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News 3/13/13

March 12, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

3-12-2013 7-37-49 PM

Healthcare data vendor IMS acquires six-year-old, 60-employee Seattle startup Appature, which sells software for tracking drug company marketing activities to physicians. Rumored price was more than $100 million.

Reader Comments

3-12-2013 5-47-53 PM

From IT Dad: “Re: porno nurse. The company was Onyx. I’m a 50-year-old male and I was shocked when I saw it and shocked that someone thought this would be a good idea. I just kept on walking. I was insulted that they would treat women that way and immediately though of my daughter and my female co-workers. I would not even consider stopping at their booth as I did not want to be seen there.” I e-mailed an Onyx contact for a comment and received no response. I was torn whether to run the reader-submitted photo above (taken by a real nurse, I might add) since that might seem equally chauvinistic, but decided readers need to see at least a small-scale version to understand what the fuss is about. The China-based Onyx sells medical displays, of which the scantily clad phony nurse appears to be one.

From Odla: “Re: Neal Patterson. Funny that Neal was seen at several booths at HIMSS. He was at the Optum booth for a bit until an exec recognized him and politely suggested he might want to return to the Cerner booth.”

3-12-2013 6-19-28 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: ECM. TPD will be posting interesting apps that address Big Data concerns in our path to enterprise content management (ECM). As a lover of what Hadoop can bring to healthcare, there’s an app that employs Hadoop called Platfora.”

From Captain Ron: “Re: HIMSS. I witnessed a classic moment at HIMSS last week that I had to share. I visited the QlikView booth to watch CHOP present on self-service analytics. Very impressive stuff and they’ve integrated QlikView in Radar. So the funny part … multiple folks there from Epic and one guy in particular decided he should interrupt and share how Epic can help solve this problem. I wonder how Epic would feel if QlikView came and interrupted their customer presentation? #BOUniversesarenottheanswer.”

From PartyReviews: “Re: HIMSS parties. Hit a few parties at HIMSS. Yours was the best of the bunch. Funny how a blog is out partying the big vendors. Consulting firms all had more of a reception format. Deloitte was kinda stiff as you’d expect, Impact Advisors and a few others were OK. Encore had their traditional and apparently popular Pub Night which I hit two times during the week. Each night there were over 300 people there. Guess people really like the free beer, wine, and mixed drinks. No vendors were over the top as has been normal in the past. I got into bed Mon-Wed at 2 a.m., 1 a.m., and 3 a.m. respectively. Only in New Orleans. And we wonder why HIMSS is a burn out?”

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-12-2013 8-04-12 PM

Athenahealth completes its acquisition of Epocrates.

3-12-2013 8-04-49 PM

TeleTracking Technologies reports a 42 percent increased in booked revenue in the 2012 fiscal year.

3-12-2013 8-05-27 PM

ISirona announces revenue growth of 172 percent for 2012.
A proxy advisor firm urges HP shareholders to give the boot to two of the company’s directors at its upcoming annual meeting for their role in the disastrous acquisition of Autonomy in 2011, one of them being McKesson Chairman, President, and CEO John Hammergren. A group of New York City pension funds also urges voting against the re-election of Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson for their involvement in acquisitions that caused HP to lose $17 billion in the past year and for the quick hiring of CEO Leo Apotheker, who was then fired less than a year later.

Ireland-based bedside computing vendor Lincor Solutions receives a $9.5 million investment from Edison Ventures, which it will use to relaunch the company in the US by moving its headquarters to Nashville, TN and creating 30 jobs. The MediVista platform offers access to clinical applications, bed status management, patient entertainment and education, and communications.

3-12-2013 7-20-48 PM

Medical supply vendor Becton Dickinson & Company acquires Austria-based Cato Software Solutions, which offers oncology planning, monitoring, and drug preparation software.

3-12-2013 8-06-14 PM

Lexmark acquires two companies that will be rolled into its Perceptive Software unit. AccessVia sells software that allows stores to print electronic shelf tags, while Twistage provides media management software that its CEO says could be used to distribute medical images and attach video to a patient’s EMR.


3-12-2013 3-54-49 PM

East Texas Regional Healthcare System selects Siemens MobileMD HIE to coordinate care among its 15 facilities.

The Salisbury, Wight and South Hampshire Domain NHS Trust  Consortium (UK) awards its VNA and data migration contract to Acuo Technologies.

Coastal Medical (RI) adds the eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record to advance its ACO-related objectives.

3-12-2013 8-07-48 PM

Iowa Health System will implement a suite of Infor applications, including Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management and Enterprise Financial Management.

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services selects Siemens Healthcare’s Soarian clinicals and financials and the MobileMD HIE platform.


3-12-2013 6-51-24 AM

Suzanne Cogan (Shareable Ink) joins Orion Health as VP of sales.

3-12-2013 5-56-49 PM

Conifer Health Solutions names Allen Hobbs (MedAssets) chief client officer.

3-12-2013 12-56-17 PM

The AAFP’s TransforMED subsidiary names Russell Kohl, MD (OU School of Community Medicine / Oklahoma College of Medicine) medical director.

3-12-2013 5-57-53 PM

Infor names Barry P. Chaiken, MD (DocsNetwork) CMIO.

3-12-2013 5-58-57 PM

Ping Identity hires Michael J. Sullivan (IHS) as CFO.

3-12-2013 5-59-45 PM 3-12-2013 6-01-28 PM

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius names new and continuing members to the US Technology Standards Committee including Jeremy Delinsky (athenahealth) and Eric Rose, MD (Intelligent Medical Objects).

Announcements and Implementations

CareCloud opens a Boston office, where it expects to house 35 to 40 employees by the end of the year.

Johnson County Healthcare (WY) goes live this week with CPSI.

PatientKeeper deployed its CPOE solution at 19 community hospitals during the first 60 days of 2013.

Eight vendors participated in the inaugural IHE 2013 North American Connectathon, which performed testing to specified requirements for the IHE USA Certification pilot conducted by ICSA Labs.

Final HIMSS conference stats: 34,696 total attendees, 13,985 professional attendees, 1,158 exhibiting companies.

3-12-2013 8-09-10 PM

The New Orleans airport warned travelers last Wednesday of expected delays on Thursday due to the conclusion of the HIMSS conference and sequester-driven TSA staffing reductions.

e-MDs launches a cloud-based EHR/PM solution and introduces Solution Series 7.2.2, an updated version of its client-server suite of EHR/PM products.

Government and Politics

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius fires up her Twitter.

Lt. Dan called this perfectly. Internal VA documents reveal that the agency is taking much longer than it reported to process service-related benefit claims by veterans, with delays averaging more than 1.5 years in major cities. The number of veterans waiting for more than a year for their benefits jumped from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 by the end of 2012. Despite spending $537 million on a new computer system, the VA still process 97 percent of claims on paper.


Billian’s HealthDATA finds that medical records-related costs of hospitals typically account for less than three percent of total general-service operating expenses and almost seven percent of total general-service salary expenses.

3-12-2013 4-08-18 PM

The University of Mississippi Medical Center will expand its telehealth program to improve access for smaller hospitals and clinics and will create 201 new jobs over the next three years.

Sponsor Updates

3-12-2013 12-29-44 PM

  • Divurgent’s Signature Drive at HIMSS raises $5,000 for the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.
  • Aspen Valley Hospital (CO) increases front office payments and reduces payment processing administrative time by 65 percent after deploying InstaMed’s healthcare payment network.
  • Hyland Software and Merge Healthcare expand their partnership to include an integrated image viewing and storage solution.
  • CareTech Solutions introduces CareTech Solutions Pulse, an integrated IT monitoring service that integrates monitoring of hospital clinical, business, and ancillary applications, as well as the infrastructure on which they run.
  • The Virtual Influence Planning group, Medseek’s independent consulting firm, expands its services to include patient portal adoption and marketing plans for healthcare organizations. Medseek also introduces its Influence platform, which will provide hospitals with a comprehensive view of individual patients.
  • Orion Health and NexJ Systems will distribute joint capabilities and technologies, such as NexJ Connected Wellness and the Rhapsody Integration Engine.
  • CCHIT certifies NextGen Ambulatory EHR version 5.8 compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria and certified as a Complete EHR.
  • The Advisory Board Company announces the agenda and keynote speakers for its Crimson Clinical Advantage Summit May 20-22 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Picis announces that is annual Exchange conference will be consolidated with the Optum Provider Exchange Conference September 23 in Orlando, FL.
  • Philips Healthcare introduces its IntelliSpace eCareManager 3.9 patient management software, which includes the ability for staff to get a patient population level view of data.
  • The NCQA awards SuccessEHS client Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers (WI) the highest level of recognition for its PCMH program
  • CAP Professional Services and the Lab Interoperability Collaborative look at the top 10 challenges facing hospitals seeking to report lab results electronically.
  • GetWellNetwork debuts myGetWellNetwork, a digital platform to help patients and providers manage recovery, chronic conditions, and preventative care online. 
  • Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center (KY) shares how Accent on Integration helped the organization integrate its Philips OBTraceVue platform with its Meditech HIS.
  • Surgical Information Systems announces the availability of SIS Com Version 3.3, which includes enhanced functionality and a more streamlined look.
  • Imprivata launches Cortext 2.0, its free HIPAA-compliant texting solution.
  • St. Barnabas Medical Center is using Access’s e-forms and wristband bar-coding solution alongside Cerner Millenium and Siemens Invision to enhance its EMAR process.
  • Visage Imaging will exhibit at the SIIM Philadelphia Regional Meeting on March 18 in Philadelphia, with Director of Solutions Architecture and Customer Experience Director Bobby Roe co-leading a roundtable session entitled “Cool Technologies in Imaging Informatics.”
  • Vitera Healthcare releases a hosted version of its Medical Manager practice management platform.
  • McKesson Canada’s RelayHealth aligns with QHR Technologies to integrate QHR’s Accuro EMR System with RelayHealth’s services.
  • SC Magazine names Trustwave the Best Network Access Control product.
  • The HealthLogix HIE platform from Certify Data Systems passes numerous Integrating the HIE profile tests at the 2013 IHE North America Connectathon.
  • Nuance launches Clintegrity 360, a computer-assisted system for clinical documentation improvement and coding.
  • RazorInsights integrates Patientco’s patient financial engagement billing software into its HIS system.
  • MetroHealth Medical Center, an affiliate of Case Western Reserve (OH), will deploy Wolters Kluwer Health’s ProVation Order Sets as its evidence-based order set solution.
  • Kareo lists the top six EHR features that small practices need.
  • Ingenious Med reports a 380 percent increase in the usage of its impower mobile applications in 2012. Twenty-one percent of its licensed impower clinicians now use mobile devices.
  • Deloitte interviews 12 CIOs in major health systems about the challenges of managing their IT departments.
  • InstaMed projects triple-digit growth in the wake of healthcare reform and reports having processed more than $60 billion in healthcare payments as of March 2013.
  • GE Healthcare is developing Guided Analytics and AutoBed applications for the Caradigm Intelligence Platform.
  • AT&T CMIO Geeta Nayyar discusses mobile health and how it can provide care where needed.
  • Cerner will integrate Nuance’s clinical documentation improvement technology into its Millennium EHR and RCM solutions.
  • Advanced Orthopedic Center (FL) selects SRS EHR for its nine physicians.
  • Access extends its relationship with Inpact LLC, a provider of online and social media communities for HIT, to include sponsorship of Siemens Healthcare Social.
  • As part of its $80 million healthcare integration contract, Harris Healthcare receives authorization to deploy a solution that enables the VA and DoD to share EHRs.
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital shares how LRS helped the organization simplify document management in a March 14 Webinar.
  • Capario announces a three-part Webinar series called Mastering the Art of Getting Paid starting March 20.
  • Covisint will feature Andras Cser with Forrester Research in a March 13 Webinar detailing the benefits of cloud-based identity and access management.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 12, 2013 News 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 3/12/13

