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HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS15

April 4, 2015 News No Comments

Download the printable PDF version of this guide to bring along to the conference here.


2-13-2013 6-35-16 PM

Booth 2256

Contact: Lindsey Keith, sales and marketing operations manager

One place. One view. ALL of your forms. Access develops electronic forms management solutions that eliminate the expense, risk, and inefficiency of paper forms. Our software, including Web-based Access Passport, enables organizations to capture, manage, sign and share e-forms data with other systems without paper, printers or scanners. Staff can interact with paperless e-forms anywhere, anytime using any device. Stamp your passport to paperless at HIMSS booth 2256 and learn more at



Booth 4421

Contact: Jeaniene Outley, executive assistant

AirStrip enables health systems to achieve interoperability with vendor- and data-agnostic mobile technology solutions for doctors, nurses, and other caregivers that seamlessly provide the engagement, collaboration, and insight required to care for others anytime, anywhere. AirStrip is the trusted champion for complete interoperability across all sources of health information throughout the continuum of care.     HIMSS15 is the perfect opportunity to see how the AirStrip ONE mobile interoperability platform and solutions integrate disparate systems, data and devices, and eliminate barriers between technologies, people, and processes. Visit the AirStrip booth to discuss the technology you are using today. We’ll focus on your immediate needs as well as your plans for future innovation.

AirStrip will donate $1 for every badge scanned at the AirStrip HIMSS booth to a local Chicago charity. AirStrip is also running a #HIMSS15 giveaway on Twitter. Follow @AirStripmHealth to learn more.

AirWatch by VMware


Booth 8164

Contact: Jeff Pool, director of healthcare solutions

AirWatch by VMware is the leader in healthcare mobility management, with more than 14,000 global customers. The AirWatch platform includes industry-leading mobile device, email, application, content, and browser management solutions. This year at HIMSS15 we have a demo station in our booth where you can meet with sales executives to get an overview of our solution. We also have a presence in the VMware booth (2268), featuring theater-style presentations and a separate demo area. Acquired by VMware in February 2014, AirWatch is based in Atlanta and can be found online at

Anthelio Healthcare Solutions


Booth 7132

Contact: Andrea Watson, executive sales assistant/conference coordinator

Anthelio is the largest independent provider of healthcare technology solutions. The company impacts quality care for over 6 million patients through its innovative solutions in the areas of IT, interoperability, EHR, HIM, patient engagement, and analytics. Stop by booth 7132 during HIMSS15 to learn about our cutting-edge solutions and shoot hoops with us!

We invite you to join Anthelio’s Casino Night for the ultimate HIMSS15 experience atop Willis Tower, the second-tallest building in the country. The breathtaking views, free drinks, cocktails, heavy hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, DJ, casino games, prizes, gift certificates, and much, much more await you … reserve your space early since capacity is limited. To RSVP, contact Andrea at

Aprima Medical Software


Booth 3020

Contact: Judy Friedman, marketing and events

Aprima is unveiling its new Aprima NOW technology at HIMSS. This important new technology gives users greater functionality than ever before when viewing and managing patient data from their mobile and tablet devices. Thousands of providers have left their old EHR and made the move to Aprima. Aprima ranks among the top five vendors that physicians choose to replace their previous EHR. Here’s just a few reasons why:

  • You’ll document patient visits with lightning speed.
  • Aprima helps you navigate MU, ICD-10, PQRS, CQMs and more.
  • More than 50,000 people already use Aprima.
  • All customer support is US-based.
  • Our customers tell us they can see more patients, enjoy improved financial performance and are able to spend more time with their families.

Aprima is one of the few companies with a 17-year track record of success. To learn more about Aprima, or for a demo of the Aprima NOW app, visit us at HIMSS in booth 3020 or visit

Arcadia Healthcare Solutions


Booth 7834

Contact: Greg Chittim, vice president, strategic marketing and business development

Arcadia Healthcare Solutions is an EHR Data Aggregation and Analytics technology company trusted by provider groups, health plans, and integrated delivery networks nationwide. Key events at HIMSS15 include:

  • Monday, 4:30pm @ Booth 7834 – “Have a Sam Adams with Sam Adams” – join our SVP Sam Adams for an open bar, appetizers, and informative demos. Prizes to anyone who has a name joke that Sam hasn’t heard before.
  • Monday, 6:30pm @ Palmer House Hotel – Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards – Join longtime Arcadia client Carlos Olivares, CEO of the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, as he is honored as “Innovator of the Year.”
  • Tuesday, 12:00pm @ Room S501-BC – “6 Things You Don’t Know About Your Patient … Because You’re Underutilizing EHR Data” – a Lunch and Learn sharing key insights and  “a ha!” visualizations of populations and practices.
  • Wednesday, 1:00pm @ Room S404 – “Bad Data’s Effect on Pop Health” – Join Bill Gillis, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization, as he presents the implementation and outcomes of an EHR Data Quality program.

Giveaway: Stop by our booth, 7834, for the chance to win an Apple Watch, Moto 360, or Fitbit Surge smartwatch.

Aspen Advisors, part of The Chartis Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Dan Herman, information and technology practice leader

Aspen Advisors is a top-ranked IT advisory services firm that works with leading healthcare organizations across the country to enhance care delivery, improve community health status, and achieve market distinction through the strategic and effective use of technology. In November 2014, Aspen joined The Chartis Group, a leading healthcare strategy consultancy, to deliver leading-edge capabilities in information technology in a way that is powerfully integrated with client strategy, clinical delivery, and evolving business models. Together, we provide healthcare providers with uniquely experienced senior healthcare professionals and consultants who apply a distinctive knowledge of healthcare economics, markets, clinical models, and technology to help clients achieve unequaled results.

Ultimately, our goal is to help you realize the value of your IT investments and continue to improve the effectiveness of your organization in improving the patient experience of care and the health of populations, while reducing the per capita cost of healthcare. Learn more at

Billian’s HealthDATA


Booth 2045

Contact: Jessica Clifton

Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research offer unparalleled healthcare business insight and go-to-market research programs that help HIT firms and healthcare suppliers identify the best avenues to sell and market their products and services. Schedule your healthcare sales intelligence database demo by contacting or learn more at

Stop by booth 2045 on Tuesday, April 14, between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. to learn more over complimentary cocktails and appetizers.

Capsule Tech

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Booth 455

Contact: Brianna Roy, marketing and even specialist

Capsule unlocks the power of medical device data to provide healthcare organizations with the critical patient and device information they need to provide safer, more efficient patient care. Its SmartLinx Medical Device Information System delivers connectivity, advanced integration, and analytics that turn volumes of patient data into relevant information.

Giveaway: Raffling off a Samsung Galaxy 4 Tablet

CareTech Solutions


Booth 7819

Contact: Lisa Kennedy, director of marketing and communications

CareTech Solutions is an information technology and Web products and services provider for U.S. hospitals and health systems, creating value for clients through customized IT solutions that contribute to improving the patient experience while lowering healthcare costs. From implementing emerging technologies to supporting day-to-day IT operations, CareTech offers clients expert health information technology services earning it the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Best in KLAS award for IT Outsourcing (Extensive), and the 2012 and 2013 IT Partial Outsourcing Award as ranked by healthcare executives and professionals in the respective annual “Best in KLAS Awards: Software & Services” report.   

Come visit us at HIMSS15, booth 7819! We have your passport to healthcare innovation – everything you need to know to be successful in navigating the changes in the healthcare industry! For more information, please visit



Booth 4094

Contact: Christopher Marshall, COO

CenterX is a comprehensive e-prescribing network focused on improving patients medication adherence. CenterX offers advanced e-prescribing services, electronic prior authorization, clinically relevant prescription history, full clinical fax service, and clinical messaging and HISP services/CCD exchanges. CenterX works with prescribers, pharmacies, payers, and software vendors to create an open, efficient network that reduces cost and improves patient care.

Giveaway: Stop by booth 4094 to learn about CenterX, view a demo, and to pick up a swag bag, water bottle, pens and notepads.

ChartMaxx by Quest Diagnostics


Booth 1280

Contact: Vicki Joyce, ChartMaxx Marketing Specialist

Coffee, Lattes and Actionable Insights. Visit ChartMaxx at Quest Diagnostics booth 1280 for your favorite barista java and learn more about how to transform your data into actionable insights with our ECM and BPM solutions.

Giveaway: Fill out a "Slice of the Windy City" game card and enter for a chance to win one of four Chicago prizes.

Clinical Architecture


Booth 2074

Contact: John Wilkinson, Vice President, Business Development

Clinical Architecture is the leading provider of innovative healthcare terminology solutions. We develop software that evolves the way the healthcare industry overcomes challenges related to information; with a focus on improving quality, usability and reducing the burden on resources. We developed Symedical®, our comprehensive software suite, as a fully customizable platform for the acquisition, maintenance, and distribution of the terminologies you need. Let us show you how Symedical can provide the foundation for establishing and maintaining semantic interoperability.

Stop by booth 2074 to talk with one of our team members, enter to win our raffle, and check out our giveaways. For more information, and to schedule a time in advance to meet at HIMSS, visit:



Booth 8191 Kiosk M-28 in the HX360 Innovation Pavilion

Contact: Michael Burke, CEO

Clockwise.MD –  a finalist in this year’s HX360 Innovation Challenge – improves the experience of waiting for care. Patients can make online reservations or appointments, and are kept informed of wait status via text message and a dashboard in the waiting area. During delays, patients can leave the waiting area and receive a message when it’s time to return. On discharge, patients review the facility via a text survey and are invited to share their experience on review sites. Come see us in the Innovation Pavilion, booth 8191, kiosk M-28.


2-12-2014 6-07-51 PM

Booth 4873

Contact: Jay Savaiano, director, worldwide healthcare business development

Come learn how CommVault can turn your data into a valuable strategic asset. Our data storage and backup solutions can help you unlock data silos and put your data to work for you.

Giveaway: Enter to win an Xbox One with Kinect and a one-year Xbox Gold Live membership. Daily drawings, must be present to win.



Booth 6027

Contact: Alison Bechtel, marketing manager

At HIMSS15 you will have the opportunity to speak with our experts on how CoverMyMeds automates the electronic prior authorization process for EHRs, PBMs and health plans, prescribers, and pharmacists. We are the only ePA vendor with all payer, all medication ePA functionality and we’d love to show you how it works. ePA National Adoption Scorecard talks will be held at booth 6027 Monday at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. for EHR/Health Systems track and Tuesday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for PBM/Plans track.

CTG Health Solutions


Booth 1580

Contact: Amanda LeBlanc, managing director, marketing and communications

Established in 1987, CTG Health Solutions, the healthcare business unit of CTG, is one of the largest providers of IT consulting services in the U.S. today with 600+ clients, and is dedicated to helping provider/payer organizations achieve their strategic, clinical, financial, and operational objectives by providing the highest quality clinical, business, and IT solutions. CTG (NASDAQ: CTG) is a publicly owned IT services and solutions company that generated revenue of $393 million in 2014. CTG Health Solutions will partner  with IntrepidHealthcare to broadcast interviews—in a program called “#TalkHITwithCTG” – with many of today’s leading authorities on #HealthIT during #HIMSS15 (in our booth 1580, April 13 & 14) and then sharing the recorded version of these interviews after HIMSS.

Cumberland Consulting Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Dave Vreeland, partner

Cumberland Consulting Group is a national information technology advisory, implementation, and support services firm serving the payer, provider, accountable care, and life sciences healthcare verticals. We specialize in providing technology implementation and project management support to help our clients advance the quality of services they deliver and improve their overall business performance. There will be several Cumberland representatives at HIMSS and we’d love to chat with you about your IT project needs. For more information on Cumberland, please visit

Direct Consulting Associates


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Anthony Caponi, vice president of healthcare IT

Direct Consulting Associates (DCA) provides a broad range of IT consulting and staffing solutions including staff augmentation, temp-to-perm, and direct hire for enterprise and healthcare IT initiatives. Whether you’re an IT professional searching for that perfect opportunity or a client company looking for the very best IT talent you can trust, rely on DCA to help meet your goals.



Booth 1891

Contact: Keri DeSalvo, marketing manager

Divurgent will feature a fast-paced, interactive Trivia Charity Drive inspired by the explosively popular mobile app game, Trivia Crack. It will be hard to miss the vibrantly-colored Trivia Charity Wheel as HIMSS attendees spin to see what trivia category they will land on, along with what donation value Divurgent will contribute on the attendee’s behalf. Everyone is welcome to participate to help Divurgent meet its goal of raising $5,000 for Lurie Children’s.

Divurgent is a nationally recognized healthcare IT consulting firm, specializing in cyber-security and privacy solutions, population health management, clinical documentation improvement, and activation management and training. Visit booth 1891 to learn how Divurgent can help improve your operational effectiveness, financial performance, and quality of patient care. To view all of Divurgent’s exciting events and happenings during HIMSS, click here.



Booth 7832

Contact: Patrick Hall, executive vice president, business development

E-MDs is a leading developer of integrated EHRs and practice management software for physician practices and enterprises. Founded and actively managed by physicians, the company is an industry leader for usable, connected software that enables physician productivity and a superior clinical experience. E-MDs software has received continual top rankings in physician and industry surveys including those conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Family Practice Management, AmericanEHR Partners, MedScape, and Black Book. E-MDs has a proven track record of positioning clients for success as demonstrated by Meaningful Use attainment in 2011, 2013, and 2014, and is currently rolling out Meaningful Use Stage 2-compliant solutions to clients. According to data provided by CMS, E-MDs clients are attesting in the top proportion of all major vendors. For more information, please visit,, and


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Booth 2749

Contact: David Tucker, vice president of national sales

Celebrating our 25th year in business, we pride ourselves on assisting healthcare organizations make the most out of their healthcare IT investments. Our team of clinical support professionals increases adoption and usability among clinical and physician teams by helping prepare, implement, and optimize your EHR systems. Stop by booth 2749 to discuss your goals and challenges. We would be happy to help!

Experian Health/Passport


Booth 2677

Contact: Cindy Dullea, chief marketing officer

Experian Health and Passport provide the healthcare industry with a single platform that orchestrates every facet of the revenue cycle. Our integrated offering redefines efficiency with an exception-based workflow, Touchless Processing, and data and analytics to ensure unmatched payment certainty from patients and payers.

Giveaway: Visit booth 2677 and receive a Starbucks gift card—all while learning more about our Best in KLAS solutions to automate up to 80 percent of manual processes with intelligent automation.

Extension Healthcare

2-12-2014 7-36-22 PM

Booth 4408 / Intelligent Hospital Pavilion Booth 6656-23

Contact: Jenny Kakasuleff, PR manager

Extension Healthcare will exhibit in booth 4408, as well as part of the Intelligent Hospital Pavilion in booth 6656-23. Our main booth will feature:

Demonstrations of the new release of Extension Engage (v5). Recharging lounge with seating, multiple charging stations, and individual tablet demos. The first 250 visitors who "listen and learn" will receive their own ear buds and case. Grand prize drawing for visitors who fill out a short survey worth $500. Private room available to meet with an Extension Healthcare representative.

Our solutions will also be featured in Cisco Systems booth 2002.

Falcon Consulting Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Brendan Downing, partner

Falcon Consulting is a comprehensive Chicago-based healthcare consultancy founded in 2010 that boasts a primary capability as a provider of Epic Systems implementation and support services.  Falcon has experienced tremendous growth over the last three years and now deploys more than 130 consultants at 35 clients across the nation, serving in myriad capacities supporting a wide range of Epic applications and functions.  Falcon recently pivoted its operating model by focusing on the acquisition of several operational experts from a market-leading Big 4 management consulting firm in an effort to continue driving value across all aspects of our provider organizations.  

Falcon Consulting partitions its services into three main categories: Technology Services/Staff Augmentation, Professional Services, and Tools/Analytics. Our Technology Services team consists mainly of former Epic employees with market leading expertise, which is continually underscored by our outstanding client references.  The Professional Services vertical focuses on strategy and operations across all areas of the provider organization- from Planning and Strategy to Performance Improvement. Lastly, our tools are developed internally to tackle the most complex issues that our clients have faced during our time on the ground. They are built to focus specifically on real issues with value driven results. It is Falcon Consulting’s mission to provide the highest quality consulting services that deliver industry leading value. We firmly believe in creating a partnership with our clients and generating a mutually beneficial relationship which, in the end, drives the best possible patient quality outcomes and financial sustainability.

Falcon has reserved a dedicated meeting room (MP7) to hold meetings with current and prospective clients. Please reach out to Brendan Downing (brendan@falconconsulting or 312-751-8900) if you would like to schedule time to hear about one of Falcon’s service offerings.

