Prognosis Health Information Systems, Inc. signs a definitive agreement to acquire Creative Healthcare Systems, developers of the financial management and patient accounting system MedGenix. Prognosis will integrate MedGenix with its ChartAccess EHR. Creative Health CEO Steve Everest will stay on board to lead revenue management operations.
From A Vendor: “Re: Billians Health Data and HIMSS Analytics. Do vendor readers have an opinion of the superiority of one over the other as a source of hospital data? We’re interested both in the database and the networking potential of the organization.” Comments are welcome.
From Antoine: “Re: duplicate med alerts. I’m not sure I agree with your comments. A duplicate check is just a med-med check where the two meds are the same. Whatever deficiencies exist in duplicate checks should exist in med-med checks. The abstract of the article said the number of exact duplicates was high, which I assume is an error, unlike conditions where other factors are different.” The biggest different between duplicates and drug-drug interactions is that the latter are graded by severity at the database level, so they can be turned off en masse and unselectively to suppress noise. Those allowed to display are then almost always clinically significant. The former are triggered by partially or wholly identical drug codes in two or more active orders, but further refinement requires looking at order-specific information such as route of administration, overlapping times, and frequency, and if that isn’t done well, those warnings are rarely clinically useful. In the article, some of the duplicate warnings were appropriate, caused by issues in CPOE such as multiple providers not looking at each other’s orders and entering an exact duplicate. Even exact duplicates may or may not be significant: if one order ends tomorrow and the other starts the next day, the system needs to decide whether that deserves a warning. I have readers who work for vendors of the clinical databases that make these “alert or not” decisions, so I welcome their review of the article. But I’ll stand by my conclusion: duplicate warnings are fairly close to useless, at least as measured by the ultimate yardstick – how many times does the clinician ignore the warning and enter the order anyway?
From ADALMA: “Re: Allscripts. I’m an employee and had two flights cancelled because of the weather. My manager called to say family comes first and not to do anything to jeopardize my family or my safety.” Another reader sent over a company e-mail that, while mentioning safety a couple of times, didn’t explicitly say to take care of family first. I attribute that to the fact that it came from a marketing person, so naturally her focus is on the conference rather than general managerial advice. I’m sure interpretations of what’s between the lines of any e-mail vary based on the reader’s disposition, but it seemed fine to me and I wouldn’t be insulted if I worked there – the company seemed appropriately concerned for the well-being of its employees. I was more interested that the reader told me that company attendees share hotel rooms at the conference, so naturally I had to ask how that works – do you get to choose a bunkmate, and what if one of you snores, is hygienically challenged, or is unusually modest? Answer: you either choose a roomie or have one assigned, or you buy out their half of the room with your own money. Forced room-sharing to save the company money always seems a little bit creepy to me, but I can see why it’s financially attractive when you’re sending hundreds of people to one event (but I still wouldn’t like it). Feel free to send me your first-person stories about that arrangement since I’m sure lots of companies do the same.
From Big Fight Brewing: “Re: 3M. ICD-10 is pushing hospitals to computer-assisted coding. 3M is telling clients that their encoder (used by 4,000 hospitals) will not interface with any NLP or CAC solution other than their own. Big clients are not happy.” Unverified.
From Gilbert O’Sullivan: “Re: UNC Health. Announced to its IT employees Friday that Rose Ann Laureto will be the new CIO. Seems to be a good hire.” She is (or was, if the rumor is true) CIO at University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. JP Kichak was UNC CIO until recently and still is on his LinkedIn profile, so that’s all I know.
From TRL: “Re: Cedars-Sinai. Live on Stork and a new fetal monitoring system. I’m a consultant and leadership at Cedars-Sinai might be the best in the country. They demand near perfection, but those of us with high demand skills respect being asked to perform at our best. Far too many places are just happy to follow with some strange comfort that just buying Epic is enough. Make no mistake, Epic is good software, but implementation leadership is EVERYTHING when it comes to success.” Unverified.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Scotland-based charge master vendor Craneware announces financial results for its 2011 fiscal year: pre-tax profit grew from 2010’s $7.26 million to $8.65 million; revenues increased 34% from $28.4 million to $38.1 million.
Blackstone Group seeks a $1.2 billion loan to fund its $3 billion buyout of Emdeon.