March 11, 2013 Headlines No Comments

UConn Health Center Warns Patients of Privacy Breach

The University of Connecticut Health Center is notifying patients of a privacy breach that could affect around 1,400 patient records, saying that a former employee inappropriately accessed patient records that were beyond the scope of the employee’s responsibilities.

Electronic discharge tool helps rein in HF readmissions

Analysts at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City designed a retrospective study that evaluated heart failure discharges between January 2011 and September 2012.Their goal was to assess whether the use of electronic discharge orders affect adherence to core measures and 30-day, all-cause readmissions of patients with HF. At the conclusion of the study, the readmission rate for patients whose discharge involved the electronic tool was 15.5 percent compared with 18 percent when the tool was not used.

CHS, Cleveland Clinic Form Strategic Alliance

Cleveland Clinic announces a strategic partnership with Community Health Systems’ network of 135 affiliated community hospitals. Cleveland Clinic will help CHS establish clinical integration programs at its affiliated hospitals, which will provide a mechanism for the sharing of data and in time will support predictive modeling initiatives.

In Pursuit Of Interoperability For The Common Good

Forbes publishes a guest article by Arien Malec, VP strategy and product marketing at RelayHealth, and David McCallie MD, VP medical informatics at Cerner, regarding CommonWell. The article is short on details and concludes by broadcasting an open invitation to all vendors to join the alliance.

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March 11, 2013 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 3/11/13

March 10, 2013 Headlines 3 Comments

Department of Veterans Affairs Review of Alleged Transmission of Sensitive VA Data Over Internet Connections

An audit report released by the Office of the Inspector General validates earlier rumors that the VA has been routinely transmitting sensitive patient information across unencrypted telecommunication networks, including patient names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and EHR data.

Business news briefs: Human error the cause of UPMC electronic issue

A system-wide problem with UPMC’s EHR (Cerner) resulted in all facilities shifting back to paper charting for three hours. Human error was identified as the root cause.

Cisco Study Reveals 74 Percent of Consumers Open to Virtual Doctor Visit

Cisco releases a press release, blog post, and infographic advertising the findings of its Customer Experience Report on health care. The study concludes that 74 percent of consumers are OK with virtual doctor visits.

Health Care Providers Give Cloud Vendors High Marks on Security

KLAS releases a report on cloud-based software solutions. Security and reliability were the two primary factors identified as preventing widespread adoption, despite high marks in both areas from actual users.

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March 10, 2013 Headlines 3 Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/11/13

March 9, 2013 News 12 Comments

3-9-2013 5-55-05 PM

From Beth: “Re: athenahealth. My little brother just got a job at athenahealth in Boston. Should I congratulate him, or give him stolid advice on keeping a work-life balance? What are the differences between Epic and athenahealth for an implementer?” Good question, which I will defer to readers since I have no first-hand employee knowledge of either company having spent my working life in non-profit hospitals.

3-9-2013 9-38-25 AM

From Cat’s Eye: “Re: Neal Patterson. Let’s start a game of Where’s Waldo? with him. Here he is in the UpToDate booth.” I have to admit that I like Neal’s look.

From Boy George: “Re: HIStalk. HIStalk has not been a HIMSS booster and I know as a fact that HIMSS is acutely aware (and envious) of your sponsorship exposure and HIStalkapalooza.” I would hope HIMSS has other HIT worlds to conquer without worrying about my microscopic corner of it. I’ve been writing HIStalk for 10 years while working in a non-profit hospital, so I work pretty hard for whatever success I get, and that success wasn’t (and isn’t) my motivation anyway. As for HIStalkapalooza, I’ll give credit to the companies that sponsor it and the folks who spend the evening with us each year. I do greatly admire the companies that sponsor HIStalk since for most of them, it’s not just a traditional ad buy but rather their interest in truly supporting what I do. I had none for the first few years of HIStalk and I don’t take any of them for granted. I seem to vaguely remember AMIA or CHIME or some group wanting to work with me years ago, but they realized that I’m a loose cannon.

From HIMSSed Out: “Re: booth experiences. Jeff at eClinicalWorks gave a very concise perfectly targeted presentation of their software doing a sore throat visit. No excess, no droning on, just answered my questions in a timely manner. Well done. Lyndsey at athenahealth did a very nice sore throat demo showing me what I needed and answering questions expertly. AND she blew me away when escorting me to be scanned and then handed me a KINDLE to read their material on. Put me down as impressed by the demo, low key attitude, and rocking gift!” I criticize the folks who use the booth as their employee lounge without naming names, but I like calling out those people who do a good job. There is no reason reps need to use their phones during booth duty – assign someone to monitor and return their calls and e-mail if need be, but if you give anyone under 40 a smartphone they’re going to be screwing around with it nearly constantly because that’s what they do off the job and they can’t resist its lure.

From Frank Poggio: “Re: MU. Farzad Mostashari recently said the MU Incentive bonus was safe. So much for political promises. The sequester cuts include an across-the-board reduction in Medicare payments of 2 percent effective April 1 and include cuts to MU bonus money. In my opinion, this will be just the beginning. Big deficits usually mean big cuts for providers. The Obama administration sold the HITECH act to Congress based on a projected savings of $800 billion per the original Rand study, which just a few months ago Rand said was full of errors.” Government doesn’t have “get smaller” in its vocabulary, so I’m pretty sure agencies will apply their sequester reductions in the most publicly visible way possible, i.e. shutting down national parks and closing offices early in the hopes of creating public outrage. There is no way that the government is so efficient that a 2 percent cut should even be noticeable, but they will make it so in protest.

3-9-2013 9-40-41 AM

From Guy with the Funny Accent: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. No longer talking to Bonny Roberts as she wouldn’t let me wear the Mr. HISTalk ‘Secret Crush’ sash on the final day of the exhibition.” I like that my secret crush is protective of her regalia. I think I may have blushed a bit as she read her poem on stage and I’m not so sure Bonny didn’t as well since she wasn’t planning to recite her work in front of a bunch of people. She figured out who I am when I lauded her demo style in the Aventura booth a couple of years ago, and with minimal provocation, recited my comments verbatim as we were entering Rock ‘n’ Bowl. She is, as they say, a trip.

From A. Vendor: “Re: HIMSS. It was a wonderful experience for a first-time vendor. HIMSS staff were absolutely wonderful in making preparations and taking care of our needs during the show. It couldn’t have been more effortless. Other than a modest case of booth envy, things went very well and exceeded my expectations. People who were looking found us. We met many interesting colleagues and a number of old friends. In addition to a few good leads, we stumbled into some unexpected opportunities we hadn’t expected. I’m definitely up for 2014, and maybe a little wiser.” I think part of being happy with the exhibitor experience is setting reasonable expectations, like having a central location to meet with clients and prospects, maybe picking up some foot traffic even in the hinterlands, and having access to other vendors in the hall during off hours. Non-vendor HIMSS attendees miss the point that many deals are struck between vendors during the show – marketing agreements, signing up to help with consulting and staffing needs, and perhaps finding an investor if that’s on the agenda. One vendor told me that the VC folks were rapid-firing from one booth to another without regard to what company occupied it, barking out a series of questions about their business in hopes of finding companies to invest in.

3-9-2013 5-58-09 PM

From Data Sharing Optimist: “Re: CommonWell. Started six months ago when Arien Malec (now Relayhealth/McKesson, but remember he did a stint with ONC and developed Direct) connected with Dr. David McCallie (VP, medical informatics at Cerner) – they are both very good guys and they decided to create some standards for this type of data sharing. They just finished the standards a few weeks ago. Neal and John H. loved the concept, because even though it might have some competitive issues, they both truly want to see the healthcare system improved, as do all the major CEOs. They went to a small group of folks they believed would hop right on board so they could get a press release out by HIMSS. They did not ask everyone, including Epic, but are talking to them now. From what I heard, they didn’t mean it to sound like Epic refused. That was not their intent, but with two weeks to pull things together, they had to limit things. I talked to Carl about it and got the sense that Epic needs to learn more and see if it is real, but would likely join eventually. Use cases will involve a specialist being able to view and even accept data from an outside hospital on a shared patient, as well as pharmacists being able to bi-directionally communicate with doctors.” Someone who knows all the players told me the same thing – it had to be Malec and McCallie since those are the guys smart enough to make it happen and sell the idea to the suits. I think it was a mistake to rush the announcement and play up the participants without having even invited major vendors like Epic and eClinicalWorks, but apparently the PR urge was strong. So far its accomplishments involve press releases and a Web site. One might logically ask questions like: (a) who pays for the service since infrastructure is required? (b) does the EMR user have to buy or install anything? (c) what are the queries running against? and (d) how is this better than companies like Epic and others that already allow sharing information outside their systems? I like the idea of a standard way of doing things without having a particular vendor owning the platform, so we’ll see if it happens or gets smothered in the bureaucracy of these not-always-nimble big companies.

