Continuous vital signs monitoring vendor Sotera Wireless receives investment funds and a commercial agreement from Cerner as part of its just-completed $12.2 million Series D financing round.
From Insider: “ONC appointment. The ONC names Baylor Health Care System CIO David Muntz as principal deputy.” Insider forwarded us an e-mail from Farzad Mostashari announcing Muntz’s new role, which includes the handling of ONC’s day-to-day operations, staff management, and the overseeing of four offices within the ONC (Programs and Policy; Operations; Economic Analysis, Evaluation, and Modeling; and Chief Scientist.) He’s presumably taking a admirably large pay cut from the $680K Baylor reported paying him in its most recent federal filings.
From Jarritos: “Re: HIStalk. I got hooked a year ago after my VP suggested I read it. I work for a McKesson Horizon shop and read your items first thing last Friday morning and let my manager know. The CIO sent an update later saying we would be getting more information and you guys would be running an interview later that afternoon. I think it’s extremely impressive that in your spare time you’ve managed to get this kind of clout. I’m not aware of another interview anywhere else and I appreciate the information.” Thanks. It was a lost Friday evening as I rushed home from the hospital to do the interview, transcribe it, and post it. I knew readers were looking for answers and McKesson had contacted me to help get them out via the interview, so I didn’t want to dawdle. HIStalk received 13,718 visits from Friday through Monday, which is maybe 40% higher than the week before, so I assume the interview was the draw. I don’t really care about clout (if there’s such thing as anonymous clout), but having quite a few readers does give me some leverage to obtain information on their behalf. I appreciate McKesson and Dave Souerwine for reaching out.
With regard to the interviews, Mrs. HIStalk has gotten to the point that when I tell her I have to delay dinner to chat with a high-profile executive, she just rolls her eyes a little and buries herself in the newspaper as I head off upstairs with freshly dashed self-importance. Somehow I think I live a bit lower on the totem pole than the folks I interview, though, given that I took Mrs. H out Friday evening after I’d finished with Dave to the sit-down restaurant we frequent most often (Mexican) and spent considerably less than $20 for two entrees, a couple of margaritas, and a shared dessert. You can have Ruth’s Chris or expensive sushi places – I love sitting under an inflated Corona palm tree, watching soccer on the TV, slathering the El Yucateco habanero hot sauce onto my favorite carnitas, and admiring the shy cuteness and solid work ethic of the non-English speaking waitresses.
From Ukelele: “Re: McKesson. The corporate web site still has done nothing to update itself with all the ‘news,’ Paragon’s page still reflects a ‘community hospital’ solution, and the HERM page still sits out there advertised as the be-all, end-all revenue management system. Another sign, perhaps, of the corporation’s complete lack of interest or confidence in this business? I was surprised so few readers commented on the interview, but perhaps that’s a sign that there’s few who care any more. It will be interesting to see how the board of InSight reacts to the news.”
From DCHealth: “Re: EMRs. How many providers have adopted other than Kaiser and those docs getting help from the RECs? Has growth really increased after HITECH? Seems about the same to me.” The adoption numbers are going up slowly, but I’m interested to see what happens to the trend as HITECH realities hit. Will adoption keep climbing to 100% because EMRs are the new standard, or will they go back down the slope as providers give up and accept a little less money in order to keep their productivity?
From Disappointed Techie: “RE: FDA recall.” Draeger Medical issues a Class I recall of its Infinity M540 system used to monitor vital signs, manage patient alarms, review diagnostic images, and access patient records. A bug in its drug calculation programming can cause it to suggest a tenfold overdose, with a conclusion that, “This product may cause serious adverse health consequences, including death.” The only good news is that the only customer was Rush University Medical Center (IL) and they used it for only three months.
From Barry: “Re: Epic. A market research report suggests that Epic is backing off its push for inpatient installations and going with an ambulatory-only sales approach to plant the seed for future inpatient sales.” That was reported by two consultants quoted in the report, with an additional consultant saying that Epic is getting some pushback from customers who question whether they’re getting their money’s worth. Leave a comment with your thoughts.
