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October 25, 2011 News 29 Comments

Top News

10-25-2011 6-30-24 PM

ONC names Judy Murphy, RN, FACMI, FHIMSS as deputy national coordinator for programs and policy, the position Farzad Mostashari held until being named National Coordinator. She was previously VP of EHR applications at Aurora Health Care and has served on the boards of HIMSS and AMIA.


Reader Comments

mrh_small From Legal Beagle: “Re: MedAssets. Cook County, IL is suing them for a salesperson having a laptop containing PHI stolen from his car.” Unverified.

mrh_small From ShareBear: “Re: Continuity of Care Document. Does Canada use it as well? Just wondering if US patients could carry and delivery a CCD from their ONC-certified vendor.” I thought it was US-only, but experts can chime in.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

10-25-2011 9-15-02 PM

mrh_small Inga is all full of herself running around at MGMA in Las Vegas (or “Vegas,” as the logo annoyingly states), trying hard not to compromise her stealthy Inga identity while composing her daily summaries for HIStalk Practice, so I’ve given her the HIStalk day off. I’ll still put my little blue icons here and there since I’d miss them otherwise. The red ones will be back Thursday.

10-25-2011 9-16-46 PM

mrh_small I’m a good way through the Steve Jobs biography (reading it on the iPad, not too ironically), so I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it by the weekend. My impression so far: he was an brilliant, rebellious, insensitive jackass who had amazing ideas and who didn’t hesitate to use his overpowering personality and caustic scorn to streamroll over anyone who stood in the way of seeing them realized, either by their intentions or their lack of equally shared enthusiasm. But it definitely worked for him and for Apple. I felt sorry for Steve Wozniak after reading how he was treated, but even Woz admits that there would be no Apple without Jobs. He should be the next to write a book (I have no doubt it’s coming, if for no other reason than for him to tell his side of the story.)

10-25-2011 9-20-14 PM

mrh_small Save the date for HIStalkapalooza 2012: Tuesday, February 21, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., at the HIMSS conference in Las Vegas. I was losing interest since I had too little time to figure out the details, but a fun sponsor stepped forward to take the load off my shoulders. Actually, several companies volunteered to foot the bill and meet my attendee-centric requirements (which I really appreciate) and in the interest of fairness, I simply chose the first one that met my checklist. We’ve chosen the venue, menu, and entertainment, so now Inga and I have to work out the stage show (shoe awards, beauty queen sashes, HISsies, etc.) Remember that everything is a day behind in Las Vegas: Monday is the old Sunday (pre-conference workshops, opening reception) and Tuesday is the old Monday (opening session, exhibits open). We’ve always had HIStalkapalooza on Monday, so this year is no different except it will be Tuesday (that makes no sense, but neither does the HIMSS schedule.) We’ll get all the registration stuff together later, probably right after New Year’s. Ladies, start your fashion shopping engines.

10-25-2011 7-18-48 PM

Admire the animation-free ad of new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Passport Health Communications of Franklin, TN. The company, founded in 1996, offers business operations and payment certainty solutions to hospitals and providers. It serves over 1,900 hospitals and 8,000 practices and processes 300 million transactions each year through its eCare revenue cycle solutions, making it one of the fastest-growing SaaS service companies in the country. Its eCare NEXT Patient Access Suite is a single solution that handles patient information verification, address checking, and payments, offering (as the animation-free ad says elegantly) Payment Certainty for Every Patient. The company just announced a big deal to provide 27-hospital Providence Health & Services with payer eligibility connectivity services. You can read case studies on its site from organizations such as Vanderbilt Medical Group, UNC Health Care, West Virginia University Hospitals, Meriter, and Advocate Health Care. Thanks to Passport Health Communications for supporting HIStalk.

Speaking of Passport Health Communications, this is a first. To celebrate their HIStalk sponsorship, they got together with their customer Quorum Health Resources and put together the video above, which is pretty darned funny (my favorite part was the last few seconds). As I watched, I was thinking that the guy who played the boarding pass taker was a good actor, then I saw at the end that it’s actually Passport CEO Scott MacKenzie. I’m impressed.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

10-25-2011 4-54-28 PM

Health business intelligence vendor Analytix On Demand acquires Integrated Revenue Management Inc. and changes its name to CentraMed, which will offer a BI platform and professional services.

