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June 5, 2008 News 3 Comments

From Sherman McCoy: "Re: HCI 100. I highly doubt that VersaSuite is a $300 million company and that E*HealthLine has $290 million in revenues. Healthcare Informatics did a much better job this year in scouting out private company and divisional revenues for the rankings, but there are a good percentage that seem to be off by a number of decimal points." Link. I’m always suspicious of voluntarily submitted numbers that are hard to audit and incented toward exaggeration, but this is the best measure for those looking for some correlation of size to anything else. Too bad they can’t use tax records since those numbers are surely far more conservative. A good read in any case. Congrats to those HIStalk sponsors who made the list: Sage Software (#20), NextGen/QSI (#32), QuadraMed (#34), Picis (#37), Vitalize Consulting Solutions (#71), and Hayes Management Consulting (#86). Another handful of companies from the list are in the process of joining us, so that’s pretty cool. In case I haven’t said it lately, I thank all of our sponsors (on the list or not) for supporting HIStalk and its readers.

From Happy Days at McKesson: "Re: execs. Michael Simpson has been removed as the GM over Horizon Clinicals and sent over to the UK on a ‘special project’. While he did drive delivery of 10.1, which finally drives some semblance of integration and fills some of the major holes from a functional standpoint, his style did not work well with the development organization. Mike Myers has been asked to step in as the interim GM in addition to maintaining his responsibility for Life Sciences. The big question now: who is Mike grooming as the heir apparent? Billie Waldo is always a safe option. Merrie Wallace and Gerry McCarthy were recently moved into Horizon Clinicals as Pam Pure pointed at one of the recent All Hands meetings. Time will tell, but our team is going to step back and enjoy the fact that McKesson management seems to finally be listening to the development team vs. sales." Inga confirmed with McKesson: Simpson has been named CTO of the International Operations Group and Mike Myers is interim GM for Horizon Clinicals. Your information was dead on the money – thanks.

From Dr. Lisa Cutty: "Re: Cerner. I am wondering why Cerner is so relaxed about their NHS failures? According to this article, it was the poor Cerner performance which caused Fujitsu’s leaving. In their last shareholder meeting, there was no word about the troubles and the audience missed a chance to ask the CEO." Link. I don’t know if it’s Cerner’s problem entirely since NHS wrote the specs (I assume) and they’ve run off other big vendors with their inflexibility. If NHS didn’t budget money for scope creep localization and Cerner is already on a tight margin, I can see why there would be a stalemate on who pays. My opinion is that no vendor can make them happy for the price they want to pay. Cerner would take a black eye for losing business there, but I bet it’s so minimally profitable that they wouldn’t be too upset (once shareholders got over it, anyway). There’s always the Middle East.

Inga and I like doing interviews because (a) we have the same questions as readers and enjoy having them answered, and (b) we learn a lot by doing them. We just talked to PatientKeeper CEO Paul Brient and I have to admit that I didn’t realize how broad the company’s offerings are (who knew they have RHIO and HIE customers?) and that 10% of US hospitals are PatientKeeper users. They’ve got a good handle on the "last mile" problem of getting physicians to use hospital-related clinical systems. The interview is on HIStech Report. Worth a read, but I could be biased about that just a little.

I also interviewed former HTP CEO Ray Shealy, now a VP at RelayHealth after that company announced its acquisition of HTP just four weeks ago. I think this may be the first interview (and surely the most in-depth) with anyone at either company since then. It’s a meaty read that explains how the former HTP’s offerings fit with those of RelayHealth and gives a look at the broad industry trends of consumerism, the shift to patient financial responsibility, and the increased patient satisfaction that results from providing clear financial information upfront. Readers like me (non-experts in patient financial services) will get a good overview of what’s changing in that area of hospitals (hint: a lot).

Time has a nice piece on Cleveland Clinic’s use of information technology (if you can forgive the title’s absurd pun, Medical Mouse Practice). A snip: "Hospital policy mandates that every time a Cleveland Clinic patient sees a doctor in any of 37 buildings on the main campus or dozens of satellite locations in Florida, Abu Dhabi and southeastern Ohio, that doctor will be holding his or her medical chart. With paper records, physicians didn’t have those records 20% of the time. As soon as charts were digitized, EHRs were at their fingertips."

Listening: The Unlovables, NY female-led punk. Also: Sahara Hotnights, Swedish all-girl pop/punk. Punk chicks rule.

A study says that hospitals in which IT reports to the CFO have better financial performance. Actually, I’m reading between the lines since reading the actual lines themselves would set me back $7.95 and I don’t really buy the premise (and therefore the article). I recognize some Florida State University names among the authors, I think. I would think it’s hard to prove that IT reporting influences the hospital bottom line vs. happens to correlate to it in some way. There’s also the question of value and quality, of course.

St. Luke’s Episcopal (TX) will use McKesson’s Horizon Clinicals Care Team Release.

Speaking of McKesson, it will reopen its Vision Center that features futuristic technology (sharing the name and function of rival Cerner, apparently and oddly). The article doesn’t say where it is, but since Robot RX is pictured and I know the old one was in the Automation division in PA, I assume it’s there.

