From MeHere: “Re: Millennium Medical. I used to work for them. I hope there’s a full-scale investigation into their unsavory activities. The IS guy would write up employees for forgetting to encrypt inter-office e-mail.” An unencrypted portable hard drive is stolen from the Chicago offices of the medical billing company in February, exposing the information of 180,000 people. Patients are complaining that they weren’t notified promptly and that the company is not offering the usual free credit monitoring.
From Nothing More: “Re: UPMC. DOH and CMS found ‘easily resolved differences over paperwork.’ I thought that hospital was paperless.” Inspectors find that UPMC did indeed match transplant donor and recipient blood types, but didn’t document properly because the paper form has only one signature line. Doh! And in other UPMC news, it’s on pace to hit $8 billion in annual revenue this year.
From MaxPayneUK: “Re: HC2010 conference. McKesson and Eclipsys were noticed there. Both will focus on the customer base of legacy supplier iSOFT and NPfIT programme player BT/Cerner.”
The Texas Board of Pharmacy hits Parkland Hospital with one of its largest-ever fines ($20,000) for allowing five outpatient pharmacy technicians to steal 370,000 oral doses of drugs in a one-year period. Cases against three supervising pharmacists are pending. The lesson learned is that Parkland did what most hospital pharmacies do — they took drug inventory only occasionally, estimated counts, and didn’t reconcile purchasing records to dispensing records. Parkland says it’s running a perpetual inventory now, always tough to do in pharmacies and ORs.
Meditech’s Q1 results: revenue up 10%, EPS $0.60 vs. $0.48. Very good numbers. I’ve confirmed that Howard Messing will be given both the president and CEO titles, subject to routine shareholder approval in the next few weeks. The company also announces that students at Northeastern University’s health sciences school will use Meditech’s clinical systems as part of their training.
You would expect clinical systems to be a top priority for providers, but I wouldn’t have guessed that portals would score so high. New poll to your right: based on experience, what impact do you think CPOE has on patient outcomes?
Congratulations to the Georgia Tech Flatliners, a team of graduate students that finished first, second, and third at the NHIN CONNECT Code-a-Thon Challenge held last week at Florida International University. The challenge was to create an online format for a Continuity of Care Document that a primary care doctor could use to take calls after hours. Medicity sponsored the team, which as a condition of its participation was required to donate the resulting style sheets to the CONNECT Open Source Community.
An MIT medical engineering student creates print management software and lands his own university as a paying customer for his new startup. The software is Web-based, does not require installation on print servers or desktops, and encourages “community engagement” by matching user groups as rivals to reduce their printing costs.
I appreciate the several companies that have asked about sponsoring the HIStalk reception at HIMSS in Orlando next year. It’s cool to have people thinking about it this early! Anyway, I’ve chosen the sponsor and we’ve already got the venue, entertainment, and menu locked down, just in case you want to mark your calendar now for February 21, 2011 for what will be a memorable blowout. I truly appreciate the companies who support what I do, not to mention the readers who make it worth doing.
Inga and I are writing up the results of the HIStalk Practice reader survey, which I’ll probably run this weekend. My favorite reader comment: “I just absolutely adore Inga.” Who doesn’t? She is entirely adorable.
I forgot to mention that with the rumored but unannounced demise of ADVANCE for Health Information Executives, Texas Health Resources CIO Ed Marx temporarily became a blogger without a home for his CIO Unplugged writings. He’ll be moving to HIStalk this month and I’ve posted all of his previous writings. I’ve tagged them all in their own category, viewable here.
Thanks to everybody who has clicked “like”on the HIStalk Facebook widget in the right column. I’m posting to the Facebook page that Inga created each time there’s a new posting and I’m seeing inbound clicks from it, so I think readers are finding it handy. Click the HIStalk logo or link to go to the FB page.
The VA’s VistA Modernization Working Group recommends modernizing the VistA system by moving it to open source and dumping MUMPS as its programming language. The group’s chair says VistA is “outdated and difficult to maintain” and that “we don’t think MUMPS is the answer.” That’s an interesting conclusion given that Epic, Meditech, and other systems are written in MUMPS, a programming language that is almost certainly involved in more US healthcare encounters than any other.
And as I like to do occasionally, allow me to acknowledge Meditech’s Neil Pappalardo, who with colleagues created the MUMPS language and thus the HIT industry in 1966. He’s still my #1 choice of someone to interview, although Judy Faulkner runs a close second (both are MUMPS-made centimillionaires, I should note).
The non-profit Kaiser Permanente’s net income for Q1 was $706 million on operating revenue of $11 billion.
Here’s the danger of announcing one of those sketchy correlation-causation EMR studies: an overambitious headline writer summarizes as, “Doctors: Boot Up a Computer to Save a Life.”