From Buck Dharma: “Re: CIO salaries. Are you still keeping a list? Long time reader — appreciate the effort you take to keep this thing fresh.” I stopped running CIO salaries a few years ago when it became kind of a pain to dig them up from tax records, but I’ll try to do some every now and then when I have time (remind me or tell me the ones you want to know). Here are a few new ones for you: Partners Healthcare, $803K. Sentara, $692K. Memorial Hermann, $834K. Detroit Medical Center, $391K. Adventist Health System, $774K. Centura Health, $468K. Children’s Dallas, $635K. University of Maryland Medical System, $569K. Suddenly I’m feeling poor.
From A-Rod: “Re: Audax Health Solutions. One of few healthcare firms to be selected by Google to beta test a unique machine learning algorithm. Audax plans to use it to tag and sort healthcare content to predictively suggest it to the Careverge user.” I’ve read the buzzword-oozing About Us page for Audax and I still have no idea what exactly they do — something to do with social networking and benefit management (you would think they could be succinct being that they apparently worship Twitter and Facebook). Google or not, I ran out of interest before I ran out of prose.
From Elsie: “Re: UPMC. These are the folks whose $5 million CEO earlier this year closed the only hospital in Braddock, one of the nation’s most underserved cities, and are now rushing to demolish the building. UPMC rationalizes saying they want to turn the site over to Allegheny County for ‘future development’. Anybody who’s seen Braddock, the embodiment of poverty and urban decay in America, knows it’s just block after block of boarded-up storefronts and empty lots. Taking away that community’s only healthcare facility is the antithesis of humanitarian.”
From K-Rod: “Re: anesthesiologists. I agree that they are on the edge for patient safety. Wonder when (or if) surgeons will get there? What you may not know is that these talented nurse anesthetists can sing!” I’ve mentioned these amazing guys before — The Laryngospasms. They’d make great entertainment for an HIStalk event, right?
From WillOurSoftwareEverWork: “Re: McKesson Horizon Enterprise Revenue Management. Implementations have been suspended and Release 2.0 is delayed until next year.” Unverified. I e-mailed a CIO who should know and I think Inga tried an informal company contact, but we haven’t heard anything so far. Consider this false until someone confirms.
From Careener: “Re: DHIN. I don’t know if you saw this Delaware dust-up (no, not former witches as US Senate candidates). The Republican candidate for US Representative took a shot at his opponent over the Delaware Health Information Network, saying it is ‘mismanaged … with no tangible benefit.” I was involved with DHIN as a provider and it was, and is, an unqualified success, with Delaware being the first state to have statewide results delivery, HIE to EMR integration, and public health integration for pandemic and reportable results reporting. It is the model other stares are following. Love reading your updates, please keep up the good work.”
From Lady Pharmacist: “Re: National Hospital and Health-System Pharmacy Week, October 17-23. It’s that time of year again. Can you kindly give a shout-out to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians? If you’re thinking that hospital pharmacists and pharmacy techs are like the drugstore ones that Jerry Seinfeld makes fun of above, you couldn’t be any more wrong. Imagine a small group of professionals who handle with virtually 100% accuracy the thousands of medication-related orders generated in a hospital each day, except unlike lab and diagnostic radiology orders, any one of those orders could kill a patient because of an incorrectly prescribed dose, method of administration, allergy, or conflicting therapy. Pharmacists and techs prevent untold errors every day as unchallenged medication experts whose only interest is patient safety. The hospital pharmacy is a complex, demanding environment involving drug procurement and distribution, clinical monitoring, professional consultation, heavy duty informatics, significant clinical and research work, and careful monitoring of the use of high-risk meds that cure when used correctly and kill when not. I’ve worked in hospitals for quite a few years and watched the transition of hospital pharmacists and techs from the lick-and-stick pill pushers that Jerry skewers to professionals adding indisputable value to patient care with their brains and not just their hands, quietly and unassumingly preventing innumerable bad outcomes without much glory. If you look at the most tragic medication errors (see: Quaid babies), you will nearly always find a situation where doctors and nurses mishandled drugs without pharmacy involvement. My hospital is featuring Pharmacy Week in the lobby display case, so maybe yours is, too.
Listening: Bad Religion, prototypical SoCal punk for over 30 years. Strong harmonies, angry but literate lyrics (the lead singer is a Cornell PhD and UCLA college professor), and a hard rock edge make them better than the Ramones if you ask me. I played a few seconds of two songs from Stranger than Fiction and instantly bought it for my gym iPod. Love it.
Encore Health Resources is named to Modern Healthcare’s 2010 Best Places to Work in Healthcare, which I’m sharing since they sponsored last year’s HIStalk reception at HIMSS. They just hired their 100th employee. That’s Dana and Ivo above, of course. HIStalk sponsors making the list: maxIT Healthcare and MEDecision.