FDB (First DataBank)

2-15-2013 2-41-17 PM

Booth 2260

Contact: David Manin, director of marketing

For HIMSS15, FDB (First Databank) has more than doubled its booth size (booth 2260) to share space with our sister companies – Zynx Health, MCG, and Homecare Homebase – under the Hearst Health network. FDB will highlight the following solutions: FDB Cloud Connector (FDB drug knowledge delivered though Web services); AlertSpace (for medication alert customization); MedsTracker (for medication reconciliation); Meducation by Polyglot (for patient medication adherence); Interoperability Module (for medication-related interoperability support); and OrderKnowledge (for medication ordering).

Giveaway: Stop by for a free cup of gourmet coffee!



Booth 1538

Contact: Philip Blanks, marketing manager

Experience Higher Performance at FormFast Booth 1538! FormFast empowers hospitals by automating documents and workflow, capturing data and streamlining operations. FormFast’s productivity platform fills the gaps between different clinical and non-clinical hospital technologies. FormFast’s healthcare business solutions empower hospitals with actionable information and streamlined processes. By automating data capture and document workflow, we help hospitals achieve new levels of operational efficiency. This allows them to concentrate on their core mission – delivering quality care.

Giveaway: Come to booth 1538 and see FormFast’s productivity solutions; explore the innovative, evolutionary BMW i8; and win an all-expense paid trip for two to Las Vegas for a test drive.

Forward Health Group


Booth 5052

Contact: Barry Wightman, manager, media and communications

Co-boothed with the American Heart Association and The Guideline Advantage, Forward Health Group will show off its powerful population health management toolset – PopulationManager. Highly ranked by KLAS, PopulationManager transforms chaotic data from disparate sources into valuable fuel, ready to identify and manage high-risk and/or high-cost patient populations, driving clinical outcomes improvement and financial success.

Giveaway: Stop by the booth and, if you’re really good, you’ll get a very cool LED flash light – shine a light on your data!

GE Healthcare


Booth 939

Contact: Chris Bowler, general manager, Americas region marketing

Visit GE Healthcare IT at booth 939 to learn how actionable insights can help you improve clinical, financial, and operational outcomes. Our 17 demo stations include solutions for financial management, population health, enterprise imaging, and care delivery management. And don’t miss our Augmented Reality Theater, where you can see firsthand how our software, services, and ecosystem help you spark success.

Giveaway: Enjoy fresh popcorn and a 35-foot-wide cinema experience.



Booth 6627

Contact: Tony Cook, vice president, marketing

Why come to our booth? Learn how our patient engagement solutions help healthcare providers engage, educate, and empower patients along the care continuum. Our patient-centered platform, delivered across mobile devices, computers, and televisions, enables providers to implement a care delivery model called Interactive Patient Care to improve performance and patient outcomes. The company extends the value of existing IT investments by integrating with EHR and patient portals.  GetWellNetwork was named the category leader for Interactive Patient Systems for the fifth consecutive year by KLAS.

Giveaway: Visit our booth to learn more about GetWellNetwork and enter a drawing to win a FitBit Charge.  

Greencastle Associates Consulting

2-10-2014 9-24-39 AM

To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Joe Crandall, director

Greenway Health


Booth 1806

Contact: Ryan Grable, Director, Demand Generation

Get connected to Greenway Health at booth 1806 and discover innovation that helps you practice medicine your way. With 10 percent of ambulatory providers in the U.S. using our solutions today, we offer intuitive EHRs and other tools; clinical templates that rank as the best in the business; and robust population health, patient engagement, and revenue cycle solutions. We’re also leading the industry in exchanging clinical data. Ask how we can help you! Visit Greenway Health at booth 1806!

Hayes Management Consulting


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Patty Kellicker, Vice President, Marketing
617-559-0404, Ext 249

Hayes Management Consulting partners with healthcare organizations to streamline operations, improve revenue, and enhance technology to drive success in an evolving healthcare landscape. We are different than other consulting firms – our consultants come from the frontlines of healthcare and not only understand the day-to-day challenges you face, but weave those realities into everything we do, which is why 75 percent of our clients come back for another project. Learn more at

The HCi Group

2-14-2014 6-34-48 AM

Booth 5155

Contact: Mitch Paine, executive vice president of business development

At the HCi Group, we take pride in being a high-quality, value-driven provider for our clients. The HCi Group was founded on the principle that hospitals can have superior talent at reduced cost. We take a holistic approach to provide creative solutions and bring exceptional staff to our clients, ensuring the success of their initiatives. Many clients recommend the HCI Group as a result of our personal, prompt attention from leaders. The HCI Group forms working partnerships based on flexibility, responsiveness, and an entrepreneurial spirit. From the top down, our people will take on your project as our own.

Flexibility. The HCI Group produces highly creative and flexible solutions that will reduce risk and enhance outcomes. Quality. The HCi Group’s team of experienced professionals will consider every detail and go above and beyond to ensure success. Cost-effective solutions. Through collaborative planning and a lean business model, the HCi Group is able to target your pain points and offer comprehensive solutions at competitive rates, ensuring positive outcomes. We believe that selecting the HCi Group as your agile vendor partner will help to reduce the cost of implementing healthcare by delivering nimble, innovative solutions. And we prove it every day we go to work.

Health Care Software (HCS)

1-15-2012 3-58-32 PM

Booth 1709

Contact: Tom Visotsky, executive vice president, sales and marketing
732.938.5600, Ext 325

The HCS Interactant platform is an enterprise solution that includes integrated clinical and financial modules that address regulatory and functional requirements for acute care, post-acute care, and behavioral health.  Please visit HCS at booth 1709 to experience Interactant, our single platform solution that offers revenue cycle, financial management, EHR, and reporting and analytics capabilities.

Giveaways: Visit us for a demo and enter our drawing for a $250 American Express gift card. HCS is participating in the HIMSS LTC and Behavioral Health Task Force and will be giving away special gifts to LTPAC and behavioral health providers that visit our booth. We will also be hosting a night of baseball, beer, and burgers at the Brixen Ivy Rooftop overlooking Wrigley Field on Tuesday, April 14. In addition to fun, food, and HIT friends, we’ll be sending one lucky attendee home with a baseball autographed by Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. We invite LTPAC and behavioral health providers to contact us at or visit booth 1709 for details.

Health Catalyst


Booth 7545

Contact: Patty Burke, program manager

Click here to set up a meeting or a time to view a short demo and be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift card. Or, simply swing by booth 7545 to say hello and meet our team.


2-13-2014 5-06-47 PM

Booth 5273

Contact: Karen Hitchcock, director of marketing

Healthfinch makes Care Redesign applications that seamlessly integrate with the EHR to automate, delegate, and simplify the clinical tasks that are overwhelming physician inboxes. Our flagship product, Swoop (formerly RefillWizard), is used by major health systems to automate the prescription renewal request workflow. Using Swoop, organizations have dramatically decreased physician inbox tasks, saving over 1.5 million minutes of physician time. In addition to the time and efficiency savings, Swoop’s “care gap batching” feature identifies when patients are due for an office visit or diagnostic test. This proactive approach to patient care can be a critical component to quality improvement programs.

We invite HISTalk supporters to stop by the Healthfinch booth, 5273, at HIMSS. Meet our leadership team, including Lyle Berkowitz, MD a thought leader in #doctorhappiness, care redesign, and medical informatics. For those who schedule meeting times with us before April 11, we’re setting aside our limited edition Evolution of Care T-shirts, featuring Charlie, the happiest, hardest working healthfinch in the industry! See you there! (To book a specific meeting time and to reserve your T-shirt, please contact

Huron Healthcare


Contact: Casey Liakos

Huron Healthcare is the premier provider of performance improvement and clinical transformation solutions for hospitals and health systems. By partnering with clients, Huron delivers strategy and solutions that improve quality; increase revenue; reduce expenses; and enhance physician, patient, and employee satisfaction across the healthcare enterprise. Clients include leading national and regional integrated healthcare systems, academic medical centers, community hospitals, and physician practices.

Iatric Systems


Booth 7815

Contact: Judy Volker, marketing director

We hope you’ll stop by the Iatric Systems booth, #7815, at the HIMSS conference from April 12-16, 2015, in Chicago, and learn how we can help you get the right data to the right people at the right time. We also would love to discuss your upcoming needs regarding integration, patient privacy, medical device connectivity, the patient experience, Meaningful Use, HIE implementation, and any other healthcare IT requirements you may have.

Also, be sure to attend the educational session, "Stop Insider Snooping and Protect Your Patient Trust," April 14, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. CT, room S406, presented by Marc Combs, AVP and assistant chief information officer, West Virginia United Health System; and Rob Rhodes, director of patient privacy, Iatric Systems.

Giveaway: Have some fun while you’re with us – we’ll show some thrilling GoPro videos, and you can register to win a GoPro Hero3+ Silver.


2-4-2014 1-30-39 PM

Booth 3848

Contact: Mark Erwich, vice president, marketing

Imprivata, the healthcare IT security company, is a leading provider of authentication, access management, and secure communications solutions. More than 1,200 healthcare organizations and 3 million end users globally rely on Imprivata’s solutions to improve provider productivity for better focus on the patient experience. At HIMSS15, Imprivata will showcase its portfolio of solutions, including:

  • Imprivata OneSign, which delivers fast, secure No Click Access to EMRs, clinical applications, virtual desktops, and patient information.
  • Imprivata Cortext, which enables secure, efficient communication and care coordination between providers across multiple healthcare organizations.
  • Imprivata Confirm ID, which is the fast, secure signing solution for electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

In addition, Imprivata will feature a theater at its booth where customers will share their experiences and success stories using Imprivata solutions. Imprivata will have more than 35 presentations delivered by IT executives from hospitals and health systems providing details about their technology infrastructure, some of the challenges they faced, and how they are leveraging Imprivata’s solutions to address them. To pre-book a meeting with Imprivata, please visit

Influence Health


Booth 3148

Contact: Anna Powell, vice president, marketing

HIMSS15 is all about TRANSFORMATION at the Influence Health booth 3148 – from a platform that is transforming healthcare to a transformed name and booth. The Influence Health platform is the industry’s only integrated digital consumer engagement and activation platform. It is helping organizations transform healthcare by enabling providers, employers, and payers to positively influence consumer decision making and health behaviors well beyond the physical care setting through personalized and interactive multi-channel engagement. Since 1996, the Birmingham, AL-based company has helped more than 1,100 provider organizations influence consumers in a way that is transformative to financial and quality outcomes. For more information, please visit


2-13-2014 5-21-18 PM

Booth 961

Contact: Jerry Hinch, director of North American marketing

Be the first to know. Attend our new product announcement, Monday, April 13, 1:30 PM, for a revolution in patient engagement. InterSystems develops advanced software technologies that enable breakthroughs. With a passion for excellence and a focus on client success, InterSystems provides data management, strategic interoperability, and analytics platforms used in healthcare, financial services, government, and dozens of other industries. In selected countries, InterSystems also offers unified healthcare applications, based on these platforms, that deliver on the promise of connected healthcare. Founded in 1978, InterSystems is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices worldwide, and its products are used daily by millions of people in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit

Legacy Data Access


Booth 3455

Contact: John Hanggi, director

Legacy Data Access has retired 163 different healthcare applications – a total of 362 healthcare applications!  As a vendor-neutral archive provider, LDA has extensive experience in retiring numerous clinical applications including orders/results, nursing documentation, ancillary applications, and in many cases provides a Legal Medical Record for the stored data. Revenue cycle solutions include receivables functionality for earlier retirement of those applications. With a singular focus on the healthcare industry, Legacy Data Access stores data from applications – clinical, revenue cycle, ERP, ancillary, practice management and EHR – that are being retired and provides secure, Web-based access to the information. LDA’s solutions support financial and clinical processes and strategies by maintaining all detail, providing functionality based on your user requirements, improving productivity, and providing significant cost savings. If you are still running old applications just to get to the old data – we need to talk! We look forward to seeing you at our booth, 3455!



Booth 4674

Contact: Jackie Leckas, vice president, marketing

Medical image exchange is gaining momentum as a must-have clinical capability. When physicians can easily access their patients’ external imaging histories, they can make faster, more informed decisions, and they also order fewer repeat imaging procedures. LifeImage provides a platform for medical image sharing that all of the ‘ologies in the healthcare enterprise can leverage to send and receive imaging, and import it to local systems. We also integrate with Epic and Cerner to make outside exams easily available to care providers who are already working in the EHR. Visit our booth at HIMSS to learn about adopting image exchange at your organization.

Giveaway: All booth visitors will take home a mobile phone power bank to ensure their devices stay powered up during their Chicago travels.



To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Christine Alfano, senior director of corporate and product marketing

MEA|NEA will conduct meetings at HIMSS with healthcare clients and partners interested in streamlining their revenue cycle via electronic claim attachment processes. CEO Lindy Benton will be on-hand, as well as Chief Development Officer Kent McAllister, VP of Sales Scott Hefner and Senior Director or Corporate and Product Marketing Christine Alfano. Our team would love to meet with you. To schedule an appointment, please contact and let us know your area of interest.



Booth 108

Contact: Yoni Ben-Yehuda

MedCPU delivers accurate, real-time, enterprise decision-support software and services through its proprietary Advisor technology. MedCPU captures the complete clinical picture from clinicians’ free-text notes, dictations, discharge summaries, and structured documentation entered into any EHR, and analyzes it against a growing library of best-practice content, generating real-time precise prompts for best care consideration. MedCPU’s founding multi-disciplinary team has been pioneering new clinical decision support for nearly 20 years, delivering intelligent error-reduction software systems to hospitals across the United States. MedCPU’s applications include clinical and compliance support solutions. Visit booth #108 to see the future of decision support today!


2-13-2014 5-41-24 PM

Booth 4851

Contact: Chris Farrell, vice president of marketing

MedData is a leading national provider of revenue cycle management and patient financial lifecycle solutions, including billing, coding, collections, and patient satisfaction. We’ve provided innovative billing solutions to the medical community across a variety of specialties since 1980.

Giveaways: Stop by our booth for freshly baked scones, Operation challenge, and daily drawings for an Amazon gift card.



Booth 1817

Contact: Tom Mitchell, vice president of marketing

Medhost is a provider of market-leading enterprise, departmental and healthcare engagement solutions to approximately 1,000 healthcare facilities. Our healthcare management system includes intuitive, easy-to-use and SaaS-enabled solutions, including YourCareUniverse, a comprehensive suite of cloud-based patient and provider engagement applications. Our robust offering of managed hosting, outsourcing and consulting services that are changing how clinicians and hospital leaders work and communicate, while generating notable operational, patient flow, care and revenue improvements. MEDHOST delivers value by enabling hospitals of all types and all sizes to better manage care and the business of healthcare while meeting evolving regulatory requirements.

Medhost will promote release of YourCareUniverse in our booth. YourCareUniverse, Inc. provides a comprehensive, integrated, cloud-based solution for managing the digital patient and supporting the consumer in a way that enables a healthcare organization to be the trusted source of health information and services within their community. Part of YourCareUniverse, we will also be highlighting YourCareEverywhere, a health and wellness site that provides medical information and localized branding for hospitals. We encourage all providers to come take a test drive of YourCareEverywhere. YourCareUniverse will also be highlighted in the Interoperability Showcase as part of a connected demonstration use case featuring the YourCareHealth portal.

Additionally, MEDHOST will be providing demos on our Physician Experience solution which provides charting, noting and the important orders management in a workflow that is natural to physicians. Other demos include our Emergency Department Information System, our Perioperative solution and AHA-endorsed Patient Flow application.



Booth 3431

Contact: Lauren Tilelli, director of marketing

Medicity, a Healthagen business, powers clinically integrated networks for over 100 organizations, which together have more than 1,000 hospitals and 250,000 end users. Its core solutions for real-time care coordination, population health analytics, and leakage and steerage empower clients to achieve accountable care goals while advancing population health today and tomorrow. As the healthcare industry transitions to value-based care, large organizations and independent practices alike are challenged to implement solutions that provide the data and integrated workflow tools needed to meet their population health goals. This will be Medicity’s focus at HIMSS2015, as it shares its latest developments to help organizations identify high-risk populations, meet Meaningful Use objectives, improve patient outcomes, and reduce cost of care.

We can help you: identify and reduce leakage while growing market share; gain a full historic view of each patient in your population in seconds instead of days; alert providers and care managers when patients are admitted to, or discharged from, a health care facility; and quickly and securely engage providers and communicate across care settings.

