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Access brought a huge well to its book to show support for its project to provide drinking water for a Liberian village, which as it notes is a lot more directly life-saving than most of what we do in healthcare iT. Stop by Booth #1778 and you’ll be supporting their cause.

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CMS had a big booth.

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Epic’s art is always whimsical, but this piece had steps that I assume were for photo ops.

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Lifepoint Informatics was giving away energy drinks that were lined up like hyper little soldiers right in front of their HIStalk sign.

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The magnificent psychic, magician, and comic Bob Garner was as entertaining and amazing as always in the NTT Data both. I will definitely see him at least a couple of more times this week. His patter is a bit darker and more daring than that of his contemporaries – I thought the guy beside me was going to bust a gut laughing.

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Dear HIMSS-owned publication, John Halamka is one of the most recognizable figures and names in the industry you cover. How did this misspelling not raise an alarm somewhere in the editorial food chain? Yours in news accuracy, Mr. H.

Every year I have to peeve out about this – if you don’t have a clinical degree and an active license, you have no business wearing scrubs in your booth. You’re just annoying people who earned the right to wear them.

I’ve noticed that companies increasing mistakenly refer to “digitize” by saying “digitalize.” While the former is specific to computers (finger jokes aside), the latter’s primary definition involves titrating a person on the heart drug digoxin, another of those things that passes marketing muster while eliciting clinician eye-rolling.

A fun part of the conference is watching the small-booth vendors getting to know their booth neighbors. Provider attendees don’t realize how actively some companies seek out partnerships during the conference. A vendor told me today that they miss the days when the exhibit hall closed for lunch since that’s when a lot of the vendor-vendor networking took place and now it happens in full view of attendees.

Some booth notes. Just to recap my method, I travel the hall alone and casually dressed, with a badge title that does not represent me a decision-maker. I also don’t usually engage booth reps since I want to see how they react when I stand expectantly and make eye contact (since not all prospects are going to make the first move).

  • IBM Watson Health had a huge booth and presence at the conference, including giving IBM’s CEO the opening keynote slot (which I refused to attend on principle – vendor executives, especially those with zero healthcare background, don’t inspire me). It must have caused some panicky huddles when the story broke hours before her keynote that MD Anderson’s ambitious and expensive Watson project is in the toilet, at least temporarily. 
  • I was interested in Best Care, a Korea-based inpatient EHR whose monitors showed a cool-looking product that they are apparently trying to market to US hospitals. I tried to strike up a conversion with the stern guy standing there and he wouldn’t really talk to me. I tried again with another guy and all he said was that company is “from Korea, like K-pop” and then didn’t say anything else. I tried a third time in asking a different person on the other side of the booth if it was OK if a snapped a photo of the screen and they shooed me away. I think the company had best hire some US sales talent if they want to sell here.
  • Cerner had a monster of a booth.
  • I was thinking as I passed the Nuance booth that with all the hype about artificial intelligence, it’s now a given that computers can understand what we say with a high degree of accuracy. Imagine how Dragon would look to someone from the 1970s.
  • A vendor told me that just the light box for their modest-sized booth (the big rectangular sign that hangs above in their air space) costs $20,000. Their three-day exhibit expenses will be $200,000. They estimated that Cerner and the other big-booth vendors must be laying out $3-5 million to exhibit considering all the people they bring.
  • Georgia from Salesforce gave me a quick overview of the physician relationship part of Health Cloud.
  • I pledged to walk away from any vendor whose signs or patter include making a FHIR-related pun.
  • The exhibit hall appears to end in the 6700 block, but it actually keeps going into the 9000 range, with various non-vendor exhibits mixed in. HIMSS is so big that some exhibitors get stuck in no-man’s land where foot traffic is sparse and I’m afraid some of the vendors on that side are feeling left out of the action.
  • Some nice Healthwise folks said it’s different working with clients in Canada because they are more focused on social determinants of health and other factors that impact public health beyond just doctoring people up in the Jiffy Lube model of US healthcare.

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SPH Analytics hires Amy Amick (nThrive) as CEO.

Morning Headlines 2/21/17

February 20, 2017 Headlines No Comments

Salesforce builds out ecosystem for Health Cloud, adds better patient targeting, risk scoring

Salesforce improves its healthcare-focused CRM product line, adding risk stratification and population segmentation tools.

NantHealth to Showcase New Oncology Solution Suite at HIMSS 2017 Annual Conference

NantHealth reports that it will be demonstrating its suite of oncology, medication adherence, and device connectivity tools at HIMSS.

