ECRI Institute announces its “Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2015”:
- Setting medical alarms incorrectly.
- Incorrect or missing information in EHR and other IT systems.
- IV line mix-up.
- Inadequate sterilization of surgical instruments.
- Ventilator alarms incorrectly set to warn of disconnection.
- Improper use and failures of patient-handling equipment such as lifts.
- Inadequate training on robotic surgery systems.
- Inadequate cybersecurity for medical devices and systems.
- Lack of hospital resources to manage medical device recalls and software updates.
From Tank Girl: “Re: consulting downturn. Implementation staff augmentation business is tough and rates are down. Strategic IT consulting is good if not on an upswing.” A couple of readers made similar observations – the hardest-hit companies are those that were just reselling go-live bodies without adding much value otherwise.
From Smitten: “Re: Karen DeSalvo’s closing address at AMIA. A remarkable performance. She walked up to the podium in front of several hundred, spotlight in her face, a stapled speech or whatever it was in hand, but no matter. Without glancing at it once, she spoke close to 30 minutes straight, without hesitation or stumbling, and lost neither the story nor the passion. She lacked neither humor or emotion. National Coordinator is nice, but if this woman does not become Surgeon General, then we’re missing a gift-wrapped package on our doorstep. Count this as a wager.” I didn’t see video from her AMIA talk, but here’s her TedXNOLA presentation from 2010.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
It appears that a spammer is spoofing the email address Imprivata used early this year for HIStalkapalooza announcements. I’ve been getting a ton of junk mail from email@example.com with a purported fax link that’s actually a malware page. Obviously you don’t want to click the link even though the return address belongs to a company offering secure communications technology.
Holidays are good times to recognize the contributions of employees, so consider my “Beacon of Selfless Service” award. Managers, peers, and customers can nominate a non-management employee (vendor or provider) who went above and beyond. I’ll also be running recaps of holiday-related company good deeds or celebrations over the next few weeks, so feel free to send those along, preferably with a photo or two.
Apple’s iOS offers a nice option to disable auto-play videos when visiting a site over a cell connection. Every browser should have the option to suppress auto-play videos (including not just Flash-based video, but HTLM5 too). I haven’t found anything that works reliably yet, so I’m still jumping a foot in the air when I click a story on a new or sports site and the video I didn’t want to see starts playing automatically and loudly. I really dislike auto-play video.
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
CareTech Solutions provided a statement following my Monday report that the FTC granted its approval for an acquisition by IT/BPO outsourcer HTC Global Services: “CareTech Solutions has made an ‘Intent to Sell Filing’ with HTC Global Services, a Troy, Michigan based global provider of IT solutions and business processing outsourcing. We are now undergoing the necessary administrative process that goes along with this filing. At this time, there is currently no agreement.”
HIMSS acquires the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, a free, quarterly, online-only journal produced by team of volunteers.
Streamline Health Solutions gets a $10 million credit facility.
Nuance reports Q4 results: revenue up 6.4 percent, adjusted EPS $0.33 vs. $0.30. Healthcare sales rose 7 percent to make up 47 percent of Q4 revenue. Chairman and CEO Paul Ricci said in the earnings call that revenue is growing and operating margins are stabilizing after two years’ of decline.
Covisint will depart the Detroit building of its former parent Compuware, moving its headquarters and 250 employees to Southfield, MI after choosing Michigan’s incentive package over offers from Austin, TX and Raleigh, NC.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital extends its Allscripts Sunrise contract through 2020 and will use TouchWorks as the EHR for its network.
Memorial Healthcare (MI) will replace pagers with Imprivata Cortext.
Kennedy Health System (NJ) chooses eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record and Electronic Health Exchange.
Announcements and Implementations
Scottsdale Institute releases an IT strategy report from a CIO roundtable at its September summit, sponsored by Impact Advisors. I didn’t see anything surprising or particularly insightful in its recommendations from eight big-system CIOs to support hospital consumerism:
- Focus on the patient and family experience
- Maximize use of patient portals
- Implement e-visits and telemedicine
- Improve use of mobile technology
- Develop a retail strategy
- Improve IT security via standards and user training
- Implement analytics carefully
- Reduce variability
- Develop software in-house as needed to fill gaps
Lakewood Health System (MN) will participate in the Medicare Shared Savings ACO of Essentia Health (MN) and will use its Epic EHR under Epic’s Community Connect program. Lakewood went live on McKesson Paragon in 2012.
