CMS’s EHR Incentive Program attestation process is live.
Sad news: industry longtimer Marc Holland died suddenly on Saturday, April 16, 2011. He joined HIMSS as VP of market research four months ago following positions with System Research Services, several market research firms, and Montefiore Medical Center. He wrote a nostalgic reflection of his 30+ years as a HIMSS member in January, including his optimism that healthcare IT’s future is bright. Marc Holland was 62.
From Petra: “Re: first-day Meaningful Use attesters. Why aren’t more vendors promoting customers who have successfully registered? They’ve hyped this for a year, so I would expect a flood of news. Where’s the beef?” I haven’t seen anything mentioned. It may not be all that newsworthy, but you know at least some of the rags would run the story anyway and vendors don’t usually turn down free PR.
From HIS Fan: “Re: UW Health (University of Wisconsin health). Announced yesterday that CMS has accepted its Meaningful Use data for Stage 1 as submitted. They are an Epic shop and achieved Stage 7 last year.”
From WildcatWell: “Re: Dell’s aggressive EMR marketing efforts. I called and the phone kept ringing and ringing, redirecting a caller to sales and then ringing … well, I stopped after five minutes. How do you think support calls will be handled?” I tried the number and it was not necessarily a pleasant PBX experience, but someone did pick up after six rings or so. I’m not listing the number since someone will surely shriek that I’m pandering to a sponsor (via Dell’s acquisition of InSite One), but it’s easy to find. I would try again since maybe you just caught them at a bad time.
From Kerplunk: “Re: Zite for the iPad. It’s a content discovery app that I’m in love with and it’s free.” It’s a personalized magazine that gets smarter as you use it, the developer says (and the 4+ rating seems to indicate that users agree). One of my first and favorite iPad apps was Flip, so I’ll try Zite to see if it’s similar.
From Susan: “Re: Concerro. They released a video at AONE that is racist, a takeoff of the Apple vs. IBM commercial in which a disheveled black woman represents paper scheduling and a well put together represents electronic scheduling. As a black nurse, I find this reprehensible.” I watched the video and didn’t have that reaction since companies can never seem to please everyone with their well-intended attempts at representing diversity or by just treating everyone (like actors) equally. However, since I’m seeing it through white male eyes, I invited Concerro to respond.
Thank you for taking the time to express your concern about our new video. The Concerro marketing team went to great lengths to find the best actors for each of the roles in all of our videos. Our “paper” actor was selected because she played an excellent frazzled nurse and a younger person was needed to play the role of a “less experienced” nurse. It’s unfortunate that this has been taken out of context and we sincerely apologize for offending anyone. Concerro stands by these videos and we are proud of our actors.
From NonCredentialedTechie: “Re: from Slashdot. The head of a clinical division at an academic hospital sets up his own server at work, asks IT to allow people to access it through the hospital network, and is ‘taken aback’ when they say they’ll need an account on his server. The best part are the comments.” I love this, even though it may be a troll and not a real clinician writing it. The author claims he’s miffed that IT isn’t thrilled about his server and says he’s considering “taking this up the chain” and asks readers if they think he should give IT an account. Here’s the best response from the many hundreds posted:
What you’ve done would cause any professional IT group to get out the hot tar, feathers, and rail. Or at least come into your office and ask you politely to remove the damn server from their facility. And never do this again. You must have missed all the security briefings, the issues with HIPAA, and whatnot when you were looking at systems. What you’ve done is to create a ‘rogue system’. Imagine one of your kids sets up a server in your house. You don’t understand it, you don’t know if it’s happily sniffing network traffic to steal passwords so pizza can be ordered using your credit cards, serving up pr0n, or just running minecraft. Would you willy nilly allow the kids to open a port on your firewall without the ability to audit what they’re doing ? Of course not. Personally I’m amazed that they only asked for an account on your little server. I would have gone over and watched while you removed it from the facility and put in in your car.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Listening: new Foo Fighters. I never paid them much attention, but I should have … Wasting Light sounds great first time through. It was recorded directly to analog tape in Dave Grohl’s garage, yielding a sound that I nostalgically remember as “music” before lesser talents hijacked the term sometime in the late 90s to define computer-created dance tracks. This is amazingly good and gets a rare highest recommendation from me.