From Yolanda: “Re: commercial hospital IT databases used by HIT vendors. There are two, both expensive and swimming in self-reported hospital information, but so poorly designed that it’s a wonder customers don’t demand a refund. They are as unintuitive as EMR interfaces, both of them supported by product managers who will provide training and do user searches themselves for those who can’t figure it out. They are shockingly poor at how they deliver otherwise good information. A Seattle organization called DiscoverOrg has researchers who personally call IT organizations to understand their structure and contact information, but they cover only about 1,000 US hospitals.”
From Post Toasty: “Re: hosted EHRs. A company with tools that map practice EHR data to create a limited data research set is running into problems with certain vendors. The company has signed business associate and data use agreements with its physician practices, but some vendors won’t allow the practices to access their own EHR data. My take: check your contract, but only an ultra-lame vendor (i.e. most of them) would get in the way.” If you have examples of a contract or company communication that prohibits a practice from getting at its own data, send it over so we can collectively appreciate it.
From 143: “Re: Epic. Considering a full ban of cell phone use by employees who are driving while on the clock.” Unverified, but even making the practice illegal doesn’t seem to make much of a difference where idiots do everything from shaving to eating a plate of spaghetti while rocketing down the highway with minimal attentiveness. Banning would provide only one benefit that I can see given the difficulty in enforcement: if an Epic employee rear-ends someone while yakking on their cell phone, the company might avoid legal liability by whipping out the policy.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Dr. Jayne and I had a chance to share a cocktail recently. The conversation covered a wide variety of topics, including of course HIT, Mr. H, and shoes. I can’t share our insights on Mr. H, but I can say that we are hoping to sponsor a shoe-related charity event during HIMSS. If all works out as planned, you’ll want to leave room in your suitcase to bring a pair of gently used shoes to Vegas. Stay tuned.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Telemonitoring IT provider MedAdherence secures a $150,000 pre-seed financing commitment from Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public Connecticut state authority responsible for technology-based economic development.
Valant Medical Solutions, a Seattle-based startup that offers a web-based EMR for psychiatrists, raises $940K, increasing its total to almost $2 million. The company has 23 employees and 800 provider users.
Tidewell Hospice (FL) selects Allscripts Homecare and EPSi financial management solutions for its 8,000+ patients.
SA Health, the public health system of South Australia, will deploy Allscripts Sunrise Enterprise.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (MA) CIO Sue Schade wins CIO of the Year honors from the New England chapter of HIMSS.
Announcements and Implementations
Dossia announces that six Fortune 500 employers have implemented its Dossia Health Management System.
Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center (NY) completes its integration of Micromedex CareNotes into its Siemens Soarian Clinicals platform.
St. Francis Hospital and Health Services in Maryville (MO) will go live on Epic on March 31, 2012.
Medicity launches its first iNexx payer app, Aetna Connect, for managing provider communications with Aetna.
HHS and Emdeon announce an initiative to donate EHR software and services to physicians in small practices in underserved communities in New Jersey.
Eight New Jersey hospitals will go live on the Health-e-cITi-NJ HIE later this month, one of four HIEs in the state that received federal funding.
A private company, HIE Networks, announces the creation of the statewide Florida Health Data Network, with endorsements from the Florida Hospital Association and Florida Medical Association. The company was created after the involvement of its founders in developing the Big Bend RHIO.
An Ohio newspaper covers what local hospitals are spending on their clinical systems and/or how much HITECH money they hope to reap as a result. Summa spent $33 million and its Akron City and St. Thomas hospitals received $5.1 million in incentives. Akron General is spending $16.8 million and hoping to get $13-14 million. Aultman Hospital expects to receive $900,000.
Innovation and Research
Early results from a three-year, 6,200 patient study finds that telehealth monitoring reduced mortality rates 45%. The NHS-sponsored demonstration project also found that telehealth interventions reduced ER visits, admissions, and patient days.
A Florida doctor develops an iPad app that can program implanted cardiac devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators, remotely and in real time, eliminating the need to have a manufacturer’s representative and a programmer on site.
CPSI announces that the CPSI System has migrated to a new system platform featuring a Linux operating system, an open source SQL-compliant database, Java, and a cross-platform user interface. The company also introduces a new logo that “is a reflection of both the continual advancement in system technology reflective of the CPSI EMR system and the Company’s broadened identity as a leading services provider to rural and community hospitals.” All that from a little logo.