HIMSS Analytics Launches LOGIC Discover Chrome Extension for Quick Visibility into Technologies Used by Healthcare Organizations

HIMSS introduces a new Chrome extension designed for vendor sales staff that, when viewing a healthcare organizations webpage, presents users with an overview of installed installed vendor products, hospital revenue and bed size, and physical location.

Conservatives See Obamacare Repeal Slipping Away

Efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare are moving slower than some GOP leaders had hoped as replacement bills in the Senate and House struggle to gain a consensus in either chamber.

Jenn’s HIMSS Report – Sunday

February 20, 2017 News No Comments

My journey to HIMSS started early this morning. I am the type of traveler who likes to arrive at the airport hours in advance so as to avoid the stress of last-minute traffic, parking delays, and check-in and security lines. I also enjoy taking the time to walk through the airport concourses to my gate. I reason that the exercise will do me good before I spend several hours sitting down. I was pleasantly surprised to find the ceiling of one concourse transformed into a rainforest-like canopy. The leafy, backlit branches of green and blue were accompanied by piped in birdsong and patches of ceiling monitors that resembled the sky. I imagine such an environment may have calmed my nerves if I had been nervous about flying.

I was also pleasantly surprised to find this private pod set up for nursing and pumping moms. I’m not sure how many are scattered throughout the airport, but I’m sure it beats trying to perform either task in a crowded public space. I’ll never forget watching a mother try to find an outlet and pump in the bathroom at the St. Thomas airport in the US Virgin Islands. Privacy was nowhere to be found. I’ve heard from more than one female colleague that such spaces should be made available at conferences like HIMSS. I’m not sure if there are any laws regulating this sort of thing, but I’d give big kudos to conference organizers that consider it.

My flight was full, which wasn’t surprising given that most of metro Atlanta’s school systems are out for winter break. As such, many families are making their way to Disney for the week. My flight was surprisingly free of HIMSS vendors, which has been the case in years past. I snapped this pick while boarding; I thought it was interesting that they promote being among the “Best Places to Work.” I wonder if any HIMSS exhibitors will have similar signage. If I were a prospect, that would certainly boost any confidence I might have in the company’s products and corporate culture.

HIMSS signage was everywhere. I was disappointed, though, in the lack of little ones already dressed up as their favorite Disney characters.

I had a fairly typical wait in the taxi queue, and a delightful ride to my hotel with Viviana of Quick Cab. It seems the taxi drivers are taking a cue from Uber when it comes to customer service. She was quick to offer me refreshments when I got in, and – thank goodness – swiped my card using Square rather than the more traditional card readers that never seem to work.

I’m staying in a modest, family-friendly hotel just a few minutes’ walk from the convention center, and an even shorter distance to the Pointe Orlando nightlife area. It has several dining options, all of which are very affordable, and the staff has so far been eager to please.

Flowers like these haven’t yet bloomed in my neck of the woods. They are certainly a nice contrast to the seedier, concrete and neon jungle that typically greets me when I travel to HIMSS in Las Vegas. Orlando’s weather definitely has me ready for spring!

Like Mr. H mentioned in his Sunday, update, the conference center was fairly quiet. There were a number of pre-conference symposia going on, but it looked as if they had all wrapped up by the time I walked over to pick up my press credentials.

It took me all of five minutes to run into a familiar face. It was great to catch up with Amanda Greene, one of HIStalk’s HIMSS patient advocate scholarship winners from a few years back. She has returned to represent the patient in that oft-used healthcare buzz phrase – “patient-centered healthcare.” I know it’s a growing (but still very much grassroots) movement aided in part by organizations like The Walking Gallery, the Society for Participatory Medicine, and the Personal Connected Health Alliance. Amanda recommended that I check out one such title on the subject, “Participatory Healthcare.” And so I headed over to the HIMSS bookstore …

I don’t know if this was the main bookstore or a smaller, satellite location. As readers of HIStalk Practice already know, I am a big bibliophile.

I came across the recommendation, plus a few others I might have to check out in the near future.

I have always envied Dr. Jayne for her HIMSS routine of checking out the conference with long-time friends and colleagues. It always sounded like such fun to hike around HIMSS with a buddy, and this year, I’m happy to say I got that chance for a few hours with my former college roommate and colleague Jessica Clifton. The day got even better when we ran into Ross Martin, MD a former HIStalkapalooza host who is now a program director at the CRISP (Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients) regional HIE in Maryland. He was kind enough to bestow upon Jess an honorary membership to the American College of Medical Informatimusicology.

