AMA submits comments to ONC urging that Meaningful Use Stages 1 and 2 be evaluated before committing to a Stage 3. It says its members most often express five concerns: (a) passing requires a 100 percent score; (b) the core measures are inflexible with regard to practice patterns and specialties; (c) the program needs to be independently evaluated; (d) EHR certification should place more emphasis on software usability; and (e) healthcare IT infrastructure barriers prevent data sharing. AMA wants three years between stages to give EHR vendors time to prepare – one year for making the rules, one for product development, and one for implementation.
LOL at JHU revoking parking privileges for clinicians not getting their ducks in a row for EPIC transition. Legit threat in East Baltimore
— Andrew G. (@BioDueDiligence) January 15, 2013
From EHR You Experienced?: “Re: Johns Hopkins Epic motivation for clinicians. Funny.” It is, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why people keep writing Epic in all capital letters. It’s just plain wrong.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Need a new Spotify playlist? Here you go. Beach House, Christian Mistress, Young the Giant, The Maldives, and others ranging from popular to obscure (mostly the latter since I strenuously resist musical monotony).
Just for you Smokin’ Doc fans, I’ve had the old logo turned into smaller ones of various sizes and shapes featuring just the doc himself, which I’ll be using regularly here and there. I may even place him permanently at the top of the page since people keep lamenting his apparent demise, which is simultaneously endearing and disturbing. However, just to be clear: (a) I don’t smoke a pipe or anything else and never have; (b) he doesn’t look like me; and (c) you won’t find many doctors wearing reflector thingies on their heads unless you time travel back to the 1960s – they’ve gone electronic.
Twelve-employee Flatiron Health raises $8 million in a Series A funding round led by Google Ventures. The company, which is running a private beta of its oncology analytics platform, was started by the two founders of media buying platform vendor Invite Media. They sold that company to Google for $81 million in 2010.
Primary Partners (FL) contracts with telemonitoring provider AMC Health for remote monitoring of discharged patients using biometric devices.
Springhill Medical Center (AL) selects Omnicell for automated medication solutions and business analytics.
Holland PHO (MI) chooses Wellcentive Advance for aggregating and analyzing patient information from multiple EMRs and systems into a central repository to meet BCBS Michigan’s OSC program guidelines.
HealthEast (MN) chooses RelayHealth to power an enterprise HIE that will help coordinate care across its four hospitals and 14 clinics.
Health Services for Children with Special Needs (DC) selects care and claims systems from TriZetto.
Norwegian American Hospital (IL) chooses revenue cycle solutions from HealthWare Systems.
Aetna and Centene Corporation choose readmission predictive analytics software from Predixion Software.
KLAS appoints John Halamka (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), Wright Lassiter (Alameda Medical Center), and Denni McColm (Citizens Memorial Hospital) to its advisory board.
Kareo hires Rob Pickell (Strategy for HireRight) as its first chief marketing officer.
HIMSS and the American College of Clinical Engineering recognize Paul H. Frisch (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) with the ACCE-HIMSS Excellence in Clinical Engineering and Information Synergies Award for demonstrating leadership in promoting synergies between IT and clinical engineering.
Merge Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Cheryl Whitaker, MD leaves the company to pursue new ventures.
Mike Quinto (Quantros) joins PatientSafe Solutions as regional sales VP.
Former consultant and National Quality Forum SVP/COO Laura Miller joins HP as client principal in the public health sector.
Announcements and Implementations
Optum and Mayo Clinic launch Optum Labs, an open, collaborative research and development facility focused on improving patient care. Participants in the project will have access to Optum and Mayo’s information assets and technologies, including de-identified clinical and claims data.
White Plume Technologies adds AccelaPQRS, powered by Wellcentive, to its solutions suite. Its smart workflows and customized rules capture eligible encounters that allow users to transmit their denominators and numerators to Wellcentive’s registry.
An independent study finds that PeriGen’s PeriCALM Patterns can accurately screen fetal monitoring strips in real time, with its findings matching that of three experts from National Institutes of Health 97 percent of the time. Clinicians can also use the software retrospectively to test new hypotheses on stored fetal heart rate information. I interviewed CEO Matt Sappern in September.
Here’s a new cartoon from Imprivata.
MModal announces a partner certification program for vendors using its Fluency Direct speech recognition and natural language processing technologies.
Henry Schein MicroMD enhances its PM/EMR automated solutions line with tools for dashboards, patient marketing, data backup, electronic payments, statements, websites, PDR information, and third-party collections.
Government and Politics
CMS expands the MU program to include physicians who assign their reimbursement and billing to critical access hospitals.
