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News 7/16/08

July 15, 2008 News 7 Comments

From JohnnyReb: "Re: Sparrow Health, Lansing, MI. They have selected Epic as VOC over McKesson Horizon (incumbent) and Cerner. Contracts are in negotiation and no announcement has been made."

From Rudy Russo: "Re: layoffs. A recruiter told me that Essence Health and Purkinje have cut staff in St. Louis."

From Liz Lemon: "Re: Agfa. Rumors about an Agfa acquisition keep pouring in. First, Siemens was said to be interested, then Philips should be the lucky husband-to-be. Let’s see who will end up with the Dutch leftover (Agfa’s shares dropped from >25 Euro to about 4 in three years)." Agfa denies overtures from Philips, although the company brought in an advisor to stop the bleeding after a 77% stock price drop in a year.

From The PACS Designer: "Re: cloud watching. TPD mentioned the cloud solutions of Amazon Web Services in a previous post. If you want to do some cloud watching, Hyperic, Inc. provides complete, easy-to-use monitoring and management software for all types of web applications, whether hosted in the cloud or on premise. They’ve created a website called CloudStatus which will be monitoring the cloud services of Amazon, and then others as they begin providing cloud solutions." Link

From augurPharmacist: "Re: robotics. Robotic dose compounders like IntelliFill from ForHealth Technologies do bring a new level of autoID safety checking to the aseptic compounding process in hospital pharmacies. (See also: Cytocare from Health Robotics. I do not work for or otherwise represent any healthcare IT vendors). However, a potentially even more beneficial development is an extrapolation of this kind of autoID technology to the workflows of the compounding pharmacy technician who spend their shifts working in our pharmacy IV hoods. These newer systems work by having the technician scan bar codes and take digital pictures of all the vials and bags used to compound a particular IV bag or injectable dose. There is now more than one vendor of such systems. Again, these kinds of systems fit with my safety bias for an intra-hospital pharmacy supply chain characterized by workflows where, ‘every time a product changes hands it gets scanned.’" I’m a fan of the Fedex model, too. Hospitals in general aren’t interested, unfortunately.

From Neal’s Pizza Guy: "Re: Doug Krebs. He left Cerner and was replaced by Bruno Slosse, former GM in France, and now the only foreign representative on Neal’s corporate cabinet. As reported months ago by ye olde pizza guy, Don Trigg took over the management of UK operations from wet-behind-the-ears-duck-walking David Sides, who now heads up CERN’s global consulting. Trigg, in his first UK town hall a few months ago, seemed oblivious to everything in the UK. And, good news for UK ASSociates that the wicked witch flew her broom back west to Kansas after mayhem, hapless leadership, and undermining everyone in sight. She won’t be missed and neither will Fujitsu. Word is two of the SHAs in the South want iSoft, while one wants CERN. This can’t bode well for future earnings and pizza deliveries." All unverified, of course, but he’s been right before. Guessed the CERN webmaster saw my mention that Doug’s bio was still on the site … all that’s left now is his name. He’s fading fast.

From Big John Cannon: "Re: Intel’s home health device. They lobbied ATT hard to market it for them and help them with networking, etc. Their roadmap is WiMaxx (Sprint – Intel).  No plans yet to go cellular. Additionally, they are not tied to an ecosystem in homecare, unlike  Philips. For instance, Philips has alliance partnership with Homecare Homebase (home care mobile app) and, in turn, HCHB is working with Philips to integrate equipment with their software apps to pull data across from monitoring equipment. Weave together solution with software app, devices/network, equipment, and GPS for mobile workers. Also – Philips is preferred vendor for VNA. I didn’t find them particularly savvy about market needs, reimbursement models, and other healthcare industry drivers."

Listening: The Alarm, Britpunk. They’re in KCMO Saturday night for you Ass-ociates looking for a release. Live video from 1985. Also: The Distillers.

Evanston Northwestern will acquire Rush North Shore (IL), with part of the deal being that Evanston will spend millions to install an EMR there.

Medsphere and WebReach will jointly offer their respective open source solutions, the OpenVista clinical system and the Mirth integration engine.  Both are highly regarded from what I’ve heard.

What does a 94-bed hospital do with a $540K federal taxpayer gift? Buy Misys Tiger and EMR for its physicians. Really.

