From Non Sequitur: “Re: UNC. I told you I would submit the official Epic announcement when it was released. Since you have already mentioned this, it’s not really newsworthy.” Au contraire – it’s nice to get official verification, which apparently came from UNC Health Care System (NC) on November 19 with its Epic announcement. Cerner and Siemens were the also-rans. Assembly of the implementation team will start early in 2013, with 80-120 folks tapped to begin the rollout of Epic to UNC Hospitals, Rex Healthcare, Chatham Hospital, the UNC Physicians Network, and UNC Physicians & Associates.
From Max Headroom: “Re: CES Unveiled. The consumer electronics show had a lot of Fitbit-type companies, but the coolest and most Thanksgiving relevant was the HAPIfork from a Hong Kong company. The USB-connected fork tracks how many bites you eat over what time, with the premise that eating more slowly has more positive effects on metabolism. It even has a reminder to eat more slowly, so people can get alert fatigue from eating.” That sounds somewhere between creepy and pretty smart, at least if you believe that eating slower means eating less and if you don’t eat a lot of fork-free sandwiches or soup. The fork records everything without being USB connected, then uploads to an online dashboard and to Facebook if you want (I guess that would be social net-forking).
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Acuo Technologies of Bloomington, MN. The company offers Universal Clinical Platform (a vendor-neutral archive) and clinical data migration solutions that let customers liberate their clinical content from departmental silos (including enterprise medical images). The result: putting patient information where it’s needed, with customers executing their own clinical strategies instead of meekly following those dictated by their technology vendors. It often makes sense to pursue a selective best-of-breed strategy for wound care, pathology, and neurosurgery, and Acuo’s technologies allow making data from those systems liquid while ensuring vendor independence and multi-site support. The benefits include lower TCO, built-in business continuity and recoverability, better network utilization, implementation of IHE-profile standards and vendor neutrality, and the ability to monitor system health via a single dashboard. Not to mention that the client owns both the data and the archive. The DoD chose Universal Clinical Platform a few weeks back to consolidate images from 62 Army and Navy PACS sites located around the world – UCP works with every major radiology and cardiology PACS. The company just released a white paper that describes how three of its hospital customers weathered Hurricane Sandy, along with an overview of the business continuity possibilities offered by UCP. If you’re at RSNA this week, drop by booth #7146 and tell the Acuo folks that you saw them mentioned in HIStalk. Thanks to Acuo Technologies for supporting my work.
From my usual YouTube cruise, here’s a video featuring customers talking about their Acuo implementation.
HIMSS and vendor user group conferences are those national meetings most commonly attended by poll respondents, with the other events lagging far behind them. New poll to your right, following up on a Dr. Jayne question: is transcription a commodity service that’s differentiated mostly on price? Feel free to click the poll’s Comments link after you’ve voted to editorialize your position.
I’ve been revamping HIStalk Mobile over the last several days. The site has a new look and a gradually changing name – HIStalk Connect. Travis is posting from the physician and entrepreneur perspective while Lt. Dan is handling the daily news posts. If your interests include startups, cool technologies, consumer health IT, and telehealth, you might consider becoming a regular contributor, a guest author, an interview subject, or a news tipster. I’ll have some new sponsors to announce shortly.
The First Minister of Wales opens Clinithink’s research and development center in Bridgend, emphasizing the government’s commitment to stimulate economic growth by supporting technology companies. That’s Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones SM on the left, Clinithink CEO Chris Tackaberry on the right (he wrote a Readers Write article a week ago). The company offers the CLiX clinical language indexing engine for ICD and SNOMED that turns medical notes into coded data.
I create an eclectic music playlist every week in the hopes that folks who’ve been stuck in a musical rut going back to their college days (or since computers took over most musically related chores) will find something fresh to listen to. The one for this week includes a mix of genres and vintages: Soundgarden, Auf Der Maur, Zip Tang, Morrissey, Lana del Rey, and some cool surf tunes. Some of the tracks were recommended by readers. Let me know if anything speaks to you.
