From Brass Tacks: “Re: Danbury Hospital. They fired the CFO over this.” Former Danbury CFO William Roe is sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for embezzling $200,000 from Danbury Hospital (CT) and former employee St. Rita’s Medical Center (OH) by approving invoice payments to a fake software consulting company he had set up. Roe, who made $594K in 2009, blamed poor judgment and begged for a light sentence. The judge, unimpressed by his two court order violations, said, “Your primary concern is for yourself and your family, who have already benefited from the funds you’ve stolen.”
A New York Times article on usability of clinical systems highlights the usual arguments: usability experts say there’s no question that today’s systems are measurably poorly designed to the detriment of clinician users and patients, while vendors strongly resist the imposition of usability standards or mandatory usability testing.
Most poll respondents say the person running the company that employs them is honest and honorable. New poll to your right: should the federal government measure and report the usability of clinical systems?
Essentia Health (ND) goes live on Epic’s EHR July 31th.
Gartner positions mobile application development platform provider Kony in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for mobile consumer application platforms.
David Roberts, HIMSS’s VP of government relations, says it is unlikely that Congress would vote to eliminate future funding for EHR Meaningful Use incentives, despite the current current stalemate in federal budget negotiations. To eliminate the incentives, Congress would need to specifically vote to narrow the scope of the program or eliminate the program entirely. Roberts believes that legislation lacks adequate support to be passed in either houses of Congress.
The weekly e-mails of Kaiser Chairman and CEO George Halvorson are often HIT-related, with this week’s no different. Kaiser researchers have published autism-related studies made possible by its extensive patient data warehouse. They found that pregnant woman who used certain drugs greatly increased the odds of having an autistic baby, but vaccines were not among those drugs. They also found that children are dying of whooping cough because they aren’t being given pertussis vaccine.
Here’s the latest installment of HIStory from Vince Ciotti, this time covering vendors of minicomputer systems.
Greenway Medical Technologies files registration to raise up to $100 million in an IPO. Underwriters include Morgan Securities, Morgan Stanley, William Blair, Piper Jaffray, and Raymond James.
Caristix is offering a free beta program for software that helps hospital integration analysts identify and document custom HL7 interface segments and values.
Indian River Medical Center (FL) hires as its first CIO Bill Neil, formerly IT director at Presbyterian Healthcare Services (NM).
Scripps Health (CA) chooses Meddius to provide Integration as a Service, replacing its Sybase integration engine.
Yale New Haven licenses the Rothman Index, which uses real-time clinical systems information to generate a patient score that helps clinicians identify patients whose condition is deteriorating.
UPMC’s living donor kidney transplant program was shut down in May because up to six transplant team members failed to notice a Cerner EMR lab result alert indicating that a donor had undiagnosed hepatitis C. Her kidney was transplanted into a patient who did not have the disease, resulting in the temporary shutdown of the program. The surgeon who did most of the procedures was removed from his position, joining his equally high profile colleague who was fired in an earlier UPMC transplant scandal. A highly regarded transplant nurse was suspended for two weeks. Outside experts blamed generally poor EMR design, saying that UPMC administrators had a “knee-jerk reaction” in removing the surgeon, who had been under pressure to increase procedure volume, instead of examining the system that allowed the error to occur.
Seven former nurses from Valley Regional Medical Center (TX) sue the hospital, alleging they were fired in retaliation for making good faith reports of unsafe patient conditions. The nurses were terminated for "insubordination" after opposing assignments they claimed endangered critically ill patients. One nurse explained the situation as follows:
"It’s about standing up for your patient. We got into this profession to advocate for our patients… Patients who can’t speak up for themselves… And that’s what we’re trying to do here."
EHRs provide more comprehensive information on health services received than do Medicaid, according to a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine.
Mayo Clinic announces it is close to completing the development of tools that can identify and sort digital health information from any EMR, regardless of file format and data organization. Mayo’s project is funded by the HHS through its $60 million Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) program.
Strange: a city-employed nurse is fired for inappropriately accessing the electronic medical records of hospital patients. She says the real issue is her part-time job as a psychic, where she told patients they were about to experience heart attacks and claimed to be speaking to deceased co-workers from beyond the grave.