From Wireless Observer: “Re: InnerWireless. They’ve raised at least $75M in VC cash. Their VCs are just flushing their investment — there is no way they will ever recover what they put in. A transaction amount will never be mentioned because it will be embarrassingly low. This company has been a bit of a financial horror show. Not only did they burn tons of cash, don’t forget that IW bought what was left of Pango Networks (billed as a ‘merger’)and killed that company. And if anyone remembers, they developed the SPOT RTLS solution to the tune of $6-8M and killed that one, too. Not a good track record, to say the least.”
From HIPAA Hound: “Re: Hans Rosling BBC video lecture on the statistics of national wealth and health in the last 200 years. Pretty interesting in a geeky way.” It is pretty cool, not just for the information it conveys about countries advancing in income and health, but in the graphical way the information was presented. It also supports something I find myself saying a lot: public and global health is not all that related to healthcare services delivery. Only in some countries are hospital and insurance considered synonymous with health.
From Orion’s Belt: “Re: JPS. Not only is their new CIO’s background light when it comes to hospitals, they’ve chosen a consulting partner, Accenture, with very limited EMR experience, especially with Epic. I’d keep an eye on them if I were in your business :).”
From Laddie: “Re: Texas Health Resources. Dealing with a severe outage of their Epic EMR caused by a Citrix upgrade that coincided with the 09 upgrade.” Verified. CIO Ed Marx says he’d love to blame a vendor, but the buck stops with him and it was a leadership failure in his mind. To Ed’s credit, I’ve heard CIOs say lot of surprising things, but that’s the first time I’ve heard that. Many of those I’ve known would have been making excuses left and right and looking for an IT director to fire as a sacrificial lamb. I can say from first-hand experience that when you have Citrix problems, things get very exciting – lots of systems go dark since it’s a single point of failure for all the major apps of many hospitals (although it has to be a big failure since it’s not hard to work around a failed server in the Citrix farm).
From CYAO: “Re: University Health Care System (GA). Appointed an ED physician as CMIO to lead their EMR implementation.” Shannon Stinson, MD is named VP/CMIO. The announcement took a little shot at McKesson, which is egressing as Epic is ingressing. Said the CEO, “For many years, University and McKesson successfully partnered on clinical and financial information system projects. However, recent experience with McKesson has not been as successful.” You know the relationship had to have soured if it warranted a CEO dig in a press release.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Opera 11 browser beta. TPD is experimenting with Opera 11 after being a Firefox advocate for a long time. Some recent Firefox changes result in numerous hiccups that make the Firefox browser less attractive for use.” I like Opera myself, although I rarely use it except when I’m testing some Web change I’ve made to make sure I didn’t screw it up. I use Chrome 90% of the time, with Firefox making up the rest (but it’s noticeably slower). Opera feels very lightweight and fast to me and it just seems smoother (and extra points for working a Spinal Tap reference into the page’s description, shown above from a Google search). I know I’d rather have a root canal than use IE.
I’ll be beaming these instructions to you telepathically when you least expect it, so do these things now and I’ll stop: (a) put your e-mail address in the spam-proof Subscribe to Updates box to your right, ensuring that 6,490 more ambitious souls aren’t the first to know that your company has been sold or your 1998 arrest record has been unsealed and printed verbatim here; (b) check out HIStalk Practice and HIStalk Mobile; (c) Friend (Inga or me) or Like (HIStalk) on Facebook to help that nice Zuckerberg boy dominate the world; (d) show some sponsor love by perusing their ads and clicking reflexively at the many interesting ones so those companies won’t crush my ego by abandoning me; (e) instantly find mentions about a company or person by dropping their name in the search box to your right, which digs through all three sites at your command; and (f) tell your friends and enemies to read HIStalk, but don’t get their hopes up by laying it on too thick. Thanks for reading, commenting, writing, rumor-reporting, and e-mailing. And be nice to Inga since she’s fragile.
The very nice Sunquest folks sent us a copy of a letter from President and CEO Richard Atkin that was e-mailed to customers Thursday afternoon, with the explanation that they know we’ve already written about their new investor (on December 3), but that they can comment now that the deal’s done (I really was touched a little that they remembered us, to be honest, but then again I’m easily won over with flattery). As we wrote earlier, an investor consortium led by Huntsman Gay Global Capital has taken a substantial equity position in Sunquest, but the company will remain independent and Vista Equity Partners, which bought the company from Misys, will continue as the largest single shareholder. The letter says the funds will be used to increase the field sales force, expand the regional consultant program, develop more products, create executive and strategic advisory boards, and possibly acquire other companies. My assessment is this: there’s not much of a safety net given the large amount of debt involved, but if management can use the money wisely and strategically to move to the next level, nobody’s going to worry about it. Like always, strategy and execution (in the form of management) will decide the outcome.
Listening: reader-recommended Dashboard Confessional, an emo band that I’m surprised I haven’t mentioned since I do listen to them occasionally.