And speaking of music … The night was still young, and so I hopped into a cab and scooted over to the Doyenne Connections meetup at the Caribe Royale. Not only were we serenaded by this female saxophonist, which I assume is a rarity, but we were sent home with Girl Scout Cookies – my new favorite HIMSS giveaway.

Though not quite as young, the night still had some life in it, and so I made my way back over to the Pointe Orlando area for Divurgent’s networking event at the Funky Monkey.

I’ve been to several Divurgent events over the last several years, and the team knows how to throw a good party. This year was no different, except for the fact that Amos the monkey held court in one corner of the restaurant. Where else but HIMSS?

After chatting with indie HIT consultant, freelance CIO, and HIMSS Social Media Ambassador Drex DeFord and friends, I decided to call the #HIMSSanity a night. (And I couldn’t resist the siren call of HGTV beckoning me back to my hotel room.) Plus, I need to rest up for tomorrow morning’s keynote and, of course, tomorrow night’s HIStalkapalooza festivities.

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Sunday

February 19, 2017 News No Comments

I arrived in Orlando last night, allowing time to get together with some friends for a nice dinner before the craziness of HIMSS begins. We were happy to discover that we can walk back to our hotel from HIStalkapalooza Monday night, no designated driver or surge-priced Uber needed. After a nice walk around the Disney grounds this morning, we headed to the convention center for registration.

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Most people enter the convention center from the International Drive side, which means they miss out on some of the things you can see coming in from the car park in back. The registration lines there were short (although the parking was pricey and hard to find – I hope it’s not a total gong show tomorrow.) In the registration lobby, they have a hydroponic garden growing a variety of lettuce, basil, kale, Swiss chard, and more.

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From there, it’s up the escalators to the pedestrian bridge, where you can see the massive loading docks that facilitate arrival of the booths and equipment.

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Parts of the exhibit hall were still wall-to-wall crates, even after 1 p.m. Sunday.

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I’m traveling with a friend this year who has never been to a HIMSS in Orlando, so we went walkabout so she could get the overall layout of the convention center. It’s definitely got a more streamlined floor plan compared to Las Vegas with its basement booths. We came across the Wellness Pavilion, which consists of a handful of treadmills and elliptical machines. Because nothing says professional like hopping onto a piece of exercise equipment while you’re business casual with your HIMSS tote bag.

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We came across this sculpture outside Hall F, right near the Wellness Pavilion. For those of you with clinical backgrounds, doesn’t it remind you of trabecular bone?

Just about the time I told my friend we’d have to lay bets on how long it would be before I ran into someone I knew, we ran across a friend of mine who built the first clinical data repository at the medical center where I did most of my training. It was good to catch up, but HIMSS is such a busy week that it’s difficult to get more than a couple of minutes with people sometimes.

From there, we headed up I-Drive to grab lunch at the Shake Shack, because sometimes you just need comfort food after you’ve already walked seven miles by mid-day. From there it was a quick swing over to the outlet malls, which were absolutely packed, then back for the HIMSS opening reception.

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Usually the reception has some themed performers outside to welcome attendees – showgirls in Las Vegas, and last year flappers and gangsters in Chicago. This year there was a performer in the lobby that defies description – or at least defied description until we heard two attendees chatting on the way to the parking garage. One mentioned it was “A woman in a flowy dress on a stick flying through the air.” The other pondered, “Why am I not there?” I don’t know how else to describe it other than what they said, so I’ll let a picture be a thousand words.

The reception seemed to be a step up from previous years, with short drink lines and a good number of food stations. Choices included pad Thai, mini Caesar salads, antipasto cups, paella, and fish tacos. Dessert options included chocolate covered marshmallows and “Dragon’s Breath” popcorn chilled with liquid nitrogen and then served with your choice of toppings. Entertainment included a band with a woman playing some kind of virtual harp instrument that was strung from the stage above the audience, but I couldn’t get a good picture of it.

There were plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. The only downsides were the dimness of some parts of the room and there not being enough places to set your drink while you nibbled, but that’s par for the course for events like this. We did work our way into a table of clinical informaticists and met one who works at a hospital in Grand Cayman, so if you’re going to make new friends, that’s the kind of friend to make.

Over the course of the day I walked more than nine miles, so turning in relatively early seemed like a good idea. I definitely need to rest up for HIStalkapalooza.

