From Francisco Respighi: “Re: Sutter. Massive layoffs soon to be announced (by mid-May) at Sutter Health Information Services. According to an enterprise-wide communication today from Sutter CIO Jon Manis, the poor economy is to blame for the layoffs and the de facto termination of the Epic project. The economic downturn has in turn meant that affiliates cannot fund the adoption of the Epic EHR (an interesting spin, since it was Sutter Corporate, and not the affiliates, that mandated adoption in the first place). Officially, the Epic project is merely delayed at Sutter. However, the announcement then goes on to say that nearly all Epic staff will be terminated. Nowhere in the communication from Mr. Manis is the enormous cost of the Epic project itself cited as a root cause of the current fiscal crisis at Sutter.” Unverified. If you can confirm (say, with an electronic copy of the e-mail) then talk to me.
From Del Fuego: “Re: CCHIT. Bobbie Byrne has updated her LinkedIn profile to indicate that she works for CCHIT now.” Link. The pediatrician and former Eclipsys SVP is now clinical director at CCHIT.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Twitter brain waves. Mr. H is skeptical about the usefulness of Twitter, so TPD wants HIStalkers to judge and comment about a University of Wisconsin participant in Epicland who used his brain waves to complete ‘GO Badgers’ by focusing on the R and S on the screen to complete the Badgers cheer! To complete the assignment, the participant focused on the letter N to complete the statement ‘Spelling with my brain’. The messages can be sent by focusing on ‘Twit’ at the bottom of the screen. Next, TPD wonders if he can spell a brainy ‘Faulkner’?” Link. At least we now know at least one Twit who thinks before Tweeting.
From Bogo Pogo: “Re: HIStalk. Any plans for a mobile version?” I confess that I don’t exactly know what that means. I can read HIStalk on the BlackBerry Bold and it reads fine, so I assume it’s hitting the WordPress Mobile plugin that’s been in place since the beginning. Is there something else needed to support mobile devices? Say, I could write the whole thing as a series of Tweets!
From James: “Re: Kaiser flash drive. The USB drive is password-protected (I got mine today) and the clerk gave me a wireless keyboard to enter my password twice. The data file is a PDF so almost anyone can view it if you have the password.” I’ve always been a big fan of using scanning and PDFs as a simple but highly cost effective (and paperless) electronic medical record. I like Kaiser’s approach.
Listening: great surf music from The Neptunes.
Just announced: athenahealth’s Q1 numbers: revenue up 41%, EPS $0.12 vs. $0.09, hitting earnings estimates.
Doylestown Hospital is featured on Apple’s iPhone 3G page for rolling iPhones out to docs, including giving them mobile access to Meditech. I got my Consumer Reports today and was amazed at how well Apple did in the computer reviews: #1 in all three laptop screen size categories, #2 in desktops, and #1 in support in both desktop and laptops by far (81% and 84%, respectively, blasting the #2 vendor with 55% and 61%, respectively). Of course, Apples cost twice as much, so you could buy two of anybody else’s and keep one as a spare for the same money.
Medicity and Intermountain Healthcare will host a free Webinar called “A Data-Driven Approach to Improving Hospital and Physician Care Collaboration” on May 14. And speaking of Medicity, the company’s new CMO, Gifford Boyce-Smith, will speak on translational medicine at the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance research conference next Wednesday.
McKesson employees in Carrollton, TX spent time putting together care packages and notes for wounded veterans in VA hospitals last week. Nationally, 14,000 McKesson employees created 16,000 of the packages.
David Blumenthal follows the current administration’s mantra: we believe in the free market in theory, but sometimes it doesn’t work and the government can manage it more efficiently (which generally means: Bush and his cronies were dangerous fools and anything Republicans advocated must be repudiated by expensive and massive retaliatory government intervention). Speaking Thursday about healthcare technology, he said, “It is clear that this field has not advanced (enough) … when left exclusively to the private sector so there is a public role” Sounds good, except when surveyed, the public didn’t give a whit about healthcare IT. Your benevolent government knows best, as it constantly reminds us.
I just realized that it’s almost the end of the month as I write this, so I checked the HIStalk stats (that’s Inga’s territory, so I generally stay out of it). Shazam! Over 90,000 visits and 126,000 page views for April, breaking the record set in March by over 15% and up 66% from a year ago. I can only say thank you for contributing to that number by reading. I can’t imagine the stats going up since surely it’s at the saturation point, but I was saying that a year ago. Maybe the industry is bigger than it looks sitting here alone and staring at a keyboard and monitor for hours.
CERN shares hit a 52-week high today, topping at $54.71 and closing at $53.80. Above is a five-year stock chart that you can’t read because I had to shrink it to fit, but it shows Cerner share price (blue), McKesson (green), Eclipsys (gold), and GE (red). Go Neal (he’s not just doing it for you – he owns $303 million worth himself).
Bored at work? Try Internet sensation Swinefighter. It’s lame, but addictive.
