From The PACS Designer: “Re: iPad Mini. TPD told you about the iPad Mini awhile ago, but didn’’t expect its arrival until early next year. Now that it’s here, you will see a rapid deployment in the healthcare field. Healthcare IT departments need to be on alert as the expansion of iPad mini users will could quickly overload already busy networks.”
From Japandroid: “Re: MMRGlobal. I spent 30 minutes reading their press releases after your item and was floored. They crank out what seems like one per day, like the one mentioning that they shipped 25 more PHR licenses to a reseller (congratulations!) Check out their YouTube video – the company’s spokesperson is a former Playboy model, soft porn movie star, TV producer, and the trophy wife of company founder Robert Lorsch, who has a long list of business and philanthropic accomplishments.” Looks aside, Kira Reed is polished and engaging in the video, although not enough to make PHRs interesting (she says PHRs are “exploding,” which I would agree by my definition of “exploding.”) Vendors: is anybody planning to reward the company’s patent trolling by licensing its EHR-related intellectual property, which will be celebrating its one-week birthday in just a few days?
From Epic Pawn: “Re: Epic. The contract they sent me for the privilege of consulting with one of their clients will require me to end my HIT career!” Interesting points:
- Apparently a hospital can’t hire a consultant to help with Epic until that person signs a lengthy contract with Epic.
- If the consultant develops any kind of enhancement to Epic software and doesn’t sign over the rights to the hospital, the enhancement is automatically owned by Epic.
- You are obligated to report anyone you know who has accessed anything related to Epic without authorization, even if you didn’t have anything to do with their access.
- You can’t hire or contract with a former Epic employee until they’ve sat out a one-year waiting period.
- You can hire an Epic customer’s project team employee only if you don’t assign them any Epic-related work for two years, and they are considered to be a project team employee until three months after go-live.
- Your employees can’t perform any activities that compete with Epic – design, sales, consulting — for two years after they leave your employment.
- You agree that Epic is a third-party beneficiary of the agreement your employees must sign, which gives Epic a right to enforce the agreement even though those people don’t work for Epic.
- You agree that any legal actions will be heard in Wisconsin courts.
- I’m sure there’s more, but it’s a long read and I’m getting numb.
From Lambrusco: “Re: Allscripts. I think they’ll get a private equity deal announced by the earnings announcement on Thursday. Otherwise, they will have to put out an ‘exploring strategic alternatives’ addendum to the announcement if they miss on revenue or earnings (which is likely) to cushion any fall. Worse than allowing word of the PE deal to leak out was the MyWay announcement, which clued every potential PE buyer to dig more closely into attrition rates, which are sure to rise. They could have waited a month or two before putting a bullet in MyWay. The company is incredibly inefficient and the CEO was given carte blanche by the board to do M&A himself to buy his way out of trouble after avoiding tough product decisions in 2008 and 2010, so the cash flow and margins are probably understated and the PE guys can put in a management team that can execute. This week will be interesting.” Indeed it will.
From Coolmaker: “Re: vaccine refrigeration. They can make a zeer pot refrigerator that only requires water to function.” That might be an interesting project – a couple of flower pots and some sand and you can make a rudimentary refrigerator, although I don’t know if it will get cool enough to keep vaccines.
From Tarheel Ingenue: “Re: UNC Health Care CIO. Leaving.” Verified, apparently, based on an internal e-mail sent my way. Rose Ann Laureto, who’s been on the North Carolina job just a year, is moving to Promedica as CIO of the 11-hospital system that’s closer to her original home.
It’s pretty much all KLAS when providers use paid information sources to evaluate vendors according to my poll, although Gartner and “none of the above” had minimally respectable showings. New poll to your right: how much will patient empowerment and mobile apps change the healthcare system? After you’ve voted, click the Comments link on the poll to try to sway the undecided voters.
Instead of doing a “Listening” recommendation, Lt. Dan of HIStalk Mobile and I put together a Spotify playlist with some new and old stuff we’ve been following (our musical tastes overlap quite a bit). Spotify offers high-quality free streaming, so download it and you can play through the 39 tracks and three hours. Examples: new Neil Young, Wild Belle, Seapony, and older stuff from Frank Black, the BellRays, Public Enemy, and Operator. Feel free to create your own playlist and send me the link – if I like it, I’ll run it. If anyone seems to care, I’ll put out a new playlist every week or two, maybe focusing on specific genres.
