From Frazier Thomas: "Re: Misys. I read the the Misys press release about Daughters of Charity. Vern makes a reference, twice in fact, to Daughter’s Of Charity ‘Hospital’. I wonder if he even knows there is no such Daughters Of Charity HOSPITAL? It’s a whole health system, Vern. I guess I should cut him a break. He’s probably got a whole lot on his mind wondering what kind of employee he’ll be for Glen."
From Labrat: "Re: Baylor. The shake-up is true and relates to a conflict of interest issue. The BHCS rumor mill suggests that criminal charges could be pending."
From Up to You: "Re: NAHIT. More info on NAHIT and its stasis following Scott Wallace’s departure at the end of March. Includes some info on the organization’s financials, too." Link (although Modern Healthcare, despite carpet bombing the industry with free paper copies, inexplicably locks its online version behind registration, so you may not be able to read it).
From I-Wish: "Re: paper. Today I visited a new doctor. I downloaded my CCR-compliant medical history from my PHR to an encrypted memory stick. I arrived 10 minutes before my appointment time and handed the memory stick to the receptionist, who uploaded my medical history into the office EMR. I was immediately taken back to the exam room to see the doctor. Then I woke up!! In reality, I arrived 30 minutes before my appointment, filled out 20 pages of information that required me to put my name, SSN, DOB and insurance number on every page. I then waited an additional 40 minutes to get into the exam room and spent nine minutes with the doctor and was out the door and done! I have been working in Healthcare IT for 15 years now and nothing seems to have changed in the average doctor’s office for the $ billions spent. My dream is to have one doctor visit in my lifetime that does not require a piece of paper! I am a baby-boomer and it doesn’t look good. Maybe for my grandchildren?"
From Terminal Stare: "Re: CIO credentials. Have you noticed how many new CIOs don’t even have a graduate degree these days? No clinical credentials and minimal education – remind me again why they’re paid more than doctors?"
Thanks to HISJunkie, whose HTP/RelayHealth tip gave HIStalk readers the news at least 12 hours ahead of everyone else. Transaction processor HTP and its 65 employees will stay in Columbus under the RelayHealth name.
McKesson will pay $13 million in civil penalties for failing to report suspicious pharmacy sales of controlled substances to the DEA.
University of Michigan Health System finishes its online order entry project, claiming a 29% reduction in medication errors and a 40% drop in turnaround time for urgent meds. None of the press releases mentioned who their vendor is and the intrepid reporters didn’t ask that painfully obvious question, but I believe it’s Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager.
McGill University develops an automated anesthesia system it calls McSleepy that continuously monitors and adjusts anesthesia doses in response to patient conditions. Pretty darned cool.
This ought to get Deb Peel stirred up: UCSF not only inadvertently opens up patient information over the Internet, it does so while sharing patient data with a for-profit company that targets potential hospital donors. UCSF admits turning over information on 31,000 patients over several years to Target America. It paid that company $12,000 a year to match patient names against lists of known donors, board members, and community service supporters (as well as street addresses) so the rich ones could be hit up for donations (what the marketing types call "receiving our messages and ongoing communication"). Information about 6,000 patients was open to Google searches for three months. UCSF didn’t announce its problem until six months after it found out. Too bad Britney wasn’t on their list – they could have scored a nice privacy gaffe trifecta.
Former Deloitte manager Maria Russo will join Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare (KY) as CIO.
Wal-Mart will make some kind of big healthcare announcement Monday morning at 8:30 Eastern. It must be about prescription pricing since the company’s $4 generic guy is on the agenda.
NovaRad signs a RIS/PACS deal with a 1,500-bed hospital in India.
LMS Medical, the Canadian vendor of the CALM patient safety software for OB, will delist its shares from AMEX, but continue trading them on TSX.
Highly annoying: you get a teaser e-mail headline about some "10 Biggest Career Suicide Moves" or "5 Most Important Technologies You’ve Never Heard Of," so you get suckered into clicking the link. When you get there, it’s some idiotic vanity cartoon presentation that you have to click through one page at a time. I don’t have the time or interest in sitting through some crappy video, podcast, or slideshow. I like to skim, not be held captive, even though web guys keep trying to turn the Internet into TV (which I don’t watch for the same reason). There’s no video or audio on HIStalk for a carefully thought out reason: those are for people whose lips move when they read. You’d need at least 60 minutes to get what you could read on HIStalk in five. That extra 55 minutes is my gift to you.
St. Jude Medical signs a deal with Microsoft to work on integrating data from implantable devices with HealthVault.
