From The PACS Designer: “Re: Bromium Microvisor. An interesting concept is forming at Bromium in the development of a micro-web browser within your main web browser. The Bromium Microvisor encapsulates e-mails, PDFs, and other documents within a micro-visor so that malware can’t infect your operating system. When you delete an e-mail or other document, the malware is deleted as well, and your operating system is protected. This concept may be a solution to consider for healthcare institutions who have to daily deal with numerous mobile devices.” Bromium is a lightweight and transparent hardware-based utility that limits what a launched malware application can do, isolating it so it can’t infect anything outside of its own assigned micro-virtual machine even if the malware penetrates company e-mail or secured sites. A standard laptop can run hundreds of simultaneous micro-VMs, each of which run in their own little world without running a separate instance of the operating system. It would be great for bring-your-own-device security, but only if your own mobile device runs Windows on an Intel processor (not likely) since that’s all Bromium supports at the moment.
From The Borg: “Re: resistance is futile, you will be assimilated – signed, Epic. This may have always been out there, but in the 2012 release, they have renamed ‘Now Showing’ as Epic Earth.”
From DBD: “Re: video. See Death by Deletion.” I think I’ve mentioned this before since it’s an old story. Whistleblower and risk manager Patricia Moleski claims her former employer, Adventist Health System, manipulated electronic patient information for various reasons to protect itself against liability. She also claims that a bug in AHS’s Cerner system caused patient injury and death. She says she was then fired, legally bullied, and intimidated by gunshots to her house and the burning of her car. That’s her side of the story, which I would be cautious about taking at face value without hearing the other side. She’s not mentioned on the Web very much, other than by sites catering to workers’ rights and those who claim the Adventist faith is a cult, so I don’t know what happened with her claimed involvement as an informant with the FBI, which she says was investigating her charges. This incident is a couple of years old, so you would think it would have been resolved one way or another by now.
Listening: new from Marina and the Diamonds, which is really just quirky Welsh-born singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis and her backing band. She’s intentionally playing the character of a witty, cynical, and insightful pop star with an American celebrity attitude, fronting music that ranges from faux bubblegum to 80s New Wave. Good for fans of Florence + The Machine, although the less-concepty first album (The Family Jewels) is probably a better starting point.
Go after insurance companies if you want to control healthcare costs, said respondents to my most recent poll (though they are also suspicious of malpractice attorneys). New poll to your right: will telehealth improve healthcare quality and/or reduce costs? Before complaining that I should have included 20 other answer choices (as a few folks always do when faced with the polarizing characteristics of questions with a Boolean answer choice), note that you are not only permitted but actually encouraged to add a comment after you have been forced under duress to choose one answer or the other. That’s where you may opine more extensively than your allotted one click allows.
Thanks to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor CommVault, whose Simpana solution allows its health system clients to protect, manage, and access their organizational information. Hospitals use Simpana’s single console to manage all of their enterprise information: application data, messaging, files, and databases, from laptops to the cloud. Simpana bundles backup, archiving, and reporting into a single platform. The company is partnering with EMR and PACS vendors to simplify healthcare data management, ensuring security and compliance, managing data growth, cutting storage costs by up to 50%, and supporting the establishment of a common set of data and information management policies. Data growth has messed up the backup and restore capabilities of many organizations, motivating 16,000 users to save time and money by leaving NetBackup, Networker, and TSM behind and moving to Simpana (CommVault has conversion tools). If you run legacy backup software, CommVault suggests that you ask these five questions before renewing your maintenance agreement. Thanks to CommVault for supporting HIStalk.
I headed over to YouTube to look for a CommVault Simpana overview, so here’s a webcast that explains it. I also found this Gartner video that includes an interview with CommVault customer Sharp HealthCare, as VP Teri Moraga talks about the health system’s storage needs and solutions at around the 6:30 mark (and why they switched to Simpana at around 9:15).
The Florida National Guard hosts representatives from five Caribbean islands to discuss the military’s use of electronic medical records.
Penn State Hershey Medical Center names Rod Dykehouse (ProHealth, UCLA – left) as CIO. Former CIO Tom Abendroth MD (right) will become the hospital’s first chief of medical informatics, leading efforts to use its EMR to improve care and research.
Former Mediware COO John Damgaard is named president of nursing home software vendor MDI Achieve.
