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Readers Write: The Revenue Cycle’s Transformation with Big Data

January 29, 2014 Readers Write No Comments

The Revenue Cycle’s Transformation with Big Data
By Steve Johnson

1-29-2014 1-05-57 PM

Big data is pushing clinical care to new heights as healthcare organizations use it to support diagnoses, target care delivery, and improve patient health outcomes. Organizations can realize a similar level of success in the revenue cycle when they apply data and analytics to the myriad of steps involved in billing and collections.

When organizations effectively leverage financial and administrative information — such as claims, payer payment, cost, patient financial, and patient demographic data — they can see improvement on both the front and back end of the revenue cycle. For example, organizations can use data to increase collections by detecting fraud at registration, quantifying patient payment responsibility, identifying patients who qualify for financial assistance, and revealing errors that impact billing.

Strong data and analytics can also drive more accurate revenue forecasting. Unlike the past, where healthcare organizations relied on historical summary statistics to predict future financial trends, big data empowers a real-time view of individual patients and their financial situations. When aggregated, this data allows an organization to make an accurate bottom-up forecast of revenue. In other words, organizations can leverage specific account information to build a collective model of overall performance based on each patient’s unique financial situation.

Just as big data can improve forecasting, it also can enable more exact patient population benchmarking and assist in decision-making relative to those populations. For instance, data and analytics can show how a facility’s patient population compares with the general patient population regarding financial need. This level of data and analysis facilitates deeper patient segmentation, clearly differentiating those more likely to qualify for assistance compared to the surrounding geographic area. In addition, data and analytics help define optimal workflows or interventions for specific groups.

Organizations already have all the big data they need to effect change: financial, administrative, and claims and payment data are all present in an organization. To get the most out of this data, organizations need to link it together and form one complete picture of the patient experience. This will provide a better understanding of the patient’s current and historical situation and allow for stronger forecasting and risk mitigation as well as enable better financial conversations with patients.

Patients usually welcome conversations about their financial responsibility and how they can meet it, especially those who do not understand the complexity of their coverage and may not know the right questions to ask. By using financial and administrative data to determine the best financial course of action for a patient, staff can proactively offer different payment options and answer patient questions, increasing the likelihood of patient payment, improving collections, and strengthening the revenue cycle. This data-driven, customer-focused approach also reaps the added benefit of higher levels of patient satisfaction.

Clinical use of big data has dramatically impacted care delivery. The time is right to adopt the same philosophy for the revenue cycle and leverage big data as a business tool to strengthen billing, collections, and overall financial operations.

Steve Johnson is chief technology officer and vice president of data and analytics at Experian Healthcare of Austin, TX.

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January 29, 2014 Readers Write No Comments

Health IT from the CIO’s Chair 1/29/14

January 29, 2014 Darren Dworkin 3 Comments

The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine personally and are not necessarily representative of current or former employers. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. MSRP excludes tax. Starting at price refers to the base model; a more expensive model may be shown.


Two CIOs before me have written regularly for HIStalk. I’m honored to follow or join in their footsteps. I hope I can be a tenth as insightful as John Glaser was under his regular/irregular column of the past. I also promise to stay away from the leadership and life lessons offered up by Ed, as I could not come close to being that inspirational.

Instead, my focus will be observational healthcare IT industry stuff offered up with a style best described as, “A mix of sarcasm, adequate grammar, and poor spelling.”


Epic Bingo

One of the many things I enjoy in my role as a CIO is the ability to hear about new ideas from new companies.

In a given week, I likely participate in 2-5 calls or meetings related to new products from startups. I learn a lot, I see many emerging concepts taking shape, and I get to observe trends as patterns of companies start to form to fill new gaps.

Sometimes sitting through the presentation is an exercise in patience, as the product idea falls flat.  But it all becomes worth it when you can discover the right thing to fill the white space between or within our current application portfolio. It really is encouraging how many smart people are working on solutions to solve problems in healthcare these days.

How do we find the 1-5 cool products a year among the 200+? Good question. Perhaps I will address that in a future column.

But for now, let me offer up the observation of Epic Bingo. Not just a trend, but a fun new game to play when talking to startups. I’ll offer some advice, too.

I think conservative numbers would put Epic market share at 40 percent. It feels higher to me, but admittedly I work at a place that has Epic, so I hear a lot about them. Epic customers tend to share traits. A key one is the vision of a single patient record. Epic’s tagline (“One Patient, One Record”), workflow, and single pane of glass are keywords that Epic clients to focus on.

When a new company comes to pitch their wares at an Epic site, they are keenly aware of needing to answer the “integration with Epic” question. The result is what I would like to call the new game of Epic Bingo. Here’s how you keep score during the pitch.

Score Card

  • Saying Epic. No points for the first five times, but a quarter point every mention after.
  • Using “Judy” or “Carl” in a sentence. Half a point (everyone can do that.)
  • Using “Madison” in a sentence. Half a point. Double points if “Verona” is used.
  • Saying Epic is closed and based on MUMPS. Half a point. No originality.
  • Making reference to A full point just for being current.
  • Stating you have one or more former Epic employees working for you. Two points each. This can really add up!
  • Telling a story about actually meeting or talking to Judy or Carl. 2-5 points. Depends on the story. Charming and funny earn extra.
  • Dropping other Epic employee names. 2-3 points, depending on the employee. Using “Sumit” or “Stirling” and spelling them right gets five full points each.

Have fun with it. See how your questions of the presenter may generate more points! A good score is 10 or more.


While I am writing this with Epic in mind, I bet it applies to Cerner and other systems as well.

  1. Hospitals can be segmented along lots of criteria. One is those that have deployed enterprise EMRs and those that have not. Know your customer. If you are presenting a new solution to an enterprise customer, be sure it really fills a new space.
  2. If you have an idea to compete with a core function of an enterprise EMR, your difficulty is not integration, it is competition.
  3. A single better feature does not make a product. Not every product idea can actually become a company. Make sure you have scope and scale.
  4. Go six degrees to the left or right of the core vendors. Don’t pitch a better mousetrap — pitch an idea disruptive to the mousetrap itself.

In the mean time, have fun playing bingo.

1-29-2014 12-54-46 PM

Darren Dworkin is chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, CA. You can reach Darren on Linkedin or Follow him on Twitter.

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January 29, 2014 Darren Dworkin 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 1/29/14

January 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Vista Evolution Workgroup Coordinators Sources Sought Notice

The VA is soliciting a vendor to lead the VistA Evolution Workgroup, an initiative that will update the VistA EHR platform and incorporate interoperability standards defined by the joint DoD/VA Interagency Program Office, which oversees all work done on the long awaited iEHR program. With proposals due by February 6, interested vendors have been given just nine days to prepare and submit their proposals.

Analytics Startup Health Catalyst Nets $41 Million

Data warehousing and visualization startup Health Catalyst raises a $41 million Series C investment round which the company will use the funds to develop 200 new analytics tools designed to help customers zero in on inefficiencies and evaluate care variances.

Hearst Corporation Announces Formation of Hearst Health

Hearst Corporation, parent company of First Databank, Zynx Health, MCG, Homecare Homebase, and Map of Medicine, announces a new brand called Hearst Health that will encompass all of its health IT businesses. Hearst will also launch a new innovation lab and a venture capital portfolio as part of the business unit.

TigerText Caps Record Year with $21 Million Series B Investment to Accelerate Market Penetration

TigerText raises a $21 million Series B for its healthcare focused secure messaging platform that delivers HIPAA compliant text messages which automatically delete after a pre-defined period of time.

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January 28, 2014 Headlines No Comments

News 1/29/14

January 28, 2014 News 3 Comments

Top News

1-28-2014 6-24-30 PM

The VA opens procurement for VistA Evolution workgroup coordinators, the next step in replacing VistA Web with a single VA-DoD EHR viewer that supports mandated interoperability requirements. The solicitation was posted on January 27, leaving just nine days for interested companies to assemble and submit proposals by the February 6 due date.

Reader Comments

1-28-2014 1-19-03 PM

From Green Stamp: “Re: Dave Henriksen. Left Carestream Health, as you mentioned last week, and has moved on to NexTech Systems as president and CEO.” Dave’s LinkedIn profile confirms his new position with the PM/EHR vendor.

1-29-2014 3-05-40 AM

1-29-2014 2-46-58 AM

From Believe Me: “Re: CCHIT. Exiting the ONC certification business.” Unverified, but reported by more than one reader. CCHIT hasn’t responded yet. UPDATE: Verified, from an update on CCHIT’s site. CCHIT says ONC 2014 Edition certification requires a lot of testing and its federally-driven business is unpredictable, so it won’t accept any new applications for certification and recommends using ICSA Labs instead. CCHIT will change its business model to become a certification consulting firm and will partner with HIMSS to “provide both counsel and thought leadership to the health care provider and HIT vendor communities” that will include summits starting at the HIMSS conference, apparently still operating as a non-profit.  The most recent Form 990 I could find was from 2011, at which time it was paying Chairman Karen Bell $409K, Executive Director Alisa Ray $250K,  and five other employees over $100K. It would seem to me that given CCHIT’s genesis, mission, and name, it should just go away rather than trying to morph itself into the already overcrowded thought leadership business. It probably would if HIMSS wasn’t riding in on a white horse to save it, not surprising given that HIMSS formed CCHIT (along with partners AHIMA and NAHIT) in 2004.

1-28-2014 5-55-21 PM

From Hit Newbie: “Re: CMS. The MU attestation portal is having issues to It’s laughable that there is still no API or portal designed for the volume. CMS says it won’t allow appeals for late attestations due to website downtime.”

From Bill Pare: “Re: HIMSS travel site. I notice that the login page is not encrypted. I find that ironic.” HIMSS uses a travel portal from nuTravel. I checked the company’s documentation and it says the registration page is encrypted with 128-bit SSL, but the HIMSS travel registration page is not encrypted.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

1-28-2014 4-38-58 PM

HIStalkapalooza registration has closed with quite a few more requests than we have capacity. Imprivata will email invitations Tuesday, February 4.

Listening: new Dum Dum Girls, lo-fi jangly indie pop.

1-28-2014 5-39-46 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Treehouse Resources. The company connects qualified Epic consultants with clients interested in hiring them at market-leading rates with hassle-free paperwork. The free, five-minute signup for consultants allows them to privately review opportunities that meet their career and life balance goals, even optionally becoming a W-2 hourly employee of Treehouse. Treehouse checks references and approves the consultants, then clients review the consultant profiles, arrange interviews, and let Treehouse manage the invoicing and billing. The company’s model (which is kind of like Angie’s List or focuses on efficiency and doesn’t require recruiters or salespeople, meaning consultants make more money and clients pay some of the lowest rates in the country. At the moment, 487 consultants (of 1,100 who requested to participate)  and 88 clients have signed up. You most likely know the principals behind Treehouse, Glenn Galloway and Mike Tressler, both previously with Healthia Consulting and longtime friends of HIStalk. Thanks to Treehouse for supporting HIStalk.

Upcoming Webinars

February 5 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare Transformation: What’s Good About US Healthcare? Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: John Haughom, MD, senior advisor, Health Catalyst. Dr. Haughom will provide a deeper look at the forces that have defined and shaped the current state of U.S. healthcare. Paradoxically, some of these same forces are also driving the inevitable need for change.

February 12 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare CO-OPs and Their Potential to Reduce Costs. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: David Napoli, director of performance improvement and strategic analytics, Colorado HealthOP and Richard Schultz, VP of clinical care integration, Kentucky Health Cooperative. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) were established by the Affordable Care Act as nonprofit health insurance companies designed to compete in the individual and small group markets. Their intended impact was to provide more insurance options for consumers to pay for healthcare.

February 13 (Thursday), 12 noon ET. Advancement in Clinician Efficiency Through Aware Computing. Sponsored by Aventura. In an age of information overload, a computing system that is aware of the user’s needs becomes increasingly critical. Instant-on roaming for virtual and mobile applications powered by awareness provides practical ways to unleash value from current HIT investments, advancing efforts to demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs and improve clinical efficiencies. The presenters will review implementation of Aventura’s solution at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

1-28-2014 8-26-12 PM

Secure messaging provider TigerText raises $21 million in a Series B round. Its secure, industry-agnostic solutions sends encrypted messages that self-destruct after a preset time.

