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Monday Morning Update 2/13/12

February 11, 2012 News 16 Comments

2-11-2012 2-08-18 PM

From Nasty Parts: “Re: Vitera. I hear the total headcount was 337. Word is that they’re dumping Intergy and putting all their efforts behind the MedAppz SaaS product they bought. People who have seen it were unimpressed.” CEO Matt Hawkins covers that ground in the interview I just did with him.

From Vitera Product Vixen: “Re: Vitera. I heard the number was closer to 75, and based on the people I know that were selected, they definitely got it right. Time to cut out the people who weren’t pulling their weight and recognize those of us that have been doing great work. CEO held an all-hands meeting in the afternoon, and gave us a preview of what’s to come – $25 million investment in R&D and new internal systems, new product launches, an iPad app, a Tampa center of excellence, etc. I’m psyched!”

2-11-2012 9-29-10 AM

From Carumba: “Re: Epic. I hear their sales folks are telling people that they are live in Abu Dhabi and the Netherlands to sound globally successful. Here’s the Cleveland Clinic hospital in which they are ‘live.’”

From Chayote: “Re: Scott & White. I’m hearing from both inside and outside that they may be merging with Baylor.”

2-11-2012 1-12-30 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Hadoop. There’s a new search technique developed by the Apache Software Foundation called Hadoop that may draw some interest from healthcare institutions. While it is currently only being used as a web search tool, the possibility of using it as a tool for searching unstructured patient data files and their related image files presents a golden opportunity to get consolidated information in front of caregivers.  InformationWeek has a more detailed description of Hadoop for those interested in this new concept.“ I actually had Hadoop on my interview question list for Richard Cramer of Informatica, but ran out of time to ask him. They offer Hadoop connectivity and I was going to ask how that might be used in healthcare.

From Nick Barkley: “Re: sponsorship. Our company has been acquired, to be announced February 20. Having a sponsorship with your site has been enormously helpful in initially getting our name out there and gaining (and maintaining) credibility. HIStalk put us on the map and helped make this happen.” Nice, thanks. I don’t know that companies sponsor HIStalk with the hopes of being acquired, but I know it happens pretty often (Inga keeps a list.) That Monday of HIMSS week (the “sort of” first day of the HIMSS conference — it’s actually like the Sunday of previous conferences since the opening sessions are Tuesday) is going to be press release heavy, judging from the announcements I know about and the multiples of those that I don’t. As a vendor public service, I’ll repeat the unsolicited advice I dispense every year: if your announcement doesn’t affect your HIMSS participation, save it until 1-2 weeks after the conference. Unless yours is a big acquisition or new product announcement, it will get lost in the madhouse during the conference, but will run nearly unopposed afterward because your competitors will have shot their PR wad trying to build conference excitement.

My Time Capsule editorial from 2007 for this week: Why You Should Root for Cerner, Even if you Hate Them, where I say, “I want Neal Patterson to keep right on being Neal Patterson, a pig farmer turned Wall Street darling SOB who bootstrapped Cerner out of nothingness and runs it however he damned well pleases, the antithesis of button-down interchangeable bankers-turned-CEOs who manage companies they don’t own as dispassionately as a mutual fund.”

Listening: new Van Halen, which sounds darned good for guys in their late 50s who spent most of the decades since their last big splash fighting with each other and rehabbing. Check out their tour, but I’d be cautious about buying tickets for anything after the Boston show since tours seem to bring out the squabbling between the Van Halen brothers and whoever their lead singer is at the moment (Roth, Hagar, Cherone, lather, rinse, repeat) and the whole thing could go down in flames (think The Eagles without the concert-dollar greed that makes them pretend to get along.) Eddie may not still be gazing romantically over Jenny Craig meals at the still-adorable Valerie Bertinelli, but he plays seriously smoking guitar (live dress rehearsal video here.)

Here’s Vince’s latest HIS-tory, with some fun history of the first bedside terminal, the PNUT.

