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August 12, 2010 News 10 Comments

From Buck S. Pearl: “Re: West Virginia Health Information Network. It’s tough to explain paying a $200,000 salary for overseeing five temporary workers. The HIE’s director resigned abruptly a few months ago before the RFP was complete. They need to finish the RFP, pick a vendor, and start building the HIE or there’s going to be political hell to pay.” The biggest atrocity is that they’re try to convince people that their WVHIN acronym should be cutely pronounced “Win”, which surely nobody’s buying. Being an HIE, they’re burning through state and federal grant money like the party will never end.

From Luria: “Re: Catholic University’s MSIT-HIT. I figure this is the result of HITECH, but what do you do with a MS in IT with a concentration in HIT? Do CIOs really favor a newly-minted Master’s over a clinical background or work experience?” I would see it as an add-on to both that might help land some jobs that aren’t too specific (i.e., not project management, implementation, software analysis, etc.) I doubt it would get you a job on its own, but it could get someone into management. You’re probably right that it’s riding the HITECH coattails since it even mentions Meaningful Use. Let’s hear what readers think.

From DeAnne: “Re: Microsoft. They’re working with a vendor to create a mobile physician workflow solution for Azyxxi-Amalga.” Unverified.

Listening: Razorlight, catchy indie rock by guys from England and Sweden. I’ve listened to three of their albums today, one of them twice. A reader asked what music I listen to in the gym, so here’s the current heavy rotation: Hole, Beatnik Termites, Nine Black Alps, After Forever, and Luscious Jackson. It changes since I play stuff to death and then move on, but these have stood the test of time and and are fast enough to keep me from establishing a too-slow running pace that will propel me off the back of the treadmill.

8-12-2010 9-58-25 PM

Ed Marx’s post on multitasking was a hit, obviously. He has updated it with responses to those questions he was asked. Ed is, I think you’ll agree, The Man.

Some stuff you can (and should) do here: (a) stick your e-mail address in the Subscribe to Updates box to get instant notices when something new goes up; (b) justify my expense in buying a search engine application by using the Search All HIStalk Sites box, which digs though everything in HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Mobile, and seven-plus years of HIStalk without you having to lift a finger other than the one with which you click the little magnifying glass; (c) Friend or Like us on Facebook on the widget to your right to stroke the emotionally needy Mr. H and Inga; (d) report a rumor using the ugly green but securely anonymous Rumor Report box; (e) check out the ads of my sponsors, consider them when doling out your business, and thank them publicly or otherwise for keeping the HIStalk fires burning.

Sponsor jobs: Web Developer, HL7 Analyst, Regional VP of Sales, Clinical Product Specialist.

Weird News Andy sprouts this story, in which a man’s suspected tumor turned out to be a pea plant growing in his windpipe. He was fine once de-legumed.

8-12-2010 8-04-04 PM

This fascinates me: pictures taken by GPS-equipped smart phones and cameras contain invisible geotags that identify the exact location at which the picture was taken. It’s possible but complicated to disable that function in iPhones, but if you don’t, pics taken outside your home tell anyone who cares precisely where you live. Check out this site, which runs a stream of posted tweet pictures and the addresses from which they were taken, of which the site’s creator described the typical reactions: “’I’m going to punch you out,’ or ‘No duh, like I didn’t already know that’ or ‘Oh my God, I had no idea.’”

8-12-2010 8-07-05 PM

Thanks to the folks at ZirMed, a new Gold Sponsor of HIStalk. The Louisville, KY company offers services that include eligibility verification, payments, claims management, ERAs, collections, and analytics. Their latest offering is Patient Notebook, a green way to manage statements by sending them electronically and allowing patients to view, manage, and pay them online, saving providers 40% on mailing costs in the process. The provider can view delivery information and print a paper statement if needed. It also sends an electronic reminder and then a paper statement to patients slow to respond. Thanks very much to ZirMed for supporting HIStalk.

An LA Times blog suggests that HP CEO Mark Hurd got a raw deal by being ousted over falsifying $20K on expense accounts to hide his alleged philandering, citing the case of HP director and McKesson CEO John Hammergren. It argues that Hammergren joined his fellow HP board members in holding Hurd accountable for the same standards as other HP employees, yet McKesson admitted it fudged the formulas used to calculate Hammergren’s nest egg to raise it from $74 million to $85 million. I mentioned his “golden coffin” bennies last year, saying

Those provisions pay a lump sump to heirs when a senior executive dies, $25 to $39 million when John Hammergren meets his maker (in addition to the $80 million his family would get from his retirement plan) … You would think he founded the company instead of just coming on board eight years ago. Maybe Senator Grassley should look there if he wonders why healthcare is so expensive. But, if MCK shareholders would rather he get the money than them, so be it.

