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Monday Morning Update 12/8/14

December 6, 2014 News 5 Comments

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Alberta, Canada begins its search for a new clinical information system after a auditor’s report found that the $260 million it spent on EHRs resulted in systems that don’t talk to each other, requiring the continued use of faxing to exchange information. Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly says, “Do we realize we need to have data exchange standards before we start adding systems? We need systems to talk. It blows my mind.”


Reader Comments

From Not My First Rodeo: “Cottage Health System in Santa Barbara, CA. Going Epic. Recently hired a project director and is moving quickly to hire FTEs from other regional Epic customers.” Somewhat old news, I think, given that Cottage’s bond rating agency mentioned the planned Epic expense in its July ratings report.

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From The PACS Designer: “Re: Chartcube. It will enhance your presentations of spreadsheets. Collaborate with colleagues using your iPad to focus on the really important elements of your spreadsheets.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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I hereby acknowledge the will of the people in proclaiming Atlanta as the official “Healthcare IT Capital of the US.” Atlanta’s health IT network and civic pride turned out the vote with 45 percent of the 1,600 votes cast (including mine). Congratulations to the “Home of Peach Trees and HIT” (the only peach trees I know there are the 100 or so streets named that, but surely they must grow somewhere among all the concentric asphalt rings). New poll to your right or here: do you look forward to going to work Monday mornings? Vote and then click “Comments” to explain.

It’s a very slow news season and that situation will likely continue over the next few weeks. I could do as the industry rags do and simply pad out this post with endless paragraphs covering non-newsworthy topics, crank out poorly thought out editorials that say nothing new, or pretend that pointless announcements deserve extensive coverage and an easily churned out backstory containing mostly unrelated historical facts. However, I’ve decided (as I always do) that instead I’m going to avoid wasting your time and mine and give you a few minutes (and me a few hours) of your life back. I promise I haven’t omitted anything important and I will continue to be verbose when events warrants. Meanwhile, I’m going to take the rare opportunity to get off the computer and hopefully do something fun.


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • A new JASON report prepared for the federal government says the health IT systems market is moving in the right direction with regard to interoperability, but that initiatives are not complete because systems sometimes only export entire documents, omit patient information, or provide APIs whose use is contractually limited to customers rather than entrepreneurs.
  • HL7 launches the Argonaut Project to address the standards recommendations of the federal government’s JASON group, including HL7’s FHIR (fast healthcare interoperability resources).
  • ONC names Jon White, MD from AHRQ as acting deputy national coordinator and acting chief medical officer, taking over for the recently departed Jacob Reider, MD.
  • Madison’s alternative weekly newspaper says that Epic has backed down from its plan to extend its non-compete term from one year to two for employees who quit to join consulting firm Vonlay after its acquisition by Huron Consulting Group.

Webinars

December 17 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. There Is A 90% Probability That Your Son Is Pregnant: Predicting the Future of Predictive Analytics in Healthcare. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, SVP of strategy, Health Catalyst. Predictive analytics is more than simple risk stratification. Once you identify an individual’s risk, what are the odds that you can change their behavior and what will it cost to do so? This presentation, geared towards managers, executives, and clinicians, addresses scenarios in which predictive models may or not be effective given that 80 percent of outcomes are driven by socioeconomic factors rather than healthcare delivery.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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The Cleveland paper profiles CoverMyMeds, whose CFO predicts it will become a billion-dollar company. The company, with annual revenue of $50 million and growing, doubled its headcount this year to 140 and expects to double it again in 2015 after an undisclosed investment by Francisco Partners. I interviewed co-founder Matt Scantland a couple of months ago.


Sales

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Everyday Health chooses Validic to integrate consumer data into its digital health and wellness platform. Validic announces several more new customers, including WebMD and UPMC, that increase its client population from 80 million to 100 million. The company is presenting and exhibiting at the mHealth Summit this week.


Other

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A brilliant example of for-profit, non-peer reviewed “journals” that publish articles for a fee: two “predatory” scientific journals accept for publication an article containing indecipherable, randomly generated text as submitted by three authors, all of them characters from “The Simpsons.”

The Coalition for ICD-10 responds to the ICD-10-sarcastic comments of a generally IT-whiny AMA President Robert Wah, MD (who has an informatics background and served as deputy national coordinator of ONC, yet somehow now hates everything about healthcare IT) in saying that seemingly wacky ICD-10 codes have good reasons for their use. Example: “Sucked into a jet engine” might seem eye-rollingly hilarious unless you spend 18-hour days on a Navy ship flight deck trying to avoid doing just that. I have to say that I’ve been hoping someone would give Wah (and the AMA) a good spanking for his ridiculous, self-serving rhetoric  and the group did exactly that:

Dr. Wah complains about the number of codes and the detail in ICD-10 but fails to mention that much of the additional specificity in ICD-10 was at the request of medical specialty societies. Nor does he mention that there are no ICD-9 codes for many critical healthcare issues. There is no code to report and track Ebola. There are inadequate codes for tracking service-related health problems for our veterans. There are no codes to help us research sports-related concussions among young athletes. It’s hard to understand why the AMA is not demanding that this kind of information be available in our national data.


Contacts

Mr. H, Lorre, Jennifer, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan, Dr. Travis.

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: ICD-10
    I think it may be fair to mention that the Coalition for ICD-10 is composed of payers and organizations generally representing people who benefit financially from never-ending upheavals and increased complexity in health IT.
    And it may also be fair to observe that nothing in the comments made by the Coalition for ICD-10 contradicts Dr. Wah’s basic argument that transition to ICD-10 will not improve actual patient care.

  2. Thank you for your editorial sense! Exercising good editorial judgment in not publishing the fluff and nonsense is why you are such a trusted source.

  3. The forces of conservatism in medicine have been having their fun with some of the wackier ICD-10 codes haven’t they? I suggest the following exercise to evaluate the content of those messages.

    Grab any dictionary and pull out a word at random. Choose a word you would not use, either normally or at all. I came up with “maxilla”. Well that completely destroys the reputation of the dictionary in question doesn’t it? Or makes that dictionary impossible to use?

    Oh wait, it does neither. The dictionary’s reputation isn’t altered in the least and the usability isn’t impaired even slightly. In fact you don’t know which dictionary I used and that fact doesn’t matter either. I liked “maxilla” as an example because clinicians are likely to object: Hey, we use maxilla! How dare you impugn a great word like that?!

    The point is that different words have different audiences. And different ICD-10 codes have different audiences. And even if the word or ICD-10 code is entirely silly, or stupid, or out of date, or will never be used by anyone, ever, that does not invalidate the entire system.

    In fact there are no convincing arguments against ICD-10. The best ones out there boil down to, “We don’t need none of your book lernin’ here! I’m busy and my concerns trump yours! Now get off my lawn!”

    I used to support an accountant. This accountant regularly complained about the accounting system upgrades. It was too much work, testing was a pain, the accountant wanted to do accounting and nothing else, the complaints were legion.

    Well I had to measure my words, but the reality in accounting is, all accounting is computerized. Even the small stuff. All accountants deal with automation, and testing, and upgrades. We might be able to reallocate certain work to different individuals but that work is going to happen. The proportion of time IT has to take from an accountant to do that is manageable, maybe 5%. A career in accounting involves that every bit as much as much as the core accounting stuff.

    You think you can find a career that doesn’t involve computers, information management, and sharing and coordinating with others? Good luck with that.







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