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Monday Morning Update 9/28/09

September 25, 2009 News 4 Comments

From Evan Marcos: “Re: conference invitations. Amen. After a lifetime in healthcare marketing, this is how the VIP scam works. Target a slice of C-level pigeons (CEO, CFO, CIO, CNO, etc) who need a few days off to relax. Next, choose a speaker panel of political hacks, policy wonks, executive has-beens, and think tank blowhards. Throw an innocuous agenda that yaks about the obvious in a fabulous, expensive resort. Now, the hook. Market the VIP ‘Summit’, ‘Roundtable’, or ‘Executive Leadership Council’ to healthcare C-levels and tell them they can attend for next to nothing but airfare in exchange for 20-30 minutes of their time talking to a vendor. Second hook, market the ‘executive lead opportunity’ to vendors wanting badly to make their quarterly numbers and find low-hanging fruit in exchange for a mere $30,000 – $50,000 (which pays for the conference and salaries for the organizers). Now, market the everloving stew out of it with aggressive, relentless, pit bull sale folks in a boiler room. I’ve been on both sides of the invitee list and I assure you there’s rarely anything truly positive to come from it except for the salaries and commissions to the organizing company. And I think you know who the top two or three offenders are.”

From Larry Leotard: “Re: new company. I saw an analysis that said new SaaS companies need to assume negative cash flow for 3-4 years because when you get paid monthly, the cash comes in slowly compared to selling licenses. Sales expectations in start-up biz plans are always too optimistic. Anyone can sell 10 hospitals, but getting to 40 is hard.”

I’m taking a little break, so Miss Inga will be presiding for a few days. Please treat her with the appropriate deference and civility as she is a delicate flower.


The newly opened Jane Pauley Community Health Center (IN), a collaboration between Community Health Network and the local school system, is using the GE Centricity EMR, merging physical and behavioral data. Its namesake, the former news anchor and Mrs. Garry “Doonesbury” Trudeau, was on hand.

Salem Hospital (OR) signs for PureSafety’s Occupational Health Manager.

The PACS Designer is putting together a list of iPhone apps designed for healthcare people to use on the job. Send me the names of those you like and I will forward to TPD for a future Readers Write article.


In Australia, the Royal Flying Doctor Service is rolling out a new EMR for its remote patients.

Some employees of Regional Medical Center (SC) are crying “institutional racism” after a hospital ceremony recognizing the IT people involved in its Cerner project kicked off with someone in a gorilla suit handing out bananas while “Hail to the Chief” played in the background. The committee who planned the program always starts off with that music to introduce the CEO and the theme of the program was, “We’re Bananas Over You”, but that explanation didn’t appease those who were offended. The trustees get into the act, claiming the hospital tried to “sweep things under the rug,” so the hospital is sending everybody off for diversity training.

I’m happy to announce that we’ll be having another blockbuster HIStalk event at the Atlanta HIMSS conference in March. Sponsors have stepped forward, a topnotch venue has been secured, and liquor trucks are being diverted from all over the Southeast to stock it up. More details to follow, but mark down Monday, March 1 in your planner. Your event ideas are welcome.


Former ONCHIT head Rob Kolodner retired on September 22 after 31 years of public service. A job darned well done, I say. In his e-mail announcement, he said, “I am delighted to not only to have had the honor to serve our nation’s veterans for almost three decades, and be able to help them in their time of need after so many of them put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf, but also to have had the privilege of participating in VA-wide and nationwide activities to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient-centered health care. Hopefully, this time we will finally succeed in achieving sufficient health reform to trigger the transformations in health and care that we so desperately need in the US.” 


Bayer announces Contour USB, a plug & play glucometer that launches diabetes management software on a PC.

West Georgia Health System chooses Perot for revenue cycle services in a seven-year agreement.

An insurance company executive recommends three areas of focus for HIT startups: electronic connections for families, caregiver coordination, and population health.

Boston Medical Center, which just gave former CEO a one-time $3.5 million parting gift at her retirement, will close an ICU and lay off its 40 workers. The selectively generous facility will lose $170 million this year. Maybe it has board members from Merrill Lynch.

Newly announced Davies winner Urban Health Plan (NY) was able to create alerts and clinical decision support rules on its eClinicalWorks EMR the same day that CDC issued its H1N1 guidelines.

Odd lawsuit: an ambulance chaser and a Florida hospital are suing each other after the malpractice lawyer demanded records of all the hospital’s adverse events going back to its opening in 1934. The lawyer claims he’s thinking about getting a colonoscopy and wants to know how many perforated colons have occurred there. So why not just ask for those specific records? “"I could have a family member contemplating another procedure,” he said evasively. Or a client — he’s suing the hospital over a client’s perforated colon.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. An unintended consequence of the gorilla is that attention is being diverted from the culture shock of insidious adverse patient events that awaits Regional Medical Center when it does its go live in December. Will patients go dead when the CPOE goes live and will anyone be honest about it? How many bananas did Neil eat?

  2. “And how many patients die or have ADE because you DON’T have a CPOE system today?”

    Can someone provide an answer that would pass a first year medical student test on research methods? that is, not from a throwaway health IT journal?

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