From Give Me a Break: “Re: press releases. Do readers find it as annoying as I do when a vendor issues a press release congratulating its customers for making a list of some kind? The average health system has over 240 apps from 70 vendors.” I do indeed find that particular practice somewhere between pointless and annoying, right up there with those announcements that “applaud” some government decision that benefits the vendor directly. That’s especially true when the award the customer has won comes from a for-profit company looking for publicity (see: Most Wired, any company’s customer awards). I’m generally hostile toward press releases that contain no discernible news, even of the self-serving variety. They’re lucky that lazy magazines and sites are so desperate for free content that they’ll foist crap like that on their readers anyway, hoping that hyperventilating headlines and cutesy writing will keep readers from noticing the waste of their time.
From DeeDee: “Re: University of Missouri Health Care. The video with their being named HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 has some marketing polish, but interesting. Buy-in of the Tiger public/private venture seems impressive.”
From Tooter: “Re: Webmedx. You didn’t mention that HIStalk ran the Nuance acquisition rumor before the announcement was made.” True enough: I ran MT Hammer’s rumor report on June 24, while Nuance announced the acquisition on July 14.
From Lucy Gucci: “Re: Epic new hire blog posting on WSJ. I remember feeling this way about starting at Epic, too – excited to be a business traveler and still glossy-eyed over the architecture. Also, I’ve heard that Judy is talking about the June new hire class making up a certain percentage of the national job growth for that month.” A 21-year-old new grad (business administration, Asian studies) gushes with enthusiasm about being hired as an Epic project manager, ready to “improve patient care, create better processes, and in general aid hospital systems” as she “moves rapidly toward adulthood.”
Most respondents say the government shouldn’t get involved with EMR usability, although not by a large margin. New poll to your right, from a reader’s comment: what will HITECH’s legacy be?
Listening: reader-recommended Big Head Todd and the Monsters, straight-head soulful rock with thoughtful lyrics and an unchanged member lineup (and relatively unchanged musical style) for 25 years.
Unrelated, but music again: singer Amy Winehouse is found dead at 27, joining other notoriously drug-abusing rock stars to expire at that age (off the top of my head, that list includes Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Brian Jones).
This week’s Time Capsule editorial from 2006: Your Co-Workers Are Your Biggest IT Security Problem. A snip: “A hospital’s internal documents and policies probably aren’t all that interesting to competitors, but you might reconsider storing Social Security and credit card numbers.”
I hung on every word of Vince Ciotti’s HIStory this week since it covers Compucare, IBAX, and other faded names from yesteryear that still seem recent to HIT long-timers (the notepad cover I use every day is a Compucare one, so I’m just realizing how long I’ve had it). He got help this time around from pioneers Ed Gavin, Sheldon Dorenfest, and David Pomerance. Given the great response Vince is getting, I’m thinking he should reprise his SMS reunion of a couple of years ago, except open it up to anybody who worked in HIT in the old days (before 1980, let’s say) and do it at the HIMSS conference. Then he could really tap into some first-person memories for future installments. Vince is willing to take his show on the road for interested classes or groups (like regional chapters of HIMSS or HFMA) – just e-mail him.
Dell confirms the rumor I ran Thursday from Jamie that healthcare VP Berk Smith, brought over in its Perot acquisition, is leaving to start a healthcare-related company.
Thanks to the folks at Preceptor Consulting of Fort Myers, FL, supporting both HIStalk and HIStalk Practice at the Platinum level. Preceptor offers design, build, testing, and training support for all the top clinical systems (Epic, Cerner, McKesson, etc.). Their name comes from what they do: provide licensed clinicians (physicians and nurses) to get those systems live, which they’ve done in more than 500 healthcare facilities over the past five years. Their motto will be familiar physicians: See IT. Do IT. Teach IT. You’ve spent a lot on that shiny new clinical system, so spend a little more to engage authoritative, experienced clinician experts who will make sure it’s built right, tested as safe, and accepted by well-trained users (think of it as cost-effective CIO/CMIO job security insurance). Find out why the largest health systems get clinical implementation support and healthcare IT expertise from Preceptor Consulting. Thanks to Preceptor for supporting HIStalk and HIStalk Practice.
Here’s a really well done video about Preceptor Consulting I found on YouTube, with some of the “preceptors” talking about working on site at hospitals and some of their clients talking about their experience. “Any time you had a question or an issue, they were right there to help. I don’t think you could make the transition without the preceptors. I don’t think it could be done.”
Athenahealth sues AdvancedMD, claiming the company violated an athenahealth patent. The patent number cited suggests that the suit is related to athenahealth’s centrally maintained insurance billing rules engine.
John Halamka will resign his part-time position as CIO of Harvard Medical School, saying it needs someone full time, but is staying on at BIDMC.
A former EVP and general counsel of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia pleads guilty to charges related to his embezzlement of $1.7 million from the hospital, accomplished by submitting and approving fake invoices. He bought himself a yacht with its own captain.
CodeRyte will make some announcements this week about a new Natural Language Processing system for computer-assisted coding in hospitals, which a few customers have already signed up for. Fun executive team facts: CEO Andy Kapit taught autistic kindergarten children. Chairman and President Richard Toren invented the EpiPen, which has saved the lives of countless allergic patients. COO Glenn Tobin and Chief Revenue Officer Don Trigg are fairly recent hires from Cerner (COO and UK GM, respectively).
GE announces Q2 numbers: revenue down 4%, EPS $0.35 vs. $0.28. GE Healthcare revenue was up 10%, with profit up 8% to $711 million.
Hospital of St. Raphael (CT) fires three employees after one of them takes cellphone pictures of the fatal gunshot wounds of a 17-year-old ED patient and sends them to other employees.
A hospital in England, which pays the travel expenses of some family members visiting patients in its mental health units, suggests that the family members use Skype instead to save money.
Eighteen former employees of insurance company Molina Healthcare file a lawsuit against their former employer, its former CIO, and outsourcer Cognizant, claiming they were discriminated against as the IT department brought in increasing numbers of Indian workers to the point it was called “little India.” They say the department celebrated Indian holidays while making employees work Thanksgiving and Christmas, promoted only employees from India, and conducted meetings in Indian languages. They charge Molina with firing 40 technical workers the day after Cognizant was approved to bring in 40 H-1B employees. The former employees also claim that Molina regularly violated HIPAA requirements when the H1-B workers would send full, unencrypted patient files to their counterparts in India.