From JB Good: “Re: Adena. Do you know who Adena went with for an EMR?” Meditech, I believe. They must not have used the HIMSS Online Buyer’s Guide or done their tire-kicking at HIMSS since Meditech doesn’t play there.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows 7. TPD has posted previously about some key new features of the upcoming Windows 7 release. Now, Dr. Bill Crounse’s Microsoft blog has a post on the Windows 7 platform and it appears to highlight some additional features when it comes to its potential use in the healthcare process.” I dunno … if Bill wasn’t drawing a Mr. Softy paycheck, I’d swear he was pitching Apple. “you just want your computer to work … works better … visually pleasing … graphics are simply stunning.” Windows? Seriously? It’s always mixed news when a vendor tells you how great their new versions are, implying that what you originally bought wasn’t so great. They weren’t saying that when you first forked over the cash for Windows ME … err, Vista. Personal users only have to pay and install, but for corporate users, it’s a major, non-strategic IT project to replace everybody’s desktop OS and train people to support it. I’m still fumbling around with that damned productivity-sapping ribbon bar on Office 2007 at work (no way I’d install it on my home PC), so I’m waiting for Microsoft to convince me that they have a clue.
From Neal’s Pizza Guy: “Re: UK. Redundancy plans were announced at yesterday’s Cerner UK town hall with 20-100 associates to be future endeavoured. Those in the firing line include Solution Delivery Consultants, System Engineers and Learning Consultants.” Unverified.
From Ukelele Bill: “Re: Stanford’s Epic implementation. It’s been mentioned before. How much are they spending and what are the problems there that anonymous posters have mentioned?”
An Eclipsys spokesperson disputes the comments left earlier by Eckert’s Sweetheart Deal. In summary: (a) ECLP shares rose from $16 when Andy Eckert started as CEO, rose to $26, and ended 2007 there. Shares have declined this year, but still outperformed the S&P 500. (b) KLAS scores for Sunrise Clinical Manager rose from 5th to 2nd place during his tenure. (c) Eclipsys has more clients and a larger market share than in 2005 and continues to win new business. (d) the company had 2,000 employees when Andy took over as CEO and now has 2,700, of which 700 are in India, so the company’s presence there was additive. (e) Phil Pead and the BOD asked Jay Deady to stay on and he has agreed.
Here’s the five-year chart of ECLP (blue) vs. the S&P 500 (red), just in case you’re scoring at home. From the day Andy Eckert took over as CEO until now, shares are down 12%. How does that compare to its main competitors? Non-conglomerate, publicly traded HIT vendors are as scarce as hen’s teeth, but Cerner is up 33%, QuadraMed is down 19%, and CPSI is down 8%. McKesson shares are down 15%. NextGen parent Quality Systems is up 69% over the same period as an example of a vendor selling mostly practice-based systems. The S&P has dropped 26% since October 2005.
Cerner and its customer Mayo Clinic request a federal gag order against a former Mayo physician and professor, accusing him of violating trade secrets for speaking at a conference about natural language processing software he developed. Mayo says Peter Elkin stole a backup and offered to sell the software, while the Elkin says Cerner and Mayo just wants exclusive rights to sell his product without paying for it. Mayo says he signed over his rights, while the Elkin says the application isn’t part of what he signed over to Mayo and he hasn’t received promised royalty payments anyway. Elkin left last year to become VP of Biomedical and Translational Informatics at Mount Sinai Hospital (NY).
St. Mary’s Hospital (MD) goes live on Cerner CareMobile bedside medication scanning.
Several of my reader survey respondents asked to hear more from provider IT shops about innovative things they’ve done, little-known systems they are using successfully, and ways they are responding to organizational demands. Inga and I would enjoy hearing from hospital IT people. Reluctant to go on record? I’ll leave you and your organization anonymous (places I’ve worked don’t want employees out there giving interviews either, so I understand that). E-mail me.
GE Healthcare has another round of layoffs, but doesn’t release numbers.
Children’s Boston announces a biomedical technology development fund to underwrite technology commercialization research projects at the hospital. The non-profit is hooking up with a bunch of drug and device vendors, which I admit confuses me (research universities and hospitals dabbling in for-profit industries makes me uncomfortable). Community hospitals and colleges deliver services to patients and students, respectively, without having that other cash cow, which I admire since it forces them to execute their primary mission well.
More EMR-related music humor, this time by Dr. Sam Bierstock and his An Introduction to the Electronic Musical Record. You won’t get the deadpan humor until halfway through or so. His upcoming release: Sorry, Man, but Your Bypass is Considered Cosmetic. His video with the Managed Care Blues Band is here and a tribute to veterans here.
Kaiser Permanente is fined $250,000 after 21 employees and two doctors inappropriately accessed the electronic medical records of Octo-Mom in January. Kaiser had already fired 15 people, reprimanded eight others, and self-reported the violations to the state, so it was surprised by the fine. I don’t get it myself: is that really going to diminish the chances of it happening again compared to firing the transgressors?
A new Washington Post article called The Machinery Behind Health-Care Reform says HIMSS successfully maneuvered public policy to benefit its members. “It also represented a triumph for an influential trade group whose members now stand to gain billions in taxpayer dollars … Corporate members include government contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, health-care technology giants such as McKesson, Ingenix and GE Healthcare, and drug industry leaders, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America … runs a trade show for technology vendors, publishes a health technology newspaper and operates a research unit to help members find new markets …” Also mentioned: Steve Lieber admits that HIMSS had to lobby hard to get then-President Bush to include his one line about EMRs in his 2004 State of the Union speech. Now I’m feeling stupid for being a HIMSS member – I’m just giving its vendor lobbying work credibility by boosting the headcount.
OK, I’m going to acknowledge the elephant in the room and say this out loud. It’s time to split off the provider part of HIMSS into its own organization or form a new provider-only group. HIMSS is deviating further and further from my interests through its pro-vendor lobbying and its glitzy trade show that charges vendor members to connect with provider members. I like vendors just fine, but we each have our own agendas. I resent it if even a little of my paltry $140 in dues was used to convince a struggling administration to use taxpayer money to goose sales of HIT products. HIMSS took up the membership slack because TEPR was lame and AMIA was academic. It would be nice to have an alternative for us provider people, like women who just want to go out to dinner together without feeling like they’re being hit on constantly. Maybe it’s just me since nobody else is complaining.
Uh oh … President Obama publicly hailed the $2 trillion of healthcare savings over the next 10 years offered by industry groups, but he misunderstood. Those groups now say they did not pledge specific cuts. Obama’s healthcare reformer Nancy-Ann DeParle said “the President misspoke,” but then changed her own story, saying he cited their offer correctly. Does a “target” of raising the “rate of increase” to 1.5% within ten years really count as reform? The American Hospital Association was appalled at the thought that struggling hospitals can afford a reimbursement decrease according to its president, who made $1.5 million last year, and its executive VP, who took home $822K. UPMC President Jeffrey Romoff, who made $4.5 million last year after taking a pay cut, was not quoted.
Video game Hysteria Hospital is coming to the Wii. “Hysteria Hospital challenges players to race up and down hospital floors, treating testy patients with crazy ailments while saving your emergency room from turning into mass hysteria.” Now if someone would just create actual hospital software for the Wii …