From Ole: “Re: We are in discussions with EmergeMD regarding telemedicine and would like your unbiased opinion.” I don’t know anything about the company, but perhaps readers who do will weigh in. I would have kicked tires on your behalf at HIMSS but I ran out of time. Actually I didn’t run out of time, but I was so tired of traipsing the exhibit hall by early Wednesday afternoon that I went back to the hotel well before the exhibits closed, had a very early dinner, and finally took my shoes off to write HIStalk. I was really tired, although I now know that I was coming down with a bug at the time.

Here’s to you, IT foot soldiers who will be wide awake at 2:00 a.m. Sunday to make sure systems don’t choke when their clocks spring forward. I’ve been there.

3-9-2013 7-41-46 AM

Two-thirds of poll respondents say we’re experiencing and EHR backlash. New poll to your right: why do you think several vendors formed CommonWell Health Alliance?

Speaking of CommonWell, I noticed that they’ve populated the FAQ section of their site. They say the organization won’t actually be established until a 12-18 month proof of concept is completed, making you wonder why it was necessary to announce so early other than to put a stake in the ground.

I hope everybody got out of New Orleans OK. I left Thursday afternoon and the airport was an absolute zoo, so I can only imagine what it must have been like Wednesday evening. Security and check-in lines wound throughout the terminal, the concession vendors ran out of pretty much everything (including cream for the coffee), and the little airport didn’t have enough seats so people were sitting on the floor. It is clear that New Orleans, for all of its virtues, just can’t handle a conference the size of HIMSS without a lot of snafus.

I got home only to be hit with a respiratory infection that sent my temperature soaring and kept me up hacking all night, so I’ll just clean up some loose ends and get back to my Tylenol and Halls cough drops.

UPMC goes to paper for three hours when its patient care systems go down due to human error.

Ernest Health will work with NTT Data to create new post-acute care capabilities in its Optimum product suite.

Heritage Groups makes an unspecified investment in coding services and software vendor Aviacode.

I mentioned several days ago that I received advance word that several EHR vendors would be announced as working with Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America in adding obesity-related features to their products. “Several” turned out to be “three”: Cerner, GE, and Physician’s Computer Company. I like the idea and I’m not sure why other vendors didn’t sign on, except maybe because they’re already diverting much of their development budget into complying with federal requirements instead of delivering user-requested enhancements.

Just to clarify a reader’s comment last week: GE Healthcare sold its outsourced physician billing service, not software products like its EMR.

3-9-2013 8-59-10 AM

Another MyWay-related lawsuit is filed against Allscripts. Cardinal Health pre-paid $5 million for 1,250 MyWay licenses for resale in April 2009 and is stuck with the 994 of those licenses that it hasn’t sold and are now valueless since MyWay won’t be made ICD-10 and MU compliant. Cardinal looked at Allscripts Professional and passed because of cost, complexity, and the fact that Allscripts sells it directly and they don’t want any part of that as a substitute. Cardinal is suing for beach of contract and wants the $4 million back for its unsold MyWay licenses.

3-9-2013 8-05-44 AM 

KLAS releases a very small study (100 providers) of cloud computing perception. It says vendors are sloppy with their terminology, calling products cloud-based that are really just hosted and using Citrix or other emulation services instead of true Web services. I like the graphic above.

TeraRecon introduces iNtuition Review, which I’ll describe in the company’s words since it’s a little over my head: “iNtuition has always complemented PACS with advanced functionality to resolve specialized use cases and workflow challenges not adequately addressed by existing PACS solutions. This role is now expanded and enhanced with the new, powerful iNtuitionREVIEW client, designed to complement PACS with multi-monitor display of multi-modality data, in specialized use-cases such as cardiac (CT, MR, Cath, Echo, EKG) or breast (MR, Mammo, Ultrasound). iNtuitionREVIEW is also designed with co-operation and collaboration in mind, with specialized features for the preparation and execution of physician conferences, demos, and multi-disciplinary team meetings.”

Weird News Andy titles this story “An Arresting Development.” A Florida OB-GYN e-mails a patient, threatening to have her arrested if she doesn’t come in for an emergency C-section for her week-overdue delivery. WNA also says he’s not surprised by this 30/70 rule: a third of VA primary practitioners say they’ve missed critical lab results in the EHR due to being overwhelmed with alerts. PCPs said they received an average of 63 alerts per day, with 87 percent saying that’s too many and 70 percent say they can’t manage them all.

Arcadia Software will expand the use of ICU patient monitoring software it developed for Boston Children’s Hospital by collecting data from a network of hospitals to develop insights into treatment decisions and outcomes.

Vince covers the origins of HIMSS in this week’s HIStory.

Final HIMSS Conference Thoughts

3-9-2013 8-13-28 AM

Inga liked this: the Vonlay folks prepared a welcome package for newly anointed HIStalk Queen Sarah, who works there (note the labeled cupcakes). Some companies were planning to frame the sashes their employees wore and some folks were supposedly going to wear their sashes to the conference on Tuesday although I didn’t see any first hand.

A low-key announcement during the HIMSS conference involves the formation of the HIMSS-backed accelerator Avia, which is supposed to help provider organizations implement innovative technologies. I don’t really understand what they’re trying to do even after reading the information on their site. Nor do I understand why HIMSS is involved. HIMSS might as well bite the bullet and just buy some vendors and peddle their products directly since they’ve encroached into almost every other aspect of the market.

Brian Ahier got Karl Rove to talk about healthcare IT on camera at the conference.

Vendors have told me that it’s so expensive to dismantle, ship, and store components of their HIMSS booth that a lot of the glitz you see in the exhibit hall goes right to the trash afterward. Good idea by Orchestrate Healthcare, which bought furniture for its new two-story booth and donated it after the show to the New Orleans chapters of Habitat for Humanity and Ronald McDonald House. There’s even a patient aspect: Ronald McDonald House was planning to convert part of its dining room into a conference room where and families can meet with caregivers and Orchestrate’s donation of tables and chairs made that room immediately available for its intended purpose since they had no furniture otherwise.

3-9-2013 8-43-18 AM

This reader-supplied HIStalkapalooza photo appears – by virtue of an optical illusion — to have captured Jonathan Bush ticking the chin of an unamused Farzad Mostashari.

3-9-2013 9-00-14 AM

The majority of people who left the conference Wednesday missed the most electrifying and informative presentation I’ve seen at a HIMSS conference. I was walking over Thursday morning and a fellow attendee warned me that Farzad Mostashari is a dry presenter because he’s a data guy. I could not disagree more – he is a really good speaker who uses data to support his statements. ONC posted his 2012 keynote on YouTube and I hope they do it again for the 2013 version since everybody needs to hear what he had to say.

Inga and Dr. Jayne are still swooning that the PatientPay folks sent them each a chocolate high heel, thus combining two of their most cherished vices into a single package.

HIStalk traffic was heavy during the conference as it usually is, with visits and page views peaking on Tuesday at 11,000 and 19,000 respectively. Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I were posting and occasionally tweeting from New Orleans, of course, while Lt. Dan kept the home fires burning with daily HIStalk headlines and HIStalk Connect posts. It’s a bit of a potpourri during HIMSS week since we cover whatever is interesting to us, which is almost everything.

More HIStalkapalooza pictures by Istrico Productions. Lots of smiles. I always feel strange seeing my logo (the new one in this case) put on buses, shirts, signage, and electric lights.
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HIMSS Takeaways

Attending the HIMSS conference is like trying to simultaneously watch every channel on satellite TV. You choose what looks good in the guide, but invariably there’s a lot of crap among the good finds in both the education rooms and the exhibit hall. Even then you’ll see maybe 5 percent of what was offered. At any tableful of people, the only shared experiences may well be the keynotes and perhaps a large social event (looking at you, HIStalkapalooza).

That makes it really risky to summarize the experience and draw relevant inferences from it. Here are my thoughts, which may differ wildly from yours.

  • The CommonWell Health Alliance announcement delivered the burst of fireworks that everyone expected, but whether it’s a new commitment to patients or simply an expedient anti-Epic marketing strategy developed by marginally committed members remains to be seen. We don’t really know what will be delivered, whether it will work as described, and how hard it will be for providers to connect to whatever communications infrastructure is developed. If it succeeds, will it put yet another nail in the HIE coffin? Can it be successful without the participation of vendors like Epic, eClinicalWorks, and others? Can vendors really deliver the needed technology along with their ICD-10 and Meaningful Use enhancements, and if so, how will they prioritize the work? It’s easy to get wrapped up in the feel-good, patient-friendly marketing prose and characterize non-participants as patient haters, but let’s see what they can deliver and which companies dominate the process before waving the CommonWell flag.
  • Analytics doesn’t make good booth demos, so it’s hard to have a solid takeaway. Everyone knows they need better data, but approaches range from technical toolkits to turnkey systems complete with algorithms and reports for common requirements. We’re past the multi-year, big-expense data warehouses of just a few years ago, but it would still be easy to make a misstep in the zeal of preparing for ACOs and other delivery changes for which the data requirements are still fuzzy. This may be yet another area where providers will wish they had measured twice and sawed once.
  • New Allscripts CEO Paul Black has wasted no time in trying to erase the painful memory of a series of Keystone Cops-like corporate gaffes that left the company as a punch line. Remarkably, some recent Sunrise sales and the acquisition of Jardogs and dbMotion provides validity to their claims as a serious player, although it’s early in the recovery.
  • The industry is quickly transitioning from the traditional hospital and practice system model, which emphasizes transaction entry and charging, toward a public health focused emphasis that requires heavy consideration of non-episodic patient activity and cost management. This will require yet another round of vendor technology investment on top of ICD-10 and Meaningful Use requirements, polarizing the market even more into those vendors positioned for the future vs. those just trying to milk what market is left selling old-school systems.
  • HIMSS finally recognized the role of patients in the healthcare system, at least superficially. You’ll know the movement is real when real patients and their advocates lead significant sessions, hold non-token HIMSS roles, and are actively represented on vendor advisory groups and even company boards.
  • More and more of the healthcare IT market direction is driven by the government in general and ONC in particular. Vendors and customers aren’t talking a lot about incremental enhancements or product tweaks. It’s all about analytics, transparency, interoperability, and outcomes. It will be a challenge to turn these somewhat vague concepts into concrete development plans.
  • The audience for usability seems to be selective. Lots of people are talking about it, but nobody’s doing much despite government report emphasizing the need to make systems safer and easier to use.
  • The market for consulting services is going to be very strong, but it will shift from system selection and implementation to system optimization. That will drive consulting firms to further specialize into specific practices, most notably for Epic and Cerner. IT systems are necessary but not sufficient to drive the needed changes, and that will favor CIOs who have a good working relationships and reputation outside of IT.
  • mHealth has a decent chance of improving health in nations where the problem is lack of basic health needs and medical services. It doesn’t seem to have the required impact in countries challenged by prosperity-fueled problems like obesity, lack of exercise, and time-challenged citizens who don’t put their health first.
  • The HIMSS conference keeps getting bigger, but nobody knows if the proportion of actual practicing caregivers (rather than former caregivers turned IT cheerleaders) is increasing or decreasing. It’s easier to be irrationally exuberant when the front-line naysayers aren’t in the building.
  • My assessment of the educational program and the CE submission process is that it continues to go downhill, making it almost an afterthought to the cash cow, the exhibit hall.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 9, 2013 News 12 Comments

From HIMSS 3/6/13

March 6, 2013 News 22 Comments

3-6-2013 9-03-12 PM

3-6-2013 9-04-30 PM

From BD: “Re: finds from the show. Warm and fuzzies all around us.” Funny, I noticed those exact items too. I was picturing a criminal lifer in the back seat of a cab fingering his .45 nervously, but then being scared off upon learning the news that blasting the cab driver might lead to punishment. Apparently New Orleans has a target audience of literate and easily influenced would-be cabbie killers.

