From afh15: “Re: EHR data. I’d love to read your thoughts on this study and the long-term uses of EHR data in preventive care.” I don’t have access to the full text of the article, but I truly believe that once the pain of getting EMRs running as data collection appliances is over (meaning we’ve got data collection clerks known as doctors and nurses in place, which is the “pain” part), the benefit will be incredible. This article apparently deals with having nephrologists automatically consulted when the EHR finds problems. There are other benefits. You could do society-improving medical research by just slicing and dicing data from millions of patients, at least the parts of it that aren’t just clinical-sounding billing events that are useless or even misleading. You could find candidates for research trials. Patients could be followed over many years, even as they move around and use the services of a variety of providers. And for individual patients, there could be great value in putting research findings into the hands of front line doctors. Not to mention giving patients a platform whereby they can participate in their own care and add non-episodic information related to lifestyle, personal health assessment, etc. Clinical systems will not save time, as clinicians know – they exist to create data whose value mostly accrues to someone else. My advice to providers: much of your future income may be based on the data you create and the ownership in it you retain. Don’t be like the Native Americans and let greedy outsiders buy your land for trinkets.
From Anonymous: “Re: Craneware. Interesting question to ponder: How did two young Scot lads, with no US healthcare knowledge, manage to visualize and create Craneware, the country’s first automated CDM software based on complex Medicare regulations? The designer of Craneware’s core CDM products is a US healthcare consultant and not a Scot. Nora McNeil (NJ) is Keith Neilson’s American mother-in-law. She co-founded Craneware with KN and his partner Gordon Craig and taught the Scots everything they needed to know about US healthcare policy and regulations. She was also the sole marketing and salesperson of Craneware’s CDM products for the first two years of the company’s existence. So why have the duo not publicly acknowledged Nora’s existence as a founding partner and her primary role in creating a successful company?” The company’s documents say it was founded by Keith Neilson and Gordon Craig “following on from discussions with Nora McNeil.” I would guess there’s a family squabble somewhere in the mix. And when that happens, the lawyers are usually not far behind. I don’t have a horse in the race, so I’m neutral.
From Cracker: “Re: Nuance. Nuance’s domination of health care speech recognition gets more scary when you also consider the current M*Modal customers taking a serious look at Nuance. I know second hand of two current M*Modal customers looking at Nuance and will do some research to find some more.” Cracker references a news piece describing an anti-trust investigation of Nuance’s $96 million acquisition last year of Philips Speech Recognition systems (the old SpeechMagic). My assumption, reading between the lines, is that a competitor complained and the investigation is just making sure Nuance isn’t raising prices after knocking off Philips (not likely since Philips had minimal US presence). I don’t know much about M*Modal so I don’t know how they stack up to Nuance, but they and a few other vendors are facing a large, highly successful, and aggressive competitor whose name is nearly synonymous with speech recognition.
From Captain Hook: “Re: Valco rumor. We are a current client and since the announcement have spoken with a couple of our prior contacts at Valco (and they appear to still be working for the company). It is clear that some of them have been let go. Spoke to AJ Hyland as well. No indication that Valco technology will be sunsetted, at this point but it would make sense to do so. It is clear that Hyland bought the client base and entree into Meditech clients.” Valco sold portals, electronic forms, scanning solutions, and other healthcare tools.
From Commander Cody: “Re: Medical Center Odessa. They paid $6.2 million for CPOE, but their regional neighbor Midland Memorial paid only $7 million for their entire clinical transformation project. After five years, Odessa is just now doing McKesson CPOE, two years after Midland has fully implemented OpenVista hospital-wide. Taxpayers paying for high-priced proprietary EMR systems is a bad idea.”
Should CPOE be a requirement for demonstrating meaningful use of hospital-based EMRs? Yes, according to 69% of those who answered my poll. New poll to your right, inspired by the comment above: should hospital CIOs consider open source clinical systems?
McGill University Health Centre is working with Medical.MD to develop its MedforYou PHR.
The local paper covers EMR implementations in two Arizona hospitals. Banner Health, the story says, will spend $30 million (hardware, software, and training) each at two of its hospitals: 430-bed Banner Boswell and 272-bed Del E. Webb. They’re Cerner, I believe. I hope that dollar figure is a misprint, but then again, Banner paid its CEO $2.7 million, the CFO $1.7 million, and its CIO $600K in 2007, so maybe big numbers don’t bother them. Its 2007 profits … sorry, “surplus” …, was over $300 million. Since they’re not paying taxes, I guess the money has to go somewhere.