It’s time for the vested interest cheerleaders to start making a shaky case that their Most Wired survey means anything. AHA’s CEO comes up with this imaginary figment: "The results of the Most Wired survey confirm that today’s patient also understands the benefits of IT in improving care and improving the overall hospital experience." Other highly object critics weigh in positively, including people from McKesson (which sells systems) and Accenture (which sells services for systems) in the magazine (which sells ads for systems) which did the survey in conjunction with CHIME (a membership organization sponsored by companies that sell systems). Conspicuously absent in the glowing writeup: anything to do with those patients who supposedly now understand the wonderfulness of HIT. They were apparently not surveyed, but some acrobatic statisticians came up with the alleged fact that high satisfaction hospitals use more IT by matching two unrelated surveys without any consideration of cause vs. effect. There’s plenty of good information about IT benefits without such an obvious stretch.

Speaking of Most Wired 2008, here are the wieners.

South Miami Hospital (FL) goes live with CliniComp Essentris Perinatal.

Richard Lang is promoted to VP/CIO of Doylestown Hospital (PA).

The folks at Inside Healthcare Computing have packaged up some of my editorials for them as The Best of Mr. HIStalk, Volume 2. Volume 1 is up there too. Each has a table of contents online, some of which amused me all over again because I hadn’t seen them for awhile: Lay Your Hands on the TV to Be Healed: The Emergence of the Superstar Remote Physician; If Nurse Shortages Require a 50 Percent Labor Reduction, What Technology Will You Install (or De-Install)?; I’ll Have What He’s Having – Why Hospital Software Selection Is More Lemming than Deming; and Surprise! Below-Average Doctors Use EMRs, Too. This isn’t a pitch for me since I’m not getting a cut, but I’m thinking that now that I’m a published author (ahem) I may attract literary groupies named Astrid or Marta with black-framed glasses, soulful eyes, and clingy dark clothes. Book tour!

The long-rumored Baylor IT rumblings finally hit the papers. Their IT manager was making $100K — pretty good, but a little light to own a Bentley (paid for in cash), a racing boat, and a $6,200 a month penthouse apartment. He’s accused of scamming Baylor out of $1.4 million by submitting phony invoices to his accomplice, who happened to be his mother. Neither they nor Baylor were too smart, according to accounts: the paid invoices came from an unregistered corporation that bore the mom’s Social Security number instead of an employer ID and included maintenance charges for non-existent IT assets. In addition, the checks were deposited into the IT guy’s Baylor Health Care Systems Credit Union and his desktop contained the invoice originals in Excel. Doh! West Coast Ron dropped hints here back in early 2006. I know executives there draw mammoth paychecks, so if the allegations turn out to be true, maybe they should work a little harder on the financial oversight thing.

Howard County General Hospital (MD) chooses SanDisk Cruzer Enterprise to manage the security of flash drives.

John Halamka not only is an e-mail whip-cracker, he’s also "effervescent." For the non-scientists, that means "gives off bubbles of gas." I’m sure he knows that and cringed a little, preferring its secondary meaning.

More hospitals, apparently, are dumping Microsoft Exchange for an open source e-mail package at half the cost, most often PostPath.

Good idea: Kaiser nurses wear "don’t interrupt" yellow sashes ("KP MedRite" since they apparently required a branded identity) when working with medications. I found this funny: "When first implemented, the flashy attire caused distractions rather than averted them, as curious staff and patients repeatedly interrupted nurses to ask why they were wearing the unusual apparel."

Bizarre: an Australian doctor loses his license and goes to jail for snapping upskirt photos of women to whom he was administering spinal injections after convincing them that their undergarments had to be removed first.

Hong Kong hospitals implement a new positive patient ID barcoding system, but no improvement in outcomes is expected.

A fun business: a nurse and his programmer business partner write a home care program, sell several copies, and quit their day jobs. Definitive Homecare Solutions, the company they formed to sell CPR+, now has 60 employees (most of them quite young, from the pictures) and $10 million in revenue.

"Here we go again" lawsuit: Tenet Healthcare pays $2 million to settle a lawsuit brought when its West Boca Medical Center ED called four neurosurgeons to treat a stroke patient and none of them would come in.

E-mail me.