From IVANS to Tell You…: “Re: IVANS. ABILITY Network to acquire IVANS. Press release out tomorrow.” Unverified. Both companies are involved with Medicare/Medicaid connectivity.

From Tweeter and the Monkey Man: “Re: Jardogs acquisition by Allscripts. That effectively eliminates Jardogs from 80 percent of all deals as their portal is no longer agnostic. Will a Cerner community buy an Allscripts product? Doubtful. Watch for a rebrand.”  

3-6-2013 9-54-04 PM

Wednesday of HIMSS week is always kind of a letdown. Everybody’s tired, sluggish from too much food and drink, and many (or most) of them head out for home later in the day. You could feel the energy sucked out of the exhibit hall, which I left early because my feet were tired (I think I’m coming down with a cold) and I had pretty much seen everything (four trips back and forth the length of the hall today alone.) Above is a typical booth view, with everybody heads-down on their phones.

I attended an early ONC session that wasn’t interesting enough to hold my admittedly short attention span. At the end, some douchebag PHR vendor CEO charged the microphone in pretending to ask a question by orating endlessly at the ONC panel, then went off in a long, pedantic description of how wonderful his thumb drive PHR product is (including histrionics like waving it around in the air) and claiming it could replace HIEs. If there was one of those bank teller panic buttons, I’m sure one of the ONC people would have pressed it to have him forcibly removed, but without it they could only smile through gritted teeth hoping he would accidentally come up for air so they could interrupt his infomercial. I was afraid I’d get trampled as most of the theater joined me in fleeing for the exits. I wish I had noted the company’s name to award them the appropriate level of public ridicule.

I hate it when people ask their long-winded questions after a presentation. I’d much rather let them use index cards or tweets so I don’t have to listen to their life story instead of the speaker I came to hear. Why are they encouraged to introduce themselves since nobody cares? Why doesn’t someone hold the microphone and yank it away when they refuse to shut up? When I see the self-important folks sprint over top of each other to line up salivating for their turn at the microphone, I make an equally speedy beeline for the door knowing that the interesting part of the session is officially over.

I say it every year, but the best asset of any vendor is the Hyland magician outside their sports bar exhibit. Not only is his magician’s patter amazing (“Wanna see something cool?” which is probably equally good as a pickup line) but he then works the crowd and talks knowledgably about how the OnBase product connects to Epic or Cerner or whatever. There’s no way he could memorize all that, so he must be an employee who just happens to be a magician. Whatever they pay him isn’t enough.

People keep asking me whether Epic should join its competitors in CommonWell. My answer: I wouldn’t, at least not yet. My understanding is that the participants signed a non-binding letter of intent and kicked in up to $2 million each to perform vaguely described interoperability work on an undefined timeline. Set an Outlook reminder for a year from now and let’s see if these large publicly traded companies can actually accomplish anything that benefits patients in ways that existing interoperability and HIEs haven’t. By apparently not inviting Epic initially, at least part of their agenda is pretty clear. The HIMSS timing raises the possibility that it’s more of a marketing program than it seems, to the point that I heard that Allscripts didn’t even sign up until Sunday night (Paul Black wasn’t present at the announcement, maybe for that reason). If they can actually make progress quickly, then Epic can always join at that time since they claim membership will be open to everyone. Being in favor of patient-benefiting interoperability doesn’t necessarily mean signing up for CommonWell, and if the market demands such participation, more companies will get on board.

I heard many people today complaining about having eaten too much very rich food this week. Nobody even wanted the beignets vendors were handing out from their booths today. I was glad that I had a delightful river view tapas dinner with a new friend Tuesday night since I was overloaded with gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, andouille sausage, fried oysters, and bread pudding. My serum Tabasco levels are off the chart.

A pet peeve: sales guys wearing white lab coats. I don’t think they realize how offensive it is to clinicians (me included) who worked hard to earn the right to wear them in appropriate situations. Maybe next HIMSS I’ll don priest vestments to listen to their pitch.

3-6-2013 8-13-55 PM

Bill Clinton drew the largest keynote crowd I’ve seen at a HIMSS conference, totally filling the main hall and darned near overwhelming the huge lobby that served as an overflow area (above). It was like Billstock. I heard that people were so packed inside the hall that they had to clear some of them out because all the blocked aisles were a fire code violation. I guess he was OK in a big picture kind of way, and it’s always fun to get a little bit of inside baseball knowledge from a former president. There were snickers when one of his stories involved “walking down the street with my young intern,” but he clarified that it’s a guy.

Live from the HIStalk Executive Lounge(that’s how Medicomp labeled it) at HIStalkapalooza – attendees issue their predictions for 2013.

3-6-2013 9-44-27 PM 

3-6-2013 9-46-49 PM

Impact Advisors sent over some pictures from their Monday night event at the Grand Isle Restaurant.

Exhibit Hall

3-6-2013 9-55-56 PM

Someone from Microsoft apologized here for their employees texting and ignoring booth attendees, so I figured I’d give them another chance. I walked up to the very same station, stood still and made eye contact, and a MSFT guy who was texting walked very slowly away from me, like he wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere except away from me. I was then intercepted and engaged professionally and cordially by Sarah, but then again she’s the healthcare marketing executive and you would expect her to be excellent (and she was.) Still, it was a much better experience.

I assume the Microsofties and others who have minimal booth personality are technical people and you can forgive them for that. At the opposite end of the spectrum was the utterly delightful young lady at the Tellennium booth. I told her there’s no way she’s a real employee since she was just too upbeat and magnetic and she proudly said that she’s a “brand ambassador.” I liked her instantly.

Here’s a shout out to Chelsey from Radianse, who had the best engagement style I’ve seen so far this week. She wasn’t arrogant, forceful, or overly rehearsed, but she also wasn’t scared to go shoulder to shoulder into the details of their product. Nice job. She pulled me in off the aisle I was walking down and actually taught me a few things that were good to know.

Spectralink had a pretty cool “man down” phone that automatically opens a call to hospital security if the wearer either drops it or starts running. The call is initiated in speakerphone mode, so if there’s something going on or the wearer is unable to reach the phone, the person on the other end will hear it.

Salar’s booth was in a terrible location behind the menacing adjacent booth that loomed up into the rafters, but Greg Wilson did a nice job engaging me, probably just happy to see an actual person in the HIMSS no-man’s land the company assigned the company since it started over on HIMSS points after being acquired a couple of times. Our sign was out there, which is what caught my eye in the first place.

I saw our signs out at the booths of PDR Network, VitalWare, Divurgent, and SuccessEHS. Thanks to those sponsors.

3-6-2013 8-05-24 PM

Here’s a rare HIMSS sighting of Cerner’s Neal Patterson, who I noticed as he entered the Motion Computing booth this afternoon right after the Bill Clinton break.

Here’s a video of Dr. Jayne playing Quipstar in Medicomp Stadium.

3-6-2013 9-09-44 PM

Some of my favorite people are the ESD crew, who not only sported a fun and beautifully green booth that coordinated with our sign, but who were a blast at HIStalkapalooza this week, sponsored last year’s event in Las Vegas, and might reprise that role in the future. They dutifully posed for a picture. The company really is a great supporter of our work, going way beyond just mailing in a check.

3-6-2013 8-49-43 PM

This company always makes interesting shirts.

3-6-2013 9-19-12 PM

A reader sent this photo of the cool (but kind of creepy) Greenway smart-alecky avatar. The reader says its name is Christo.

3-6-2013 9-22-13 PM

I admire this ingenuity and dedication. Strata Decision Technology is a brand new sponsor and came on board too late for us to make them a booth sign. They e-mailed to say they took a picture of someone else’s, added in their own name, made their own sign, and proudly displayed it in their booth. That is just cool and it honestly moved me, like a lot of things our sponsors do to support our work. I dropped by and chatted anonymously with the folks there, who pleasantly explained what they do when I asked (a single financial platform for capital and operational budgeting, financial decision support, performance reporting, etc.) They didn’t mention it, but I see they announced a new StrataJazz customer today, St. Luke’s University Health Network (PA).

3-6-2013 9-47-46 PM

Charlie from Orchestrate Healthcare sent over this picture of our front-and-center sign. Nice.


  • Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center (NY) chooses Allscripts Financial Manager.
  • We already stated that the VA’s big $543 million RTLS project involves CenTrak and Intelligent InSites, but CenTrak makes it official.

