ONC Principal Deputy National Coordinator David Muntz will leave his post next month, according to an ONC email to staffers. Muntz, who joined ONC in January 2012 after six years as SVP/CIO of Baylor Health Care System, was considered by some as a potential successor to Farzad Mostashari, MD. Chief Medical Officer Jacob Reider, MD will serve as acting ONC director, while current Deputy National Coordinator for Operations Lisa Lewis will take over as acting principal deputy.
From Frank: “Re: Consumer Reports list of patient medical gripes. Health IT can resolve many of these issues.” Actually, it’s the use of health IT that might solve some of these problems. I say that intentionally because doctors could fix most of these problems themselves without adding technology at all, and if they haven’t fixed them, turning themselves into technology users may not help.
From Jim: “Re: Jonathan Bush on CNBC. A classic quote on healthcare industry consolidation.” Per Bush, “The dinosaurs are mating as the ice cap is melting.”
From Horschack’s Laugh: “Re: RFI/RFP template for provided EDW/BI solution (build, buy, license options)?” I’ll allow readers to respond.
From Bo Knows: “Re: McKesson InSight in Orlando. So big it’s almost a mini-HIMSS.”
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
A few highlights from HIStalk Practice over the last week include: a chat with the CEOs of Vitera and Greenway about the impending shared ownership of their companies. A look at Practice Fusion and its plans to grow revenues and its customer base. CMS offers an online calculator to determine payment adjustments based on participation in Medicare’s e-prescribing, MU, and PQRS initiatives. A British Columbia newspaper provides insights into the province’s EMR adoption program. The American College of Physicians offers an online clinical decision support tool for internal medicine physicians. Jason Drusak, manger of consulting services at Culbert Healthcare Solutions, offers tips for preparing for Stage 2 MU. And, coming to HIStalk Practice this weekend: our annual list of must-see vendors at MGMA, all of which happen to be faithful HIStalk sponsors. Sign up for email updates so you don’t miss details on how to find these vendors and what they will be discussing at next month’s conference. Thanks for reading.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Group purchasing organization Premier Inc. raises $760 million in its IPO. Shares rose 13.5 percent Thursday.
Shares of Compuware spinoff Covisint jumped 23 percent on their first day of trading Thursday.
Aventura completes a $4.3 million investment led by current investors.
F.W. Huston Medical Center (KS) will implement RazorInsights ONE-Health System Edition EHR and financials platform.
The VA extends a three-year, $8 million contract to Harris Corporation for a Correspondence Tracking Software system to improve communications between the VA and veterans.
Intermountain Healthcare (UT) selects Security Audit Manager from Iatric Systems to provide patient privacy auditing and incident risk management across its 22 hospitals and 195 clinics.
Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Owensboro (KY/IN) selects SRS EHR for its 11 providers.
WellSpan Health chooses Perceptive Software’s vendor-neutral archive for enterprise clinical content management.
Shareable Ink appoints Dave Runck (Baxa Corporation) as CFO and announces the opening of an expanded office in Boston’s Innovation District.
Aventura appoints acting CEO John Gobron to president and CEO.
Announcements and Implementations
Cerner and Children’s National Medical Center (DC) invest several million dollars each to build an HIT center for pediatric technology innovation.
Henry County Health Center (IA) becomes the first healthcare facility to go live on the Iowa HIN.
Boston Children’s Hospital (MA)and IBM pioneer OPENPediatrics, a cloud-based learning platform for sharing best practices for the care of critically ill children.
Hillary Rodham Clinton will become the second Clinton in as many years to provide a keynote address at the HIMSS annual conference. President Bill Clinton drew such a large crowd last year that the overflow masses could only view the speech from a monitor outside the ballroom. Hillary may not attract the same numbers her husband did, but just in case, I hope HIMSS is securing a sufficiently large room to accommodate me and a few thousand of my fellow political junkies.
Fox Army Health Center (AL) goes live on Tricare Online and RelayHealth online portals.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center uses MediQuant’s DataArk active archive technology to migrate financial and patient records to a new information system.
Dossia rolls out Dossia Dashboard, a population health management system that works with the company’s personal health management platform with real-time data analytics and evidence-based health rules.
