From EHR Geek: “Re: Vitalize. Mr. HIStalk, why didn’t you post the Vitalize purchase of Validus on your real page? It’s only on the HIStalk Fan Page of Facebook.” I was torn on that one. I had just blasted out the SIS news and I couldn’t decide if this item was of broad enough interest to justify another e-mail (I don’t want to give readers alert fatigue), so I just posted it as a Facebook status item until the next scheduled post (this one). That’s another good reason to Friend/Like us there since I usually post news blasts there, too. Anyway: Vitalize Consulting Solutions acquires (warning: PDF) Minneapolis-based Validus Consulting, which has around 60 consultants providing strategic advisory and project leadership services. Vitalize, which offers strategy, EHR implementation, revenue cycle, project leadership, and application / technical resources, says it’s now the largest privately owned HIT consulting firm, with more than 450 consultants. I hadn’t realized that former Allina Excellian (Epic) VP Kim Pederson, who I interviewed awhile back, is a Validus principal. I also didn’t realize until Googling something else that industry pioneer Bill Childs, who just won CHIME’s Lifetime Achievement Award, is a Vitalize VP (there might be no HIStalk if Bill hadn’t broken the HIT journalism ground with Healthcare Informatics). I know and like the Vitalize folks and I’m amazed at the company’s growth under CEO Bruce Cerullo, a long-time friend of HIStalk.
From Jerry MindMeld: “Re: joke of the day. Dr. Blumenthal was at Congress yesterday during the reading of the Constitution. He looks over at the stenographer and realizes they are typing every word spoken for the entire day, every speech and every vote. He leans over to the guy sitting next to him and says, ‘Jeez, I wish we had that in my industry — it would make practicing medicine a lot easier.’" I’m here all week – try the veal.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Dimdim. Mr. H, since you now can’t use Dimdim collaboration software due to Salesforce.com’s privatizing it, why not go to Yugma, which is another collaboration application on the web?” I will give it a look. The biggest differentiator among the Webinar-type tools is how well they record and archive the session, especially the audio portion. I also liked ReadyTalk. I’m kicking tires because I really like the idea of providing some kind of education at a higher level of quality than you usually see (i.e., less of a commercial pitch).
From Leopold Stoch: “Re: Paul Levy. Stepping down as CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess.” I guess John Halamka’s boss is down to blogging as a job for now, but I’m sure he will have many opportunities.
New HIStalk contributor Jayne (or Dr. Jayne if you or she prefer) introduces herself below. What sold me on her: (a) she writes well and in a non-stuffy HIStalk way; (b) she’s funny; (c) she has a great education and medical experience; (d) she works in an informatics role, but still maintains a medical practice, so she knows a broad swath of the industry; and (e) she’s an HIStalk fan and gets what we do. E-mail her your greetings if you like. We thought a recurring “Ask Dr. Jayne” feature would be fun, so let’s have any questions you’ve always wanted to ask an informatics doc (what does she think of EMRs, how important is usability, how does she interact with the EMR in the exam room, etc.) Her brand new Facebook is looking a bit bare, so I’m sure she could use a friend or two there.
Listening: Young Fresh Fellows, a Seattle-based alt pop band that’s been around for 30 years. I played their 2009 album and immediately bought it for the gym iPod, which almost never happens. Their music is hard to categorize – sometimes its Pixies punkish, sometimes REM jangly, but it’s always fun (extra points for using “bereft” in a lyric and then rhyming with it).
I’m intrigued by these poll results: 52% of readers plan to keep the same job and employer in 2011, but a full 42% are expecting to land a better job, either with the same employer (18%) or a different one (24%). Only 3% expect to move to a worse job, with about the same percentage saying they’ll retire or quit this year. New poll to your right: what are your plans for the HIMSS conference?
Thanks for your HISsies nominations. I’m e-mailing out survey ballots this weekend, so watch your inbox and please vote. Thanks, too, to readers who nominated Inga and me for several categories even though the instructions said not to.
HIMSS government relations VP Dave Roberts posts the organization’s priorities for the new Congress, the main ones being keep HIT bipartisan and keep the HITECH money flowing despite all the good reasons it shouldn’t. He also lists what he says are the priorities of HIMSS members, such as establishing a Meaningful Use grievance process and spending even more taxpayer dollars, this time on “health IT action zones.” He asks for feedback.
