From Cop Rock: “Re: Meditech 6.0 multi-facility. Steward Health Care was set up by Cerebrus Capital Management to run the six Caritas Christi hospitals it bought from the Archdiocese of Boston. Their Meditech 6.0 implementation will encompass all six hospitals, surely the largest implementation to date of 6.0.”
Another reader mentioned that the first multi-site 6.0 install may have been Kootenai Medical Center (ID), whose systems, he points out, are hosted by HIStalk sponsor Inland Northwest Health Services. That organization, via its Information Resource Management subsidiary, performs HIT work that includes an HIE, all kinds of Meditech services, and consulting related to ARRA, infrastructure, revenue cycle, and clinical processes. Not to mention the services they provide to physicians throughout the Northwest that include hosted GE Centricity apps, help desk, networking, desktop management, and e-mail services. Their latest newsletter is here. I figured I might as well mention them since I haven’t said too much about them lately and I keep forgetting that they’re doing cool stuff.
From Portnoy’s Complaint: “Re: Georgetown. Georgetown Memorial / Waccamaw Community Hospital is running Meditech 6.0, now live for one week at two hospital campuses about 30 miles apart. A few minor bugs remain to be ironed out, mostly with running reports from secondary report writers; also old scanned images from MT 5.0 are not viewable, but should be fixed soon. Some one-time patches run to fix problems at go-live with patients not crossing over have unfortunately resulted in those patients still appearing on rounding lists though they’ve already been discharged. No major meltdowns from physician staff during the transition. Meditech support staff were reportedly helpful and senior Meditech administration came on site to learn about the problems with implementation and they seemed genuinely interested in creating a better product. Kudos to CIO Frank Scafidi and his team for managing the transition.” Unverified.
From Mike: “Re: free PDFs from the National Academies Press. Here’s the press release. Everybody can now download their 4,000 reports for free.” Mike, who runs Meaningful Use Rule Consulting, listed some now-free HIT-related titles (the first thing I thought of was using them as texts for online courses):
- Digital Infrastructure for the Learning Health System: The Foundation for Continuous Improvement in Health and Health Care: Workshop Series Summary (2011) Institute of Medicine (IOM)
- The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2011) , Institute of Medicine (IOM)
- Innovations in Health Literacy: Workshop Summary (2011)
- Preliminary Observations on Information Technology Needs and Priorities for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: An Interim Report (2010)
From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows 8. Microsoft has released details of their upcoming introduction of Windows 8, which is rumored to be available in the fall. The Windows Start screen will now be the method to access your most important features by using tile graphics and the touch feature everywhere instead of the icon clicking available currently for your existing applications. Additionally, it looks like Microsoft ported many of the Windows Phone 7 User Interface graphics to this new release to compete with the Apple iPhone.” My take is this: every other Windows release sucks. Think about the dog upgrades people paid good money for, like Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows ME, and Vista. Windows 7 was good, therefore history suggests being wary of Windows 8. I hope MSFT surprises me. I’m finally taking the plunge to Windows 7, replacing my two-year-old desktop PC with a model on sale at Best Buy for a price I couldn’t resist (my current one is a $349 barebones kit that I did myself, adding in the extra parts and Win XP from its predecessor). I hate to replace a relatively new PC, but I’m having odd lockups and the hassle and cost of reformatting to install Win 7 makes the replacement option attractive. I’ll keep the old one as a spare or maybe raid the good parts I added in, like the Thermaltake power supply.