Say hello to TELUS Health Solutions, supporting HIStalk as a Platinum sponsor. The company, which took a big jump up the HCI Top 100 this year from #33 to #20, offers a wide range of healthcare solutions (claims management, the new TELUS Health Space personal health platform, pharmacy management systems, telehealth, patient and resource scheduling, and the renowned Oacis Unified Patient Record). The open architecture Oacis, in fact, has been supercharged into an integration platform that offers an integration gateway, EMPI, CPOE, ED tracking, clinical documentation, Web-based Enterprise EMR, and data warehouse/BI portal, making it suitable for healthcare organizations and entire regions. I remember from talking to the folks there awhile back that Oacis has two big strengths: it can handle the interoperability requirements of regional deployments and for hospitals, it can be implemented without ripping and replacing (it also excels at being customizable, as I recall). OK, I’m prattling on because I was pretty charged up with Oacis when people started telling me about it years ago, but for now, let’s leave it at this: thanks to TELUS Health Solutions for supporting HIStalk.
Cerner moves up to the Nasdaq-100 Index, replacing the Oracle-acquired Sun Microsystems.
HIMSS is thinking more and more like a vendor. How do they improve (“reposition”) the perception of its CPHIMS certification credential? Hire a marketing company to develop a “correlating creative platform and 12-month integrated communications plan.” Because of the tsunami of federal HIT dollars, “the CPHIMS new brand positioning will be more essential than ever,” at least in the eyes of the marketing people (a knowing wink to fellow grammar zealots: “more essential” makes no more sense than “more pregnant”).
The California Nurses Association union files a complaint with the state’s Department of Public Health, alleging that UC Irvine Medical Center has overdosed at least five patients with narcotics by using malfunctioning Curlin infusion pumps that let patients control the flow of pain med IVs. The hospital disagrees, saying keystroke logs indicate that in at least three of the cases, nurses entered the wrong dosage. Meanwhile, an enterprising group of ambulance-chasing lawyers has bought Google search ads trolling for victims who have “sustained damage” after a Curlin pump recall, helpfully noting that companies have to pay out even if they weren’t negligent under current strict product liability laws. Maybe the lawyer proceeds of healthcare-related lawsuits should be taxed at some reasonable rate (90%?) to help fund healthcare reform since the former lawyers in Congress keep avoiding tort reform.
Industry long-timer Bob Fetters died Tuesday at 70 in Kennett Square, PA. He worked for over 20 years at SMS and had already RSVP’ed for Vince Ciotti’s November reunion. The memorial service was Saturday morning, but messages for the family can be left here. Condolences.
I like this fresh thinking: if we’re already paying double what most countries pay for healthcare, why should healthcare reform cost anything? I also like this answer: “We owe the insurance companies, pharma, etc. a severance package, payable into the future for some undisclosed period of time. Like the Hotel California, their lobbyists are making sure we can check out anytime we like, but in fact, we can never leave.”
Former Cernerite Anne Jamieson is named CEO of Portsmouth Regional Hospital (NH).
A hospital in Canada whose computer network was infected with the CoreFlood trojan horse sends warning letters to 11,500 patients, warning that the trojan was designed to capture information and send it to hackers and therefore may have done so. The virus was not detected by the hospital’s unnamed antivirus software (considering that Symantec has been protecting against it since 2002, maybe it’s time to check the updates, change vendors, or fire employees who disabled it on their PCs). CoreFlood was written by hackers in southern Russia to capture secure information such as passwords, e-mail contents, and bank records. It’s doing its job, collecting 500G of personal financial information in just six months, including details on thousands of banking and credit card accounts.
Siemens will provide Soarian to 37 hospitals and 300 clinics in South Africa as a subcontractor. That’s a huge and much-needed deal for Soarian, which was always loaded with unrealized promise.
The VA gets $3.3 billion to spend on IT in 2010, up 30% from 2009.
West Jefferson Medical Center (LA) gets a mention from the local TV station for its implementation of GetWellNetwork, explaining that it’s not for just patient entertainment, but also patient education. The article says patients can also find a hotel, check their bill, and send an instant message to hospital departments.
I like this opinion piece on Taj Mahospitals: “If your competitors have serious woodwork, you can’t get by with woodgrain Formica. If they have armies of PR people on staff, you need them, too. If they have billboards touting the No. 1 rating conferred on their pediatric nephrology team by a local magazine, you too need billboards. If they offer their patients such amenities as wireless Internet, on-demand video, room service-style dining and concierge service, you’d better follow suit. In fact, a recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that such amenities are three times as effective in increasing demand for a hospital’s services as improved clinical results are. (What? We don’t care if we get better as long as we can have YouTube and American Idol on tap?) The irony is that it’s all necessary, even though it’s a total waste in the sense that none of it improves anybody’s health one iota.”
Scary stats out of California, not like to improve now that the state is nearly bankrupt: the state’s nursing board takes an average of three years to investigate and discipline problematic nurses, gives probation to offenders but doesn’t crack down when they mess up repeatedly, and doesn’t have records to keep fired and disciplined nurses from moving on to the next hospital. One nurse kept his license for five years after hospital complaints that he had stolen and used drugs and fell asleep while performing CPR; he admits he was high at work.
Cleveland Clinic launches its health and wellness portal.
Insurance company UnitedHealth Group announces that it will spend tens of millions of dollars to build a national telehealth network based on Cisco’s Telepresence technology. It has hired former MinuteClinic CMO Jim Woodburn to run the program. More details will be announced on July 15.