Lexmark International acquires PACSGEAR, which provides connectivity solutions for sharing medical images with PACS and EMRs. The price was $54 million in cash. The acquisition will be operated from Lexmark’s Perceptive Software.
From Frank: “Re: certification scoreboard. A check of the certified inpatient systems still shows some big names missing. For full EHR certified systems missing are two biggies, Cerner and Siemens. Also no shows are Healthland, QuadraMed and NTT-Keane. A week ago Dr. Mostashari was quoted as saying that two-thirds of the systems in use were already 2014 (Stage 2) certified. That’s hard to believe with Siemens and Cerner still out, and McKesson only certified for Paragon. That’s got to cover at least half the hospitals in the country. Also somewhat ironic is Siemens is not certified. Remember John Glaser was a key member on the HIT Committees that set up the criteria for Certification/MU program. I remember him being quoted two years ago in an HIStalk interview saying that the program was not going to be easy and some organizations just won’t make it. Well he’s proving himself a prophet now!”
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Some news you might have missed this week from HIStalk Practice: CareCloud and Box integrate Box’s content-sharing capabilities into the CareCloud platform. My top educational session pick for MGMA, plus my tentative party agenda. Most physicians are satisfied with the e-prescribing workflow for controlled substances. Medicare awards Arch Systems a contract to validate the accuracy of data submitted to the eRX and PQRS programs. Physicians claim EMR use is stressful. If you are headed to MGMA, you’ll want to peruse our annual list of Must See Vendors. The guide includes essential details such as vendor booth numbers, product offerings, and fun giveaways. Thanks for reading.
I’ll be reporting from MGMA beginning on Sunday so keep reading HIStalk Practice (or sign up for email alerts) for all the conference updates. Feel free to email me if you have any recommendations for conference sessions, exhibit booths, or after-hours festivities.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Mobile healthcare communications provider Duet Health secures an undisclosed investment from Baird Capital.
PIH Health (CA) selects Allscripts Sunrise EHR for its newly acquired PIH Health Hospital-Downey and extends its hosting and managed services agreement.
Southern Regional Medical Center (GA) engages MedAssets for A/R services and revenue cycle consulting.
AirStrip promotes Matt Patterson, MD from chief transformation officer to COO.
MaineHealth names interim CIO Andy Crowder as CIO.
Farzad Mostashari, MD will join the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform of The Brookings Institution as a visiting fellow.
NorthCrest Medical Center (TN) promotes Randy Davis as president and CEO. He had previously served as VP/CIO.
Shelia Mitsuma, MD, who holds positions with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, joins EBSCO Information Services as deputy editor of its DynaMed clinical reference tool.
Announcements and Implementations
Newton Medical Center connects its Meditech EHR to the Kansas HIN using ICA’s CareAlign interoperability platform.
Cerner announces a strategic relationship with Shawnee Mission Medical Center and TMC Lakewood and designates the organizations “Certified Maternity Partners” for its KC-area employees. Cerner says the arrangement is designed to “improve infant and maternal health outcomes,” while “managing rising healthcare costs for its associates.” I suppose that means that many Cerner employees or their covered spouses may need to change providers in order to receive full maternity benefits. I’ll be curious to see how receptive Cerner employees are to this change since my experience is that women in particular prefer to exercise maximum control over their own health issues, including their choice of providers.
The Georgia Department of Community Health launches its statewide HIE network with the Truven Health Analytics platform, powered by CareEvolution.
Government and Politics
ONC reports that as of July 31, 1,115 critical access hospitals and small, rural hospitals had attested for MU, which exceeded ONC’s goal of 1,000 by 2014.
The VA warns that the federal government shutdown will reverse its progress on decreasing the backlog of disability claims because claims processors cannot be paid overtime.
Innovation and Research
Inpatient providers report a high level of adoption for eligibility and scheduling solutions from RCM vendors, according to a HIMSS Analytics study. Many respondents say they intend to replace or purchase new RCM solutions to handle pre-certification, address validation, and bill estimation. The most-considered RCM vendors include Passport, RelayHealth, Emdeon, and MedAssets.
Athenahealth and Epocrates introduce Bugs + Drugs, a free app to identify the most common bacterial infections recorded in a geographic region using data collected from athena customers.
Royal Philips and Accenture demonstrate a proof of concept for the use of Google Glass to aid in surgery. Researchers successfully transferred patient vital signs from Philips Intellivue software to Google Glass, giving surgeons continual access to patient data hands free.
Xerox, provider of the Midas+ product, is named the “vendor to beat” in a KLAS report on quality management solutions. Nuance and Premier earned the next-highest performance scores. Providers say they want more from their vendors than just regulatory reporting functionality and are looking for solutions that will facilitate operational and financial improvements to drive better outcomes.
