From HIMSS Staffer: "Re: conference call. On a Friday HIMSS conference call, HIMSS staffers bragged about being the sole source of information for congressional staffers and the new administration. Said that was something they had worked towards for the past couple of years. Not everyone is convinced that vendors that develop systems that don’t even talk to themselves (Epic at Stanford, Kaiser, and PAMG, for example, can’t share information) should be driving this discussion. Nor that EMRs are going to improve quality or cut costs."
From UKIE: "House calls. Pioneering company uses system built on Adobe LiveCycle ES to enable housecall physicians to provide care to patients anywhere." Link. Janus Health, a San Diego developer of technology for house call doctors, develops a Web portal for charting and communication that lets doctors work from anywhere. I’m a little suspicious, though, at the gigantic announcement on the site that the company has secured a "broad" patent for any kind of house call-related technology, its prominence and wording suggesting that infringement lawsuits against companies with even unrelated house call technology is possible.
Ingenix Consulting, of which the former Healthia Consulting is now a part, is doing a big project and needs up to 50 clinical implementation consultants. Check their job page (although this posting is fresh and may not be up for a couple of days). I know a lot of folks have been cut loose in the past couple of months, so this is one of few big-scale hiring efforts I’m aware of. Healthia, of course, sponsored the HIStalk event at HIMSS last year, which was chock full of cool, smart healthcare people (that’s the Healthia people above, who look quite happy even though they were not having spirituous beverages like everybody else).
Lots of hospitals have been cutting back on travel and education. I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. It seems like having people constantly running around to conferences and hearing the same messages makes them all think alike. Healthcare is notoriously imitative, where nobody is willing to do anything original or risky unless they can find a handful of other hospitals that have already done something similar (meaning nobody’s doing anything original or risky, of course, since everybody is average by definition). Tough times may finally unleash some desperation-inspired creativity.
New poll to your right: do you agree with the HIMSS recommendations to the incoming administration?
Lisa Romano is promoted to VP and chief nursing office of TeleTracking Technologies.
Henry Schein Practice Solutions launches DDX, an application that connects dental practices to dental labs (or medical practices to medical labs). The requirements page recommends Schein’s Labnet system on the lab end, though, so it may not be all that useful unless everybody is running Schein apps.
CCHIT opens a 31-day public comment period on the 2009 certification criteria, including those for PHRs.
WSJ has a video interview with Microsoft’s Steve Shihadeh, which also featuring gratuitous shots of a Microsoft sign and flag. Nothing new.
The Picower Foundation, a big philanthropic organization with $1 billion in assets, shuts down after getting burned by Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme. The foundation was started by a big Alaris Medical Systems shareholder who pocketed $1 billion when the company sold out to Cardinal Health. On the other hand, Jeffrey Picower, the Alaris shareholder, has had his own business and charitable dealings questioned by the SEC, with the now-defunct foundation being one. You know economic news is grim when a $50 billion fraud case barely makes the front pages among all the bailout stories involving several additional zeroes.
Hospital layoffs: Piedmont Medical Center (SC), Monmouth Medical Center (NJ). At OHSU (OR), executives take a 20% pay cut and may forego bonuses that averaged nearly 40% of base pay, holiday parties are canceled, and salary freezes and layoffs are coming. Cleveland Clinic has implemented a hiring and salary freeze for non-patient care positions.
In happier news, congratulations to the information systems department of Southeast Georgia Health System, which wins the holiday door decorating contest ("holiday" being the bland but legally acceptable substitute for "Christmas" or "Hanukkah" or "Kwanzaa" or any other observances that might conveniently fall into the December/January timeframe when the vast majority of us celebrate Christmas but can’t call it that).
Technicians working on the computerized security system at a brand new New Jersey psych hospital inadvertently unlocked all the doors on at least two occasions, allowing at least one patient to elope (that’s the word that came to mind since I’ve heard it used to refer to psych patients getting out, but it probably sounds funny to non-healthcare people, kind of like the annoying, contrived use of "naive" to describe patients who aren’t big narcotics users, i.e. "opiate-naive").
Three VPs leave clinical trials software vendor Etrials as the company restructures. The new CEO is Denis Connaghan, who you may remember from his HIT days at IBAX under Jeff Goodman. The announced plan: "get as many of our people close to our customers, and, really, to remove layers from the organization and become really customer-focused." If that’s a new plan of action, then no wonder the old CEO got himself eloped.
I’ll be around writing here and there this week (maybe), but if you won’t, have a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, New Year’s, or National Bicarbonate of Soda Day.
HERtalk by Inga
A couple of former Misys execs find new homes. SciQuest names Gamble Heffernan VP of marketing and Charles Lambert accepts an interim post as finance director for Helphire. Hefferman was the Misys VP of Community Solutions and Labert served as CFO.
ACS names David Bywater managing director of the Healthcare Solutions unit.
Healthcare informatics company Med-Vantage appoints Peter Goldbach, MD its new president and CEO.
Mission Regional Medical Center (TX) selects the IntelliDOT Phlebotomy Specimen Collection system.
CHIME awards several educational scholarships to its members. The winners of the CIO Boot Camp Alumni Scholarships are Robert Eardley, associate CIO at University Hospitals in Cleveland; Diatta Harris, director of IT at Erickson Retirement Communities (MD); and Nanda Lahoud, administrative director of value realization at THR. CHIME also presented the Edge Scholarship to Carol Roosa, CIO at Monadnock Community Hospital (NH) and the CHIME Women’s CIO Scholarship to Bridget Haggery, VP/CIO at Oregon Health & Science University.
St. Agnes Hospital (MD) names Dr. Norman Dy as physician director of pay for performance and core measures. (that’s a title I’ve never heard)
A former ER nurse is named president and CEO of Pocono Health System/Pocono Medical Center. The hospital board of directors chooses Kathleen E. Kuck, who has spent the last year serving as interim president and CEO. During the last year, her achievements include the implementation of an EMR.
WellPoint Foundation president Caroline S. “Caz” Matthews joins the Perot System board of directors.
IPC acquires North Florida Hospitalists and Orange Park Hospitalists (FL). IPC now has over 600 physicians on staff, serving over 300 facilities.
Ochsner Health System (LA) implements WebDefend software at its seven hospitals.
Presbyterian Healthcare Services (NM), Marin Medical Practices Concepts, Inc. (CA), and St. John’s Medical Group (MO) select Medical Present Value to automate the payor contract management process.
The CEOs of two California medical companies are charged with billing Medicare over $3 million for equipment not provided patients or for items they knew patients didn’t need.
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (AZ) plans to add a videoconferencing system to connect hospital specialists with referring physicians in the community. The Clinical InfoNET system will also be used as a CME tool.
SAP announces that MetroSouth Medical Center (IL) has selected and implemented its enterprise applications solutions across its healthcare system. The SAP applications include financials and procurement tools.