From Nash Rasty: “Re: HIT Regional Extension Centers. Is there a list of sites that are on the preliminary approval list? Is it your understanding that for-profit vendors can provide technical expertise? I’m foggy on how companies can get involved.” I haven’t seen a list. I believe the original announcement indicated that the non-profit organization that is awarded an Extension Center contract (up to 70 of them will be created using stimulus money) can farm some of the work out to a for-profit company. In fact, Perot has already thrown in with AMGA and MGMA to offer services to them. I assume but don’t know for sure that each Extension Center is free to choose its own partners. That’s an interesting point: there’s going to be a ton of spending by these organizations, so if my assumptions are correct, consulting and other firms should be watching developments there carefully.
From Midwest CIO: “Re: Siemens. Siemens IT is reorganizing. Hospitals here say experienced associates are no longer with the company.” Unverified.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Microsoft Tag. Using your iPhone to navigate the web will be easier if you use Microsoft Tag. The application is designed to read a color-coded 2D pattern called a High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) that is similar to the black and white checkerboard ones your find on packages which are called Portable Data File 417 (DF417). The PDF417 is a stacked linear bar code symbol used in a variety of applications, primarily transport, identification cards, and inventory management.”
I’m looking for a really good writer, preferably with a clinical background, who is on top of the mobile computing market, especially smart phones and caregiver apps that run on them. Let me know if you know of someone.
Patent troll Acacia Research Corporation extracts cash from Sage in return for dropping its nuisance suit against Sage over PACS, which Acacia claims to have invented. Despite having “research” in its name, even the company itself admits that its business is pretty much suing companies who quickly realize that it’s cheaper to buy ridiculous licenses than mount a legal defense. “The subsidiaries of Acacia Research buy patents as well as represent patent owners on contingency basis to generate revenue from licensing and enforcement.”
More hospital IT employees get the axe courtesy of a Cerner outsourcing deal, this time at Naples Community Hospital (FL). Thirty of the IT department’s 75 employees are turfed off to Cerner, nine stay on as NCH employees, and 36 are screwed.
Former ONCHIT head Rob Kolodner joins Open Health Tools, a North Carolina-based non-profit trade association of open source developers working on interoperable health records, as CIO.
A couple of readers e-mailed to say that former Baylor CIO and Cleveland Clinic IT executive Bob Pickton has been named CIO of SEHA, the health authority of Abu Dhabi. I know Cleveland Clinic has a management contract for one of its hospitals (Johns Hopkins has a couple, too), so maybe there’s a connection. Bob starts work Sunday. The high there today: 96 degrees.
A New York Times article says that time pressures, mandatory multitasking, and real-time attention demands (including EMRs) are burning out doctors who no longer have any contemplative time.
Surescripts will adopt the NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 standard to connect EMRs to pharmacies for prescription information.
Coastal Communities Hospital is the first site to go live on CalRHIO’s statewide HIE.
Now I won’t be able to enjoy my pork barbeque, thanks to a YouTube-prowling reader: pigs whose foodd is automatically dispensed in controlled portions by their RFID collars are smart enough to look for discarded collars on the ground and carry them in their mouths back to the feeding station, earning a second meal for the effort. I’ll refrain from making witty comparisons to healthcare scanning.
In the UK, the CEO of the Colchester Hospital trust blames poor service numbers on “data issues”, implying that the CIO was fired as a result. According to the article, “a new chief information officer had been appointed to address this.”
Stock publications have a terrible track record of being able to predict the future, so take this for what it’s worth: someone lists the five companies Dell should take over, all of them in healthcare IT. They are Allscripts, Quality Systems (NextGen), CSC, Cognizant, and Citrix Systems. Citrix isn’t technically a healthcare IT vendor, but it’s probably their biggest vertical since the industry is dominated by 1970s time capsule applications that won’t run efficiently and securely without it (my war horse Citrix joke: Citrix is like a Denny’s restaurant – chosen often, but only out of desperation). Actually I use Citrix a fair amount at work and it’s pretty cool – poorly architected fat client apps run a heck of a lot better over wireless or VPN when you’re only painting screens and not slinging massive data packets back and forth.
