ONC invites the public to weigh in on personal health records as long as they do it by December 10.
A just-in report from Canada says that two hospitals there are talking to Cerner about outsourcing IT.
Central DuPage Hospital (IL), a long-time Lawson customer, says it has implemented Lawson Contract Management in less than four months.
Listening: new from My Chemical Romance, high-energy, defiant punk/pop with some nice hooks that provide a needed break from auto-tune singers and phony country warblers. Driving music.
St. Joseph Medical Center (TX) develops a 10-physician hospitalist program with Intercede Health, which includes the use of the company’s Order Optimizer software. It provides SaaS-based diagnosis-specific order sets and order set management tools, medication alerts, physician favorites, and a nine-week implementation time. That product is also available separately from a subsidiary.
In Ontario, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre partners with Telus Health Solutions to roll out a consumer health portal / PHR that will allow Telus employees to upload and enter medical information that providers can review. Its underlying technology is Microsoft HealthVault.
Happy birthday to Ed Marx, whose special day was Tuesday. You can post belated best wishes on Facebook.
Jobs on the HIStalk sponsor-only job page: Implementation Consultants and Project Managers, Director of Technical Readiness, Implementation Consultant. On Healthcare IT Jobs: Health Information Technology Support Manager, IS Senior Project Manager, Ambulatory EMR Implementation Specialist.
I received a nice response from AMIA President and CEO Ted Shortliffe about a reader’s question as to whether the organization will decline financial support from vendors who won’t go on record as not using “hold harmless” clauses in their customer contracts. He says AMIA’s vendor contracting task force received redacted contract copies and have no knowledge of how specific vendors are writing contracts. He mentioned that Senator Chuck Grassley had sent letters to vendors asking that very question, but he has not made whatever responses he received public. Ted says AMIA’s role is as an educator, not an enforcer, so it made strong recommendations. I can see that point of view: other than Epic, most vendors aren’t going to walk away from business if the prospect insists on removing clause like that one. Nobody makes customers sign on the line which is dotted.
Speaking of that, I’m amazed that hospitals allow vendors to provide the first draft of a contract, loading it with vendor-friendly boilerplate and making sure to look astonished and hurt at any suggestion from their “partner” that it be changed before they hand over their large check. Job #1 is to create your own contract draft and give it to the vendor as the starting point for negotiation. I’m thinking of starting a telenegotiating service where I whisper electronically in the ear of hospital and practice IT people, telling them what to say and how to use classic negotiating techniques to their advantage. Customers are always complaining about the bad deals they got without accepting blame for taking what was offered without a whimper. In negotiation, 80% of the money on the table is going to be split equally between the two parties. When you’re negotiating, you’re fighting for a bigger share of the remaining 20%.
Investment bank TripleTree will host a Webcast about cloud computing in healthcare on December 1. The panel includes top executives from Castlight Health, SCI Solutions, MedVentive, and Connextions. Two of those four are HIStalk sponsors (SCI and MedVentive), so tune in and support them if you’re so inclined.
Nuance announces Q4 numbers: revenue up 17.7% to $310 million, EPS $0.01 vs. $0.02 after some accounting adjustments.
British company Cambridge Consultants announces the Minder smart device, which transmits medical data in real time to EMRs. It can also receive checklist information from providers to instruct patients. Technologies used: Bluetooth, Wearable Mobile device hardware, accelerometer, the Continua-compliant Vena platform, and input devices that include a blood pressure cuff and scale.
iSoft’s former auditors face misconduct charges over – what else – allowing questionable recognition practices.
Odd: Healthmed Services, which has staked its fortune on some kind of iPad-to-desktop communication tool for healthcare use, floats a bunch of press releases touting its vaguely described agreements with Facebook and Google. Its also-vague Web site features a video of President Obama and a lot of generic information about the vast healthcare IT market it plans to conquer. The company today announced a development agreement with Veritas Software Systems, which might sound like the big backup system vendor unless you recall that Veritas was acquired by Symantec in 2005 (and its name was actually Veritas Software Corp. – this particular company has no Web presence that I could find). It also announced this week a new Web-based practice management system called HealthTrac, with no details whatsoever. What’s really newsworthy about the company: (a) it just filed an 8-K disclosure that it paid a company $600K to develop its flagship product, armed only with an oral agreement, but that company is holding them up for more money; (b) the company’s stock was being pumped and dumped by cocaine-smuggling New York longshoremen (note this “monster pick” that ran up the price 93% on Monday, with 42 million shares changing hands); and (c) its SEC filings from August indicates that the company had zero revenue, had no expectations of any revenue, and was down to its last $52 in the bank. I Googled its listed address and came up with the Las Vegas building above from Google Maps, which I assume is a mail drop. The address it uses for its SEC filings is a one-person virtual office in California that’s currently for rent for a minimum period of one night (that photo is above, too). The CEO quit in August and the CFO was replaced. Shares are at $0.08, with a market cap of $14 million. Maybe I’ve finally found that HIT vendor who’ll have me on their board, enjoying the corporate headquarters any time I can come up with the daily rent.
