From Epic4All: “Re: Epic. It’s the de facto EHR for hospitals in Seattle with two more area community hospitals implementing it – Overlake and Valley General Medical. This is on top of the largest system Swedish Medical Center (and associated hospitals), UW, and Group Health already live.” Unverified. Your statement will probably elicit scathing comments from the same handful of high-strung readers who howl that any mention of Epic is pandering favorably to the company, conveniently missing the point that they are outselling everyone (not to mention that I run quite a few negative comments about Epic as well.) I’d bet money that anyone who gets that worked up at the mention of Epic either (a) works for a struggling competitor, or (b) applied to work for Epic and got turned down (or both). I suppose I could write endlessly about Invision or STAR, but who would find that relevant or interesting?
From Soliloquy: “Re: Epic. Heard that one of the Adventist facilities on the West Coast is stopping its ambulatory implementation and will put out an official announcement next week. Someone also told me that Ventura County is walking away from Epic at their two public hospitals.” Unverified.
From Another Take: “Re: Fasttrack’s comments on Cerner Health Conference. This consultant writeup is favorable, but seems to be without bias. I found it an interesting juxtaposition.” Most interesting to me was that Neal Patterson compared Cerner to Apple, which seems a stretch given the implementation challenges and user-visible complexity of Millennium, Cerner’s unwavering focus on investors instead of innovation, and emphasis on enterprises instead of individual users. I’d say Cerner is a lot more like Microsoft, Oracle, or IBM in that regard, but Neal’s obviously looking to ride some Apple coattails (or perhaps is badly hiding some Steve envy). That doesn’t detract from what Cerner has accomplished, but drawing a self-comparison of a conservative enterprise software vendor to the consumer-focused and innovative Apple is always going to cause some eyes to roll.
Thanks to HIStalk reader Jared, who sent me an iTunes gift certificate with a note of thanks for HIStalk. He wasn’t looking for a plug, but I’ll give him one anyway since it was a nice surprise – he’s the founder of Splint, which is building EMR client iPhone apps for nurses (of which he is one.)
Armed with a bulging iTunes balance courtesy of Jared, I decided to see if I could find an interesting iPad app or two for HIStalk readers. The result: Splashtop Remote Desktop, one of the coolest things I’ve seen lately (especially for $1.99). Load the app on your iPad or iPhone, install the free streamer app on the PC you want to control, and you’re done – the app finds your PC and you can instantly start controlling it just like you were sitting in front of it. Not only is the video fast and smooth, the PC’s sound even plays over the iPad’s speakers (!!) I sat outside on the deck with a snack and fired up Word, ran my Iolo System Mechanic registry backup, closed down my invoicing program that I’d forgotten was open, and streamed some Flash video that normally doesn’t work on iPad. It looked exactly like the video above. You can run your desktop apps from anywhere, send files to yourself that you forgot to take along, run Office apps or Outlook without having anything installed on your iPad or iPhone, and maybe even do work-related IT geeky stuff like remote into servers, launch non-Web enabled apps, and do inside-the-firewall stuff from anywhere (by using remote desktop). That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.
I must be getting cranky since I keeping coming up with new grammatical pet peeves, but here’s an HIT-specific one: calling an enterprise-wide implementation of Cerner, Epic, VistA, Meditech an EHR (“The hospital is installing Epic’s EHR.”) I really dislike the non-specific term EHR in general since it describes the end result (stored patient information) and not the applications that create or view that information (CPOE, medical device interfaces, imaging systems, etc.), but it’s really a stretch to use the term EHR to include patient-irrelevant applications such as revenue cycle, supply chain, and workforce management that are often part of the same enterprise-wide implementation. The Feds got everybody throwing around the term EHR to make the same old EMRs of yesteryear sound more appealing, but the tried and true terms made more sense because they were specific: PM/EMR, clinical systems, order entry, etc.
Listening: new from reader-recommended Mayer Hawthorne, a young white nerd from Michigan who shockingly sounds exactly like a 1970s Motown / Philadelphia soul act with high vocals, horns, strings, and funky bass (Stylistics, Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose, Billy Paul). Here he is on my new fave music show, Live from Daryl’s House. Super catchy, fresh, and retro. He does a great job on Private Eyes with Daryl Hall on the video. This is another chance for those folks stuck in a post-college musical rut (AC/DC in drive time, anyone?) to listen to something recorded in this millennium — think of it as a gateway drug to music that your parents didn’t listen to.
Readers aren’t quite sure how ACOs will affect quality and cost, with the number of those who predict both will improve being exactly offset by those who say both will get worse. New poll to your right: should HITECH compensate providers for using EHRs they bought before the program started? (I didn’t forget that I don’t like the term EHRs, but I used it since we’re talking HITECH here.)
Thanks to the following sponsors (new and renewing) that supported HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Mobile in September. Click a logo for more information.
My Time Capsule editorial this week, stretching its legs after being filed away since 2006: Don’t Look Now, Your Loop is Open. An excerpt: “We bought the technology least likely to be used, that addresses errors least likely to be harmful, that doesn’t help the user who needs it most, and deployed it in patient care areas where serious errors are least likely to occur.”
RIS/PACS vendor Candelis gets FDA 510(k) clearance for its cloud-based diagnostic image routing and sharing tools.
A SIS-sponsored survey finds that 43% of anesthesia providers either use or will implement an anesthesia information management system, with 28% planning to evaluate systems in the next year.
Ohio State University Medical Center was scheduled to go live on its $102 million Epic system early this past Saturday morning.
Physician’s Computer Company earns ONC-ATCB certification for its pediatrics-specific PCC-EHR v6.0.
Virginia Tech researchers develop software that limits smart phone access to data to specifically defined locations, then wipes it clean when the phone leaves that area. It can also limit smart phone functionality by location, such as shutting down cameras and e-mail when phones are in a hospital operating room.
Awarepoint and Meditech collaborate to develop an ED offering that allows locating patients and tracking critical milestones in real time from the Meditech system. Monongahela Valley Hospital (PA) is its first user.
Florida’s doctor-shopping database finally goes live Monday morning. It’s not perfect, however: pharmacies can wait up to seven days to update it with prescription records, its use is optional for doctors and pharmacies, and most of its potential users don’t know it’s coming online. I was talking to a rural GP who uses an interesting approach to weed out his many drug-seeking patients: he gives them a quick urine screen every time they visit. If they show use of marijuana, cocaine, or other illegal drugs, he shows them the door immediately. He also sends them packing if they have excessive levels of their prescribed drug (indicating abuse) or zero levels (indicating that they’re selling the drug instead of using it). Not surprisingly, the vast majority of his abusing patients are on Medicaid.
Kansas City-based hospital chain HMC/CAH files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with its biggest creditor being software vendor CPSI at $1.2 million owed.
Bill Wallace, a retired SVP of IT of BCBS Kansas, is named CEO of Kansas Health Information Exchange Inc., the organization’s first employee.
A personal injury law firm’s press release says it settled a wrongful death lawsuit against Northwestern Memorial Hospital (IL) for $5 million, where a 55-year-old physician patient died after a nurse gave him insulin despite a doctor’s order saying it should not be administered. The law firm deposed a nurse who said she had contacted hospital administrators several times to complain about high workload and inadequate staffing. The law firm manages to squeeze in a jab against the medical profession, saying “it is both tragic and ironic that this type of obvious error would happen to a physician in this age of physicians protesting malpractice claims.”