10-25-2011 6-57-51 PM

McKesson announces Q2 numbers: revenue up 10%, EPS $1.63 vs. $1.25, beating analyst expectations by $0.24 (excluding a $118 million one-time contribution to litigation reserves related to the drug pricing lawsuits it faces). The company also beat revenue expectations and raised guidance. Technology Solutions had revenue of $825 million, up 7%. The conference call was this afternoon, but the transcript hasn’t been posted yet.

10-25-2011 7-03-48 PM

Long-time IBM CEO Sam Palmisano steps down, replaced by sales and marketing SVP Virginia Rometty. Palmisano will remain as chairman.

10-25-2011 8-02-16 PM

HealthStream announces Q3 numbers; revenue up 24%, EPS $0.08 vs. $0.04, beating expectations for both. The Nashville company, which offers healthcare learning and staff competency solutions, has a market cap of $317 million. Shares were just mentioned in a Forbes article called Fifteen Small Company Stocks To Buy Right Now

A Japanese company says it saved Italy-based pharmacy IV automation vendor Health Robotics from a hostile takeover by unnamed US companies by acquiring a minority stake in the company. Health Robotics and McKesson sued each other after their distribution agreement went sour.


Sales

Seton Healthcare (TX) selects dbMotion Collaborate as its interoperability platform to cover 11 counties.

Walsall Trust (UK) chooses TeleTracking Technology’s TransportTracking system to replace an existing patient transport system.

10-25-2011 9-22-38 PM

Scripps Health (CA) selects Allscripts Community Record powered by dbMotion for its 2,600 affiliated physicians and five hospitals.

Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (TX) selects the T-SystemsEV EDIS to automate physician documentation in its nine EDs, including integration with the EMR and computer-assisted coding solution.

St. Peters Healthcare Services (NY) chooses the Pharmacy Xpert clinical intelligence dashboard for pharmacists from Thomson Reuters.


People

Awarepoint Corporation hires Merrie Wallace, RN, BSN, MN (McKesson) as EVP of product solutions; Chris Cosgrove (McKesson) as senior VP of sales; Greg Arthur (Microsoft) as VP of client management; and Carla Gallegos (Cisco) as VP of national account sales.

Healthcare data exchange vendor Proficient Health of Greensboro, NC names Dennis Barry to its board. He is a pharmacist, CEO Emeritus of Cone Health (NC), and a former educator and administrator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Announcements and Implementations

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RelayHealth wins the VA’s “Blue Button for All Americans” contest. Its one-click Blue Button download of a patient’s information was implemented on the required 25,000 physician sites. VA Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shineski says, “We wanted to give Veterans and their families easy access to their health data with the Blue Button so they can have greater control over the health care they receive. RelayHealth’s contribution to this goal is more than commendable.” The company will donate its $50,000 prize to the Wounded Warrior Project.

10-25-2011 9-27-30 PM

Froedtert Hospital implements NCR Wayfinding to improve the patient experience.

El Centro Regional Medical Center (CA) implements the PatientSecure palm vein scanning patient ID system from HT Systems.

Kansas Health Information Network and eHealthAlign merge their two ICA CareAlign HIE contracts to increase efficiencies and reduced cost to providers.

Fujitsu and Osmosyz announce a scanning product suite that converts paper charts to interoperable documents that meet HL7 Clinical Document Architecture standards. They’re demoing the solution in the booth of partner Aprima at MGMA.

In India, Wipro announces a new version of its Hospital Information Management System that’s used by over 100 customers in India, the Middle East, and Africa.


Government and Politics

10-25-2011 5-58-13 PM

mrh_small Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), in an interview with reporters from The Heritage Foundation, is asked about Epic CEO Judy Faulkner’s role on the Health IT Policy Committee:

Reporter: Congressman, we at Heritage have done some reporting about, specifically, one member of the Health IT Policy Committee sort of controlling where these federal funds are being spent, who seems to be using her position — this is Judith Faulkner at Epic Systems — to advance her company’s interests, using $20 billion in stimulus funds. Have you looked into how the people who are directing this policy stand to gain from this potential conflict of interest, the sort of cronyism at play here?

