From Ralph Hinckley: “Re: HIPAA. Looks like we have actual prosecution for HIPAA privacy violations by several individuals.” A doctor and two former employees of St. Vincent Health System (AR) plead guilty to federal charges of snooping into the medical records of murdered local TV anchor Ann Pressly out of curiosity. The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of a $50,000 fine and a year in prison. Here’s the part that always gripes me: the hospital canned the two employees, but let the doctor off with a two-week suspension.
From Wompa1: “Re: Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights. I thought you might appreciate this.” The piece has a long quote from Atlas Shrugged about a surgeon who refuses to practice under a system of socialized medicine. Now I’m all hot to read Atlas Shrugged again, so I’ll have to go digging through the bookcases to find it.
From BadNoodle: “Re: [vendor name removed]. They have quietly laid off over 100 people worldwide, with software training and support hit fairly hard.” Inga is trying to confirm and I have suspicions about the anonymous source since the posting appears to have come from a competitor, so I’ll leave the company name out for now.
From Org Insider: “Re: HIMSS. HIMSS produced a Team Training seminar, ‘What is Government Relations’ on June 23, 2009. HIMSS discusses the differences between advocacy, lobbying, and government relations,’What does HIMSS do?’ It is produced by Carla Smith, Executive VP, and Dave Roberts, VP of Government Relations (who is also Mayor of Solana Beach, CA). It appears executive management is trying to sell the staff on the idea that HIMSS is not a lobbyist or vendor organization HIMSS will share IRS and congressional regulations with a ‘sister’ organization to keep under the radar. Is that AHIMA?” Please, sir, may I have some more? I couldn’t get to the link you sent and I didn’t follow the ‘sister organization’ part.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: What Would Google Do? Our fellow blogger Will Weider has read the new book about Google called ‘What Would Google Do" and recommends it for CIOs and other executives. Harper Collins Publishers has a browse version of the book on the Web for HIStalkers to view.” The preview looked good, although some of the Amazon reviews are scathing. I’d read it.
From Dr. Know: “Re: technology. Interesting article in US News about the use of advanced technology in hospitals.” Included: rounding robots with video, RFID, implanted identifiers (they must have missed the Verichip flop), EMRs, and cool rooms. Only in the last paragraph is it mentioned that hospitals have halted almost all of these projects because of economic uncertainty.
From Bob! in accounting: “Re: VA. Ha!” The VA stops (temporarily, it says) 45 IT projects that are over budget or behind schedule until the project managers submit new plans. They’re listed in the article. I see a lot of LIS stuff on the list, so I wonder if the VA is reconsidering its stated intention of replacing some of its own VistA applications with commercial ones from Cerner since it was to start with lab?
Apple’s Q3 numbers: revenue up 12%, EPS $1.35 vs. $1.19. Strong Mac sales and punishing iPhone demand led the estimate-beating numbers. Good timing for me since I had just finished my next guest editorial for Inside Healthcare Computing titled A Harvard Vision of One-Stop Shopping: Why Someday You Might Buy a Michael Jackson Ringtone, a “Pull My Finger” Game, and CPOE from the Same Vendor. It’s a very serious treatise on healthcare IT architecture and the disruptive technology of infrastructure instead of applications. Well, maybe not all that serious.
Here’s an iPhone example: Cannabis, an application that gives directions to medical marijuana suppliers and related services updated from iMedicalCannabis.com. Check the banner ad on the site for Marijuana Medicine Evaluation Centers, which apparently gives exams and certification cards to supposedly legal users (“Come get your medical marijuana card today!!”) There’s even a helpful ICD-9 list of conditions that can be treated with cannabis just in case one is looking for a disease to justify use of its treatment (hypertension? back pain? constipation? You’re in!)
Some folks added new events to the HIStalk Calendar (and why not since it’s free and the events show up on the main page of HIStalk?) You can add your event, too, or check the calendar to see what’s coming.
A reader provided a link to this ACLU video for its Surveillance Campaign, which frets about massive invasions of privacy using “invasive new technologies.” It ties ordering a pizza with having healthcare information immediately available at the call center.
Nasty Parts told you on May 29 that Allscripts would acquire Medfusion and Medem. He’s on track so far: Medfusion announced today that it has bought the health services operations (which I’m guessing is everything but the company name) from Medem. Then, Allscripts announced that it had signed a strategic agreement to make Medfusion’s patient portal available to its customers. Will Allscripts go ahead and buy Medfusion?
