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Monday Morning Update 9/20/10

September 19, 2010 News 9 Comments

 9-18-2010 4-34-16 PM

From Tobias Funke: “Re: interesting billboard. This is from Avera Health in Sioux Falls, SD.” That’s pretty cool – the billboard has a smoke machine behind it to extend the smoke into the sky. It drew lots of attention, both from passers-by who checked out the site afterward and the local fire department, who shut it down.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows 1E9 beta. Just like Mr. H, TPD loves Firefox and avoids Internet Explorer. Well, now we have the Windows IE9 beta release, but you won’t be able to use it for Windows XP! It looks like a move by Microsoft to push more of us XP users to upgrade to Windows 7.” I’m still holding Vista against them. The decades-old Windows pattern is obvious: one really OS good release alternating with a bad one that causes endless frustration. My preferred browsers, in order, are Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and then IE (I don’t use Safari, so I don’t know where it would fit). Windows 7 is a winner, though, which is still not great consolation given that I paid for Vista instead of jumping right from XP to the next good version. I don’t think anyone would complain about moving up to Windows 7 if it didn’t require starting over for XP users — you have to have wasted your money on Vista to do a simple upgrade, or at least that’s what I recall when I last considered it. I suspect I’m like the typical XP holdout — not cheap, just not finding a good reason to risk problems knowing that Microsoft offers no help (in other words, have lots of time and a second computer to Google your problem just in case the first one is trashed because you’re on your own).

9-18-2010 4-44-31 PM

Former McKesson Provider Technology CFO Craig Niemiec is named EVP/CFO of US Preventive Medicine. I checked out that company’s prevention program and it sounds pretty cool: you pay $229 for the first year, complete an online health risk questionnaire, and then go to a local lab to have a panel of blood tests. The company sends your lab results to a PHR, you and your doctor get a custom prevention plan, you gain access to online dashboards and action programs, and a nurse advocate is available to help with health maintenance. Since it’s not tied to insurance or employment, nobody sees the information without your approval.

9-18-2010 3-53-58 PM 

Job candidates with a CPHIMS credential would impress one out of five HIStalk readers if they were hiring. New poll to your right: would you use an free, ad-supported EMR?

Sonney Sapra is promoted to CIO of Tuality Healthcare (OR).

iOptimal announces the beta of iPad Hospital Toolkit, which it says requires no iOS programming and connects to standard databases to convert legacy apps to run on the iPad.

A third organization is approved by HHS to certify EHRs as an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body: InfoGard Laboratories of San Luis Obispo, CA. They have many certifications and list extensive internal expertise (cryptography, security, systems architecture, etc.) that makes CCHIT’s credentials look a little anemic in comparison.

9-19-2010 9-21-26 PM

St. Edward Mercy Medical Center (AR) will go live on Epic September 26. The local paper’s article says Sisters of Mercy Health System, of which St. Edward is part, spent $450 million on Epic.

Siemens will make its IT Solutions and Services unit a separate company on October 1, having previously announced plans to cut 4,200 jobs there to set up a spinoff. That business covers a bunch of industries including healthcare, but I wasn’t familiar with the healthcare parts: content management, PACS data storage, identity management, and RFID. I assume this has nothing to do with Siemens Healthcare.

9-19-2010 9-20-05 PM

Cardinal Health sells its remaining shares in its CareFusion spinoff for $706 million. Some of the CareFusion medical device and technology brands include Pyxis, Alaris, AVEA, Jaeger, SensorMedics, V. Mueller, and MedMined.

England’s Connecting for Health wants NHS trusts to report their inventories of Microsoft licenses by October 1. Since CFH didn’t renew its Enterprise Agreement and their license count is fixed, that means trusts are own their own to budget and pay for their Microsoft licenses.

I’m not sure how this qualifies as defense funding, but Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin brings home the Illinois bacon in getting $3.6 million in funding through the Senate Appropriations Committee for Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago to study regenerative genes. It’s great for wounded soldiers, so I guess you could squint a little at the tumescent federal budget and make it so. The Senate has to approve, but I think they are battle-weary themselves from approving endless federal handouts that, if you continue squinting, only slightly resemble a robust economy.

An interesting and cheap idea for practices interesting in reducing missed appointments: sign up for a Web-based virtual phone service and use it to send SMS reminders to patients.

9-19-2010 9-26-17 PM

Vecna Technologies signs a marketing deal with Cycom Canada to sell its QC PathFinder real-time hospital infection monitoring system to hospitals in Canada. The company, whose offices are in the DC area and Cambridge, MA, also offers a Web portal and patient self-service kiosks. Also, the medication delivery robot above. Their stuff looks pretty cool.

