From Alphonso: “Re: CattailsMD. The Marshfield Clinic’s CattailsMD project is in serious trouble and may be dead. Senior leadership for the project has been let go or moved to ‘new opportunities’ inside the organization (Bob Carlson and Paul Olinski). Project has gone nowhere for the past few years.” Unverified. I’m not sure why they had a booth at HIMSS or why they would try to commercialize their own product in the first place since that hardly seems core to their mission. Their own use of CattailsMD seemed imperative to them, so I’d be surprised if it’s being allowed to fade.
From Wade Wells: “Re: log on. What’s the fastest, most secure way to log on to PCs in health institutions? We key in our usernames and passwords, but with the rollout of clinical systems and speed being an issue, I’m interested to hear of others’ experiences. Some are suggesting card readers, biometric, etc.” Thoughts?
From Mad Max: “Re: WellPoint cancelling insurance for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. This ought to be criminal activity. Please keep this story in the public eye and drive those insurance actuary slugs back under the rocks where they belong.” It’s the age-old debate of whether healthcare should be a noble calling or a cutthroat business. It’s in the same vein as to whether Cerner should use its legislative clout to squash competitors – who decides where good business yields to compassionate care? Meanwhile, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius asks WellPoint’s $13 million-a-year CEO to voluntarily stop the cancellations, noting that the practice will “soon be illegal” (which obviously reinforces the concept that it’s legal now). The company’s response claims that computer algorithms aren’t used for that purpose, that one patient who complained isn’t a WellPoint member, and that they’ll divulge specifics about her case that proves their side of the argument if she’ll sign a HIPAA waiver.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: iPad review. Another more complete test review of the iPad as a business tool comes to us from InformationWeek’s Fritz Nelson.”
The sponsors-only job board seems to be working fine, so I’ll consider it open for business. It has quite a few job listings already, thanks to volunteers who helped out by testing. This is a lightweight replacement for the job listing topic in the discussion forum. It’s not as fully featured as Healthcare IT Jobs and, unlike that site, it’s open only to HIStalk Platinum and Founding Sponsors (and is free to them).
I gave the iPad a quick grope yesterday. As you’d expect from Apple, it’s very sleek and has great graphics, with a display size that seems perfect for Web browsing or running apps. On the other hand, I’d worry about dropping it since there’s nothing to grab onto. I wouldn’t pay $499 for it since I could buy a full-feature Wintel laptop for less (with a real keyboard and everything). Travelers with computer needs mostly involving entertainment would probably like it, although they’d need to add on a data plan and even then I’d probably stick with an iPhone. Apple is selling a bunch of them even though they don’t really replace anything, though, so I will defer to public opinion.
Thanks to those who responded to my little survey about what hospitals readers are from. I’ve posted the list of organizations (without the job titles).
Half or fewer doctor will get the HITECH money they expect, said 78% of readers. Only 9% think most of the doctors will get the full payoff. New poll to your right: are you personally aware of a situation in which a healthcare computer system directly caused patient harm?
EHRtv posts over 40 video interviews from the HIMSS conference.
The FDA will step up its oversight of IV infusion pumps, citing 10,000 complaints, 79 recalls, and at least 710 known patient deaths.
McAfee apologizes for its antivirus fiasco that took down computers all over the world, blaming its poor testing. A hospital reader’s comment you may have missed suggests VIPRE Antivirus from Sunbelt Software as a superior alternative.
Brigham and Women’s will freeze hiring and cut its operating budget by 3%, but says those actions are unrelated to the decision by Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates to shift its referrals to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center instead. BIDMC implies that its shared EMR access was a key factor in that decision.
An MIT mobile health group says open source mobile platforms are important for affordability and accessibility, making its first choice Google Android and eventually Symbian.
MedQuist completes its acquisition of Spheris.
A problem with the patient verification software used by Australia’s Medicare service causes several hundred errors, the significance of which is disputed. The software vendor had urged the agency to notify the 2,700 affected medical practices in February and March when the problem was found, but the agency declined.
This sounds like something Oracle would do: a formerly free Sun plug-in for Microsoft Office that allows saving documents in OpenDocument Format will now cost $9,000 for 100 users plus annual support, now that Oracle owns Sun.
Odd lawsuit: a Connecticut woman is charged with impersonating a nurse and forging prescriptions for narcotics while employed in a physician’s practice as an RN. Prosecutors say she spent $2,000 to make up a “Nurse of the Year” dinner in her honor from the Connecticut Nursing Association, an organization that she also made up. She sent her boss an invitation on fake letterhead to be a guest speaker at the dinner, which he did.