Huelskamp: We discussed that in our office just yesterday, and saw an article this morning … I appreciate your work about exposing that. You know, you roll back a little bit of history to the Hillary Clinton era, and that’s helped kill that when that was being put together. Given the closed nature of the process … and I’ll tell you, for Congress to say it’s not transparent on that end, while down the street we’ve got 12 folks around a table dictating the entirety of policy, it rings hollow. 

But the point being, I think most Americans are saying, "Hey, wait a minute. That just doesn’t smell right." So I think that’s an angle to talk about and continue to push on that. We don’t have anything to add. You guys have done great research. We’re going to continue to push on that. We are looking for soft spots, and we just talked about that yesterday — where we can find those. Because there’s somebody in there, without a doubt. If I know Governor/Secretary Sebelius as well as I think I do, there’ll be plenty of other places. You follow the money, and you’ll find out where.

This is a multi-billion dollar initiative. I served on the information technology committee in the state legislature for about 10 years. They couldn’t put together a Medicaid system — am I right on that, Brian? I mean, it was millions and millions of dollars. It would fall apart every year, and then they’d start again and again. This is a cash cow, without a doubt. There’s only, in my understanding, two or three companies that could potentially pull that off and they’ve got connections to the administration.

And later in the interview:

Huelskamp: I’m just thinking about Judith Faulkner and her appointed group. They’re not for sure who appointed them? Yeah, surely you’re joking. We know it’s all political appointments, and that’s how it works, and we understand that.

Australia creates an oversight body to identify and manage patient safety risks related to its national electronic medical records rollout. The group will determine the severity of risks and provide guidance on how quickly to resolve them.


Innovation and Research

Graduate students at University of California Merced are developing an avatar-led virtual physical therapy software application to provide physical therapy services to the elderly.

mrh_small Partners Healthcare Center for Connected Health gets a $25,000 Verizon Foundation grant to develop a wireless pedometer (a sneaker chip) for teens and a text messaging program that sends them health and nutrition suggestions based on their activity. That’s a pretty brilliant idea and the execution looks good.


Other

A CapSite survey finds that 80% of hospitals either belong to an HIE or plan to join one and three-fourths of them plan to purchase HIE solutions. Most hospitals aren’t so sure about signing up for an ACO, however.

An American Medical News article covers the use of digital pens integrated with an EMR to avoid having physicians starting at a keyboard and screen instead of looking at their patients. It mentions Medical Specialists Centers of Indiana, which uses Shareable Ink for clinical documentation with up to 99% accuracy, according to the practice’s CEO.

10-25-2011 6-36-40 PM

mrh_small A private investor at an investment and advisory firm weighs in on the compensation of McKesson CEO John Hammergren in a Forbes guest column:

The one to triumph in this year’s tournament for the most rapacious pillage of shareholder property is John H. Hammergren, chairman and CEO of McKesson Pharmaceuticals. His “compensation” which is doesn’t really capture the essence of his remuneration, was a mind blowing $131.2 million U.S. dollars. This number is obscene. It is just shy of 11% of the total $1.2 billion in net income for the entire company … But defenders will say, McKesson’s stock is up 20% and Hammergren has created prodigious amounts of shareholder value. And my goodness, McKesson is the 15th largest company in America with deca-billions in revenue and they do all of these incredibly wonderful things and John is such a great leader and manager and family man, and charitable and a civic leader, and don’t go on because nausea has overcome me and I’ve already vomited. Deaf to it all I am.

It cannot be reiterated enough.  He’s a manager, nothing more nothing less. McKesson has been “a trusted supplier of medical goods and supplies” for more than 175 years. Hammergren joined the company in 1996. His CV on the company website attributes to him no inventions or holder of patents. He assumes no personal risk: Unlike an entrepreneur, he has no personal capital whatsoever on the line. MANAGER. He is surely an astute and capable one given his pay, but a manager nonetheless. Excuse makers remind me that the bulk of such CEO pay comes from the exercise of stock options. In Hammergren’s case, he exercised more than $100 million in options this year. But why was he given the stock options in the first place? Grant of these options is just one more wealth transfer from shareholders to one man, in our example John.

mrh_small In Louisiana, anesthesiologist William Preau III MD writes a letter of recommendation for Robert Berry MD, an anesthesiologist colleague who had been fired from their practice over concerns of substance abuse. At his new job, Berry puts a 31-year-old woman in a permanent vegetative state while administering anesthesia under the influence of unspecified drugs. The woman’s family settles their lawsuit, getting $1 million from Berry and $7.5 million from the hospital. The hospital then sues Preau and his practice for giving Berry a glowing recommendation after they had fired him for substance abuse. The practice got off the hook since their original response had been to simply acknowledge that Berry was a former employee, but Preau’s three sentences cost him $8.2 million in damages, which his malpractice carrier won’t cover since the case involved tortious misrepresentation, not bodily injury.