Former treasury secretary Paul O’Neill questions David Blumenthal after the latter’s EHR-love keynote speech at a patient safety meeting, asking him (I’m paraphrasing): if the government is so hot to spend billions on EMRs, then why not design a prototype and then refine it, creating a national standard? Blumenthal’s answer, also paraphrased: there’s a debate about whether the ideal approach is like the Internet, where competition took the basic structure of the Internet and turned it into something amazing, or should someone just set detailed standards centrally? He also touted certification. An interesting quote from the excellent Mass Device article, from Atul Gawande at an August meeting talking about reducing medical errors: “Ignorance remains, but we have a new kind of human failure that has emerged as important and that is what the philosophers call ‘ineptitude,’ meaning that the knowledge is there, but the individual or group of individuals fail to apply that knowledge correctly.”

A former Medco pharmacist nears the 80th day of his hunger strike protesting the mail order pharmacy’s requirement that pharmacists fill at least 50 prescriptions per hour, saying it causes medication errors.

The VA and DoD launch a fourth records-sharing pilot, this one involving the Spokane VA, Fairchild AFB, and Inland Northwest Health Services. The first three are in San Diego, Norfolk, and Indianapolis.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown wants to review the salaries of hospital executives, among several public positions that he thinks are overpaid. The healthcare example he gave was the CEO of Washington Hospital, who makes $847K. The hospital gave the stock answer about having to pay market salaries for the best hires, which always sounds lame to me. First, some of healthcare’s hires are clearly not the best people. Second, by that logic, you’d be paying teachers and ministers huge dollars if only they were lucky enough to have higher-paying alternatives. And third, I like the idea of offering less than market salary and seeing who really wants to help patients vs. themselves. If you can’t stand the idea of running a non-profit hospital for a paltry $500K, then don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

E-mail me.