Mr. H’s Ten Commandments for Booth People

  1. I will either turn my phone off and leave it off or, better still, put it away out of easy reach before commencing booth duty. If I can’t stay focused on doing the job I’m well paid to do for a handful of hours without screwing around with my phone, I should quit and let someone more motivated take my place.
  2. I will stand at all times, sitting only if accompanying a booth visitor.
  3. I will maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from the nearest fellow booth person to avoid the temptation of making co-worker small talk that will discourage visitors from initiating contact.
  4. I will not interrupt my fellow booth person who is speaking to a visitor, even though I might be tempted to help them complete a thought or help out with a demo. Trying to follow two people talking over each other is fatiguing.
  5. I will suggest that the most engaging of our people work the perimeter, with the assignment of quickly engaging passersby and then quickly handing them off to less-gregarious experts who can take it from there. Only the most personable people should serve in this prospect picket role.
  6. I will start conversations with pleasant chit-chat and not an overly rehearsed set of facts or questions no matter how many times I’ve delivered the spiel. Nobody likes to be bombarded immediately.
  7. I will approach every person who pauses, looks at anything in the booth, or appears lost. People of various personality types may signal their potential interest in a variety of ways.
  8. I will have a 10-second answer ready for the inevitable “what does your company do” question.
  9. I will not discriminate how I engage with visitors on the basis of job title or organization except perhaps in the case of a direct competitor. You never know who will be an influencer, either in their current role or down the road, and my time isn’t so valuable that I shouldn’t speak at least briefly to anyone who is interested.
  10. I will remember that visitors have walked miles and are probably carrying several pounds worth of vendor giveaways, so if I convince them to watch a demo, I will personally make sure they have a seat and a place to lay down their bag.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 6, 2013 News 22 Comments

From HIMSS 3/5/13

March 5, 2013 News 11 Comments

From Strange Bedfellows: “Re: Allscripts acquisition of Jardogs. Healthland is now effectively partnered with Allscripts to provide its Stage 2 MU patient portal. Must be the era of friendlier inpatient HIS vendors.”

From GE Going Gone: “Re: GE. I am sure you have your hands full at HIMSS but I didn’t see this news reported in your roundup. GE sold its EMR business (GE Strategic Sourcing) to Gores Group. Gores Group is a private equity firm known for buying assets in need of turnaround at low prices; they specialize in corporate carveouts.” GE has sold its strategic sourcing operation, which sounds from the announcement like outsourced EMR and revenue cycle management services.

Here’s the Medicomp video of HIStalkapalooza. Everybody looks good. Not to be repetitive, but thanks to everyone involved, especially Dave Lareau and Medicomp for making it happen. I met Medicomp founder and MEDCIN engine inventor Peter Goltra the other day and I was like a teenager meeting Justin Bieber.

3-6-2013 12-59-57 AM

Thanks to Judy and Carl for dropping by HIStalkaplooza. Judy even graciously posed with her trophy (I’ll list all the awards when I get time). Also among the folks I saw there were Farzad Mostashari, former National Coordinator Rob Kolodner MD, someone I haven’t met but need to Regina Holliday, and many other industry luminaries and really nice people, especially those who either already knew me by sight or who I shyly introduced myself to during the event who made me feel less nervous.

3-6-2013 1-14-58 AM

A nice moment captured by @Sphere3CEO.

3-6-2013 1-21-12 AM

Our reigning HIStalk Queen Sarah Van Dyke outside her palace.

Here’s a video of the CommonWell announcement. Inga and I spent some time with Jonathan Bush on the show floor Monday afternoon and he said he was surprised that John Hammergren and Neal Patterson were pretty funny on the stage, at least for billionaires.

Thanks to Rob Cronin at WCG, which performed a study of social media activity. HIStalk was the most popular healthcare IT source among health system CIOs, trailing only The New York Times and NPR. Very cool – thanks for doing this and for letting me know the result.

I was talking to a guy in the hall today who was in a Hampton Inn about 20 minutes out of town because it’s all he could get. He said the cab line was two hours long at 8:30 a.m. He jogged over to the adjoining highway and flagged down a cab, only to be chased by several line-waiters angry that he got a cab before them even though the cab wasn’t going to stop at the hotel anyway. It’s getting real Lord of the Flies out there.

In another example of New Orleans workforce motivation, nobody had bothered to remove the “do not drink” signs from the water fountains in the restroom even though the boil water alert had been lifted 24 hours previously.

No thanks to Allscripts, an HIStalk sponsor who took out two others today with their acquisition of dbMotion and Jardogs. Just kidding – acquisitions are a natural step as companies progress, as I’ve seen first hand by watching the remarkable number of sponsors who have been acquired, very often by other sponsors. We don’t lost many sponsors and acquisitions are by far the #1 reason. We enjoy the result of their accomplishments and like to think we had a tiny, tiny part in them.

Speaking of Allscripts, a Florida judge denies the company’s request to force a class action lawsuit brought against it by unhappy MyWay customers to arbitration, a ruling that allows the lawsuit to continue. The law firm representing the Florida medical practice that claims a forced switch from MyWay to the Allscripts Pro EHR will cost it a lot of money and that the company’s promise of Meaningful Use and ICD-10 capabilities were broken.

Epic says that despite the claims made by the co-opetition members of the CommonWell Health Alliance, nobody asked Epic to join the group that’s made up of the publicly traded companies losing business to the privately held Epic. Epic President Carl Dvorak says the group is attempting to make its members look like leaders instead of the followers they are and for that reason, he doubts Epic will join.

Exhibit Hall

3-6-2013 12-28-29 AM

I’ll make a small confession: when we cruise the exhibit hall finding interesting things to write about, we like to check in with our sponsors, especially those who displaying the autographed HIStalk sign that we offer them for free (we really, truly appreciate that level of support – thank you). Sunquest is among those who put theirs front and center in Booth #911 (congratulations to whoever wisely snagged that easily remembered number). They’ve had some fine speakers in their booth, and if you’re interested in Meaningful Use for the lab, they’ll be presenting in Booth 149, Meaningful Use Kiosk 85, at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.

3-5-2013 6-33-56 PM

I’m like those Notre Dame football players that have to touch the overhead wall as they head out the tunnel onto the field – I can’t leave a HIMSS conference without caressing the cool carts from Enovate. This one sports a peds theme, but it still has the smooth, supple curves that I can’t keep my hands off of.

3-5-2013 6-36-44 PM

QlikView has a cool booth with a giant eye floating above it. Thanks for putting out the HIStalk sign. I’ve received a few raves from users of that product. They’re a new sponsor that I’ll talk more about later.

3-6-2013 12-14-10 AM

Good looking booth, Infor, and thanks for putting out your HIStalk sign.

3-6-2013 12-15-32 AM

I got only an over-the-shoulder look at GetWellNetwork’s platform, but I liked what I saw.

3-6-2013 12-20-15 AM

Partners Consulting, a Caradigm partner, gave me a good demo of a product they’ve built on top of what’s now called Caradigm Intelligence Platform (formerly Amalga).

3-5-2013 6-55-54 PM

Our own CIO Unplugged Ed Marx played Medicomp’s Quipstar on the show floor to benefit his charity of choice. I wasn’t able to stay to see if he won, but he was looking good up there. I met Ed in person for the first time last night at HIStalkapalooza and he’s the real deal.

3-6-2013 12-21-36 AM

Thanks, HealthMEDX, for putting our sign front and center. We appreciate it.

3-6-2013 2-21-13 AM

Do you suppose it was coincidence that this vendor person just happened to stroll down the main aisle wearing next to nothing? Do you care?

3-6-2013 12-29-23 AM

One of my favorite people to visit during the HIMSS conference is Mark Johnston of forms management software vendor Access. Once we’re finished talking healthcare IT, we move to a more serious topic: barbeque. Mark’s a on a prize-winning barbeque team, and every year we try to devise ways to work around policies prohibiting him from cranking out brisket and ribs from the smoker at or near the convention center. We branched out in a different direction today, discussing the variants of jambalaya, which his team also makes on the circuit. Green is my favorite color and his team’s shirts are a nice shade of it.

3-5-2013 6-42-39 PM

My third-favorite product of the day was the MioCARE Android-powered, semi-ruggedized tablet with a built-in 2D barcode reader. Not only was it very cool (bright green, highly ergonomic) it can run a wide range of apps using SAP’s EMR Unwired middleware (which I admit I know nothing about). They told me it costs $879, but given that you can wipe it down and drop it, it’s probably worth the difference for patient care use.

3-6-2013 1-34-14 AM 3-6-2013 1-37-20 AM

My second-favorite product of the day was ReadyDock’s tablet sterilizing system (it also charges and syncs). You’ll notice a hand on the device because everybody within arm’s reach was caressing it like an adorable child, including at one point when I was trying to slyly take a photo, THREE sets of hands, one of them belonging to a prospect and the other two attached to the loving company people. This bad boy will disinfect an iPad in 60 seconds. ReadyDock just released the CleanMe app (right) that reminds users to clean their iPad, includes a training video on cleaning, and keeps stats on the process.  I think this is brilliant.

My favorite product of the day, although I admit I saw only a 15-minute overview and demo, was BluePrint HealthCare IT’s Microsoft CRM-based Care Navigator tool that provides full visibility by both caregivers and family. It keeps all caregivers up to date with alerts, like “just registered in ED.” Users can do a lot of the patient management right from Outlook. I’ll take a second opinion if someone with more expertise than me wants to evaluate it.

Winner of the Most Fun Booth People is SynaptiCore, which does EHR implementation and support work. I heard their people hooting an hollering down the aisle and they are a ton of fun. They have a slot machine, beads, and a great sense of humor.