Thanks to the following sponsors, new and renewing, that have recently supported HIStalk, HIStalk Mobile, and HIStalk Practice. Click a logo for more information.
SCI Solutions founder and industry long-timer John Holton retires from the company, although I’m betting (and hoping) he will pop back up in a healthcare-related role shortly since he’s a lifer who’s a bit young for the rocking chair. SCI’s remaining managing partners are Joel French (CEO) and Jeff Anderson (chief sales officer).
NYU Fertility Center, located in the evacuated building whose generator building that was evacuated after basement flooding shorted out the power to the generator’s fuel pump, saves its embryos and the carefully timed fertility cycles of its patients by running five-gallon cans of diesel fuel to the rooftop generator to buy time until the embryos could be moved to liquid nitrogen storage.
Here are the NYU nurses who bagged the NICU respirator babies while walking them down nine dark flights of stairs to ambulances waiting to take them to other hospitals, interviewed on 20/20 with some of the parents.
Another New York hospital closed indefinitely: the Manhattan VA Medical Center. NYU will open its practices Monday although some will be at different locations, while Bellevue says it will be down for at least two weeks. NYU has also shut down its medical school for the week and cancelled its applicant interviews.
A funny editorial in the St. Louis newspaper called “Talkin’ Colons with a Computer” observes that insurance companies use automated telemarketing for health reminders and asking health questions of their members. A sample:
A colonoscopy is not only an unpleasant procedure — a fact the voice failed to mention — but an expensive one. Hospitals don’t list their prices — no, that would make way too much sense — but independent cost-comparison websites suggest you can count on paying an average of $2,025 for a colonoscopy in St. Louis. The anesthesiologist will bill you separately. Why? Because he can. The facility may bill you separately. Why? Because it can. Also, if the colonoscopy actually finds a polyp or some other anomaly, it becomes a “diagnostic” procedure and not a “screening” procedure and it will cost you more. Why? Because it can. That $2,025 price applies if you have insurance. The voice was happy to suggest a colonoscopy because (a) voices don’t have colons to be scoped and (b) the insurance company would rather pay its share of the discounted price of the procedure than pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars for colon cancer treatment. Insurance companies have many faults, but stupidity is not one of them.
California state HIE overseer UC Davis releases HIE Ready, a buyer’s guide for providers interested in the interoperability capabilities of EHRs they are considering. It’s mostly a set of technical specs and an invitation for companies to participate.
Former shareholders of critical test reporting system vendor Vocada file suit against Nuance, which acquired the company and its Veriphy product in 2007, claiming Nuance has failed to make $7 million in earned payments. The shareholders say an arbitration panel has already unanimously ruled that Nuance fraudulently induced Vocada’s board and shareholders to agree to an acquisition whose terms included $20 million in cash or stock for shareholders, $4 million in cash or stock for employee retention and management bonuses, and $21 million in earnout consideration contingent on three-year revenue targets. An earlier Nuance SEC filing states that the financial targets were not met.
— Epocrates (@Epocrates) October 23, 2012
An Epocrates survey finds that one in three physicians plan to buy an iPad mini since it fits into a lab coat pocket.
The Raleigh, NC newspaper covers local EHR efforts. Tidbits:
- A local doctor who took the Allscripts MyWay plunge two years ago is not happy that it won’t be further enhanced. “We bought what we bought thinking it was a stable company and it was their newest package. You spend all this time transitioning to a program, and they come back and say, ‘Sorry guys, we’re not going to do this after Jan. 1.’” Allscripts has 1,200 employees in Raleigh, the home of the former Misys that it acquired.
- About 50 percent of NC doctors surveyed said EHRs haven’t improved care or aren’t worth the cost.
- WakeMed will spend $100 million on its EHR, while Duke’s Epic implementation will cost $500-700 million and will earn $50 million in HITECH incentive payments. UNC will choose a vendor this month to replace several hundred applications.