Sponsor Updates

10-25-2011 4-58-13 PM

  • Robert Hitchcock, CMIO of T-System is interviewed for a podcast on the survival of hospital EDs and the necessity of EHRs.
  • CareTech Solutions is recognized with “Outstanding Website Developer” and “Information Services Standard of Excellence” awards from the Web Marketing Association, while 13 of its clients win WebAwards of their own.
  • Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare names Aspen Advisors, Encore Health Resources, Hayes Management Consulting, Iatric Systems, Impact Advisors, maxIT Healthcare, and The Advisory Board Company among its top 100.
  • Cumberland Consulting Group promotes Jessa Sprenkle to executive consultant.
  • Orthopaedics of Steamboat Springs, PC (CO) selects the SRSsoft EHR.
  • ZirMed announces the release of its Patient Payment Developer Kit at MGMA.
  • ADP AdvancedMD announces cloud integration between its practice management system and Modernizing Medicine EMA-Ophthalmology EHR.
  • Carondelet Health and Ascension Health Information Services (KS) select eClinicalWorks PM/EHR and Electronic Health eXchange.
  • Coastal Medical (RI) announces that 47 providers have achieved MU using eClinicalWorks.
  • MedVentive Inc. closes a $12 million offering of Series D preferred shares.
  • Billian’s HealthDATA affiliate HITR.com launches a blog called Nurse Tech Talk – Bridging Nursing and IT.
  • Health Language Inc. launches its LEAP I-10 claims analytics module at the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange Fall 2011 Conference.
  • Greenway Medical releases an analysis of Medicare’s final ACO rule, authored by VP Justin Barnes, who also is co-chair of the national Accountable Care Community of Practice.
  • Intelligent InSites will present Getting the Most out of an RFID/RTLS Implementation at the Northeast Healthcare Technology Symposium in Groton, CT next week.

Contacts

Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg.

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Currently there are "29 comments" on this Article:

  1. Obviously the appointment of Judy Faulkner on the Health IT Policy Committee was political. She donates a lot of money to Democrats, and in return she gets favors. She will do anything to make a profit for her company, which is evidenced by the way Epic employees are treated. I wouldn’t doubt if she donates to Democratic causes just since they are more “Healthcare IT friendly”, because she certainly runs her company like a staunch conservative.

  2. Woz wrote a book about 5 yrs ago or so (maybe longer) with a co-author named gina smith which tells his side..:

    http://www.amazon.com/iWoz-Computer-Geek-Cult-ebook/dp/B000VUCIZO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1319638376&sr=8-2

    but I have to tell you, it is one of the poorest written books I have ever read! The co-author was a horrible writer and the book is difficult to read, not for the content , but becuase the writing is so bad! I enjoyed the content however and it is interesting to contrast the way each tells the stories..particularly the blue box period and the tv jamming episodes…

  3. Judy Faulkner was recommended by the EHR association vendors as a group to specifically fill a slot on the panel to represent the vendors. She of course is a vendor, that’s sort of how ONC intended it! Someone with a solid understanding of the technical aspects of programming EHRs.

    She’s been ethical and honorable and has actually been a bit of a contrarian on some issues where ONC is running wild. Thank goodness she’s there.

    As far as Heritage Foundation – it’s sort of a shame that Mr. HISTalk chooses to republish that sort of dribble. It’s a hugely biased organization that seems to be able to accuse others of bias without anyone noticing the irony.

    If people buy into that, great. Just helps the smart people in the world differentiate themselves from you even more.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] That’s not Heritage Foundation “dribble.” That’s a Congressman talking. Heritage Foundation just asked the question and ran the camera. The drivel in question was his, not theirs, and when a Congressman calls out a healthcare IT vendor, justifiably or not, that would seem to be newsorthy.

