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Monday Morning Update 3/12/12

March 11, 2012 News 2 Comments

From N2InformaticsRN: “Re: Ed Marx and Jim Murry. Did a nice job discussing mobility in healthcare on CIO Talk Radio.” That’s pretty cool – the audio sounds like a real radio station.

3-11-2012 10-12-35 AM

From @Cedars: “Re: Cedars-Sinai CPOE go-live. As a consultant going from project to project, it’s easy to forget why I began to work in healthcare, but this weekend I was reminded of it. This means everything to our industry, as past failure is redefined forever. This project has been done right in every way. I was inspired by this note from CIO Darren Dworkin. Please, please interview him.” I think I’ve asked Darren before. The CPOE implementation and quick de-implementation at Cedars-Sinai years ago gives it an honored spot in the Healthcare IT Failure Hall of Fame, right up there with BIDMC’s massive network outage, Kaiser’s waste of $500 million hiring IBM to develop IT systems that were abandoned before completion to instead passionately mate with Epic, and El Camino’s near-shutdown after implementing a patient-endangering Eclipsys medication solution. Feel free to suggest new nominees since every one of these examples provided painful but valuable lessons for not just those involved, but also for the rest of us gawking at the smoking wreckage from the safe side of the “do not cross” yellow tape. All of those organizations learned from their mistakes and came back better than ever, although iterative learning isn’t necessarily a good thing for patients.

3-11-2012 2-23-14 PM

From Sinking Ship: “Re: GE Healthcare. Cancels the 2012 Healthcare Technology Symposium due to mounting budget pressures.” The reader provided a copy of what appears to be the announcement letter from VP/CTO Mike Harsh. UPDATE: I asked GEHC what this event is since I could find no reference to it. It’s an internal-only event, so it has no customer implications.

From Bed Manager: “Re: HIMSS13. They are pre-booking hotels and relatively few rooms are available in New Orleans. Did attendees wise up and book early, or are rooms being held back for exhibitors, or does New Orleans just not have enough rooms to handle the increased size of the HIMSS conference? Both hotels of my choice are sold out and they aren’t even in the HIMSS block.”

From Epic Employee: “Re: Farzad Mostashari. Will be speaking at Epic on April 24. Pretty cool.”

3-11-2012 5-36-55 PM

From John: “Re: HIMSS conference exhibit layouts. The problem was because it was at the Sands Expo Center instead of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which has high ceilings and a long hall. I heard that the conference was supposed to be in Chicago but fell through at the last minute, leaving the Sands as the only alternative. HIMSS missed revenue since it sold out the Sands space weeks before the show, although I liked the Sands because it involved less walking and easy access to the Strip.” I don’t know if HIMSS planned to return to Chicago after what I would consider a predictably terrible first and only trip there (snowstorms even after screwing up the schedule by moving the event back, surly union workers in the hall, wildly overpriced hotels), but I thought they originally announced a permanent rotation of only Orlando, New Orleans, and Las Vegas. I don’t think that plan lasted long since they’ve been to Atlanta since then. New Orleans was OK last time, but that was right after Katrina when hotels and restaurants really didn’t have enough employees to keep things running smoothly. I’ll still hold out for San Diego as my favorite HIMSS experience and I heard they were expanding the conference center to handle the huge annual comic book convention.

3-11-2012 3-54-12 PM 

From VA Doc: “Re: digital pens. The VA puts out an RFI for the technology, which has matured to the point where it makes sense to move beyond case studies.”

3-11-2012 3-59-11 PM

From MT Hammer: “Re: Clinical Documentation Industry Association. Ceasing operations, annual conference in Baltimore cancelled, financial pressures cited.” CDIA was a trade association for clinical documentation services, basically transcription. HIMSS could have possibly taken it over given a few familiar names among its dwindling list of members: Acusis, Arrendale, Diskriter, MD-IT, MedQuist, M*Modal, Nuance, and Verizon. The former Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) rolled out its new name at the HIMSS conference in 2011, but a year later, both the organization and the conference are defunct.

