Cumberland Consulting Group will announce Monday that it has acquired Cipe Consulting Group, a 50-consultant, Seattle-based EHR and RCM consulting company. Franklin, TN-based Cumberland has 230 consultants.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
Responses to my poll about meeting attendance in the next year indicate that it’s the HIMSS conference (33 percent) and vendor user groups (26 percent) well out front, followed by CHIME (9 percent) and then a scattershot of other meetings with low percentage numbers. New poll to your right: how well does Epic support interoperability compared to other EHR vendors? After you vote, click the “Comments” link at the bottom of the poll to explain why you think so.
Things you can do to help me with HIStalk: (a) read HIStalk Practice and HIStalk Connect; (b) support my sponsors by checking out their ads, reviewing the listings in the Resource Center, and using the RFI Blaster for any consulting needs; (c) review the archived educational material on HIStalkU; (d) send me anything readers would find useful – people I should interview, conferences I should attend, and of course news, rumors, and fun stuff; and (e) tell people you know about HIStalk since I don’t advertise and nobody will hear about it otherwise. Thanks for reading HIStalk even though I started writing it in 2003 just for myself and it was mostly that way for years.
June 24 (Tuesday) noon ET. Innovations in Radiology Workflow Through Cloud-Based Speech Recognition. Sponsored by nVoq. Presenters: David Cohen, MD, medical director, Teleradiology Specialists; Chad Hiner, RN, MS, director of healthcare industry solutions, nVoq. Radiologists – teleradiologists in particular – must navigate multiple complex RIS and PACS applications while maintaining high throughput. Dr. Cohen will describe how his practice is using voice-enabled workflow to improve provider efficiency, productivity, and satisfaction and how the technology will impact evolving telehealth specialties such as telecardiology.
June 24 (Tuesday) 2:00 p.m. ET. Share the Road: Driving EHR Contracts to Good Compromises. Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: Steve Blumenthal, business and corporate law attorney, Bone McAllester Norton PLLC of Nashville, TN. We think of EHR contracts like buying a car. The metaphor has is shortcomings, but at least make sure your contract isn’t equivalent to buying four wheels, an engine, and a frame that don’t work together. Steve will describe key EHR contract provisions in plain English from the viewpoint of both the vendor and customer.
June 25 (Wednesday) 2:00 p.m. ET. Cloud Is Not (Always) The Answer. Sponsored by Logicworks. Presenter: Jason Deck, VP of strategic development, Logicworks. No healthcare organization needs a cloud – they need compliant, highly available solutions that help them deploy and grow key applications. This webinar will explain why public clouds, private clouds, and bare metal infrastructure are all good options, just for different circumstances. We’ll review the best practices we’ve learned from building infrastructure for clinical applications, HIEs, HIXs, and analytics platforms. We will also review the benefit of DevOps in improving reliability and security.
June 26 (Thursday) 1:00 p.m. ET. The Role of Identity Management in Protecting Patient Health Information. Sponsored by Caradigm. Presenter: Mac McMillan, FHIMSS, CISM, co-founder and CEO of CynergisTek. Identity and access management challenges will increase as environments become more complex, users create and manage larger amounts of sensitive information, and providers become more mobile. Learn how an identity and access management program can support regulatory compliance, aid in conducting audits and investigations, and help meet user workflow requirements.
July 2 (Wednesday) noon ET. The CIO’s Role in Consumer Health. Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: David Chou, CIO, University Of Mississippi Medical Center. We are moving towards an era where the consumer is searching for value. Healthcare is finally catching up with other industries and this is forcing health care providers and health plans to rethink their "business model" as consumers test new decision-making skills and demand higher quality and better value. Technology can provide value in this space as we move towards a digital healthcare.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Streamline Health Solutions reports Q4 results after a delay involving an auditor change and an internal controls audit: revenue down 3 percent, EPS –$0.14 vs. –$0.63.
Announcements and Implementations
IT gets the blame (at least from non-IT people looking for a scapegoat) for the failed $31 million Cerner implementation at Athens Regional Health System (GA). The hospital’s chief medical officer says users weren’t well trained and the CIO was holding back information, while Cerner claims IT was running the project without getting users involved. The CEO and CIO were forced out after physicians protested. My suspicion is that the medical staff docs were already mad at administration over something unrelated, refused to participate, then capitalized on go-live challenges to get the CEO fired. The CIO was probably collateral damage since an IT system was the claimed problem.
Government and Politics
Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) ask unnamed stakeholders for ideas on how the use of government healthcare databases can be expanded. Chuck asks a lot of questions and writes a lot of letters, but that’s usually the last you hear about it.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Eric Boehme, associate director of informatics, worries that the already-complicated Meaningful Use timetable could take an unexpected turn between the recent Notice of Proposed Rule Making and the actual rule, as in what happened with ICD-10. He also takes an interesting long view: “This is all too late and too little. MU is in trouble. Two powerful committees in Congress asked for a pause for MU to evaluate the success of the program and to emphasize the lack of true interoperability. ONC has lost a significant portion of its funding as the stimulus money dries up. Recently, some members of Congress questioned how much ONC should regulate HIT. ONC National Coordinator, Farzad Mostashari, CMS Administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, and the HSS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius have all resigned.”
A Wall Street Journal editorial by patient safety expert Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD of Johns Hopkins Medicine urges consumers to “Beware Bad Data About Hospitals” in the current “Wild West” environment in which “there are greater protections about what claims we can make about toothpaste than a hospital or measurement organization can make about quality of care.” He recommends creating the equivalent of a Securities and Exchange Commission to oversee development and use of quality indicators. Until then, he suggests that consumers use only composite scores such as those from The Leapfrog Group and Consumer Reports. He concludes with a simple plea: “There really is very little useful information on pricing. There should be.”
An unnamed IT system goes down at Fletcher Allen Health Care (VT) Friday morning, forcing the hospital to go to paper.
The Detroit newspaper profiles Sorie Kanue, a former Michigan State football standout and team captain (playing safety) who worked in IT after college and then went to nursing school. He has been named nurse of the year twice at Detroit Medical Center’s Heart Hospital and is working on his MSN.
Fortune profiles Elizabeth Holmes, who as a Stanford sophomore in 2003 founded blood diagnostics company Theranos, which now has 500 employees and a valuation of $9 billion. When questioned by her professor about why she wanted to start a company, she answered, “Because systems like this could completely revolutionize how effective healthcare is delivered and this is what I want to do. I don’t want to make an incremental change in some technology in my life. I want to create a whole new technology, and one that is aimed at helping humanity at all levels regardless of geography or ethnicity or age or gender.” The company’s product can run dozens of tests from a single, tiny sample of blood drawn via pain-free finger stick, and the company’s app supports its pledge that “we believe you have the right to your own health information” and “answers at the speed of digital.” Test cost is as little as a tenth of what hospitals charge. Walgreens will put the company’s labs in many of its drugstores, but Theranos is also working with UCSF, Dignity Health, and Intermountain. Holmes says patients don’t have 40-60 percent of lab test orders drawn because of the pain or inconvenience involved.
”The Daily Show” invites a group of Google Glass fans to defend their worship of the technology, include one woman who claims that she was a victim of a hate crime because she wore Glass into a bar and filmed fellow patrons without their permission, eliciting their angry taunts as she cursed at them and announced while recording, “I want to get this white trash on tape for as long as I can.” The same woman’s neighbors had previously filed a restraining order against her for recording their private conversations. She and her fellow Glassholes probably should have stayed home: after hearing that Glass early adopters are called Explorers, the host responds, “Magellan was an explorer. Chuck Yeager was an explorer. You guys have a %&@! camera on your face.”