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News 4/18/08

April 17, 2008 News 10 Comments

From Mr. FA Queue: "Re: MUSE. Not a rumor, but certainly a head-scratcher. Replacing John Cleese as the keynote speaker at the 2008 International MUSE Conference… drum roll … Fran Drescher. What don’t I know that makes her appearance pertinent?" What’s all this, then? She wrote a book about her cancer experience. I’d rather see her in character as Bobbi Flekman with the lads.

From Spurious Emissions: "Re: GE. GE’s disappointing earnings at the corporate level are finding their way down to their hospital and physician customers. 30 FTEs in their physician solutions area (Flowcast and Groupcast) have been laid off and more may be impacted. After a long winter in Burlington, this is a tough start to the usual joyous spring." Unconfirmed. That does kind of suck – the only advantage of being absorbed by a humorless conglomeratized beauracracy is job security, then one bad quarter unleashes the pink slips (not a new concept for those in Burlington since the acquisition, unfortunately). I bet FAHC is getting pummeled with IDXers hoping to learn Epic.

From Ovid: "Re: EHR vendors. Lots of communication going on between eMedicalFiles (MDAware) and Propractica (StreamlineMD). Word is that these two CCHIT-bearing companies might be joining forces. Also lots of talk about a biometric application that might be adaptable to any existing EHR vendor platform."

From Pat Robertson: "Re: Epic. To all those Christian healthcare organizations spending tens of millions on EPIC’s EMR. Did you know EPIC supports Planned Parenthood? How does that compute with your healthcare ministry?" Link. Epic is newly added to a pro-life organization’s boycott list for supporting Planned Parenthood, along with Oracle and Merck. Already on the list: American Automobile Association, Kaiser Permanente, American Cancer Society, Girls Scouts, Kiwanis, Rotary International, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and American Diabetes Association. There’s nothing I can say that won’t make somebody mad, so I’ll just ride the fence.

From Jill St. John: "Re: Epic .NET rumor. If Epic decided to move to .NET, it would take billions of dollars and a decade or so. Can you call Epic or ask a big client?  This really would be game changing info and likely mark the beginning of the end of Cache in healthcare." Confirmation, anyone? I’m pretty sure Judy won’t take my calls, so if anyone knows, chime right in. 

From Pastor Taco: "Re: Sunquest. The situation at the ‘new and improved’ Sunquest has not changed. People continue to bail left and right. They still have leftover Misys executives who live in Raleigh (makes sense, huh?) and other senior management from the Misys era. Over the past several months, key senior managers have been pushed out of the organization without as much as a severance. Check with your sources – they will validate that not all is well at the good ole SQ. Everyone there is in fear for their jobs and under dictatorship rule. The numbers look good, but Vista really needs to look under the covers." Unverified, but confirmation welcome. It didn’t make sense to me either that they kept all the old Misys management and left them sitting thousands of miles away from the troops, as though the inconvenience of relocating to run the new company was too much to ask. I know nothing about them, but I would have cleaned house just to shake the Misys cobwebs off.

From Mikey Likes It: "Re: Art Vandelay on Epic. He states ‘the company supplying the consulting services is making the gold mine’. In my humble opinion as a grunt consultant, we earn every dime. Epic installs and go-lives are no picnic:  a) being away from home 14 days straight because an implementation manager scheduled me one day off during a go-live; b) working a 15-hour day correcting the instruction manuals because the client let his staff slip their due dates; c) being assigned a work space for five months smaller than my powder room at home with no intranet connectivity and being told ‘you figure it out’. I make a good salary, enjoy implementing Epic, and chose my profession, but please don’t whine that consultants make good money. 99.9 percent of us are dedicated to your success, willing to do whatever it takes, and we earn it every day."