Analysts speculate that the next generation of Apple’s iPad will reach the market sometime between February and April, raising the likelihood that for the second year in a row, you could win one at HIMSS that’s obsolete almost before you get home with it.
Kony Solutions launches KonyOne, a mobile platform developer solution that can create native and mobile web applications for all seven smart phone operating systems, tablets, kiosks, and desktops from a single application definition.
Open Health Tools partners with Georgia Institute of Technology on an initiative to accelerate the use of HIT to benefit benefits and providers. Former National Coordinator Robert Kolodner MD, chief informatics officer at Open Health Tools, will serve as senior strategic advisor.
BCBS of Rhode Island reports that in a three-year pilot program, the use of EHRs reduced health costs 17-33% and improved quality outcomes.
Revenue cycle vendor SPi Healthcare expands its Greensboro, NC facility and says it will create 75 new jobs in the region over the next two years.
John Bardis, chairman, president, and CEO of MedAssets and founder of Hire Heroes USA, writes an editorial urging his fellow CEOS to develop hiring programs for veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq:
As a private sector CEO, I come from and owe my opportunities to two generations of Americans who served proudly; one as a naturalized citizen. They sacrificed greatly for the freedoms that we enjoy – as have so many service members – leaving me with the enduring belief that our veterans deserve to return home to fewer challenges than the ones they faced on the battlefield. As CEOs and corporate executives, it’s our responsibility to do all we can to support those brave men and women when they return home by helping them transition into jobs where they can support themselves and their families, enjoying this country’s freedoms like the rest of us.
Eight former executives of Siemens are charged by the US government with conspiring to bribe Argentine officials with $100 million to secure a $1 billion national identity card program that was later scrapped. One of those charged was a former member of the central executive committee of Munich-based Siemens AG, marking the first time a board member of a Fortune Global 50 company has been charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The SEC also filed a civil case against seven of the defendants. Siemens previously paid $1.6 billion to resolve earlier bribery charges.
McKesson’s WARN act filing for its Horizon-related layoffs of 174 Alpharetta-based employees says the effective date for 158 employees is Friday, February 10, 2012. Jobs affected: software architect, business systems analyst, clinical healthcare content analyst, database administrator, project manager, QA analyst, software engineer, systems manager, and technical writer. I will temporarily waive my ban against leaving comments containing company information for those in a position to hire some of these folks, preferably located in the Atlanta area. Leave a comment with what kind of jobs you have and how they can get in touch.
A Boston Globe report finds that ventilator warning alarms have been responsible for 119 deaths nationally in both hospitals and patient homes since 2005, with patients dying because alarms were not functioning, unheard, or ignored.
Patients and friends of an Ohio doctor who still sees patients and makes house calls at age 100 celebrate his birthday in his “computer-free” office.
The CEO of Mercy Health System of Janesville, WI defends his most recent annual compensation of $3.6 million, well off the $14.4 million the system paid him in 2002. “My salary isn’t going to affect your healthcare cost,” he told reporters.
- The Orthopaedic Group (AL) selects the SRS EHR for its 36 providers.
- Ingenious Med wins its third straight Mobile Star Award in the healthcare category for outstanding mobile services and applications.
- Wolters Kluwer Health announces that its UpToDate Mobile for iPhone clinical knowledge system is a finalist for the Software & Industry Information Association’s 2012 CODiE Awards for excellence in the software and digital content industries.
- For the third consecutive year, MEDecision is named as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania.
- Passport Health Communications selects MagneSafe Security Architecture and MagnePrint to enhance its eCashiering patient processing solution.
- e-MDs announces that two providers with Southwest Family Physicians are among the first to attest for Meaningful Use in Nebraska.
- ICA Informatics announces plans to participate in the Direct Project’s December 2011 Virtual Connect-A-Thon. The company also releases a white paper discussing how technology can enable transitions of care.
- Navix and UltraLinq Healthcare Solutions partner to offer UtraLinq’s exam management solutions to clients using Navix lab services.
- Derby NHS Foundation Trust (UK) selects the Carefx solution suite as its patient portal solution.
- MedAssets assists the Texas Purchasing Coalition in generating $54 million in sustainable supply spend costs.
- Aspen Advisors releases a case study covering the Cardiovascular Information System readiness assessment it performed for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.