From Todd: “Re: CIO salaries. I remember seeing it on the site, but couldn’t locate it. Can you provide the link or tell me how you found the salaries? Thank you (as always) for your great site. I’m not sure why you keep your day job or how you pull off doing everything you do, but your work is sincerely appreciated wide & far by the HIT industry.” I really like my day job – not only is it interesting and challenging, I get to see what I do have a direct impact on patient care, patient safety, and clinician satisfaction and I would miss that. Plus, I work for a non-profit hospital employer I really admire, not like when I worked for the uber-sleazy for-profit hospital (that didn’t last long) or the clueless vendor (that lasted way too long). In both cases, I wanted to wear a paper bag over my head to work each day so nobody would recognize me. The CIO salary information (old) is here. You can look salaries up by finding the 990 form for a non-profit hospital – I use GuideStar or Foundation Center (sign up for a free account for the former). Search by organization name, choose the most recent 990, and then look under two sections: Part VII (highly compensated employees) or in the appendices. Sometimes the CIO isn’t listed because they aren’t on the highest paid list, or sometimes they’re listed by name and not title, or sometimes they pull a UPMC and form a separate management company to keep the public from knowing what they’re paying. Above is one from WellStar, which I randomly chose (I blurred the names because the CIO in question is an HIStalk reader, so I figure I owe him that). Sometimes you can find how much a hospital paid an IT vendor if that vendor is among their highest paid. In WellStar’s case, McKesson is #1, with $10 million in payments over one year. If a vendor’s 990 isn’t listed, they are required by law to provide you one if you ask (the same goes for HIMSS and any other non-profit).
Speaking of sticking with healthcare as a profession, two-thirds of survey respondents would. New poll to your right: is a proposed HHS rule that requires EHRs to log all access to patient records and providers to make those logs available to the patient on request a great idea that’s technically reasonable, a great idea that’s technically unreasonable, or just a bad idea?
Say hello to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Ignis Systems of the ultra-cool city of Portland, OR. The company’s EMR-Link gives its 4,000 physician users an efficient way to enter lab orders, which is important since docs do that almost constantly. They don’t need to enter orders once in the EMR and again in the lab ordering system. In fact, they don’t need an EMR at all. EMR-Link does medical necessity and insurance checking, prints order sheets, prints ABNs if needed, and routes orders automatically to the correct lab based on insurance and location. Repeat what I just said about radiology orders, since EMR-Link also integrates radiology ordering into the EMR. Meaningful Use is all about interoperability and connectivity, while physician acceptance is about workflow — EMR-Link connects EMRs to lab and rad providers, but also connects orders and results to any HIE. Setup is in hours, not weeks, docs just work like they’ve always worked, and everybody gains efficiency and saves money. I found an excellent and surprisingly unbiased presentation from January on their site that talks about EMR expectations, ARRA, and integration. I was also amused at the fun executive bios (the CEO’s history: “Working for a 600-person company was too big; a one person company was too small. This seems just right.”) Thanks to the folks at Ignis Systems for supporting HIStalk.
My Time Capsule editorial from 2006 for this time around: Small Vendors With Good Ideas Can Carve a Niche In Healthcare. Other than a now-outdated reference to Myspace, here’s an amuse-bouche: “Build something that supports what healthcare users themselves want to do, not what someone else wants them to do. Sounds obvious, but think about CPOE, nursing documentation, and other software that forces change on users who don’t want it, often leading to fierce resistance and vendor acrimony.”
Reading the long-forgotten word Myspace makes me think of another former technology darling that’s now a head-scratching trivia question: Second Life. Remember when Cerner and all those “visionary” hospitals wasted time, money, and press releases sticking virtual worlds out there with no apparent awareness of how utterly ridiculous that was? Nobody was using the dog-slow Second Life except nerds living in their parents’ basement and pervs hoping for creepy simulated hookups. I criticized Second Life in 2007 and proclaimed it a goner a year ago: “I said in 2007 that I thought Second Life was clunky and pointless despite all the hospitals and webheads raving about how transformative it was going to be for business and consumer commerce. Maybe in a virtual world, but in the real one, Second Life parent Linden Labs is tanking. Predictably, Second Life proved to be as pointless for corporations as it was for everybody else.” I predicted the same outcome for Twitter in that post, so we’ll see if I’m as wrong about that as when I proclaimed Epic as irrelevant back in 2003.
I ran the first of several Innovator Showcase pieces this weekend. My volunteer panel of investment bankers and a provider chose a handful of companies from dozens that applied to be featured, looking at those that were small and innovative. Logical Progression was the first and I’ll follow that format for the others: company info, a quick read about what they do, a pitch video made specifically for the HIStalk Showcase, a customer interview, and an executive interview. It’s like being at a venture fair, but with the ability to research the company and product in a more leisurely fashion. I’ll follow up with Chris from Logical Progression in a few weeks to find out if anything has changed.