Sponsor Updates

  • T-System announces the six winners of its 2010 Client Excellence Awards.
  • Medicity announces that Carolinas HealthCare has selected the company as its partner to build a multi-state HIE.
  • Nuance will be at AHIMA next week.
  • Baltimore-based clinical documentation vendor Salar is recruiting for a number of positions to support its growth: software engineer, RVP of sales, implementation specialist, marketing specialist, and others. I like these guys – their crew was having a blast at the HIStalk reception at HIMSS in Atlanta.
  • A good Facebook to follow – NPC Creative Services. I read a lot of Facebook posts and theirs is always on point about HIT.
  • HIS vendor IntraNexus will be at HISpro’s seminar for buyers in Dallas on October 13-14. That’s Vince Ciotti, who keeps the registration fees and hotel costs way down ($295 to register).
  • I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this: Quest Diagnostics and Surescripts will work together to create a service that will make lab and prescription information readily available to physicians. Quest is the parent company of HIStalk sponsor MedPlus, which offers the Centergy data exchange, ChartMaxx document-based EHR, and Web-based Care360 EHR that is used in more than 70,000 practices.
  • Holon is offering downloable overviews of its offerings: central order entry pharmacy, results notification, workflow scheduling, pharmacy solutions, and others. The company offers the Holon Framework that includes solutions for data exchange, workflow, interoperability, and document management, all designed to enhance rather than replace existing systems.
  • International informatics and medical terminology vendor Apelon will be at AHIMA, where Kathy Giannangelo will present on the state of standardized terminologies. The company’s expertise is in terminology asset management, data interoperability and integration, and data warehouse content and consulting.
  • If you’re going to the Virginia MGMA fall conference in Virginia Beach next week, check out DIVURGENT’s presentation on tactical approaches to HITECH, delivered by partner Colin Konschak and client services VP Shane Danaher. The healthcare consulting firm will also be at the CHIME Fall Forum and VAHIMSS in October.
  • Stockell Healthcare Systems offers several success stories about its InsightCS solution for patient registration, ADT, and revenue cycle management.
  • Precyse Solutions will oversee transcription, medical records processing, coding, and storage for Benefits Health System (MT), taking over its 60 employees.
  • Rechargeable workstations from Enovate are highlighted on the Web page of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, which shows the amenities and benefits of its patient rooms. Cool idea: each room has a caregiver window so that nurses can check on the patient and perform documentation from the hallway without barging in.
  • UC Irvine Medical Center gives credit to Surgical Information Systems for its best practices in patient handoff and communication that led to a successful Joint Commission survey.
  • Order Optimizer has added a very well laid out Web page on Meaningful Use. It says its SaaS-based CPOE can be live in nine weeks with no capital investment and no impact on legacy systems, making it feasible to meet Stage 1 incentives within 90 days.
  • MED3OOO offers free electronic newsletter subscriptions covering coding and compliance, clinical tools, and developing healthcare news.
  • SRSsoft publishes its online EMR Straight Talk, with the latest entry being EMR Purchase – Caveat Emptor.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group is growing and therefore looking for candidates at these levels: consultant, managing consultant, and executive consultant.
  • Regulatory compliance consulting firm The Anson Group will present at the 2010 RAPS Annual Conference in San Jose next month. The company also offers technology commercialization services that can include licensing, sale, and partnerships, particularly with regard to products involving FDA approval and the resulting regulatory risk.
  • I like the people at electronic forms management experts Access, being among the very few sponsor folks I’ve actually hung out with non-anonymously here and there. I’m still trying to get them to bring their award-winning Texas barbeque team to HIMSS in Orlando for your benefit as an attendee, since that part of the world struggles by with pathetic chain barbequed chicken of no particular regional specialty and therefore is generally unaware of the glories of Texas brisket and sausage (although I do like that of Cecil’s Barbeque on Orange Avenue even if they smoke it over hickory instead of post oak and/or mesquite). Anyway, Access has a blog here, which coincidentally gives HIStalk a shout-out in the latest entry.
  • Informatics Corporation of America is offering an October 21 Webinar entitled Sustaining HIEs Through Leveraged Infrastructure – A Multi-Community Approach.
  • Sunquest is at the pathology informatics conference in Boston this week and will head on over to CAP ‘10 in Chicago immediately after. Stop by and tell them you saw it on HIStalk.
  • API Healthcare launches its Client Connections site, providing easy access to support materials, manuals, and training materials. It also offers clients the ability to network with each other and with API’s experts on workforce management technology. Clients can search the support database, review and enter support tickets, and receive e-mail updates when the status of their ticket changes.
  • Enterprise workflow vendor FormFast offers a Webcast library covering EMR maturity and adoption, RAC audits, workflow applications, prescription printing, and others.
  • The Sentinel RCM application 340b drug pricing application from Sentry Data Systems will be integrated with Omnicell’s WorkflowRX 7.0 software.
  • EDIS vendor EDIMS will be at ACEP 2010 in Las Vegas next week. I’m sure they would appreciate a howdy from HIStalk readers also at the Mandalay Bay.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions just won a “fast growing” award, so it stands to reason that they might want to talk to you if you’re an ace consultant (Allscripts, Epic, GE, integration, revenue cycle, PM, etc.) Info here.
  • Interesting in outsourcing revenue collections? AdvancedBiller, a service of AdvancedMD, will match you with up to three AdvancedBiller partners, who will provide needs analysis and price quotes. Register here.
  • TELUS Health offers an online demo of Telus health space, its HealthVault-powered consumer platform for Canadians that is the first to achieve Canada Health Infoway pre-implementation certification.
  • SCI Solutions is making customer reviews of its access management services freely available online via Customer Lobby, including KLAS-like commentary and star ratings. I believe you can infer that they have little to hide about their ordering, patient scheduling, and revenue cycle applications. SCI was one of the first HIStalk sponsors and doesn’t really advertise much, so thanks to John Holton, Cindy Dullea, and Hans Morefield, some of the folks there that keep in touch regularly.
  • Wellsoft announces that CCHIT has certified its EDIS v11 emergency department EHR, making it one of the first.
  • EHR consulting experts Enterprise Software Deployment (Allscripts, Cerner, Epic, McKesson, Meditech, Siemens) brings on David Tucker as national sales VP. The company is growing like weeds and is on the lookout for both salaried and contract consultants – check out their job board.
  • Software Testing Solutions has posted fun photos from their creative booth activities at SUG 2010. You can sign up for a variety of demos and classes for their application testing solutions for Sunquest, Eclipsys/Allscripts, and Epic.
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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. I saw that post. My response is about what you’d expect. I don’t think that you can compare fifty years of standards development to what a single corporation has done with an open Application Programming Interface. They just aren’t the same thing.

    With regard to the “raging debate”, I’d love to see the references.

  2. Just saw the InfoGard announcement in my inbox from ONC this morning. I went to their website but couldn’t find any pricing information. Does anyone know if they’ve released that or any other info in regards to submitting products for certification?

  3. It is ironic that Blumenthal relies on allergy anecdotes to defend his position that EMRs made him a better doctor, BUT, denigrates the hundreds of adverse events provoked by EMR devices reported on the FDA MAUDE Database as nothing but anecdotes.