1-28-2014 4-42-11 PM

Perceptive Software reports adjusted revenue growth of 70 percent in Q4.

1-28-2014 4-43-20 PM

Patient engagement provider Relatient closes its first round of funding led by former AIM Healthcare Services president Jim Sohr. The company sends health-related messages including reminders for appointments, outreach, collections, and surveys.

1-28-2014 4-43-59 PM

Covisint reports Q3 financials: revenue up one percent, adjusted EPS -$0.10 vs. -$0.09.

1-28-2014 4-44-39 PM

Informatica reports Q4 results: revenue up 18 percent, adjusted EPS of $0.49 vs. $0.41, beating analyst estimates on both.

Apple reports Q1 numbers: revenue up 5.7 percent, EPS $14.50 vs. $13.81, beating expectations but releasing disappointing current-quarter guidance. Shares dropped 8 percent Tuesday on the news. Sales of the Mac and iPad beat expectations, but iPhone sales fell short and iPod sales were down more than 50 percent year over year. Analysts variously blamed smartphone sales, lack of new products, slow growth in China, and the inability of the iPhone 5c to create a strong low-cost entry in the smartphone market.


Kaiser Permanente Announces Data Warehouse Project

1-28-2014 4-45-15 PM

1-28-2014 4-46-05 PM 1-28-2014 4-46-33 PM

Health Catalyst closes $41 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital and announces plans to invest $50 million in product development over the next 24 months. Investors also include customers Kaiser Permanente and Partners HealthCare.

I spoke to CEO Dan Burton and President Brent Dover before the announcement.

Burton says Kaiser will roll out Health Catalyst’s data warehouse platform for all 38 of its hospitals. “While we have worked with other large health systems – earlier in the year we signed with Partners in Boston and Providence – but Kaiser is almost in a class by itself in terms of size and scale. The nature of the first project is system-wide, a terrific test of the scalability of our platform.”

Burton says Kaiser will initially use Health Catalyst for two projects. “They have a specific need for system-wide access to a subset of data around transplant patients,” he explained. Dover added that Kaiser is working on a specific project for diabetic patients in Colorado. “Kaiser is reaching out to diabetic patients. They were going after patients using spreadsheets and complex SQL extracts. They told us Health Catalyst builds a cohort in 180 seconds when it used to take 180 days. This allows them to proactively go after patients for population health management.”

Eleven of Health Catalyst’s customers, including Kaiser, are Epic clients. I asked Burton why Kaiser chose a third-party tool over Epic’s Cogito data warehouse and reporting platform. “In our experience, it’s an apples to oranges comparison,” he said. “Cogito offers basic functionality from a data storage perspective that could meet rudimentary needs. We’re offering a data warehouse as a platform for transformation from an advanced clinical apps perspective.” Dover added, “When I worked at Medicity, customers always asked for analytics tools. No client really knows what they want to analyze – it’s a never-ending list. The market demands an incredibly flexible platform. We have 17 case studies and none of them have anything to do with each other – it’s what each of them needed to improve quality and cost.”

I asked Burton about the $50 million in product development to create 200 advanced clinical applications. “A couple of our longstanding customers, Texas Children’s and Stanford, worked on specific areas to identify inefficiency and variation of care in heart failure and asthma patients, showing where the variation existed, what needed to change, and tracking progress, even tracking the return on investment of the improvement. At a CEO level, said they need to target 20 applications per year over the next five years to measurably and meaningfully bend the cost curve to allow them to not only survive, but thrive and lead. That opened our eyes that what our clients are seeking is a roadmap. We decided to become a company that offers hundreds of analytic applications so we can be a long-term partner to help these health systems transform themselves.”


Vermont IT Leaders will incorporate Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine into its statewide HIE that runs on Medicity.

VHA selects Xerox to automate its healthcare claims pricing process.

Allina Health (MN) chooses Strata Decision Technology’s StrataJazz for cost accounting.


1-28-2014 9-37-23 AM

VMware names Chris Wolf (Gartner) CTO for the Americas.

1-28-2014 3-20-49 PM

Culbert Healthcare Solutions promotes Gibran Cotton to director of GE and Allscripts consulting.

1-28-2014 6-59-09 PM

Halifax Health (FL) promotes Tom Stafford to CIO.

1-28-2014 5-38-08 PM

Brian Ahier was interviewed last week in studio on WFED, Federal News Radio, where he talked about health IT and ONC’s recent annual meeting. He also gave a nice plug for HIStalk as the best place to keep up with healthcare IT news.

Divurgent hires Jeff Powell (AT&T) as client services VP and Anthony Jones, Shaun Sangwin (Vascular and Interventional Physician Partners), and Justin Stefano (MedSys Group) as regional client services directors.

Announcements and Implementations

1-28-2014 6-48-07 PM

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (MD) implements AtHoc Interactive Warning System for mass notification and interactive hospital communications.

Long-term care provider Levering Management (OH) deploys the COMS Interactive Daylight IQ product suite covering disease management, care guides, and nursing assessments.

1-28-2014 11-43-27 AM

HIMSS announces that the ONC’s Karen DeSalvo, MD will offer opening remarks at 8:30 am, Thursday, February 27, the closing day of the HIMSS conference.Too bad the mass exodus of attendees will begin Wednesday afternoon.

1-28-2014 6-51-04 PM

OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital goes live on McKesson Paragon.

Memorial Hospital (MS) goes live on Cerner March 15 and will later implement analytics software from Health Catalyst.

1-28-2014 6-00-09 PM

1-29-2014 4-08-03 AM

Hearst Corporation announces the creation of Hearst Health, a new brand that encompasses its healthcare information businesses that include First Databank, Zynx Health, MCG, Homecare Homebase, and Map of Medicine. It also involves a new startup fund, Hearst Health Ventures, and Hearst Health Innovation Lab, which will prototype internal and external health IT projects. The innovation lab will be run by Chief Innovation Officer Justin Graham, MD, MS, previously CMIO of NorthBay Healthcare (CA), who joined the company in July 2013.

1-28-2014 6-06-18 PM

Mobile Heartbeat announces Mobile Heartbeat CURE, a smartphone-based location and communications application for clinical teams.

1-28-2014 7-19-13 PM

Mobile charge capture vendor pMD will announce Wednesday a partnership in athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program in which its product will be integrated with athenahealth’s billing and practice management systems.


1-27-2014 2-07-13 PM

A Commonwealth Fund study finds that practice EHR adoption rose considerably from 2009 to 2012, but solo physician practices lag in use of functions such as electronic data exchange with other providers. Practices associated with IDNs had the highest rate of technology adoption.

Black Book names its #1 HIE vendors in several categories: Covisint (payer/insurer based); ICA (core HIE); Cerner (inpatient EHR); Allscripts dbMotion (ambulatory based); and Infor (complex technology services).

1-28-2014 7-32-35 PM

Microsoft will rename its SkyDrive could storage to OneDrive after losing a trademark battle with British broadcaster BSkyB.

1-28-2014 8-13-07 PM

Concierge medicine provider PlushCare launches an Indiegogo campaign to create its service and to provide children with immunity to measles. It’s a confusing combination, but donors who are California residents get email, telephone, and video visits, and as a bonus, recognition for immunizing a child. The company says two Stanford MDs will diagnose and treat simple illnesses or injuries the same day. The tech guy is Ryan McQuaid, former product head for AT&T ForHealth.

1-28-2014 7-45-43 PM

Something’s fishy here: a Canadian company called Kallo Inc. claims to have sold the Republic of Guinea $200 million US worth of healthcare software that includes systems for hospital, telehealth, and pharmacy. The fishy part is that the company’s shares trade OTC for $0.15, valuing the entire company at $46 million, with shares having dropped almost 30 percent on the news of the big sale.

Weird News Andy is breathless over these stories. Researchers find that use of mouthwash raises blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attack, although the study involved only 19 patients and the increase in diastolic blood pressure was small. Another group of researchers finds that dogs can be trained to smell cancer in the same way they can sniff explosives or human scents, leading to the possibility of creating instruments that can detect the same odors to sense cancer.

Sponsor Updates

  • Madison Memorial Hospital (ID) reports an annual benefit of $327,658 following the implementation of Craneware’s Chargemaster Toolkit and Pharmacy ChargeLink.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health and Laerdal Medical introduce vSim for Nursing, an online learning solution that simulates curriculum-driven patient scenarios.
  • 3M Health Information Systems releases an enhanced version of its Code Translation Tool to convert ICD-9-based custom problem lists into ICD-10 coded problem lists for import back into a provider’s existing EMR.
  • Forbes names Kareo to its annual list of “America’s 100 Most Promising Companies.”
  • Sandlot Solutions will offer the White Pine Systems SPINN patient engagement platform to its HIE and ACO clients.
  • InstaMed reports it enables payers to achieve the highest levels of electronic payment adoption with its fully integrated Claims Settlement Complete.
  • Physicians’ Choice (CA) discusses in a case study how it uses Capario to process more than 24,000 claims a month.
  • In a case study, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital (MT) shares how Quantros Safety Event Manager improved patient safety and satisfaction.
  • Nuance Healthcare reveals details of its Conversations Healthcare 2014 conference April 6-9 in Phoenix.
  • Alan Lundberg, Informatica’s principal marketing manager for emerging products, blogs about the value of business intelligence in business operations.
  • SCI Solutions launches Provider Network Manager, a technology platform and service for health systems to create better managed affiliations with independent and employed providers.
  • Bethesda Magazine spotlights GetWellNetwork founder and CEO Michael O’Neil, who discusses the creation of his company.
  • Novation awards Paragon Development Systems (PDS) a VAR agreement for hardware and IT services.
  • BlueTree Network co-founder Reggie Luedtke shares four healthcare trends to be excited about in a Forbes article.
  • CCHIT certifies that Healthwise Patient Education EMR Module version 10.0 is compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria as a Modular EHR.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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January 28, 2014 News 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 1/28/14

January 27, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Where Are We on the Diffusion Curve? Trends and Drivers of Primary Care Physicians’ Use of Health Information Technology

EHR adoption in the practice environment hit 69 percent in 2012, but a large divide still exists between solo practices, which have only reached 50 percent adoption, vs. large practices of 20 or more physicians, which have reached a 90 percent EHR adoption rate.

ACOs struggle with data sharing

The National Association of Accountable Care Organizations publishes the results of a survey that solicits the opinions of 35 ACOs. Respondents report that the average cost to transition to an ACO model was $2 million. The ACO organizations rated their IT satisfaction at 6.4 on a 10 point scale, with an “overwhelming number" of participants reporting that learning to access and process CMS data was a significant hurdle. Predicted gains from the transition range from a $9 million increase to losses of $10 million.

Epic launches at Yale Health

Yale Health (CT), a three-hospital health system, goes live on Epic, replacing Allscripts.

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January 27, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 1/27/14

January 27, 2014 Dr. Jayne 6 Comments

To practice or not to practice, that is the question. Among the other CMIOs I talk with regularly, it’s a nearly 50-50 split as to whether they continue to actively practice medicine or not.

For some of them, the decision was made based on factors related to medical specialty. Others gave up licensure when they pursued administrative work and found it too difficult to go back. Some chose informatics as a way to escape patient care. But it’s not always straightforward. It seems that those of us who are earlier in our careers are more apt to try to continue seeing patients, with those in the primary care disciplines hanging on longer than others.

I’ve been lucky because my EHR background has given me experience with multiple vendor systems. This allows me to work as a locum tenens physician and fill in for a week here or there in a traditional family medicine practice. Seeing how different practices function is interesting and I often get ideas for performance improvement projects or bring back tips and tricks that can help my providers.

I’ve also worked for the last several years in various emergency departments and urgent cares. Although I do a fair amount of “real” emergency medicine, it’s mostly the same kind of conditions that I’m used to handling in the family medicine office.

I try to work consistently, but it has been more and more difficult to find opportunities that will work with my ever-expanding CMIO work. My “day job” is full time and my hospital doesn’t provide much accommodation for my clinical work. Now that we’re in the throes of Meaningful Use and preparation for ICD-10, it seems like there isn’t enough time to do anything else.