Michael Dell hints that the services business he’d like to get into is practice EMR hosting. I’d say that boosts the credibility of the Allscripts part of the rumor above. I bet he would love to get his hands on eClinicalWorks if the founders would sell.
Speaking of Quality Systems, it gets the #3 spot on the Top 10 Small Companies list by Forbes.
Senator Mike Enzi (WY) wins the HIMSS Federal Leadership Award. He’s HIT-friendly, of course.
Caritas Christi Health Care will use the Azyxxi part of Amalga and HealthVault, both from Microsoft.
Virginia Governer Timothy M. Kaine creates the Health Information Technology Advisory Commission, charged with spending a lot of federal taxpayer ARRA money. I don’t think I know anyone on the long list of commission members.
Five hospitals and health systems go live on MEDSEEK’s consumer portal: Advocate Healthcare (IL), Connecticut Children’s, EMN Regional (OH), Forrest General (MS), and St. Joseph (WI).
Cardinal Health signs a deal to distribute Orchard Software’s LIS and anatomic pathology systems.
Recombinant Data Corp. and Sun Microsystems sign a $4 million deal to create a translational research and quality improvement data warehouse for Health Sciences South Carolina, made up of the state’s big hospitals.
I don’t know why this popped into my head, but you aren’t a newbie if you know which popular software once had competitors named Quattro, Symphony, and Lucid.
Informatics Corporation of America wins the Best New Technology award at the HealthIT Insight Conference.
Centegra Health (IL) chooses GE Centricity Enterprise.
Everybody wants to get their snout into the ARRA trough. Medical equipment and monitoring manufacturer Welch Allyn launches an EHR preparation and selection consulting program.
Health plan software vendor HealthTrio spins off an independent company, Monument Systems LLC. The same guy owns both companies, so I’m not sure this is really big news, especially since the only thing I know about HealthTrio is that HIT industry pioneer Ralph Korpman used to work there.
The LA Times covers the Cedars-Sinai radiation overdoses, citing “the blind trust of medical machinery” as a key cause since the incorrect dose came up on the screen every time and nobody noticed for 18 months. I’m sure Cedars is doubly thrilled that the Times reminded its readers that the hospital also nearly killed the Quaid twins with massive heparin overdoses.
Interesting: 80% of Taiwan’s citizens are happy with the country’s national health insurance, they have lower infant mortality than we do, and the country spends 6% of GDP on healthcare compared to 15.3% here. Technology is credited, including a nearly universal smart card containing medical data that uploads to central systems (not separate insurance company databases) to provide a real-time view of healthcare. As a result, administrative costs there are 1.5% of the total vs. over 30% here.
Hoboken University Medical Center will implement Medsphere’s OpenVista.
New England Baptist Hospital bans social networking sites, fearing that employees could be posting confidential patient information.
Bizarre: the Minnesota Board of Nursing revokes the LPN license of a man who allegedly encouraged people in suicide chat rooms to hang themselves while he watched via webcam. At least two people did, the board said; the person who alerted police claims there were actually at least eight victims.
ACS gets a $4.5 million, three-year contact to develop the Kentucky HIE. All of us are paying for it: CMS covered the initial amount and the state wants ARRA money to take it statewide.
The Senate’s healthcare reform bill would create Internet-based health insurance exchanges with standard enrollment and make EHR incentives from the stimulus bill and make them permanent. That second item is interesting.
Pitt County Memorial Hospital (NC) says a missing Flash drive contains information on 1,700 former patients. And in Florida, a laptop stolen from the car of an employee of Halifax Health contains billing information for 33,000 patients.
The Health IT Standards Committee will assemble a panel later this month to share best information management practices, bringing in experts from other industries.
Hospital systems vendor Healthcare Management Systems will start selling an ambulatory EMR this month.
This sounds like a good job for you MD or PhD types: University of Missouri-Kansas City’s school of medicine is recruiting to fill a new position to lead a newly created department — Chair, Department of Informatic Medicine and Personalized Health.