Medicomp Systems


Booth 2318

Contact: David Lareau, CEO

Lights, camera, action! Let’s play Quipstar! Back by popular demand, Medicomp Systems invites you to play Quipstar, the World’s Favorite HIT Quiz Show. Medicomp will show the live studio audience why doctors love Quippe, an easy-to-use documentation tool that works with your existing EHR, and that saves doctors time so they can see more patients. Contestants selected from the studio audience (this could be YOU!) will compete against popular HIT stars like Jacob Reider, MD Ross Martin, MD and Lyle Berkowitz, MD for cash and prizes.

Giveaways: At each show we’ll give away 10 (yes, 10!) iPad Air 2s, cash, and prizes. Only two shows daily so register now at



Booth 1699

Contact: John Pollard, senior director of marketing

Nordic is the world’s largest Epic consulting practice. Since 2012, Nordic has been ranked #1 by KLAS for providing Epic EHR consulting services to healthcare organizations. You can find Nordic at booth 1699. Look for the green Nordic banner just down the aisle from Epic. To make sure the right experts are available when you stop by our booth, we’ve set up “office hours.” We’ll discuss population health, a variety of ROI-based approaches to Epic optimization, dealing with mergers and acquisitions, guiding you through health IT complexity, and saving money on maintenance and support daily. View the hours at  While we’ll be sure to have specialists available during these times, we welcome you to arrange a time to discuss any of your Epic-related projects or challenges. Simply contact your Nordic representative or write We’ll be sure to make time for you!

NTT Data

2-13-2014 5-49-32 PM

Booth 3943

Contact: Larry Kaiser, senior marketing manager

NTT DATA offers healthcare organizations a complete IT solution with applications that increase efficiency, reduce medical errors, and enhance the revenue cycle. Led by our flagship solution, Optimum, NTT DATA helps bring together healthcare consumers and providers to share data and manage care effectively. We back that engagement process with a full range of clinical, RCM, accounting, and mobile solutions. NTT DATA will be promoting our complete hospital HIS at HIMSS.



Contact nVoq ( at HIMSS to learn more about SayIt, a true cloud-based speech recognition solution that converts speech to text within seconds. It also supports command and control through voice, or through voiceless “pop-up” shortcuts. NVoq will sponsor a Snack Hour in the HIStalk booth, 5371, on Tuesday, April 14 from 2-3pm CT. Stop by for Garrett’s popcorn and collectible lapel pins!

Oneview Healthcare


Booth 7330

Contact: Jeff Fallon, president, North America

The Oneview Healthcare patient engagement and clinical workflow solution is the most innovative interactive patient care system on the planet. Visit out booth to see why hospitals on four continents choose our platform to improve patient satisfaction, enhance outcomes and increase efficiencies.

Orion Health


Booth 4435

Contact: Sam Rosenbaum, senior marketing manager

All attendees who schedule a meeting prior to HIMSS with Orion Health will have a donation made on their behalf to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation For Childhood Cancer and be entered to win one of five Apple Watches. (Note: they will be shipped post-HIMSS as the release date is April 25.) Attendees can request a meeting by visiting

Park Place International

2-13-2014 5-58-32 PM

Booth 6015

Contact: Christine Mellyn, Director of Marketing


2-13-2014 6-01-16 PM

Booth 3639 in the Georgia Pavilion

Contact Josh Byrd, director of marketing

Patientco is the leading provider of cloud-based patient revenue cycle technology that empowers providers to optimize payments and increase business office efficiency through consumer-centric technology.     Patientco goes beyond basic payment capture to connect every patient payment event throughout a healthcare system — delivering unrivaled visibility into and control over the patient revenue cycle. The result is improved cash flow, reduced A/R days, cost-saving efficiencies, and increased patient and provider satisfaction. For more information, visit

This year, we are a sponsor of the Revenue Cycle Innovation Task Force (RCITF) Event at HIMSS. The task force findings will be presented in a brochure that can be picked up at the Patientco booth, 3639. We are located in the Georgia Pavilion.



Booth 3212

Contact: Kathy Ruggiero, senior director of corporate marketing

PatientKeeper provides more than 60,000 physician users at hospitals and practice groups an intuitive way to view and act on patient information. PatientKeeper applications for order entry, med rec, documentation, charge capture, and other physician workflows run on desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and tablets, and integrate with existing IT infrastructure. Using PatientKeeper helps providers improve patient care, migrate smoothly to ICD-10, and achieve sustained Meaningful Use.  

Giveaways: Visit the "PK Cafe" at PatientKeeper’s booth (3212) for a refreshing coffee or smoothie drink.


2-13-2014 6-04-27 PM

Booth 5225

Contact: Kimberly Koss, senior operations manager

PDR is a trusted healthcare communications company providing targeted, clinically relevant information to Prescribers, Pharmacists, Payers, and Patients to improve health outcomes. PDR products and services integrate seamlessly within workflow in an effort to educate healthcare providers and impact prescribing behavior through access to information for better health. Reach over 300,000 contracted prescribers and 250,000 deployed prescribers within workflow by leveraging PDR’s proprietary business rules engine, a system that processes nearly 1 billion healthcare transactions annually.

PDR’s behavior-based messaging system is customized based on the specific actions providers take within their e-prescribing tool during patient encounters. The flow of information does not stop when the exam room door closes. PDR’s suite of professional educational tools now ranges beyond the education of healthcare providers to the education of their patients, providing resources that are certified to support Meaningful Use requirements and motivate patients to achieve medication adherence.


2-13-2014 6-07-28 PM

Booth 7439

Contact: Tom Hills, executive vice president, sales

PerfectServe is a comprehensive communications and collaboration platform that provides a secure infrastructure uniting physicians, nurses and other care team members across the continuum. PerfectServe goes beyond secure text messaging to offer multimodal access and interoperability, minimizing your HIPAA-compliance risk and enhancing your EMR investment. Visit us in booth 7439 to learn how healthcare organizations can address the widest variety of communication workflows across all stakeholders, which drives maximum clinician adoption and results in meaningful quality and operational improvement. Plus, we have candy! To learn more about PerfectServe, visit

Phynd Technologies


Booth 2084

Contact: Thomas White, CEO
855.749.6363, Ext 710

The Phynd Provider Information Platform is a solution for poor provider data in the EHR and other systems. Phynd enables health systems to quickly and seamlessly integrate, manage, enroll "new" provider and analyze change data. With Phynd, hospitals improve revenue cycles, clinical communication, and productivity associated with managing provider data within multiple departments. At HIMSS, Phynd is part of the Interoperability Showcase with the leading EHR vendors and other related systems.

Porter Research, a Billian Company


Booth 2045

Contact: Cynthia Porter, president

Porter Research and Billian’s HealthDATA offer unparalleled healthcare business insight and go-to-market research programs that help HIT firms and healthcare suppliers identify the best avenues to sell and market their products and services. Learn more by contacting or visit

Stop by booth 2045 on Tuesday, April 14, between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. to learn more over complimentary cocktails and appetizers.

Sagacious Consultants


Booth 1690

Contact: Jesse Adams, executive vice president

Sagacious Consultants is your full-service business partner, leveraging technology to drive financial performance and improve patient care. Our strategic services help healthcare organizations increase revenue, decrease denials, and reduce AR days. Visit Sagacious Consultants at HIMSS booth 1690 for a chat with some of the EHR industry’s smartest leaders, including Founder and CEO Shane Adams and Principal Consultants Gordon Lashmett, George Evans, and Dr. Ron Jimenez. With experience as Epic CIOs and directors of clinical informatics, they will be available to offer advice about your most pressing technical and operational challenges.

Giveaway: Pick up some Sagacious swag while you’re visiting.

Sagacious Consultants will be rocking HIStalkapalooza as a Gold Sponsor. Invited guests can strut like rock stars on a red carpet at the House of Blues, grab a guitar or banjo prop, and strike a pose. Don’t leave without taking home a Sagacious rock poster commemorating this star-studded night for HIT.

Sandlot Solutions

2-15-2013 8-21-02 PM

Booth 2641 & 2939

Contact: Lisa Verrecchia, marketing director

Sandlot Solutions is a leading provider of clinical interoperability and community health management solutions focused on the exchange of clinical and claims data across the care community, population data analytics, and enhanced care coordination. Sandlot provides the tools and technology that enable healthcare organizations to improve the quality of care, understand and manage risk, reduce costs, and transition to new business models.

Giveaways: Sandlot Solutions is offering a tiered giveaway at HIMSS15. More interactions equals eligibility for higher-value prizes.

1st Tier Prize: Enter for a chance to win your choice of $100 Amazon Gift Card or iTunes Gift Card
2nd Tier Prize: Enter for a chance to win an iPad mini
3rd Tier Prize: Enter for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3

Interactions include a badge swipe at either of the Sandlot booths, a product demo at the main Sandlot booth (2641), and market research at the Sandlot attractor booth (2939).

Santa Rosa Consulting


Booth 2641 & 2939

Contact: Ashley Burkhead, sales operations and marketing manager

Santa Rosa Consulting is offering a tiered give-away at HIMSS15. More visits equals eligibility for higher-value prizes.

Tier 1: Visit booth 2641 or Fortified Health Solution’s kiosk in the Cyber Security Command Center and be entered for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Tier 2: Visit both booth 2641 AND our Fortified Health Solution’s kiosk in the Cyber Security Command Center and be entered for a chance to win your choice of an iOS or Android tablet valued at $500.

Tier 3: Visit both booth 2641, Fortified Health Solution’s kiosk at the Cyber Security Command Center AND participate in a Fortified Health Solution demo and be entered for a chance to win a LED TV of your choice valued at $700.

Sunquest Information Systems

2-13-2014 6-30-12 PM

Booth 923

Contact: Ajay Kapare, director, marketing


2-13-2014 6-44-51 PM

Booth 4390

Contact: Eric Pearlman, director of business development

Founded in 1997, Talksoft is an applications service provider (ASP) of reminder and notification services using phone, text, email, and mobile app. Talksoft’s service-based approach provides affordable solutions for businesses of any size. Subscribers pay only a usage-based fee – there are no long-term contract commitments, and no computer hardware purchases. For more information, call (866) 966-4700 or visit


2-13-2014 6-47-43 PM

Booth 3239

Contact: Robin Schroeder-Janonis, vice president of sales

TeraMedica is proud to be named the 2014 KLAS Category Leader for VNA/Image Archive. At HIMSS15, we are pleased to introduce our powerful analytics platform and dashboards. The new analytics platform takes advantage of existing customized, role-based dashboards. These dashboards support interactive reporting with dynamic data filtering and trending analysis across categories. Featuring one-click statistical data summaries and forecasts, the enhancements increase user productivity and insight. Complementing our VNA’s new user interface, the solution simplifies data management, access, and quality assurance.

Valence Health

2-14-2014 6-02-18 AM

Booth 5073

Contact: Kevin Weinstein, chief growth officer

Valence Health provides value-based care solutions for hospitals, health systems, and physicians to help them achieve clinical and financial rewards for more effectively managing patient populations. Leveraging 20 years of experience, Valence Health works with clients to design, build, and manage value-based care models customized for each client including clinically integrated networks, bundled payments, risk-based contracts, ACOs, and provider-sponsored health plans. Providers turn to Valence Health’s integrated set of advisory services, analytical solutions, and managed services to make the volume-to-value transition with a single partner, in a practical and flexible way. Valence Health’s 600 employees empower 39,000 physicians and 130 hospitals to advance the health of 20 million patients. For more information, visit  

Giveaway: Come visit us at HIMSS in booth 5073 for a demonstration of our newly enhanced population health technology solutions, and register to win a free Valence Health value-based care readiness assessment. The winning organization will work closely with our subject-matter experts to evaluate your healthcare IT capabilities as they relate to enhancing care outcomes and optimizing rewards for quality.

Versus Technology

2-14-2014 6-04-01 AM

Booth 2053

Contact: Stephanie Bertschy, director of marketing

Move over EMR – it’s time for REAL-TIME automation! Manual data entry is so old school. The Versus real-time locating solution (RTLS) is the “engine” needed today to drive automated processes, increased access to care, and enhanced patient experiences. Take your own test-drive at HIMSS15 – Versus offers the only live RTLS demonstration on the exhibit floor. Our Experience Center features a fully operational Versus Sensory Network, demonstrating real-time updates in clinical workflow. Learn how we use location data, combined with powerful workflow intelligence, to not only drive efficiency at the point of care, but also automatically document key performance measures – helping you measure and manage your operations.  Plus, be one of the first to see our new Clearview Net Badge and Asset Net Tag, featuring Versus’ accurate, patented infrared (IR) technology in combination with CCX Wi-Fi locating.  With five clients presenting four educational sessions at HIMSS, we also offer ample opportunity to speak with real RTLS users. From asset tracking to patient flow process improvement, systems integration and hand hygiene monitoring, we’re sure to put you in touch with a peer who can offer insight into your own initiatives.  Real hospitals, real clinics, real surgery centers rely on Versus as their partner for process improvement. Come to booth #2053 to put yourself in the driver’s seat and learn why.

Giveaway: The first 100 visitors to mention HISTalk will receive our collectible HIMSS15 blinky pin.



Booth 7139

Contact: Julie Bastien, marketing director

Meet the VisionWare team and find out what makes us the leading provider of master data management (MDM) solutions for hospitals, health systems and healthcare technology companies. We’ll walk you through a demo and show you how our solution ensures the success of our customers’ population health, big data, and patient engagement initiatives by providing a single source of truth across an enterprise. We enable multiple source systems to exchange data easily and empower decision-makers with a holistic view of their patients, providers or system as a whole. We look forward to seeing you at booth 7139!

Giveaway: Visit the VisionWare booth and have your personal caricature drawn by our onsite artists. You can wear it proudly around the halls of HIMSS or make it your new profile picture!



To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Marc Grossman, principal

Wellsoft Corp.

2-14-2014 6-09-07 AM

Booth 1742

Contact: Denise Helfand, vice president, sales and marketing

Consistently ranked #1 Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) by KLAS, (most recently awarded Best in KLAS 2014), Wellsoft EDIS offers an exceptional combination of experience, extensive workflow analysis, and award winning customer support. Wellsoft EDIS is certified for Meaningful Use. Software features include patient tracking, clinical documentation, CPOE/results, charge capture including infusion charge capture, risk management and CCD document exchange. Wellsoft is EDIS at its BEST! Visit Wellsoft at booth 1742 for a brief demonstration and to discuss how Wellsoft EDIS fully integrates with HIS and ancillary systems, AND can help with your roadmap to Meaningful Use attestation.

Wolters Kluwer Health


Booth 8103

Contact: Alyssa Lamoreaux, director of communications

A leader in point of care information, Wolters Kluwer Health Clinical Solutions provide best-of-breed offerings focused on improving the quality of care and driving clinical productivity. Hospitals, ASCs, physicians offices, payers, labs and retail pharmacies turn to us as their trusted partner for the content and tools they rely on every day. From clinical documentation, to clinical drug information, to clinical informatics and surveillance, to clinical decision support, our products deliver meaningful solutions clinicians value. Facts & Comparisons, Lexicomp, Medi-Span, ProVation Medical, ProVation Order Sets, Sentri7, Health Language & UpToDate.


2-14-2014 6-26-16 AM

Booth 4426

Contact: Kirsten LeMaster, VP, marketing and communications, healthcare provider solutions

Today’s Xerox simplifies the way work gets done in surprising ways. Like supporting healthcare professionals in over 1,900 hospitals. With consulting services, Midas+ analytics and adoption solutions from The Breakaway Group, A Xerox Company, we help healthcare providers apply, manage and use technology that simplifies caregiver workloads. So you have more time to focus on delivering the level of care everyone deserves.

Heather Haugen PhD, CEO of The Breakaway Group, a Xerox Company, will host a HIMSS session, “Beyond Implementation: Achieving Value from Your EHR after Implementation,” on April 15 at 8:30 a.m. in room S103 (Session ID: 33)

Giveaway: There will be a caricature artist in our booth drawing attendees that stop by our booth during exhibit hall hours.

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April 4, 2015 News No Comments

Readers Write: Why Some Physicians are Opting Out of Meaningful Use Attestation

April 3, 2015 Readers Write 3 Comments

Why Some Physicians are Opting Out of Meaningful Use Attestation
By Charles Settles


Since its inception, the Meaningful Use Incentive Program (MUIP) has paid out nearly $30 billion worth of incentives, but a rising number of physicians are opting out. Why?