Inga’s Update

I am back in action after my little get-away and am still catching up on all the HIT news over the last couple of weeks. It’s hard to absorb almost two weeks of information so forgive me if I repeat something Mr. H already mentioned. (Mr. H already accuses me of not reading his stuff – only my own – so I’ve tried to read the last few posts at least a couple of times.)

I was happy that the Joint Commission’s recent alert was overlooked so that I could make mention of my upcoming book. If you missed the alert, it seems that the Commission has concluded that rude language and hostile behavior among health care professionals threaten patient safety and quality of care. This should help sales of my publication, “Inga’s Guide to Making Nice in Healthcare.” I am also considering offering consulting services to help all those mean healthcare workers curb their condescending attitudes and angry outbursts.

Emageon appears to be hunting for a new owner, having hired investment firms Jefferies and Co. and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as co-advisors to evaluate its strategic options, including a sale of the company.

UNC-Chapel Hill Campus Health Services has contracted with eClinicalWorks for their EMR/PM solution. UNC will also offer ECW’s patient portal, which I bet will be popular with that demographic.

U.S. News & World Report releases its annual Best Hospitals Honor Roll with John Hopkins, Mayo (Rochester), and UCLA Medical, Cleveland Clinic, and Massachusetts General taking top honors. The publication analyzed data on 5,453 medical centers with only 19 deemed of Honor Roll caliber with excellence in six or more specialties. The report also lists the top institutions in 16 different specialties.

Duke University Health System (#8 on the above list, by the way) is sued by 18 patients for fraud and negligence after the hospital mistakenly washed surgical instruments in elevator hydraulic fluid. Duke admits to the hydraulic fluid mishap and has already settled 60 claims, but denies the tools posed risks to patients.

QuadraMed announces a $10.6 million contract with the Saudi Arabia National Guard Health Affairs for a migration to the new QCPR Cache version, as well as additional licenses and services. The deal help boost first half sales 36% over last year, suggesting that the CPR acquisition was a good move.

Two board members of clinical documentation provider Spheris step down to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Joel Ackerman and Tenno Tsai are both with Warbug Pincus, which also has an interest in a potentially competing company. Warbug Pincus holds a 60% stake in Spheris.

The 20-physician Gonzaba Medical Group (TX) selects Sage Healthcare for its EHR/PM solution. The group is upgrading its legacy Intergy PM product.

USA Today reports on the growing “medical home” trend, which is really just a new version of an old model. The concept is based on a primary care physician overseeing a patient’s full medical care – and actually paying them extra for coordinating their care. Medicare is conducting an eight state test to determine if paying primary care physicians as much as $35,000 a year more to treat chronically ill patients will improve care and reduce costs. Patient care “teams” within a practice would be utilized to offset the additional time spent per patient. My guess is that if the government can figure out a fair payment system, it could be win/win for both the physician and patient.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (PA) will implement Wellsoft Corporation’s Emergency Department Information System across its four locations.

Guess I am about to be on my own for a few days, so please drop me a note with any newsworthy items, great commentary, or juicy rumors. I’ll never again be given the keys to the kingdom if nobody reads the blog in Mr. H’s absence.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. It’s amazing to see an announcement by the group in Western NC for Misys Tiger and Misys EMR. Basically, the hospital just spent $540k on a dead product. 2-3 years from now, I wonder what the taxpayers will have to pony up to “upgrade” to an Allscripts product.

  2. RE: Layoffs. There are over 300 EMR vendors out there in HIT-land all vying to be your next enterprise vendor. How many of these vendors are going to survive by 2010? This is an antidotal statement because I cannot locate the literature citation, but in the next two years, the present number of EMR vendors will be reduced via acquisition / bankruptcy to less than 30 major players in the EMR market.

    Globalization, the “New Order” is progressing according to the Plan. If you don’t think this is a reality, next time you sip your Bud Light, think of Belgium.

  3. Enjoy your music recommendations. found some really cool bands. I got a recommendation for you, might want to give flobots, a try.

  4. Most Wired…There are some of us who just aren’t filling out these ridiculous surveys anymore. They are nothing more than vanity plates for CIOs. There are a lot of better wired hospitals who are not on the rankings at all.

  5. mistaken link:
    Your note about Rick Lang points to the Miami article. I did a quick search but did not find the right one about Rick’s promotion.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Thanks for catching that. I’ve fixed the link.







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