India-based business process outsourcer Ajuba Solutions says US healthcare reform has boosted its business, encouraging the company to spend $5 million on technology and $5 million on a new building. It will hire 700 new employees.
West Virginia Health Information Network selects Thomson Reuters HIE Advantage for its technology backbone.
Ardent Health Services (TN) expands its use of Surgical Information Systems solutions to include anesthesia documentation.
Reston Radiology Consultants (VA), Washington Radiology Associates (VA), Shady Grove Radiological Consultants (MD), and Advanced Diagnostic Radiology (MD) select Merge Healthcare’s RIS.
PriMed (CT) expands its relationship with MED3OOO by selecting InteGreat EHR for its 28 locations and 75 providers.
Brad Levin is named North American GM for Visage Imaging. He was previously with GE Healthcare.
Impact Advisors hires Michael Nutter as its director of firm culture and associate satisfaction, a position it also calls “happyologist.” He was previously with Florida Hospital.
Huron Consulting Group names Michael Cadwell and Andrew Schramm as managing directors in its healthcare practice. They’re from Ingenix Consulting and Tefen Management Consulting, respectively.
Lisa Crymes joins Bottomline Technology as director of healthcare products and strategy. She was previously with Emdeon.
Announcements and Implementations
eHealth Global Technologies deploys Axolotl Image Exchange to provide diagnostic image exchange services for hospitals participating in HealtheConnections RHIO of Central New York.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) launches the Permanent Certification Program for HIT that will accredit organizations that certify EHRs. The permanent program will replace the current temporary certification program in 2012. ANSI is accepting applications through October 7.
Allscripts reports that over 4,700 attendees are taking part in this week’s ACE meeting in Nashville.
Florida providers can now use secure email though the Florida HIE Direct Secure Messaging (DSM) service. The secure messaging service is the first milestone in the HIE’s $19 million initiative, which uses technology from Harris Corporation.
Addington Hospital says it will be the first in South Africa to implement Meditech 6.0.
Travis recently mention on HIStalk Mobile something that I hadn’t heard – Facebook allows drug companies (and only drug companies) to disable or edit comments left on their wall. Facebook announced on August 15 that it will no longer give drug companies that option except on pages created for specific drugs. Several drug companies have deleted their pages, while others allow comments if they adhere to stated policy. The reason for Facebook’s original special handling of drug company pages makes sense – if someone’s public comment suggests they’ve experienced an adverse drug event, the company might have to file a report with the FDA, at least in the absence of FDA policy that says otherwise.
Government and Politics
US CTO Aneesh Chopra will deliver a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Association’s Industry Forum in San Diego next month. The press releases mentions the announcement of “a major, new digital health and fitness program.”
Researchers at Tel Aviv University create a Facebook game that will help them understand how infections spread. PiggyDemic allows Facebook users to infect their friends, which the researchers say is how viruses really spread rather than being distributed equally across populations.
Yale’s medical school will no longer provide printed course materials, instead giving students iPads and putting all the study materials on them. They expect to save up to $100K in annual printing cost plus the labor involved. “It really makes the curriculum imminently updateable,” the assistant dean was quoted as saying, although hopefully in his mind — unlike that of the reporter — he spelled it “eminently.” Students get an iPad, apps to manage the reading material and recorded lectures, and a gift card to buy a keyboard. Harvard Medical School isn’t quite there yet, letting students buy whatever mobile device they want and giving them the choice of paper or electronic course content.
Physical therapists at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital (AZ) are using video games to put rehab patients through painful exercises. Patients like Wii Bowling, but the hospital is experimenting with Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect since it covers the whole body.
SeeMyRadiology.com releases a free iPhone/iPad remote viewing tool for its medical image exchange.
Vince keeps digging deeper with his company HIStories, aided by readers who send him memory-jogging historical tidbits, so Gerber Alley turned into a two-parter, with Part I above. If you have Gerber Alley info to share (especially any photos of Urban Gerber, who died in 1984) it’s not too late to contribute to next week’s Part II. I love reading these, especially when I recognize someone’s name or picture. I’m thinking about starting an Healthcare IT Hall of Fame with a panel of voters to choose from the nominees. Wouldn’t it be cool to see them inducted at HIMSS or something? Everybody’s suddenly nostalgic about the history of Apple and Steve Jobs (justifiably), so why not our own industry, which goes back even further? Not to mention the “doomed to repeat history” thing.