We should hit the 5 millionth visitor to HIStalk somewhere around Friday of this week. I can’t give a prize since I don’t have any way to know who that reader is, but it will still be fun to watch the counter roll over. That’s a lot of visits even after almost nine years, especially since early on I was thrilled to see a few hundred in a month.

2-11-2012 9-43-01 AM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Certify. The San Jose, CA company says it’s the leading and fastest-growing enterprise HIE vendor (71 health systems, 258 hospitals) because it has solved the “last mile” problem for health systems that need to connect to the EMRs of community-based medical practices quickly to deliver immediate value. Setup is a snap: (a) Certify ships the practice a HealthDock edge server; (b) Certify’s Physician Services team walks the practice manager through the 30-minute setup by phone; (c) HealthDock connects to the health system’s Gateway server; (d) the interface is activated and tested; and (e) the practice is up and running with results distribution, order processing, and patient summaries. Physicians get value, hospitals meet Meaningful Use requirements, and the the Certify community eMPI is builds a master patient index in the background for more sophisticated data sharing and analytics projects down the road. For the technologists, Certify supports IHE standards PIX, PDQ, and XDS queries, with HealthDock service as an XDS.b repository and registry, with an end-to-end audit trail, alerts and messaging, failsafe encrypted delivery, and community analytics reporting cubes. One SVP/CIO is quoted on their site as saying, “This is the easiest IT implementation I have ever done,” while hospitals also like the minimal support requirements (less than 0.5 FTE) and all-inclusive fees. They’ll be in Booth #5934 at HIMSS. Thanks to Certify for supporting HIStalk.

Inga has put together our HIMSS Guide, which contains information about what our sponsors are doing their (booth and/or contact information, what they do, etc.) I put a PDF version here. You can help us out by supporting our supporters, as it were, by dropping by their booths and saying you read about them on HIStalk, even if only to say hello and see if they have any cool free stuff.

2-11-2012 12-48-48 PM

For you provider-employed folks (hospital, medical practice, etc.) attending the HIMSS conference, let me explain this Booth Crawl thing we’ve been talking about, because it will give you an excellent chance of bringing home a shiny new iPad (your family will be much more impressed than if you return with the usual assortment of note pads and stress balls.) We made the whole thing up at the last minute with the idea of putting iPads in the hands of readers, so forgive any lack of polish on the idea or its execution. Here’s what you do:

  1. Download the player form, print it off, and take it along to the conference.
  2. Visit the booths and Web pages listed by Wednesday evening, February 22, to get the answers to the questions on the form (the exhibits are open Tuesday from 1:00 to 6:00 and Wednesday from 9:30 until 1:00, then 2:30 until 6:00).
  3. Transfer your answers to the online form by Wednesday evening at 7:00 Las Vegas time.
  4. Later Wednesday evening, while everybody else is out having a good time, I’ll be holed up in my hotel room doing a manual draw of the winners, making sure you got the answers correct (OK, I may cut you some slack if you miss a couple of questions because I’m just that kind of guy and because I’ll be woozy from working like a dog and eating bad room service food so I can do the drawing and entry-checking, which I’m not looking forward to, but do your best.)
  5. I’ll post the names of the winners on HIStalk Wednesday evening and include the name of the sponsor that has your iPad. You swing by during exhibit hall hours Thursday (9:30 to 1:00, 2:30 to 6:00) to caress the iPad’s supple curves and inhale its bewitching scent for the first time, then take it away to its new home for your happy life together. Unlike those lame paper-based contests, you don’t have to be present to win (what’s that all about, anyway?) – the sponsor will ship the iPad to you if you can’t make it Thursday.

2-11-2012 1-25-31 PM

Being an objective sort, I asked myself why you should play in our Booth Crawl:

  1. Because we look kind of stupid to the companies sponsoring it if nobody plays. We’re not charging them, but it would still be encouraging to them as sponsors of HIStalk to see some folks drop by so they don’t think I’m just making up readership numbers.
  2. Because we have 55 iPads to give away, which is good odds for players, maybe the best at the entire conference.
  3. Because you’re going to visit booths anyway, so you might as well visit those of the Booth Crawl sponsors and make a fun game out of it that you might win.
  4. Because some of the Booth Crawl sponsors are doing other unsanctioned fun stuff for players that you’ll like and that we pretend not to know about.