TransUnion Healthcare announces that the KLAS’s new patient access report rates the company as the highest-performing vendor for its patient pay estimation and propensity to pay solutions.
University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics wins the enterprise Davies award. They’re on Epic.
CMS extends 2014 Meaningful Use attestation deadlines for hospitals from November 30 to December 31, primarily because CMS didn’t get its own software ready in time to meet the original date.
The CEO of 49-bed Magnolia Regional Medical Center (AR) tells its board that the hospital had to return $287,000 in HITECH money after undergoing a Meaningful Use audit.
A draft bill created by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) would limit FDA’s jurisdiction over EHR and other medical technology that its authors label as having low risk to patient safety.
Innovation and Research
A literature review concludes that corporate wellness programs increase employer healthcare costs while providing no net health benefit.
Proof that Twitter’s user interface is somewhere between baffling and maddening: Twitter’s CFO accidentally tweets out to the whole world (instead of his intended individual recipient) an acquisition-related message.
In England, a county review of the $300 million Epic implementation of Cambridge-affiliated Addenbrooke’s Hospital finds that ED performance dropped 20 percent after go-live and the ED had to go on diversion after the system went down on November 1. Hospital executives have been denying significant problems, admitting only minor problems with a blood transfusion analyzer interface. Chief Clinical Officer Afzal Chaudhry, MBBS,PhD (above) says the implementation is going well given its large scope.
Eight hospitals and several practices went back to paper for several hours Monday when a data center power surge took down the IT systems of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (ME), which had eliminated 40 IT positions a few weeks ago to reduce annual expenses.
The Cincinnati business paper covers University of Cincinnati Medical Center’s eight-patient clinical trial in which tablet-powered systems from Intel-GE Care Innovations are being used to monitor discharged liver transplant patients.
An article written by a former advertising executive and Presidential speechwriter five days before he died of prostate cancer on October 31 describes the fighting between his oncologist and insurer over his treatment. He said he and his doctors followed every rule of Health Republic / MagnaCare, but the insurance company refused to pay after waiting five months to claim his doctors were out of network, ignored his calls, blamed him using for incorrect physician codes, and said his doctors were lying to him about being in network.
For I know now how this company really feels about their customers. It was perfectly expressed in the letter I received last week when they tried to explain why they were turning down my oncologist’s request for that critical cancer test. It was, of course, a form letter. Very legal. “The request for outpatient medical services has been reviewed and has not been certified.” But they gave themselves away with a very strange sentence—their only effort to acknowledge me as a human being. It read: “Member is over 85 year old and continues to smoke.” So, that’s it. According to my insurers, I have already lived too long. And because, until recently, I enjoyed my two or three cigarettes a day, I am a bad boy who is not worth the cost of keeping alive. No wonder they won’t pay.
The medical license of a New Mexico OB/GYN who is also the incoming president of the state medical society is suspended after charges that he had sex with patients and his employees, was inebriated while seeing patients, left a woman in labor so he could have sex with another patient, and wrote “inappropriate notations of a personal nature into certain patient medical charts.”
Weird News Andy says “8 Million a Second” isn’t Judy Faulkner’s salary, but rather the number of bacteria that are transferred during an intimate kiss, with the result that romantic partners share the same “microbiota” on their tongues for at least hours after kissing and and sometimes permanently. WNA also cites another study in which kissing was found to chemically reduce stress and increase bonding, also observing found that men prefer “sloppy” kisses as a prelude to amorous activity because those kisses transfer testosterone.
- Salar’s clinical documentation and billing solution, TeamNotes, earns Meaningful Use 2 certification.
- Fujifilm announces that it has installed 4,000 Synapse PACS, making it the most widely used medical informatics vendor.