2011, the first year of the MUIP, saw widespread interest. Nearly 200,000 eligible providers (EPs) and over 3,000 hospitals completed registration for either the Medicare or Medicaid versions of the program, according to the latest summary report from CMS. However, much of this original momentum appears to be lost. 2014 saw under 73,000 EPs and just 108 hospitals register across both programs.



Altogether, 515,158 registrations have been completed by EPs across both programs, with 415,550 unique EPs receiving an average of $25,190 in incentive payments. According to the CMS’s latest data, just over half of eligible providers have received an incentive payment. But what about the other (at least) 40 percent?

It can’t simply be a question of eligibility. According to Medscape’s 2014 EHR Report, only 22 percent of physicians are abandoning or have never supported the MUIP, but examining the CMS summary report suggests a much higher rate of attrition — only 23 percent of the 260,900 physician EPs who received a payment in 2013 received one in 2014. That translates to an attrition rate of just under 77 percent.

When considering the payments only by stage of the program, the numbers for physicians are even worse — only 5.7 percent of those physicians who received a payment for the first stage have received one for the second. More physicians will complete Stage 2 eventually, but the odds of making it to CMS’s 75 percent adoption rate target by 2018 appear to be growing shorter. The carrot simply hasn’t been enough.

The stick may not be enough either. If the 75 percent adoption rate target is not met, reimbursements stand to be cut by up to five percent. The average family physician, arguably the primary focus of the MUIP, receives about $100,000 per year from Medicare reimbursements, according to Dr. Jason Mitchell, former director of the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Center for Health IT. Since the penalties increase by one percent per year beginning with a one percent penalty in 2015, a physician receiving $100,000 annually could lose up to $10,000 in reimbursements through 2018. For some, the penalty is a small price to pay to not have to deal with requirements that they feel prevent them from delivering better patient care.

Dr. S. Steve Samudrala, medical director of America’s Family Doctors, was an early proponent of electronic health records, patient engagement, and other medical software systems. It seems ironic that Dr. Samudrala does not participate in the MUIP. Though his EHR (eClinicalWorks) is fully certified through Stage 2, Dr. Samudrala feels the reporting requirements for primary care physicians would prevent him from delivering the high quality, personal care his patients have come to expect.

He does acknowledge, though, that many independent primary care physicians have little choice in the matter — the incentives can make or break some smaller practices. Payments are shrinking, competition from hospital-owned groups is increasing, and medical practice brokers keep calling. Dr. Samudrala’s bet isn’t on incentives — he and a growing number of primary care physicians are proponents of what’s coming to be known as “direct primary care.”

The idea behind direct primary care, sometimes called “concierge medicine,” is to remove the expensive bureaucracy and processes associated with billing insurance or government programs and offer services directly to patients for a monthly or annual fee, supplemented by small co-pays. Though the number of successful direct primary care practices is small, and the trend doesn’t solely explain the number of physicians opting out of the MUIP, rising interest in the concept makes it worth mentioning.

Ultimately, the MUIP will likely be viewed as a success if widespread adoption of health IT was the goal. Adoption doubled between 2009 and 2013. Even if physicians don’t meet all the requirements to receive incentives, the benefits of health IT to providers, payers, and most importantly patients cannot be denied. We’ll likely see even more attrition from the MUIP with the announcement of the Stage 3 rules, but despite the growing disillusionment with the program, EHR and other health IT is here to stay.

Charles Settles is a product analyst at TechnologyAdvice.

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April 3, 2015 Readers Write 3 Comments

HIStalk Interviews Lalo Valdez, CEO, Stella Technology

April 3, 2015 Interviews 2 Comments

Lalo Valdez is president and CEO of Stella Technology of Sunnyvale, CA.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

I’ve been involved with Stella for over two years. Prior to Stella, I was the chief operating officer with Axolotl, an HIE company that was sold to UnitedHealth Group in 2010. Stella Technology is a healthcare IT software company. We’re in interoperability, standards, and care management integration.


What interoperability projects are health systems working on?

A big part of what they’re trying to accomplish is finding ways of building upon their existing infrastructures without having the big expense of doing a rip and replace. A lot of what we’re providing is just that — how to leverage what they already have. Real-time clinical data integration is a big part of it. We’ve been taking all the data that everybody has been collecting and doing something with it, such as analytics and quality measures.


What do you think about ONC’s interoperability roadmap?

We love the roadmap because that’s our sweet spot. When we talk about Stella, we talk about being an HIE and interoperability company that wants to adhere and support and push the standards in the industry. ONC’s roadmap and every single piece they’re doing hits our sweet spot. It’s exactly what we believe in, what they are trying to do. We think the national leadership that’s coming from ONC is going to allow the market to come together.

The standards piece is a big part of it. We need to make use of the existing infrastructure and to build around it. Too many times the easier way is to rip and replace and obviously in this industry you can’t do that. We need to simplify.


Will document-based exchange eventually become obsolete?

Absolutely, and I look forward to that day.


What will interoperability technology look like in a few years?

That’s a loaded question. [laughs] We’ve had a lot of discussions around here. Our chief technology officer, Lin Wan, has been involved with IWG, IHE, and all the standards groups trying to figure out what needs to happen and which path needs to be taken. I’m not quite sure that we know quite yet what’s going to be the path to take. Everybody needs to figure out what national standards are going to be set in order for us to be able to adapt to those standards.


Do the public utility type statewide HIEs and RHIOs have the business models and participation that they need to succeed?

A lot of the work we’re doing with HIEs is trying to help them to make better use of the technology that they already have. HIEs are migrating to something other than what they were born to do. The migration is more to an HEO type structure with quality measures and the reporting that is required by the government. HIEs are going to be successful if they can adapt to these changes.


What common problems do HIEs need help with?

HIEs don’t have a lot of money. They’re all grant funded. They get some money from their participants, but overall, cash is a very big issue for them. We hear them. They need to make use of the investments they’ve already made to set up their infrastructure. We’re trying to help them use the technology that they already have in place by building tools they can start using with what they already have, again, interoperability.


How do you see the connectivity players such as CommonWell, state HIEs, private HIEs, and others fitting together?

There’s going to be a consolidation the marketplace, absolutely. A big chunk of what everybody’s looking at is cost. The HIEs don’t have any money. Hospitals that don’t want to be a part of an HIE will have to set up their own private HEOs and HIEs in order to be able to adapt to the requirements. I think there’s going to be consolidation and it will be driven by cost.


Have you connected to any EHRs via vendor-provided APIs?

We are asking for that. We are finding some cooperation with some of the HIEs, but not all of them. I think it’s going to be a while before that happens, but it needs to happen.


EHR vendors don’t have a lot of incentive or pressure to allow open interoperability. Do you see that changing?

No, I don’t see that changing. What we’re trying to get to is to empower the patient to have more access and more say about their information. The pressure is going to start coming from the patients themselves.


What will your strategy look like over the next five years for interoperability and care coordination?

Our original path at Stella was to be able to address and two things. The first one was care coordination. The second was the patient-centric needs.

On the care coordination part, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. You need to address readmissions. You need to address the patient handoff inside the hospitals. You need to address the continuous communication and contact with the patients. That’s the care coordination piece and we’re doing a good job with that. We have some use cases going on. It’s a piece that has to be addressed and has to be done at an affordable level. Some of the bigger companies have solutions, but they are price prohibitive.


Do you have any final thoughts?

It’s a very exciting time to be in healthcare IT. There’s still a lot of things that need to be done. The migration from public HIEs to private HIEs is allowing companies like Stella to be successful and contribute to the success of what ONC wants to do in their interoperability roadmap. We’re very happy to be part of it.

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April 3, 2015 Interviews 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 4/3/15

April 2, 2015 Headlines No Comments

CVS Health Announces New Clinical Affiliations with Leading Medical Centers in Arizona and Illinois

CVS continues its expansion into primary care through a new partnership with Rush University Medical Center (IL)  and Tucson Medical Center (AZ), where it will provide medication counseling, chronic disease management, and health services through its MinuteClinics. CVS will also begin integrating its MinuteClinic visit notes with the health system’s EHR,

Medsphere Systems and Phoenix Health Systems Complete Merger

VistA-reseller Medsphere merges with IT consulting firm Phoenix Health Systems. The new company will retain the Medsphere name and will expand its service offerings beyond VistA implementation services to now include hosting, help desk support, and project management consulting. 

Help lower treatment costs for your patients

Practice Fusion begins embedding coupons from pharmaceutical companies directly into its e-Prescribing system so that doctors can print them out and give them to their patients. The goal, according to Practice Fusion, is to reduce the cost of prescriptions and thus improve medication adherence.

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April 2, 2015 Headlines No Comments

News 4/3/15

April 2, 2015 News 17 Comments

Top News


The Apple-IBM partnership releases four healthcare-related apps in IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS series, although IBM is holding back the formal announcement until the HIMSS conference. The apps include an iPhone communication system for hospital nurses, an iPad workload app for hospital charge nurses, a notification and lab status app for hospital techs, and an app that allows home care nurses to upload information to an EHR.

Reader Comments 

From Mobile Gas: “Re: IBM’s MobileFirst for iOS Healthcare. It seems like smoke and mirrors since they didn’t provide a list of customers and looks like they just built a series of applications without considering apps already deployed. The hospital nurse needs tight integration with the hospital EMR and Epic and Cerner both offer point-of-care applications. They also need connections to secure messaging and alarm notification from companies like Voalte and Vocera. This will lead to further market confusion as Apple and IBM build products in the ivory tower and expect customers to figure out the integration. I think this is another sign that Apple doesn’t understand the healthcare enterprise – they could have addressed enterprise issues, such as iOS management and WiFi connectivity, and instead are building generic applications that will be hard to integrate with hospital core systems.” Most surprising to me is that IBM didn’t announce integration partnerships with Allscripts, Epic, Cerner, or Meditech and didn’t mention working with health systems to design and test their apps or to validate that they offer something important that EHR vendors don’t. I’m skeptical. Just because health systems run applications on IBM systems doesn’t mean IBM can grab EHR data indiscriminately and use it intelligently, although maybe the announcements that are being held for HIMSS contain more vendor-specific details.

From John: “Re: gender bias. Have you counted how many interviews you’ve done with men vs. women?” I haven’t counted, but it’s probably proportional to the gender ratio within the specific job roles (CEO, CMIO, etc.)  If your point is that men are disproportionately represented in those roles, then I obviously agree, although it’s a slippery slope to then propose fixing what is perceived as a societal problem based on the single factor of gender. I like to think I’m gender-blind since most of the people I’ve chosen to work with are female and some of the better interviews I’ve done were with women. I’ll interview anyone who has the potential to be interesting and who is willing to do it my way — don’t underestimate that second factor since it takes guts to be interviewed for a full transcript without knowing in advance what questions I’ll ask and not having the chance to review the answers before I publish them.


From Kopecky: “Re: Mark Cuban. Getting flamed on Twitter for urging quarterly blood tests ‘for everything available’ as a baseline.” He’s well-intentioned even though he’s wrong. He assumes that frequent testing will create a personal baseline that will be more useful than population-based normal ranges when something changes. Here’s the problem: the more results doctors see, the more pressure they feel to do something about them because that’s how they are trained and they don’t want to get sued. Things start going wrong when patients get roped into the healthcare system … medical errors, polypharmacy, and compounded drug side effects. That’s the same problem with apps that create a continuous stream of questionably valuable medical data that someone has to review and react to. I suspect we harm far more people by providing unnecessary knee-jerk treatment than we do by not collecting enough data to support an early diagnosis. It would be great if “health” was a simple as automatically applying harm-free interventions in response to well-defined physiologic inputs or genetic analysis, but it’s not. Healthcare is often dangerous to your health.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor MedCPU. The tagline of the New York City-based clinical decision support company is “Accuracy is not optional.” Its MedCPU Advisor analyzes the complete electronic clinical picture (including both structured and free-text data) in real time against an algorithm matrix, providing case-specific prompting with minimal false alarms. No change in user worfklow is required since the system runs in the background with no separate logon or additional data entry required. The company’s experts build, configure, and maintain best-practice rules from its library of specialty modules with minimal client resources required. On the technology side, the company provides integration via reader technology that requires no IT resources and includes a patented Context Engine to process free text information. Founder and CEO Eyal Ephrat, MD is an obstetrician and previously founded E&C Medical Intelligence (now PeriGen). Thanks to MedCPU for supporting HIStalk. 

My YouTube search turned up a new explainer video for MedCPU Advisor.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Iora Health takes on primary care nationally with a homegrown EHR. Community Health Center serves as a model for a new telehealth program in Colorado. Australian physicians get no respect from their EHRs. Health information exchange in Georgia moves forward, as does telemedicine in Delaware. Spruce raises $15M from headline-making Kleiner Perkins. Health Informatics Director Karen Schogel, MD weighs in on MU3 at Genesis Medical Associates. Thanks for reading.

This week on HIStalk Connect: Google partners with Johnson & Johnson to co-develop a surgical robot that will integrate real-time image analysis and decision support into the surgeons workflow. In England, students with the Royal College of Art and the Imperial College London have created a self-stabilizing pen designed to help patients with Parkinson’s disease maintain legible handwriting. Apple and IBM unveil their newest batch of co-developed enterprise apps, including four apps designed for nurses. Fitbit finalizes its $18 million acquisition of Fitstar, a paid app that develops personalized workouts based on user’s fitness goals.


If you want one of these pins, stop by our HIMSS booth # 5371 on next Monday since we intentionally ordered few enough of them to make them collectible (actually it was mostly to avoid the risk of lugging them back home). We suggested that our sponsors design their own buttons, although I don’t know which ones actually did.

HIStalkapalooza Sponsor Profile


Visit Sagacious Consultants at HIMSS Booth # 1690 for a chat with some of the EHR industry’s smartest leaders, including founder and CEO Shane Adams and principal consultants Gordon Lashmett, George Evans, and Dr. Ron Jimenez. With experience as Epic CIOs and directors of clinical informatics, they will be available to dish out advice about your most pressing technical and operational challenges.

Sagacious Consultants will be rocking HIStalkapalooza as a Gold Sponsor. Guests can strut like rock stars on a red carpet at the House of Blues, grab a guitar or banjo prop, and strike a pose. Don’t leave without taking home a Sagacious rock poster commemorating this star-studded night for HIT.


April 8 (Wednesday) noon ET. “Leveraging Evidence and Mobile Collaboration to Improve Patient Care Transitions.” Sponsored by Zynx Health. Presenter: Grant Campbell, MSN, RN, senior director of nursing strategy and informatics, Zynx Health. With mounting regulatory requirements focused on readmission prevention and the growing complexity of care delivery, ACOs, hospitals, and community-based organizations are under pressure to effectively and efficiently manage patient transitions. This webinar will explore the ways in which people, process, and technology influence patient care and how organizations can optimize these areas to enhance communication, increase operational efficiency, and improve care coordination across the continuum.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


VistA vendor Medsphere and IT solutions provider Phoenix Health Systems merge. The Medsphere name wins, adding consulting and outsourcing services from Phoenix.

Healthland acquires revenue cycle solutions firm Rycan.



Cedars-Sinai Health System (CA) chooses HealthLoop for automating patient follow-up.

MultiCare Connected Care (WA) selects Sandlot Solutions to create a community-wide electronic information exchange.

Xerox will incorporate SyTrue’s natural language processing and medical terminology platform into its Midas+ analytics to generate diagnostic and procedure codes from clinical documentation in real time to calculate risk and outcomes for case management.

Kindred Healthcare’s hospital division chooses transcription, front-end speech recognition, and clinical documentation improvement from MModal.



Dave Levin, MD (Nordic) joins PeraHealth as physician executive.


Ed Marx resigns as SVP/CIO of Texas Health Resources.


Chuck Christian (St. Francis Hospital) is named VP of technology and engagement of the Indiana HIE.


Mike Waldrum, MD, MSc, MBA, president and CEO of the University of Arizona Health network, leaves quickly after the system’s acquisition by Banner Health to become CEO of Vidant Health (NC). He was CIO at UAB Health System from 1999 to 2004.


CognitiveScale launches a healthcare business unit that will apply cognitive computing to chronic care management and names Charles Barnett (Seton Family Healthcare) as the healthcare group’s president.

Announcements and Implementations


Joining the CommonWell Health Alliance are Meditech, Merge, and Kareo as contributing members and PointClickCare and Surgical Information Systems as general members.


The Chicago business paper profiles MedDocLive, started by a former Epic project manager turned medical student, which provides medical students and residents to help hospitals with their EHR go-lives.

The New Mexico HIE goes live with technology provided by Orion Health.