2-11-2012 9-33-14 AM

Baptist Health System (AL) names Chris Davis MD as CMIO to lead its Epic implementation. He was previously with Sisters of Mercy Health System.

2-11-2012 12-30-48 PM

A good point to note from my most recent poll: don’t blame your EHR vendor for the clutter of worthless information contained in their product. You can get rid of it at any time, provided you stop dealing with the federal government, insurance companies, and litigious patients. New poll to your right, inspired by NervousIT’s question to me last week: when a big hospital takes over the IT operation of a small one, what’s the impact on the IT influence on patient outcomes?

An article in the local business journal says Cerner brought on 1,700 new employees in 2011 and will hire almost that many in 2012. That must be keeping the parking lots full and the pizza delivery guy busy.

2-11-2012 1-38-43 PM

I keep getting cheery HIMSS breakfast invitation e-mails from one of the other sites. I feel kind of honored thinking I’m on some kind of exclusive list until I click the registration link for details, then click again for the registration page, then scroll down to the very, very bottom in small print where I see that I’m to be charged $89 for my presence. Above is what I would get (one or the other, not both) after traipsing to the hotel by 7:00 a.m. and listening to a panel discussion, which is a format that I don’t like at all. I also don’t like being “invited” to something that I have to pay for. 

2-11-2012 1-56-40 PM

I’ve mostly stopped running “lost laptop” breach articles since they are common and no longer all that interesting, but here’s an exception: a laptop containing information on 500 patients is stolen from the car of nurse who works for Lakeview Medical Center (WI). Why is that newsworthy? Because the laptop’s hard drive was encrypted. Nice going, 40-bed Lakeview Medical Center.

E-mail Mr. H.

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Currently there are "16 comments" on this Article:

  1. It would be nice to hear from people more knowledgeable than myself, but I believe Hadoop is an infrastructure development and therefore isn’t extremely exciting from a healthcare perspective. Sure, it’s a way of processing a huge amount of data, but it doesn’t promise that this data is processed intelligently. I don’t much care how a system stores, retrieves, processes, and analyzes data, I care whether the answer it gives me is any good.

    We already have ways of processing tons of data, and processing exponentially more data isn’t going to give us the answers that could help clinicians care for their patients. What we need is a way to intelligently process all of that data. I’ll get excited when we have a Watson for healthcare – something that intelligently crunches a lot of data and turns that into something useful for real life. Once that happens, I don’t much care whether it runs on Hadoop or a mainframe, as long as it quickly returns useful information.

  2. “We should hit the 5 millionth visitor to HIStalk somewhere around Friday of this week. I can’t give a prize since I don’t have any way to know who that reader is, but it will still be fun to watch the counter roll over.”
    Sooooo, how about a prize donated in honor of #5 Million to a worthwhile, charitable organization, like a struggling Free Care center somewhere????

  3. Nasty Parts has it right. 300 plus including most of what remained of product management. Acquired SaaS product unimpressive, now no one with any experience left to finish it and bring to market. A sad (likely final) chapter in the long story of mergers… Medical Manager, WebMD, Emdeon, Sage, Vitera. Each time HIT outsider new management pledges to invigorate the company and sets unreasonable revenue targets, only to find that the only way to get near the target is to slash and burn. Condolences to those that lost their jobs…. Likely you’re better off not going down with the ship.

  4. @Vitera Product Vixen:

    The fact that you were told 75 is testament to the lies within Vitera. I can personally attest to 122 based on paperwork I was given that documented 122 in support positions alone. This does not cover field technicians, CRMs, sales people or other staff. And for you to make a blanket statement regard those who were let go is evidence of your ignorance. A large number of skilled people were cut and if you don’t believe that, then you think too highly of yourself, you will be next.

  5. Hadoop allows you to harvest structured and unstructured data together. I am surprised to see the lack of knowledge and misinformation on this technology that is not exactly new. There are some heavy hitters that have been using this and it delivers competitive advantages… little companies like Amazon. Structured data can be put in a cell in a table. Unstructured, like a feed on your company from Twitter, cannot…until now. As part of our BI strategy, we will not move forward without Hadoop.