From Sagacity: “Re: International Society for Disease Surveillance. Seeking comment on syndromic surveillance guidelines for the ambulatory and inpatient settings, targeting potential application for Meaningful Use Stage 3. The organization did the same thing for emergency and urgent care in the past, which led to MU Stage 1 specs.” Information here.

3-11-2012 4-51-26 PM

From Just a HIT Guy: “Re: WellStar. Moving off McKesson, NextGen, and GEMMS Cardiology, going to Epic. Internal memos released this week.” I’ll list this as unverified because I agreed to wait for a formal announcement as a courtesy to WellStar, but as usual, the organization’s long list of inpatient Epic job listings tell you everything you need to know anyway.

From EMR_Guru: “Re: WellStar. Announced to physicians they are scrapping NextGen and going with Epic. Wellstar has acquired a large number of physician practices over the last several years, Imagine getting bought and deploying NextGen only to be told a few months later that you have to scrap it and go with Epic.” That’s one of many risks involved in deciding to work for a hospital instead of for yourself.

From Prevailing Winds: “Re: Allscripts. You mentioned a vague acquisition rumor about Allscripts and IBM, but here’s something I’ve heard mentioned that I should say is completely unsubstantiated but potentially related. I’ve heard rumors of a potential buyout of Xerox/ACS by IBM. Allscripts remote hosting is outsourced to Xerox/ACS, so maybe the rumors refer just to that business instead of the whole company. Just rumor mill grist that may or may not mean anything.”

From Bony Moroni: “Re: HIMSS evaluation survey e-mail. It contained confusing instructions, misspellings, and a splash screen apologizing for errors in the e-mail. And we wonder why our industry is the butt of jokes by non-healthcare people. Here’s a crazy thought for an IT association in an industry known for sloppy work: test the damn e-mail merge program first. Not only was the merge done incorrectly, the ‘brief survey’ has a million questions on 11 pages, a status bar instead of an idea of what’s to come, and a pointless listing of the name and company of each recipient apparently just because they could. Obviously this is a contracted vendor, but does HIMSS really want this shoddy effort being the last thing people remember about the conference or the quality of work that HIMSS puts out?”

I’m back and rested after a week off out of the country, woefully behind, facing 500+ e-mails in my inbox, and regretting the loss of an hour due to springing forward since I’m already re-immersed into chaos even before I get back to my “real” job at the hospital. Actually I’m not that well rested since I got only four hours’ sleep Saturday night after downing my first-ever Red Bull to stay awake until  getting home at 3:00 a.m. Still, I’m happy to be back in my multiple saddles even though the horses tend to take off in different directions most of the time. Thanks to Inga for  keeping the HIStalk fires burning in my e-mail free absence. I’m sure I’ll repeat some items she’s already mentioned in trying to catch up, but that should be a one-time occurrence before things get back to normal with Tuesday’s news.

Thanks sincerely to everyone who completed my annual reader survey. It helps immensely and I’ve already made a to-do list for the next year based on the results. Obviously I almost cheated on my no-Internet vacation pledge to Mrs. HIStalk, but rationalized it to her by explaining that it took only seconds to download the results, even if I did spend several frowning and chin-stroking hours thinking about them and furiously taking notes. The preponderance of supportive comments was touching, although I probably won’t run them all here since that seems rather vain (as does re-reading them repeatedly, but at least I keep that particular vanity to myself.)

3-11-2012 8-55-10 AM

Readers grade ONC’s MU Stage 2 performance as maybe a D+. New poll to your right: does your PCP document your encounters in an electronic medical record? Mine does, even though the system he uses is about to get the boot in a hospital-mandated EHR replacement.