In Taiwan, HIV-infected organs are mistakenly transplanted into five patients after a hospital staffer misunderstands “non-reactive” instead of “reactive” when the donor’s HIV test results are called in and not double checked.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning delivers this great line to reporters after being peppered with a few too many questions about his May neck surgery and ongoing recovery:
“I don’t know what HIPAA stands for, but I believe in it and I practice it.”
Apple gives new CEO Tim Cook over $380 million worth of shares, awarded if he remains an employee for ten years.
El Camino Hospital (CA) hires celebrity nurse practitioner Nurse Barb, who seems to already be a hospital employee although it’s not exactly clear, to develop a televised health series and to increase its social media presence.
Weird News Andy was so moved by this story that he titles it, “Sheer brilliance of doctors” with only a tiny trace of his usual dry humor. An 86-year-old Arizona man drops his pruning shears while gardening. The sharp end sticks in the ground and the man slips and falls while picking them up, jamming the protruding handle through his eye socket and into his neck, pressing directly against his carotid artery. Surgeons at University Medical Center remove the shears and repair the damage with wire mesh, saving his eye and leaving him fully recovered other than some minor double vision. There’s plenty to dislike about the US healthcare system, but if you’ve got a lawn tool jammed into your skull, be glad you’re here.
Hurricane Irene Updates
Forty-three patients from Johnson Memorial Medical Center in Stafford Springs, CT were transferred to other facilities when the hospital lost power from two separate power feeds Sunday morning. The hospital had switched to a backup generator, but it failed.
Staten Island University Hospital was one of several hospitals evacuated in advance of Irene. CIO Kathy Kania reports that the hospital sustained only minor damage, including water in “peripheral” portions of the IT department. All IT systems were restored to full operations between 1:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
In the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York, flooding and damaged roads are creating the biggest problems for hospitals. Bridges approaching St. Anthony Community Hospital are washed out, leaving the hospital on an island. Several parking lots at Bon Secours Community Hospital are under water and flooding on local roads is making it difficult for employees to get to work. Meanwhile, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital is fully functional, though relying on a backup generator.
Dorchester General Hospital (MD) was evacuated Sunday morning and 30 patients were transferred after wind and rain damaged the roof. By 2:00 a.m. Sunday, the floor was covered in four inches of water and water was pouring from the ceiling. The laboratory sustained the most damage, though the ED, operating rooms, central supply, some patient rooms, and the chemo unit were affected.
SCI Solutions offered its customers free appointment voice reminder calls before the storm hit, working with partner TeleVox. Patients with scheduled appointments got a telephone message of the hospital’s choosing, with one hospital’s chosen message being “Hurricane Irene may disrupt power at the facility your appointment is scheduled. Please contact the facility before you leave home to ensure your appointment is still possible and/or call Central Scheduling for information. Please continue listening for your appointment details.”
- maxIT Healthcare presents the Beads of Courage Beads in Space tour, which is traveling to 10 US cities in honor of September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
- Consulting Magazine includes Impact Advisors and North Highland on its list of 2011 Best Firms to Work For.
- Billian’s HealthDATA introduces HITR.com, a social networking tool for benchmarking hospital IT satisfaction, at an August 31 webinar.
- ESD rolls out its new branding and Web site at Allscripts ACE. Also at ACE: Awarepoint showcases its Patient Tracking Board solution and Allscripts unveils its Mobile EHR apps for iPad .
- GE Healthcare hosts a September 7 webinar entitled EMR & Quality Management.
- Central Maine Medical Center (CMMC) ranks among the nation’s 25 Most Wired and Most Improved following its partnership with The Huntzinger Management Group.
- Faith Community Hospital (TX) gets its Meaningful Use check using Prognosis ChartAccess. The 41-bed hospital signed a contract in October, started implementation in January, went live in March, and attested on June 5.
- PatientKeeper announces that its user group conference will be held in Denver September 18-20.
- Frost and Sullivan awards Merge Healthcare its 2011 Customer Value Enhancement of the Year Award for Medical Analytics.
- Imprivata announces that several organizations are have adopted its No Click Access solution for VMware.
- TeleTracking Technologies releases a white paper that lists the top 10 reasons that RTLS location accuracy in healthcare matters.