  6. @Chayotte
    Can you clarify which Baylor? Is it the community med center in Dallas? Wouldn’t make a lot of sense for A&M’s med school hospital to merge with Baylor medical school and its imaginary hospital, but you never know.

  7. Hadoop? Remember the buzz word in the “Graduate” when Benjamin was asked “are you listening” The word “plastics” was immortalized.

    Pursuant to Hadoop, the buzz word, actually acronym for healthcare could be “HPCC.” See Hadoop versus HPCC and don’t forget the Data Analytics Supercomputer (DAS). In addition, ask Hank Asher where the MATRIX has gone?

  8. Hadoop ins’t about unstructured data. It’s about discrete data or meta data and in particular, Hadoop focuses on what is referred to as Map/Reduce which splits a single query so that it can run across a wide array of cheap servers each processing a segment of an extremely large data set and then recombine it’s results and process them back to the user in an intelligent manner.

    An Hadoop tool doesn’t in and of itself replace the need for an NLP engine to run across unstructured data to extract discrete meta data for analysis.

    It’s not magic. If you can fit all your data on a single server, you’re still way more efficient accessing it that way.

  9. Re: Vitera

    My guess is that @ Vitera Product Vixen is one of the PR folks at Vitera repeating the company talking points they gave out on Layoff Day.

    I’m amazed nobody mentioned that they laid over 10% of the staff off, and not two hours later they stood up in front of the rest of us and said that “This is a fun place to work”, and that we should “like them on Facebook”.

    Amazing lack of self-awareness.

  10. @Lakeview Medical Center – Any idea what they were using for their endpoint security / encryption?

    I always find this mix + SSO is a hard mix to get right to appease clinicians, physicians, and those OCD risk folks.

  11. Only 2 heavy hitter sales reps left at Vitera. Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey…. good bye.

    When the revenue generators go, so does the rest of the ship.

  12. I too would like more information on the potential Scott & White/ Baylor HC merger. I’m currently considering a position at S&W and I’d hate to be the new guy post-merger when positions are being eliminated.

    I did find some connections/relationships… Ken Starr, President of Baylor University joined the S&W Board in 2011. BTW, that is the same Ken Starr, who investigated Clinton for the Lewinski shenanigans.

  13. The Alchemist and Hadooper have it. Hadoop isn’t a silver bullet. In fact, it had little or nothing to do with healthcare. It’s an architecture for using massive amounts of data. The real trick is building intelligence into software – NLP, CDS that makes sense, etc. If Hadoop can help support that intelligence, that’s great. But it can be done without Hadoop, and Hadoop doesn’t automatically provide those capabilities.

  14. @ Vitera Product Vixen

    “Time to cut out the people who weren’t pulling their weight and recognize those of us that have been doing great work.”

    I have been working for that company (Sage) for many years and that mentality was never in any of our colleagues’ mindset.
    You are either very new to the organization or an outsider hired to spin their PR trash.

    The employees’ attitude towards underperforming coworkers is to help them out and get them to improve themselves.
    We do not want to cut the weakest links, we tried to make them better and improve the organization as a whole.

    That was what kept the company together despite zig-zag management directions, and this was the community that the new Vitera ownership decided to burn.

    Not only has this new ownership crippled the company’s position in the market, they have also released amazing talent into the job market that would eventually end up strengthening the competition.

  15. RE: ViteraHealthcare Solutions Layoffs

    Count was closer to 300 + / From staff I talked to that were released – most were high earners with multiple years of service. Not that years of service mattered anymore as everyone was knocked back to entry level benefits in November when vacation was slashed to 15 days across the board, All sick days were cut , Holidays were cut to 8 ,company match to 401k % cut by one 1 % – and will not be matched until 12/31 – I am glad I was one of those let go and only regret signing the employment agreement they forced upon us.

    Oh , to Vitera Product Vixen – Hello Rob Smalling.. you really are pretty small arent you?







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