Specialty EMR vendor Modernizing Medicine will work with Miraca Life Sciences to develop an enhanced system for communicating diagnostic information between dermatologists and pathologists.
National eHealth Collaborative opens board member nominations.
Regions Hospital (MN) reduces the average amount of blood transfused by 14 percent after implementing a decision support tool with its EHR. The tool, which Regions developed with the American Red Cross, uses evidence-based clinical guidelines to determine the appropriate use of red blood cells.
Doctors in Colombia amputate a 66-year-old man’s fractured and gangrenous penis after he intentionally overdosed on Viagra to impress his new girlfriend. No word on whether she remains impressed.
Weird News Andy adds a Rodney Dangerfield quote to this story: “I was such as ugly baby that when the afterbirth came out, the doctor said, ‘Twins!’” New mothers are practicing umbilical non-severance, or lotus birth, in which the baby’s placenta is left attached until it falls off on its own days later.
- SCI Solutions announces details of its Client Innovation Summit next month in Braselton, GA.
- EDCO releases a recorded Webinar, “Point of Care Medical Record Scanning.”
- Intelligent Medical Objects releases new videos on ProblemIT and its mobile app.
- Shaun Shakib, medical informaticist for Clinical Architecture, offers some considerations for organizations implementing and utilizing controlled clinical terminology.
- HIStalk sponsors earning a spot on Healthcare’s Hottest recognition program for the industry’s fastest-growing companies measured by revenue growth include Allscripts, Beacon Partners, CTG Health Solutions, Cumberland Consulting Group, ESD, Impact Advisors, Imprivata, Intellect Resources, and The Advisory Board Company.
- AirWatch announces comprehensive enterprise management support for iOS7.
- Iatric Systems announces that its Meaningful Use Manager and all three Public Health Interfaces have been certified as modular EHRs.
- Martin’s Point Health Care (ME) details how Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager is helping improve patient care.
- Valence Health releases details of its November 12-13 thought leadership conference.
- Chilmark Research selects Wellcentive as a best-of-breed vendor in its 2013 Clinical Analytics for Pop Health Market Trends Report.
- Ping Identity CTO Patrick Harding joins the board of the Open Identity Exchange.
- Seven disease management programs supported by TriZetto’s CareAdvantage Enterprise solution earn NCQA Disease Management Systems certification.
- SuccessEHS hosts more than 475 attendees at its annual user conference this week in Birmingham, AL.
- Care Team Connects offers an October 8 webinar highlighting the upcoming Medicaid expansion and what it means from a care management perspective.
- EXTENSION will showcase its alarm safety and event response platform for nurses and other caregivers at the American Nurses Credentialing Center National Magnet Conference October 2-4.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
The recent announcement of the pending union of Greenway and Vitera has been hot news in the physicians’ lounge this week. One of my colleagues was even reading Inga’s interview with Tee Green and Matthew Hawkins while we were talking. Several of the providers at the table were Greenway customers and they are understandably concerned about where things are headed.
Once upon a time I was a user of Medical Manager and then of Intergy, both of which have been absorbed into the Vitera product line. Back in the day, the best part of Intergy was its use of the MEDCIN terminology as the framework for documentation. The process of building point-of-care templates was straightforward (although tedious) and it was fairly easy to document visits. Looking at Intergy now, it barely resembles its original self, which in the software life cycle is a good thing.
Since I’ve been around the EHR world a fairly long time compared to many of my primary care peers, I am sometimes asked to help a practice create an RFP document or to offer an opinion on their system selection process. Recently, I was asked to attend a demo of Greenway and to give my opinion, although my colleague wouldn’t divulge the identities of the other two competitors involved. I thought that was an interesting way to get an opinion without the pros and cons of the other products overshadowing what Greenway had to offer.
I had intended to write it up for HIStalk (after enough of a newsroom embargo to shield my identity) but didn’t want to appear as if I was just talking about a sponsor to talk about a sponsor. Now that Greenway is front page news, though, it seemed like the right time. As background, this was a web demo given by a seasoned Greenway rep and was targeted towards a solo physician in primary care.
