From Joe Bob Priddy: “Re: Battery Ventures/Quovadx acquiring Healthvision. So far, they have purchased two questionable assets under the theory that if you tie two boat anchors together, maybe they’ll float. Maybe three or four anchors is the key.” I love succinct cynicism about the company’s acquisition plans. I was offered an interview with Quovadx’s CEO, so I’ll stay neutral like a journalist until I hear first-hand.
From Gunga Din: “Re: the former El Camino CEO. He was fired from Legacy Health System after a tenure of 18 months.”
From O.W. Shaddock: “Re: physicians on planes. I got the dreaded tap on the shoulder on a recent long flight, where I stabilized a patient who was later met by an ambulance on the tarmac. The airline’s response was tremendous: food and gift packets for my family, moved us to business class, gave us a $250 certificate for the in-flight catalog, let us off the plane first, and sent three bottles of wine with a thank you note. I don’t sent a bill to the state when I’m first on the scene of an accident, but this sense of entitlement has become more prevalent in the physician community at a time when overall volunteerism and social responsiblity is on the rise. On the other hand, treatment was delayed 40 minutes waiting for the airline’s on-call physician to give permission to open a surprisingly skimpy drug box, I was unable to speak to him directly because passengers aren’t allowed in the cockpit, and many cars today come equipped with a better first aid kit than a plane holding 500+ passengers – no otoscope or ophthalmoscope.” I’m doing everything I can… and stop calling me Shirley. A little doctor-plane humor for you.
From Duude: “Re: your editorial, ‘I’ll Have What He’s Having’. I discussed this with my aunt, who used to be in the industry. She asked how the industry was going, whether hospitals are doing a better job in system selection, etc. I had the misfortune of telling her that health systems still follow the pack, still rely on vendor products more through past associations rather than a comprehensive and unbiased system selection process, C-level backroom deals, pissy-pant ‘not feeling current vendor love’ feelings, etc. It was interesting to see her reaction when she realized nothing has changed. We all know that C-level people from the more controversial system selections read HIStalk. I dare them (Kaiser, Stanford, etc.) to refute me. Explain your system selection criteria and let us believe that it really didn’t have to do with ‘I know Neal’ or ‘the system next door is using Vendor Y, so we need to also.’”
I heard from Lynn Vogel, CIO of MD Anderson, when I mentioned their EMR development work. He tells me that the redesign of their ClinicStation EMR suite is going great. It’s now off VB6 and fully SOA and .NET driven, with up to 4,000 service calls a second (!). Interestingly, MDA is following a vendor-like quarterly release schedule, with a faculty committee overseeing the agenda. Lynn also says that SOA is letting them link the EMR to their research software, even though much of that is open source. He also mentions that the CIOs of four big hospital development shops will speak at AMIA in Chicago: Lynn, John Glaser of Partners, Bill Stead of Vanderbilt, and Justin Starren from Marshfield Clinic. I’ve argued previously that hospitals are too reluctant to do their own development (or contract it out), so that’s an interesting topic (how can you excel competitively when you’re using the same off-the-rack systems as everyone else, at least if you really believe that IT is strategic?)
Microsoft is the star of the day for introducing its HealthVault PHR and health search engine tweaks. The HealthVault Search is OK and has a scrapbook feature to save stuff you find, although the results are already peppered with ads (if you have medical issues with a certain male body part, the ‘sponsored sites’ can help you with just one claimed outcome). I still think PHRs are a waste of time since patients won’t keep them and doctors won’t really use them (is it illogical to keep a Web-based record that you can talk to your doctor about only by making a weeks-ahead appointment and sitting in front of him or her?) The Connection Center is a good idea, assuming it works (plug and play medical devices, anyone?) The need to have Windows Live ID, however, will kill what little interest there is. I used to curse emotionally and loudly about Passport and Wallet, previous (and also bad) attempts to lock users into some sort of mindless and proprietary Microsoft loyalty. My reaction to all the HealthVault hoopla: it’s like watching a once-vibrant and edgy man turn gradually into a doddering senior citizen that the whippersnappers make fun of without his catching on. I’m just not finding Microsoft to be all that relevant to what I want to do any more, either on my PC or on the Web. HealthVault won’t change my mind. Hotshot companies always want to profit from healthcare without getting into the ugly trenches of care delivery, contracting, procurement, and labor management, cherry-picking the fun consumer stuff and building a business model on advertising.