An analyst says online pharma advertising doesn’t have demonstrable ROI, so WebMD’s future may not be rosy. A good point: most sites simply repackage the same consumer information from a handful of sources, meaning the sites are pretty much alike. An insightful snip: "Consumers, frustrated by a lack of content depth and few new products or services, desperately pound Google to try and find ‘long tail websites’ to quench their information thirst (leaving Google the big winner in the online health space; not Pharma, not advertisers, not agencies)." Thanks to the reader who sent this over.

CHUM and McGill hospitals in Montreal will work together on clinical systems. Both use Oacis.

Hearst subsidiary First DataBank, drug data vendor for many (most?) hospital information systems, will pay $1 million in a class action settlement over allegations that FDB and McKesson conspired to inflate the average wholesale prices of drugs. McKesson continues to fight the suit.

The graduation ceremony for Verona Area High School (WI) will be held this Sunday in the auditorium of Epic Systems, whose 5,300 seat capacity eliminates the need for a ticket allotment for the friends and families of the 340 members of the Class of 2008.

California will launch a prescription drug database, the AG (former "Governor Moonbeam" Jerry Brown) announced Wednesday. Some of its expense is being funded by the charitable foundation of a web entrepreneur whose two children, ages 8 and 10, were killed in a traffic accident by a doctor-shopping drug abuser.

ACLU jumps into the electronic medical records privacy fray.

Erlanger Health System (TN) finally chooses PHNS in an eight-year outsourcing deal for the entire IT department.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

The Merge Healthcare saga continues as the company announces a reorganization of business operations and some executive management replacements. The company will rename itself to Merge Fusion, eliminate 60 of its 360 employees, and replace the CEO, president, CFO, and Cedara division president. Ken Rardin is out. Two of the four new officers come from Merrick Ventures, from which Merge borrowed $20 million last month, giving them five of 11 Merge board seats.

An Ann Arbor newspaper reports that the University of Michigan Health System has cut medication mistakes 29% following its online order entry implementation. UM also claims the $95 million UM-CareLink system (Eclipsys Sunrise) has cut 40% off the time between ordering and administration medications.

Mr. H mentioned in his last post he will be away for a few days next month, leaving me in charge. I look forward to ranting, “I’m in control here.” We’ve already had some entertaining (and famous) guest authors step up to offer their services, but we have room for a couple more. We have secured a couple of “Johns,” though I believe we only have one writer from the fairer sex (not Judy). E-mail us if you would like to participate.

I can’t decide what is worse: having to sell almost $8 million in stock options to satisfy a divorce settlement or having to send out a press release announcing it. If I were the ex-Mrs. Jonathan Bush, I would be planning some exotic vacations, replacing my SUV, and buying lots of new shoes.

KLAS releases the results of its ambulatory EDI clearinghouse survey. Navicure received top honors over the eight other rated vendors. Zirmed and Gateway also ranked high; Availity and Emdeon were at the bottom of the pack. The other evaluated vendors included The Consult, Misys, RelayHealth, and Ingenix.

The 45-physician Rush-Copley Medical Group (IL) selects Allscripts for its EMR/PM solution.

In an article about Oracle’s possible push into the healthcare space, an industry analyst predicts Oracle’s most likely targets to be Cerner, Eclipsys, and Epic. Epic claims they have absolutely no interest in being acquiring because they enjoy their private status.

Starbucks announces a new program that allows participants to sip a coffee and enjoy free Wi-Fi. There are a few requirements and limitations, but in my mind, few things go better together than HIStalk and a latte.

Beth Israel Deaconess selects iMDsoft’s MetaVision critical care system for its seven intensive care units.

Nuance Communications recognizes 17 healthcare organizations that achieved 125 percent or greater productivity gains or at least a million dollars savings using eScription’s CAMT solution. The Million Dollar Savings and Productivity Award winners included Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which was recognized for the highest savings total ($9MM since 2001.)

MultiCare Health Systems (WA) selects Sunquest’s LIS for the health system’s new hospital. MultiCare is also adding Sunquest’s CoPathPlus, Microbiology, and Blood Bank products.

Sunquest also announces that St. Cloud Hospital has achieved 100% patient identification accuracy and reduced non-identification specimen collection errors to virtually zero since implementing Sunquest Collection Manager in November.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is installing HealthPort’s revenue cycle management solution in three hospitals.

GE Healthcare and UPMC announce their forming a new company specializing in making digital pathology equipment. Omnyx is GE’s first standalone company formed with an academic medical center. Gene Cartwright, a former GE molecular diagnostics president, will serve as CEO.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Come on now, the California Attorney General, former Mayor of Oakland and former Governor of California has surely earned the loss of his ‘govenor moonbeam’ title. Don’t you think?

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Yes, but no other two words would have so succinctly identified that he’s one and the same!

  2. Mikey ‘nice eyes’ gone…

    ehh i liked the guy…he used to give nightmares to my offshore based managment ‘leadership’ team. Mck was the god almighty client for us.
    Whenever any of our airhead types managers used to trouble us with impossible nonsensical deadlines ,we used to always hope that dear mikey would come and scare them away….And he invariably did with his tough vendor negotiation skills.
    They were so busy dealing with him and his tough ways , that they had very little time left to trouble ‘poor’ in the trenches us.
    I wish him well.

  3. “Moonbeam” does, in fact, still deserve his nickname. He did, as mayor of Oakland, preside over a huge increase in violent crime. He is also the guy who lamented Californians ” love affair with the automobile,” and opposed even completing the I-5 connection. He will live, die, and be remembered as Gov. Moonbeam.







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