ThinIdentity changes its name to Aventura. They need to learn to write more disciplined press releases — this one prattles on without giving even a hint at what they sell until the final “About” paragraph (answer: some kind of logon/logoff tool). Their Web site is much better at using the few precious seconds of the average Web attention span to get to the damned point.
Grady Memorial Hospital (GA) chooses Apollo Health Street to convert its legacy patient accounts to a new PA system.
How do you tell when a CEO is lying? (no, smart aleck, not when his or her lips are moving). According to a researcher’s algorithm, lying CEOs tend to overuse words like we and our team to refer to the company in presentations, also showing fake exuberance with words like fabulous, fantastic, and extraordinary. Honest ones say I, me, or mine to indicate that they take ownership of their claims. That’s until this article came out, of course, which will tip off CEO media handlers to coach their lying executives better.
Cerner will become a reseller of address checking and patient classification software from SearchAmerica, which is part of mammoth credit scoring vendor Experian.
Former Cerner LifeSciences CMO Robert Dubois MD, PhD is named chief science officer of the National Pharmaceutical Council. Their mission statement sounds noble, but based on their sponsors (drug companies) and their emphasis on innovation and value (the “we have enough scientists to sort of prove that our unbelievably expensive drugs are actually a good value” approach), I’m guessing the scientific aspect mostly involves marketing.
Illinois Bone & Joint Institute chooses the SRS Hybrid EMR for its 242 Chicago-area providers.
Weird News Andy awakens from apparent dormancy with this offering, which he titles “Smurfitis?” Police in the Baltimore area are called to check on an 89-year-old woman, who they find blue, motionless, and smelling of decomposition on her bathroom floor. Instead of checking for a pulse, they call up her son and tell him she’s dead. Three hours later, a guy sent over from the State Anatomy Board to transport her body for use as a medical cadaver notices that she’s breathing. She is rushed to the hospital and discharged to hospice a couple of weeks later, where she died for real shortly afterward. The police chief says the case is “deeply disturbing.”
A Claremont Graduate University research team introduces the HealthATM, designed to give low-income health clinic patients access to their health information anywhere. It can be used to schedule appointments, request prescriptions, look up lab results, and review medical content. Community clinics enrolled up to 100% of their patients, 75% of whom wanted to use it regularly. What a fantastic idea – not everybody has Internet access and PC knowledge.
Lake Health (OH) introduces digital way-finding to its all-digital TriPoint Medical Center. It offers visitors a kiosk-based virtual guide that helps them locate their destinations, including the ability to have directions sent by text message. That makes me reflect on the odd design of hospitals compared to other public buildings, where visitors (many of them first-timers) are expected to traipse around back hallways and through multiple buildings to find lab, radiology, registration, and all kinds of other departments, often within a single visit and involving visitor-unfriendly jarring architectural change along the way since hospitals are often expanded patchwork over decades without any obvious continuity (“take the Red Zone elevator to seventh floor and then follow the blue stripe, then make the first left through the closed double doors marked ICU Waiting …” Clearly the unspoken paradigm is: you may be our customer, but it’s your job to come to us, no matter how hard we make that task. I confess that I can and do easily get lost in my own sprawling hospital campus, hoping that nobody notices my backtracking and frequent “where the heck am I” cognitive dissonance pauses until I finally give up and ask whoever’s at the nearest nursing station.
In Canada, Queen Elizabeth Hospital (PEI) warns of ED delays due to the implementation of Cerner’s FirstNet and PowerNote, which the assistant medical director says have a steep learning curve.
Bartron Medical Imaging wins FDA approval for its medical imaging software, which uses image segmentation algorithms developed by NASA for analyzing satellite images to find abnormalities in diagnostic images, such as those for mammography. I snagged the knee slice above from the company’s sample image database (you can log in as user guest and password guest).
The FDA issues urgent Class I warnings for the recalled CareFusion Alaris PC 8015 smart IV pump, saying its intermittent wireless network lockups prevent nurses from making programming changes, with the resulting runaway pump potentially causing serious patient injury or death in some circumstances.
A 21-year-old computer technician hired to fix a Georgia doctor’s computer uses the doctor’s password to sign on to a hospital’s computer system. He’s arrested and charged with computer theft, computer forgery, password disclosure, and “theft by taking.” The hospital’s HR VP says he thinks the man was trying to show off his computer knowledge to get a hospital job offer. Doh!
Doctors in Taiwan say their counterparts in China want to work with them on telemedicine and preventive medicine programs via cloud computing, given Taiwan’s superior capabilities in IT and medicine.
An investigative article by ProPublica finds that hundreds of doctors shilling drug company products have been accused of professional misconduct, have been disciplined, or don’t have adequate credentials. They created an online database that lets you look up any doctor to see if they’ve been paid promotional fees for any of seven big drugmakers.