Speaking of HealthVault, you may have noticed that its PHR isn’t really that at all, it’s just a document repository. A later announcement today may have explained that: CapMed will create an “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) PHR for HealthVault. icePHR will provide users with a custom URL that emergency providers can securely access. A demo is on the site. It seems to hold basic contact, condition, and allergy info. They sell it for $9.95 a year. It’s maybe enough to help a paramedic, that is, if they have an Internet-connected laptop to use while you’re convulsing on the floor, if you’re coherent enough to tell them about it, and if you’ve kept it up to date (like a piece of paper strapped into a MedicAlert tube, in other words). Maybe I’m just being curmudgeonly, but this looks like a solution in search of a problem. I can’t imagine either patients or doctors taking PHRs seriously enough to trust for making treatment decisions.
A milestone for eScription: the company’s product now handles over a billion lines of transcription a year. They’re at AHIMA in Philadelphia next week, booth 225 if you’re inclined to drop by and say hello. If you meet Paul Egerman and don’t leave happy, I’ll reimburse you for your footstep mileage.
Speaking of AHIMA, it gets a $10 million CMS contract to evaluate the possible changeover from ICD-9 to ICD-10.
Wow, am I ever humbled by Scott Shreeve’s writeup in honor of HIStalk’s soon-to-be millionth visitor. My version of blogging is lonely and free of feedback (other than e-mail), so it’s sure nice to hear it mentioned as though it’s something real, not just the empty screen in an empty room that I see from this end. I’m not emotional, but it choked me up a little after I got over being embarrassed by the attention. Right back at you, Scott.
Cerner has their big Health Conference cranking up this weekend, with 400 education sessions led by Cerner customers. What’s cool: chief marketing officer Don Trigg is hooking me up with some attendees on a live call Monday evening for a report. I’ve never attended, but colleagues who’ve attended in previous years speak highly of it. I’ll have to think of insightful questions to pose to them.
Lightning round housekeeping stuff that I always forget: use Search to your right to zip through four years’ of HIStalk, sign up also to your right for instant E-mail updates (at the top) or the Brev+IT newsletter (below that). E-mail me for a sponsor packet. Feel free to e-mail me otherwise, although I confess I’m absolutely buried in jobs (day and other) and can’t always reply. And no, I won’t send you a picture of Inga (ask her yourself).
Unibased Systems Architecture brags on its KLAS surgery system scores. I honestly don’t know a single hospital that uses it, even though it’s perpetually up there. I’m taking away points for using the word “space” four times in a short press release. I can’t help but think of sleazy, dot-com salespeople when someone lobs out a “space” instead of “market”, as in “I’m in the dogfood space” or “I specialize in the porn space”.
Carilion uses software from Scalent Systems to roll out Citrix boxes for its Epic implementation. “They’re allowing you to re-provision a virtual server very quickly — within five minutes.”
Mediware adds to its stack of Nasdaq notifications, but says this one doesn’t threaten delisting.
Nuance Communications, Inc. acquires Commissure. Nuance provides speech and imaging solutions (they are the ones that bought Dictaphone awhile back). Commissure provides speech-enabled radiology workflow optimization and data analysis solutions. Also this week, Nuance announced a new president of their Enterprise Division, Wes Hayden, who had been president and CEO of Alcatel-Lucent’s Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories unit.
Advocate Home Health Services, the home care and hospice division of Advocate Health Care, selects Misys Homecare for their 250 home health associations and 225 support employees in the Chicago area. It is interesting to me that, despite all the turbulence among the physician and hospital divisions, the home care group has kept such a low profile.
McKesson announces a new Web-based BI tool for health information management departments.
Since joining HIStalk I have come to the realization that there is an award for everything. (Guess it is kind of like all the kids on all the soccer teams getting trophies.) McKesson and Kaiser Permanente are two of nine organizations receiving the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Green Electronics Champion awards. The winners have moved to EPEAT-certified equipment, which is more energy efficient. Between McKesson and KP, the energy savings is enough to power about 5000 homes per year. (Which actually is pretty impressive.)
Hyland Software will provide a document management solution to integrate with Epic EMR at Texas Children’s Hospitals and clinics. Maybe this is a silly question but doesn’t Epic have a DM system as part of their offering?