  4. Fun to see a VC rail against the pay of corporate CEOs. It’s management 101 that stock options provide an incentive for a CEO to be successful; job #1 of every corporate CEO is to provide a return on investment to shareholders, so making them shareholders themselves is the obvious way to ensure they protect shareholder interests. The best part is accusing a CEO of not being an innovator or visionary. VCs are rich people who use their money or often, other people’s money to get even richer off other people’s innovative ideas, successful excecution, and pure hard work. VCs are also much more likely to flash their cash in a garish fashion. Spend some time in Manhattan, San Francisco, or Dallas, and just take a look around. Not to say they don’t serve a purpose, but to act like they’re anything more than private banks who take a higher risk/reward profile on investments (aka, really complicated loans) is just ego-pumping. It’s a capitalist society. To each his/her own as far as what you’re willing to do to make the money available to be made.

  5. In my personal experience I have found Epic’s leadership to have serious ethical problems. That said, this post was made so that health care IT vendors would have a voice in health care IT policy. Despite my serious reservations about Judy and company in general I can’t think of a better industry representative.

  6. I find the bashing of Hammergren annoying and largely irrelevant in this space. While I am jealous of the $100m in stock options, its the shareholders of McKesson that have the say in his overall compensation – if they think he is overpaid, then use tools at there means to remove him and control the compensation. The HIS portion of the business represents a shade over 3% of the total McK revenue stream. Should he be held accountable for the fall from grace of MPT; as the guy in charge, yes. Does his compensation make it more or less relevent in terms of accountability, the answer from this former employee is loud NO.
    If there is reason to be concerned, it should be over his ability and the management capabilities of the team in SF and Alpharetta to be held accountable to the decision processes over the years that got McKesson to this point. There are folks there who made substanial salaries (not near John’s of course) that made bad decisions, and either are still employed or received hefty severance packages to ‘leave’ the company; while other folks who grind away receive small raises and have the deal with the stigmatism of the current situation, or worse, lost their jobs without the golden hued parachutes that executives received.

    … just my two cents… and the stock is up $4 today

  7. RE: Coastal Medical (RI)’s 47 providers meeting MU.

    A quick glance at the footnotes of the eCW press release states that Coastal has 101 providers (their “about us” on their website says 90 MDs). So, eCW is releasing press that this large group, that is also a PCMH, is 52% (47/90) successful in hitting the MU criteria.

    So a large group, that has hired people to manage quality (for PCMH, Beacon, etc) has been deemed ‘successful’ by their vendor-partner for obtaining a 52% attestation rate. Perhaps we are setting the bar a tad bit low? What about smaller practices that can’t afford to hire people to dedicate to quality measures such as PCMH and MU?

  8. Representative Huelskamp gave himself away when early on in your blurb he uses the word “angle” in his response. That is the problem with both sides now – it is all about angles and spins and not on just getting the work done.

    Mr. Huelskamp’s comments were simply a waste of space. Try harder, funny we never see any Health Affairs article quotes here instead of this drivel. Where is the next Everett Dirksen or Lyndon Johnson?

    A great site that can stand objective criticism. Hang in.

  9. tick, tick, tick…do you hear that? It’s Epic’s 15 minutes counting down…..a privately held firm without government funding has a lot to worry about……….wonder if the congressman will bring this to the Supercommittee as budgets get cut????

  10. In re the Passort video, I for one did not find it at all amusing. Too bad we do not see as much effort in simplifying the whole system rather than promoting one more software solution to streamline the ever growing demands and overhead. Just sayin’–We’ve got a lot of work to do.

  11. Dear Representative Huelskamp,
    How much has Cerner donated to your campaign?
    —————————–

    As a former Epic employee, I don’t love all of the things they do, but nobody can question that Judy’s true to her core beliefs when it comes to the direction of HIT. There is no better vendor representative, and she is the only one who doesn’t have to answer to investors regarding quarterly earnings, not that there would be any issue on that front. Anybody who has ever met her knows that she is frugal and committed to a quality of care solution. Anybody who says otherwise is simply promoting their own agenda.

    Besides, if Judy was really positioning for government favors, wouldn’t she have gotten the VA work that went to an inferior GE product?

  12. Mr. H, if you had read your own blog, you would have figured out by now why the following question from the Heritage Foundation “reporter” is pure drivel:

    “Congressman, we at Heritage have done some reporting about, specifically, one member of the Health IT Policy Committee sort of controlling where these federal funds are being spent, who seems to be using her position — this is Judith Faulkner at Epic Systems — to advance her company’s interests, using $20 billion in stimulus funds. Have you looked into how the people who are directing this policy stand to gain from this potential conflict of interest, the sort of cronyism at play here.”

