From Dr. Know: "Re: CIO job at Caritas Christi. You are on to something here. Unfortunately many CIO jobs are down in the weeds and not viewed as strategic. In this particular example, I can see the handwriting on the wall: just keep Meditech running; there is nothing new going on here. Also, it highlights a common problem with headhunters and HR folks — they just don’t get the ‘strategic CIO’ argument."
From Jimmy B. F. James: "Re: lawsuits. The problem with requiring plaintiffs to pay if they lose is that a small guy may back out even if he knows he’s right because he knows the big guy’s 100 lawyers will cost him a fortune if he loses. Before Microsoft knew (or cared) what the Internet was, a guy came out with an application called Internet Explorer. He owned the name. Along comes Microsoft and they call their application (wait for it) Internet Explorer. The man sues. Microsoft takes him on in courts. Man runs out of money and eventually goes bankrupt. Microsoft wins. I agree that we need tort reform in this country, but our less-than-wise government has not had a good record of late of protecting its citizens. It’s been all too concerned about protecting businesses, though." I found coverage of the 1996 lawsuit.
From Madrigal: "Re: Epic. Interesting article. The more I read about Epic, the more I see their similarities with Meditech." Link. Worth a scroll down to see what I hope is an old picture of Dave Garets, sporting what looks like a monstrous set of Texas longhorns made of hair under his nose. All he needs is a boater hat, a red vest, and three guys behind him singing Sweet Adeline.
From Wayne Newton: "Re: Emageon shareholder proxy. Emageon represents a huge amount of intellectual/IT capital, significant enterprise imaging software market share (7-8%), and long-term recurring revenue agreement with some of America’s finest facilities. These Carl Icahn wannabes (OPP) from New York wouldn’t know a decent investment in digital imaging if it bit ’em on the butts. The bubbas from Alabama deserve another chance to smack the cheeks of GE, Philips, Agfa, Siemens, and McKesson once again. OPP are flippers looking for a quick buck without any knowledge about healthcare IT or imaging. I hope they lose their A$$."
Listening: Union Carbide Productions, Swedish psych-punk, defunct since 1992, but still kickin’ out the jams with Chameleon Ride here in HIStalk Music Heaven.
McKesson says it has reinvented revenue management and made up a word to describe it: enterprise revenue management. It sounds like a marketing package that includes applications, RelayHealth, InterQual, and consulting.
Futjitsu bailed on NPfIT four years into a 10-year contract because it has lost an estimated $670 million so far and new terms being sought would have made it worse. That’s almost to the penny the amount Accenture hemorrhaged before ran for NPfIT cover two years ago (note to self: don’t hire Accenture to negotiate contracts).
Doctors at Sault Area Hospital (ON) are questioning lab results after problems interfacing its Meditech EMR to its contract outpatient lab.
Six-hospital SSM HealthCare-St. Louis axes 75 management employees, many of them bigwigs. I would say that’s close to unprecedented. I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing quite a few hospital layoffs that nobody seems to be noticing, trend-wise.
Some Sunquest employees have registered www.sunquest.org and put a discussion forum there. Not all of them are happy.
Jobs: Senior Systems Engineer – Healthcare Vertical (Symantec), Clinical Analyst (MEDHOST), Consultant (Healthia Consulting). Sign up for job blasts. A hospital HR person sent this to Gwen: "We’re extremely pleased with the response of applicants we received from HealthcareITJobs.com. Within 24 hours of our Director of Information Systems position being posted, we had received numerous qualified applicants. This is the first time we had used this website and we were very pleased with the response. We had a very nice applicant pool to choose from."
Here’s the zillionth story of a doctor who decided EMRs were too expensive, so he developed his own and wants to sell it. He ran the design by some advertising company programmers and got the advertising company owner’s wife market it. He says the Cerner system used by nearby Clarian is "as popular as malaria." From the screen shots, it appears to have been designed in ColdFusion, certainly the kind of underpinnings a technical novice might choose, but web-based nonetheless. For the same $5,000 upfront for the first doc and $200 a month for hosting, you could buy well-established and CCHIT-certified systems with pretty good support, of course, but maybe this one’s better (being nice). And down the street, a programmer is running a Craigslist ad to perform discount surgery, claiming that, as a former surgical patient, he’s entirely qualified to undercut people who wasted all that time in medical school. (that’s what you call your satire right there).
Dell donates $75,000 worth of computer equipment for the EMR project at Mercy Medical Center of Northwest Arkansas.
I upgraded my SnagIt to the new Version 9. I wish healthcare software companies were as well run as Techsmith. They send great newsletters, their software is unendingly powerful and flexible, and they make it easy to upgrade or to migrate to a new PC.