KLAS just published its Top 20 Best in KLAS awards. I’ll probably dig deeper into it later, but here’s what has struck me so far:
- Epic was named as the highest scoring vendor overall, with Hayes Management Consulting taking the top spot among professional services firms.
- If you’re a single-vendor shop, the highest ranking software suite by far was Epic, but McKesson took two of the top four spots (Paragon and Horizon). Most surprisingly to me, Siemens Soarian came in #3.
- I always like to look at Worst in KLAS, the bottom-ranked products in the hospital application categories: GE Centricity (hospital EMR), CGI Sovera (document management and imaging), Emergisoft (ED), McKesson Pathways (scheduling), GE Centricity (lab), Cerner ProVision (PACS), McKesson STAR (patient accounting and patient management), Mediware WORx (pharmacy), Sunquest (radiology), and McKesson Horizon (surgery management).
- Some products did very well in one of KLAS’s subcategories, which means they can’t win an award, but some of them did earn a 100% “Would Buy Again” customer rating, which is to me the most useful measure of all.
RelayHealth’s RelayClinical EHR earns ambulatory EHR certification from Drummond Group, giving the company a trifecta of offerings (EHR, HIE, and PHRs).
Former Eclipsys CEO Andy Eckert is named CEO of CRC Health Corporation, which offers behavioral care services.
Xconomy Boston gives a status update of the integration of the former Sentillion into Microsoft. It’s still a work in progress and a lot of it is hush-hush, but former Sentillion CEO Rob Seliger has been promoted to GM of product management for all of the Healthcare Solutions Group, which includes HealthVault and Amalga, and references were made about new products yet to be announced.
I’ll take Things in Common for $200, Weird News Andy. And the Jeopardy answer is: blood pressure, surgeons’ egos, reimbursements, and meth users from the ceiling. The question: what are things that fall in the ED? A man shows up at a Louisville hospital’s emergency department with what he says are alcohol burns, but the woman who gave him a ride says his car-based meth lab had exploded. The police come, the man tries to climb into the ceiling to drop down into another room to escape, but he misjudges and crashes to the hallway floor. The police spokesperson’s assessment was cynically dry: “I would say it’s unusual for anybody that’s in the hospital to try and escape through the ceiling tiles.”
The VCs behind MedPage Today (which has an interest in the KevinMD site) sell out to Everyday Health, which runs ad-supported health and lifestyle sites that include that of Jillian Michaels.
Jobs on the sponsor-only Jobs Page: Application Consultant, West Coast (Nuance), Software/Implementation Engineer (MobileMD), Eclipsys Activation Consultant (Enterprise Software Deployment). On Healthcare IT Jobs: Client Manager, Soarian Clinicals Consultants, Dragon Trainer/Systems Analyst, McKesson Paragon Consultants.
Cerner founders Neal Patterson and Cliff Illig are sued for $3 million by their golf course partners, who claim the guys stiffed them on payments due.
I’ve said nice things about Nextgov, but this won’t be one of them. What were they thinking when they wrote the Wednesday story above? David Brailer quit as national coordinator nearly five years ago, in April 2006. David Blumenthal has been in that position since March 2009, but Rob Kolodner held the job between the Daves. Not to mention that its CMS, not ONC, that will “hand out” HITECH money (oh, if it were only that simple). When I saw the clumsily breezy headline, I thought that Health Evolution Partners was cutting Brailer’s pay and I wondered how (and why) Nextgov sleuthed that out.
A British hospital opens a communications room for hearing-impaired patients that offers assistive devices for hearing aid wearers and Webcam access to a sign language interpreter.
The board of 136-bed Rice Memorial Hospital (MN) approves $4.7 million to purchase a clinical information system. Its preferred vendor is Epic, which would make this one of the smallest Epic implementations ever, I would guess (assuming Judy goes for the deal). Now this is interesting since Epic contractually gags its customers from divulging what they paid, so you never see a price breakout: Epic was the cheapest of the five vendor proposals, with the cost detailed as $1.2 million for the license fee, $100K for hardware, $800K for implementation, and $2.6 million for five years’ of maintenance.
I was digging through the statement (warning: PDF) made this week by the FDA’s Jeffrey Shuren at the IOM’s Committee on Patient Safety and HIT meeting. Tidbits: (a) he implies that EHRs are medical devices for which FDA has elected not to enforce existing requirements, but FDA is interested in IOM’s opinion on whether it should start regulating them; (b) he suggests that clinical decision support will be a targeted area; (c) FDA believes interoperability should be standardized; (d) systems should be monitored with real-time surveillance. He points out that FDA oversight can take several forms: requiring manufacturers to register, running a voluntary post-market surveillance program, requiring manufacturers to follow ISO-like quality management programs, or require vendors to submit information before putting their products on the market.
Oracle announces Cloud Office 1.0, a Google-like suite of Microsoft Office-compatible word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation apps. That’s probably not the best news Microsoft has heard lately.