A multi-day systems outage at a Scottish hospital trust that forced cancellation of hundreds of appointments is blamed on a corrupted Microsoft Active Directory.
A man who gave a phony name in his hospital admission rips out his IV, steals another patient’s iPhone and iPod, and slips out of the hospital. The man is a suspect in several similar incidents at other hospitals.
- CTG Health Solutions publishes a white paper with recommendations and steps for setting up executive dashboards to manage EHR implementation project issues or risks.
- Elsevier names five winners of its third annual Mosby’s Suite Superheroes of Nursing contest.
- Vocera Communications previews its Vocera Collaboration Suite at the ANCC National Magnet Conference this week in Orlando. Also at ANCC: GetWellNetwork will demonstrate its new patient user interface.
- Levi, Ray & Shoup opens a Paris, France office to provide support for its LRS Output Management software.
- Truven Health Analytics establishes a Singapore-based regional office as its Asia Pacific headquarters.
- Infor CMIO Barry Chaiken, MD and Infor customer Joel Vengco, CIO at Baystate Health, will discuss learning to leverage social networking and user experience optimization tools to drive patient-centered clinical workflow at next week’s CHIME 13 Fall CIO Forum in Scottsdale.
- Aventura earns Gold status in the Golden Bridge Awards for its innovative, secure, and effective IT awareness computing platform.
- Forward Health Group reports it is poised to nearly double the number of deployments of its PopulationManager platform within a matter of weeks.
- HCS will exhibit at next week’s AHCA/NCAL 64th Annual Conference and Expo.
EPtalk by Dr. Jayne
The past week has been uncharacteristically low key for me. Our IT teams have been working hard to knock out strategic projects because we know our EHR vendor is on the cusp of releasing their ICD-10 ready package to the general public. Once that happens, it’s going to be all hands on deck and full speed ahead. Luckily we’ve been more efficient than usual so we have a bit of a lull while we wait. It feels a bit like they describe the eye of a hurricane as we wait for the beating that’s surely coming.
I’ve been catching up on email, reassuring providers that we’re going to meet all our deadlines, and trying to stay away from any new projects the operations people try to sneak in. We’ve had a terrible time prioritizing new initiatives and finally have a good process in place, but there is one administrator who is always pushing a pet project. It usually doesn’t have funding or a well-defined scope, so I’m avoiding him at all costs.
I guess I shouldn’t be shocked anymore at how far some of his initiatives make it before someone finally says no. It seems like our hospital administration is increasingly reactive, responding to the squeakiest wheel or the sparkliest thing dangled in front of them regardless of its lack of purpose in context of our long term goals. There were a lot of strategic planning apple carts upset over the last few years as hospitals struggled to plan for upgrades and other initiatives around Meaningful Use and ICD-10. The only unknown on the horizon now is Meaningful Use Stage Three and I think we can at least make some reasonable plans based on what we think will make it in the final requirements.
I have appreciated the opportunity we’ve had to roll up our sleeves and take care of all the things we put on hold over the last few years. On the technical front we’ve expanded interface capabilities for our ambulatory sites, implemented some great new reports, and increased our patient outreach efforts. On the workflow front, we have had fewer new implementations so we can actually spend time going back to retrain staff and reinforce best practices. Our operations teams have actually had time to do some process redesign work and build on the clinical transformation we started with EHR.
Of course, we’re still doing all the day to day “care and feeding” activities such as maintenance and patches but it’s been nice to feel like we’re making up some of the ground we lost with all the focus on MU. Our compliance teams are starting to train ICD-10 in earnest and I’ve enjoyed fielding questions from colleagues who seem to have been under a rock or locked in a biodome for the last few months. Somehow they missed all the demos we did showing that yes indeed the system will be capable and ready come October next year.
I wonder if vendors are experiencing any of the lull that we are. It would be great to know that they’re able to focus on greater usability, expanded content, and designing the next best way to document patient visits rather than checking the box on regulatory requirements. Many of our vendors have been through the wringer during the last couple of years. It will never be the way it was before Meaningful Use, but I’m looking forward to a new normal where we can again collaborate rather than scrambling madly in the same general direction.
I figure I’ve got about two weeks of the good life left and then I’m going to be back in an upgrade cycle with all the standing meetings that entails. I’ll be back in the trenches testing workflows and trying to find defects as quickly as possible so that our vendor can roll them into patches before we go live. Every time we upgrade it reminds me more and more of some kind of military assault. I’m not sure if it’s just the way we run them or a little bit of post-traumatic stress. Maybe it’s a little of both.
Are you in the calm before the storm? Planning an upgrade or just trying to stay afloat? Email me.