During the last six to eight months, one of the hospitals where I worked has closed their fast track area in the emergency department. Another replaced all the part-time physicians with nurse practitioners and physician assistants. I took some time off while I was preparing for informatics boards and that impacted my seniority on the scheduling board at my remaining facility, which has made it harder to get back in the rotation.

Continuing clinical work doesn’t yield a lot of income compared to the cost of being an independent contractor. Although I don’t pay for professional liability insurance, there are many other costs: board recertification, maintenance of certification, state licensure, Drug Enforcement Agency registration, state drug enforcement registration, hospital medical staff dues, hospital recredentialing fees, and more. There’s also the cost of professional society memberships and continuing medical education.

Continuing education has been a thorn in my side the last couple of months. For emergency department work, I have to maintain certifications in basic, pediatric, advanced cardiac, and advanced trauma life support. They’re all due this spring, and trying to work them in with everything else that is going on has been enough to make me think twice about seeing patients. Thank goodness I finally got to stop maintaining the obstetric life support credential because I’m not entirely sure I’d be able to fit it in.

For most of the classes, I’ve been able to find programs that offer at least part of the course online, although all of them require a practical component. Some are sponsored by national organizations and others are modules that have been purchased by one hospital or another. I figured doing them online would give me more flexibility but I’m not sure it’s doing much good. The differences in quality are tremendous. When I compare it to what we’ve been trying to achieve with e-Learning for our EHR program, it’s even more striking. Some of the “e-Learning” is little more than written textbook sections punctuated by the occasional embedded video.

They vary greatly in the length of the modules and whether users can pause at any time or only at pre-defined points in the course. One of them was so restrictive that I might have been better off using a vacation day and attending an all-day course rather than trying to fit it in as time permitted. The cost of the courses is the same as what I have paid in the past for in-person courses except for the basic life support. It used to be free when our hospital education department offered it, but now that it’s offered online by a third party, we have to pay for it.

Despite being an attending physician, I couldn’t even register for the class until my check cleared. Rumor has it that employees have to sign up months in advance so a purchase order can be processed and a check delivered. Another negative is the lack of interaction with colleagues. I enjoyed meeting nurses, patient care techs, therapists, and other colleagues during the classes even if it was just for some chit-chat over lunch or a break. I know the hospital is saving money with the online classes because they require staff to complete them during non-working hours; previously, hourly staff members were paid for attending class.

I’m starting to feel like this might be the last time I do this. Although I enjoy seeing patients, it’s getting harder to manage. There are many things competing for what’s left of my free time after I leave the office. I’m thinking about exploring volunteer opportunities where I could use my healthcare skills but where there would be less overhead than I currently have trying to maintain half a dozen certifications.

I’d be interested to hear from other CMIOs whether they’ve hit this point in their careers and what they decided. Is there a right time to hang up the white coat? How do you know? Have any creative ideas for trying to do it all? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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January 27, 2014 Dr. Jayne 6 Comments

HIStalk Interviews Alan Rosenstein, MD, Disruptive Physician Behavior Consultant

January 27, 2014 Interviews 1 Comment

Alan Rosenstein MD, MBA is an educator and consultant in disruptive physician behavior. He welcomes contact by email.

1-27-2014 10-15-03 AM 

Tell me about yourself and what you do.

I’m a physician. I also have an MBA. I still do a clinical practice in internal medicine a couple of days a week. I do a lot of consulting work around care management.

One of my other positions is being medical director for a company called Physician Wellness Services, which is in Minneapolis, although most of my career has been involved on getting physicians around best practice care.


You’ve done a lot of work with disruptive physician behavior. How is that defined or evidenced?

I got into this as vice president and medical director for the VHA West Coast. We would always look at how we could help the medical directors focus on the issues that they think are important. The usual span of issues are quality of care, cost of care, and physician relationships with the hospital. 

I started noting that they were putting down disruptive behavior as one of their key issues. This really got exacerbated during the nursing shortage. That’s when I started the original survey on what is disruptive behavior? Are you witnessing it? Who’s doing it? Where is it occurring? That led to all the research about how significant an issue it is and then what we can do about it.

We describe disruptive behavior as any inappropriate behavior that can negatively impact patient care. That’s the simplest definition.


When you look at other professions, are physicians more likely to be disruptive, or it just more easily perceived because of the work environment they practice in?

It’s a combination of both. There are certain personality traits that lead people to go to medical school. It’s very competitive. They’re very ego-centric. During the medical school process, you’re taught very autocratic, independent, autonomous types of behavior. Physicians give orders. There is that personality that’s built in. 

Healthcare is a very hierarchical system. Physicians are on top of the totem pole. They’ve usually had their free way in giving orders and not taking any responsibility for their actions, although their actions are really aimed at best patient care. 

That in combination with the fact it’s a really stressful environment. In fact, if you look at where disruptive behaviors occur most frequently, it’s in either stressful areas — such as surgery, the emergency room, or OB — or in very stressful situations where the patient is having a negative outcome or the severity is increasing and they’re taking a turn for the worse and the physician needs to get involved. Sometimes they don’t do that in the most cordial manner.


In my experience , physicians who staff perceive as problematic and prone to explosive tempers are often respectful to their patients and even have great bedside manner.

I’m not sure they have great bedside manner with the patients. I think their intent is 100 percent, “I want to do the best for you, and in a crisis situation, I’m the one who knows best and I really need to take control.” That’s all appropriate, but many of these physicians are not good. 

in our research and others, we’ve shown that three to five percent of physicians — and nurses, actually — are truly disruptive. This can have a significant impact on the organization. But what we also found is that 40 to 45 percent of them are ineffective communicators. If you go back to that medical school, you’re trained in technology, you’re trained in knowledge competency, but you’re not trained in personal skill development. 

Now with healthcare being so complex, there’s many physicians in on a case, many other providers who are not physicians. The physician needs to better communicate and coordinate with them and also to present it effectively to the patient. 

I’m not sure that they have the best bedside manner, but they certainly are doing it with the intent of, “I need to take control.”


Is that behavior rewarded more readily for certain specialties, like cardiothoracic surgeons versus pediatricians?

Why do people act disruptively? First of all, many people act disruptively and they don’t even know they’re doing it because they don’t understand the downstream effect. A lot of the research has shown there’s a significant downstream effect where patient care is actually compromised.

They’re acting disruptively because they need to take control. They feel like they need to give the orders and get the best patient outcome. They’re doing it to try to provide best patient care, but they don’t realize what they’re doing or how it’s impacting, or most importantly, the long-term impact of what they’ve done. 

Eventually it gets to the point where you antagonize a person so much … in the short term, they’ll hopefully do what you’re asking them to do, but moving further down after the crisis, they don’t want to communicate with you any more. These communication gaps lead to problems with the patient outcomes of care.


Does medical training encourage or at least support disruptive behavior? Do you see that changing as newer generations of practitioners emerge who have been trained more as a team member rather than a single player?

Yes, absolutely. What we’re finding right now in medical schools is that they’re beginning to realize how important personal skills, communication skills, and teamwork skills are. 

Three things are happening. One is the MCAT, which is the Medical College Admission Test. They’re now posing more questions on the humanities, not just math and science. Two, as far as the people who are majoring, they used to major in chemistry or biology, now they’re looking for people who major in sociology and philosophy. Three, and most importantly, a lot of the more progressive medical schools are beginning to teach communication, collaboration, and personal skills during the freshman year of medical school to get away from this autocratic or independent behavior.


For physicians trained under that different model that no longer applies, it must be difficult when hospitals are acquiring practices, exercising more control in ACO-type arrangements, and mandating use of EHR systems that impose standardized care guidelines and require doctors to document themselves in ways that don’t benefit them. Does that feeling of loss of control elicit disruptive behavior?

Absolutely. One of the things that I talk about is why do people behave the way they do. I talk about the internal things. Age — those different values and attitudes based on your age and your generation. There are gender differences between men and women in how they view stress and how they handle stress. There are differences from culture and ethnicity, power, issues related to gender, issues related to dominance. Then there’s all the stuff from your life, upbringing, what you’ve been exposed to.

Those are the internal factors. Those can be addressed, maybe by sensitivity training or communication skills training. 

The external events — one of them you hit on — is from healthcare reform and initiatives and the electronic medical record. There’s now more and more pressure on providers, not just physicians, to be able to demonstrate and document good value care based on what other people think, not necessarily what they think. More adherence to guidelines telling you what you can and you cannot do. Taking people away from the bedside, spending more and more time on fulfilling all the requirements of the documentation. That gets everybody very frustrated because they just want to practice good care. 

One of the key concerns right now is the significant amount of stress, burnout, and frustration that’s hitting our physician workforce as well as others. A lot of them are trying to change jobs, get out of the profession, or retire early. That’s a real issue right now, because we are — if not currently, tomorrow — going to have a workforce shortage. 

One of the things that organizations need to do as they acquire physician practices and as they get them to adhere and be compliant with their protocols, their electronic medical record — they have to work with them to help them bring them up as a precious resource and not tell them, “This is what you have to do or else.”


What tips would you have for CIOs and CMIOs on the most constructive way to deal with physicians, especially those who have a reputation of being disruptive or resistant?

On the global level, physicians needs to understand why you’re asking them to do certain things. You need to raise the business case of why reducing variation and improving efficiency is going to get you the best patient outcome. That’s what you really want in the end, whether it’s a quality issue, whether it’s a cost issue, or whether it’s a satisfaction issue. Our goal is to make the patients get the best value out of a healthcare interaction and no one, no matter where they’re coming from, is going to say that’s not an appropriate goal. So you need to set the business case.

The second thing is you need to talk about what protocols and what enhancements you have, either technological or care management, and explain to them why we’re doing this — the idea that you reduce variation, we’re trying to do best-practice care, this will give you the best practice outcome. 

The most important thing is they want us to sit down and talk to them and listen. One of the frustrations from physicians is, “I have a concern, I have a problem, I have an issue, but no one is taking the time to talk to me about what my individual concerns are.” 

One of the key steps is that you need to sit down and talk to the physicians and find out what their resistance is based on what their barriers are. If you can potentially address some of those barriers, that’s something that the organization really needs to do. 

The last piece is that besides the business case and the support, you want to provide ongoing training. When you implement or you go live, make sure that you have these work groups that are readily available to help the physician get through what they really need to get through.


Pushback against systems like CPOE seems to have lessened. Are people learning how to deal more constructively with physicians or are physicians just resigned that they have to do it?

A combination of both. People are being resigned. Remember, for physicians, it’s not just the inpatient record, it’s also the office record. With Meaningful Use and with billing, you need to get into the electronic, so there is a business reason for them. I think the technology is there.

Certainly with the newer physicians who were brought up on technology, this is not an issue. It’s mostly the physicians who have been in practice for 20 to 30 years. They’re very used to their ways of doing things and don’t understand why they need to change. With the growing need that everybody is going to have to be up and running on electronic medical records, the physicians are recognizing that this is something they really need to participate in. 

The organizations do realize this, and as they implement these new medical records, they are very concerned about getting them on board and doing the appropriate training.


Do you have any final thoughts?

Part of it is the electronic medical record and part of it is the way the physicians behave. Physicians are a precious resource. I really do believe that all they really want to do is to do their job. Everything seems to get in the way, and some of those things are right.

Reducing variation, improving efficiency and productivity, and maximizing best patient outcomes is an absolute right thing to do. But I think organizations need to recognize that physicians are frustrated, they’re angry, they’re burned out, and they’re stressed. They need to spend more time in working with the physicians to prevent the inappropriate and truly disruptive behaviors, which can have a profound, negative impact on the organization.

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January 27, 2014 Interviews 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 1/27/14

January 26, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Athenahealth Seaholm deal faces tough questions at City Council

Several Austin (TX) City Council members are questioning the decision to offer athenahealth incentives to open a new office in its busy downtown business district. The council members hold the opinion that the city is capable of attracting new jobs and filling office space in the business district without offering perks.

Dynamic modeling of patient and physician eye gaze to understand the effects of electronic health records on doctor–patient communication and attention

The International Journal of Medical Informatics publishes a study that correlates EHR use with a drop in doctor-patient eye contact when compared to practices that use paper charts.