Here’s an interesting graphic tweeted out by KLAS as a teaser to buy its latest $15,980 health analytics report, which according to the graphic, involved only 77 respondents of which 28 said no vendors offer emerging capabilities. Health Catalyst and Truven are at the bottom with just three votes each? I’d have to see the methodology before I’d believe that.


Practice Fusion enables doctors to print drug coupons right from its free EHR, no doubt charging the drug companies that provide them. Patients like prescription drug samples and coupons, not usually realizing the indirect cost to themselves or those paying for their care.


MModal announces that transcription employment at its Coimbatore, India office has reached 1,000.

Vocera announces integration of its communications system with Epic for bed cleaning and availability updates, with similar integration with other EHRs planned.

Summit Healthcare partners with S&P Consultants to offer Cerner solutions that include domain compare and synchronization, blood bank validation, and a scripting toolkit for workflow automation.

CVS Caremark announces new affiliations with Rush University Medical Center (IL) and Tucson Medical Center (AZ) that includes sending CVS prescription and visit information to the EHRs of participating providers and offering patients services via its in-store MinuteClinics. Meanwhile, CVS filings show that its CEO earned $32 million in 2014 and added another $11 million in stock value. CVS share price increased 38 percent in the past year.  


Non-profit health information provider Healthwise offers a course on shared decision-making.

Government and Politics

Texas lawmakers are considering a bill that would prevent providers from recording a patient’s gun ownership status in their medical records. The office of Rep Stuart Spitzer, who is a surgeon, says consumers are alarmed at being asked gun-related questions during visits and that he doesn’t trust the National Security Agency and other government agencies.

Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush will host a $10,000 per person fundraiser at his Massachusetts home for his cousin, presidential contender Jeb Bush.



Bob Wachter, MD is ubiquitous in plugging his new book (which I haven’t read), publishing endless excerpts all over the place including a series titled “The Overdose; Harm in a Wired Hospital.” It describes a single incident at UCSF Medical Center, his employer. It should be noted that despite the manufactured drama and hype-laden headlines (such as “How Medical Tech Gave a Patient a Massive Overdose”), the patient ended up being fine with no permanent harm from UCSF’s mistakes, although the salacious if inaccurate headlines might move a few more copies than just admitting institutional errors. Stripping away the novel-like prose leaves these facts:

  • A pediatric patient (16 years old) was given 38.5 Septra DS tablets due to a series of errors resulting from the resident’s botched attempt to re-order a home med of one tablet twice daily.
  • The incident happened in July 2013, just over a year after UCSF’s Epic go-live, but Bob  doesn’t say if the resident had just started her rotation on July 1.
  • The hospital had decided to require clinicians to dose medications by weight for children under 40 kg without exception.
  • UCSF had elected not to turn on Epic’s overdose limits because teaching hospitals use research protocols that don’t always follow published standards.
  • The pediatrics resident entered the order correctly, but then had to adjust it to match the available tablet strength per UCSF policy. She then re-entered the same order incorrectly, apparently failing to notice the mg/kg dosing that, according to hospital policy, should have been present on every single order she had ever entered into Epic, including the same order she had just entered for that same patient. She entered the dose as “160” in trying to enter the milligrams of trimethoprim instead and then ignored the resulting overdose message. The resident blames UCSF’s Epic setup for issuing too many alerts and for failing to highlight the most important ones.
  • The UCSF pharmacist accepted the resident’s order after ignoring his own dose warnings.
  • The hospital had floated a a newly-licensed night shift nurse from her normal PICU assignment to the general pediatrics floor because of short staffing, She didn’t question the dose and didn’t ask the charge nurse because she “didn’t want to sound dumb,” so she helped the patient swallow 38.5 oversized tablets.

The article series isn’t finished yet, but my conclusions so far are:

  • Bob’s working the author angle of being the technology-wary guy to consumers. He writes well, but his lay audience probably won’t understand that hospitals make mistakes constantly even without technology. Paper orders were no picnic, believe me, and UCSF has some obvious people problems in putting newbies on the front line with questionable supervision. If your kid driving on a learner’s permit wrecks the family car while speeding, don’t blame the car manufacturer for not making the speedometer bigger.
  • This is a classic example of the “Swiss cheese effect,” where an event occurred only because a normally reliable system of checks and balances fell apart due to alignment of failed links in the chain (new resident, new nurse working off her normal unit, nobody caught the mistakes made by others).
  • The Epic screen is busy and doesn’t highlight the magnitude of the alert very well. UCSF’s decision not to hard-stop overdoses (in my experience, that’s probably because they don’t want to annoy easily angered doctors, although their research rationale is valid) would have prevented this mistake.
  • UCSF’s “mg/kg dosing only” rule is commendable for most but maybe not all medications. They apparently decided to make this change universally when putting in Epic. It would be interesting to see what training was offered to prescribers before this change was made and how many of them were in favor of it.  
  • IT systems often lull people into a false sense of security since the screen always looks calm and rational. The alerts don’t, as Bob suggests, throw up a big skull-and-crossbones graphic – system designers assume that it’s the human’s job to understand the situation and not to cry wolf constantly.
  • I would be interested to know what steps UCSF took to reduce insignificant drug warnings both before and after the event since Bob thinks the number is excessive. How does UCSF compare with comparable users?
  • Epic could certainly redesign its screens to call more forceful attention to the biggest error outliers (or at least those it can detect with certainty), just like your PC says “Do you really want to do this?” before allowing you to accidentally format your hard drive. Perhaps Epic’s setup could (or should) require resident-entered orders that have seemingly big problems to be verified by an attending or chief resident before shooting them off to the pharmacy for immediate dispensing. IT-reduced turnaround time is not your friend when you make a mistake.
  • Professionals have to be responsible for their actions and their judgment in using software, whether they’re doctors, accountants, or stockbrokers. UCSF put a lot of very green people on the front lines and they screwed up in ways that would have been equally horrifying with or without a computer (38.5 oversized adult tablets for a kid? Come on, just-graduated nurse, use your critical thinking skills).
  • Errors usually happen when clinical employees are overworked, interrupted, or afraid of getting chewed out and all of these issues were reported by those involved.
  • Don’t go to an academic medical center unless you really need one (and I say that having worked a long time in both academic and community hospitals). The July 1 new resident screw-up phenomenon has been well documented. Huge size and specialization means that when they float nurses as in this case, they’re dumped into a complex environment where they don’t know the people or processes. Academic attending physicians often possess big egos and make anyone who questions them (including the software analysts who configure clinical alerts) feel shamed, so nobody challenges them. Doctors and staff see so many complex, throw-out-the-rulebook cases that questionable orders are overlooked. Handoffs and intra-department communications aren’t always efficient since so many people are involved and they don’t always even know each other. Bring someone to sit by your side the whole time and question everything. I doubt the mom would have allowed her child to choke down 38.5 pills knowing it’s supposed to be a single one like she’d been giving at home.

What do you think? Clinical folks, how would your system and your people handle a potential mistake like this? Here’s a challenge for you: enter the same order for a similar patient in your test environment and send me a screenshot of what the ordering physician would see (I’ll de-identify the image). Let’s see how other hospitals and other IT systems work.

Quite a few companies observed April 1 with phony commercials and news items. This one from Microsoft announcing “MS-DOS Mobile” is pretty good. Epic had its usual home page makeover.


The teen whose parents publicly shamed an Atlanta hospital into giving him a free heart transplant in 2013 despite his history of not complying with prescribed therapy crashes a stolen car following a crime spree and dies.

Sponsor Updates

  • Arcadia Healthcare Solutions client Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic will receive an IT innovator award at the HIMSS conference.
  • ESD posts 25 days of its history as it commemorates its 25th anniversary. Check out Day 7, where you’ll see its video of HIStalkapalooza 2012 in Las Vegas, which it did a great job of sponsoring. I still watch that video every couple of months because it’s fun and full of familiar faces, maybe even yours.
  • Extension Healthcare releases version 5.0 of its clinical alarm safety platform.
  • Hayes Management Consulting posts “Patient Portals: How to Balance Privacy and Engagement.
  • Healthcare Data Solutions is named Concur’s App Center Partner of the Year for the third year in a row.
  • Healthfinch asks “Is Primary Care in Rural America at Risk?”
  • QPID Health President and CEO Mike Doyle will present on maximizing technology’s value to patients and providers at the ACHE Massachusetts Spring Conference on April 15 in Needham, MA.
  • Healthgrades offers “5 Lessons I Learned from 10.10.10 in Denver.”
  • Impact Advisors offers “Population Health Management Vendor Selection.”
  • Liaison Technologies offers “Winning Lab Information Strategies for Value-Based Care.”
  • Healthwise shares “The Secret Behind Serving Up the Right Information Every Time.”
  • Holon Solutions will exhibit at the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals Annual Conference April 7-9 in Dallas.
  • Intellect Resources offers tips on “Networking at HIMSS.”
  • Galen Healthcare Solutions wraps up its experience at the InterSystems Global Summit.
  • InterSystems recaps its annual conference, Global Summit 2015.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
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April 2, 2015 News 17 Comments

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 4/2/15

April 2, 2015 Dr. Jayne 2 Comments


I’ve been struggling to get through the Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rule, but finally reached the end. I’m not sure how much of it I’ve retained, although I did take good notes.

I also skimmed the certification document to get an idea of new things my vendors may be offering. A couple of them struck me as interesting additions: the family health history pedigree; expanded social, psychological, and behavioral data; and consolidated care plans. CIO John Halamka, MD and Micky Tripathi posted an excellent analysis last week that should be required reading for all hospital and software vendor executives.

My favorite section of their write-up (appropriately subtitled “The Ugly”) encapsulates my frustration as a primary care physician:

If a clinician has 12 minutes to see a patient, be empathetic, document the entire visit with sufficient granularity to justify an ICD-10 code, achieve 140 quality measures, never commit malpractice, and broadly communicate among the care team, it’s not clear how the provider has time to perform a “clinical information reconciliation” that includes not only medications and allergies, but also problem lists 80 percent of the time. Maybe we need to reduce patient volumes to 10 per day? Maybe we need more scribes or team-based care? And who is going to pay for all that increased effort in an era with declining reimbursements / payment reform?

Most of my primary care peers could deliver truly excellent care if I we only saw 10 patients per day. However, primary care physicians in my organization are expected to perform at a certain percentile based on MGMA data. The majority are seeing 30-35 patients daily, yet revenues are still declining. They’re also working longer hours with increased burnout. One of my favorite colleagues just “retired” from practice at the tender age of 48 and will be doing part-time urgent care instead.

I’m grateful to those who actually selected primary care residencies during the recent National Resident Matching Program process. Over 1,400 fourth-year US medical students selected family medicine and I salute them. To consciously choose this life given current market forces, you are either called to serve or you are a risk-taker. Fortunately, we can benefit from having more of both in the trenches. There were a total of 3,195 positions available and graduates of non-US medical schools will typically fill the remaining slots.

I mentioned last week that I had received some pre-HIMSS mailings with butchered addresses and titles. Not to be biased in reporting only questionable print media, I’ll share that this week I received three emails that fell into the category. When preparing mass communications, first make sure you’re selecting the right field for the last name. I guarantee my real name is not “Dr. O’Day,” so I didn’t read your piece. Second, “Dear Chief Nursing Executive” isn’t going to make CMIOs want to continue reading. Third, don’t call out my mostly-inactive consulting company as needing your services because my “organization is bustling and case managers are overwhelmed with ineffective ways of contacting and tracking patients.” Nothing like serving up an insult to an entity that doesn’t even have contact with patients.

While I’ve got my crankypants on, let’s talk about vendor events at HIMSS. On one end of the spectrum, we have sponsors like Divurgent who offered all HIStalk readers the opportunity to attend their HIMSS event.  On the opposite end, we have Nordic. Their event was advertised in a CHIME bulletin, but after an initial acceptance email, I received a follow up email stating I’m now declined “due to the lack of space and focus on our clients.” I guess the fact that I’m on the IT committee at one hospital who has been a client and on staff at another Epic hospital is moot. I’ll be reporting on other social events instead, but they might want to update their website since it says guests are welcome and suggests forwarding the invite to colleagues.


I always enjoy hearing about sponsors and their philanthropic efforts. NextGen announced its Eighth Annual NextGen Cares Golf Tournament to benefit the Jayne Foundation. The scholarship fund is in memory of former client Dr. John W. Jayne, but for obvious reasons, it caught my eye. Opportunities are available for both golfers and non-golfers, including a cocktail hour and silent auction.

Have a charitable event and want to get the word out? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne. clip_image003

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April 2, 2015 Dr. Jayne 2 Comments

HIStalk Interviews Nancy Ham, CEO, Medicity

April 2, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Nancy Ham is CEO of Medicity, A Healthagen Business.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

I’ve been in healthcare IT for an embarrassing number of years now, about 25. But I’ve always been focused on the same problem, which is, how do we move data in a way that empowers physicians to improve financial and clinical outcomes? And trying to conquer the barriers of siloed systems, lack of standards, lack of interoperability to make that possible and to try to serve it up to physicians in a way that meets them where they are and ideally flows into and supports their operational and clinical workflow.

The most recent two years, I have been leading Healthagen Technology Solutions, which is Aetna’s population health technology services and enablement arm.


It’s a little bit confusing that the company still operates as Medicity, but is under the Healthagen group name of Aetna. How does Medicity fit into Aetna’s overall business?

Aetna acquired Medicity four years ago, recognizing that the foundation of population health is real-time clinical data and the ability to then marry that with other kinds of data – increasingly like paid claims data and biometric data — but to marry it through a robust and secure infrastructure. I often talk about the iceberg principle — what’s above the water line is the new, updated GUI and the pretty dashboards, but the first product is the data itself.

Data quality, data security, patient matching, patient consent management … that’s really hard work. Medicity — which started as a health information exchange and that was the nature of the work that they did over about 10 or 15 years – has built up this robust foundation upon which now we can attach the other population health assets and capabilities that have come to us through Healthagen or Aetna. Medicity is now the unified face to the market. All of our products, no matter where they started, are now sold and delivered through Medicity.

Some of the newer capabilities we have through Medicity are Medicity Explore, bringing to market our analytics company, formerly called HDMS. A company that’s more than 10 years old and manages more than 30 million lives through analytics.

I think that’s a really important point for your readers. As they walk into HIMSS and into the barrage of all the companies all saying, “Here’s what we do,” think about scalability and maturity capabilities. One of the first questions I always ask of an analytics company is, "How much data has processed through your engine?” Because healthcare is just this giant pile of corner cases. You have to meet them and defeat them one by one.

We have Medicity Manage, which brings in our ActiveHealth Management capabilities, which include care management analytics, risk stratification, predictive algorithms, gaps in care, registries, and also brings a really elegant provider-facing care management workflow. Because at the end of the day, the point of all this data, all these products, is to change and improve the actual care you deliver to a real person at the end of that line. You have to put all these things together.


Are providers really demanding interoperability or is everybody else just wishing they would?

[Laughs] They are increasingly demanding it because they’re getting into significant enough population health programs that the lack of interoperability, or the gaps that are created, are expressing themselves. Just as an example, if you are managing a panel of congestive heart failure patients, when you see gaps in the care record, you realize that’s a problem — when you don’t see that they had an admission at that hospital or when you don’t see that they had a test at that physician. It’s now impeding your actual ability to provide continuous care. 

For me, that’s what population health is about. It’s moving from episodic, snapshot blinks of the patient to a movie. It’s like going to a movie and half the scenes are missing, so you can’t follow the plot line. That’s where the lack of interoperability is showing itself at scale now, because we are moving into true population health and people are saying, "This is not working. I need the whole movie."


Aetna has a view into all of healthcare. What does it see coming that the market might not have figured out yet?

We have a point of view, borne out by the recent Rand study, that providers buy into the fact the world is changing. They are moving from fee-for-service to something else. They are on the journey to risk. They might be at many different places on that continuum. What’s really fun is when they are at many places on that continuum simultaneously. They are in a different place for Medicare versus Medicaid versus commercial.

Technology alone is insufficient. Services alone are insufficient. Clinical alone is insufficient. You have to fuse it all together and bring risk management, i.e, I am going to be financially at risk. How do I think about that? How do I manage actuarial pricing?

Those are capabilities that health plans have that providers traditionally haven’t had to have. You have to have data and technology to move that data around appropriately to the right physician, respecting patient consent and privacy. Then you have to have clinical workflow to take advantage of everything you are doing. It needs to come together in a different kind of interoperable way.


What’s the big-picture view of interoperability and where is it moving?

I see the lines blurring. Medicity is very proud to power nine statewide HIEs, and yet when I think about the work that’s happening in those states, it is about public-private partnership. A really interesting example or theme is how payers are now becoming significant participants in these networks. One of my customers has a great phrase — she calls it ecosystems. We are evolving to healthcare ecosystems.