HIStalk turns eight years old on Wednesday. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I figure I work on HIStalk at least 40 hours per week, so that’s about 16,000 hours (and counting) that I won’t be getting back.
We ran a reader comment about e-prescribing vendors being pushed by practices to get them running by June 30 so they can bang out their 10 Medicare e-prescriptions to avoid a 1% Medicare penalty, while doing 25 electronic prescriptions will earn them a 1% bonus. e Interactive Universe is capitalizing on that rush, offering a system they say can be running in just a few hours, including online training. The company guarantees that the required volume can be met in less than one business day.
Shareable Ink sent over an advance copy of a press release going out next week that announces its partnership with Waiting Room Solutions. Shareable Ink’s digital pen and paper has been paired up with WRS’s ONC-ATCB certified small-practice EHR. Three customers of the package have already received Medicare incentive payments, one of them being Lawrence Gordon MD of ENT Specialty Care, who credits both companies with getting him to MU attestation so quickly (April 20) and with improving the health of his patients.
Here’s the latest HIStory from Vince Ciotti, with a personal history of the biggest name in HIT for decades, Shared Medical Systems (they were cloud before cloud was cool).
The use of AirStrip Cardiology at several Broward County, Florida hospitals is profiled by the local CBS TV station.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (TX) implements GE Healthcare’s Patient Care Capacity Management, developed at Mount Sinai in New York. From the announcement, it appears to be a combination of consulting services and the AgileTrac RFID tracking system for employees, patients, and equipment. St. Luke’s expects to save $10 million by using it.
The Institute of Medicine will hold its second health data forum this Thursday, June 9 in Bethesda, MD (it will be simulcast as well). The event will feature 50 companies that are building tools around government databases. Speakers include HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, HHS CTO Todd Park, the CEO of Walgreens, the CTO of the VA, Aneesh Chopra, Tim O’Reilly, and others.
Rock Health, the cool new accelerator for Web-based and mobile health applications, chooses its inaugural class of 11 startups. Three are in stealth mode, but announced were (a) Brainbot – mental performance; (b) CellScope – home diagnosis; (c) Genomera – personal health collaboration; (d) Health in Reach – procedure marketplace; (e) Omada Health – clinical treatment social networking; (f) Pipette – patient monitoring and education; (g) Skimble – mobile fitness; and (h) WeSprout – connecting health data and community.
Florida Governor Rick Scott changes his mind about the proposed doctor shopper database he promised to kill just a few weeks ago, signing a pain clinic bill that will start it up on October 1. The bill also prohibits doctors from selling meds directly from their offices, calls for an automatic six-month suspension for doctors who overprescribe, and requires pharmacies and drug wholesalers to report suspicious drug usage. Interesting stated fact: 85% of national sales of oxycodone occur in Florida, often bought by middlemen who resell it to drug-stupored Appalachian hillbillies. Right after the bill was signed, federal authorities raided the office of an Orlando doctor who prescribed 303,000 oxycodone doses in one year, more than the entire state of California. Given the rampant Medicare fraud that Florida is also known for, perhaps the feds should just move all of their agents there in an Iraq-like surge.
Beth Israel Deaconness physician informaticist Shane Reti is conducting a New Zealand trial of the iPad 2 as a kiosk at which patients complete an allergy form and check the accuracy of the clinic’s allergy records. The information is sent to the doctor’s smart phone for review during the visit.
Citrus Valley Health Partners (CA) hires Paveljit Bindra as CMO/CMIO. He brings impressive credentials: cardiologist, Harvard undergrad and MD, Fulbright scholar at Oxford, Mass General and Penn residencies, and a Wharton MBA in both finance and healthcare management.
Bizarre: a teenager in China sells a kidney to buy an iPad 2 and an iPhone. The hospital in which the illegal surgery was performed said it wasn’t responsible since it had rented out its urology department to the businessman who arranged the transaction.