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Monday Morning Update 8/12/13

August 12, 2013 News 7 Comments

8-11-2013 9-53-53 PM

From Ramblin’ Gambler: “Re: HIT Policy Committee’s FDASIA workgroup. They released their draft EHR patient safety guidelines. I don’t think they went far enough.” The draft guidelines call for leaving healthcare IT unregulated by FDA, but encourage reporting,  post-implementation safety testing, and allowing customers to publicly rate their applications. They also call for national standards for quality process and interoperability and encouraging vendors to publicly share patient safety information.

From Leopold: “Re: breach. I had to chuckle at this one. The mixup was caused by a vendor named Infocrossing.” A programing error causes the medical information of 1,300 patients of MO HealthNet to be sent to incorrect addresses. Infocrossing is owned by India-based Wipro.

From Tennessee Dreamer: “Re: Re: Halamka’s view from the bunker. One really has to wonder whom he thinks he is fooling. When a topnotch trainee, who can do his residency at BIDMC, with its cloud-hosted, thin client, mobile friendly, highly interoperable software that is used nowhere beyond a city block from campus, or go to Mass General and use a commercial product that they will very likely use in their academic careers no matter where they wind up, will they decide to contribute to or chip away at BIDMC’s ‘strategic advantage?’ To express the obvious, that the academic, informatics-based HIT development enterprise has been a failure, clearly exemplified by BIDMC being surrounded by Epic in an over-before-it-began war for keyboards and eyeballs in the Boston healthcare market, would be too much to ask of Halamka, half of whose political capital is gained by his ever optimistic view of HIT. Yes, you can build a great suite of software when the only people you have to please are your friends and colleagues in your own neighborhood, when it really gets tough is please hundreds of other institutions at the same time. If Halamka was going to have made a real impact on healthcare, he and others in  the informatics community would have stopped living off government grants and taken the plunge to commercialize their products, putting their necks on the line in the marketplace and, if they were good enough, actually winning the war, to the benefit of everyone. But why do that, when even today you can retreat to the ever fewer centers, give each other tenure and Collen awards and cite each others’ JAMIA papers for research on products that hardly anyone uses? There are many useful lessons to be learned, and productive plans to be made in the current situation. Sitting in the last Boston holdout convincing yourself that you’ve fought the competition to a tie, and might yet win, isn’t one of them.”

8-11-2013 8-16-31 PM

Nearly 80 percent of poll respondents say they don’t pay any attention to Most Wired-type magazine awards. New poll to your right: is it necessary that the next National Coordinator be a physician?

8-11-2013 9-05-29 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor lifeIMAGE. The company provides a network for sharing medical imaging information. Physicians, hospitals, and patients can securely exchange images from any location and integrate the images with EHRs and other systems. Workflows are defined for managing CD-based exams, receiving exams electronically from any source, importing images from outside into local systems, and sharing exams with physicians and patients. The network also includes a secure social component that allows individual users to connect with each other to exchange images. The company was the first to undergo a comprehensive KLAS review, with results that include 94 percent “would buy again” responses, along with 97 percent of clients interviewed saying the company keeps its promises. Notable customers include Boston Children’s Hospital, Mass Genera, and CHOP. Thanks to lifeIMAGE for supporting HIStalk.

I found this YouTube video describing how lifeIMAGE works.  

8-11-2013 9-26-05 PM

Private equity firm LLR Partners makes an investment in Philadelphia-area consulting firm HighPoint Solutions, which says it will become the largest life sciences and healthcare IT consulting company in the world by 2017.


HIStalk Webinar

8-11-2013 8-20-58 PM

Elsevier will present “Invigorate Order Set Management: Four Essential Steps” on Tuesday, August 27 from 12:00 – 12:45 p.m. Eastern. Presenters will be Jim Nolin, MD, editor in chief for order sets at Elsevier, and Kevin W. Hatton, MD, medical director of clinical decision support at University of Kentucky HealthCare.


University of Michigan researchers develop WattsUpDoc, which detects malware in biomedical devices by looking for changes in the power they consume.

Amendola Communications employees create a fundraising page for a co-worker, hoping to raise $10,000 towards the cost of brain tumor treatments for her newly diagnosed three-year-old son.

Merge Healthcare announces that CEO Jeff Surges has resigned due to poor company sales and will be replaced by Justin Dearborn, president of the company. Shares dropped 46 percent Friday on the news, dropping its market cap to $227 million.

It’s Siemens Part 4 this week in Vince’s HIS-tory.


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Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan, Dr. Travis.

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE: Tennessee Dreamer. Now that’ s a rant!! To take to task one of the most creative, courageous and visionary IT efforts in the country because it is “not Epic”, illustrates a singularly uninformed and narrow-minded perspective that perhaps shows more than anything the sad state of affairs in health care IT. That’s almost like saying that everyone who doesn’t buy Chevrolets is somehow an idiot (although likely some Chevolet owners might think that!). And because Dr. Halamka’s product is not for sale, and likely wasn’t built to be “productized” for the enterprise market, doesn’t mean that it isn’t fully functional (and I would add, highly interoperable!) and embraced by his customers/users. I would suggest that you ask them what they think about it rather than making assessments from afar.

  2. I’m not an academic doc and out of training just shy of 20 years, but the folks I knew who went that way chose opportunities for other reasons such as prestige, tenure, and grant funding.

    Bad informatics might just trump the others, but only if it’s FUBAR. Any other thoughts?

  3. Not sure why there is all the Halamka/BiDMC bashing going on as frankly the current crop of EHRs in the mkt are not exactly the cat’s meow. Several companies/orgs we know have gone their own route with RYO solutions to great success as they find that they can be more nimble and responsive to mkt changes.

    Frankly, going down the same path as the rest of the lemmings in the Boston mkt is likely not a path to success but more one towards mediocrity.

  4. Whether you believe Epic has “won” just depends on your time horizon. It doesn’t seem likely that a first generation EHR that is unpopular with clinicians and poorly interoperable will be a lasting victor. It’s success is mainly due to a combination of high switching costs and being the only system that offered a complete product at the same time there was an incentive to buy. In other industries, such as banking, once interoperability is standardized, best of breed becomes the dominant model. It may take a while, but Dr. Halamka is building the future, not Epic.

  5. I’m with John@chilmark – I’m not sure why people are so against what Halamka had to say. I like Epic, but there’s also room in the world for hospitals that roll their own or use other products. Frankly, that’s the only way Epic or anyone else is going to get better – if there are alternatives that their customers might move to.

    And as for this: “and cite each others’ JAMIA papers for research on products that hardly anyone uses?” I would hope that as they do interesting things and publish the results, other hospitals and software vendors like Epic could learn a few things. The interesting things you do in one system can inform what you do in other systems.

    With that said, I am disappointed that Halamka didn’t respond to this comment about releasing BIDMC’s EHR under an open source license. If it’s really such a great system, why not help patients and physicians across the nation/world by making it widely available? It would be another feather in BIDMC’s cap, could improve the HIT landscape, and as others contribute to the project BIDMC could use that code within their walls. Maybe they think they might commercialize it some day? Maybe BIDMC bought a lot of the software, and if you take out the proprietary parts there isn’t a complete system? Unfortunately, I suspect it’s a question of resources – it takes work to release something under an FOSS license, so BIDMC doesn’t see the benefit of putting in that time and effort. It’s a shame, though , if it really is such a great system.







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