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News 9/5/07

September 4, 2007 News 3 Comments

From Pluvial Bitter: “Re: AJAX. AJAX stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML. If you use Google’s GMail, you have seen AJAX in action. The way GMail is able to check for new messages without you having to refresh or reload your page is due to AJAX. Basically, AJAX applications can be set up to make calls to a server for updated information at either timed intervals or based on a user’s interaction with an AJAX web page. These calls to the server occur behind the scenes. My company uses AJAX for a Web-based smart calendar for physician practices. Let’s say you have a practice rule that states you cannot perform a surgical procedure after you have been on-call the previous day. If a user started to enter a surgical procedure, the AJAX coding would elimate all physicians who were on call the previous day as available options.” Interesting. It’s worked great everywhere I’ve used it except Yahoo Mail, which seems to be flaky (it lost my e-mails more than once, so I went back the old interface).

From John: “Re: Brev+IT. Just subscribed to Brev+IT and received my first issue last week – what a great read. Brev+IT is an excellent complement to HIStalk as it focus on just a few key stories, going into greater depth with some good pithy analysis on each story. Thanks Mr. HIStalk for this expansion of your already excellent service to the industry.” My pleasure. The subscriber list is like a Who’s Who of the industry, with 600 folks receiving it so far. The sign-up box is to your right. And for those getting it, you can help me out by forwarding it to others (we’re a low-rent operation here, so that’s what passes for an ad campaign in these parts).

From Millie Quivalent: “Re: FDA’s access to DoD patient data you mentioned in Brev+IT. Congress is pressuring DoD to merge its software with the VA’s, which they don’t want to do. By linking up with FDA, they have another arrow in their quiver.”

I’m getting interested in the announcement coming next Monday from Sentillion. If you’ve watched their ads to your left, they keep teasing a little more each time. I don’t know the secret, but I’m waiting with you. Cool ads.

Kelly Mann is named CEO of Mediware, coming over from 3M. I missed the announcement that Jonathan Churchill had resigned from the board, replaced by former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Richard Greco. Greco sounds interesting: 38 years old, former CFO of the Navy, big private equity guy, and degrees from Hopkins and Chicago. Anybody want to bet that Mediware will go private soon by selling out to private investors? MEDW’s market cap is low for being publicly traded and the company is struggling in an up market.

Cerner co-founder Cliff Illig gets interviewed by the KC paper about his and Neal’s pro soccer team. “Entrepreneurs, I think, do organization stuff different than companies that have been around for a long time. At Cerner we think of our organization as a bunch of teams. It’s much more of a peer-to-peer kind of a model as opposed to a rigid hierarchy where everybody has a boss. We have a lot of young people working for us. You bring those young people in and you make them part of the team and you give them a mission and it’s pretty impressive what they’ll go produce.” CERN Employees: what do you think?

The Delhi, India government has spent $3 million developing and testing a hospital software package that they didn’t know was available as a free download. “Talking to Newsline on condition of anonymity, the engineer said: ‘I’m surprised that people working on the project did not know about the website. It is easily available and quite popular. The huge waste of time and money could have been avoided.’ HIMS project in-charge Dr Vijay Rai, however, said he is not aware about the website. ‘The HIMS software is the best that we have.'” The screenshots look pretty good.

Bob Fabbio, the Austin, TX entrepreneur who started Tivoli Systems, is in the doctor house-call business, along with a doc who was involved in Revolution Health. His new company offers scheduled doctor visits 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Families pay $88 a month plus $75 per visit, not including labs and meds, but some are handled by nurse practitioners. Doesn’t seem like a good deal, especially compared to concierge medicine, but that’s just me.

A Maryland dialysis center operator will test implanting VeriChip RFID chips in patients to bring up their medical records when they visit.

Speaking of RFID, a patient safety expert says barcodes are better than RFID for medication safety. The article briefly mentions 2D barcodes, which I’ve worked with recently. They’re the tiny, dense squares that you sometimes see on post office envelopes. They can encode a ton of information (several hundred characters), are readable even if damaged and from any angle, and take up a fraction of the room needed for Code 39 or even Code 128 formats. Plus, super-fast scanners that can read those plus the old linear codes cost less than $200 (I’m partial to those from Hand Held Products). I’m sold on them, even though HIT vendors will probably take forever to implement them if their readers are serially connected instead of as a keyboard wedge.

Brazil’s government will offer a medical exam portal powered by TrakHealth, now owned by InterSystems. I’m beginning to think InterSystems was smart to buy that company a few months back.

E-mail me. I need your rumors and ideas. Inga is far more enchanting, so you can always ping her alternatively.