Say hello to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Shareable Ink. The Nashville-based company’s concept should resonate with quite a few hospitals and practices: you shouldn’t have to disrupt clinician workflow to move to electronic health records. Shareable Ink’s enterprise-grade digital pen and paper technology lets clinicians keep documenting the way they like without turning themselves into patient-ignoring keyboard zombies, yet it translates their work into digital, discrete, and shareable EHR data as if they’d labored over a keyboard instead. Anybody can implement it quickly since there’s no software running on site (it’s zero-footprint Saas) and there’s no boondoggle IT project standing in the way of hospitals and practices anxious to move to EHRs and collect their HITECH checks. It integrates (with registration, EHR, CDR, etc), it pre-fills forms from inbound interface data, and it makes paper smart with form-based electronic rules and outbound alerts (e-mail, SMS, page). You don’t have to force behavior change on set-in-their-ways ED docs and anesthesiologists (not to mention that 90% of hospital daily progress notes are, of course, written by hand and that’s a tough battleship to turn). It must be cool since T-System, whose paper forms (T-Sheets) are an ED mainstay, chose Shareable Ink to power its DigitalShare electronic ED encounter documentation system. Shareable Ink also just released an analytics package that lets organizations mine all the handwritten data it converts, so paper documentation from anesthesia, ED, and progress notes can be electronically reviewed for quality and efficiency metrics without chart pulls. Thanks to Shareable Ink for supporting HIStalk.
I turned myself on a little writing about Shareable Ink, so I headed over to YouTube to see if there was a demo. Here’s one from a year ago, as co-founder and CMO Vernon Huang MD (sounds like a fascinating guy: Hopkins biomedical engineering degree and GWU MD, practicing anesthesiologist, worked for Apple, was a Navy flight surgeon) shows how his sloppy doctor handwriting (sorry, Doc) is turned into an electronic record without his doing anything.
The Walgreens drugstore chain, in my mind, leads the way with consumer-friendly mobile apps for their patients / customers (text alerts, patient-scanned barcodes for prescription refills, health risk assessments, kiosks, EMR, e-Prescribing, etc.). The company’s CMO moderated a digital health session at the CES Digital Health Summit. Too bad the rest of healthcare doesn’t have such clearly aligned incentives (invest in technology, sell more stuff as a result, make more money, everybody’s happy).
Drug maker Roche files suit against a software company it bankrolled and intended to acquire. Medical Automation Systems had agreed to be acquired by Roche for $40 million, but then got a better offer from a competitor. Roche sued, saying it has right of first refusal and shouldn’t be required to participate in a bidding war. The company’s RALS software is used in the Accu-Check and CoaguCheck point-of-care monitoring systems to send results to hospital clinical systems. Wish you’d thought of it, right?
The promotional video for the just-announced new version of the Microsoft Surface coffee table thingy shows people collaborating over radiology images and ultrasounds. It reacts to both touch and objects, where it “seamlessly merges the physical and digital worlds.” It works like a massive iPad on four legs, accepting all kinds of gestures and manipulation. I have to say it seems cool and a pretty good deal, with the new version priced at $7,600 compared to the original’s $12,000 price tag. Imagine an EMR built for a screen that size run by touch – docs would love it. It would also be amazing for patient teaching, but you’d have to bring the patient to the Surface instead of vice versa (unless someone invents a SOW – a Surface on Wheels).
Speaking of the Surface, I found this old picture of MEDHOST’s ED dashboard running on it. I found pretty much no information on MEDHOST’s site about it, so I don’t know if they still offer it or if anyone ever bought one. It looks good, though.
Eris Medical Technologies, created in a Youngstown, OH incubator, will provide its erisRX charge capture management software to Florida Hospital Orlando. Founder Jennifer Wexler used to work at FHO as well as Orlando Health, while co-founder Kelly Bucci comes from Deloitte.
We had a slip-up in Friday’s post due to a bogus news alert (old Web pages sometimes suddenly pop up as news – I’ve been burned by that a couple of times). Mark Briggs is still CEO at HIE solution vendor VisionShare, which he joined in May – the link we ran was to an older (undated) press release from when he took an earlier job.