Odd: Spirit Airlines refuses to give a surgeon’s pregnant wife water while their overheated plane is sitting on the tarmac, offering instead drinks for sale. He makes a scene and makes vague references to terrorism, his son kicks a flight attendant in the groin, the flight crew kicks the family off, the surgeon is suing for $11 million.
Attachmate acquires Novell for $2.2 billion, if there’s anyone left who cares. A Microsoft subsidiary chips in $450 million to get a bunch of Novell patents, leading to speculation that their interest is either in suing other companies or perhaps porting .NET to Linux.
I think we probably won’t have enough news to be worth posting new issues of HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Mobile through the holiday, but I’ll have the usual Monday Morning Update. Inga has written a sweet Thanksgiving piece that I’ll run on HIStalk Practice and I may write one myself for HIStalk since we are both sentimental, dreamy-eyed romantics anxious to give our BFF readers a clingy holiday hug, just like the watch-those-hands Uncle Bill on the porch after a little too much spiked eggnog and cheap Thanksgiving wine. We’ve been ultra-busy with new sponsors, interviews, and party planning, so we will enjoy the short break. if you’re headed off to RSNA this weekend, travel safely and make sure to crack up your fellow airline passengers in the security line by loudly delivering a few carefully rehearsed jokes about TSA’s full-body scanners. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
HERtalk by Inga
Fun fact: at Cerner’s on-site cafeteria in Kansas City, color-coded serving tools prompt employees to notice good food choices. Green handles indicate a great choice (think broccoli), yellow handles suggest you might want to limit your portion (pimento-stuffed olives), and red handles (burgers and fries) mean you might want to make time for a workout after work (that is, if you can sneak out of the parking lot without Neal noticing).
Austin Regional Clinic (TX) implements Webmedx’s Enterprise5 platform for its outsourced transcription and speech recognition services.
CMS will give providers online tracking capabilities to check the status of their Meaningful Use incentive payments. The payment information will be available online once a provider is notified that they have met Meaningful Use requirements.
In an article profiling Epic, the story’s author notes that the company rarely advertises and doesn’t encourage media articles. Apparently the reporter had difficulty getting answers to some basic questions. After several phone and e-mail attempts, she was basically told no one was available to assist. Finally an Epic spokesperson told her that the company’s “managers and leaders were too busy to speak with newspaper reporters, even if the reporter in question was writing a major feature story about them.” I bet lots of companies wish they were that busy.
Meanwhile, another local publication points out that Epic makes financial contributions to over 100 nonprofits. The company also donates older computers to local school districts, supports the local public library, and hosts area high school graduations in its auditorium.
The US Bid Committee announces that Cerner is now an official partner in efforts to bring the FIFA World Cup to the US in the 2022. The committee chair says that Cerner has “clearly demonstrated” its commitment to the sport “in their innovative web-based health surveillance system for professional soccer players in the United States.” I was aware of the Cerner / Kansas City Wizards connection but didn’t realize Cerner also has an “athlete-focused” solution that was launched earlier this year and is now used by all 16 Major League Soccer teams.
Microsoft’s Peter Neupert says the company is abandoning efforts to make HealthVault profitable because of the complexity of the country’s health system. Neuport told the Financial Times that HealthValult’s benefit to Microsoft was simply to increase the brand relationship” by raising Microsoft’s image with customers as “important, critical and trusted.” Compare those thoughts to what Neupert had to say at HealthVault’s unveiling three years ago:
The way we make money is by encouraging online activity, and through our search application.We know that search is a big business, it’s an important tool, it’s where consumers are today. And by growing the overall search market and delivering more value to consumers, and delivering a better end-to-end search experience, that’s where we can make our money to support this effort.
Florida doctor Arturo Carvajal sues a restaurant after injuring himself while consuming an artichoke. The doctor claims the restaurant failed to “explain the proper method of consuming an artichoke.” Carvajal, a brain surgeon, ending up eating the entire outside of the vegetable, which caused him "severe abdominal pain and discomfort," ultimately resulting in "disability, disfigurement, mental anguish," and "loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life". OK, Carvajal really isn’t a brain surgeon, but I thought that sounded funnier than family practice, which is his real specialty. Regardless, I hope he has better luck eating his turkey and that someone advises him not to eat the wishbone.
- NextGen Healthcare partners with Scimage to release a jointly develop the NextGen Medical Image Integration Module. The new module will give NextGen EHR ambulatory users the ability to view images produced by any imaging modality or PACS from within the NextGen EHR.
- Eight MEDSEEK healthcare clients win a total of 14 awards at the Strategic Communications eHealthcare Leadership competition. The program recognizes outstanding health web sites.
- Consulting firm North Highland hires Rebecca Whitehead Munn and Brent Holman as account managers. Munn was formerly the SVP of sales and marketing for Consensus Point. Holman comes from a large for-profit healthcare system (which I assume is HCA since both Munn and Holman are based in Nashville).
- North Sunflower Medical Center (MS) will deploy a suite of McKesson products, including Paragon HIS, Practice Partner EHR, and RelayHealth claims and eligibility processing solutions.
- Surgical Information Systems says its SIS Version 5 is the first perioperative system to be certified as a modular EHR.