UK ministers cap government IT contracts at £100m

In England, new rules published Friday limit government IT contracts to $165 million unless there is an "exceptional reason", eliminates automatic contract renewals, caps hosting contracts at two-years, and requires that software be implemented by a company other than the software or hardware vendor.

BIDMC Aims To Engage Patients and Families in Effort to Eliminate Preventable Harm in Intensive Care Units

Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center receive a $5.3 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation of California to develop an IT system that will help monitor for, and reduce, preventable harm in ICU patients.

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January 26, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 1/27/14

January 26, 2014 News 10 Comments

1-25-2014 7-29-00 AM

From Brute Forceps: “Re: Leidos Health. President Steve Comber is stepping down.” Unverified, but BF included a purported email from Steve to his team announcing his departure. “Our Executive Leadership, along with the Board of Directors, have made a decision to further invest in health by adding a recognized & proven industry leader at the forefront of our health business. As such, in the very near term a search will be underway for a health expert / leader who will be chartered with the responsibility of taking our health business to the next level.”

From Cabana: “Re: [company name omitted.] They are blocking access to your site after you wrote something uncomplimentary about them.” It’s my crowning achievement when a company blocks access to HIStalk. Given previous examples involving clueless, egotistical executives intent on guiding their enterprises right into the ground, I can say with confidence that employees reading factual information on HIStalk should be the least of their worries.

1-26-2014 7-03-37 AM

From Scooper: “Re: Martin Hospital. You scooped the main media on their EHR crash.” I just happened to have a reader with a friend who was admitted at the time and he passed the information along to me. CIO Ed Collins was nice to provide a response. The contact said it was chaos in the hospital, with confused employees assigning random numbers to patients, runners delivering paper copies of everything, medication errors occurring, and unhappy family members threatening to sue everything that moved (all unverified, of course.) The hospital says the problem was hardware, not Epic, and claims (as hospitals always do) that patient care wasn’t impacted. Of course patient care was impacted – the $80 million system that runs everything went down hard. It would be interesting for Joint Commission or state regulators to show up during one of these hospital outages anywhere in the country to provide an impartial view of how well the downtime process works. All that aside, downtime happens and the key is preparing for it, just like Interstate Highway construction and lane-closing accidents. It’s not a reason to drive a horse and buggy.

1-26-2014 7-06-58 AM

From Keith: “Re: UCSF death in the stairwell case. Four caught snooping.” San Francisco General Hospital announced for the first time Friday that a routine audit of the electronic records of high-profile patients turned up four employees who looked at records of the patient who was found dead in a hospital stairwell in October 17 days after she disappeared from her inpatient bed. Two of the employees have been fired and two were suspended. The hospital announced changes Friday as mandated by CMS after the incident, in which the hospital performed an incomplete search, alarms and cameras were found to be out of order, an incorrect description of the patient was issued to searchers (the hospital said to look for a black woman in a hospital gown, but the patient was white and wearing her own clothes), and the sheriff’s department failed to follow up on a report of a body lying in the hospital’s stairwell.

1-25-2014 7-32-23 AM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows upgrades. The decision to upgrade from Windows XP, which will go off support in April, will be a challenge for most of us. Do we go to Windows 7, 8.1 or wait for Windows 9? Most likely Windows 7 will not be that choice due to its limited future with Windows 9 coming. Windows 8.1 with its rumored Upgrade 1 will be a likely choice since it will be easier to make the move to Windows 9 when its ready for release.” Windows 8 has been an amazing success with one group – the companies that sell add-ons to hide the absurdly annoying tile-driven Metro user interface. It’s probably fine if your computing needs are so basic that you can use a touch screen, but if that’s the case, you might as well just use a tablet, preferably one not running anything from Microsoft.

1-25-2014 6-36-53 AM

No clear trend exists for vendor layoffs, respondents said. New poll to your right: how often do you check your work email after hours and on weekends?

Upcoming Webinars

February 5 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare Transformation: What’s Good About US Healthcare? Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: John Haughom, MD, senior advisor, Health Catalyst. Dr. Haughom will provide a deeper look at the forces that have defined and shaped the current state of U.S. healthcare. Paradoxically, some of these same forces are also driving the inevitable need for change.

February 12 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare CO-OPs and Their Potential to Reduce Costs. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: David Napoli, director of performance improvement and strategic analytics, Colorado HealthOP and Richard Schultz, VP of clinical care integration, Kentucky Health Cooperative. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) were established by the Affordable Care Act as nonprofit health insurance companies designed to compete in the individual and small group markets. Their intended impact was to provide more insurance options for consumers to pay for healthcare.

February 13 (Thursday), 12 noon ET. Advancement in Clinician Efficiency Through Aware Computing. Sponsored by Aventura. In an age of information overload, a computing system that is aware of the user’s needs becomes increasingly critical. Instant-on roaming for virtual and mobile applications powered by awareness provides practical ways to unleash value from current HIT investments, advancing efforts to demonstrate meaningful use of EHRs and improve clinical efficiencies. The presenters will review implementation of Aventura’s solution at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center.

HIStalkapalooza last chance: registration to request an invitation ends Wednesday. We’re planning to email invitees the following Tuesday, February 4. Thanks to Imprivata for sponsoring the event – it’s going to be a big deal.

1-25-2014 7-34-47 AM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Greencastle. The Malvern, PA-based company was founded in 1997 by two former US Army Rangers who brought to the consulting world the military concepts of sense of purpose, discipline, teamwork, and systematic methods. They make it a point to hire junior military officers (among others) and help them apply their skills to the corporate world. Greencastle consultants are ready to take responsibility for large-scale clinical and business initiatives to help healthcare organizations maximize the value of change. Services include clinical systems implementation, application consulting, project management, and system selection. The company did a CHIME focus group presentation on building a business case for analytics and offers white papers. Thanks to founders Celwyn Evans and Jacob Kretzing for their military service and to Greencastle for supporting HIStalk.

Listening: Failure, deeply lush, ambitious, influential, and prophetically named 1990s alt-rock (Pink Floyd meets Radiohead) that nobody’s heard of despite their stunning 1996 concept album masterpiece “Fantastic Planet,” which they played great live. They broke up in 1997, but are reuniting this year. 

South Nassau Communities Hospital (NY) adds dbMotion and FollowMyHealth to its Allscripts portfolio, joining Sunrise.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA) receives a $5.3 million private grant to develop IT-driven ICU tools that include a patient-specific clinician checklist dashboard and a patient-family communications display. BIDMC joins Johns Hopkins Medicine, UCSF, and Brigham and Women’s as part of the Libretto ICU Consortium of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

A federal judge orders St. Luke’s Health System (ID) to divest itself of the Saltzer Medical physician group it bought last winter, saying the hospital’s ownership of 80 percent of the primary care doctors in Nampa, ID would give the health system an unfair bargaining position with insurance companies even though the intent of the acquisition was motivated only by improved patient outcomes. St. Luke’s had defended the acquisition in responding to a lawsuit brought by competitors and the Federal Trade Commission, arguing that the merger would support new risk-based care models and that its $200 million Epic system will be better than anyone else’s when implemented.

1-26-2014 7-24-19 AM

NHS Hack Day was held this past weekend in Cardiff, Wales, bringing together people with healthcare-related problems and developers ready to build rapid software prototypes to solve them.

A eye movement study of 100 primary care patient visits finds that EHR-using doctors spend a third of their time looking at the computer monitor, making it hard for patients to get their attention and reducing the physician’s ability to listen and think. The study also found that patients look almost constantly at the EHR screen instead of their doctor even though they have no idea what anything on it means. The author suggests that vendors design EHR displays that both physicians and patients can use.

1-26-2014 7-16-50 AM

Several members of Austin’s city council question the city’s plan to offer athenahealth incentives to move one of its operations there when demand for Austin commercial space is already high. Said one of the council members, “While it’s great that the company is looking to hire locally, we don’t have 336 software people that are unemployed right now. That’s not a target area and it could be an onus on companies that we already here.”

1-25-2014 10-52-28 AM

In England, ministers vote to limit government IT contracts to $165 million other than for an “exceptional reasons,” also barring vendors that provide hardware and software from implementing their products themselves. Contracts will also be limited to a two-year term with no automatic extensions. According to Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, “Big IT and big failure have stalked government for too long. We are creating a more competitive and open market for technology that opens up opportunity for big and small firms.” Maude drove the government’s “digital by default” effort to centralize government websites and use technology to make its services more efficient.

The board of Cookeville Regional Medical Center (TN) approves a five-year, $1.5 million expenditure for RelayHealth’s patient portal.

1-25-2014 10-34-40 AM

Puget Sound Blood Center (WA) issues an emergency appeal for blood donations after a regional telecommunications outage forces it to cancel blood drives and donor collection.

1-25-2014 10-24-53 AM

A man cleaning the vacated office of an Ohio family practice physician finds an old computer containing the electronic records of 15,000 patients. The doctor had told the man to keep anything he wanted and send everything else to the trash. The doctor says the PC was left behind by mistake and he wants it back, adding that it is password protected, but the local newspaper found the desktop icon above that opens a Word document containing the names and passwords of all the practice’s employees.

1-25-2014 8-43-12 AM 1-25-2014 8-47-08 AM 1-25-2014 8-48-01 AM

Weird News Andy titles this story “Jailhouse Rock” and adds a guitar pun in proclaiming the protagonist to be “high strung.” A 54-year-old male patient  claims to be Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Rush’s Alex Lifeson during several hospital stays, telling the hospitals that his agent would take care of his bill. Obviously not only did hospital staff not ask for ID, they don’t know either band very well because the man’s resemblance to either guitarist (above) is slight.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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January 26, 2014 News 10 Comments

Time Capsule: HIMSS10: Party Like It’s 1999

January 24, 2014 Time Capsule No Comments

I wrote weekly editorials for a boutique industry newsletter for several years, anxious for both audience and income. I learned a lot about coming up with ideas for the weekly grind, trying to be simultaneously opinionated and entertaining in a few hundred words, and not sleeping much because I was working all the time. They’re fun to read as a look back at what was important then (and often still important now).

I wrote this piece in March 2010.

HIMSS10: Party Like It’s 1999
By Mr. HIStalk


Healthcare is different, everybody says, Well, it sure is when it comes to throwing the excessive bacchanal that is the HIMSS annual conference.

Most citizens are shell-shocked from economic devastation. Most industries are reeling. But at HIMSS, it was 1999 all over again.

Sprawling exhibitor booths are burning electricity like a third-world country! Bring on the big-name entertainment! (OK, I admit that I hadn’t heard of Colbie Caillat and singing in a building full of fish tanks is new to me, but her Grammy Award seemed to get people’s attention). Cocktail hour in the exhibit hall are just what stressed hospital executives need to make informed, responsible IT decisions!

The most common phrase I heard in the exhibit hall other than Meaningful Use was Ruth’s Chris.

It was a Las Vegas time warp in Atlanta. Everybody slept in expensive hotel rooms and wore pricy clothes and screwed around with party schedules on expensive smart phones and fretted over dinner reservations and wine lists at expensive restaurants. The neon and booth babes were out in force, everybody loaded up on overpriced Starbuck’s coffee, and hired cars and limos lined up to transport captains of the HIT industry and their minions to and from the convention center.

In the back of my mind, though, was my hospital’s ED. I was thinking of the people patiently waiting there, those using it as their primary care provider because they can’t afford insurance. If I randomly chose one of those patients and took them to HIMSS, what would they think of the free-wheeling technology funfest?

I worry that hospital executives have decided that they are far superior in every way to the average patient they supposedly serve. They have more education, make more money, and enjoy life benefits that the randomly chosen ED patient cannot comprehend. When they travel, they travel in style, and thus supposedly struggling community hospitals will reimburse executives for $250 hotel rooms. And when they go to HIMSS, self-sacrifice is hard to find. In fact, so is any mention of real, live patients, many of whom would probably cause the suit-wearing crowd to physically recoil because they don’t look or act like them.

The other irony is that the key element of discussion, the topic that packed the conference rooms, was getting hands on taxpayer money. All those highly paid and highly expense accounted people were getting together to talk about hitting those economically shell-shocked people and companies a little harder in the pocketbook, making the choice on their behalf that their personal income would be better used to fund EMRs through higher taxes.