Inga’s Update

I saw Mr. H mentioned that Modern Healthcare came out with its list of the 100 most powerful people in healthcare and he expressed disappointment at being overlooked. I wonder if he and I were the only ones who voted for him?

Phillip Rivers sent me a note about the Quadramed acquisition of the Misys CPR product. Phil comes from the Quadramed camp and offers some great insights.

“My thoughts of CPR acquisition are the following: smart, smart, smart. It is the real deal. It really does what others say they do. I have so many prospects tell me they want “integration”. Well, here it is. This is robust, flexible and proven. What more would you want?

As for the business deal, when all the numbers are made public, I think we will see this was a no-brainer for QuadraMed. I had really questioned Misys and their decision to sell the acute market products. I didn’t understand why a company would sell off a profitable part of the business. Well, I spoke with some senior Misys executives in Raleigh and they put some perspective on this sale for me. They really believe that Misys, which is known for the ambulatory products, was not able to partner with other HIS companies to fully market and sell the ambulatory into the client base of Meditech, for example. This was due to Misys perceived “competition” with CPR and the Lab products.  Shedding these will allow Misys to develop the “Channel Partnerships”. Makes more sense to me in that light.

QuadraMed will be able to take the integrated Cache database that CPR and integrate their other top notch revenue cycle products running on Cache, which is a truly underrated,extremely reliable, fast, and stable database.”

If you missed Mr. H’s posting yesterday on the HIStalk Forum (Works Sucks, Then You Die: Finding Your “One Thing”) it is worth a read. From one who has gone from the “front lines” in this industry to a comfortable seat in the bleachers, it hit home. Here is my favorite nugget of wisdom: “Every person has one thing they do extraordinarily well. You will never be happy in your job unless the majority of your time involves doing that one thing. And if you do that one thing, money and success will find you, probably when you least expect it.” I am still figuring out that “one thing” and definitely looking forward to having that money find me. Meanwhile, I agree that life is too short to not to love what you are doing. (For the curious, I am definitely having fun at HIStalk).

The Healthcare IT Transition Group has released its annual survey (warning: PDF) that focuses on RHIO financing. I didn’t see the full report, but the summary has a few data points of interest.

  • The estimate for RHIO technology expenditures for 2007 is (only) $128.6 million, which represents 0.7% of the total US HIT market. If that is a real number, then that is bad news for vendors targeting this market.
  • Not surprisingly, 53% of the respondents reported that cash flow was a significant challenge (see first bullet point).
  • 52% of the respondents indicated they were in the startup stage, 24% in the transition stage, and 24% in production.

IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc., a North Hollywood, Calif.-based network of hospitalist physicians, has filed for a $105 million IPO. Several venture capital firms have the biggest ownership shares today, including Bank of America, Morgenthaler Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and CB Health Ventures. IPC has over 600 hospitalist physicians and over 900 employees in 16 states.

I attended the first HIMSS virtual conference earlier this year and probably won’t attend the next one. That being said, it was interesting to interact with the other attendees. Since there were so many folks online at one time, there was quite a bit of posting about a variety of different topics and people were able to make quick connections. There were a number of attendees who were hunting for jobs and a fair bit of posting around employment issues. I sat in on a couple of webinars, but I guess I really am not a webinar kind of girl. I find it difficult to stay focused on the speaker when I have e-mail popping up, etc. But I am sure it works great for some folks. For people who don’t have an opportunity to go to meetings in person, it’s not a bad way to get a taste of it. If you took the time, you could learn about some new technology, etc. In terms of the vendors, I didn’t see much provided that couldn’t be found from the web. Oh, and I didn’t win any door prizes. Big disappointment.

Say hi to Inga.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. AJAX is the wave of the future so give it some leeway in its operation since it is still a baby in the web software world. I tested the AJAX Solitaire Game that MR. HIStalk gave the link for recently and saw several software glitches happening while playing games but don’t be afraid to use it or send it to others just make sure you are running good anti-virus software on your system.

  2. I found it interesting that there are already ex-Revolution Health executives. Does Revolution have any products or services? They aren’t exactly taking the industry by storm.

  3. You’re right about the $128M being too small. We took the numbers we got from respondents and applied it to the RHIO universe as defined by the eHealth Initiative. We weren’t able to take into account the outliers (like CalHRIO, which is unofficially pegged at a mid-9-figure total budget). But we also point out that there are tremendous untapped resources out there to fund RHIO projects, and some of the RHIO efforts are effecting a “tax-the-early-entrants” policy that is inhibiting their overall growth.

    What a great blog, by the way. And I’m not just saying that because you mentioned our report. Your editorial tone is very bloggy (ours tends to be a little wonky), and you cover a lot of ground. Not having HIStalk on our blogroll was an oversight which I plan to remedy as soon as I post this note.

    Marty







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