In a healthy ecosystem, everyone contributes as well as receives. What we are seeing now is new stakeholders come to these ecosystems and say, "I’m a payer. First of all, I have data to contribute to the ecosystem. I have claims data. I have medication history data. I have care management data. Let me contribute my data to that ecosystem. Then whether you are an individual physician or hospital participating in that ecosystem, you can now benefit. Let me receive information from that ecosystem, such as real-time clinical data, alerts that a member has just been admitted to the hospital, so I can activate my own care management programs."

We think it is a fading distinction between public, private, and regional. What we see are these localized healthcare ecosystems in which increasingly we are seeing everybody in. Which is exciting because that’s been the vision all along — creating clinically-connected communities. Wherever you go as a patient, wherever your family member goes, your data is accessible, contextual, and available.


Who should pay the cost of interoperability? How do we make sure that we aren’t building individual proprietary silos?

First of all, I hope no one out there is thinking that their main business model is selling data or monetizing data. Data is just an input into an improved healthcare system. We are all trying to lower the cost for data to flow into these ecosystems so they benefit the actual care and cost for what is going on.

I see that increasingly, people understand this mutuality. If I want to get data, I need to provide data. By the way, it is the patient’s data. We are all trying to contribute to create that clinically complete view of the patient, so that as they navigate the healthcare system, they are getting the best possible care. What I would like to see is simply a continued investment by us as an industry in standards in interoperability so that we reduce the cost and the friction of data moving.

The monetization should be by whoever’s at risk. If you are the payer, if you are the employer, if you are the state government, if you are the federal government, if you are the provider … Whoever’s at risk financially and clinically for that patient is who is benefiting from having access to a more complete clinical and financial record — they are the ones who should underwrite the cost of having created that.


How would you set up an economic incentive to align the interests of those who benefit from the data with those who contribute it for someone else’s benefit?

I would love to at some point have a longer conversation about some really successful statewide networks. Colorado, Ohio, Delaware, and Vermont have achieved, or are close to achieving, 100 percent connectivity — hospitals, physicians, DME, SNF, long-term post-acute, payers, the VA, Social Security, the prison system. They have developed models where all the constituents in their community are now participating in the system and have a shared goal of improving the health of their citizens.

There are statewide models that are working very effectively now on a multi-stakeholder basis. The revenue models are all a little different, but a lot of them were started up by hospitals wanting to replace phone, fax, and courier with more modern means of delivering clinical information electronically to physicians.

Now what you are seeing is the next wave of stakeholders coming in, contributing both data and funding. Any network has a semi-fixed cost, and spreading it across now a broader community, which is exciting to see. As new people arrive, they have to connect to the network and subscribe and help underwrite its cost as well as contributing their own data.


What is the next level beyond where we are now with population health management technology?

In some ways, I think we are still at the first level, which is trying to create data completeness. We talk about building complete, ubiquitous, and indispensable networks. Those words have a lot of meaning for us.

Complete means data completeness. No network is ever data complete because there’s always the new frontier. We conquered a lot of real-time clinical data. Now we are all trying to get ambulatory data, CCDs, consolidated CDAs out of ambulatory practices. Payers are arriving at scale to contribute the data they have. Biometric is a new frontier. We are doing a really interesting pilot with Cleveland Clinic and Medtronic. There’s always going to be more data. We will never be data done.

Ubiquity is around Moore’s Law — the more connection points on a network, the more powerful it is. If you think of networks as being geographically-oriented, clinically-connected communities, you are always going horizontally and vertically to create more data and connectivity density.

The new wave of population health is the third word, which is indispensable. Which is about, does any of this matter? Are we creating a difference in the Triple Aim? Are we improving health, improving care, improving cost? The new wave is actual measurement in ROI.

We are going to have to embrace and learn as an industry that a lot of things we are doing right now, while interesting, aren’t transformative. Trying to figure out where we can hone in. A lot of that honing is going to maybe be the fourth new frontier, which is direct patient engagement. Engaged in their own care, with their own data, with their own protocols.


Do you have any final thoughts?

I’m both excited and worried about the state of the state for population health. I’m excited about the pace of innovation, the number of new entrants, the amount of invention that’s happening. But I worry that it’s a little untethered from the jobs of cost and quality. That it’s untethered from risk management and care management. I want to be sure as an industry that we are being purposeful in effecting change, not just in creating new software tools.

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April 2, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/2/15

April 1, 2015 Headlines No Comments

How Medical Tech Gave a Patient a Massive Overdose

UCSF doctor and professor Bob Watcher, MD candidly tells the story of a recent EHR-related overdose that took place at UCSF’s Benioff Children’s Hospital in which a 16-year-old patient was given a dose of antibiotics 38 times larger than his doctor had intended. The ordering provider believed she was ordering a single 160 mg pill of Septra, but inadvertently ordered 160mg/kg, which resulted in a child being given 6,160 mg of the drug. The EHR, Epic, presented the doctor with an overdose warning but the order was placed anyway, pharmacists verified the order and filled it, and the floor nurse dutifully gave the patient 38.5 Septra pills. Fortunately the patient fully recovered.

Groundbreaking ways to deliver great healthcare.

Apple and IBM introduce four enterprise apps that they co-developed to support nurses, nurse managers, home health nurses, and technicians.

The Healing Power of Your Own Medical Records

The New York Times publishes a piece highlighting the OpenNotes movement and calling for broader patient access to medical records data.

CommonWell Health Alliance Welcomes New Members Across the Health Care Continuum

Meditech, Merge, Kareo, Surgical Information Systems, and PointClickCare have all joined the CommonWell health information exchange platform. With the new partners, CommonWell reports that its platform covers 70 percent of the acute care market and 20 percent of the ambulatory market.

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April 1, 2015 Headlines No Comments

HIStalk Interviews Tom Skelton, CEO, Surescripts

April 1, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Tom Skelton is CEO of Surescripts of Arlington, VA.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

I’ve been involved in healthcare and healthcare IT for a little over 30 years. The first 25-plus was on the provider side of automation – physicians, hospitals, home healthcare agencies, and the like. The last five years I’ve spent running a diagnostic imaging services firm, where I had the opportunity to, for the first time in my career, focus on running a care delivery organization. That was a great change and a great opportunity for me.


What was it like going back to the provider side after being a vendor?

It was a fantastic opportunity. It was really good to work in that environment again, side by side with the physicians working to do similar things. We’re trying to improve quality. We’re trying to increase efficiency. To be right there in the trenches with them was a great learning opportunity and I took away a lot, no question.


Is there anything left to accomplish with electronic prescribing other than getting everyone on board with the prescribing of controlled drugs?

We’ve asked the team to focus on three things. We’re trying to optimize every segment of the e-prescribing value chain. There’s a lot that still can be done in the areas of convenience, efficiency, and accuracy. We’ve got new modules for the prescribing offering that are designed to enhance those types of things. We can provide valuable information at the point of care and help make sure the patients are getting the best that the healthcare system has to offer.

The second we’re looking for is broadening the e-prescribing footprint. We still think there are some things to be done there. Electronic prescribing of controlled substances is a great example of that.

The last is enhancing clinical connectivity — attacking things in a much more general form. We think there are great opportunities there, leveraging assets and skills that we’ve developed over the years.

Let’s go back to that optimization of e-prescribing and touch on some of the keys there. One for us, certainly, is medication history. That’s a big one. You’ve got folks standing there at the point of care, if you’ve ever had to take a loved one to the hospital and had the nurse and the ED ask the question, "What prescriptions does your father take?" You just get this blank look, or at least I did. We’re in a fortunate position where we’ve got this type of history for three-quarters of the US population. It’s a great place to be, so we’ve productized that and are making that available.

The second one is electronic prior authorization. A physician’s office has to invest significant time to prescribe what the physician believes in. Then you’ve got patients waiting at the pharmacy. You’ve got pharmacists reaching back into the physician’s office. There’s a lot of waste and a lot of opportunity there. Our CompletEPA product is designed to help address that and to improve that level of efficiency and accuracy around authorizations.

The last area in optimization comes down to adherence. You’ve probably seen some of the same studies that we have that show that, particularly when it comes to chronic diseases and chronic care, this is a vital and costly component that needs to be addressed. People are getting the prescriptions, but they’re not getting them filled or they’re not taking them to conclusion. We’ve got some tools at the point of care that can inform the physicians exactly what’s going on in that area and help ensure they’re having the right dialogue with their patients when they are face to face.


How do manage the patient identification issue when creating a medication history from multiple care settings?

We’re in a pretty strong position there. We’ve got 270 million patients in our MPI that we can uniquely identify. The algorithms for this identification have been refined and honed over the years. There’s a lot of work and a lot of time and energy that’s gone into that. The MPI continues to grow as the number of folks that are covered by insurance across the country is growing. If you want to get deeper on the technology, frankly I’m not that guy, but I can help connect you to that guy if you want to know exactly what we’re doing.


If you have claims data that includes anyone who’s ever filed an insurance claim, you must have bigger data footprint than anyone.

We’ve got a tremendous footprint. If you look at the business, this is one of the most interesting parts of it. We’ve got 270 million folks in our MPI. We’ve got connectivity to 800,000 prescribers, primarily physicians, across the country. We’ve got strong connectivity to the pharmacies — virtually every pharmacy is connected to us. We’ve got connectivity to probably slightly less than half of the health systems in the country right now. 

We’ve got an awful lot of connectivity that we can bring to bear to help people move forward. While we’re very excited about optimizing e-prescribing as the first step, and secondarily moving on to broadening that footprint. We think there’s a lot to do in the world of clinical connectedness and interoperability that’s at the forefront of everybody’s mind. We think there’s some things we can do to help there.


Now that EHR penetration is high, how would you gauge interoperability progress and the opportunities for Surescripts now that the network is in place?

When we look at broadening our e-prescribing footprint, we are talking about two major thrusts. The first is the electronic prescribing for controlled substances. This is a big, big issue. We’re very excited to see movement at the state level. We’re participating. In fact, we just did a webinar on this and ended up with about 500 people, so there is an awful lot of interest here. 

There’s huge benefit to the system to getting these types of prescriptions digitized. This is very sensitive information, but on the other hand, it’s a situation where also there’s a lot of fraud and abuse and these types of things can be weeded out better in a digital environment than in a manual environment.

The second piece for us is long-term care. This is an area that didn’t get caught up in the first waves of e-prescribing. The hospitals and the ambulatory settings are very penetrative, with adoption rates of greater than 70 percent, but there’s a lot of work to be done in the long-term care arena. We feel very good about being able to do that.

Those are the two in terms of the e-prescribing footprint. When we move on to enhancing clinical connectivity, that comes down to leveraging the assets that we have.

We’ve created a pretty secure environment for these things. We’re one of only 105 firms in the country at this point in time that’s achieved ISO 27001. That’s something that we’re taking very, very seriously. It’s going to underpin two solid offerings that we’ve got here, the first being a a record locator service that I’ll explain on a personal level.

My in-laws live in Pennsylvania. They spend a chunk of the winter in Florida. They have very good friends in California. They’ve had healthcare events in all three environments. If my father-in-law were ever to be admitted to a quaternary facility or something like that, to pull all of his records in, it would be difficult for them to know where to go. We can give guidance on where these folks have been seen based on what we’ve seen in the prescribing patterns and allow them then to very quickly contact facilities to get the information they’d need to inform the care that my father-in-law should receive. We’ll be demoing it at the Connectathon at the HIMSS conference. I think the market is particularly interested in this as patients become more mobile and society becomes more mobile.

The other piece for us is clinical messaging. We’ve done an awful lot of work helping hospitals connect to physicians, payers connect to physicians and hospitals, and physicians to connect to other physicians. The directory that we talked about helped enable this and underlie this. We feel real good about the opportunity here and believe there’s huge value in allowing clinicians to exchange information electronically in a secure fashion.

When we look at expanding outside of the world of e-prescribing, these are the two core offerings that you’ll see most of.


People see big data pipes and worry about how the overseer of that information might be selling it in some fashion. Do people ask you about that?

I agree with you. The market is very, very concerned about that. We do not package or sell any data. That is not part of our business model.


Is CommonWell’s work complementary to what you do or are they a competitor?

When you look across the industry, any time you have a large number of stakeholders and a really big chunk of challenges, you’re going to get different types of alliances and approaches. I think there will be continuing effort to try and move interoperability forward more aggressively, things like CommonWell, DirectTrust, Healtheway, and Carequality. There’s a whole list of them. All of them serve a valuable role. They increase awareness. They drive focus. They bring energy behind the problems. Each will have their own aspects and approaches to trying to solve this.


What progress are you seeing in not just making external information passively viewable, but inserting it into the provider’s workflow?

You hit it right on the head. That was one of the keys to e-prescribing. I remember when folks were pushing handhelds for the docs to do e-prescribing and portals were the way of the world. If this stuff isn’t in a natural workflow for a physician, it’s going to be very, very difficult to get the uptake that you want.

My experiences over the last five years working with physicians reinforce that. These are busy people. They care an awful lot about what they’re trying to do. They love to delegate where they can. You’ve got to work with them and get it into a natural workflow.

We did it with e-prescribing. That’s at the core of everything that we’re doing around prior authorizations, that tight integration right into the workflow allows the physician’s office to really gain some tremendous efficiency in this area. I’s something we’re quite proud of and take seriously.


Where do you see the company going in the next five years?

We’ve got the three legs of the stool that we’re working on — optimizing e-prescribing, broadening the footprint, and enhancing clinical connectedness. A lot of what will transpire over the next few years is going to be linked to how quickly the demand for well-packaged information begins to match the supply.

What I mean by that is, to your point, there’s a lot of data out there. There’s a lot of people that want to push data at physicians and at caregivers, but the caregivers are trying to make sure they only get what they need when they need it. The industry has a huge opportunity here, but also a huge responsibility to get that right.

I think we’ll see some increases in adoption across the interoperability spectrum, and as we do with the impetus from Congress and everybody else, this thing will start to gain momentum pretty quickly. The fact that we’re starting slowly is very natural when you’re building a network. Over the course of the next five years, I would expect this type of messaging to become pretty much ubiquitous. It’s going to drive what we’re doing and really change healthcare. It will start to put us in a position where we can reap some of the benefits of the monies that have been invested in laying the EHR foundation.


Do you have any final thoughts?

We’ve been very fortunate and have had some great success. We consider ourselves a leader at a national level in the interoperability space, particularly as it relates to clinical transactions. I think it’s incumbent upon us as a leader to make sure that we’re extremely focused on our customers, our partners, and the stakeholders that have helped us be successful. 

As we continue to build out the portfolio, we’re certainly going to be keeping an eye on the market. I expect a lot of changes. I expect it to be very dynamic. We’ve got to be nimble enough to respond appropriately. That’s something that we’re looking forward to building into the Surescripts of tomorrow.

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April 1, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/1/15

March 31, 2015 Headlines 3 Comments

e-MDs Merges with MDeverywhere; Creates Market-Leading Provider of Clinical and RCM Software Solutions

Ambulatory EHR and practice management vendor e-MDs has been acquired by Martin Equity Partners and merged with existing Martin portfolio company MDeverywhere, a revenue cycle management and physician credentialing system.

Sentinel Event Alert 54: Safe use of health information technology

The Joint Commission issues a Sentinel Event Alert on the safe use of health IT, focusing on process improvement, leadership, and developing an internal culture focused on safety.

Doctor exodus over new e-health system rocks Defence

In Australia, 30 doctors resign from the Department of Defence over fears that its newly implemented EHR compromises patient safety.

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March 31, 2015 Headlines 3 Comments

News 4/1/15

March 31, 2015 News 3 Comments

Top News


Marlin Equity Partners acquires PM/EHR vendor e-MDs and merges the company with another of its portfolio holdings, revenue cycle services vendor MDeverywhere. E-MDs founder and CEO David Winn, MD will retire.