How did your Daylight Saving Time switchover go? Let me know if you had problems at your hospital. I’m always curious since vendors (some at my hospital, anyway) still haven’t worked out the bugs and punt by just suggesting shutting everything down for a couple of hours. Most of the problems are in the fall, when the “fall back” causes the 2:00 a.m. hour to be repeated, driving some badly designed systems crazy.

My Time Capsule editorial this week happens to be maybe my favorite one (at least until next time): Want to Anger a Nurse? Make Smug Comments about Grocery Store Barcoding. A desensitization dose: “They would buy Doritos by the bag, but would have to repackage and label individual chips and then track every chip – who bought it, who ate it, and whether they ate it in an appropriate quantity and with only complementary foods and according to dynamically calculated nutritional needs. ”

3-11-2012 8-51-51 AM

Fujifilm Medical Systems donates $25,000 to a laid-off radiology tech to save her foreclosed home, as seen on the Ellen show. 

3-11-2012 9-08-31 AM

Former HHS CTO and athenahealth co-founder Todd Park is named CTO of the United States, replacing Aneesh Chopra. Who would have put their money on the first HIT’er in the White House not being Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman?

3-11-2012 9-22-27 AM

Doug Stacy is named CIO at Labette Health (OK.) He was previously CIO at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center (KS.)

3-11-2012 3-50-22 PM

Dean Marketti, previously with BCBS, is named the first CIO of Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers (IL.) I almost gave up trying to figure out what state the hospital is in given the common small-town newspaper website practice of not giving their location, apparently convinced that if you don’t already know, you couldn’t possibly care. Which I’ll concede is pretty much the case. 

Scott & White Healthcare names Matthew Chambers as CIO. I’m guessing he was interim while working for KPMG since his LinkedIn profile says he’s had the job since July 2011.

Holon Solutions (solutions for telepharmacy, order entry, results reporting, and the CollaborNet data sharing solution) names industry long-timer Mike McGuire as CEO. He was previously with MET-test.

3-11-2012 9-32-27 AM

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (OH) and the local technology incubator launch QI Healthcare to commercialize the hospital’s quality improvement software that analyzes EMR data to identify improvement opportunities. I’m a bit skeptical about how easy it will be to commercialize any EMR data analysis application given the inconsistency in how each product and user stores and uses data, but hopefully they will figure out how to make that giant leap from Customer #1 to Customer #2. It took forever to find the startup’s Web page, which appears to be due to a combination of (a) lack of search engine optimization and Web content (just a leering stock art doctor on a GoDaddy parking page,) and (b) a poor choice of names that’s always going to give unrelated Google results. I continue to be amazed that new companies still choose names that won’t stand out in an Internet search.

It’s old news since I’m catching up, but First Databank mentions HIStalk (“the influential industry blog”) in the announcement of its rebranding, which I think is the first time a large, respectable organization has mentioned the name of this small, not all that respectable one in a significant announcement. I was impressed.

In the UK, Lord Carter of Coles, who heads up an NHS group to ensure fairness to its suppliers, is pressured to resign after the newspaper belatedly realizes that he’s also chairman of the UK division of McKesson (which he clearly disclosed when he took the job) and is part of an investment group that owns chunks of several healthcare companies. NHS pays him $90K per year for his two-days-per-week job, while McKesson pays him $1.25 million. Not surprisingly, nobody is suggesting that he quit the McKesson job.

Here’s Vince’s Part 2 of the CliniCom story.

The local paper covers the implementation of McKesson Paragon by McLaren-Bay Region (MI.) I think that’s actually McLaren Health Care, which makes a lot more sense.

A study at Minneapolis Heart Institute finds that surveillance software was able to retrospectively detect problems with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator devices long before the routine monitoring performed by the device manufacturers. The problem, of course, would be in collecting data in near real-time from the universe of patients in order to capitalize on the lead time.