The VA starts posting a monthly list of data breaches that include lost BlackBerrys, unencrypted e-mails, mis-mailed prescriptions, and missing laptops (to their credit, all six laptops reported missing or stolen in July were encrypted). A fun non-breach item reported: a VA employee was caught using someone else’s SSN on her employment documents. “Per the OIG, the employee is definitely using the wrong SSN. The question is why.”

8-12-2010 8-56-54 PM

A tech article describes the SafeBaby Breast Milk Tracking (SBMT) system, which bar code matches babies against mothers and also checks expiration dates.

8-12-2010 10-02-16 PM

WakeMed (NC) rolls out Axial Alerts, an open source platform that allows pediatricians to review real-time clinical information from the ED of WakeMed’s new children’s hospital. I mentioned the Raleigh-based Axial Exchange in February when I listed the participants on the Health IT Venture Fair at HIMSS. Some of its execs are from Red Hat.

Jobs: Senior Project Manager, Epic Inpatient EMR Manager, NextGen Consultants, Marketing RFP Consultant.

A McKinsey Quarterly article (or at least the teaser part I can see as a non-subscriber) says HITECH-encouraged EMR adoption could save $40 billion per year.

Massachusetts regulators approve creation of a doctor shopper database to curtail prescription drug abuse.

Transition of control of Marin General Hospital (CA) from Sutter to the local healthcare district has gone well, except that “some of the imperfections have been in the IT area.” They had problems between their McKesson systems and their printers, causing delays in the outpatient lab. The CMO said the integrated system should be an improvement, but the nurse’s union rep said she’d heard the software was hard to use.

8-12-2010 9-50-47 PM

Dell is pitching its Android-powered Streak tablet to schools and will go after the healthcare market starting in the next few weeks.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From Get Off of My Cloud: “Re: Ben Clark. He’s left Allscripts.” Unverified. Clark is/was the SVP of support for Allscripts and had been with Misys for a decade before that. True or not, I suspect we’ll see plenty of changes at Allscripts and Eclipsys over the coming months as talent is “synergized.”

dragon search

Nuance introduces Dragon Medical Mobile Search, a free iPhone app that allows physicians to search for medical information using voice technology. A physician can use voice commands to search a variety of sources, such as Medline, Medscape, and Google. Definitely sounds cool. Anyone tried it?

NYC REACH, the REC for New York City, selects Business Technology Partners as a preferred vendor to help physicians implement EHR solutions.

CareFusion says it will cut about 700 management and support jobs following a big decline in net income. The company posted Q4 net income of $52 million compared to $96 million a year ago and expects the cuts will save as much as $120 million per year.

Microsoft names FormFast as a Certified Partner.

southwest medical center

Southwest Medical Center (KS) selects Summit Healthcare and the Summit Express Connect interface engine to manage its Meditech connections.

Rhode Island’s medical board reprimands a neurosurgeon when a patient complains her medical record documented services she did not receive. The doctor blames his EMR, saying he erroneously clicked on items using the software’s drop-down menu tools. The insurance company was also billed. The board was skeptical of the doctor’s claim based on the number of items selected. He’ll have to attend a medical record-keeping class and pay $500 in administrative costs.

CliniComp announces that seven US Air Force, Army, and Navy military treatment facilities implemented its Essentris EMR in the second quarter.

IBM is working with the VA to test a new paperless claim process. The VA hopes the electronic process will reduce its backlog of 497,000 pending disability claims. Am I the only one shocked that this process is just now going paperless?

Another step in the right direction: the VA’s CIO says that for the last month and a half, the VA has been successfully using the DOD’s personal ID system for each of its service members. Meanwhile, the VA expects to announce its plans for modernizing VistA by the end of the year

DR Systems announces six new contracts for its Unity RIS/PACS, each worth between $225,000 and $1 million.

mobilemd

Pinnacle Health System (PA) will deploy MobileMD’s eShare module, which allows providers to exchange messages and share clinical documentation electronically.

A new reseller alliance between Crossroads Systems and Dell Services gives Meditech customers new options for virtual tape backup and encryption. The Crossroad solutions TapeSentry and SPHiNX are certified by Dell for Meditech and will be the first two products offered.

Cardinal Health Foundation awards over $1 million in grants to help 40 organizations improve healthcare efficiency and quality. Some of the selected projects include implementation of CPOE and/or bedside medication administration, medication reconciliation, and e-prescribing.

