From Holly: “Re: Patrick Soon-Shiong. Maybe his healthcare announcement, if there really is one, will involve his recent investment in online game developer Fourth Wall Studios. He mentioned healthcare in his statement about that investment. ‘As I work with new technologies for healthcare and medicine, I see more and more parallels with what’s happening in entertainment; for example, the rapidly accelerating use of mobile devices and social media platforms, and the use of novel algorithms to create machine vision.’” Machine vision means applying computer algorithms to extract information from images that can be used to measure or control a process. It’s usually mentioned in a manufacturing context, but it sounds like PSS has something different in mind. That doesn’t sound like technology that would interest a wireless conference crowd, though.
From Kittery: “Re: Allscripts. Notified employees this afternoon that product strategy will move under President Lee Shapiro. It previously reported to John Gomez. Rumors abound that Gomez’s departure is imminent and the company is enticing his direct reports to stay. The e-mail also said that Lee Shapiro will lead its international business, which will focus on English-speaking countries where it maintains a footprint. It did not include the Middle East, where the company recently walked way from the largest deal where they were vendor of choice.” Unverified. I’ve heard the Gomez rumors over several weeks, but that’s all they are so far.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Apple’s iOS 4.2 Personal Hotspot. Another feature of Apple’s iOS 4.2 is the availability of a Personal Hotspot that others nearby can use to connect to the Web. With this iOS 4.2 feature, the iPad was capable of averaging just over 1 Mbps on downloads and uploads using a 3G network. InformationWeek has an evaluation of the pluses and minuses of this feature.”
From Swedish Meatball: “Re: Swedish. See attached regarding planned affiliation between Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and hospitals on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. As affiliates, the hospitals will be using Swedish’s existing Epic EMR. Swedish already has a contract in place with The Polyclinic to share its Epic EMR.” Internal documents from Olympic Medical Center suggest that the EMR was an important part of the decision, along with clinical integration, collaboration on support services, and ACO.
From An HIStalk Fan: “Re: my MBA class’s Google survey. I had a dismal 38 respondents, but due to your efforts, I exceeded my goal with 551 respondents. Thank you. I do want to share that I have a better appreciation for the work you, Inga, and Dr. Jayne do for us readers. As a nurse, I know what it means to have a thankless job and your HIStalk work is definitely right up there in my book. The negative comments to my one open response survey question flabbergasted me. I’m sure you have had your share and I hope the naysayers never distract you from the truth, which is, WE ALL LOVE YOU, MR. H! I also wanted to provide you the results of the survey.” I’m occasionally amazed at how ill-mannered some people get over something trivial (like getting a second e-mail blast in one day or my mentioning my out-of-work friend). It used to bother me, but I’ve distilled my reaction as follows: (a) if I’m not getting readers worked up in ways both good and bad, then I’m not doing my job; (b) I don’t know the commenter and they don’t know me, so it’s not really as personal and hopefully it’s just Internet rudeness they wouldn’t exhibit in person; and (c) a few people in any given subset of the population have serious issues, and if blasting me by e-mail keeps them from expressing their inner rage in more harmful ways, then that’s OK, I can take it (although I always ask myself why they’re reading if it bothers them all that much). It’s also not a thankless job – I get thanks all the time and appreciate that. I uploaded the PDF results of your survey here.
From Dale Sanders: “Re: from The Onion. You are going to love this!” Dale’s right – I love The Onion and I’ve previously observed, as they do here, that oil change places keep better records about your car than most hospitals keep about its driver.
Quick-Lube Shop Masters Electronic Record Keeping Six Years Before Medical Industry
KETTERING, OH—A comprehensive digital cataloging system that keeps track of its customers’ car maintenance history, oil-change needs, and past fuel-filter replacements puts Karl’s Lube & Go’s computerized record- keeping an estimated six years ahead of the medical industry’s, sources confirmed Friday. "We figured that a basic database would help us with everything from scheduling regular appointments to predicting future lubrication requirements," said the proprietor of the local oil-change shop, Karl Lemke, who has no special logistical or programming skills, and who described his organizational methods, which are far more advanced than those of any hospital emergency room, as "basic, common-sense stuff." "We can even contact your insurance provider for you to see if you’re covered and for how much, which means we can get to work on what’s wrong without bothering you about it. The system not only saves me hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, but it saves my customers a bundle, too." Lemke added that he also routinely and politely inquires about his customers’ health and well-being, which puts him roughly 145 years ahead of the medical industry
We still can’t collectively decide whether free government money has too many strings attached. New poll to your right: who owns patient information in EHRs and other provider systems? A simple question that I suspect does not have a simple answer.
