From Carlos: “Re: State of Connecticut HIE. Likely to hire Axway, a French company with headquarters in Arizona, to provide the platform. Too bad they didn’t commit to an American company.” Unverified, but it’s like car makers: tough to sort out whether you’re really buying American given that the executives, employees, subcontractors, and taxes paid are scattered around the globe and you don’t really know which country benefits the most. Axway is a publicly traded company (on the NYSE Euronext) spun off from IT services firm Sopra this past June. The CEO is French.
From Leisure Suit Larry: “Re: hospital EHR adoption. Have you seen 2010-2011 numbers? I haven’t seen anything since the 2009 AHA IT survey.” Maybe someone can help out.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: DICOM’s expansion. The stability of the DICOM Standard has been solidified with its expansion into the test and measuring field of practice. The ASTM DICONDE Committee has recognized the value of DICOM as a standard in healthcare, and adapted a version for test equipment called the E2339 Standard titled Practice for Digital Imaging and Communication in Nondestructive Evaluation. There are standards for various test methods which include Digital Radiography (DR), Computed Radiography (CR), and Computed Tomography (CT).”
From Bang Bang Shrimp: “Re: for-profit hospitals. I helped open HCA West Paces Ferry Hospital in Atlanta in 1974. We attached Addressograph charge slips to single Band-Aids at an unconscionable mark-up. We bought disposable ventilator tubing for $1.25 and charged Medicare $22.50. It took the federal government 20 years to realize they were being raped and not even receiving a kiss – thus the Dartmouth Study and prospective reimbursement.”
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HIMSS got mixed grades on last week’s poll, with 62% saying it deserves a B or C and more respondents giving it a failing grade than an A. New poll to your right: do hospital CIOs have too much influence in choosing clinical system vendor or implementation strategies?
Listening: reader-recommended (from Lake Hartwell) Heartless Bastards, a no-frills, hard-rocking Dayton bar band with a deep-voiced female singer (think Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders meets Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde) who also writes the songs and plays a mean rhythm guitar. Nothing phony or computer-enhanced here. Excellent.
The British government is expected to officially kill the 10-year, $18 billion NPfIT project next month after reviews conclude that the massive undertaking, the largest non-military IT project in history, is “beyond the capacity of the Department of Health to deliver.” Deadlines have been missed, contractors have pulled out, benefits are unclear, and reviews have concluded that project officials didn’t get enough input from physicians and other clinical users. An editorial reminds that there’s plenty of blame to pass around, including ministers for approving the use of custom systems without requiring small-scale trials, civil servants for approving questionable contracts, and vendors (notably CSC and BT) for continuing to collect taxpayer money despite not meeting their contractual obligations. The project is expected to turn into an HIE-like federated data sharing system, where local health trusts and hospital can buy whatever systems they want rather than those mandated by NHS.
Australia’s struggling, over-budget $425 million HealthSMART system is blamed for faxing hospital discharge summaries to physician practices that included clinical information for different patients. The Health Department says faxing software attached the wrong information to the fax header, acknowledging 13 incidents that had no known patient impact.
The VA awards 15 prime contracts for its technology and telecommunications program called Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology. The value of the contracts could reach $12 billion.
Kaiser Permanente’s nonprofit hospital and health plan business announces Q2 profit of $663 million, up 64% from a year ago. Revenue was $11.9 billion and membership increased to 8.8 million. An e-mail to employees sent Friday from its COO and CFO says KP will begin implementing videoconferencing technologies to link providers and also systems that can send monitoring device data directly to the patient’s EMR. I wondered about the salary of CEO George Halvorson, so I looked it up: for 2009 (the most recent year available), $6.7 million in total compensation.
My Time Capsule editorial this week from the 2006 archives: Vendors Seek to Diversify as the Hospital Systems Market Matures (this was pre-HITECH, when hospitals bought systems because they wanted them, not because the government bribed them to). A snip: “Business will sizzle in ambulatory systems, various forms of telemedicine, data analysis, payer intelligence, genomics, interoperability, consumer health, drug research, home health, and medical device connectivity.”
Brigham and Women’s Hospital announces that a doctor left an external hard drive in a cab in Mexico, potentially exposing the medical records of several hundred patients that had been downloaded to it. The doctor said the information had been deleted, but the hospital announced the loss anyway since it couldn’t verify that the information was unrecoverable.
Adventist Midwest Health names Chet Robson, DO as regional director of medical informatics, ambulatory systems.
Dr. Sam (Bierstock) and the Managed Care Blues Band, self-billed as “The World’s Most Reluctant Band,” release their latest — HITECH Blues. Sample lyrics: “I’m sitting here in prison, I’m living in a life of tears, I could be in my office, but they gave me 20 years. I never should have hacked into, the PHR of Britney Spears. I used to have to deal with, 4 different kinds of EMRs, I had one in my office, the ED, hospital, and the OR. Just ‘cause I saw that information, I’m sittin’ behind bars.”
Here’s the latest HIStory chapter from Vince Ciotti, covering Keane.
Speaking of Vince, he’s looking for stories and information about his next featured company, Charlotte-based SAI (1988 coverage above), if you want to pitch in.
European hospital pharmacy technology vendor Health Robotics is granted a motion to dismiss McKesson’s lawsuit that sought to rescind their joint distribution agreement.
ESD rebrands itself with new graphics and a tagline, “IT Consulting Rooted in Healthcare.”
Twenty-nine Penn State pre-med students are deployed at Mount Nittany Medical Center to coach physicians on its EHR transition. CMIO Stephen Tingley came up with the idea to give students the summer job. A cardiologist expressed his appreciation for the help, saying, “The system is not easy to figure out. It’s so different, like a maze. I’m dreading the day when they’re not here.”
Strange: a rural health center nurse in Pakistan, who claims a dental surgeon sexually harassed her and had her salary withheld for a full year, goes to a press club and pours gasoline on herself. Bystanders step in before she can get it lit. And stranger: a passenger on budget air carrier RyanAir goes into cardiac arrest during a flight and stops breathing, with his wife shouting for someone to bring oxygen. The flight crew, concluding that his blood pressure was the problem instead, brings him a sandwich and soda. After he revived, they came back to collect payment for the snack.