William Zurhellen MD, a solo practice pediatrician in the New York City area, petitions the White House to move EHR strategy away from facilitating payment to a national approach for improving outcome and costs. His petition has 123 signatures so far of the 25,000 needed to put it in front of the President. We interviewed him on HIStalk Practice three years ago, where he explained why he wrote his own Unix-based EMR and why he’s not a HITECH fan. “The entire ARRA is a trade for information. We’ll give you money to put in records, but in return, we want you to supply us with performance data. Performance does not equal quality.” A reader reports that a recent CCHIT meeting, he received applause from at least half the audience when he announced, “Certification should focus on improving care. Anything else is a waste of time.”
Innovation and Research
Joe Kiani, founder and CEO of patient monitoring systems vendor Masimo, launches a patient safety conference and calls for fellow vendors to share their monitor information. He envisions a “superhighway of patient data” that can be analyzed by algorithms to provide an early warning of patient problems that will reduce 200,000 preventable deaths that occur under a provider’s care. Promising to share were Circuit Board, GE, Cerner, Smith Medical, SonoSite Fuji, Surgicount Medical, and Zoll Medical. Other solutions discussed were patient checklists, medical mistakes, and hospital overuse of blood from blood banks. Bill Clinton delivered the conference keynote and patient safety expert Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD also presented.
Conor Delaney, MD, a surgeon at University Hospitals Case Medical Center (OH) is profiled in an article about Socrates Analytics, which he founded to develop a system for University Hospitals that analyzes hospital information to support quality improvement efforts.
The Raleigh-area business paper covers the departure of Diane Adams, VP of culture and talent of Allscripts. We detailed her severance package here when it was first filed, but the paper recaps: a year’s salary in cash, her annual target bonus in cash, a year of health benefits, partial accelerated vesting, and other potential bonuses. She gets an extra year’s salary if the company sells out within the next year. She made $1.9 million in 2011 for her job, described as “building a values-based, high-performance environment where people, learning, and fun are the priorities.” It would be interesting to hear from those people whether they enjoyed $1.9 million worth of learning and fun.
HIMSS Analytics reports that in the last five quarters, the number of US acute care hospitals achieving EMRAM Stage 5 or Stage 6 has increased more than 80 percent and the number reaching Stage 7 has grown 63 percent, suggesting that HITECH has spurred the increased implementation and meaningful use of EHRs.
A routine compliance audit by Samaritan Medical Center (NY) uncovers what it says is illegal activity by a sheriff’s department RN who was authorized to review the electronic medical records of inmates, but who was found to be checking out the records of other patients as well.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Vital Statistics warns parents to check the birth certificates of their newborns after a vendor’s newly implemented records software was found to be pulling in incorrect names for the father.
Northwestern University (IL) will spend $1 billion to replace its women’s hospital, planning to tear down an existing structure that preservationists are trying to have designated as a protected landmark.
Weird News Andy finds this story odd: the VA hospital in Buffalo notifies hundreds of patients from 2010 to 2012 that they may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis because nurses misused insulin pens by correctly discarding the used needles, but re-using the same pen on multiple patients.
Strange: a Washington psychiatric hospital loses its accreditation because of an unsecured karaoke machine. State inspectors said the cord presented a patient safety hazard, no doubt remembering an event from a month before in which one patient at the hospital strangled another in karaoke-unrelated incident.
- HealthMEDX customer Asbury Methodist Village (MD), which recently won an award for its use of technology to improve care transition from long-term care to other settings, is featured in a video from Leading Age and the Center for Aging Services Technologies.
- John McCullough, associate VP of clinical applications for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (NC), reviews his organization’s partnership with Intellect Resources, which provided Wake Forest with strategic planning services prior to its go-live.
- Steve Besch, senior systems analyst for Ingenious Med, discusses PQRS and the need for program participation in 2013 to avoid penalties in 2015 in a blog post.
- TrainingWheel introduces its mobile solution for automating help desk issues and support tracking.
- TrustHCS offers advice for the C-suite on preparing for ICD-10 and Meaningful Use in a blog post.
- Velocity Data Centers breaks down how it builds data centers in 90 days and publishes a time-lapse video documenting the start-to-finish process.
- VersaSuite will participate in the Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in Phoenix February 10-13.
- Arian Bichsel, director of client support for Allscripts, shares strategies to reduce hospital readmissions.
- API Healthcare discusses the use of payroll and HR software to drive down the cost of care, boost efficiencies, and improve clinical outcomes.
- Infor recognizes NTT DATA as its 2012 Infor Lawson Service Partner of the Year based on its 250+ successful implementations of Lawson’s ERP software.
- Informatica sponsors GovernYourData.com, a vendor-neutral online community and resource center for data governance.
- ICSA Labs and IHE USA partner to provide industry-accepted certification to complement existing testing of IHE integration profiles.
- The Colorado Health Insurance Cooperative selects Emdeon subsidiary HTMS to provide strategic planning and operational roadmap for the development of a consumer-owned health insurance plan.