Strange: a 56-year-old musician in a Steely Dan cover band dies of liver failure after being turned down for a transplant because of marijuana use. His use of it, ironically, was medically approved for his hepatitis pain.
Fresenius Medical Care (Germany) earns CCHIT ambulatory EHR approval of its Acumen EMR software for nephrologists.
Senior citizens are apparently doddering fools who require a SeniorPC, a dumbed down offering from Microsoft. "Think of it as a simplified way to do it all: e-mailing, word processing, plus managing prescriptions, finances, travel planning and photos. There are even word games and number games for keeping the puzzle skills sharp." Yep, Grandpa can just sit back in his drool-covered Barcalounger in his Sansabelt pants and Velcro tennis shoes and punch the optional oversized keys to order prescription refills, do crossword puzzles, and look at pictures of dead relatives, pretty much life’s rich bounty for those in God’s waiting room, at least as Microsoft apparently sees it. Maybe there’s a large print option for games, porn, and celebritard gossip for the more tuned-in geezers. Getting old sucks, but you don’t have to go down without a fight.
Six more organizations get ONCHIT money for NHIN demonstration projects, including the financially strapped Cleveland Clinic and Kaiser Permanente.
By Kipp Lassetter MD, Chairman and CEO of Medicity
Regarding the reader comment about CalRHIO, I’d like to set the record straight for HIStalk’s readers. Having won the CalRHIO selection process, I can say that Medicity has never been asked to “pay” CalRHIO anything. What we did offer CalRHIO as part of our RFP response was assistance in building a sustainable model and with network development activities with the expectation that we would be paid back with the success of the network. Their has been ZERO financial exchange between CalRHIO and Medicity or between any of our anticipated subcontractors (Perot, HP, etc.).
We do understand that while we were willing to go “at risk” for our services, other vendors were proposing large fees to cover these activities with no guarantee that the activities would be productive or successful. We feel we prevailed because we were the most qualified to partner with CalRHIO. CalPERS recently has performed extensive due diligence on the CalRHIO business model and value proposition. For those readers that are not familiar with CalPERS, they are the third largest purchaser of health care services in the nation and currently have around $250 billion under management for the benefit of their members.
Both the national healthcare consulting firms of Watson Wyatt, and Mercer were involved in evaluation effort on behalf of CalPERS. The fact that CalPERS came to the decision to “DIRECT” their health plans to participate is far more than CalRHIO “hype”. There is an old country saying that summarizes the comments very well: “the dogs bark, but the caravan moves on".
Bar-Coded Medication Verification
By Laureen O’Brien, CIO, Providence Health & Health Services, Oregon Region
I recently read the Brev-IT commentary about bar-coded medication verification (BMV) systems that claimed they are "generally primitive, hellishly difficult to implement, and badly designed from a nurse workflow perspective". I can agree with only one of these claims — they are hellishly difficult to implement.
These systems are anything but "primitive," as they integrate information from multiple systems (ADT, pharmacy, nursing) to allow the use of technology (barcode readers) to quickly validate the "5 rights" of medication safety (right patient, drug, dose, route and time) to prevent medication administration errors.
And what is required to gain this safety after BMV is implemented? The nurse must sign on to the system or scan his/her ID badge, scan the patient’s wrist band, and scan the barcode on the medication. Within seconds, the nurse knows the "5 rights" have been verified or knows there is a problem.
When fully implemented and fully utilized, these systems are proven to enhance patient safety and reduce the risk of medication errors. Granted, implementing a new task into the nurse’s work flow adds time to their already busy schedule. But in healthcare, since when is taking more time to do a task safely considered an unacceptable workflow? I would think that doing something unsafe would require workflow adjustments to correct the unsafe practices.
Try to find a patient who will argue in favor of the nurse not practicing safe medication administration so the nurse had a better "workflow". I’ve scanned the literature and have yet to find that argument. There are lots of articles that speak to nurses getting around the BMV systems and the safety they impart. Why are these discussions so often referenced? We know that use of a BMV system can and does prevent medication errors.
It is 2008. These systems have been available since the late 1980s. There are really no good excuses for not implementing them.
If your hospital is not doing BMV and not planning on doing BMV, shame on you. Your long-term financial status may be in jeopardy, as informed patients start looking to facilities that do use safe medication practices. You know that BMV systems provide enhanced safety, your board knows it, and the public is becoming more educated daily.
Hellishly difficult to implement? You bet, but no more so than implementing any clinical IT system. It is implementing change. Change is difficult. It is also the right thing to do.