From The PACS Designer: “Re: Flock. As the number of social web sites continues to increase, it becomes a challenge to keep up with all the goings-on amongst your web friends. Now you can have all your social web sites in one browser with Flock. You can view HIStalk’s Facebook and Twitter sites in one place to keep your browsing activity from consuming too much of your time. TPD hopes everyone had a Merry Christmas and wishes all a Happy New Year!”
From Nicole: “Re: Merry Christmas. My kids like reading HIStalk with me and often ask me to read them the news clips. My son (the oldest) likes the business news, my daughter liked the story about Zsa Zsa’s husband.” That’s fun. I’m hoping HIStalk isn’t your story of choice because it puts them to sleep faster at bedtime. I’m a fan of “out of the mouth of babes” wisdom, so I’m picturing them at HIMSS passing judgment on speakers and booths. I bet they would have priceless observations.
From FamilyPhysician: “Re: instant messaging. Doximity lets you find any healthcare provider in the US (not just your hospital system) and communicate via text securely if they agree. I use it from my iPhone, but you can also use it from the web. Hospitalist groups in my area are using it as well as outpatient docs like me.” This isn’t quite the objective testimonial it seems since it came from a Doximity co-founder, but I’ll allow it since the product seems pretty cool. You can only give it a test drive if you’re a doc since the sign-up form checks your name against a list of licensed physicians.
From ChiefCookandBottleWasher: “Re: Jim Stalder. You interviewed him a few years ago. He has joined Cook Children’s Health care System in Fort Worth as their new VP/CTO. They’ve gone through a number of IT leadership changes over the years.” Verified, according to his LinkedIn profile. I assume he replaces Tracy Waller, who left in August to work for an oil company services company as an IT consultant. Jim was CIO of Mercy Health Services (MD) when I interviewed him three years ago.
I expected readers to vote their preferred form of FDA regulation of clinical systems in order of least- to most-comprehensive. That wasn’t how it played out, although survey topics stirring up more emotion seem to generate less reliable results. For whatever reason, the most-restrictive choice (vendors must prove safety and effectiveness the same as drug makers) was the #1 choice. New poll to your right, for providers: is your software vendors’ enhancement road map more focused on making new sales than meeting the needs of existing customers? You are welcome to leave comments.
Listening: Patto, described by the reader who suggested it as “raw, bluesy rock n’ roll with a jazz twist.” The band was obscure even its 1970-73 lifespan and tracks are hard to find on the Web, but it still sounds good (to me, it’s UFO meets Steppenwolf). Check out the guitar solo on this one. The namesake founder, who also started up Boxer, died in 1979 at 36.
John Stone is named CIO at Fairmont General Hospital (WV).
It’s eight weeks until the HIMSS conference, just so you know. I’ll be starting up the HISsies in the next couple of days. Below are the results from last year. I’ve already decided to add two new categories, Most Fun Vendor and Best Informatics Professional, but the floor is open for your ideas of additional categories. I like to change them up a little each year. I’m thinking about adding a Lifetime Achievement Award as a serious award.
2010 HISsies Winners
Smartest vendor strategic move
athenahealth guarantees Meaningful Use
Stupidest vendor strategic move
GE Healthcare loses enterprise clients
Best healthcare IT vendor
Worst healthcare IT vendor
Best CEO of a vendor or consulting firm
Jonathan Bush, athenahealth
Best provider healthcare IT organization
Provider or vendor organization you would most like to work for if salary, benefits, and job title were not factors
HIS-related company in which you’d love to be given $100,000 in stock options that can’t be cashed in for 10 years
Most promising technology development
Smart phone apps
Most overrated technology
Biggest HIS-related news story of the year
Most overused buzzword
When _____ talks, people listen
Most effective CIO in a healthcare provider organization
John Glaser, Partners
HIS industry figure with whom you’d most like to have a few beers
Judy Faulkner, Epic
HIS industry figure in whose face you’d most like to throw a pie
Neal Patterson, Cerner
HIStalk Healthcare IT Industry Figure of the Year
Each year right about now, I start getting more e-mails asking about the HIStalk event at HIMSS. We plan to have the sign-up page live by January 15 or so. I can tell you this one’s going to be memorable – the sponsor, [name coming soon], is going crazy with super-fun ideas that the 500 or so lucky attendees will enjoy (Inga and I keep trying to probe their upper limits: How about we shine a giant HIStalk logo on the outside of the building? Done. Say, wouldn’t it be cool to bring in a professional video crew so I can run party video on HIStalk afterward? You got it, Mr. H.) So for you as a prospective attendee: Did you ever want to feel like a celebrity on Oscar night, making a dramatic entrance on the red carpet while sipping an IngaTini and being interviewed on live camera? Do you like great food and an open bar? Do you like the idea of a full-length concert at HIMSS with a real band playing on a real music hall stage? Did you enjoy the “Inga likes my shoes” contest last year, all the other fun beauty queen sashes, the HISsies, and surprise guests? Would you enjoy special recognition for physicians in the audience, beautiful ladies in their best party fashions as orchestrated by Inga, and maybe even a King and Queen winner just like at your prom? It’s so big and crazy that the sponsor convinced me to use the name to which I was jokingly referring to it as our plans got more ambitious: HIStalkapalooza, sponsored by [name coming soon]. So there you have it: HIStalkapalooza, Monday, February 21, 2011, 6:30 until 11:30 p.m. Eastern at BB King’s Blues Club in Orlando. Thanks very much to [name coming soon] for helping me honor HIStalk’s sponsors and readers in a soon-to-be-legendary way.