Reader Comments


From Abe: “Re: Allscripts. I would like to know why the information of 250 people being laid off/fired at Allscripts is not on your web site. When all was good, you had them highlighted. Now that its looking grim … nothing.” Come on, Abe, at least read the darned posts before complaining – it was right there in Monday’s edition. I obviously wasn’t present for the layoffs and companies don’t announce them, so unless one of those 250 people tells me what happened (which they didn’t), I have no way of knowing, but I went with the second-hand report of two readers. And before you claim sponsor bias, Allscripts isn’t one any more – I got tired of their ignoring their months-overdue invoices and cancelled them. Meanwhile, a third reader who doesn’t indicate whether they work for Allscripts says “this very disorganized company” is laying off 265 people. The MDRX share price has dropped 35 percent in the past year, so the ever-struggling company is surely feeling pressure to try something different as it hopes its oft-repeated “population health management” mantra makes investors forget about the legacy ambulatory EHRs and low-selling Sunrise that make up most of its business.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I have to bite my tongue (or fingers) not to correct people who refer to times as “EST,” which is inaccurate until the clocks are turned back in November. We are in “EDT” and not “EST,” but if you want to simplify, just say “ET” year-round and you’ll always be correct. I’ve also had people get confused for interviews or calls when Lorre schedules them because she’s in Arizona, which doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time (except for the Navajo Nation) and thus is on Mountain Standard Time year round, which is the same as PDT, meaning three hours behind EDT from spring until fall and two hours behind otherwise. We do all of this to try to unsuccessfully control nature, which ignores our human tinkering and raises and sets the sun regardless of how we play with our clocks.

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Medecision. The Wayne, PA based company’s Aerial population health management technology identifies high-risk patients (or members), guides them to the most appropriate care, provides their clinicians with decision support tools, and automates manual operations, all via integration with existing systems. Aerial offers a unified clinical record, seamless integration feeds, hundreds of SOAP- and REST-based services, and a modular platform with 150 published Web services and APIs to facilitate interconnectivity. It’s appropriate for any healthcare organization that is bearing risk in the move from fee-for-service to fee-for-value, supporting care coordination, care management, case and disease management, advanced clinical content, and consumer engagement. Thanks to Medecision for supporting HIStalk.

I found a just-published YouTube video that introduces Medecision.

Also sponsoring HIStalk at the Platinum level is Peer60 of American Fork, UT, which describes itself as “the best B2B research solution on the planet.” CEO Jeremy Bikman founded the company after serving as a partner/EVP at KLAS. His folks tap into the company’s network of 100,000 decision-makers get feedback, generate leads, and perform custom market research. Client HIMSS Analytics got a response rate 500 percent higher than it expected after working with the company, while Sectra standardized all of its performance metrics on the Peer60 platform. You can download a free copy of “What Hospitals Plan to Buy in 2015” or its report on interoperability, among other available free reports. You can also visit them in HIMSS Booth # 5009, where they will again be giving away cool guitars. I also noticed the sly comment on their site that interoperability is “making news in the many of the largest news sources on the planet (WSJ, Fortune, Forbes, HIStalk),” which was cute. Thanks to Peer60 for supporting HIStalk.

I headed over to YouTube looking for a Peer60 video and came across this funny one called “It Was the Patient Catapult!” 

Listening: new trippy-happy-hippie music from The Mowgli’s, who first claimed that their misuse of the apostrophe in their name “represented the marginalization of society,” but later admitted that they were just stoned when they chose it. It’s as light and frothy as a pina colada on a summery beach.


We received the shirts that our HIMSS conference patient advocate scholarship winners will be wearing. Look for long-sleeved white shirts with Regina Holliday’s HIStalking painting on the back.

HIStalkapalooza Sponsor Profile


HIStalkapalooza! As one of the platinum sponsors for this event, The Santa Rosa Family of Companies — Santa Rosa Consulting, Sandlot Solutions, InfoPartners, and Fortified Health Solutions — will be circulating the main floor as well as hosting up to 20 people at a time in our opera box. Stop by our caricature drawing station to pose for a fun way to remember the night! We’ll send you a digital file of your drawing after the event to avoid worries about holding the drawing all night or protecting it while travelling home after HIMSS. Bottles of water will be provided for you as you leave House of Blues so you can hydrate on the way back to your hotel for a good night’s rest for the next big day at HIMSS15.

You can find The Santa Rosa Family of Companies at various places throughout the HIMSS15 show floor: main booth #2641, Sandlot Solutions market research booth #2939, and the Fortified Health Solutions Kiosk within the Cybersecurity Pavilion. Don’t miss our presentation on Monday, April 13 at 4:45 p.m. on “The Importance of Sensitive Information Discovery.” Take a tour of all of our locations at HIMSS15 with our Passport Giveaway Program –pick up your passport, obtain your stamps at our various locations, and you’ll be entered to win prizes that grow in value with each interaction.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!


April 8 (Wednesday) noon ET. “Leveraging Evidence and Mobile Collaboration to Improve Patient Care Transitions.” Sponsored by Zynx Health. Presenter: Grant Campbell, MSN, RN, senior director of nursing strategy and informatics, Zynx Health. With mounting regulatory requirements focused on readmission prevention and the growing complexity of care delivery, ACOs, hospitals, and community-based organizations are under pressure to effectively and efficiently manage patient transitions. This webinar will explore the ways in which people, process, and technology influence patient care and how organizations can optimize these areas to enhance communication, increase operational efficiency, and improve care coordination across the continuum.

Here’s MedData’s webinar from Tuesday titled “Best Practices for Increasing Patient Payments.”

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Forbes profiles technology companies that are springing up to support the medical marijuana industry, with the pot equivalents of Yelp, Groupon, and joining software developers that sell legally mandated inventory and sales tracking applications. One company is even creating a cannabis futures market that allows farmers to lock in prices for their crops.



HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern PA selects Audacious Inquiry’s encounter notification service for its regional exchange. The statewide Florida HIE’s Event Notification Service also uses the company’s technology.

Golding Living chooses HCS Interactant for revenue cycle management in its 300 long-term care centers.

Children’s Hospital Association chooses Health Catalyst’s data warehouse for its 220 hospital members.


Greenwood Leflore Hospital (MS) chooses Dbtech’s eFolders and Interactive eForms solutions for electronic forms, document storage, and electronic signatures.



HHS CTO Bryan Sivak resigns.

image image

Shareable Ink names board member Hal Andrews (Availity) as CEO. He replaces Laurie McGraw, who is leaving the company.

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Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (NC) promotes VP/CIO Chad Eckes to EVP/CFO, where he will continue to oversee its IT department, and promotes Dee Emon to VP/CIO.

Announcements and Implementations

Forward Health Group joins the Health Data Consortium.

MedAptus launches Assign, which uses rules-based intelligence to automatically assign inpatients to hospitalists or other providers.

John Lynn of EMR & HIPAA posts a video interview with Vishal Gandhi, CEO of ClinicSpectrum.

Stanley Healthcare will offer Connexient’s MediNav indoor wayfinding solution.



Consumers in the US, UK, and Germany want physicians to offer exam room privacy, explain their recommendations verbally, make eye contact, and offer physical contact. They also want (but don’t usually get) enough time during their visit to discuss their concerns. A commendable two-thirds of consumers bring a list of questions to their appointment, while 39 percent have checked an online source ahead of time. An amazing 97 percent are comfortable with their doctor’s use of technology, with 58 percent of them saying exam room computers improve their experience. The Nuance-conducted survey concludes that technology should serve a supporting role to the art of medicine and that physicians should provide time for discussion, advice, exam room privacy, and engagement.  

Joint Commission issues Sentinel Event Alert #54 on the safe use of health IT and offers a free online course on the topic that’s good for one hour of CE credit.

The CSC-led EHR project of Australia’s Department of Defense, which wildly overran its budget and timelines, causes at least 30 doctors resign in protest who say the system compromises patient safety. A big concern is that anybody can modify the doctor’s entries. This is probably not the news Allscripts wanted to hear as the DoD chooses its EHR vendor since CSC and HP are its partners.

The RSA Conference bans scantily clad booth babes from the exhibit hall, specifically mandating business attire that doesn’t include tops that display excess cleavage, miniskirts, and Lycra body suits. Conference attendees said in surveys that they want access to technically competent booth reps who can answer their questions quickly, and as the Fortune article drily notes, “booth babes are usually temporary hires and therefore not your best best if you want a deep dive on the latest cryptographic solutions.” However, it also observes that only 15 percent of the conference’s 30,000 attendees are female, so the booth babe ban may reduce that number even further. It might be fun to collect photos of obvious booth babes from the HIMSS conference since they usually aren’t hard to find and then call out the vendors who can’t attract attention without the sexist eye candy.

Weird News Andy urges that we “hold the eye of newt.” Scientists testing a ninth-century folk remedy eye salve made of onion, garlic, and cow’s stomach find that it kills MRSA. I wouldn’t get too excited just yet since lots of products kill bacteria in the lab but not in humans or with effectiveness tempered by unreasonable side effects.

Sponsor Updates

  • Galen Healthcare Solutions will resell PinpointCare’s patient engagement, care coordination, and management platform.
  • PatientSafe Solutions posts “Compassionate Care Part 1: Unlocking the Shackles of the Computer.”
  • Forward Health Group posts a video of Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group talking about its use of PopulationManager.
  • ADP AdvancedMD offers “4 Foolproof Tips to Collect More Patient Payments.”
  • AtHoc offers “Connected to a Safer World.”
  • Caradigm will exhibit at the National Association of ACOs Spring Conference April 1-2 in Baltimore.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions offers “Improving Patient Satisfaction.”
  • HX360 names Clockwise.MD as one of four finalists in its innovation competition at HIMSS15.
  • CareSync will participate in the Live Pitch event at the AARP Health Innovation@50+ Tech Expo.
  • Clinical Architecture posts the captivating origin story of ICD-10.
  • Capsule Tech explains how “Healthcare Technology Can be Hazardous to Your Health.”
  • Besler Consulting publishes a white paper focused on Medicare cost report reviews.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


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March 31, 2015 News 3 Comments

HIStalk Interviews Jay Katzen, President, Elsevier Clinical Solutions

March 31, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Jay Katzen is president of Elsevier Clinical Solutions.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

I’ve been at Elsevier for just about eight years now. Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals. The goal is to empower them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries.

From a clinical solutions perspective, our goal is to deliver solutions to improve health across the care continuum, which goes to students, clinicians, and the extended care team as well as patients.


Elsevier’s offerings cover a lot of depth and breadth, ranging from research journals to point-of-care content. How does that help reduce the gap between knowledge discovery and actually putting information into practice?

One of the key things about Elsevier is that we cover research through action. It covers the educational side as well. Our #1 goal is to provide the right information to medical students and nursing students to help them be the best practitioners. We deliver our solutions to primarily the provider setting, although we also go into the commercial setting, which is retail pharmacies and things like that.

Generally, we provide our information to the enterprise for use by clinicians and the staff at any point of need. There are referential solutions to look up information about what’s the diagnosis, what’s the best treatment, what is the evidence supporting the information. Delivering information to be deeply embedded into their CPOE system or electronic medical record with a goal of providing the information at the point of need to make a better decision.

Part of the way we are closing the gap is that we cover across the spectrum. We also ensure that we localize it or customize it to the individual hospital’s practices.


Do you ever review what information people are looking up to detect trends, such as how Google Flu Trends works?

We do. I would say it’s in the early stages of some of that. We’re looking at some new products that help us analyze that more.

There’s obviously a lot of work going around big data and analytics, but we continually review a couple of things. Number one is what people search on in general. We look at click-through patterns and things like that to try to figure out if there are ways we can optimize the system to help individuals get to the answer faster. It’s also to understand whether there are gaps in what we’re providing because people may not be finding what they need. That’s on the clinical practice side.

On the research side, we look at this to see if there are areas where they want to perform new research or areas where we need to invest from a general standpoint.


Are users looking beyond just finding information to instead have it made actionable by presenting it automatically at the point where they might need it?

The industry is going much more towards point-of-need information. That’s not just for clinicians — that’s for patients as well.

As our customers evolve, they’ve made significant tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in their infrastructure, such as CPOE systems. The reality is that investing in systems alone is not improving quality across the care continuum. It’s not standardizing care. They need content to be embedded into their systems to drive improvement in care and to improve quality.

At least from what we’ve seen and in working with our customers, number one, they want the information more actionable. They want it embedded into the systems and tied to patient context. But they also want to make sure that it’s meaningful and that it can be impactful. Lots of research around alert fatigue. Our goal is not to alert the physician, pharmacist, or nurse on every potential thing out there — it’s to ensure that we deliver the information and that it’s going to be meaningful to them to make a better decision.

The same thing applies and is applying more to patients. We have a segment focused on patient engagement. If you look at Meaningful Use Stages 1, 2, and 3, more and more information has to be delivered to the patient with the goal of empowering the patient to take control of their care. The way to do this is not just to send general information about diabetes or Crohn’s or hip replacements — it is around customizing it to the individual needs as well as their specific instances.

The actionable information applies not only to clinicians, but applies to patients, but it also has to be delivered in the workflow, whatever the workflow might be, so it’s valuable to them versus having them be proactive and go search it. It has to be pushed down to the individual.


How do your products support care teams, including those that are virtual?

This is one of the benefits and differentiators we have as an organization. Our products are designed around interdisciplinary care teams, especially our care planning products, our order set products. We’ve put a lot of focus on how teams are working now and how they’re going to work in the future.

From a collaboration standpoint, some of the things we’re testing now are around patient engagement. Not just delivering information to an individual patient, but it’s also creating a seamless connection for the patients back to their clinicians. We’re looking at testing some products with some heart failure patients where they can flag things on their mobile device. That sends an alert back to their primary care physician, who can make a call and connect with the patient. There’s collaboration on the care team, but also an increased need for collaboration between the patient and the provider.


That sounds like your Tonic platform, where consumers can enter information on a mobile device. What kind of information can they enter and how does that flow through to the provider?

It’s a couple of things. One is the Tonic platform and one is a pilot we have which is called Digital Dialogues, which we’re doing with IMS.

Digital Dialogues is around congestive heart failure. The patient can capture information that is then sent back to the physician to create that connected network. 

Tonic is a tremendous platform that has a lot of potential to expand what we can deliver and when we can deliver it. Initially, patients go into a hospital and it’s around capturing information about that patient. The unique thing about the Tonic platform it’s a gaming-type system where it makes it fun for the patient to answer questions. Based on the questions, we can then deliver information that is more specific to them. If they have Crohn’s and we have information videos or other information on Crohn’s, we can direct it to them right at that point of need or action.

The platform allows us a lot of flexibility as far as when the patient or consumer is interacting with the platform and what we can deliver to them based on what their specific requests are, right at the point of need.


Is it a change in the company’s direction to go beyond supplying reference material for providers to supporting consumers who are seeking their own information, perhaps as an alternative to Web searches?

Absolutely. First of all, our primary market is to the institution for use by clinicians. But the reality is that in today’s healthcare market, the patient or consumer has to play a significant role in their care. We’re working with hospitals to implement the Tonic platform, which includes our content and information solutions. It’s the trusted provider — patients going into the hospital will get the same information that the hospital is using internally as well as when patients go home.

We cover the information needs across the spectrum, whether it’s a physician or pharmacist looking up information about a disease, what’s the best treatment, what’s the best plan of care, are there interactions, and things like that. We deliver all that from a clinical perspective, but just as importantly, we need to deliver similar type of information geared toward the patient so they can understand it and they’re empowered from a care standpoint.

If you look at the statistics today, there’s almost a trillion dollars of waste in healthcare. Big chunks of that are because patients don’t understand their care, they’re readmitted, they don’t follow the regimen that’s provided to them. It’s pretty critical that patients or consumers understand what their needs are, how to improve their care, and why it’s important to follow it, as well as what the implications are if they don’t, so that we can reduce the overall waste in the healthcare system.


Do you see any possibility of a single shared care plan where all of a patient’s providers and the patient themselves can contribute to it, perhaps wrapped around standard evidence-based content and some sort of workflow capability?

We’ve looked at that in the past, whether it was for care plans, order sets, or other type of content — a collaborative content creation or updating mechanism. What we’ve found is that while things are standardized across the US healthcare system or other systems, the reality is each healthcare system wants to put their own stamp on it or have their own tweaks, whether it’s care plans or order sets.

We provide mechanisms inside of an institution to collaborate across different kind of committees, whether it’s on care plans or order sets. We’ve talked to people outside to see if they want to do it in a more community-based environment, but so far, that hasn’t gotten a lot of traction.

I think it comes down to the fact that there are a lot of complexities around that, from a standpoint of keeping them current, ensuring that if evidence changes or a drug is removed, that’s propagated throughout everything. How do we reduce liability but ensure that people have access to the best information they can? Those are some of the challenges to the community-based infrastructure.


Where do you see the company going in the next five years?

My goal and the vision of the company is to lead the way in science, technology, and health. Healthcare is still in a state of disarray. Based on the stats from a study that came out, a thousand people die every day in the US from preventable medical errors. It’s just not acceptable. It’s our responsibility as a company to deliver our solutions to students and professionals to improve the quality of care.

