I decided it was time to update the About page, which answers questions I’m sometimes asked (why did I start HIStalk, why am I anonymous, how I decide what to write about, etc.)
Respondents to my most recent poll have a slight preference for not having the FDA regulate clinical software. That’s pretty close considering that vendors usually have the strongest feeling about that and are likely to click No. New poll to your right: what do you think about a hospital with over $1 billion in revenue paying its CIO over $500K? That’s not a loaded question – I’m just curious. Note: if you’re still seeing the old poll, clear your browser cache.
HIStalk interviews are highly educational, depending on who I’m interviewing, anyway. If you have someone in mind (and, better yet, if you can hook me up), let me know. The ideal subject: someone who works for a non-profit organization on the front lines of something HIT-related, is doing creative work that the industry could learn from, and comes across as interesting on the telephone since that’s how I do them.
Meditech held its Physician/CIO workshop recently (I assume it was recently, anyway, since the write-up doesn’t say when or where it was held). Paul Egerman was one of the speakers, meaning I would have enjoyed it.
Meditech also just filed its 10-Q. For the quarter, revenue was down 4%, but net income swung from a $27 million loss to a $20 million gain (EPS $0.57 vs. -$0.76), mostly due to investment write-offs last year. Product revenue was down a slightly alarming 16%.
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) still can’t bill for mental health services because of Cerner problems (the article is in some kind of union publication, but it seems solid). They are using a different system for billing since fixing Cerner remains “an active process.” This conversion says it all. [Alderman]: "You’re saying that after 18 months you’re unable to work out technical glitches that prevent us from billing the state?” [CDPH commissioner]: “That is correct.”
Some nuggets from the just-published 2009 HIMSS Security Survey (thinking ahead to ARRA, since stimulus dollars are tied to privacy and security, not just Meaningful Use):
- 61% said information security gets less than 3% of the IT budget, nearly unchanged from 2008.
- Fewer than half of the organizations have a C-level security officer.
- 74% have conducted a formal risk analysis, of which 52% found patient data to be at risk. Those problems took longer than six months to correct, said 40%.
- Most of them collect audit logs (firewall, application, server, intrusion detection, etc.) and review them manually.
- Electronic data sharing is already big (91%) and about to get bigger (HIEs, other hospitals, PHR vendors, and NHIN led the list), with 41% adding new security controls for that reason.
- Most used wireless security and electronic signature, with 67% encrypting transmitted data, 60% encrypting e-mail, 44% encrypting stored data, and 39% encrypting mobile device data. Only 29% had single sign-on.
- A third said their organization had experienced medical identify theft, although most reported no consequences.
From the Eclipsys earnings call: Sunrise 5.5, due out in the first quarter, will have a “more intuitive user interface”; the company is banking on heavy CPOE use by its customers to influence new ARRA-related sales; margin improvement efforts, much of them related to internal procurement costs, will consume $1 million in outside consulting fees each quarter but will pay for itself starting in the second quarter; they will target 600 hospitals of greater than 150 beds that do not have a recent-vintage clinical system; MediNotes / PeakPractice underperformed because it was run as separate businesses; demand for Premise / Patient Flow has slowed; 60% of their sales were to existing customers.
Cardinal spinoff CareFusion sells MediQual Systems (the Atlas clinical database vendor) to quality database vendor Quantros.
Speaking of Cardinal, neither it or CareFusion is doing all that great after the spinoff. Cardinal lost money (EPS -$0.11 vs. $0.69) and CareFusion’s Q1 profit was down 28%. Optimism was expressed.
Wound Management Technologies will buy the healthcare assets of VirtualHealth Technologies for $1 million in cash, 4 million shares, and royalty payments. I’ve written about the latter company before, surely one of the most bizarre business combos around: medical office software and gold mines (insert your own joke here).
Interesting: Microsoft Research develops the $800 SenseCam, a low-res, wearable camera that takes two pictures per minute. It’s designed to help Alzheimer’s patients by letting them review pictures of their day, which seems to help them remember events long term since Alzheimer’s patients may store memories normally but can’t access them.
Henry Schein CEO Stanley Bergman on EHRs: “Electronic medical records will reduce the cost of health care, errors will be reduced, the quality of health care will go up. We don’t know exactly how long it will take, but it’s going to happen in the next few years. And we are the exclusive distributor for the number one player in this field, Allscripts.”
A Commonwealth Fund survey of primary care doctors finds that the US is way behind in several healthcare categories: access to care, providing financial incentives for healthcare quality, and using IT. Only 29% of practices provide after-hours care (other than the hospital ED). Less than half use electronic medical records, well behind the 90+ percent of several other countries. That’s despite spending twice as much per person as other countries.
Cleveland Clinic launches a site to teach student nurses how to use EMRs.
Some AMA members are upset that the organization’s trustees endorsed the House’s health reform bill without asking its members first (doesn’t HIMSS do that all the time?) Delegates will vote Monday on whether the endorsement should be withdrawn.
TELUS announces availability of its new mobile solution, TELUS MobileCare, for homecare providers.
HCA International wins the 2009 Innovation Award for its use of PatientKeeper Physician Portal.
HHS will award contracts to build out the Nationwide Health Information Network by the end of the year.