  • Microsoft people are usually jerks in the exhibit hall and today was no exception. I strode up in front of a couple of Windows 8 devices and patiently waited while one employee directly in front of me was texting madly. His adjacent co-worker looked up long enough to glare, then walked a few feet away and started texting himself. Vendors, I’m telling you to confiscate mobile devices because I swear at least 20 percent of reps in the hall were totally absorbed in their smartphones and ignoring passers-by. If your people are under 50, they can’t go more than 30 seconds without doing something pointless on your dime.
  • Hitach had a coffee bar and charging station.
  • One vendor gave me very cool booth swag, an Apple TV, but made me promise not to tell where I got it since it was supposed to be for elite customers. Very cool.
  • Philips Enterprise Imaging had a big crowd.
  • Streamline Health had our sign out – thanks.
  • I stopped by one booth that had five employees on duty, one of them an SVP. I stood looking at monitors for three minutes hinting that I was interested and none of them came up for air from their intra-company conversation to pay me the slightest attention. A sign said “Ask for a demo,” so I guess they took that as literal. HIMSS has the most expensive employee lounges anywhere out there on the show floor.
  • An imaging vendor had six employees in the booth and zero customers. Two were screwing around with their phones and the other four had set up shop at a table and were in deep conversation, oblivious to anyone who might intrude, like a prospect.
  • 3M’s booth has the deepest carpet I’ve ever seen. It was like walking on a very soft beach.
  • ICA – had our sign out. Thanks. I recommended them as being worth checking out to someone asking for potential HIE vendors, along with some other HIE sponsors.
  • Liberty Solutions is giving away USB-powered bladeless fans. Cool (no pun intended).
  • I asked someone at patient content vendor Healthwise to explain what they do, which he did quite nicely. They’re one of few non-profits on the floor and that’s reason enough to drop by and say hello (and an HIStalk sponsor at that).
  • CareCloud looked good on the monitor, but nobody took the cue that I’d like a look so I moved on.
  • Greenway had a big crowd looking at PrimeSUITE. They had a live avatar working the crowd that was kind of cool.
  • I saw Bob Lorsch from MMRGlobal in RelayHealth’s booth talking to one of their employees. Not sure what that was about.
  • Hannah from Halfpenny drew me in and gave a perfect answer to the “what do you do” question. They had our sign out, too.
  • Healthspot had an interesting looking consumer virtual visit portal, but I couldn’t get their attention.
  • Joshua from Ping Identity gave a nice overview of cloud-based security when I asked.
  • Infor had an interesting coffee machine and popcorn.
  • Meditech’s booth was well off the beaten track and nothing much was going on there.
  • Siemens had a blinding white booth and a big coffee bar.
  • Innovative Healthcare Solutions had our sign out and I chatted with Pat Stewart a bit.
  • API Healthcare gave an overview of Healthcare Workforce Information Exchange, which allows facilities to collect information about each employee on a single screen. It looked cool and customers are apparently saving money with it.
  • VersaSuite had our sign out and gave a good elevator pitch on their full, Microsoft-based hospital information system for smaller facilities. The guy said they’re doing well and picking up business from hospitals that regret their first EMR decision.
  • Virtelligence had a long list of available Epic expertise they offer.
  • Liaison Healthcare Informatics gave me an overview of their cloud-based data transformation and exchange tools.
  • Versus did a demo of their RFID-powered handwashing station that monitors compliance and allows following up with low-performing units or individuals.
  • Epic’s sign on the opposite side of the booth I saw yesterday says they have 80 million patients “covered on the Care Everywhere network” and that a third of the 3.4 million monthly exchange transactions it manages are with non-Epic systems. (in other words, they are already exchanging data outside Epic even though competitors claim otherwise).
  • Imprivata’s HIPAA compliant messaging tool  Cortext looked cool, but I couldn’t get anyone’s attention to show it to me.
  • Lifepoint Informatics had our sign out, gave a great elevator pitch, and handed me a $5 Starbucks gift card, which I may confer on someone else since I don’t drink coffee.
  • CHADIS, a questionnaire app that I’m too tired to look up at the moment but its something to do with special needs peds, was well presented by its MD founder in the booth.
  • MModal’s booth was super busy. They had our sign out.
  • SIS had our sign out as well, although I couldn’t steer the rep into showing me anything. He seemed puzzled why a non-surgery hospital employee should care, a point that is valid but that also kept them from letting me tell you about their product.
  • Vocera had a lot of people visiting.
  • I get the Aprima red vests now – there’s a poker table on the side of the booth I didn’t see.
  • e-MDs had our sign out – thanks.


  • Iowa Health System chooses Security Audit Manager from Iatric Systems.
  • Epic and other EHR vendors will use Nuance’s Clinical Language Understanding.
  • TeraRecon is demoing its iNtuition enterprise image management solution to support enterprise-wide vendor-neutral viewing of medical images at HIMSS this week. The company also announced that it will provide its expertise to Fujifilm.
  • Adventist Health will turn over its revenue management services to Cerner.
  • PatientPoint and Miami Children’s Hospital are named winners of the Microsoft Health Users Group 2013 Innovation Awards.
  • Orion Health announces Version 2.0 of its Direct Messaging product suite, also announcing mobile apps for remotely managing its Rhapsody integration engine.
  • DrFirst announces that e-prescribing of controlled substances rose over 400 percent in 2012.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 5, 2013 News 11 Comments

From HIMSS 3/4/13–Dr. Jayne’s Update

March 5, 2013 News 3 Comments

HIMSS Update


Day 2 at HIMSS and there has been a lot going on. I was able to enjoy the still-sleeping city on my early morning jog although there were still some folks out from the night before, which is a little sad. There’s something about New Orleans that creates an “IT Staffers Gone Wild” atmosphere even above and beyond that created by Las Vegas. Maybe it’s the free-flowing liquor or maybe it’s the Bourbon Street establishments offering a variety of services that you probably can’t buy in other cities. I did find a potential breakfast venue for Inga, however.


While Mr. H and Inga covered the ONC Town Hall, I decided to brave the exhibit hall when it opened. I was able to enjoy this jazz combo while I waited, although they took a break right when I decided to take a photo. Note that the trumpet player is using the bottom of a plunger as a mute. The security team was quite vigilant about making sure no one other than exhibitors was admitted until right at 1 p.m. As I watched the last-minute race of vendors trying to make it to their booths on time, I was glad they at least had to weave through the throngs of attendees as punishment. Punctuality is apparently dead as there were scores of reps coming in at the last minute.

Logistics are still an issue. I was surprised by the full trash cans even with the hall just opening. Some areas had stacks of packing boxes out in the main aisle. The water was still suspect this morning, but I had grabbed some extra bottles from my hotel rather than wait in long lines for expensive water at the convention center. I’m always sensitive to the amount of trash that a meeting like this produces and am disappointed that there are no recycling bins in the exhibit hall, at least not that I could find. I did see clearly marked bins upstairs, however.

The hall was packed and I spent a couple of hours getting the lay of the land and plotting my strategy for the rest of the week. I liked the pediatric-designed computer carts at Enovate and the booth staff was not only engaging but well informed. There were big crowds at the Cerner booth and also at Healthagen (although I learned that most of the people at the latter were employees who were joking about having to do introductions to each other to fill their time). There were a couple of magicians, but no contortionists or splash painters like we’ve seen in the past. The overall tone is pretty calm and I only saw a handful of booths handing out Mardi Gras beads, which I would have thought would be everywhere given the venue.

I was excited by what Tellenium has to offer (management of telecom services for large organizations) but disappointed that they launched right into their pitch without finding out who I was or why I was stopping by. They did have a claw grabber machine where you could try to win prizes, but I was unable to score the pink t-shirt that called to me.

One highlight of the afternoon was competing in Medicomp’s Quipstar game show, although I finished last due to a tricky “double or nothing” question where I buzzed in too early. As a result, I now have the ICD-10 code for trauma sustained while parachuting burned into my brain. Too bad I don’t see much of that in the emergency department.


The other significant highlight of the afternoon was a lovely gift from sponsor PatientPay. They’re clearly reading (and not just skimming) because they delivered the beautiful chocolate shoe I was wishing for on Valentine’s Day. The picture does not do it justice and I’m pretty sure I clapped my hands with glee and squealed like a little girl when I opened it. It is magnificent and I do really appreciate the gift. Thank you!

Monday night of course was HIStalkapalooza, and thanks again to Medicomp for sponsoring. I was pleased with the number of attendees who jumped on the bowling shirt bandwagon. Full credit goes to the team from ESD who not only had matching Converse All Star shoes and bowling shirts but also the shoes had the ESD logo created in crystals on the toes. I didn’t get a pic but I think Inga did so, hopefully she’ll post. My favorite attendee outfit was the pink poodle skirt with saddle shoes. I especially enjoyed the details, including the poodle on your sock.


My heart went pitter patter when my bowtie-wearing crush appeared in person to collect his HISsies award. He’s sporting the “Blue Button: Sequester Edition” lapel pin.


Speaking of HISsies, Jonathan Bush did his usual hilarious job of presenting the awards and stripped off his athenahealth bowling shirt to reveal something truly psychedelic. I felt sorry for the youngsters who stood right in front of our anonymous selves during the shoe contest and announced that they were leaving to attend the Impact Advisors party. They missed the whole thing. They also missed the appearance of Judy Faulkner and Carl Dvorak – Judy looked amazing and was very gracious to an admirer trying to take her picture.

After the awards, the bowling tournament switched into high gear as did the Zydeco band. I knew, however, when the hula hoops appeared on the dance floor that it was time for me to go so I could rest up for the long day tomorrow. A note at the hotel revealed the boil order is no more, for which I’m grateful.

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March 5, 2013 News 3 Comments

From HIMSS 3/4/13

March 5, 2013 News 3 Comments

There’s no way I can catch up on the whole day since I’m starting at nearly 11 p.m. post-HIStalkapalooza time and the hotel Internet isn’t exactly screaming, so I will follow up later. Thanks to Medicomp Systems and their crew for putting together a great event; to our hosts, judges, contestants, and other participants; to Ross and Kym Martin for a great musical opening; for Jonathan Bush for another memorable HISsies presentation; and to everyone who came out to Rock ‘n’ Bowl. Lots of people were involved in arranging transportation, running the registration and coat check areas, setting up for the band, and working together to make sure everyone had the best time possible. We had some interesting attire, amazing shoes, and some truly lovely ladies and gentlemen both on the stage and off.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Gold sponsor Strata Decision Technology. The company offers cloud-based financial analytics, business intelligence, and decision support, having integrated with EHRs (Cerner, Epic) and ERP (Lawson) systems. They do the integration and hosting, meaning the only IT time required is a couple of hours to coordinate. Customers get a single database and an integrated platform for operational budgeting, capital planning, financial forecasting, strategic planning, service line planning, cost accounting, contract analytics, and performance management. Provider organizations need to understand and manage true cost of care and margins that span episodes of care, service likes, and patient populations and Strata’s tools provide that capability. They’re not a recent addition to the analytics/BI landscape – they’ve been around 15 years. Customers include Cleveland Clinic, Hopkins, Yale, Allina, Duke, Legacy, Spectrum, and Intermountain. and they announced Mission Health (NC) as a new customer today from HIMSS. Thanks to Strata Decision Technology for supporting HIStalk.

I didn’t turn up any Strata videos on YouTube, but here’s one of CEO Dan Michelson (formerly of Allscripts) talking about a non-profit he started that hosts an annual benefit concert to send children who have been abused and neglected to overnight camp. The organization just received the “Innovation in Philanthropy Award” from the Make it Better Foundation.