Huntington Memorial Hospital (CA) chooses Infor’s Lawson solutions for financial management, supply chain, and analytics.
Representatives of a local hospital district in Minnesota are “reeling” after the breakdown of talks with executives of Essentia Health, which leases the 25-bed critical access hospital. Hospital board members complained that Essentia isn’t investing in Essentia Health – Sandstone and gave notice that the board was cancelling Essentia’s lease that expires in August. Essentia then fired the top two hospital executives and said it would exercise its option to buy the hospital outright. The two main issues are hospital oversight and the EMR system used by the hospital, which they want to keep instead of replacing it with Essentia’s system (which I believe is Epic.)
The San Francisco business paper mentions that Washington Hospital Healthcare System (CA) is halfway through its $86 million Epic implementation.
The Joint Commission revises its standards pertaining to the use of scribes in hospitals, adding Physician Assistant as a professional for which scribes may perform EMR documentation under their supervision (along with physicians and advanced practice nurses.) TJC also specifically said that scribes should not enter orders directly into CPOE systems.
A BMJ article says the British government is premature in advocating the widespread use of telehealth as a way to cut cost and improve care, claiming that preliminary findings are inconclusive. One of the authors says her own hospital trust has looked at everything that might reduce hospital admissions and none of the potential solutions, including telehealth, has reduced the rate of increase. A previous study by the same trust concluded that increased efficiencies in discharging patients may have simply opened up more beds for doctors to fill, allowing them to admit more patients. I noted, however, that despite the imposing BMJ (the former British Medical Journal) on the article and a list of academic-looking citations, this particular article is a feature written by a freelance journalist. The same issue has several articles on telemedicine, though.
I’ve reported this previously: FDA launched electronic surveillance of its own scientists, intercepting the e-mails of those on its “enemies list” who criticized the agency. The FDA’s document imaging subcontractor botched the project by inadvertently posting the intercepted documents to the Internet, allowing anyone (including The New York Times) to read e-mails that had been sent to members of Congress and even the President. The scientists found out and are suing. Senator Chuck Grassley, upset that e-mails of one of his employees turned up in the surveillance database, called FDA “the Gestapo.” FDA used parental monitoring software sold commercially for $99.95 to spy on its scientists, who they suspected of leaking confidential vendor information about medical imaging equipment which they believe exposes patients to excessive radiation.
A Mississippi oncologist, her office manager, and her billing clerk plead guilty to overbilling Medicare and Medicaid by $15 million for cancer drugs. Prosecutors say the cancer clinic administered drugs while the doctor was overseas and also reused needles and diluted chemo drugs. The clinic was shut down and $6 million was seized from the doctor, but she has been held without bond because she has plenty of money left and is considered a flight risk to head back to her native India.
An editorial in The Australian says the government’s Model Healthcare Community Roadshow is guilty of misleading advertising in pitching that country’s $1 billion personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR). The critique says PCEHR may contain a few physician-uploaded medical summaries, but there’s no way for hospitals, EDs, specialists, or pharmacies to add information, and any updating that occurs is not real time. The road show truck shows diagnostic images even though PCEHR can’t accept images yet. The article concludes that as a voluntary system, doctors have already said they won’t rely on its information for making treatment decisions.
A Weird News Andy find: a California urgent care doctor suspected of writing prescriptions for cash examines an undercover officer, studying the x-ray the patient brought in and helpfully pointing out the bones causing the pain for which the doctor recommended “Roxicodone? Or oxycodone? Or whatever you want.” His diagnostic acumen might be questionable, however, given that he missed the fact that the patient had a tail, according to the x-ray (which was actually of a German shepherd and was clearly labeled as coming from an animal hospital). The doctor, who was previously convicted of taking kickbacks for Medicare home health referrals, was arrested for improper prescribing.
Vince ties up loose ends on HMS, including taking an interesting peek into what systems the under-100 bed hospitals use and what they cost. For the next HIS-tory, Vince will start a series on Keane. He’s looking for help from anyone with details about the companies Keane acquired over the years — Source Data Systems, Infostat, PHS Patcom, CHC, or Pentamation / Ferranti. If you can help out with fun anecdotes or yellowing documents, e-mail Vince. He is always effusive with his thanks and generous with his acknowledgments.