From BestofBreed: “Re: Merge Healthcare. Laid off 80+ people Friday.” I heard that from more than one reader. The Amicas acquisition closed Wednesday, so they obviously didn’t waste any time addressing redundant positions. Steamin’ Pyle says rumor has is it that no years-based severance was offered to the expungees, meaning nobody is supposed to get it in the future.
HIStalk sponsors have posted quite a few jobs on the new Job Board, so you might want to check it out. Healthcare IT hiring is definitely picking up.
Sam Patton is named chief quality and regulatory officer of medical device integrator iSirona.
Thirty-nine percent of respondents to my poll said they are personally aware of an incident in which a computer system caused patient harm. New poll to your right for those working in a provider setting: which systems will your organization buy within the next two years?
CHIME sends comments to ONCHIT on EHR certification, expressing concern that certification capacity needs to be adequate to handle the rush of vendors that will be trying to get their products certified at the first opportunity. It also says any program that monitors real-world EHR performance (presumably including any new FDA oversight) should not not be “overly prescriptive”. You’d think CHIME was supporting its 70 big vendor members instead of its 1,400 CIO members with those comments, but that’s the HIMSS model at work.
David Blumenthal, speaking at a Boston conference, says that reports of EMRs causing patient harm have been “anecdotal and fragmented” and should not affect their aggressive rollout.
Sentry Data Systems has an upcoming Webinar on decreasing data center costs by using cloud computing.
Columbia HCA and Solantic founder Rick Scott announces his candidacy to become governor of Florida. His campaign site says things were great at Columbia/HCA when left, but fails to mention that he was fired after the FBI raided its hospitals and the company was charged with the biggest healthcare fraud scandal in US history, eventually costing Columbia/HCA $1.7 billion in fines. His FAQ makes that travesty sound like a valuable lesson learned under fire that makes him a better candidate for public office:
Since I’m not a career politician or a political insider, I’m going to lay it out for you as simply as I can without spin or fancy words. Let me start by being crystal clear about this… I’ve made mistakes in my life. And mistakes were certainly made at Columbia/HCA. I was the CEO of the company and as CEO I accept responsibility for what happened on my watch. I learned very hard lessons from what happened and those lessons have helped me become a better businessman and leader. Lessons I will bring to the Governorship with your support and vote.
An audit finds that University of Iowa Heart and Vascular Center failed to bill patients for $11 million worth of charges in November. Officials claim it wasn’t their new Epic system that was at fault, but declined to speculate further until an investigation is complete.
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The VA says it has figured out the problem responsible for incorrect data displaying when its employees accessed the DoD’s AHLTA system: an interface server change from a single to multiple processors. The description sounds as though it was a transaction timing issue, but that’s just my guess. VA and DoD are back to fax and e-mail for patient information inquiries until a fix is installed.
Carolinas HealthCare (NC) announces several changes in top management, including bringing on Brent Lambert from Carilion Clinic as VP/CMIO.
An ED nurse at Tomah Memorial Hospital (WI) is arrested for using patient information to divert narcotics logged out for 600 patients. The hospital has notified the patients that their information was breached but probably not exposed, other than they were charged for drugs they didn’t receive and will be credited (not that patients usually care since they aren’t paying with their own money anyway, so they probably won’t get a refund).
Shares in athenahealth dropped 18% Friday and bounced off a 52-week low after announcing a surprise Q1 earnings shortfall after the market close on Thursday. One analyst said the company missed expectations in nearly all areas, while another termed its Q1 performance as “disastrous”. Market cap is now under $1 billion.
Odd lawsuit: a woman trying to kick her husband as they walk along a Chicago street loses her balance and crashes through the window of a beauty salon. She admits to have been drinking beforehand, but is suing, claiming the business and building owners knew that drunk pedestrians on their way to or from Cubs baseball games could fall through the window. She’s also suing the hospital that treated her, insisting that a radiology tech stole her BlackBerry and $6,000 worth of jewelry while preparing her for an MRI.