Opening Session

There didn’t seem to be as much of the self-congratulatory HIMSS hoopla this time and I kind of missed that, to be honest. No looping slides listing committee members, fellows, etc. The brought in a high school marching band that seemed pretty good, but the airplane hangar acoustics make it hard to say for sure since all I heard were drums.

In an ironic moment, the teleprompter died while Willa Fields was speaking, forcing her to go back to paper.

The mayor gave a good speech. I don’t know what he’s like as mayor and he didn’t mention the fact that we were still under a boil water advisory (lifted soon after), but he was an engaging speaker and city cheerleader. He represented well. He mentioned that the city is investing $3 billion in a health complex for the VA, university hospitals, and some other players that I didn’t write down. It seemed confusing to be talking about spending all that money in the attempt to create healthcare jobs, but at the same time to be urging that we bend the cost curve (unless he meant up instead of down). Healthcare may create jobs, but it’s a drain on the economy, not a sustainable economic engine, and I found his message confusing. Healthcare can be maddening in that way as an odd mix of community pride, employment, comfort, and yet a crippling cost that someone has to pay.

The CEO of Ochsner was up next. He was pretty good, saying that only insurance companies have all the patient data from all locations, meaning we don’t really know our patients as well as they do. He pitched the idea that vendors need to not only cut their costs, but be on the hook to get paid only when their systems improve productivity. I think I would have put Bill Clinton in the opening keynote slot, but there’s a big HIMSS announcement coming Tuesday about their partnership with his foundation so they have him on Wednesday’s agenda.

Educational Sessions

Maybe it’s just me, but the educational component of the conference seems to be getting less and less interesting. I automatically don’t go to sessions that involve a vendor presenter, only because that always seems too much like a living white paper. Some sessions didn’t appeal to me, and one I attended didn’t appear to have any rigor at all behind it.  I’ve served on the Annual Conference Education Committee in years past and I have to assume that they just don’t get that many submissions, leaving them no choice but to accept some iffy ones. It doesn’t help that they’ll be soliciting presentations in just a few days for next year’s conference, with the ridiculous year-long lead time. No wonder there’s nothing innovative being discussed – everything is at least a year old by definition.

I went to a VA-DoD session on iEHR, but it was more of an overview than anything newsworthy. Theresa Cullen, MD, MS of the VA was an engaging and personable speaker and I found her really likeable. She talked about the VA’s informatics programs, their role as the government’s living lab, and mentioned some of their research work, including in human factors. She described the Janus legacy viewer that will straddle the VA and DoD systems, which sounds almost like an HIE. They are still working through identity management problems.

The ONC Town Hall was fun because the ONC folks introduced themselves and their backgrounds and showed a more human side than you might typically picture.

There were a lot of bow ties being worked everywhere. It’s Farzad’s brand and it’s catching on.


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Liaison Technologies was distributing fun add-on badge ribbons, as demonstrated by a reader’s photo.

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An de-identified Dr. Jayne playing Quipstar in the Medicomp booth with her security detail. She didn’t win, but she was sassy and fun and she answered some tough questions. Everybody loves Dr. Jayne. Medicomp donated money to the charities designated by the players.

Here’s the Kaiser Permanente press release announcing the HISsies win of George Halvorson for the HIStalk Healthcare IT Lifetime Achievement award and Kaiser’s repeat win as best provider user. George’s son Seth and daughter-in-law accepted the award at HIStalkapalooza on his behalf. It’s nice recognition of both George and KP.

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The big news of the day and maybe the whole conference was the formation of the Commonwell Health Alliance trade association by EHR rivals Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Greenway, and McKesson (and its RelayHealth unit). They say they’ll promote data exchange among their systems and invite other vendors to join them. Notably missing from the list is Epic, whose commercial success surely had a role in bringing together its competitors.

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Valence Health had a cool exhibit featuring a full-size school bus along with miniatures to give away. They had our booth sign out – thanks!

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A very cool stuffed dragon giveaway by Workbeast. I got one, although I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with it.

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The Aprima folks were sporting red vests. That’s our booth sign on the tabletop in green, signed by Inga, Dr. Jayne, and me.

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Ladies from HITEKS giving out Mardi Gras beads. They were nice to pose for a picture.

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Plantronics was giving out (and wearing) fun hats.

Booth observations:

  • Teletracking had our HIStalk sign out and gave me a bendy stress reliever thing.
  • Awarepoint was giving out cool water bottles. They had our sign out too, along with a decent crowd.
  • Ascendian was mixing real margaritas (or so they said, anyway) but you had to get a coupon from a rep.
  • iMDsoft had cookies and coffee. They gave me a demo of their anesthesia management system on an iPad and it was impressive. Best demo I’ve seen so far this week.
  • Health Catalyst had a brilliant idea in giving reps iPad Minis preloaded with slides explaining the company. That allowed them to do a personal overview from anywhere one on one. That was quite effective.
  • HyTrust had cookies.
  • CPSI’s magician was wickedly funny, giving some competition to his always excellent Hyland OnBase counterpart outside their sports bar exhibit.
  • Merge Healthcare had fresh fruit out, so I had an apple. That was a nice touch.
  • Vitera had our sign out – thanks. Friendly folks there.
  • MediQuant also had a good magician.
  • Ingenious Med gave me a good, quick overview of their charge capture system.
  • Greythorn had our sign out.
  • Cerner had a big crowd.
  • Beacon Partners had our sign out and the folks were deep in discussions with several groups.
  • McKesson employees had their “Commonwell – we’re in” right after the announcement.
  • First Databank had fancy coffee with flavorings. I don’t drink coffee, but it looked good.
  • QuadraMed’s booth was set up nicely, with a living room setup on one side.
  • A sign on Epic’s booth indicated that 66 percent of Stage 7 hospitals are on Epic, along with 100 percent of Stage 6 clinics. Judy was working the booth as usual.
  • Passport Health did a nice job engaging me as I passed by and I noticed they had our sign out.
  • The Allscripts boot was large and right across from Epic’s. Nice job. I like the green.
  • MMRGlobal had a reasonable sized booth in a good location. I saw Bob Lorsch there.
  • Healthagen had a two-story booth, one of not too many of those.
  • Novell had someone making a variety of those hot cinnamon nuts you see at ball games. If your booth is near theirs, you no doubt got tired of the smell.
  • SSI Group had their ladies dressed “Simply Irresistible” style, with pulled-back hair and bright red lipstick.
  • Sandlot Solutions had our sign out and was using a projector to shine images on a large piece of clear glass. It’s hard to explain, but it was interesting.
  • Rich Garcia from NextGate gave me a nice pitch when I feigned ignorance of their EMPI product. He played it perfectly based on my expressed interest.
  • Alert and their folks in red striped white pants were there again, which always surprises me since I assume their EHR isn’t doing much here despite its European presence.
  • Certify Data Systems had our sign out and was offering to donate $10 to the YMCA of New Orleans to each person who signed  runner’s bib.
  • Orchestrate Healthcare had our sign out. Lots of people were meeting in their booth.
  • Quest/Care360 was offering pretzels with cheese sauce. They had our sign out.
  • Wellsoft had our sign out – thanks.


  • API Healthcare announces The Healthcare Workforce Information Exchange, which allows health systems with multiple venues to share employee information across facilities.
  • Texas Children’s Hospital announces a 15 percent reduction in unnecessary x-rays for pediatric asthma patients following implementation of Health Catalyst.
  • Dell, Red Hat, Intel, and VMware announce the opening of the Wisconsin-based testing center for hospitals running Epic on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Epic and McKesson settle their patent litigation over MyChart, with McKesson granting Epic a license for its technology.
  • Allscripts announces the winners of its Open App Challenge.

Photos from HIStalkapalooza

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Dr. Gregg’s bowling shirt.

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Farzad accepting his “When ___ Talks, People Listen” HISsies award.

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Medicomp CEO Dave Lareau and Software Testing Solutions CEO Jennifer Lyle interview Bonny Roberts of Aventura on the red carpet.

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Bonny with her “Mr. H’s Secret Crush” sash.

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James Harris sent this pic of the Orion bowling team: David Leach, Tanya Niemeyer, and Paul deBazio.

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A James Harris shot of Tom Visotsky, winner of Inga’s Secret Crush.

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Food. I liked the jambalaya and etoufee.

That’s it for now since I’m tired and it’s late.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 5, 2013 News 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 3/4/13

March 4, 2013 Headlines 1 Comment

Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth, Greenway and RelayHealth Announce Ground Breaking Alliance to Enable Integrated Health Care

The major news from HIMSS today is that the Cerner-McKesson announcement turned out to be much larger than suspected, including a total of six major players coming together to form the CommonWell Health Alliance. The organization will be an independent non-profit for EHR vendors together that want to achieve a higher level of interoperability between systems.

Nuance and Cerner Partner to Offer Point of Care Solution for Clinical Documentation Improvement

Cerner announces that it will integrate Nuance’s suite of clinical language understanding products to support physician documentation in a new workflow that will allow physicians to dictate notes while the tool simultaneously performs quality review, prompting clinicians for clarifying information where needed.  

ICD-10 Snapshot Study

A recent survey of 260 healthcare professionals involved in ICD-10 planning reveals that only 55 percent of respondents are confident that they will meet the October 1, 2014 deadline. Primary concerns center around additional training needs and a lack of time. 43 percent of respondents reported frustration with vendors "not providing an adequate schedule to ensure we will be ready by the deadline."

HIMSS 2013 iHIT Study – Final Report

HIMSS releases its 20132 Impact of Health IT report. The results paint a suspiciously rosy picture of end user satisfaction, including 83 percent of respondents agreeing that HIT applications support clinical processes and workflows. The survey-takers were comprised of 63 percent nurses, 22 percent pharmacists, and 11 percent physicians working at larger than average (and most likely more technologically refined) hospitals with an average 681 beds.

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March 4, 2013 Headlines 1 Comment

From HIMSS 3/3/13

March 3, 2013 News 9 Comments

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The day started out very cold and windy, but it turned reasonably nice Sunday afternoon and will be much warmer on Monday. Thank goodness – many attendees (me being one) didn’t bring the heavy coats that were needed, both outside and in the exhibit hall today (I slipped by a security guard to roam around).