What you may have missed in yesterday’s HIStalk Practice: a good read from HemOnc Today that examines the good and the bad of EHR implementations; an iPhone app for identifying adverse side effects; and AirStrip Technologies scores some VC money. Oh, and show me you care by signing up for the e-mail updates when you pop over to the other site.

Hospital execs as a whole are underwhelmed with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, according to a new KLAS survey. The report’s author says, “Providers say they can expect either robust functionality or service and attention — not both.”  McKesson was the highest-rated vendor with a score of 74.5 out 100. Oracle was a relatively close second; Lawson was ranked a distant third.

Global IT and engineering provider Smartronix expands into HIT with the purchase of HIE vendor Cogon Systems. We interviewed the CEO three years ago.

In odd but non-HIT related news, a Seattle police officer tickets the parked vehicle of a 36-year-old man who appeared to be sleeping in the driver’s seat. The officer attempted to wake him by tapping on the window. When he failed to respond, she assumed he was a sound sleeper. Less than an hour, later the man’s girlfriend tracked him down with a GPS. Medics believe he had been dead in the car for several hours before he was found (and ticketed). The deceased man won’t be required to pay the $42.

inga

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. An LA Times blog suggests that HP CEO Mark Hurd got a raw deal by being ousted over falsifying $20K on expense accounts to hide his alleged philandering, citing the case of HP director and McKesson CEO John Hammergren. It argues that Hammergren joined his fellow HP board members in holding Hurd accountable for the same standards as other HP employees, yet McKesson admitted it fudged the formulas used to calculate Hammergren’s nest egg to raise it from $74 million to $85 million. I mentioned his “golden coffin” bennies last year, saying

    Those provisions pay a lump sump to heirs when a senior executive dies, $25 to $39 million when John Hammergren meets his maker (in addition to the $80 million his family would get from his retirement plan) … You would think he founded the company instead of just coming on board eight years ago. Maybe Senator Grassley should look there if he wonders why healthcare is so expensive. But, if MCK shareholders would rather he get the money than them, so be it.

    We all got a good chuckle out of this and when we found out how much McKesson pays for security for Mr Hammergren because the running joke was that the security was to prevent one of his family members from knocking him off..LOL

  2. Healthcare IT does seem to be the talk of the town. However EMR implementation still seems to have its own concerns by physicians. KLAS reports are helpful for organizations to analyze the top ones there, but would it be easy for organizations to take such a leap instantly? Guess they would prefer to develop one based on their needs with time permitting. No doubt, EMR / EHR would help in operational efficiency to a great extent.

  3. Typical abuse of the taxpayer and patients: a double whammy. Inferior HIT at outrageous cost.

    Thanks Mr. H for your comments: “Being an HIE, they’re burning through state and federal grant money like the party will never end. ” The workers did not get the $700,000. They were bodies provided by an “institute” aka HIT pimp. What is the expertise of these temps, exactly?

  4. About MSIT-HIT. “Let’s hear what readers think.”
    Send the graduates to West Virginia. Got to be smarter and cheaper than current experts at $200,000 per.

  5. Regarding drudgereport comment 6 in Boston. The paper records were scanned into an EMR and then dumped the cheap way, without shredding. It was a way to save on expenses in order to pay for the EMR. This is not unlike the findings of the CBS News report that found patient records on for sale used copying machines.

  6. “VA expects to announce its plans for modernizing VistA by the end of the year.”

    Might as well scrap it and go with Epic.

  7. From Luria: “Re: Catholic University’s MSIT-HIT. I figure this is the result of HITECH, but what do you do with a MS in IT with a concentration in HIT?

    Nothing new here; my college also offers similar graduate degrees with a concentration in healthcare informatics, via in-class versions of the courses that comprise the online graduate certificate program.

    What do you do with it?

    Ignoring Hersher’s and Goodman’s and other recruiter’s Dilbert-inspired anti-education lines from not that many years ago that “I don’t think a degree gets you anything” and “there’s nothing like the school of hard knocks” for HIT leaders (“Who’s Growing CIO’s”, Healthcare Informatics), and if you don’t scare the CIO or industry boss who may only have a BS (or no degree at all), you hopefully improve the quality of health IT design and implementations using the synergies of knowledge of two fields.

    All else being equal, cross disciplinary expertise is better than unidisciplinary due to the wider scope of knowledge and insights.

    CIO’s who would not hire an MS-IT with concentration in HIT/informatics on the basis of them being “too academic” or whatever might also refer to ONC’s recent pronouncements on skill levels needed for optimal HIT involvement.

    I posted them here.







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