    It has been pointed out countless times on HIStalk that

    a) all the committee meetings are open to the public, and recordings are available on the HHS web site;

    b) Judy Faulkner was appointed to the committee to specifically represent HIT vendors – the spot is designated for a HIT vendor

    Given the availability of this information, where is the evidence that Judy Faulkner is using her position to advance her company’s interests? Is she really the one “controlling where these federal funds are being spent” as the question implies? Where is the evidence for conflict of interest? No one has been able to provide any shred of such evidence

    The congressman, of course, spouts his own type of drivel, swallowing the question hook, line, and sinker, and stating that this is a “soft spot” to benefit his fight to stop healthcare reform (the reference to Hillary Clinton). This shows that he doesn’t understand that meaningful use is part of the stimulus package, and is not linked to the healthcare reform law. He also shows that he doesn’t know that the HIT policy committee has 24 members, not 12, and is not aware how it operates (in terms of transparency). And finally, he doesn’t really call out a HIT vendor, he takes a softball question, gives a non-answer in the typical fashion of a politician, while sticking to the talking points that he is for overturning healthcare reform law.

    So yes, Mr. H., it is a shame that you chose to include this excerpt without any editorial comment. I am starting to wonder, if this is the result of some political views you expose, or whether you are POed at Epic for not being your sponsor, or should we simply follow the money, as the good congressman suggests, since maintaining a fake made-up controversy is sure to bring more clicks and therefore more add revenue…

  13. I like that you get attacked for being too easy on Epic as well as too hard on them – damned if you do damned if you don’t I guess.

    You’ll just have to settle for knowing you have thanks of the silent majority (which we know on HIStalk truly exists unlike in politics).

  14. I’ve always wondered why other EHR vendors would support Judy’s appointment to the HITPC and Carl Dvorac’s appointment to lead the HIMSS EHR Vendor Association.

    Are the perspectives of Epic really representative of the wider vendor community? Are Judy and Carl really looking out for the interests of other vendors?

    OG

  15. Sounds like Eddie T either lives in Madison or convinced his board to throw away $100’s of millions on an average product that has probably not been worth its pricetag, causing his institutions A/R to go up, and now needs to save face.

    One thing you learn hanging out in pool halls as a kid is, Everyone, the Congressman, Judy, Eddie T…EVERYONE has an angle! To think otherwise means we are all living in denial! There is no such thing as an honorable politician, CEO, business executive, etc……..they all want to satiate their monstrous egos! And, the only thing that does that is M-O-N-E-Y!!!!

  16. In your recitation of HIT-related firms that made Modern Healthcare’s “Best Places to Work”, you overlooked Beacon Partners.

  17. It would be nice if those who are not fans of Epic could provide objective data to substantiate their claims that is an inferior product.

    For those of us looking at systems…the data we see from KLAS, HIMSS, Gartner, AAFP, Anderson Consulting…all point to it being a better product than its competitors.

    We also see substantial data that Epic customers are doing quite well with their implementations and are very happy with the product. They seem to be very successful with Epic.

    And when we interview these customers directly. Nothing we hear from them even remotely sounds like the horror stories posted on this blog.

    Our interactions with Epic have been refreshingly honest. And their existing customers vouch that this not an illusion.

    I have met Judy, and I will back-up Dumbfounded’s assessment of her. She is committed to improving healthcare not to making a profit.

    I would note that no other vendor comes close to reinvesting their revenues in the development of their product.

    Their success is not do to political machinations. They have a superior product and they are accelerating away from the competition.

  18. I have no problem with Epic’s product (other than the ugliness of it, but that is besides the point). I have a problem with the way they treat their employees. As soon as an employee gets to a certain point, they fire them or ask them to leave, which results in customers getting project managers with less experience.