Cerner is one of six companies profiled in a new video series by the Small Business Administration. Cerner vice chairman and co-founder Cliff Illig shares details of how he and fellow entrepreneurs Neal Patterson and Paul Gorup created the company in 1979 and how Cerner has evolved over the last 32 years.
Healthcare disclosure management provider MRO Corp. acquires the assets of Keystone Management Solutions, a provider of release of information services.
Community Health Systems files a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against it by Tenet Healthcare, which claims CHS admits ED patients for purely financial reasons. CHS, whose December bid to buy Tenet for $5 per share in cash and $1 in stock was rejected as insufficient, changed its offer to a $3.3 billion all-cash offer, saying that move eliminates the basic for Tenet’s lawsuit against CHS, which alleged securities fraud. This pair is like hot-blooded lovers who can’t decide whether to kill each other or to make passionate love (or maybe both simultaneously). I think I’d be cautious about waving $3.3 billion in cash around right as the public tries to figure out where to cut healthcare costs.
HealthInsight selects Axolotl’s Elysium Exchange infrastructure for the Nevada HIE.
Physician management services organization TeamPraxis (HI) chooses Microsoft Amalga to facilitate the sharing of patient information.
Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital and Bright Health Physicians (CA) will implement the Shareable Ink documentation system as part of its rollout of Allscripts Enterprise PM/EHR.
Five hospitals in Canada will implement order set management tools from PatientOrderSets.com, increasing the Canadian vendor’s client list to 140 hospitals. The company changed its name from Open Source Order Sets in January, explaining that its collaborative network is cloud-based, but not open source in the software development context.
Lutheran Medical Center (NY) contracts for Service Desk healthcare-specific IT help desk services from CareTech Solutions. The company started up 24×7 services within three weeks to support Lutheran’s EMR rollout.
University HealthSystem Consortium (IL) hires Mike Hebrank as VP and CIO. His previous employers include Helix Health and Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
Announcements and Implementations
Seventy Hawaii physicians on the island of Oahu form Health Information Helping Others (HIHO) as a pilot project for the Hawaii HIE. HIHO will use Wellogic’s Direct Project technology for data exchange and secure messaging. Got to love the happy acronym, which is far less cynical than some of the ones that recently concocted by Mr. H (HCRAP comes to mind).
Roche introduces a new EMR interface for the VA that transmits patient diabetes data into the VistA computerized patient record system. JResultNet allows providers to automatically transfer patient blood glucose test results from the ACCU-CHEK 360 Diabetes Management system to VistA.
Thomson Reuters announces Micromedex Drug Interactions for the iPhone. It’s free to Micromedex customers, $50 per year otherwise.
PenRad announces plans to develop the next generation of its PenVasc Vascular Data Management System for vascular labs.
General Dynamics becomes the first healthcare application service provider host to earn HITRUST certification, which documents that its hosting service meets HIPAA and HITECH security requirements.
Government and Politics
Lawmakers in Maine are considering legislation that would give patients the ability to control what portions of their medical record could be included in the state’s HIE.
Without any clear explanation, ONC extends the comment period for the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2011 – 2015 from April 22 to May 6. Comments can be made or reviewed here.
The Kansas Board of Pharmacy will require pharmacies to use the NPLEx system, which alerts store personnel when customers try to buy products like Sudafed from multiple locations to skirt sales limits imposed to thwart methamphetamine production. The system is provided nationally by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators and paid for by the drug companies whose products are involved.
Innovation and Research
A BBC article says that governments like Britain’s spend billions on ambitious electronic medical records projects, but small upstarts are tackling much smaller problems with greater success. The CEO of a company that offers a smart phone-based communication system says that hospitals have spent a fortune on IT, but caregivers still can’t monitor patients with it. “Cans of tomatoes are being treated better than patients,” he says, referring to the more advanced technologies used by the average grocery store. Another company is piloting a cloud-based hospital management system in a 2,000 bed hospital in India, saying that it’s a poor part of a world, but patients there get “more efficient, more high-tech service than patients in the UK” because they didn’t have to work around legacy systems or government policies.