He delivered the standard sales background, including number of specialties and clients live. Walgreens and their TakeCare business line was included, with it live in over 4,000 locations. I thought this was interesting given the prevalence of pharmacy-owned clinics in our area and thought that the potential interoperability on that might be kind of nice for the solo primary care doc I was with. He really sold the fact that PrimeSuite focused on the EHR and practice management infrastructure, positioning Greenway as a company that didn’t want to allow other business lines to distract from their core offering.
One surprise was that Greenway wasn’t keen on interfacing with an existing practice management system – it’s an all-or-nothing deal, which is generally a good idea. I’ve seen practices tank implementing a perfectly good EHR because they’ve slaved it to a dud of a practice management system using interfaces that led to dual data entry and a whole lot of headaches. In a lot of ways, refusing to interface would help a vendor choose its customers to some degree. I know several vendors who would benefit from being willing to walk away from practices who don’t understand the benefits of a unified system.
We continued on with the background including their high KLAS rankings over the last decade, which they attributed to word of mouth and happy customers. One of the reasons their customers are happy is their training approach. Their goal is to spell it out to customers as far as what it takes to be successful and how many training hours are needed – it sounded like they take a hard line with customers who don’t want to agree to the recommended amount of training. At the time, ongoing training was available with classes offered nearly every day. I’d have to check with actual clients to see if this is still the case, but it sounds better than what I’ve seen with other vendors, who let clients cheap out on training which leads to crises later.
The inclusion of upgrades in the monthly support fee is a benefit for the Meaningful Use crowd. Having been hit by one particular vendor for upgrade charges in the past, I know this can be a big deal. Greenway has been CCHIT certified a number of times and is offering a guarantee to ensure they maintain certification, otherwise they will compensate providers equal to the amount of lost stimulus funds. A pretty extensive list of happy clients was offered up without asking, including multiple sites within a 30-minute drive. That’s always a good thing to hear during a demo.
In addition to the flagship PrimeSUITE product, they have an interface engine, patient portal, mobile app, and clinical device integration, which I would expect from any vendor who plans to be a contender. Interoperability with Cerner and Epic was mentioned more than once. One offering stands out and that’s their clinical research module, PrimeRESEARCH. Not only does it have a system for managing clinical trials, it allows participating practices to network in hopes of increasing the number of eligible patients. I don’t think there are a lot of vendors offering that functionality, let alone the ability to track trial budgets, patient stipends, and sponsor funding, which it also apparently does. Monthly emails let the practice know if it has patients who would qualify for a trial. Having done outcomes research for a local medical school, this is a potential game changer for community physicians who want to participate in trials but hate the hassle.
With all that out of the way, we finally got into the product itself. Navigation was quick with the ability for users to configure it on the fly. It had everything I would expect in an ambulatory EHR as far as lab display, flowsheets, and tasking. Clinical alerts are generated based on criteria which can be customized from the base set they provide. There was an audible “ooh” from my colleague when he showed their clinical summary face sheet, which is user-customizable with drag-and-drop panes as well as the ability to hover over data elements for more information. Those of us who use products with these features every day tend to forget that a lot of systems out there don’t offer these niceties.
Visit note documentation was pretty standard, as was the ability to pull forward information from previous documents. I liked that abnormal physical exam findings displayed in red and italics. There seemed to be a lot of user-customizable features, but of course the proof is in the pudding when you actually get your hands on it rather than watching a demo. One feature that differs from some other vendors is the ability to keep multiple patients open at a time, which can be both a blessing and a curse. I have to admit I was taken by their document management (scanning) system. It has some nice features including fax integration and the ability to match incoming documents with outstanding orders, which is the holy grail for closed-loop order management.
A couple of months have passed and my colleague still hasn’t decided what she’s going to do. Thinking back on the demo as well as the company that Greenway will be keeping, it will be interesting to see what the future holds. I have several friends who work at Greenway, and for their sake, I hope it’s smooth sailing.
I’d love to hear from current customers on either the Greenway or Vitera products. What do you think the union will bring? Are there any product features you hope to jettison for something better? Email me.