From Tommy Pischedda: "Re: HIMSS booth race. All the companies I talk to are looking at ways to scale back on HIMSS booth size and investment. Times are very hard and HIMSS will really have to pad the numbers to show an increase if things progress as it’s looking. Many small start ups with small HIMSS booths are dying by the wayside – they are  way undercapitalized and in the midst of the recession (whether we call it that or not) that’s hitting healthcare and HIT." How about some multilateral HIMSS disarmament? Everybody cut back 20% from what you spent this year. Agreed? And I’m sure HIMSS will show an attendance increase, even if it means offering cheap day passes again (like this year) to move the turnstiles. Maybe that’s another reason to hold it in the puzzling choice of Chicago – more locals who’ll commute over.

From Rogue: "Re: XP support. MSFT support for XP is due to expire June 2008.  Please sign the petition at http://weblog.infoworld.com/save-xp/ to persuade MSFT to keep XP around another year or two until Vista or its successor can come up to snuff. I love my XP and if anyone can send Mr H. a good link on how to uninstall Vista and install XP (my new home desktop – no other option from Dell), I’d be way grateful."

From Mr. FA Queue: "Re: Hackensack. My deep inside source tells me that Siemens has not been booted from Hackensack University, but that they are looking at other vendors, including EPIC. This source tells me that the reason this is on the table is not because of Soarian, but because Siemens has not addressed the replacement of technology that already exists within their Invision environment. Plus the fact that Soarian Financials are way past due and there doesn’t seem to be much light at the end of the tunnel."

From Leroy Brown: "Re: Soarian. Siemens has web information showing Soarian implementations. The install activity and number of live applications is growing, but I’d estimate that Siemens has only 15-20 US customers live with one or more Soarian applications. Not a lot after all those years and billions." The most recent newsletter link is here. Leroy compared it to previous issues to draw conclusions. It says 80 customers, but I’ll trust Leroy’s number-crunching.

From The PACS Designer: "Re: Zimbra. As we move forward in bringing new concepts to healthcare, it would be nice to have tools to support this activity.  Zimbra is a next-generation messaging and collaboration software tool from Yahoo that has seen some application in educational institutions and may be a good tool for teams planning to improve the efficiency of working together daily. Ohio State, UCLA, and Georgia Tech are some of the universities already using Zimbra." Link.

Listening: 60s cult faves Flamin’ Groovies. Also, Fine Young Cannibals.

Two Children’ Boston doctors (at least one of them a long-time HIStalk reader) write an NEJM article warning of the privacy implications of personal health records, specifically those offered by Microsoft and Google, and the fact that those companies aren’t bound by HIPAA. We might as well raise the white flag right now and admit that HIPAA hasn’t done much for privacy except to raise awareness.

If you work in a hospital, give me a few seconds and be (anonymously) counted in my three-question survey (what’s your job description, what hospital do you work for, and what city is it in). I’m curious who’s reading. Thanks.

New poll to your right: what will happen to Cerner’s share price after its April 22 earnings announcement?

Call center software vendor Amcom Software says it grew 68% in its just-ended fiscal year.

Quantros announces its Disruptive Event Manager software for hospitals. That’s not defined, but other references suggest it means harassment, discrimination, and medical errors (but I’m still not sure). I guess if you’re a prospect, you’d know.

A British surgeon suspended for not keeping computerized records after being ordered to do so by overseers says he was misled. "My only problem is computers. I didn’t like computers. I was not computer literate and I was misled. I was told computers were coming, but not that it must all go on computer. You can do it manually as well."

Bringing home the pork: a Vermont counseling service gets $191,000 in federal money to pay for an EMR system, allowing it to move its own money into a big construction project, the opiate of nonprofit healthcare.

Bizarre: some Philippine surgeons are in big trouble after a YouTube video showed the entire OR crew laughing, cheering, and taking cell phone video during surgery on a male patient brought in after a New Year’s drinking spree and one-night stand with a male partner. The surgeon extracted six-inch long metal canister from the patient’s rectum, triggering a shout of "Baby out!" and resulting cheers from those in attendance. The doctor then chased staff around the room, spraying the can’s contents at them. Med and nursing students from the OR next door came over for the festivities. The patient says he was too drunk to remember how the can got there.