Do you run a small and innovative healthcare IT company? Does it offer a product (not a service) and have at least five employees and one referenceable site? If so, a team of volunteer HIStalk readers and I will consider giving you a national audience right here on HIStalk. This isn’t like a venture fair, where you have to fly somewhere, pitch to an indifferent audience of allegedly interested investors, and then go home with nothing to show for it. We’re offering you the chance to reach HIStalk’s readers directly and at no cost, just because I like to shake things up a little by giving the little guy a chance to earn customers and investors (and because readers keep asking me to showcase those little guys). If your company would like to be the guinea pig, e-mail me and we’ll work through some simple details. I’ll post your story, an interview with you and your referenceable site, and your video pitch.
Old news that I just ran across: MediAngels says it has launched the first 24×7 Global eHospital to serve patients anywhere in India and elsewhere over the Internet. It has 300 physicians, including those from 85 super-specialties, who will render consultations and second opinions. The maximum fee, which is charged only if an international panel of physicians is involved, is $100 US. It claims to meet HIPAA standards (which is says were “enacted by the USA FDA”) and can also arrange medical tourism.
Here’s a fun and interesting video featuring Halle Tecco, a new Harvard Business School grad who founded non-profit HIT accelerator RockHealth (mentioned here last week) with medical partners Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “I didn’t even go to Recruitment Week or apply for any of the big jobs because I knew it could be really tempting because they pay probably like five times as much as I’m going to make, but at the end of the day, I’m more concerned about doing something interesting and meaningful with my time on this earth, whether that’s right out of business school or ten years down the road.”
Ten percent of ambulatory providers are switching PACS or RIS vendors due to market consolidation or poor vendor performance, according to a new KLAS report. KLAS also noted that providers will generally forego some functionality for solid PACS/RIS integration, though single-side vendors do well in their respective markets. Intelerad IntelePACS was the highest rated PACS and MedInformatix the top RIS.
The Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline reprimands a physician who posted details of her ER experiences on Facebook. The postings did not include any patient names, but the nature of the injuries described allowed at least one person to identify a patient. Alexandra Thran was found guilty of unprofessional conduct and ordered to pay a $500 administrative fee.
American Medical News runs an interesting question on its Ethics Forum: is it ethical for doctors to use their IT systems to “cherry pick” or “lemon drop,” meaning choosing only the healthiest patients to maximize pay-for-performance money while increasing costs overall? It gives interesting examples of Medicare HMOs, which have been caught recruiting only patients from affluent areas and discouraging sick patients from re-enrolling by charging high co-pays for dialysis and cancer treatments. It theorizes that the EMR could be a powerful profit-making machine since doctors could theoretically just drop patients whose performance targets would be difficult to meet. It’s an interesting article — if a system can be gamed, you can bet it will be, both legally and illegally (see: tax laws).
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- Vitalize Consulting Solutions held its all-company meeting at Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Austin, TX earlier this month, including a build-a-bike team exercise that surprised 34 children of the local Boys and Girls Club with brand new bicycles, hlemets, and locks.
- Nathan Littauer Hospital (NY) selects ProVation Order Sets as its electronic order set solution.
- Cumberland Consulting Group promotes Amy Meiners to principal.
- Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital and Bright Health Physicians (CA) sign an agreement to deploy Allscripts Enterprise EHR and PM solutions. The ambulatory systems will integrate with the hospital’s existing Sunrise inpatient EHR/RCM system.
- St. Joseph Health System (CA) will implement MedPlus’s ChartMaxx electronic document management product.
- Cognify, Inc. selects Greenway’s PrimeSUITE to further integrate and advance its Web-based participant tracking system that monitors care plan continuums.
- The Rules-Based Charging solution of Surgical Information Systems earns the “Peer Reviewed by HFMA” standard for the fourth consecutive year.