    Would Dr. Blumnethal please tell the users of these ill conceived contrivances of medial care how many days per wek he rounded on his inpatients at his hospital and how many orders he individually entered by his hospital’s CPOE device?

  4. I went from XP to Win7 with just the instructions and tools from MS and it wasn’t that bad. The worst part is re-loading all my web development applications, but it was worth the pain. Love Win7.

  5. Regarding the most important line item in this post: BBQ. In spite of your trash talking on Orlando BBQ I’d like to share with you the newest player in BBQ excellence: 4 Rivers BBQ. A bit of a drive to Winter Park from the Convention Center, these guys are absolutely incredible – attested to by the massive lines of people out the door every day at lunch and dinner. It’s simply incredible and must be had. Brisket is world class.

    http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/26/1455362/restaurant/Orlando/Four-Rivers-Smokehouse-Winter-Park

    [From Mr. HIStalk] I like it! Any place that sells kolaches works for me. I’d like a little less emphasis on the sauce, which is not always even available at the true Texas palaces (“The recipe is multi-regional making it a perfect fusion of sweet and tangy with a smoky spice finish” – c’mon, 4 Rivers, commit to one style instead of dumping them all together and go easy on the sugar and ketchup!), I’m suspicious about the “St. Louis Style Ribs”, and I can’t find what kind of wood they smoke over, but it sounds like several steps above Sonny’s and the fake Disney places.

  6. RE:”Former treasury secretary Paul O’Neill questions David Blumenthal after the latter’s EHR-love keynote speech at a patient safety meeting, asking him (I’m paraphrasing): if the government is so hot to spend billions on EMRs, then why not design a prototype and then refine it, creating a national standard?”

    Why not? Because the government is infiltrated with HIT industry insiders and executives who are making the policy fit for their purpose.

    I marvel at how the intrinsics safety, or lack thereof, of these EMRs and CPOEs continues to be ignored, despite it being the elephant in the room. Wake up Blumenthal, it is not about allergies, achoo.

  7. “If you can’t stand the idea of running a non-profit hospital for a paltry $500K, then don’t let the door hit you on your way out. ”

    Truer words were never spoken! Everyone endorsing this approach will probably be labeled a socialist but the top level executive salaries in healthcare are almost (but not quite) as embarassing as the financial industry. At least in banking, they’re upfront about making money.

  8. Re: “I don’t use Safari, so I don’t know where it would fit…”

    I use Safari almost exclusively on my Macbook on the OS 10.x side of things. I run Windows XP using Parallels 5.x virtually and by default IE 8.x as the browser althought I’m experimenting with the use of Chrome of late especailly just recently with Google Health relaunch as a Health and WELNESS portal. Safari never freezes up which I attribute to it being designed specifically for the MAC OS. Conversely IE runs haphazardly on my Windows XP virtual which I attribuet to my running an antiquated OS (as stable as it is) with the most current browser where compromises are made to make it work with XP, Vista and Windows 7.

    It makes sense that IE 9 would not work with the former two windows operating systems going forward. To be fair, Mac has encouraged users to upgrade their OS X version regularly for the same reason.

    However here’s the real difference, MAC OS X is built on a UNIX base which was designed by definitiion to be more bullet proof. Microsoft OS has never had that level of reliability as a design requirement else we wouldn’t have as frequent requirement to patch their OS. Yes, they are more vulnerable than MAC and any other OS provider (Linux included) because of the number of users which makes them more attractive to hackers, but at the same time, if you have a reputation of “leaving your door open” all the time is it any surprise you have a lot of break ins? Microsoft’s problem is they don’t have a hardware vendor (Wintel PC makers) they can really count on who think about security as much as utility. They all put their “bloatware” on top of the OS and then you wonder why things slow down later. On top of this, they have the audacity to sell their flavor of anti-virus/spamfilter to combat the very thing they permit to work on the PC’s they resell.

    That’s why Mac doesn’t outsource their hardware or even license anyone else to use it anymore. I’ve switched to Mac in the last 2 years because it’s worth an extra $1,000+ to not deal with the “blue screen of death” or a “frozen browser” anymore. I have only bought maybe 1-2 additional applications on top of the regular suite of apps that come with OS X. Why? A Mac works truly out of the box! Well… my two cents anyways.

    In sum, any browswer is better than IE. As more a consumer than a “techie”, my choice is Safari than Chrome for now anyways. I suspect the “techies” prefer Firefox.







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Reader Comments

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