I was thinking about HP’s accusation that its recent acquisition target Autonomy had fraudulently misstated earnings, forcing it to write down $9 billion as announced last week. I’m beginning to be skeptical that Autonomy was the lone gunman. HP has been a train wreck in every conceivable way, so it seems suspicious that the company chose the day of a bad quarterly report to trot out excuses from an acquisition that closed a year ago. Peering deeper into the numbers, HP says the magnitude of the alleged accounting fraud was a few hundred million dollars, which caused it to pay $5 billion too much. That would seem to imply that the other $4 billion that was written down was because HP vastly overpaid (which was why companies better than HP had already passed on the deal). All of this happened before Meg Whitman took over as CEO (she was hired September 22, 2011), but the (literal) bottom line is that the company peed away $9 billion, with the only question being which aspect of HP’s due diligence stupidity (valuation or forensics) was at fault. It would appear that HP’s bragging rights for hiring (and most puzzlingly, retaining) the least-competent board of directors in the country remains unthreatened.
An NIH-funded project to match DNA samples from 100,000 volunteer Kaiser Permanente patients with their electronic medical record information is creating a “playground of incredibly rich data” that is already turning up medical discoveries. Researchers have discovered genetic variations that seem to influence the effectiveness of statin drugs. They’ve also found something that sounds like a like a palm reader’s life line – a specific genetic component whose physical length seems to correlate with lifespan.
Accretive Health writes $4,000 checks to 90 Minnesota patients who complained that the company harassed them with abusive medical collection practices.
A UK doctor blames the death of one of his patients on the practice’s EMR, saying he failed to notice that the patient had stopped taking proton pump inhibitors and died of a stomach ulcer as a result. The doctor says of the since-replaced system, “In a highly-charged meeting with a patient, when you’re discussing very important matters, I failed to notice the absence of a D on the computer screen. The systems fail to flag up under-use in an adequate way. It’s a hazardous system.”
Also in the UK, a patient dies after an erroneously programmed IV syringe pump delivers a 24-hour narcotic dose over just 12 hours. The nurse who set the pump admits that she isn’t sure that she understood the pump instructions another nurse gave her.
UC Davis Children’s Hospital (CA) tries its hand at crowdfunding, seeking donations for the purchase of specific items that range from $30 toys to a $12 million NICU wing. A “medical computer suite” costs $2,210 just in case you’re up for providing a stocking stuffer.
Decision support tools from Dallas-based cardiology software vendor Emerge Clinical Decision Solutions are chosen by the HeartPlace cardiology practice for use in 31 clinics and 25 hospitals. Software algorithms review patient symptoms and histories, with the company claiming that identification of some cardiac conditions is increased by 300 percent.
I noticed a drug study authored by a pharmacist from Cerner Research. That reminded me that Cerner mines and sells the patient information stored by its hosted EMR clients.
I’m annually amazed that RSNA convinces 60,000 people to leave their families Thanksgiving weekend to head off to chilly Chicago. If you are there, enjoy the conference.
The Milwaukee business paper takes a field trip to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to check out its $129 million Epic implementation. At 263 beds, that’s a truly Epic cost of almost half a million dollars per bed.
As more Americans get fatter, so does their mental picture of what ideal weight should be. Sixty percent of people think their weight is about right despite CDC statistics showing that 69 percent of Americans are overweight. I theorize that foreign travel will suffer as junk food eating and expandable pants wearing Americans realize that they stand out like lumbering giants when immersed into a culture of svelte locals in Asia, Scandinavia, and almost everywhere else. I blame vanity sizing, where clothing manufactures make everything several sizes bigger than the label says so customers can pretend their mirrors are defective. Not appropriate post-Thanksgiving talk, I know.
Strange: an air conditioning technician files a $1 million negligence suit against Kingwood Medical Center (TX) after stinging bees cause him to plunge through the hospital’s skylight.
The re-domesticated Vince picks up where he left off with the HIS-tory of CPSI, founded by Denny and Kenny (one of them really was a rocket scientist). Vince thrives on memory-refreshing reader e-mails, so if you have interesting nuggets or current contacts from the sepia-toned HIT of yesteryear, he would enjoy hearing from you.