If I look out at the next three to five years, it’s just continuing in the current strategy. We can significantly improve healthcare and reduce errors by ensuring that our care planning products and our order set products are implemented in these systems, utilized, and that the right training is delivered to the institution to ensure standardization of care. We’ll be delivering more and more of our information deeply embedded into our health HIT partners.

Another big component for us is around patient engagement. We talked about that already and how the patient is playing a much larger role in their care. That’s a focus for us. I see that continuing and evolving and increasing over the next three to five years.

We’re a global company. From a clinical solutions business standpoint, a significant part of our revenues comes from outside the US. We continue to invest in many countries outside the US. As the evolution of the infrastructure increases in the UK, Germany, Spain, China, Japan, etc. we continue deliver the same types of solutions and the same type of impact outside the US as well.


Do you have any final thoughts?

Whether it’s Elsevier or any company out there, it’s our responsibility to partner with our hospital customers, physician offices, and clinicians better to look at co-development and other ways to deliver our information. It’s our responsibility from an Elsevier perspective, and from the industry’s perspective, to solve this problem.

We’re not there. We haven’t done it yet. If you look at the stats, if anything, they’re going the wrong way. We need to be more successful in ensuring that our information and the evidence is delivered at the right point of time to improve care. It’s something that has to happen in this marketplace. It’s not sustainable and we shouldn’t accept it.

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March 31, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/31/15

March 30, 2015 Headlines No Comments

HHS CTO steps down

Bryan Sivak will step down from his position as HHS chief technology officer at the end of April. Sivak joined HHS in 2012 and oversaw the Entrepreneurs in Residence program as well as the HHS IDEA Lab.

Scripps Selects Epic For New EHR

Scripps Health (CA) has chosen Epic as its next EHR vendor, replacing GE Healthcare’s Centricity Enterprise on the inpatient side and Allscripts Enterprise in its outpatient clinics.

Canadians Losing Out On Benefits Of Electronic Health Records

A C.D. Howe Institute report finds that widespread interoperability challenges are hindering efforts to reduce healthcare costs and improve care coordination. “Survey findings revealed that in primary care only 12 percent of physicians are notified electronically of patients’ interactions with hospitals or send and receive electronic referrals for specialist appointments,” says Denis Protti, the report’s author.

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March 30, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Readers Write: Your Interfaces Suck Because You Want Them To

March 30, 2015 Readers Write 6 Comments

Your Interfaces Suck Because You Want Them To
By T. Ruth Hertz

Your interfaces suck because you want them to. Yup, that’s the stone cold reality. 

I am looking at you Mr. /Ms. CIO. You may talk all day about interoperability, data normalization, HIEs, standards, etc. but unless the right data in the right format gets to the right place at the right time, you are wasting time and money and possibly risking patient safety.

But wait, you say. We insist that all applications have HL7 interfaces – we even put it in the contract! Yes, maybe you do, but do you take the time to get and review detailed specifications before you sign the contract? Do you require the vendors to demonstrate interfacing their application with the ones you already have? Not just give you a list of other clients that have “the same systems as you” but actually connect their system to your engine and downstream application test environments? How well would the physicians at your institution react to being given a list instead of a demo and / or site visit?

Do you let your interface experts ask the tough questions during due diligence? If you do, does it matter when the answers are wrong or evasive? Or do you just accept it when the vendor says, “You can fix it in the engine?” Do the interface experts get to go on the site visit, see the interface in action, and talk to the folks that have had to actually make the interface work?

Let’s face the facts:

  • It is in the application software vendor’s best interest to not interface well with other vendors’ apps. Selling a suite of apps that work well together but not well with others makes buying their products as a set look like the smart thing to do.
  • Application software vendors can make their interfaces work. They have the source code and the underlying database. They just need a very good reason to do so – like “no sale” if they don’t.
  • Your interface staff time isn’t free. All the time spent on analyzing, designing, and building workarounds to compensate for deficiencies in the sending and/or receiving applications costs hard money. That time is also time lost from other projects.

It’s time that the decision-makers who buy healthcare apps put a stop to this madness and insist that true interoperability be delivered by the software vendors – or no sale.

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March 30, 2015 Readers Write 6 Comments

Readers Write: A Prescription for Getting Face Time with Doctors at HIMSS

March 30, 2015 Readers Write 1 Comment

A Prescription for Getting Face Time with Doctors at HIMSS
By Chris Lundgren


It’s no secret that it’s getting harder and harder to get face time with doctors. But I’m a sales guy, so I always see a silver lining in everything.

In this scenario, the silver lining is that doctors are just like you and me. They can’t live without their gadgets. Recent studies have shown that 75 percent of doctors own a smartphone and 55 percent use both a tablet and smartphone in their daily work. So while you may have a more difficult time connecting in person with doctors, you can still be very much connected.

The key to engaging doctors today is to use technology when the time is ripe. The upcoming HIMSS conference is the perfect example. It has a huge audience and nearly 60 percent of the attendees are healthcare providers. Let me repeat: thousands and thousands of doctors gathered in one space to live and breathe technology for five days. If that isn’t a jackpot waiting to happen, I don’t know what is.

Problem is, doctors are going to be running from one panel to another at HIMSS, so you can’t expect to get face time with them if you haven’t engaged them prior to the conference. And the way to do that is – you guessed it – through their gadgets. Here’s what I recommend:

  1. Ask them how they’re doing. Doctors are always asking others how they’re doing. Now that the pressure is on doctors to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs in measurable ways, it’s time to ask doctors how they’re doing and what’s on their minds. A quick and easy way to do that is a survey that asks 1-3 questions such as, “What topic(s) are you most interested in at HIMSS?”, “What do you hope to gain from learning about that topic?”, and “What other concerns are on your mind?”
  2. Make them a HIMSS-only offer. Limited time offers work time and time again because they create a sense of urgency. If you want to ensure that you get some face time at HIMSS, make sure you’re prepared to make offers that will only be available at the conference. Use the results of the survey to develop the offer or gather qualitative insights from your sales reps – what have their conversations revealed about doctors’ needs right now? Take advantage of email marketing for its quick response, analytics, and segmentation capabilities.
  3. Impress them with knowledge. A recent study showed that doctors are always hungry for new research, case studies, and other clinical knowledge that can help them in their work. But here’s the catch (and also the opportunity): they’re often too busy to look for it on their own. Do the work for them by delivering valuable content. Remember, they’re busy, so don’t deluge them with a library of links. Try a short list of statistics or a link to an article to get the conversation started. Tip: Information related to patients is hot right now and there’s a treasure trove of relevant content with a quick search.

Digital engagement is an essential component to any physician communication strategy. However, to maximize the results of such a strategy, the focus should be on quality rather than quantity. In addition, integrating a quality digital campaign with the right mix of print, mail, and telemarketing can optimize any effort. Be sure to get your reps to follow up with doctors on the phone or via email after a campaign goes out. Using this multi-channel approach can boost revenue by more than 10 percent. Good luck at the conference.

Chris Lundgren is VP of strategic sales for Healthcare Data Solutions of Lincoln, NE.

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March 30, 2015 Readers Write 1 Comment

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 3/30/15

March 30, 2015 Dr. Jayne 3 Comments


I mentioned that we are having budget meetings this week. One of the hot topics is how we’re going to manage office space and various leases as we reorganize to consolidate onto a single vendor platform. The health system’s goal is to move everyone under the IT umbrella, so we’ll need more space at the mother ship.

We’ll also have to figure out what to do with existing office space leases at our regional campuses and how to transition people from one location to another in a timely fashion. Certain functions such as desktop support and provisioning will continue to be somewhat regional, so there’s going to be some delicate negotiating while we figure out which spaces to keep and which to let go.

I hadn’t given much thought to the new space they’ll be outfitting for the project. The last time I was involved in a significant office move was seven or eight years ago and we were going into a largely completed space. The biggest thing we had to decide was which staffers would be placed into which rows of cubes.

Late last week, I had the dubious pleasure of attending a half-day session to discuss design and construction of the upcoming office build-outs. Given some of the complaints we’ve gotten about the open office design at some of our newer facilities, I thought the topic might be contentious, but I had no idea just how much.

One faction came to the meeting armed with copies of a recent article in The New Yorker called “The Open-Office Trap.” It details the perils of the open office, citing examples of reduced productivity and higher levels of employee stress. Reports have also chronicled higher use of sick days and reduced cognitive performance. One study from Cornell University found that workers exposed to typical open-office noise had higher levels of the stress hormones that are typically associated with the fight-or-flight response. Another from Finland looked at whether younger employees did better with the open office platform and concluded that although they might seem to, there are trade-offs.

As we started the meeting, another attendee hastily emailed links to the Washington Post piece on the topic. The author mentions employees who have difficulty with the transition the open office paradigm and laments the lack of huddle rooms to be used when private conversations are required.

I know that the first time I had to transition from a private office to a cube, I had a hard time adapting. As a newly-minted medical director, I was given a “supercube,” which was essentially double sized with a small table for meetings. It was on a main thoroughfare in cubeland however, which seemed to invite people to plop around the table for impromptu conversations.

I was often interrupted with requests to borrow my chairs or by people just saying hello on the way to the bathroom, icemaker, elevator, or coffee pot. It was also difficult to have confidential conversations about physician behavior, especially since we didn’t have enough smaller meeting rooms. This led me to hide out in a poorly-lighted and recently-vacated office in the basement near hospital engineering, at least until that space was reassigned. The experience definitely strengthened my support for allowing staff to work from home.

Halfway through today’s already-rowdy meeting, another colleague emailed around a piece entitled “Open-Plan Workspaces Are the Work of Satan.” The meeting quickly spiraled out of control after that since it’s hard to take Formica samples and color swatches seriously after someone has invoked the Prince of Darkness. The design and construction team had brought along an intern and I’m sure she found the meeting to be highly educational, just not in the way it was originally intended.

I’m just glad I kept a low enough profile to avoid being volunteered for the subcommittee that will meet again to “continue the dialogue.” I’ve spent the last two months fretting about the future of my team and of my own career and it didn’t even occur to me that serious choices needed to be made on whether we want an aquatic color scheme or one that is desert-inspired or how many “rolling-wall” whiteboards we might need to order. I’m glad there are people that care and are thinking about these things, but at this point it feels frivolous.

The positions for our new clinical project were posted last week. It’s hard to watch my highly-qualified staff fret over whether they’ll be chosen. They’ve heard that they have to take a personality test and that there may be a preference for younger workers without “bad habits” gleaned from working with other vendors and systems.

I’m not part of the hiring decisions at all, but I certainly hope we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot by throwing away all the non-software knowledge we have amassed regarding how to effectively serve our physicians and their practices. In the mean time, I’ll have to amuse myself by running the betting pool on aquatic vs. desert color schemes.

What do you think about open offices? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne. clip_image003

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March 30, 2015 Dr. Jayne 3 Comments

HIStalk Interviews Randy Campbell, President, FormFast

March 30, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Randy Campbell is president of FormFast of St. Louis, MO.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

I started my career as a biology major in pre-med. I graduated, but didn’t go to med school for various reasons. My roommate, who was studying computer engineering, asked me a question one night. I thought, "Wow, this is really interesting. IT is where I need to be."

I started out in IT, software development in particular. I moved on from software development to a systems integrator, which is a company that provides hardware, software, and services to enterprises. I learned a ton in that field. Ultimately I decided I wanted to get back to a software development company in a area that I’ve always enjoyed. That was healthcare, so I ended up at FormFast.

FormFast is a privately held software company that only sells to hospitals. We’ve been in business for 23 years and have a very large market. We’ve sold to a lot of hospitals over the years.


How have hospitals improved care or efficiency using workflow or process automation that they couldn’t have done with an EHR alone?

That’s the sweet spot we’re in. We’re helping hospitals with all the stuff that supports their EHR and is part of the ecosystem of the hospital.

Our legacy products are electronic forms, in particular on the registration side. Being able to take the information that’s collected by the registrar and, without the expense and maintenance of paper forms, collecting that information, getting signed by the patient when necessary for consents or release of information forms, and then getting that information into a document repository. You would think that process would be core to an HIS or an EHR, but it’s not, because those vendors are more worried about the clinical processes and clinical workflow.

There’s plenty of examples elsewhere in the hospital, whether it’s in the back office, in materials management, and even with some major HIT vendors, with applications or workflows between their own applications that they don’t provide or have the capability to address. Physician coding query is an example, where the coder is able to communicate with the physician in a secure way to ensure that the appropriate codes are applied and that all the documentation is there to support those codes.


Hospitals that claim to be paperless still have a lot pallets of Office Depot paper and pre-printed forms coming in via the loading dock. What are the benefits of making paper processes electronic and workflow driven?

There’s the obvious cost of printing the forms themselves. A hospital is a very regulated environment, and even for forms that are part of the back office that don’t fall under particular government regulations, those forms change. 

Our traditional market has been the community hospital, but with the changes that are happening in healthcare now where so many hospital systems being purchased by larger systems or by IDNs, we’re finding ourselves in larger and larger hospital systems, including the very largest IDNs. It’s really about efficiency and being able to support their core business — which is delivering care — with systems and processes that are as sophisticated as the clinical processes need to be.

For instance, we are working with a number of hospitals around HR kinds of processes. Hospitals have a lot of transitions of staff and employees, people coming and going with mergers and acquisitions of facilities and people changing jobs. Being able to easily onboard, offboard, promote, and transfer employees becomes a major problem. It slows down their ability to focus on the more fundamental mission that they’ve got, which is providing care.

Not only do we provide software that enables hospitals to use those forms in an electronic version that easily integrates with other systems and provides the kinds of automated processing of that information and storing and archival of that information, but we also provide services to many hospitals to do the change management of those forms. That information is always changing, especially as organizations are being bought and sold.

We were having a conversation just this week around our checks application. Somebody asked, "What is the need in hospitals for an application to be able to process checks and generate financial reports and documents and so forth?" They’re changing banks, they need to change the logo, they’re part of a new hospital system, or they’re getting information from a different system. It’s amazing how dynamic the back office systems are.

Hospitals are becoming enterprises like in all other sectors. They have the same enterprise problems. With HITECH and Meaningful Use, more and more money is going into IT, and making sure that that information is in a form that it can be used, shared, and reported on is important. That’s true for the back office as much as it is for the clinical side.


More information is being collected from patients and families, some of whom might not be comfortable entering it using the same applications that clinicians use. Are hospitals using more electronic or scanned paper forms so that the patient-generated information isn’t just sitting in a drawer somewhere?

Yes. Hospitals are asking us to be able to present forms to patients directly, whether it’s for pre-registration or for getting consents signed before coming in.

With fee-for-value rather than fee-for-service, care is being pushed down more and more to clinics, primary care physicians, and even retail environments. That requires more ways of interfacing directly with patients instead of the traditional contact with the registrar or clinicians on the floor. We’re doing a lot of work on that because customers are asking us for more ways to engage patients.

We facilitate the ability to collect information in a very organized fashion using an interface called the form — but it could be a web application — that meets particular requirements and is easy to change. Other enterprises need to do that, and as hospitals add these additional touch points with patients, they’re going to have the same demand.


Is anyone doing anything interesting with barcodes?

It’s pretty exciting to be able to ensure that documents are properly identified, that they’re filed in the appropriate document management repository, and that information is not lost, misfiled, etc. A lot of our business still comes from barcoding forms. We can put not just the old style of barcodes, but 2D barcodes that can be read by the lab system and pharmacy system. We’ve worked with some major hospitals to use different kinds of barcodes that other applications within their clinical environment need to ensure that they’re able to identify that patient 100 percent accurately. The same goes for the forms themselves, the ability to ensure that those forms are stored with the appropriate medical record.

That continues to be a problem. It really is amazing that some of these very fundamental processes within a hospital still seem to have some real inefficiencies. I think it’s just because of inertia. All of the focus has been on getting electronic health records in place. Some of these other important supporting processes have been somewhat neglected. But I think that’s changing.


Do you have any final thoughts?

IT can help enterprises and hospitals are becoming enterprise organizations. They’re operating more like businesses.

We and other healthcare IT companies can help hospitals, especially with these new initiatives, become more efficient. They’ve got a lot of systems. They’ve got a lot of applications. There’s a lot of change in their environment. There’s a lot of things that IT can do to help improve their ability to operate as a business. The more they can operate efficiently as a business, the more they’re going to be able to focus on their core business of providing care to patients.

It’s exciting to see what we can bring to hospitals, perhaps things things they weren’t aware of or weren’t exploiting. It’s exciting for me and for FormFast to be part of that.

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