We already mentioned that the press release touting a $3,500 EMR report fails to mention Epic. It also misspells Eclipsys, which for some reason is as vexing to writers as Misys was (Mysis, anyone?) The report may be amazing, but I’d have a tough time writing that check based on what I’m reading here.
Speaking of lame press releases, here’s one from Avaya, touting the results of its booth survey at the HIMSS conference (one could argue that the survey itself was lame considering it was conducted at the Avaya booth with no respondent pre-qualification or demographics noted and only 130 responses received). Not only are the results startlingly mundane (hospitals buy IT to improve patient care, clinicians are busy) but the press release segues directly to a product pitch, ruining the perception of the 1% of readers who might have thought they spotted a tiny glimmer of objectivity by virtue of squinting their eyes and reading really fast. Not surprisingly, some of the rags and sites dutifully reported the results as though they were meaningful. I’m hoping we weren’t one of them since Inga loves writing about surveys and I usually limit her to one per post or I just edit them out. Companies do self-serving, statistically unsound surveys because they know lazy writers will run the company-friendly results unchallenged, adding their own catchy headline and dramatic summary in hopes of being mistaken as having commanding industry analytical skill.
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Logical Progression and its flagship product, Logical Ink. The Cary, NC company has offered mobile documentation solutions for years, leveraging tablets, digital ink, and a pen-based interface to give clinicians a user interface that’s as natural and easy to use as paper. They convert paper forms to mobile applications that physicians and even patients themselves complete just like they would on paper, adding their own free-form notes, drawings, or signatures (data capture from handwriting recognition is supported). The resulting documentation is validated, digitally signed, and sent to clinical or enterprise content management systems. Sample solutions include admissions, informed consent, progress notes, radiology, and anesthesia record. The company owns all of the technology it uses, so it provides total system support and OEMs its technology. Refreshingly, it offers detailed and complete pricing information in the clear on its Web site. Thanks to Logical Progression / Logical Ink for supporting HIStalk.
Here’s a demo of the Logical Ink consent app for the iPad.
I’m still working on the idea of giving small, innovative companies exposure on HIStalk. I have experts in place to do the vetting and ideas of how that exposure will look. We’re working out the details and will be taking submissions soon. I think it’s going to be tremendously fun, so stay tuned.
Canadian surgeons are using Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect in surgery to allow them to manipulate medical images via gestures without breaking scrub. They say it can save up an an hour in complex surgeries that would otherwise require leaving the sterile field and scrubbing in again, saying it works like a car GPS in allowing you to keep driving while you get oriented.
Montana governor Brian Schweitzer urges state lawmakers to reconsider their decision to make Montana the only state to reject HITECH EHR money. The legislature has voted four times to deny the state’s HHS department the authority to accept an estimated $35 million in federal money to distribute to hospitals in the state. The governor, a Democrat, says the money would reduce healthcare costs and increase jobs. Republican lawmakers say they’re drawing the line on out-of-control federal spending, with one saying, “Every one of those federal dollars that we spend, a taxpayer somewhere has to come up with.”
Thomson Reuters is helping out folks in Japan by providing free access to the radiation exposure content in its Micromedex Poisindex. All clinicians in Japan and everywhere else, whether they are Micromedex subscribers or not, can review information on evaluating and treating radiation exposure.
Speaking of the situation in Japan, hospitals are struggling. Some are without utilities, one has 10% of its staff missing, another used the last of its rice and limited patients to two meals per day, and physicians and employees can’t get to work because of fuel shortages. “It’s as if some enemy is starving us out,” one hospital official said.
Cooper University Hospital (NJ) is using iSirona’s solution to send monitor data directly to Epic, which the hospital says saves each nurse about an hour per shift.
I mentioned that only one of the educational sessions I attended at HIMSS was any good, that one being about bedside barcoding. It was excellent and very well received. I didn’t have presenter information, but it turns out it was Charles Still of Southwest Vermont Medical Center. He e-mailed me to let me know that he offers a more in-depth Webinar version of the same presentation a few times a year for $149 per attending site to offset some of his conference expense. The next session for Technical Device Considerations for EMAR/BMV Systems Implementation is April 14, with a limit of 24 participants for the 90-minute class.
A research study published in JAMIA finds that electronic medical records systems improve quality of care of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries by sending clinicians automated reminders of overdue CD4 blood tests. The system used was the open source OpenMRS.
GhostExodus, the 26-year-old who who posted a YouTube video of himself hacking into computers and the HVAC system at W.B. Carrell Memorial Clinic in Texas, is sentenced to nine years in federal prison. He seems more stupid than dangerous.