Also related: Allscripts posts Q4 numbers, but I’m not smart enough to understand how post-acquisition numbers are derived so I won’t comment. Glen seemed happy with the results, they seemed to beat expectations, and share price is down only a little since then. I think they did well.
The HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association re-elects Justin Barnes (Greenway) as chair and brings on Mark Segal (GE Healthcare) as vice chair and Carl Dvorak (Epic Systems) as executive committee member.
Listening: new from July for Kings, Cincinnati-based alt-rock.
I must be cranky today since I just saw something else that gripes me. A vendor executive lists a big-name business school in the Education section of his LinkedIn profile, right under his only other credential, a bachelor’s degree from a lower-tier state school. I checked out his big-name credential and it was nothing but an expensive, one-week executive seminar, maybe placed there with the hope that it would be confused for a graduate degree. It wasn’t by me, anyway.
Speare Memorial Hospital (NH) names Bob Dullea as director of IS, bringing him over from Dartmouth.
President Obama, making a healthcare speech from what was called Children’s Hospital (I assume it was Children’s National Medical Center in DC) mentions the CIO directly: “We just — I spoke to the chief information officer here at the hospital, and he talked about some wonderful ways in which we could potentially gather up electronic medical records and information for every child not just that comes to this hospital, but in the entire region, and how much money could be saved and how the health of these kids could be improved, but it requires an investment.”
A VA-funded study finds that all the paper records clinicians keep (sticky notes, index cards, and notebooks) can provide insight into how to design an improved human interface to clinical systems. It’s a shamefully small observation study (20 workers in one hospital), but still an interesting concept since everybody keeps paper for mostly good reasons. I’ve used this method: follow a clinician around and write down every piece of information they need, when they need it, where they were at the time, and what they did with it. That’s what an IT system will have to do if you really want to kick out paper.
Also from the VA: it’s testing a BlackBerry application that let cardiologists read EKGs remotely and order treatment to be immediately started in the ED or other location. “The ER pages a cardiologist and sends an electronic EKG to the doc’s mobile device. It also cc’s the electronic health record system, Vista. The cardiologist receives the EKG alert and opens the file by pressing on an icon and logging in. After reading and interpreting the image from a smartphone, the cardiologist clicks a ‘call’ button to contact the ER with a treatment orders. This all happens within 3 minutes.”
Yet another VA item: the Philadelphia VA’s brachytherapy (implanted radiation therapy) program, which was shut down in 2008, gave 92 of its 114 patients the wrong dose of radiation therapy over six years because the dose checking PC had been unplugged from the network.
ACS gets a five-year contract extension worth $10 million to run IT at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (HI).
A Fox News report says that the universal health plan in Massachusetts is an albatross around the neck of potential Republican presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney. Costs are out of control, the state is being sued by Boston Medical Center for underpaying it, and legal immigrants who pay taxes are being dumped from the plan to save money. The parties blame each other, apparently, and the only idea anybody’s come up with to cover its costs is to tax smokers even more. They’d better hope those smoking cessation programs don’t work.
Who are some of the big spenders when it comes to healthcare lobbying? Other than the obvious drug companies: GE, AMA, AHA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, American College of Radiology, Siemens, and UnitedHealth Group.
Vanderbilt chooses Omnicell for supply systems.
Hopkins Medicine deploys Cernium video analytics software for security, which ads to the capability of security cameras by not requiring people to sit and watch them. It looks for erratic movements, lurkers, converging groups, and suspicious packages. A bit Big Brotherish, but cool, especially for hospitals.
HERtalk by Inga
From Heard it thru the grapevine: “Re: rumor control. Hope you are doing well and up to your eyeballs in new shoes. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it were Eric Sellers was the one going to MED3OOO?” Eric Sellers is a former Misys exec, as “Little Birdy” suggested last week. His LinkedIn profile says he has been in real estate for the last five years.
Hayes Management Consulting and Aternity partner to help improve physician adoption of EHRs. The companies will combine the rapid prototype methodology of Hayes with Aternity’s Frontline Performance Intelligence Platform to organizations increase implementation efficiencies.
Hendrick Health System(TX) completes installation of Sentillion’s Tap & Go, which uses passive proximity cards for authentication. Hendricks uses the program in its trauma center to enable caregivers to instantly sign on to any workstation.
ENT and Allergy Associates (NY/NJ) announces it has expanded the use of their NextGen EMR system to 10 of its 30 practice sites. The practice includes about 90 physicians.
UC-San Diego Medical Center selects Dragon Medical for physician documentation.
Former Cisco exec Diane Adams joins to Allscripts as EVP of human resources.