The Cayman health authority gets GE PACS for George Town Hospital. I only mention that because I’ve been there a few times. It was darned expensive even before the dollar went to hell.

WellPoint announces some kind of vaguely described medication surveillance system that will detect adverse events. Hopefully they’re not selling patient information to drug companies.

A West Virginia ambulance chaser gets a law passed to hide damages sought in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. He was prompted by a WV suit against McDonald’s that claimed a guy’s two Quarter Pounders Without Cheese were actually Quarter Pounders With Cheese, causing him a near-death allergic experience worthy of a $10 million lawsuit. Peering under the bun, even to preserve one’s frail and ephemeral human existence, was apparently beyond the plaintiff’s capability.

I haven’t done a CIO Salary of the Week for a very long time (and I’m not sure if anyone really missed them), but here you go: Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY: $310,433. HIStalk CIO Enrichment Index: 443. Wakemed, Raleigh, NC: $256,441. HIStalk CIO Enrichment Index: 38. Baylor Health System, Dallas, TX: $419,287. HIStalk CIO Enrichment Index: 154. Extra points if you can remember how to calculate the Enrichment Index because I couldn’t.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and e-mailing. It keeps me interested during the very many hours I sit here alone in front of the computer. Feel free to use the secure and anonymous Rumor Report to shoot me juicy stuff.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

From Greg Focker: "Re: VISICU. Talking to a VISICU sales rep, they are waiting for some of their installs to publish results of remote ICU citing positive patient outcomes and (of course) a huge economic benefit. They then expect to double their sales and support staff to handle the anticipated orders flowing in." Unconfirmed.

NextGen announces (warning: PDF) that Arkansas MSO Practice Plus will implement its EMR/PM suite. Practice Plus will utilize the PM product for its 200+ physicians and EMR for its employed physicians.

Apparently to Mediware’s surprise, Constellation Software of Toronto purchases 6.1% of Mediware’s outstanding stock. The stock price has fallen more than 50% over the last year.

The Rural Wisconsin Cooperative Information Technology Network selects HMS to provide EHR infrastructure for four Wisconsin community hospitals. The hospitals will share a data center and eventually exchange clinical data.

This week we ran Mr. H’s Inside Healthcare Computing 2006 editorial about the HIMSS booth arm race. Q posted a comment that he/she disagreed with my self-proclaimed curmudgeon boss who said he didn’t know anyone who enjoyed the exhibit hall experience. Like Q, I love running into folks I haven’t seen in years and find the people-watching aspect very entertaining. Q – I happen to be an ENFJ, so I totally get what you were saying.

A reader asked if we knew if many readers were planning to go to AONE. If you are a nursing exec heading to Seattle this month, feel free to drop us a note with updates.

Infosecurity Europe surveys 576 office workers and concludes that women are more likely than men to give away their passwords to strangers in exchange for chocolate. In fact, 45% of women and only 10% of men felt a chocolate fix was more important than security. If it were dark chocolate, I am pretty sure I might be inclined to share all sorts of secrets! Anyway, you have to love those crazy Brits for their ingenious marketing techniques.

A Florida radiologist will pay the government $7 million to resolve a healthcare fraud case. The doctor is accused of billing for procedures not performed, not ordered, and not deemed medically necessary. Seems the government also thought he was paying other physicians for referrals. A whistle-blowing ex-employee gets $1.75 million of the money.

Eclipsys announces that Cancer Treatment Centers of America has achieved 100% CPOE adoption on the first day using the Sunrise solutions. The Centers just activated the system simultaneously at all of its hospitals (four, I believe).

SCI Solutions  releases an upgraded version its Order Facilitator online order communications tool.