In the UK, the Cambridge University Hospitals trust will take a pass on the defunct NPfIT’s Cerner Millennium or iSoft Lorenzo offerings, choosing instead to do their own system selection.
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital releases its iPhone app, which offers hospital information, maps, directions, parking information, health articles, and a place to store medical information.
HERtalk by Inga
David Blumenthal calls on HIT vendors to “include providers who serve minority communities in their sales and marketing efforts,” expressing his concern that EHR adoption rates are lower among providers serving Hispanic or Latino patients who are uninsured or rely upon Medicaid. Having once made my living making sales, I can assure Dr. Blumenthal that salespeople (and their bosses) are happy to sell their EHRs to just about anyone who will buy them. If this segment of providers isn’t buying EHRs, I doubt it is because vendors aren’t knocking on their door, but because these doctors don’t have the money. These are the physicians who have forgone the bigger incomes to treat the uninsured/underinsured and who rely on reimbursements from Medicaid, not the higher-paying commercial carriers.
Philips Healthcare posts a 14% increase in revenues to $2.67 billion for the third quarter. North American sales grew 11%.
Emdeon wins a subcontract from CSC to perform IT services for the Department of Defense Pharmacy Operations Directorate. As part of the 51-month contract, Emdeon will develop interfaces for immunization tracking and lab systems.
Nebraska Medical Center subscribes to the CapSite database to improve its capital expenditure process.
Marion General Hospital (OH) pays a $1.2 million fine for self-reported Stark law violations that occurred between 2003 and 2009. The hospital’s president says it failed to do the proper paperwork for several physician-related matters, including payments to to independent physicians who saw indigent patients and provided emergency room call. The hospital also did not properly document providing office space and services at below-market rates. If I didn’t know better, I would think the US attorney handling the case is running for re-election. In a statement that seems to ignore the fact that the case was self-reported, he remarks, “This is a significant victory for taxpayers and another step in our efforts to protect the Medicare Trust Fund.”
Texas Health Resources and Alliance HealthCare Services (CA) contract with Sy.Med to provide credentialing software.
Union Hospital of Cecil County (MD) selects Wolters Kluwer Health’s ProVation Order Sets as its electronic order set solution.
The Scarborough Hospital in Toronto picks Access Intelligent Forms Suite to integrate with MEDITECH Magic. The Access product will improve forms management by pre-filling forms with patient information and auto-index barcode forms into the EHR.
Audax Health Solutions appoints Henry DePhillips MD as president of healthcare operations. He was previously with McKinsey and was chief medical officer of MEDecision.
RCM software provider Avisena hires Timothy Mills as VP of sales and marketing. He’s worked at NaviNet, Spheris, and CareScience.
Healthcare and financial transaction provider TransEngen appoints Mike Pileggi as EVP of sales. He was previously in sales roles with mPay Gateway and Misys Healthcare Systems.
Shareable Ink launches Shareable Ink Analytics for Anesthesia, a business intelligence module of its anesthesia record.
The American Hospital Association extends its exclusive endorsement of AT&T’s HIE services. AT&T Healthcare Community Online enables the secure exchange and sharing of patient data across multiple health systems. AHA also endorses AT&T’s voice and data networking services and wireless services.
Management Health Solutions, a provider of supply chain software for healthcare, acquires Hospital Inventory Specialists, which offers inventory management solutions and analytical services.
Eight of Minnesota’s largest healthcare organizations connect their Epic systems to electronically share patient data. All are members of the Minnesota Epic User Group using Epic’s Care Everywhere software. The network includes access to estimated 3.6 million patients, or 75% of Minnesotans.
The CDC awards CACI International a 10-year contract to support the CDC’s IT infrastructure. The contract has a ceiling value of $1 billion.
The board of directors of the Perkins County Hospital District (NE) approves a $1.5 million allocation to implement an EHR at the 20-bed Perkins County Community Hospital.
Xerox expands its healthcare footprint with the acquisition of pharma tele-services company TM Health.
KLAS reports that vendors offering integrated workforce management solutions are winning more deals than companies offering standalone staff scheduling products, even though providers prefer the functionality of stand-alone products. The top rated vendor was McKesson, followed by Clairvia, Concerro, API, and Kronos.
Evangelical Community Hospital (PA) commissions Keane Optimum as its financial, clinical, and EHR solution.
A reader sent me a note last week, noting that my avatar depicted “a very sweet young lady worthy of my attention strictly in a fatherly way.” A lovely and I am sure well-intentioned comment. A question to my fellow female HIT-types: why do you suppose that that statement leaves me disappointed and reminiscent of my early teens, when only the Ted The Geek-type boys noticed my existence?