Maybe the local TV stations should send video reporters to conferences like HIMSS, just to show the folks back home who make it all possible how their healthcare and tax dollars are being spent.

I could be naïve. Maybe the HIMSS spectacle is so over the top that everybody gets the irony. In fact, I bet they were discussing it at Ruth’s Chris.

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January 24, 2014 Time Capsule No Comments

HIStalk Interviews John Kass, VP of Healthcare Strategy, Bottomline Technologies

January 24, 2014 Interviews No Comments

John Kass is vice president of healthcare strategy and business development for Bottomline Technologies of Portsmouth, NH.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

Our go-to-market strategy is twofold, both on the direct front and as well working through Tier 1 ECM vendors. As healthcare changes and there’s a lot of consolidation in the market, we’re seeing a movement toward procurement being something that they want to simplify in that supply chain. 

I spent four and a half years at Hyland Software prior to coming to Bottomline. We were taking many people from paper to electronic and linking that information into the electronic medical record. But one of the things that really stood out is that paper has been holding back the power of ECM for quite some time. 

Logical Ink was an e-capture, mobile capture, e-data solution. There was a lot more you could get out of paper and changing the process was key. We signed a private label partnership with Hyland Software. Really being able to go back to customers that I’ve worked with for quite some time and improve the value in technology they’ve already purchased.


Describe what Logical Ink does and how you incorporated that acquisition into the product line.

We acquired that technology several years back. It was called Logical Progression. Chris Joyce, who is our director of product development here today, is the developer of the solution.

When Chris invented Logical Progression, the market looked very different. The biggest change is that we’re seeing much more connected healthcare brought on by Meaningful Use. We’re seeing EMR adoption growing. The goal is, how do we create a longitudinal view into the patient?

What’s really changed is, when I came on board, taking the focus around the strategy of… this is something that ECM became a very natural marriage. The product is a much more connected solution today. It’s an enterprise, what we call a standardized one capture platform, any downstream system. In addition to moving and capturing the form, we have the ability to capture discrete data elements in the form and map that downstream. You can have one encounter, capture that information, send it to a Hyland Software OnBase, link that to an electronic medical record, and simultaneously send discrete elements of data down to a population health system or another system discretely. 

The other change is that four years ago, solutions like the iPad did not exist. They’ve revolutionized the way we interact with technology in a way that I can hand my 70-year-old mother an iPad and she immediately gets it. We’ve got a native iPad application. We’re also on Windows. The ability to have devices that are much affordable and usability being much higher has changed the game in the last several years.


Can you explain what Hyland OnBase does and how you tie into it?

It stands for “one database.” OnBase is an enterprise content management system. In the patient-related world, there are things inside of that electronic medical record that you’re capturing as discrete data elements, but there are all kinds of things that generate from paper or other people’s systems that have no meaning to it. It’s called unstructured content.

Hyland can quickly bring that content in, capture it, and then put meta-data or key words around that content. Once they add meaning to that content, they have some very slick opportunities to link that contextually into an electronic medical record, or even on the ERP side in the non-healthcare world.

One of the things that we saw was having the ability to not have to scan physical paper into a physical device. There are too many documents going down to HIM to batch scan, so the burden on HIM is still very, very heavy. The goal is, how do we decentralize the capture in a seamless way and how do we optimize the ability to ultimately know what that form type is, because we’re starting electronic in a way that’s very meaningful with the patient?  

We can simplify all of that, the scan queues and hiring people to work and help index that content. We can immediately send that to OnBase through an API and they can immediately place those hyperlinks contextually within the electronic medical record. When you look at it from a workflow and a patient engagement perspective, it’s a game-changer in how you interact with that content.


HIM does batch scanning, indexing, and QA to link the scanning of paper. Is electronic mobile capture a better way, and will that process eventually go away?

You’re seeing quite a few trends in the industry. I’ll categorize it in a couple of ways.

There’s always going to be that external content. A patient walks in with pieces of paper that originated in another facility. I call that third-party content. We’re seeing that as an area that you still typically have to scan. If you’re a large IDN, you’re seeing a lot of the banks starting to offer the ability to scan that for you and create an index file as a value-added service. That’s number one.

We’re seeing more things captured discretely as a result of Meaningful Use, tying EMR adoption to reimbursement. But more importantly, certain stages of Meaningful Use are required. In other words, the government said these EMRs need to be certified and they have to do certain things. That’s certainly gotten rid of some of the paper.

There’s that remaining paper. There’s that remaining interaction. Those are things that start inside your own facility. It’s the consents. It’s the patient history. It’s the ABNs. It’s sometimes taking a photo and being able to embed that photo and have the patient or clinicians fill out information about that photo. Prior to Logical Ink, you would have to literally plug a camera into a USB, go out and find that photo, and attach it and attach meaning. With Logical Ink on an iPad, a clinician can take a photo with the embedded camera, embed that photo instantaneously in a form, and fill out information or have the patient fill out information. When we hit submit, it can automatically be linked into the downstream system.


Do you think that the increased use of electronic medical records has expanded rather than contracted the content management market?

Certainly it has. There is absolutely no doubt about it that. There was a mandate, there was reimbursement tied to it, and there was a timeline. These were all very compelling events to moving people forward. It’s an impetus to a range of people adopting technology at different times. We’ve seen an industry movement across the board through this mandate that’s been very big. 

Certainly with the enterprise content management piece being a component … I always tell people, your goal isn’t to buy an enterprise content management system and an EMR. Your goal is a longitudinal record of the patient where you can see every action and encounter through one viewer. So Epic becomes that viewer, for example, or Cerner. But what’s great about ECM with the embedded nature of it, when you’re viewing some of that content through the core EMR, many times folks don’t even realize that the ECM portion of that is not just an extension of the actual core system.


Thinking about gaps in functionality or gaps in usage that electronic medical record systems have, what can automated or online forms add?

HIMSS came out recently and talked about with so many EMR vendors moving so quickly to try and fill the mandates of the different stages of Meaningful Use, while they focused on the functionality, usability’s probably something that has not taken a front seat given the time.

The other thing we’re hearing is that early productivity reports are showing that with clinicians having to do so much charting in front of the patient, productivity is going down. As you can imagine, part of diagnosing a patient is observing that patient. One of the things that we have been focusing on is the ability to have the patients fill out on an iPad, for example, all of these required forms. That’s unvalidated data at that point.

Now imagine as you walk into your doctor, having the doctor on an iPad asking you questions and updating and editing that information to validate that. Then capturing in that one encounter, moving the form into an ECM solution, but moving the data elements and mapping them discretely into the electronic medical record. We see that that is absolutely key.

The other thing is that while the EMR encompasses probably 80 percent of the overall enterprise technology around clinical and financial applications, there’s all kinds of “ologies” and patient disease management systems. People talk about data silos in healthcare. I would argue that what we really have is vendor silos. We’ve become that unified front end despite where the information is going with a simplified front end that they’re used to, applications like a Windows tablet or an iPad. We’ve focused on those areas to help augment and improve the usability and the optimized workflow.


What are some ways that customers are using your technology to improve their core hospital systems?

We’ve got a facility in California that is capturing various forms, but also simultaneously feeding discrete data from Logical Ink right into their disease management system, their population health system. They saw an application that we believe is a differentiator. We’re not just capturing signatures on forms — we’re having a very interactive process with that data. We came up with a concept of you have one encounter, so you capture once with the ability to push to any downstream system.

This is a paradigm shift for them. Before, they were scanning that piece of paper and somebody was entering the discrete information manually into a system. The ability to automate that process in a way that happens very natural with the interaction was a real game-changer from both a workflow time to get information in and certainly from a cost perspective, removing the manual process of having to hire people to manually do that.


Do you have some ideas about best practices for improving the satisfaction of patients with the intake process?

There are areas that you’ll go into, a very static patient access area, where there are stations of people working. You literally are going to go in there, check in, and sign all your forms. The fact that our solution can be a desktop solution, can be a web solution or can be a tablet solution means that we offer a very, very compelling licensing model where we don’t differentiate. A device is a device. It gives you the opportunity to use many different platforms for many different uses. 

Where things become very compelling is healthcare – unlike, for example, an accounting job, where you log in and you may not move all day long — many healthcare workers are roaming throughout the facility for different encounters and what have you. The ability to take what used to be maybe a computer on wheels with a scanner on a cart, wheeling that around, physically having to take a packet of 10 forms and physically putting 10 forms through a physical device called a scanner, is a lot of work. Sometimes that gets in between you and the patient. 

If you’re out there wheeling that cart around and your role is to wheel that around all day, changing that from walking with an iPad, scanning a patient’s wrist band, having the ability to pull that patient, pack it up because we’ve got all the integration on the back end with the ECM and all of the different document types and the levels of those document types already being pre-set to the EMR, your ability to walk in very pervasively and have that ability to capture things in a pervasive or untethered way is something that again is a paradigm shift. It allows people to be much more natural and upright and  a tablet doesn’t get in the way between you and the patient.

Most people didn’t see the potential for enterprise use of tablets when the iPad came out, but now everybody wants to use them. WiFi connections are decent and tablets are cheap. Will more opportunities come up?

I think so. Like you said, we’ve got bandwidth today. We’ve got devices. I look at an iPad as a productivity tool, more an appliance than a computer. That’s where you can draw a line in the sand. It really does simplify the way in which you interact with technology, for example. 

Four years ago, you look at where bandwidth was. We had no Meaningful Use. You were talking about a tablet that might cost $1,500 and it really wasn’t enabled for the touch experience. The market wasn’t there to take advantage of the applications.

Fast forward to today, looking at being linked to those Tier 1 vendors, looking at really tying and anchoring into investments that have been made there, and putting the engine behind the ECM in a way that paper has held ECM down for years. If you look at all of those factors, we’re at a time where the market’s there.

People are using these tablets in their personal lives. There’s a very consistent, constant look and feel. People don’t want to use a device at work that’s more of a barrier than the one they use at home to look up an article on the Web. We believe that we’ve bridged that gap in a way that the same simple tools they use in their personal life, they can absolutely start to use in their professional life.


What are the company’s plans for healthcare over the next few years?

The timing is right. The market is right. We’ve got the right platform. We think we’ve got the right strategy. We want to be heads-down focused. The company is always looking for potential acquisitions, so that’s something that I would say is ongoing. But we’re looking to do the right thing for the right time and the right reasons. I’ve been on board a year. 

I’ve gotten very, very comfortable in my role and I’m at a point where I feel like we’re optimizing some of the things that we’ve done over the last year. For the time being, we want to keep focused on the opportunity we have right in front of us.

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January 24, 2014 Interviews No Comments

Morning Headlines 1/24/14

January 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Quality Systems, Inc. Reports Fiscal 2014 Third Quarter Results

Quality Systems Inc., parent company of NextGen, release their Q3 results: total revenue decreased five percent compared to the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was $0.11 vs $0.26, a 62 percent decline. Still, shares rose eight percent on the results by the end of trading.

Best-of-breed oncology vendors hold their own

KLAS finds that McKesson is leading the medical oncology market, while Cerner and Epic continue to improve. Best of breed vendors are still leading the radiation oncology market.

US and UK working to strengthen use of health IT for better patient care

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.K. Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt sign a bi-lateral agreement between the nations committing to: share medical data, share and co-develop quality indicators, promote the adoption of EHRs, and foster innovation in health IT.

Healthcare Information Technology and Healthcare Information Services: 2013 Year-End Review

Healthcare Growth Partners publishes its annual review of the healthcare IT market, and its current and predicted future financial drivers.

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January 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

News 1/24/14

January 23, 2014 News 3 Comments

Top News 

1-23-2014 8-33-43 PM

At ONC’s annual meeting on Thursday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius UK Secretary for Health Jeremy Hunt sign a collaboration agreement between the US and UK that calls for sharing quality indicators, exchanging data and interoperability ideas, maximizing healthcare IT usage, and encouraging health IT innovation.