Weird News Andy’s radar picks up this story: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA) admits that its surgeons miscounted vertebrae in three surgeries in the past three months despite taking the usual precautions, causing them to operate on the wrong part of the spine. The hospital says human error was involved and it can’t find a connection, although two of the three surgeries were performed by the same surgeon. The hospital also admits that it is working to fix problems found by inspectors, including using a checklist developed by another hospital to help surgeons mark their site correctly.
RAND had glowing things to say about CPOE in its 2005 study paid for by Cerner and other HIT vendor. Its new analysis, sponsored by a non-vendor group, finds that healthcare IT hasn’t generally improved the Core Measures scores of hospitals using it. However, the conclusion of the study’s lead author isn’t that HIT isn’t effective, but rather that outcomes measures are too broad to show HIT-related improvements. It was the usual drawing room type study that linked readily available but questionably useful information together to draw new conclusions: the HIMSS Analytics database, the AHA survey, and Core Measures numbers. It would be great if the effects of HIT were so dramatic that overall outcomes improved (not just Core Measures ones), but that’s probably not realistic, especially over a short timeframe. You’d have the same problem trying to make a quality case for almost anything: management changes, process redesign, policy changes in the use of drugs or devices, or better credentialing of staff. Measuring quality isn’t as easy as measure drug safety and effectiveness, where it’s not that hard to set up control groups, measure specific and immediate physiologic changes of effectiveness in patients, and monitor for easily recognized adverse reactions.
Thanks to Imprivata for its support of HIStalk, joining us as a Platinum Sponsor. I think you may infer from the above that the Lexington, MA company is justifiably proud of its #1 rating in KLAS’s Single Sign-On category. The company offers the OneSign single sign-on suite (say that three times …), OneSign authentication management, and the Imprivata PrivacyAlert system that detects and audits EMR snooping. Resources: a OneSign webinar, an overview of OneSign VDA for virtual desktops, and a data sheet covering PrivacyAlert and its out-of-the-box data support for Millennium, Sunrise, Meditech, and other healthcare apps. You might also want to check out Identity 360, the company blog. I don’t recall if I mentioned this, but OneSign Secure Walk-Away won the Security Innovation of the Year award from the British Computer Society two weeks ago. It uses a webcam to detect when a clinician walks away from their logged-in workstation, forcing a new user log in with their own credentials to improve security and avoid medical mistakes. I interviewed CMO Barry Chaiken just a few months ago. Thanks to Imprivata for keeping the HIStalk wheels turning.
Strange lawsuit: a neuroradiologist and an endocrinologist playing a round of golf take their second shots of the first hole and head off to find their balls. The endocrinologist finds his and takes his shot, shanking the ball into the head of the neuroradiologist, blinding him. The neuroradiologist sues the endocrinologist, saying he should have yelled “Fore!” The appeals court throws out the case as had two previous courts, saying that the neuroradiologist was standing 15-20 feet from the endocrinologist at a 50-80 degree angle, making it unreasonable to expect the other golfer to yell “Fore!” before swinging since nobody was even close to his expected line of fire. The neuroradiologist’s attorney probably did little to elicit sympathy for his client, who has been unable to practice full time since the original 2002 incident, by claiming his eight-year lost income is “more than you and I will ever make in a lifetime.”
Canada-based healthcare document management solutions vendor Accentus acquires two transcription companies: ZyloMed (FL) and Transolutions (IL).
Virtual Radiologic completes its all-cash, $170 million acquisition of Nighthawk Radiology, paying a 100% premium to the market closing price of NHWK when the deal was announced in September.
A gastroenterologist’s editorial in the Cleveland Plain Dealer says EMR should stand for End of Medical Rapport, an unwelcome technological intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship being pushed by insurance companies, the government, and EMR vendors. I don’t buy this a bit since my doc is a big EMR user and, if anything, it makes our time together more valuable to me. As in most of life, it’s not what you have, but how you use it. His method: (a) we chat for a couple of minutes before he even looks at the screen since the assistant or nurse has already entered my vitals and chief complaint; (b) the monitor is placed on the desk beside the patient chair, so we’re still sitting close to each other and the monitor is to our side instead of between us; (c) he quickly looks up the information he needs, then turns back to me for the rest of our session; (d) he doesn’t type while we’re talking and generally hardly at all while I’m in the room; (e) if we’re talking about something, like my lab values, he pulls them up on the screen and we go over them together. Now my doc is great overall: he doesn’t wear a white coat because he thinks it’s too authoritarian, he always leads off with a friendly handshake and some chit-chat, and he is highly supportive of helping patients find their own healthcare answers, so it could be that his patient style is just so good that the EMR can’t overcome it. Maybe someone should write a how-to guide for docs on how to minimize EMR disruption since I’m pretty sure it can be done.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a soap opera even once (being a non-viewer of Unemployment TV, I didn’t even know they were still on), but apparently on All My Children last week, someone named Greenlee got into a hospital’s computer using a stolen password to find out that someone was pregnant. Scenery-chewing overacting and hammy dramatic gestures ensued, I’m certain.