Speaking of a new PC, I got one of those too since mine was getting long in the tooth: AMD 6000 dual core, 4 gB, big SATA hard drive, Asus motherboard, WinXP, neon-lit case with a humongous fan, and Fedex shipping – all for $580. Got a 22" Acer LCD coming from Newegg for $199. It’s fun times in the nerd-cave. Mrs. HIStalk is demanding to know what we’re going to do with the four obsolete towers and three monitors already in here, but I might need them someday (right).
GE Healthcare will integrate EKG data with EMRs from e-MDs, eClinicalWorks, GEMMS, McKesson, Medinotes, and Medtuity.
QuadraMed completes a one-for-five stock reverse split, hoping to boost share price to the $5.00 minimum that would allow it to move up from Amex to Nasdaq. That’s looking good so far, as shares are at $10.35 after the split.
Taxachusetts will give the state’s life science industry $1 billion over ten years.
Ambulance chasers didn’t wait long to file a class action suit against University of Utah Hospital and its courier company after last week’s theft of backup tapes from a courier’s car.
Idiotic hospital lawsuit: an illegal immigrant was an inpatient at Martin Memorial Hospital (FL) for two years, racking up an unpaid $1.5 million bill before the hospital paid his way back to Guatemala. He sued for being sent home and the hospital has spent $250,000 so far in its defense. Half the hospital’s births are to illegal immigrants who don’t pay a cent, so they’re kind of steamed that the feds aren’t interested.
Idiotic citation: a patient flakes out in a 40-bed hospital’s ED at 2:00 a.m., leading frightened staff to call the police. They came and subdued him with a Taser, after which he was medicated and transferred to another hospital with a psych unit. The state’s health department cited the hospital for the incident, saying it should have been better prepared for psych patients.
I was so very sad Friday to hear that Tim Russert died. In my mind, he was the expert who knew exactly how to take all the political rhetoric and boil it down to simple terms for the rest of us. I’ve decided Mr. H, who claims he never watches TV and hardly knew who Russert was, is the Tim Russert of the HIT world; he has the same passion about his work and is an expert at reading the lay of the land and communicating his take on things.
The University of Maryland Medical System is in the process of going live on CareMedic System’s Financial Record revenue cycle software.
The AMA is discussing the pros and cons of provider-sponsored secret “shopping” to evaluate physicians and healthcare facility performance. Personally I would be happy to volunteer for the shopping gig if it enabled me a free Botox treatment or the like. On the other hand, I’m not sure hanging out for hours on end waiting for some medical treatment would be the most exciting job, regardless of how many People magazines were in the waiting room.
Picis announces a new social networking website to facilitate interaction among its clients. Picis Exchange Network was announced at the company’s Exchange Customer Conference that finishes up Wednesday. Also during the conference, Picis recognized five customers who have improved their organization’s performance using Picis software.
Last week a reader informed me she had figured out my “true” identity but would keep it top secret if she could be a fake Inga next year at HIMSS. I not sure she really has it figured out, but I am happy to support a fake Inga or two. In fact, I am thinking about creating a new line of Inga attire that goes beyond the original “Kiss me, I’m Inga” or “I’m Hot, I’m Inga” sashes. I could set up a site on eBay. Maybe it will include The Inga shoe, which I envision as a very high-heeled red pump. If you are a fashion aficionado, I’m open to suggestions.
Actually, speaking of HIMSS, I was on their site recently and see that attendees can start reserving rooms online for next year’s meeting. I also checked out the prices of those Chicago hotel rooms. Ouch. I’ll need to sell a ton of Inga goodies just to pay for the hotel room!
A Commonwealth Fund-supported study concludes hospitals that implemented Leapfrog-endorsed patient safety practices, including CPOE adoption, reported better quality of care and lower mortality rates.
Interesting article about why women quit IT careers. The top reason is not (perhaps surprisingly) because of family and work life balance issues but because of the “machismo that continues to permeate these work environments.” An estimated 51% of women are out of IT before age 40.
The Association of Academic Health Centers reports that HIPAA is negatively impacting biomedical research. The biggest issues include burdensome administrative procedures associated with HIPAA and declining participant recruitment.
John Hammergren, with the help of a few employees and execs, will Ring the Opening Bell at the NYSE Wednesday. McKesson is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founding.
Sunquest announces a $4.6 million sale to ACL Laboratories for its CoPathPlus Anatomic Pathology System. ACL has been a Sunquest client since 1987 and runs several other Sunquest applications. In another press release, Sunquest congratulated sales rep Patty Miller for winning the Clinical Laboratory Management Association Member of the Year Award. CLMA is an international association with 5,300 members.
And speaking of Sunquest, a number of employees and former employees have recently shared company commentary on the HIStalk Forum. In case you’ve missed it, there is quite a mix of happy and disgruntled posts about the company, its various owners, and managers.