Reader Comments

1-23-2014 5-33-01 PM

From Freedom Rock: “Re: Martin Health System, Stuart, FL. A friend who is there says their $80 million Epic system is down throughout three hospitals and many other facilities and physician offices. They’re calling in off-duty nurses and clerks to go back to paper.” I asked CIO Ed Collins, feeling guilty as I did so knowing as an IT person how annoying it is to field questions about downtime when you could be fixing it instead, but he was gracious to provide a response Thursday afternoon:

“Martin Health System had a hardware failure that has resulted in our network being down. The failure occurred the evening of Jan. 22 and we are continuing to work on rectifying the situation. Epic is among the systems being impacted by this hardware failure, however, it was not the genesis of the problem. We are continuing operations as scheduled, while strictly monitoring any potential patient safety concerns or issues that would require appropriate care determinations to be made. Our patient care teams are following downtime procedures and protocols to ensure patient safety and proper documentation is provided.”

1-23-2014 6-37-04 PM

From Macke: “Re: Dave Henriksen. The former SVP/GM at McKesson who left to become president of healthcare information solutions at Carestream Health in July 2013 has left Carestream.” Verified. A Carestream spokesperson says Henriksen has left the company for an unspecified opportunity.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small Some of this week’s highlights from HIStalk Practice include: EMRs helped improve the identification and follow-up of infants born infected with hepatitis C. Connecticut IPA Medical Professional Services selects athenahealth’s Population Health Management platform. Provider engagement and administrative issues present the biggest challenges to practices adopting and implementing EHRs. The biggest complaint patients have about their physician: waiting in their office. CMS seeks EP participation in the 2013 PQRS-Medicare EHR Incentive Pilot. Twelve HIT vendors discuss emerging technologies expected to have the biggest impact on physician practices over the next 12-18 months in the second of a three-part series. Dr. Gregg ponders if HIT has jumped the shark. Thanks for reading.

I like it when companies issues press releases announcing their HIStalk sponsorship, so thanks to Coastal Healthcare Consulting for doing just that.

On the Jobs Board: Principle Clinical Healthcare Consultant, Marketing Manager, Sales Engineer – Boston or Raleigh.

Upcoming Webinars

February 5 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare Transformation: What’s Good About US Healthcare? Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: John Haughom, MD, senior advisor, Health Catalyst. Dr. Haughom will provide a deeper look at the forces that have defined and shaped the current state of U.S. healthcare. Paradoxically, some of these same forces are also driving the inevitable need for change.

February 12 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare CO-OPs and Their Potential to Reduce Costs. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: David Napoli, director of performance improvement and strategic analytics, Colorado HealthOP and Richard Schultz, VP of clinical care integration, Kentucky Health Cooperative. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) were established by the Affordable Care Act as nonprofit health insurance companies designed to compete in the individual and small group markets. Their intended impact was to provide more insurance options for consumers to pay for healthcare.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


VMware will buy mobile technology management vendor AirWatch for $1.54 billion. VMware gains secure mobile device credibility to its story for enterprises, including hospitals, that are shifting from fat client desktops to virtualized and mobile devices.

1-23-2014 3-40-06 PM

Quality Systems reports Q3 results: revenues down five percent; adjusted EPS of $0.11 vs. $0.29, missing estimates on both due to previously announced problems with its hospital software division. Shares rose 8.4 percent Thursday after the announcement before the market opened.

1-23-2014 10-04-45 PM

Microsoft announces Q2 results: revenue up 14 percent, EPS $0.78 vs. $0.76, beating estimates of both.

1-23-2014 3-40-43 PM

Proteus Digital Health, a developer of patient-care and self-health management technologies, closes $31.6 million in debt financing expansion. The company had previously raised around $160 million in funding. Proteus sells miniature medication tracking sensors (smart pills) that are activated by gastric contents, sending the information to skin patches that then forward the information via mobile device to a central service and allowing clinicians and family members to track oral medication intake.

1-23-2014 3-42-05 PM

Telehealth services and software provider MDLive raises $23.6 million.  It offers around-the-clock consumer access to doctors. An individual plan costs $15 per month and includes one-day physician response to emails; phone or video visits cost $20. The company’s previously announced partnerships include Cigna and Sentara Healthcare (VA). One of its financial backers is former Apple CEO John Sculley, best known for firing Steve Jobs from Apple.


1-23-2014 1-01-15 PM

Parkview Health (IN/OH) will implement business analytics and denials management solutions from Streamline Health.

The District of Columbia Primary Care Association joins The Guideline Advantage quality improvement program, which uses population health management tools from Forward Health Group.

OSF Healthcare (IL) chooses Strata Decision Technology’s StrataJazz for budget and management reporting.


1-23-2014 1-33-33 PM

EDCO Health Information Solutions promotes Lynne Jones to president.

1-23-2014 6-53-23 AM

The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority HIE names the state’s HIT coordinator Alexandra Goss executive director.

1-23-2014 1-35-08 PM

HIMSS names Emanuel Furst (Improvement Technologies) the recipient of the 2013 ACCE-HIMSS Excellence in Clinical Engineering and Information Technology Synergies Award.

Announcements and Implementations

Philips Healthcare launches a Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services business group to be led by Jeroen Tas, who previously served as CIO for Philips. It will offer hospitals clinical programs, analytics, and cloud-based platforms. The company also reorganized its North America Healthcare sales organization.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant announces the launch of the Mississippi Diabetes Telehealth Initiative to improve disease management and health outcomes for diabetic patients. The program, which is a joint effort between the University of Mississippi Medical Center, GE Health, North Sunflower Medical Center, and C Spire, will use telehealth technology to connect UMC providers with diabetic patients in the Mississippi Delta.

1-23-2014 9-52-01 PM

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (CA) goes live with RTLS asset management from Intelligent InSites.

Government and Politics

In his annual budget address, New York Gov. Andre Cuomo proposes a $95 million plan to digitize patient records using $65 million in state funds and $30 million from the federal government’s Medicaid program.

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New National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo kicked off ONC’s annual meeting Thursday morning, mostly providing some background about herself and talking yet again about Hurricane Katrina like it was yesterday instead of eight years ago. HIMSS marketed the heck out of that disaster as a call to arm for electronic medical records (as sold by the vendors who provide most of its income, and when that didn’t help sales much, along came HITECH) and now KD has ridden it into the National Coordinator chair as her primary credential even though I haven’t seen any proven Louisiana outcomes that resulted. Her EHR experience isn’t clear, but she has a great public health background. I liked that she characterizes HITECH money as the involuntary taxpayer gift that it was, referring to it as “major investments by the American people.” She seems nice enough and her speech was friendly if not particularly powerful, although her uptalking made her sound less authoritative and is sure to drive mellifluous members of Congress who are used to polished oratory crazy. Nitpicking aside, I like her so far.

1-23-2014 8-25-41 PM

In England, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt urges hospitals to treat patients like people and for clinicians to work together as teams, suggesting that British doctors to behave like US hospitalists in taking responsibility for the patient’s entire stay from plan to handoff, including putting their names up on the wall of the patient’s room as being responsible. He also urges adoption of information-sharing technology, studying whether medical specialties are too specialized, and reducing patient transfers. I don’t know much about him or his politics, but I like him.


A Microsoft research project uses Kinect to help stroke victims recover.

1-23-2014 6-56-34 PM

An irrationally exuberant and painfully breezy INC Magazine article declares mHealth to be “the trillion dollar cure” and “the miracle cure for the rising cost of health care in America” in which “smart startups are already cashing in” and that mHealth is “up for grabs, providing an extraordinary opportunity for medically minded entrepreneurs.” It quotes HIStalk Connect’s Travis Good (“a physician and influential blogger on health care technology”) and Palomar Health Chief Innovation Officer Orlando Portale, both of whom contributed just about the only thoughtful content amidst the hype. Like mHealth itself, the article is all over the place with a hodgepodge of apps ranging from weight loss to vital signs monitoring. It isn’t convincing in the slightest that most of them are either effective or destined for financial success, much less the cure for healthcare’s quality and cost problems, but business magazines like to make everything sound like a sure thing.  

1-23-2014 9-58-33 PM

Speaking of mHealth, you know it has jumped the shark when former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal gets involved. Shaq says he’s working with Qualcomm on wireless and health technologies (I hope that won’t interfere with the making of Kazaam 2 or the next “Shaq Fu” album). Cynicism  aside, Shaq actually has meaningful comments, not surprising since he’s a smart guy (he earned an Ed.D doctoral degree in 2012):

I have been using a FitBit, a connected activity monitor, to manage my fitness levels and am finding motivation in the real-time data I can collect on my movement—or lack thereof! Not only can mobile health technologies be engaging, social and easy-to incorporate into your everyday lifestyle, but using them for health monitoring will actually save between $1.96 billion and $5.83 billion in health-care costs worldwide by 2014. The latest technologies can’t solve all of our problems, though. Throughout my career I have found that when individuals come together for a common goal, whether it’s to win an NBA championship or reduce the number of people with chronic disease globally, greater results are achieved. We are on the verge of a new wave of breakthroughs in medical and wireless technologies, legislation and more, but unless we all come together to collaborate across public and private sectors and across educational systems and research institutions we will not see significant change and improvement.That’s why I am joining forces with the World Economic Forum, who are encouraging a global shift towards healthy living and supporting healthy, active lifestyles at individual, community and societal levels.

1-23-2014 8-08-28 PM

A Wall Street Journal report says IBM’s Curam eligibility software is responsible for problems with health insurance exchanges in Maryland and Minnesota.


1-23-2014 1-43-56 PM

Cerner and Epic are making inroads in the medical oncology market, but product immaturity is leaving providers with a lack of functionality, according to a KLAS report. Radiation oncology is still a best-of-breed market with Elekta and Varian as the main competitors.

1-23-2014 5-44-54 PM

A HIMSS heads up: I didn’t realize that the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, across from the street from the convention center and the favored gathering place for well-heeled HIMSS attendees (meaning I’ve never stayed there, although we did hold the first HIStalkapalooza there in 2008), was sold in October for $717 million. It’s now the Hyatt Regency Orlando and is being marketed to mouse ears-wearing tourists. The famous ducks are gone, and given the prohibitive expense of shipping them back to the only surviving Peabody in Memphis, they may well have ended up as a l’orange.

A study finds that the use of EHRs improves the follow-up in identifying and treating babies born to mothers with hepatitis C. Identification of at-risk patients increased from 53 percent to 71 percent, while appropriate follow-up jumped from 8 percent to 50 percent.

1-23-2014 7-22-39 PM

Healthcare Growth Partners releases its 2013 Year-End Review report, which is as insightful, rich in detail, and downright eloquent about healthcare in general as it is healthcare IT investments. I would say it’s a must-read for anyone interested in the business side of healthcare delivery. An excerpt:

HGP remains very bullish on the health IT sector. Creating an environment of connected networks and transparency is core to addressing the structural flaws of the U.S. healthcare system, and IT is critical to enable the reform initiatives underway and any reform initiatives that may follow. The need is high, the runway is long, and the consequences are significant – as long as we get out of the way of ourselves, health IT stands to completely redefine not only the delivery of healthcare but also the management and sustainability of health.

inga_small The dearth of HIT fashion-related news is finally over, thanks to B-Shoe, a start-up company that is testing a walking shoe that helps prevent falls. Designed for seniors or the physically challenged, the shoe incorporates pressure sensors and an algorithm that detects imbalance, plus a motion device that rolls the shoe slightly until the wearer regains his balance. Perhaps there will be a stiletto version by the time I’m in need.

Weird News Andy makes a Roman numeral pun in calling this story “The 4th Doctor.” A company called IV Doctor makes house calls in New York to deliver a $200 hangover-curing IV solution, even providing a sales video. Those who attended the HIMSS conference in Las Vegas will recall my mentioning a similar service in that city.

1-23-2014 8-53-42 PM

WNA also turned up this story. A Nashville opera singer says a nurse-midwife’s episiotomy incision ended her mezzo-soprano career when it caused her to experience incontinence and excessive flatulence. She’s suing the federal government for $2.5 million since the treatment was provided by the Army, in which her husband was serving at the time.