3-11-2012 2-35-37 PM

The founder of SAP backs MolecularHealth, which offers software that matches the genomic data of individual patients to scientific evidence to suggest optimal cancer treatments. The application, which the company calls clinical decision support for oncologists, is being refined at MD Anderson.

Inga ran an anonymous reader’s rumor suggesting that GE Healthcare’s Centricity Perinatal could be on the sunset list. Not true, according to GEHC, and I’m sorry we ran that without asking the company for verification. GEHC is really fast and courteous about getting answers to my questions or rumor reports and I would have asked them for confirmation before running it. Inga doesn’t know the contact and probably figured she wouldn’t get a response.

3-11-2012 5-44-21 PM

Mrs. Dennis Quaid #3, the mother of the twins who were overdosed on heparin at Cedars-Sinai four years ago that were the subject of Dennis Quaid’s 2009 HIMSS conference keynote speech, files for divorce from the actor.

BCBS of North Carolina rolls out a mobile website that lets patients view claims, check their plan benefits, find a doctor, get a treatment estimate, and comparison shop drugs and insurance plans. The site, developed by Kony Solutions, supports Android and Apple platforms.

3-11-2012 3-38-57 PM

Philip White, historian and PR manager of electronic forms management vendor Access, appeared on Fox News last week after the release of his book about Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in Missouri in 1945. They asked him whether the lessons learned from the previous cold war still apply in situations related to Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

3-11-2012 3-51-39 PM

The local paper covers Oakwood Healthcare System’s (MI) $80 million Epic project, to be kicked off in August.

3-11-2012 4-26-51 PM

A fun Bloomberg BusinessWeek article discusses the joys of attending a conference in Las Vegas. It contains interesting mentions of the HIMSS conference, including four Craigslist “casual encounters” ads targeting HIMSS attendees like the one above.

A Kaiser Health News/Fortune article profiles Farzad Mostashari and HITECH. A quote:

Remarkably, in an era of partisan government, Mostashari’s program enjoys bipartisan support — or, at least, bipartisan tolerance. While only three Republicans voted for the stimulus bill in 2009, which provided the program’s funding, few have spoken out against it. The fact that the information technology industry is a big supporter — giants such as IBM, Microsoft, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard and a host of smaller health-care specialty technology companies — doesn’t hurt. The $27 billion will flow their way, and plenty of high-priced lobbyists are working hard to keep it flowing.

The New York Civil Liberties union criticizes the state’s privacy and security policies, saying HIEs should require patient consent to access their records and that the all-or-nothing approach to privacy means doctors see a lot of confidential information they don’t need to do their jobs.

3-11-2012 6-30-30 PM

Utah Business names Amy Rees Anderson, CEO of HIE technology vendor MediConnect Global, as its CEO of the Year.

3-11-2012 6-32-10 PM

State auditors discover that 269-bed Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (CA), which earned scathing headlines last year when auditors found that its retiring CEO was paid over $5 million, did $21 million of business over a five-year-period with firms in which its executives held a financial interest.

A woman whose pending Supreme Court lawsuit argues that the federal government can’t force individuals to carry health insurance files bankruptcy after the family car repair business fails. Among the debts she’s petitioning the federal court to allow her not to pay: several thousand dollars owed to hospitals and physician practices. She had opted not to purchase health insurance.

E-mail Mr. H.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Your are respectable with a capital “R”. Deserving respect or esteem, worthy, fitting for correct behavior or conventional conduct, of reasonably good quality…all of these descriptors sound like Mr. HISTalk and his savvy assistant, Inga. Keep up the good work!

  2. Re Bony Moroni’s comment on HIMSS’ survey, HIMSS does a lot of good stuff…some things well, most things with little attention to detail. There is a culture of “good enough is good enough”, which of course is not true in any other aspect of health IT or healthcare delivery. I know it’s frustrating for some of the staff but there’s also a strong culture that protects a number of long-time, albeit mediocre, staff. Recent turn-over might indicate that’s changing.







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