Morning Headlines 2/20/17

February 19, 2017 Headlines 4 Comments

Opening Keynote: The Art of Deception: How Hackers and Con Artists Manipulate You and What You Can Do About It

HIMSS17 kicks off as white coat hacker Kevin Mitnick takes the stage to discuss emerging cybersecurity threats and how to detect and defend against them.

Touted IBM supercomputer project at MD Anderson on hold after audit finds spending issues

Auditors find that MD Anderson Cancer Center’s now stalled effort to employ IBM Watson in the fight against cancer was paid for with funds that were secured by hospital executives that intentionally sidestepped purchasing rules.

$5.5 million HIPAA settlement shines light on the importance of audit controls

Memorial Healthcare Systems (FL) pays $5.5 million to settle HIPAA violations after discovering that a former employee continued to use his login credentials to access more than 80,000 patient records without permission.

Forbes World’s Most Admired Companies

Cerner, CVS Health, St. Jude Medical Abbott Laboratories, and Aetna are named to Forbes Most Admired Companies list.

From HIMSS 2/19/17

February 19, 2017 News 6 Comments

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It was pretty dead in the convention center today, which I assume means that those who paid for pre-conference sessions were dutifully and (hopefully enjoyably) attending them. Attire ranged from shorts to suits, reminding me that one of these days I’m going to show up wearing a tuxedo, which might be fun since I’ve never worn one (or perhaps the white dinner jacket variety would be cooler). I wasn’t interested enough to head back to the opening reception, so I have nothing to report about that. I’ve always found it to be a waste of time except as a convenient location to try to meet up with people for a dinner outing, which I’ve never done either.

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There’s free WiFi in the convention center, named OCCC_Free or something like that. I Speedtested it and it was pretty good with low latency and a 5 mbps download speed, although that will likely degrade to a standstill when the place fills up. 

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This is Paul, the friendliest and most efficient registration person I’ve seen. I wish Paul could be cloned and assigned to moving people through lines everywhere (like in airports). He greeted me like a long-lost relative and steered me to the kiosk, where a quick barcode scan from my phone’s copy of the registration email triggered printing of my badge. Then all I needed to do was pick up the pre-loaded backpack and it was done – no longer do you have to slide through the line stuffing your new bag with various publications, handouts, and addenda. HIMSS improves the process every year. Paul was the first person I encountered and he made me feel valued and welcome. He was working the entrance by the parking lot.

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Caradigm always does great backpacks and the one’s the best. I’ll actually take this home for later use instead of stuffing it into a trash can somewhere between leaving the hall for the last time Wednesday afternoon and arriving at the airport. I like everything about it, including the color.

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The exhibit hall is shaping up, although it was hot as blazes in there Sunday afternoon when we were setting up our microscopic booth (#4845). Luckily, it took us about five minutes. The HIMSS exhibit person helped us choose a great location even though we don’t have any HIMSS points and we always get the smallest, cheapest available booth. We’re on a corner near some far more impressive neighbors, although I guess it really doesn’t matter since we’re not selling or demonstrating anything.

I see the exhibit hall opens at 10 Monday morning and at 9:30 the next two days. Is it my imagination that it gets earlier every year, not to mention that it now doesn’t close for lunch like it used to? I say HIMSS should just ring the cash registers even harder by running the exhibits 24×7 during conference week – they are almost there already. HIMSS18 would be ideal since it’s in Las Vegas, where the casinos never close so that neon-stupored gamblers irrationally feed the profit engine all night long.

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Here is our magnificently furnished HIMSS edifice, a study in cost-effective restraint. The back banner cost $30. The two pull-up signs were $79 each. The table drape was $40. The smokin’ doc standee was $80. Total cost: around $300, and all of it is reusable if I decide it’s worth packing and shipping back home (it all fits into two fairly small and light boxes that we just carry into the exhibit hall). Recall the results of my just-completed reader survey, which found that the most important reason people stop at booths is because of friendly, alert reps. That was a relief since that’s all we really have. Still, it’s fun when executives timidly inquire if it’s OK to take a selfie with the smokin’ doc, then beam proudly with their arm slung over the standee’s shoulder as we snap a picture for them and wonder exactly what they’re going to do with it.

A great thing about our booth location is that we’re just down from NTT Data, which will apparently again feature the amazing magician-psychic Bob. I watched jaws drop, tears flow, and people abruptly walk away in confused disbelief as last year as Bob told attendees things there’s no way he should know, such as, “Your mother died recently and was buried in a purple choir robe.”