  19. @LemmingWannabe: Depends on your idea of success. If success is defined as CPOE adoption rates and customer satisfaction, then Epic is successful. If you measure that success with poll numbers like KLAS and Co do, then again, Epic’s numbers come out higher. If you measure success by economic return on investment, Epic has been a dismal failure. Public information shows that hospitals like Yale, UCSF, Martin Memorial, Grady, and a host of others have spent ungodly amounts of money (and private knowledge from those in the industry will tell you those are not outliers, but the norm) in software, services, consulting, labor, and hardware to get their Epic system in place. Review of public CMS quality data shows that Epic customers fare no better, and commonly worse, in tangible metrics that all health providers are judged by. So if you measure success as return on investment, Epic ranks at or near the bottom. Health systems can spend less money on similar systems to get the same or better outcomes as Epic customers. To point to Kaiser and Geisinger and say they’re successful because they’re Epic customers is an insult to Kaiser and Geisinger. They just happen to use Epic, but succeed because smart people run those places. For a true informaticist, the purpose of using an EMR is to get the data. Epic historically has not been friendly for extracting deep, useful data from the system, with the exception of places like Sentara which took it upon themselves to overcome that barrier. Lastly, Epic has virtually zero interoperability, which again is an absolute must for any health system serious about taking their EMR to the next level as an EHR. Epic struggles to provide a true EHR unless it’s dealing directly with other Epic systems. So really, calling Epic successful or unsuccessful depends on what you want. If you’re willing to spend any amount to do whatever it takes to get your doctors on CPOE, then Epic is for you. If you truly believe in the concept of health informatics and getting value for your money, Epic is a dismal failure in your eyes.

  20. Do you have factual data comparing ROI for systems? It seems that we always hear this argument but all the actual comparisons and numbers I have witnessed suggest that Epic is no more expensive. They just give more honest estimates.

  21. Again. Produce the objective published data to back what you say.

    Otherwise, what you are saying is no more value than rants of any other anonymous blogger with unverifiable motives.

  22. So you may have missed the point – KLAS and Co don’t collect and report ROI numbers. As a result, there is no neat, tidy reference list to post. If you really want to know, you have do to a little legwork and compare public published total cost information when available to publicly available quality information on the CMS Hospital Compare website and benchmarking services like Premier. I’m trying to give you directions, and what you want is a limo ride to the answer. Maybe in that case, you’re the perfect Epic customer after all.

  23. Those wish to be a lemming you may want to acually look up the meaning of the word:

    lemming (lemmings plural )
    1 n-count A lemming is an animal that looks like a large rat with thick fur. Lemmings live in cold northern regions and sometimes travel in very large numbers.

    2 n-count If you say that a large group of people are acting like lemmings, you are critical of them because they all follow each other into an action without thinking about it.
    usu pl (disapproval) The French crowds pour like lemmings down the motorway to Paris.

  24. I do not require a Limo. But I do expect that if someone makes assertions as you did in your first posting, they be prepared to back it up with data. Where is the analysis work you have done to formulate your assessment? Show us the spreadsheet and cite the data sources so we can all check them.

    Too often in this blog, the anti-Epic voices resort to:
    -Insulting other bloggers
    -Claiming special knowledge and insight that others lack, and making degradatory remarks about the capacity of the CIO’s and executives of large organizations to make well informed decisions.
    -Dismissing the work of reputable organizations like KLAS, HIMSS, CCHIT, Gartner, etc. that work hard to try to gather data about the industry in a fair and objective fashion.

    How about just producing the data?

  25. My moniker began as flippant response to a much earlier posting regarding “Lemmings going to Epic”. I kept it so that people would know that all my postings were from the same source.

    Regarding the modern mythology about Lemmings…they got a bad rap from Walt Disney. Read the wikipedia entry on Lemmings.

    Similarly Kool Aid got an underserved bad name. At Jonestown they drank Flavor Aid, not Kool Aid.

    Just goes to show it pays to check your facts and to demand verifiable data when folks make assertions.







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Reader Comments

  • FLPoggio: What this piece totally ignores is that you and the provider (roofer) dealt directly with each other. Now what if you ha...
  • AC: That's not an apt comparison. Imagine instead if while the roofer was doing his thing, another random roofer dropped by ...
  • HIT Girl: I've worked in EHR design & support for the last 14 years or so, and when I was hospitalized in I think 2007 I got m...
  • Joy Goodspeed: So funny about the physician card. I wrote my 3rd HL7 Lab and microbiology interface in my 20-year career this past yea...
  • Anonymous: Did you just compare Healthcare to roofing business ? Imagine a surgeon operating with a body cut open, should they take...

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