Consumer Watchdog says it has proof that Google used paid lobbying firms to try to influence the government on the economic stimulus act, which it speculates (without proof) means the company wanted the right to sell medical data. Google says it was lobbying to support healthcare IT standards and to protect consumer privacy. Consumer Watchdog says fine, prove it by releasing your lobbying records. End Act 1.
It’s like one of those cheesy used car companies that offers to loan you down payment money until your tax refund comes: IBM makes $2 billion available to customers who don’t have the patience for their government checks to arrive. Come on in, everybody rides!
Siemens announces Q2 numbers, with revenue and profit up big.
Another doctor criticizes electronic medical records in a national publication, Time in this case in a story called How to Fix Health Care: Four Weeds to Remove (Larry wasn’t one of them). One of the four weeds identified as choking off the medical garden is Computerize Everything. “It’s a complex topic that boils down to this: If we who do the medicine thought more computers would save us money, we’d buy them ourselves. In fact, sometimes we do. But the federal mandate to computerize and centrally connect the entire country’s medical records has little chance of saving money for anyone except the lucky insiders who sell the computers, software and support. Aside from their costs to us, electronic records are time-consuming — a constant distraction from patient care. They also put doctors on a slippery ethical slope; it’s pretty easy to bill more for the same services with a good EMR program. They are a dangerous weed being advertised as fertilizer.”
Sams’s Club says it’s ready to sell eClinicalWorks (although it manages to spell the company’s name wrong in the headline, putting a space before the “Works” part). I did a Google site search to find the page, which doesn’t come up in the site’s own search.
In Europe, Ronald Verni, former CEO of Sage Software, is named non-executive director of charge master software vendor Craneware.
An Ohio State University medical professor and cervical pathologist says his employer demoted him, cut his pay by 60%, and took away his laboratory after he publicly accused the university of botching tests for human papillomavirus. He’s concerned about the incorrectly diagnosed women, but the $100 million he’s suing for will apparently assuage his anguish. Since every TV addict in America feels qualified to judge people based on a superficial knowledge of whatever’s being judged, I’ll side with him since he sounds sincere and is amply qualified.
HERtalk by Inga
From Newlywed: "Re: Nobel Prize winner’s survey on women and mood lifting. Heck yeah … I think he is dead on. For me, sex and eating … helllooo? Unfortunately, I travel for my job, so I don’t spend many nights at home for the sex with my perfect, divine husband. But man, do I get to eat!"
From Lynn Vogel: "Re: MD Anderson and facilities. Appreciate your comments re: importance of facility ambiance to patients. Cancer patients face significant challenges and in many cases truly ‘life or death’ choices. Notwithstanding Mr HIStalk’s views about the relationship between the egos of healthcare CEOs and their facilities, it is easy to dismiss the importance of surroundings in providing a supportive and comfortable environment in which such choices can be made. And I would venture a guess that those most critical of healthcare facilities are those who have not had to experience them from the patient’s point of view."
DocuSys and CPSI team up to install DocuSys’ anesthesia solution at at Muskogee Community Hospital (OK). I have actually been to Muskogee, the town that Merle Haggard was proud to call home. I am pretty sure I ate some ice cream from Braum’s. Ymmm.
Silver Hill Hospital (CT) signs a five-year agreement with Medsphere to provide implementation, training, and support of Medsphere’s OpenVista EHR.
Froedtert & Community Health (WI) signs up for Epic Systems’ Care Everywhere network. The Care Everywhere network is designed to connect EMR information between different Epic systems and as well as third-party EMRs. Froedtert & Community Health is the second health system to sign up for the network, which the health system claims cost them $60,000.
McKesson promotes Randy Spratt to the newly created position of Chief Technology Officer. Spratt will also maintain his current role as executive VP and CIO.
Note to all you road warriors: while in a plane, experts recommend you sanitize your hands before eating and drinking, after retrieving something from the overhead bin, or after returning from the restroom. A little Purell and you cut your chances of getting infected by at least 40%.
Virtual Radiologic posts first quarter net income of $1.39 million ($0.09 per share), compared to $2.00 million ($0.12 per share) in the prior year period. Adjusted net income was up 40% from last year, coming in at $2.51 million, compared to 2008’s $1.88 million. Revenues rose to $28.6 million for the quarter, up 23% from last year.
Online learning and survey vendor Healthstream releases their Q1 financials showing net income of $878,000 versus $66,000 last year. First quarter revenue grew 19% over the previous year to $13.6 million.
If you are considering bariatric surgery, here’s some good news. Individuals with bariatric surgery reduce the prevalence of disease by 25%, compared the morbidly obese. Also, the rate of post-surgical complications has fallen 21% since 2002. Overall complication rates have also dropped (from 24% to 15%). Fewer complications also translate into lower cost of care.
Merge Healthcare announces its third straight quarter of positive net income. For the first quarter, Merge had net income of $2.8 million compared to a $7.9 million loss a year ago. Revenue was up 11% from 2008.
Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (MA) and Massachusetts General Hospital find that the use of integrated computerized medication reconciliation tools and process redesign were associated with a decrease in the number of unintentional medication discrepancies.