Sponsor Updates

  • Solstices Medical will use Infor Cloverleaf to integrate its DOCK-to-DOC platform with clinical, financial, and supply chain systems, including Infor Lawson Enterprise Financial Management and Chain Management for Healthcare.
  • Vonlay adds 4,000 square feet in office space to its existing Madison, WI headquarters.
  • CCHIT awards Iatric Systems Meaningful Use Manager ONC HIT 2014 certification for all 29 clinical quality measures.
  • Kareo integrates its PM application with the Nexus EHR.
  • Connance CEO and Co-Founder Steve Levin and Gwinnet Hospital System (GA) VP Cathy Dougherty author an HFM Magazine article, “A New Imperative for Patient Relationship Management.”

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

A recent post on the Harvard Business Review blog discusses research indicating that smartphone use after 9 p.m. can make workers less productive the following day. Their work concludes that phone use causes sleep disturbances that impact work performance. Their two studies will be published later this year and I’m looking forward to seeing the details.

In the first study, they used a survey approach where each participant’s survey response data was analyzed individually over a two-week period. It had a relatively low number of participants (fewer than 100) but showed that increased phone use impacted sleep, creating work issues the next day. The second study had twice the number of participants with more diverse occupations. In addition to daily surveys, they measured use of phones, laptops, tablets, and televisions. The data indicated that smartphones had a greater impact than other devices.

As a physician, I enjoy being able to remotely access my patients’ charts, handle refill requests, process lab results, and take phone messages without being tethered to the office or to a PC. For me, however, using my phone to handle these tasks is a choice. Since my physician income is based on an “eat what you kill” model, I understand the value of my time and can make an informed decision to work outside the office or not.

Our ambulatory EHR has a great mobile product. Logging in and accessing a patient chart takes just a couple of seconds. This has made cross-covering after-hours call for colleagues much easier. I provide better care because I know more about the patients. I don’t have study data, but it would seem to be safer (not to mention more convenient) for the patient if I can address the issue based on the information in the chart rather than sending patients to urgent care. It also makes documenting those phone calls a snap.

Putting on my CMIO hat, however, I worry about the prevalence of working outside the office. Despite various office policies and customs encouraging staff to stay off email after hours, we’re having increasing challenges with staffers who continue to work long after the work day is over. Many of our employees are able to use flex time to accommodate family issues and expect to see some after-hours access in that circumstance. We’ve had some significant weather events with multiple school cancellations this winter, so quite a few parents have been working at home.

Barring flex time arrangements, however, I don’t expect to see people online at 8 or 9 at night unless it’s a scheduled maintenance event, and in that case, it would be happening after 11 p.m. Why is this behavior growing, then? Our health system has been through a couple of rounds of downsizing in the last couple of years and I wonder what impact that has had on people working after hours. Are employees trying to work longer and harder to distinguish themselves from their teammates in the event of another reduction in force? Are they young motivated analysts trying to get ahead? Are they just workaholics? I’d be interested to hear if readers in the trenches are seeing the same trends and what they’re doing to address them.

I beat Weird News Andy to the punch on this one. A Wisconsin medical examiner agrees to a plea deal after being accused of stealing body parts. According to the Wausau Daily Herald, she is accused of taking a piece of cadaver spine and human tissue “to train her dog.” Next time I’d suggest a Milk Bone or possibly a package of Snausages.


Earlier this week in Curbside Consult, I mentioned that I’m going to need roller skates to maneuver through everything we need to accomplish in 2014. Thanks to @SmyrnaGirl who found me the perfect pair. I bet Inga will be jealous.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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January 23, 2014 News 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 1/23/14

January 23, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Results of Health IT Research Review Positive Overall, but Some Topics Need More Focus

An ONC EHR literature review finds that the number of EHR-related studies is increasing about 25 percent each year, most of them focused on clinical decision support and CPOE. Other important EHR functions, such as e-prescribing and interoperability, were the subject of fewer studies.

VMware to buy mobile security firm AirWatch for $1.54 billion

VMware announces plans to acquire mobile security company AirWatch for $1.54 billion, allowing VMware to offer PC-level security solutions for smartphones and tablets used by employees.

Government health data sharing may break EU law

In England, a plan to collect health information on all citizens, store it in a centralized database, and share it with care providers across the nation may hit a roadblock as the European Union drafts a data protection law that requires citizens to opt in for data sharing.

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January 23, 2014 Headlines No Comments

CIO Unplugged 1/22/14

January 22, 2014 Ed Marx 13 Comments
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine personally and are not necessarily representative of current or former employers.

Leadership and Identity—Look at Me! Look at Me! Look at Me! (Part 4 of 4)

We may not admit it, but most of us crave recognition and awards like a drug. Receiving honors gets us high. We love the buzz that says, “I’m better than you.”

Accolades, though fine on their own, can create an identity on which we base our self-esteem and worth. But it’s only a short-term fix, and the satisfaction quickly fades. The buzz wears off. Worldly recognition is a pursuit that never quenches the real need for significance and worth. The new gold plaque merely masks our insecurities.

So we seek after more, something bigger. Perhaps a more prestigious award. Another graduate degree. Another Fellow.

Don’t believe it? Bing the thousands of companies out there that make a living off our need for recognition. Peruse the corporate office walls. Facebook screams, LOOK AT ME!

You want to score a quick hookup? Talk up your target and pour on verbal affirmation and validation. Want to watch a coward become a hero? Entice him with a ribbon for his chest. Humans are complex for sure, but when it comes to our ego’s need for glory, we are single focused, simple minded, and easily led astray.

Hey, I’m stuck there in the “Look at me!” frenzy. I have sacrificed those most important to me just to win that coveted award. I worked longer hours than reasonable just to be ranked number one. I had to add cabinets to store my prizes. Heck, I spent three hours per day in the gym purely so I could outperform those half my age and get a medal around my neck to brag about it.

I know I’m not alone. I’ve watched marriages destroyed because some guy needed to upgrade his trophy wife. It’s madness! And I am determined to stop it in my own life.

Whoa, now, hold on a minute! There is nothing wrong with winning awards and being recognized for great service or whatever. True. But it becomes a problem when we make it the foundation for our identity. How do you know you have an identity issue? Ask yourself some key questions.

  • Are you defensive reading this post so far?
  • Do you perform so you can get your name engraved on a plaque?
  • Do you covet the other guy’s award?
  • At parties, do you brag about your trophies, medals, certificates?
  • When in conversation, can you draw out the success of others without speaking a word about your last honor?
  • Do you set performance targets because they are the right thing to do or because they will gather positive self-attention?
  • Who do your pursuits make more famous, your employer or you?
  • When you receive recognition, do you take all the glory or share it?
  • When you receive recognition, do you display false modesty?
  • Do you live for yourself or for others?
  • Do you always need to be in control?
  • Are you constantly bewitched by the legacy you will leave?
  • When you don’t win what you want, are you ticked off?

If your identity is based on the need for external validation, what can you do?

First, get rid of people who feed you bullshit. You know who they are — the ones who make you feel good because they inflate your ego. Replace them with people who will be brutally honest and have no fear of repercussion. How do you know who they are? They’re the ones who make you mad.

A couple of my direct reports are good at this. I have staffers who are unafraid of me and get in my face. I love ’em! If there is nobody close to you who challenges you to the point of making you mad, you might need an identity reboot. Conflict, not flattery, is what helps build our character.

As I draw closer to the half-century mark, I find myself on a new learning curve. Man, the growth is painful. I’m OK with recognition and awards now as long as they are purely an external validation of an internal (team) reality. I won’t personally pursue them nor take actions for the sole purpose of personal fame.

Recently, I made the biggest mistakes of my life when I forgot who I was and chased false sources of identity. If it weren’t for mercy, I might not be writing this post. I’m committed to discovering who I really am so I never do that again. Finding my true self is painful and ugly, but at the same time, gloriously beautiful. And freeing.

I’ll leave you with this from one of my heroes, Saint Paul:

The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him.

During this series, I pointed out that an identity based on what you do, how you look, or your titles and awards will not lead to fulfillment. What I’m learning is truth for me and it’s rooted in faith. I know I am Edward Marx. A follower of Christ. Here to serve and point others towards the pursuit of truth. I might fail, but I will get back up and move forward.

Who are you? Where is your identity rooted?

This concludes a four-part series on Leadership and Identity. The previous posts are Identity and the Leader, I Look Better than You Do, and It’s All About the Title.

Ed Marx is a CIO currently working for a large integrated health system. Ed encourages your interaction through this blog. Add a comment by clicking the link at the bottom of this post. You can also connect with him directly through his profile pages on social networking sites LinkedIn and Facebook and you can follow him via Twitter — user name marxists.

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January 22, 2014 Ed Marx 13 Comments

Morning Headlines 1/22/14

January 21, 2014 Headlines No Comments

GE to Acquire API Healthcare

GE announces that it will acquire workforce management software vendor API Healthcare for an undisclosed sum. API Healthcare’s administrative solutions are used by more than 1,600 hospitals and staffing agencies in the U.S. The company’s time and attendance solution has been rated by Best in KLAS for the last 10 years.

Three EMRs lead the pack in the midsize-practice space

Epic continues to lead performance scores in the midsize physician practice market, with athenahealth and Greenway rounding out the top three.

Use and Characteristics of Electronic Health Record Systems Among Office-based Physician Practices: United States, 2001–2013

In 2013, 78 percent of office-based physicians used some form of EHR, but only 13 percent reported using systems that comply with Stage 2 Meaningful Use. In total, only 69 percent of respondents report that they intend to participate in MU.

‘Defect’ on VA benefits site shares vets’ personal details online

The VA’s online eBenefits program is suspected of exposing thousands of veterans personal information after an upgrade-related defect causes other veteran’s data to be erroneously presented to users when they logged into the system. Exposed data reportedly including past and current medical conditions, bank routing numbers, and social security numbers. The VA has shut the eBenefits system down pending an investigation, and will provide credit monitoring for affected users.

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January 21, 2014 Headlines No Comments

News 1/22/14

January 21, 2014 News 6 Comments

Top News

1-21-2014 4-15-52 PM

GE will acquire API Healthcare, a provider of healthcare workforce management software and analytics solutions.

Reader Comments

From Brian: “Re: Advisory Panel ‘2014 will be the year of …’ patient relationship management. Spanning not only the clinical realm, but the financial realm as well. Every touch, clinical and financial, influences the patient’s attitude towards the health system, impacting satisfaction and their willingness to return for elective services or recommend to friends and family.”

1-21-2014 5-31-25 PM

From Keith: “Re: HHS. This issue needs Meaningful Use guidelines.” OIG finds that HHS paid $172 million in claims for 474,000 vacuum erection systems (penis pumps) from 2006 through 2011, spending twice as much per unit as the VA paid or what online retailers charge.

1-21-2014 5-38-21 PM

From Across the Pond: “Re: interesting article from Isala Hospital, Netherlands. It’s in Dutch, but explains the positive outcomes (reduced hospital mortality and others) realized from introducing an extra pre-procedure safety check beyond the usual time-outs before open heart surgery. Results are remarkable: 95 percent vs. 55 percent of professionals now feel the treatment is a team effort and the post-surgical hospital mortality rate was reduced from 15 percent to 1.7 percent. Doctors plan to share the results with US colleagues.”

1-21-2014 8-30-06 PM

From MDCIO: “Re: Windows XP computers after its retirement on April 8. Can you be HIPAA compliant and qualify for Meaningful Use if your system is not receiving security updates?” At minimum, you could interpret that running an obsolete OS for which no security updates are available means you aren’t protecting PHI to the best of your ability. I’m interested to hear from readers, especially CIOs whose hospitals are still running some XP PCs. Hard and fast rules aside, I wouldn’t want to be deposed to provide post-breach “why were you still using XP” justification to OIG or a plaintiff’s attorney. According to HHS:

The Security Rule was written to allow flexibility for covered entities to implement security measures that best fit their organizational needs. The Security Rule does not specify minimum requirements for personal computer operating systems, but it does mandate requirements for information systems that contain electronic protected health information (e-PHI). Therefore, as part of the information system, the security capabilities of the operating system may be used to comply with technical safeguards standards and implementation specifications such as audit controls, unique user identification, integrity, person or entity authentication, or transmission security. Additionally, any known security vulnerabilities of an operating system should be considered in the covered entity’s risk analysis (e.g., does an operating system include known vulnerabilities for which a security patch is unavailable, e.g., because the operating system is no longer supported by its manufacturer).

