From Croc Dundee: “Re: academic censorship! The Australian Ministry of Health has forced the withdrawal of Dr. Patrick’s essay on EHR problems in the ED in NSW. See his page now – the download is disabled. Was Cerner involved?” Beats me, but Scot Silverstein archived a copy. It’s anecdotal, opinionated, and more of an editorial than a research study, but interesting. The fact that someone doesn’t want me reading it sent me looking for a copy. Jon Patrick tells me the university took it offline late Friday afternoon and he’s meeting with them Monday to find out why. Rumor has it that complaints were made.
From Fil_Peed: “Re: Eclipsys User Conference. Mr. Pead’s ‘joke’ went over like a lead balloon. Here was the opportunity for him to make a mark on the client base, many of whom he was meeting for the first time, and instead he makes an off-color analogy to what one should do in bad economic times and customers started walking out.” I’ll withhold judgment until someone tells me what he said.
From HITGhost: “Re: lost data. CalOptima reports that its claims imaging vendor, ImageNet, accidentally sent out unencrypted DVDs that contained claims from 68,000 of its members. The DVDs were sent to CalOptima via certified mail, but never reached CalOptima. CalOptima actually posted this information and identified ImageNet on its home page.”
From Avon Calling: “Re: a paperless and telephone-less, state-of-the-art hospital. Babies turn blue, but are always OK. Did Han write the classic CPOE-caused mortality paper from this hospital? And with all of those computers, there are gaps in the record?” UPMC’s Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is criticized by the state health department for not responding to a report in which a baby’s mother claimed her baby turned blue but nurses didn’t respond to the emergency alarms. The mother says the nurse’s emergency alert phone wasn’t working, but the hospital disputes that. According to the investigation report, the alarm phones that were claimed not to work were from Emergin (Philips). Children’s was indeed the subject of a 2005 journal article that showed that the use of Cerner Millennium for CPOE was the second-best predictor of patient death, behind shock but ahead of coma (I criticized that conclusion right after and I’ll stand by that – the hospital made some spectacularly bad implementation decisions).
From Ex-Cerner Guy: “Re: Methodist-Gary. They have lost $220 million over the past five years. The consultant was suggesting Meditech, a system they might be able to afford and still be able to pay the consultant.” It’s hard to believe that one hospital would, over just a few years, sign with Epic, drop it for Meditech, and then contemplate going back to Epic.
Speaking of Cerner, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London faces fines of $650,000 per month for lengthy patient backlogs that it blames on the “dreadful” Cerner Millennium. I doubt it’s that simple, but blaming the computer is always convenient.
Listening: Muse. I mentioned them before, but I cannot get enough of this band, maybe the best music I’ve heard in a few years. The live album, Haarp, shows they aren’t just studio overdubbers. My highest recommendation.
Welcome and thanks to Dentrix Enterprise, now a Platinum Sponsor of HIStalk. The company is featuring its Dentrix Enterprise Electronic Dental Record, the industry-leading paperless, centralized record system for community health centers. You can read a product review by the National Network for Oral Health Access here (warning: PDF – it’s on page 29). Dentrix Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Henry Schein, Inc. a Fortune 500 company with annual sales of over $6 billion. Thanks much to Dentrix Enterprise for supporting HIStalk.
GE says the rumor about its Centricity Cardiology layoff is not true and that the system continues to be sold, installed, and developed. Instead, my contact says, “We’re just migrating the business from local to global over the next few years and have shifted some resources for future project development to avoid redundancies.” Sounds like the product is fine but the people working on it aren’t.
A fun practice EMR comment from Gartner’s Wesh Rishel: there are hundreds of systems, not including those developed by “nephews of doctors.” On ARRA: “If they put up $44,000, they don’t want the doctor to buy (Microsoft) Office and open a spreadsheet.” He also predicts that those hundreds of EMRs will shake out to 10. The same article (which is excellent and objective, by the way, since it was written by a local paper’s reporter) quotes Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove on EMRs: “Whether it will drive down quality, I don’t know. It doesn’t increase efficiency or lower costs.” Cosgrove says he told the President that the biggest savings will come from e-prescribing.
A Mass High Tech article covers Lawrence General Hospital’s IT systems, including its Picis ED PulseCheck system that an ED doctor says reduced wait times by more than 30 minutes and reduced ED walkouts from 6% to 1%. It also notes that transcription costs were reduced by $600K per year and revenue was increased by $5 million for IV charges alone through accurate documentation. The hospital will replace most apps (not the EDIS, though) with McKesson Paragon.
The e-mail update subscriber list just passed 4,800 people, some of whom are your archest of enemies and competitors who will read (and possibly act on) time-sensitive news before you if you haven’t entered your e-mail address in the Subscribe to Updates box to your upper right.
CPSI announces Q3 numbers: revenue up 8.7%, EPS $0.37 vs. $0.38.
Two universities get ARRA grants for EMR projects related to genomics. University of Virginia will collect $1.9 million to create a genome-enabled EMR that will be part of Epicare. Vanderbilt is given $415K for its Vanderbilt Genome-Electronic Records project, which will look for a link between blood values and arrhythmia and also develop natural language processing tools to mine EMR data.
Bloomberg profiles rookie private equity manager David Brailer, whose Health Evolution Partners has invested $120 million of California pension money from Calpers so far. He says he will invest $150 to $200 million each year starting next year. A pension consultant comments, “No matter how you look at it, $1 billion is a lot to allocate to someone with no track record.” Some of the biggest investments so far involve radiology. One investment that sounds interesting is in Triveris Inc., which offers an add-on insurance plan just for diabetics that emphasizes preventive care using software to identify diabetes risk. It’s part of Health Network America.
TriZetto issues a press release to notify an impatient world anxious for yet another PHR that “additional features and functions” of its own version will be ready by year end. The opening sentence of the breathy press release is possibly the most awkwardly structured and confusing sentence I’ve read lately.
Not Yet sent a copy of an October 16 letter sent by Senator Chuck Grassley to Cerner and nine other big HIT vendors (I posted the full letter here). The Senator said, as the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance, that he is collecting information about healthcare software defects. He cites “learned intermediaries”, “hold harmless”, and “gag orders” clauses that let software vendors shift responsibility to users and prohibit them from disclosing defects. The Senator asks whether the vendor’s contracts include those provisions, asks for copies of all user correspondence involving software complaints or concerns, requests documentation of any lawsuit settlements, asks whether the vendor has offered financial incentives to facilities or providers to get them to choose its products, and wants to know how the vendor tracks reported defects.
My most recent poll asked about your plans for Windows 7. The voting was pretty evenly divided, but reading between the lines is interesting. Around 37% of reader employers plan to use Windows 7 compared to 61% of those readers themselves. New poll to your right, suggested by a reader: what would your reaction be to seeing the CPHIMS credential on the resume of a job candidate?
Perot (soon to be Dell) announces that it has been contracted to develop a plan for a city-wide RHIO in Changsha, China.
NIH awards the University of Florida a $12.2 million stimulus grant to develop a Facebook-like social network that will allow scientists to find research opportunities.
The creator of the MySQL database says Oracle should sell it to a third party to soothe antitrust concerns about its Sun Microsystems acquisition. Suggested buyers were Red Hat or Novell.