Former Allscripts EVP Mark Karch is named EVP of Apparture Inc., which offers Web-based marketing solutions for healthcare companies.
Strange: a woman in Australia reports to police that her iPhone has been stolen from her purse while she’s visiting a hospital. They track it down using its GPS-like application and call in a police helicopter to swoop down on the thief, a 16-year-old boy riding a stolen bike.
HERtalk by Inga
From Eel Shoes: “Re: non-HIT matters. At this time of year, i don’t think we are hearing enough eel stories. I wondered if Inga had tried the soft but durable eel skin shoes?” I was quite amused by the reader that posted this comment, as well as the follow-up eel conversations. I am not an eel expert, though I once had a soft and durable pair of brown eel-skin pumps that have since been donated to Goodwill. As of late, my shoe fancy has been leaning towards new boots. Here is the pair I’d love to see under the Christmas tree (size 8, if anyone has Santa connections).
Cleveland Clinic will implement 3M’s Codefinder Computer-Assisted Edition software for inpatient and outpatient coding.
athenahealth expands its board with the appointment of its former COO, David E. Robinson. Before joining athenahealth, he was an EVP of SunGard Data Systems.
MedSynergies appoints former Dell/Perot exec James Dye as SVP of client management. MedSynergies also names Brid Kealey as SVP of human resources and Chris Walker VP of performance and change management.
Ephrata Community Hospital (PA) begins implementation of its Meditech EMR and expects to complete the first stage of the transition in early 2011.
Tool maker Stanley Black & Decker will pay $61.2 million cash for mobile workstation and asset tracking provider InfoLogix. InfoLogix will become part of Stanley’s Healthcare Solutions business, which Stanley is seeking to expand.
Hospital billing company and Tenet subsidiary Confer Health Solutions will close two of its seven offices as it tries to improve efficiencies. Conifer will close offices in Anaheim and Alhambra and consolidate its California work in its remaining Anaheim office. Closures will affect all 100 Modesto employees.
Colorado Regional Extension Center (CO-REC) announces its approved list of 14 EHR products.
Atlantic Health (NJ) forms an ACO that encompasses a seven-county area. The health system has already aligned with more than 300 participating physicians.
The price tag for OSU Medical Center’s Epic EMR: $100 million over the next five years. Once implemented, Ohio State doctors and hospitals have the potential to earn $25 million in ARRA money.
Kaiser Permanente promotes CIO Philip Fasano to EVP and CIO. CEO George Halvorson says the promotion reflects the “magnitude of Phil’s impact and contribution to our organization.”
UC Davis concludes that EMRs impact physician specialties differently (duh). The initial implementation of EMRs decreased physician productivity 25 to 33%. Over time, internal medicine providers adjusted to the new technology and slightly increased their productivity, but pediatricians and family practice doctors did not recover to their original productivity levels. The conclusion: there is a “mismatch between technology design and the work-flow requirements and health administration expectations” for different specialties.
- API Healthcare introduces the Electronic Employee Record, designed for healthcare organizations to store and maintain employee information, track trends, and create forecasts.
- Wills Eye Health System (PA) contracts with NextGen for its EHR and PM products.
- Children’s Hospital Central California subscribes to CapSite to improve its capital expenditure process.
- Wellsoft signs a two-year extension contract with Premier, allowing Wellsoft to remain the sole contracted supplier of EDIS for Premier’s member hospitals.
- St. Tammany Parish Hospital (LA) selects RelayHealth as its partner to build its community-wide HIE.
- HIStalk sponsors placing in the KLAS top ten of all vendors are 3M, Philips, Picis, Sunquest, McKesson, and Merge Healthcare.
- Sponsors in the professional services top ten in KLAS are Hayes Management Consulting, Vitalize Consulting Solutions, Ingenix, and McKesson.
- Sponsor products earning a Best in KLAS title in their segment are eClinicalWorks EMR (ambulatory EMR 26-100 physicians), Greenway Medical PrimeSuite Chart (ambulatory EMR 6-25 physicians), e-MDs Chart (ambulatory EMR 2-5 physicians), McKesson Paragon (community HIS), Allscripts Sunrise EPSi Decision Support (business decision support), Wellsoft EDIS (ED), McKesson Pathways Financial Management, Materials, and HR Manager (financial/ERP), McKesson Horizon Practice Plus (practice management 26-100 physicians), Greenway Medical PrimeSuite Practice (practice management 6-25 physicians), e-MDs Bill (practice management 2-5 physicians), and Nuance eScription (speech recognition).
- Sponsors named Best in KLAS in the professional services category are Navicure (claims and clearinghouse services)and CareTech Solutions (IT outsourcing – extensive).
- Precyse Solutions ranked #2 in KLAS’s transcription provider category, but outscored everyone in report quality.
- UPDATE: we missed one! MedPlus’s ChartMaxx took Best in KLAS in the document imaging and management category, winning the #1 spot seven times since 2002. MedPlus has 140 implementations and 415,000 users.