1-21-2014 6-53-26 PM

From NurseJane: “Re: Prognosis HIS. Did you know it was acquired? We are concerned as we are going through a MU audit and we are on their system. They laid off over half the company last year and replaced the CEO. I would appreciate you finding out more and reporting on it.” CEO Jim Holtzman provided a quick response to our inquiry:

In 2013, Prognosis completed a transaction in which it was acquired by two of its original founders who have since rejoined the company, with the common goal of enhancing its ability to provide the best software and services to our customers in their dedication to provide excellent healthcare services to their patient base.

As a bit of history, In 2012 I joined Prognosis as CFO. At that time, I rapidly joined with our team in a process of improving Prognosis’s financial position, while also taking on a venture/PE fundraising effort that had started shortly before I joined the company. Through 2012 and into May of 2013, our management team worked to enhance our financial position, part of which included a restructuring and initial reduction in force. On May 15, 2013, I took the role of CEO and continued our mission of managing through our challenges. At that time, we implemented one more, final reduction and began the process of completely revising how we approach our business processes to better and more efficiently serve our customers. Over the remainder of the year, we radically improved our support processes, closed new business and continued to guide our company through some difficult waters.

Then, three weeks ago on December 30, 2013, Prognosis closed an investment transaction with AO Capital Partners, LLC, a private equity firm and financial investor. As part of their investment, AO Capital Partners acquired Prognosis through an asset acquisition and made an initial cash investment in the company in the form of working capital.

It is important to note that AO Capital is led by two of Prognosis original founders, Dirk Cameron and Isaac Shi.  Previously, Mr. Shi was the Chief Architect of our software when it was originally designed and built back in 2006. We are extremely excited to have both Mr. Cameron and Mr. Shi back in the Prognosis fold and as members of our leadership team. We are already actively exploring new pathways of product development that include innovative new features and functionality, as well as innovative methods of delivery. We also continue to focus on enhanced customer support and professional service models to better support our customers. We look forward to sharing the fruits of this new partnership with our customers and prospects in the very near future. The simple fact of this transaction is that our customers will feel essentially no difference aside from our efforts, with new development and support resources to further enhance our processes that we have worked on so hard this last year.

We continue to work toward completion of our MU2, 2014 software certification which will be completed in multiple waves. The first of those waves was completed in December and we crushed the certification process, completing our certification, in one day of testing, of more modules than we had originally scheduled. I am confident that we will perform as flawlessly in the remaining waves as we did in wave one. We are now modularly 2014 certified following wave one and continue along the pathway of full EHR certification by end of the first quarter of 2014.  Our customers are going to feel nothing more than continued improvements. 

The only minor change that we will be making beyond the comments above is a tweak to our name, which will now be Prognosis Innovation Healthcare, reflecting our commitment to innovative software that serves the healthcare community.

As always, I welcome calls and questions and will be happy to answer any questions about our company and our products and services.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small I was looking over the HIMSS conference schedule today and was intrigued by the new Startup Showcase, which features 40 startup and early stage HIT companies. It looks like the showcase will be in the exhibit hall and participating vendors will have a chance to demo their offerings. Could be fun.

1-21-2014 8-33-47 PM

inga_small Another fun option might be the HIMSS14 Wellness Challenge. Participants wearing a Misfit Shine activity tracker can compete in different daily challenges such as steps taken, calories burned, and distance walked. I always feel like I walk 10 miles a day, so maybe I should sign up.

Reminder: sign up by January 29 if you want to be considered for a HIStalkapalooza invitation. Not everyone who signs up will be invited, but on the other hand, everyone who is invited will have signed up (this sounds like one of those logic problems from the SAT, but it’s really not hard.) We will email invitations to the folks we can accept on February 4 or thereabouts. We have hundreds more requests than we have spots, so not everybody will get an invitation, unfortunately.

1-21-2014 5-58-03 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor MEDHOST. The company offers solutions for ED (MEDHOST EDIS); patient flow (MEDHOST PatientFLow HD); perioperative (MEDHOST Advanced Perioperative Information Management System); patient portal (MEDHOST YourCareCommunity); public health reporting (MEDHOST YourCareLink); clinicals, patient access, revenue cycle, and financials (Enterprise Solutions); BI (MEDHOST Business Intelligence); hosting and managed services (MEDHOST Direct); and services for outsourcing, consulting, and optimization. The 30-year-old Franklin, TN-based company, formerly known as HealthTech and serving more than 1,000 hospital customers of all sizes, unified its corporate identify and product line under the MEDHOST name last month. It pledges to deliver unparalleled value and easy-to-use technology for managing care and the business of healthcare. Customer case studies are here. Thanks to MEDHOST for supporting HIStalk.

I found a YouTube video describing MEDHOST Direct hosting at Valley Regional Hospital (NH).

Upcoming Webinars 

February 5 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare Transformation: What’s Good About US Healthcare? Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: John Haughom, MD, senior advisor, Health Catalyst. Dr. Haughom will provide a deeper look at the forces that have defined and shaped the current state of U.S. healthcare. Paradoxically, some of these same forces are also driving the inevitable need for change.

February 12 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET. Healthcare CO-OPs and Their Potential to Reduce Costs. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: David Napoli, director of performance improvement and strategic analytics, Colorado HealthOP and Richard Schultz, VP of clinical care integration, Kentucky Health Cooperative. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) were established by the Affordable Care Act as nonprofit health insurance companies designed to compete in the individual and small group markets. Their intended impact was to provide more insurance options for consumers to pay for healthcare.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

1-21-2014 4-16-32 PM

Kareo secures $29.5 million in growth capital.

1-21-2014 4-17-35 PM

UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services business grew revenue 35 percent in the fourth quarter.

1-21-2014 4-18-26 PM

Etransmedia Technology acquires Medigistics, a Columbus-OH based provider of RCM and AR management services for the healthcare industry.


1-21-2014 10-41-02 AM

RegionalCare Hospital Partners (TN) will deploy AirStrip ONE OB and AirStrip ONE Cardiology across its eight-hospital system.

Medical Professional Services selects athenahealth’s population health Management platform for its 450-provider IPA.

1-21-2014 10-42-26 AM

Healthstat will implement eClinicalWorks EHR across more than 350 sites.

1-21-2014 10-44-51 AM

Nexus Health Systems (TX) selects Summit Healthcare Express Connect interface technology.

1-21-2014 10-45-52 AM

Scotland County Hospital (MO) chooses Access electronic patient signature and e-forms solutions to complement its Meditech 6.x EHR implementation.

Summit Healthcare selects Secure Exchange Solutions as its Health Information Service Provider for secure healthcare information exchange.


1-21-2014 10-47-04 AM

VisionWare names Paul Roscoe (The Advisory Board) CEO and board member.

1-21-2014 4-25-27 PM

Medhost names Lionel Tehini (Acuitec) president of the company’s professional services division.

1-21-2014 8-09-03 PM

Telemedicine software vendor REACH Health names Steve McGraw (SAI Global) as president and CEO, replacing the retiring Richard Otto.

AtHoc appoints Karen Garavatti (Ericsson) head of human resources.

Salar appoints new members to its clinical documentation advisory board, including Neri Cohen, MD (Greater Baltimore Medical Center), Brian Houston, MD (Johns Hopkins Medicine), Don Levick, MD (Lehigh Valley Health Network), Eric Radler, MD (Lifespan), and Jenson Wong, MD (San Francisco General Hospital.)

Announcements and Implementations

1-21-2014 8-36-01 PM 1-21-2014 8-36-49 PM

Michigan Health Connect and Great Lakes HIE will merge their operations later this year to create one of the country’s largest HIEs.

AirWatch opens a Miami office.

1-21-2014 4-28-28 PM

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in the UK expands the rollout of its personal health record, which is based on Get Real Health’s InstantPHR patient engagement platform.

1-21-2014 5-19-16 PM

France-based IT services vendor Atos launches an enterprise content management system for healthcare based on EMC Documentum.

1-21-2014 8-37-43 PM

Aventura will integrate its instant-on awareness computing technology for clinicians with virtualization offerings from Varrow.

Government and Politics

1-21-2014 10-24-31 AM

About 69 percent of physicians intend to participate in the MU program, according to CDC survey conducted in mid-2013. At that time, 13 percent of them were using an EHR capable of supporting 14 of the 17 Stage 2 Core Set objectives. Half of office-based physicians were using at least a basic EHR, up from 11 percent in 2006.

An IT security expert says that is not secure, claiming that he can extract thousands of database records directly from the site without even hacking it. He listed 20 security issues weeks ago and says  they haven’t been fixed. HHS says it doesn’t believe him and the site is fine.

1-21-2014 8-17-54 PM

The VA says that the medical and financial information of more than 5,000 users of the VA/DoD eBenefits military benefits site may have been exposed to other users last week due to a programming error.


1-21-2014 11-34-04 AM

“123456” tops Splashtop’s list of the of most commonly stolen passwords for 2013, beating out longtime favorite, “password.”

1-21-2014 7-31-44 PM

A new KLAS report says Epic, athenahealth, and Greenway lead the 11-75 physician practice segment. Allscripts, McKesson, and Vitera have the highest percentage of unhappy customers who will stick to the EMR they bought even though they wouldn’t buy it again.

A study finds that the leading online source of medical information for both providers and patients is Wikipedia.

Tim Moseley and Ron Hedges of the IT department of Memorial Hospital of Gulfport (MS) are presented a certificate of appreciation and Seven Seals Award for setting up a Skype session that allowed Air National Guard Staff Sergeant Drew Bynum, deployed overseas, to see his newborn daughter. Major Jeff Wyatt of the 255th Air Control Squadron told the men, both of whom are veterans themselves, “It’s hard enough being over there and doing your job in trying circumstances, but you’re never totally over there. There’s always a part of you that is back here with your family and friends. It takes people like you, supporting us, to enable us to do our job overseas.”

Weird News Andy provides a quote for this story: “There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.” A 70-year-old man who was born color blind can suddenly see colors after experiencing a fall. Doctors can’t explain it since color blindness is a retinal cone defect, but postulate that it’s the man’s perception of colors that has changed.

Sponsor Updates

1-21-2014 5-55-46 PM

  • More than 150 Surgical Information Systems employees participated in the company’s first community service day in metro Atlanta.
  • NextGen Healthcare reports that its Ambulatory EHR version 5.8 meets the latest ICD-10 standards, adding that it will offer customers ICD-10 educational and testing tools.
  • Harry Greenspun, MD, senior advisor for healthcare transformation and technology for the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, discusses the four dimensions for effective mobile health in a blog posting.
  • Quest Diagnostics certifies CompuGroup Medical’s LabDAQ LIS as a Gold Quality Solution under Quest’s Health IT Quality Solutions program.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health collaborates with the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses to review the core procedures in the Lippincott Procedures software application.
  • RelayHealth’s RelayClearance, RelayAssurance, RelayAnalytics, and RelayPayer Connectivity Services achieve a Level 2 appraisal rating under CMMI Institutes’ Capability Maturity Model Integration.
  • Beacon Partners hosted an analytics roundtable on establishing an analytics-driven healthcare culture.
  • EDCO Health Information Solutions sponsored a presentation by HIMSS VP John H. Daniels on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption model at a New Jersey Hospital Association meeting last week.
  • Surgical Information Systems and QlikTech renew their agreement to expand the use of QlikView with SIS Analytics.
  • Adventist Health (CA) shares how it reduced its revenue cycle by two days after implementing The SSI Group’s RCM solution.
  • A Nuance Communications study finds that 71 percent of physicians would be more responsive to clinical documentation improvement clarifications if they were delivered in real time within their EHR workflow.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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January 21, 2014 News 6 Comments

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Reader Comments

  • Whimps: It's not a courageous article. It's a biased article in the "Open Health News". That's like taking a comparison docu...
  • Keith McItkin, PhD.: Are not the scribes defeating the original purpose of CPOE and EHR, which was to avoid non physicians from performing th...
  • David: Doesn't this go to show that Meaningful Use was needed to cause change in the EHR world? I'm not an expert, but this so...
  • Mobile Man: Very, very interesting! Thank you both. And, I must say - I love the "final thoughts". Many/Most don't end with an ...
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