Arkansas convicts its first HIPAA violator, a nurse who accessed a patient’s PHI. The nurse’s husband took the information, called the patient, and threatened to use the information in an upcoming legal proceeding. The nurse pleaded guilty to wrongfully disclosing a patient’s health information for personal gain and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re:Epic and .Net

    No matter if Epic went with/goes with ASP .Net or Java, neither solution would replace Cache. Cache is used on the server side for the database. Epic’s web based applications will still interface with Cache to retrieve and store the data.

    Long live Cache 🙂

  2. Looks like Epic is getting taken to task over the extraordinary costs of their installs. I do not care how you slice – LSW cost, implementation costs, or whatever…I would think customers would expect a vendor to be able quote price that included what it would take to install, provide hardware and get adoption. Seems to me like Epic is taking the easy rode and pulling the cover over all of their customers making them believe that are suffering rightously to achieve something in 7 years that should have taken 3.

  3. Has anyone confirmed Kean’s loss of the CHS contract. I am assuming this CHS is the New Jersey Capital Health System?

  4. Re: Jill St. John: “Re: Epic .NET rumor – Epic’s not replacing the back end with .NET / SQL Server. The chatter is about Epic’s front end (client) moving to more of a pure web presence. They already do quite a bit via embedded web browsers on their windows client. They are making a gradual transition to a pure web client which will utilize the MS toolset for web development. The backend will remain as is for scalability reasons. They were doing internal (not announced) trials with both Java and .Net and subsequently made a decision to utilize the .Net web development framework. Reasons cited included Silverlight from Microsoft as well as commitments on improved web application support and to some extent the BEA acquisition by Oracle (which doesn’t have a great track record with acquired products). They are sharing a very thoughtful and realistic plan. Over the next several years you’ll see a gradual replacement of Citrix Servers with MS IIS Servers.

  5. A few things:
    1) what is EPIC? I thought it was Epic.
    2) I am not sure if I agree with the decision to post this article about supporting planned parenthood. Seems like you are playing into his hands by raising concerns where they are not necessarily warranted. To my knowledge, Epic supports both sides of the issues as determined by the choices of its employees. I would bet that most (if not all) of the companies listed on that site give money to both planned parenthood as well as pro-life organizations (as Epic does). So to take one destination of donations and label an organization en mass seems like a propaganda tactic of the the Christian right. I would like to a list of ALL donations made by all the companies to see if there is a true political position etablished. It could be entirely possible that more money went to pro-life organizations than planned parenthood – he might be biting the hand that feeds his ideological crusade.

  6. Re: Epic and Planned Parenthood – Each employee is given $300 to distribute to the charities of their choice … if some people pick PP that is their business. I think it is a fantastic way to give back as a corporation while giving employees a valid stake in the outcome.

  7. Hey Mikey – I like it. You’re right. BTW – been there, done that in your shoes. But back in my day, we walked up hill in the snow both ways without shoes for 16 hours a day eating tasteless mush. I know you don’t make the money but your consulting company employers sure do (Deloitte, IBM, Accenture, CTG, ACS, CSC). Minmal 40% margins on services… but it is what the market is willing to pay.

  8. “Epic is newly added to a pro-life organization’s boycott list for supporting Planned Parenthood”
    Newly added? Is that why the date at the top of the article says August of 2005? Come on MR. HISTalk, you can do better than that.

    You’re right! The reader sent it in with the link as though it were news, but I didn’t notice the date. Well, Epic was newly added — in 2005. Consider it a Marginal News Flashback.

  9. Re: Fran Drescher at MUSE, if it makes one feel any better, her sister was the Director of Admissions at a major academic medical center in NY and intimately involved with the implementation and support of patient access applications. Maybe there’s some inherent HIT knowledge in the family . . .

  10. I missed this when it was first posted, but just for the record – IDX did this same thing with Flowcast. Instead of a fat client, Flowcast 4.0 went with a .net “web framework”. Nobody likes the ugly roll n’ scroll GUI, so vendors need some kind of pretty client to sell new installs. Epic chose poorly with VB 6.0 (Hyperspace is a VERY big client install), IDX chose correctly with a web-based gui. Now Epic is catching up, and none too soon in my book.







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