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We’re giving away those fantastic conference first aid kits from Arcadia Healthcare Solutions again to help attendees deal with the inevitable aches, blisters, and gastric upset that the conference creates. The box of them was sitting on our little table with this cute note.

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Thirst-slaking isn’t cheap at the Orange County Convention Center. At least it was a 20-ounce soda and it was ice cold.

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Remember the old days when badge ribbons were rare and those who had them were envied as movers and shakers? No longer – HIMSS puts out a rack full of them for anyone who wants one and vendors give them away, too. I think HIStalk may have been an innovator since I think I did this in around 2006 with some kind of snarky, long-forgotten saying that I was afraid would get me in trouble. I think it was the same year I was snapping a photo in the exhibit hall and someone from HIMSS scolded me.

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I’m puzzled by this restroom sign. Are there times when the floor is wet and yet it isn’t slippery?

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A reader tipped me off to an Orlando tourist area scam that’s been written up in the local papers. You come back to your hotel room and find pizza delivery flyers that have been flung under the door. Hungry and tired, you call in your order, which never arrives. The reason: there’s no such place – it’s just a thief’s phone to which you’ve just provided your credit card number. Google the restaurant name before ordering, like the non-existent La Boheme Pizza above. The second clue is that the number is often a mobile voicemail box that’s full, probably with messages from angry customers demanding to know why their imaginary pizza is taking so long. The reader is staying in a HIMSS hotel and has received two fake ads so far, while I have received one. Perhaps they should have just replicated a Domino’s or Papa John’s flyer and used their own telephone number to suppress suspicion, although maybe those places aren’t as appealing. The flyer also offers dine-in and carry out where the fraud wouldn’t work, but without an address, those are probably seldom chosen by hotel guests with cranky children wearing Disney ears or who are happily shedding their HIMSS badges for the day.

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Akron Children’s Hospital (OH) hires Harun Rashid (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh) as VP/CIO.

A reader tipped me off that five bidders are in the hunt to supply Nova Scotia with a provincial clinical information system: Allscripts, Evident, Meditech, Cerner, and Harris Healthcare.

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A University of Texas System audit finds spending irregularities in the money-losing MD Anderson Cancer Center’s now-stalled $62 million IBM Watson-powered Expert Oncology Advisor project. The audit found that the system hasn’t even been piloted anywhere and contains outdated drug and clinical trials information, while on the financial side, MDACC  didn’t run a competitive bidding process, paid fees that were set just below the amounts that would have required board-level approval, and spent donated funds before they were received. 

We spent a chunk of time today hauling HIStalkapalooza stuff (banners,signs, etc.) to the House of Blues. It’s looking good for Monday evening. HOB is a pretty cheap Uber ride for those planning to imbibe. Doors open at 6:30, dinner and music start at 7:00, the HISsies will kick off at 7:45, and Party on the Moon will play from around 8:15 or 8:30 until 11:00. We usually don’t open the bar first thing because of the cost when most people are still filing in, but I’m going to bump up against the HOB minimum and figured I might as well start the drinks earlier and fancy up the menu at little. Please take a moment to thank the companies sponsoring the event – it’s pretty generous of them knowing they are funding the attendance of their competitors and non-decision-makers whose only common attribute is that they are fellow HIStalk readers.

Here’s an important note. As usual, we’ll lock the HIStalkapalooza doors no later than 8:30 and nobody (even invitees) will be allowed in afterward. Reason: each person who passes the HOB clicker guy costs me about $200, and I don’t like paying for someone to drop my for a quick drink on the way to somewhere else. I’ll be lucky to break even on the event and latecomers could push me into the red with little benefit to anyone.

I don’t have many Orlando recommendations, but I can say that I’ve been happy with these modestly priced restaurants where I had dinner the last three nights, all a short drive from the convention center: Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse, Ciao Italia, and Bahama Breeze.

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Reader Comments

  • Nick van Terheyden: Thanks Jayne - great to meet you I'm sorry to report that the Harry Potter's Wizarding world folks tell me the magic on...
  • ResearchBlocker: Fascinating to see that it will cost a layman/general public $42 for 24 hour access to that JAMIA article that you poste...
  • meltoots: CHIME letter...While the party raged on at HIMSS, the forgotten front line MDs are still suffering with all the complex ...
  • Andrew: Sorry I missed the final party, maybe you could crowdsource the event to reduce the financial risk....
  • Lazlo Hollyfeld: That still wouldn't do much if it is only looking at pre and post EHR implentation profit margins....

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