J.P. Morgan’s healthcare conference runs this week. Ben Rooks wrote about why you should care (or not) in his HIStalk column from a year ago.
e-MDs says CMS’s first HITECH check for a physician practice went to one of its clients just two days after CMS registration opened. Gastorf Family Clinic (OK) got $21,250 each for its two doctors. They told doctors they’d get big checks and that one’s ginormous.
Speaking of HITECH registration, CMS says 4,000 providers registered for EHR incentives in the first four days after its site went live on January 3.
Inga and I have decided that we should have vendor tee shirts made for HIMSS that read, “Want to be profitably acquired? Sponsor HIStalk.” The list of sponsors recently completing successful transactions (these would be listed on the back) includes Medicity, Ingenix, Picis, Sentillion, Eclipsys, eScription, Sunquest, and now SIS. There are plenty more, but those are some of the larger and more recent ones.
Philips buys Pittsburgh-based medSage, developers of an automated telephone-based system for home health patients to reorder supplies. Their executive bios are fun: “Bob is the ‘Old Guy’ on the medSage Team … has been in the healthcare industry for over 30 years (our abacus will not go any higher) … Bob is the ‘Really Big Guy’ on the medSage Team. (If you have met Bob in person, you know what we mean!) For that reason, Bob is to be Mr. October, November, AND December in the 2009 medSage Team promotional calendar.” Let’s hope they keep Bob happy since if they don’t, it sounds like he’s got a couple of potential discrimination suits to choose from.
A judge overturns a community college’s dismissal of four nursing students for posting cell phone pictures of themselves posing with a placenta on Facebook. The instructor of the students told them it was OK to take the picture as long as any identifying information was removed, even though the students told here they planned to post the pictures on Facebook. The student whose case set the precedent for the others is worried about her reputation preceding her for an eventual job. “I am concerned that my name is all over the Internet. All you have to do is Google ‘placenta.’” She’s right – above is my Google News search result, complete with her smiling placenta pose.
By Dr. Jayne
Let me just start by saying that I’ve idolized Mr. HIStalk and Inga for quite some time. So when Mr. H posted that he was interested in finding someone to help out, I was tres excited. I put together a few thoughts, crossed my fingers, and clicked “send” with visions of IngaTinis dancing in my head. A few spins of the planet later, here I am, excited to be part of the HIStalk family!
Why did I want to write for HIStalk? First, I wanted to be able to provide a physician perspective on hot topics in healthcare IT. Now that Meaningful Use is finally here, understanding the real impact the new rules are having on patient care is going to be important. Who better to talk about it than someone who is actually seeing and treating patients?
Don’t worry though, I’m a serious IT staffer (also a shoe aficionado, so the chance to work with Inga was a huge part of this, but we’ll save that for later) who lately spends more time talking the IT talk and walking the IT walk than personally caring for patients. But I still see enough patients to be able to regale you with strange-but-true stories about what happens on the other side of the exam room door.
Second, I enjoy expressing my creative side, love writing, and am fluent in a variety of poetic forms. Healthcare IT words are just about as hard to rhyme as medical words; although it might be possible to rhyme “ruptured appendix” with “clustered index” it would have to be a really special poem to make that work so you’ll all just have to keep reading and see what I come up with. (A special shout out will go to the first reader who pulls that one off.)
Third, IT systems and patients are more similar than most people would think. When they’re healthy they’re happy and you enjoy going to work every day, and when they’re “sick” they can drive you mad. I’ve spent the last several years of my career trying to help bridge the gap between “the IT people” and “the clinical people” and being able to do that on a larger scale seemed cool. We all want the same things – and if I can give the “computer guys” and the “doctors that just hate the system” some tips and tricks to better interact with each other, then I’ve helped make all of our lives a tiny bit better.
Finally, a tiny part of me wanted a guaranteed invite to HIStalkapalooza (OK, maybe it was a very big part). Although I suppose as a team member I’m likely excluded from the “Inga Loves My Shoes” and HIStalk Queen contests, I might try anyway, so dust off those shiny taffeta ball gowns and the ruffled tuxedo shirts, and I’ll see you there.