I’m beginning to be annoyed by the hotel that HIMSS foisted on me after they cancelled my reservation for the hotel I actually wanted. I nearly froze last night, and today I made sure the thermostat was set to heat and 70 degrees when I left for the convention center. Right now, it’s 56 degrees in the room and the air that’s blowing is cold. The hotel has no restaurant and needs maintenance – I’ve never until now seen a toilet whose bowl is actually peeling apart below the water line, and there’s rust on almost everything in the bathroom. For about the same money, I could have had a very nice hotel within a couple of blocks of the convention center with an actual restaurant, bar, and lobby.  I didn’t even get the swag bag that Inga mentioned in her post. I feel like a stepchild.

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We’re on a boil water advisory in New Orleans supposedly until at least Monday morning, so the nice hotels dropped off bottles of water in each room, while mine left a note on the bed to traipse down to the front desk if I needed bottled water. Given that the note says you’re not supposed to even brush your teeth with water from the tap, exactly who isn’t going to need a bottle? Since that’s the case, why make every guest visit the front desk?

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The water problem forced Starbucks to stop selling coffee early Sunday morning. It’s going to be an ugly scene if they don’t figure out a caffeine junkie workaround for Monday morning.

I guess you can’t blame HIMSS for the boil water advisory, but the same problem occurred here a few months ago due to the city’s crumbling infrastructure, which includes 100-year-old water processing plants and old pipes. As much as I like the restaurants and the local character, there’s no doubt in my mind that New Orleans is not capable of handling a major convention in a professional manner. The airport is small and outdated, there aren’t enough cabs to get people the long way to downtown, and I’m hearing that hotels are oversold and people are being assigned rooms out in the sticks. It feels like a backward country where nobody really cares about the small details. The only positive I can muster is that the convention center is OK and the restaurants are good.

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I’ll assume this was the work of a prankster and not an inattentive convention center worker. Maybe the one sitting behind me near the food court, who was reminding everyone within earshot about the awful conditions and deaths that occurred inside the very same convention center during Katrina.

The HIMSS printed materials seem less well organized this year. I’ve overheard people who, like me, can’t find sessions they know are taking place. There is no mobile app – it’s all printed.

I haven’t heard much in the way of news and rumors so far. Most of what I’ve seen posted elsewhere appeared here last week. Monday should be the big day of announcements, including the much-awaited Cerner-McKesson interoperability one at 11 a.m. Central time. I’m not including the webcast link or physical location since the invitation was only for the press.

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Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, and I had what Inga called our HIStalk board meeting this afternoon (meaning we had a drink at a bar). We headed over to the opening reception, which was OK as opening receptions go (a huge bare room, decent food, and some local options like Abita amber beer and jambalaya). The band was OK. We saw some folks we know either individually or collectively before I headed off to dinner with a friend at Red Fish Grill, which was as good as when I ate there at the previous New Orleans conference.

I feel like Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel, describing how conditions are changing as a storm moves close, the storm in this case being the rumored 35,000 people who are attending the conference. Monday morning will be the usual madhouse, with the added complication of being unable to use tap water. We’ll have more detailed reports and a quick HIStalkapalooza recap if I have the energy to stay up late to write it. We can’t see or know it all, so your contributions are welcome.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 3, 2013 News 9 Comments

News 3/1/13

February 28, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

2-28-2013 9-14-26 PM

A House panel, obviously fed up by the DoD’s cavalier attitude toward the VA’s VistA system compared to its own AHLTA EHR, demands to know why DoD won’t adopt the highly successful VistA. DoD says it’s looking at VistA yet again, but says it will evaluate it against commercial systems in attempting to “skate where the puck will be” and is concerned about multiple VistA versions and lack of conversion documentation. Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL), as puzzled as the rest of us about whether VA-DoD will adopt a single EHR or try to cobble their respective systems to merely look like one, summarized as, “It sounds to me like we’re doing a U-turn and going back to the exact same thing again.” Outgoing VA CIO Roger Baker says estimates to develop the integrated system had doubled to $12 billion. One might assume that given Epic’s previous rumored involvement, its Coast Guard EHR experience, and its track record in large and diverse organizations, it might enter the picture in some fashion as the words “commercial systems” are uttered in polite company.

Reader Comments

From Jardone: “Re: Jardogs. A sale to Allscripts is imminent. Layoffs began yesterday, which appear to be across the board. Since Jardogs is owned by Springfield Clinic, no severance will be paid. Today is the last day for many, including myself.” Unverified. I e-mailed our contact at Jardogs inviting a response, but haven’t heard back. Jardogs, which offers patient engagement and health management solutions, is an Allscripts partner.

From Looking Deeper: “Re: MU Stage 2 requirements. Do your readers have tips for getting clarification for questions that aren’t resolved in the documentation? We would like to contact CMS. It’s a shame they don’t have an e-mail address or form.” A reader reports having successfully used this form, selecting “EHR Incentive Program” as the topic. She got a response in three weeks.

2-28-2013 9-18-23 PM

From Festus: “Re: coding issues. Jail time?” A 63-year-old cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon is serving a 10-month sentence for Medicare fraud, convicted for upcoding his cases. The US Attorney says his case sends a message to doctors, while professional organizations say that message is that doctors shouldn’t accept Medicare payment because nobody can comply with its complex requirements and now they could be imprisoned for making mistakes. According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, “This precedent criminalizes false statements in a private setting without any proof of billing fraud and a greater interference with the day to day practice of medicine is difficult to imagine.” The doctor’s dictated reports from 10 years ago were found to have specified the wrong kind of graft in two of 2,400 operative reports. He says he was too busy to keep up with the reports and had been told to use a code that was similar if he couldn’t find the right one. AAPS says the irony is that he could have justifiably billed a lot more than he actually did even with the mistake. The charges say the surgeon did more than just choose the wrong CPT code – they say he also falsified his progress notes. It would be interesting to see if those were generated with computer assistance since that’s the only reasonable excuse.

From CEO: “Re: HIStalk. I start every day by catching up and reading HIStalk. It really is a wonderful source of content that helps me keep a good pulse on the industry. Thank you for serving so many of us!!!” Inga was happy to read this CEO’s e-mail in response to receiving his HIStalkapalooza invitation as one of few positive comments we’ve received lately, as most of our recent e-mails are from people complaining about not being invited to HIStalkapalooza because they didn’t register. I suppose I should be flattered that people care that much about attending.

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From CatsEyes: “Re: three tidbits. Did you mention that Dr. Tonya Hongsermeier (above) left Partners CIRD to become CMIO of Lahey? Lovely and very smart person. And with Partners, Boston Medical Center, Lahey, and Lifespan all going to Epic. From New Haven to Mid coast Maine – Epic rules.” I left out Tidbit #1 since it involved a sales VP whose new job I couldn’t immediately confirm. I’m dating myself by admitting that when I hear Tonya’s name I still think of her being at Cerner, which she hasn’t been forever.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

2-28-2013 9-10-58 AM

inga_small I took an unplanned three-hour field trip to the ER on Wednesday. Of course I asked the staff all sorts of questions about what technology they had in place (and why they were using so much paper.) Turns out I am just fine and my stress over selecting the perfect pair of shoes for HIStalkapalooza does not seem to be a contributing factor. Mr. H, however, thinks all the e-mails begging for last-minute HIStalkapalooza invites may have put me over the edge.

inga_small Have you stayed current with HIStalk Practice? If not, some of this week’s highlights include: only 60 percent of physicians are interested in participating in ACOs. ISALUS Healthcare introduces a new version of its OfficeEMR. Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecology Association goes live on MED3OOO’s InteGreat EHR. Practices have an increased need for population patient health tools. I love new e-mail subscribers, so take a moment to register for updates when checking out these stories. Thanks for reading.

2-28-2013 5-29-58 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Forward Health Group, located on Capitol Square in Madison, WI. The orange above looks juicy and that’s no coincidence – the company’s PopulationManager tool serves up QI and outcomes data to health systems that’s fresh, never frozen, squeezing it from your current systems, claims data, or administrative data. It’s accurate, actionable, complete, and timely, not to mention physician accepted at the individual patient level. The founders started out working in public health reporting back in 2004, meaning they had to figure out early on how to extract and aggregate data from a veritable science fair of disparate IT systems to create apple-to-apples measurements (that’s my second fruit analogy if you’re scoring at home.) It’s a fruit punch (fruit reference #3) of advanced informatics, population health best practices, and elegant visual explanations. They’ll set up a meeting or come to you at HIMSS or at HIStalkapalooza to tell you more – just e-mail them. Thanks to Forward Health Group for their berry (#4) much appreciated support of HIStalk. I have a feeling they’re a lot of fun, so you might be on the lookout for CEO Michael Barbouche or docs John Studebaker, MD and Sean Thomas, MD Monday night at Rock ‘n’ Bowl.

I found this Forward Health Group video that talks more about Fresh Data.


Thanks to Levi, Ray & Shoup, which not only issued a press release calling out my recent interview with SVP John Howerter, but used most of it to say nice things about HIStalk. I enjoyed talking with John because I consider myself something of an expert on print spooling-related problems in hospitals (having gotten myself hopelessly stuck in the middle of those problems many times over the years, unfortunately) so I was asking questions from my own experience.

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Verisk Health is supporting HIStalk as a Platinum Sponsor. The company builds solutions for every payer type, including medical cost management, government reporting, payment accuracy, and revenue compliance. They can help identify risk, save money, and improve care. Providers interested in accountable care programs need tools for cost control, quality improvement, and population health management, and that also means you would probably benefit from getting a free copy of Verisk’s provider toolkit. Edward Hospital (IL), for example, is using PopulationAdvisor (through Premier) to monitor its clinical and financial performance, combining Premier’s comparative provider database with Verisk Health’s risk-based payer analytics to gain a better understanding of outcomes and cost of care provided both inside and outside the hospital. Verisk Health President Joel Portice has been around the industry for a long time, holding executive roles with Intelimedix, HCI, Enclarity, and Fair Isaac (not to mention that he’s also a novelist). Thanks to Verisk Health for its support of HIStalk.

HIMSS Conference and Social Events

inga_small Wen Dombrowski, MD, who tweets under @healthcareWenF, forwarded me this list she compiled of socials, Tweetups, and physician exec events. She is doing a Segway tour Saturday afternoon that sounds particularly fun.

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I’m posting this shoe porn for Inga and Dr. Jayne, sent in by the (male) president of a new sponsor who clearly understands their fixation. Very hot.

2-28-2013 12-46-25 PM

inga_small The weather forecast for New Orleans looks pretty darned good. The mild temperatures suggest open-toed shoes as a viable option. Heavy coats can remain at home, or at least in the hotel room.

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meet-Ups
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Exhibitor Giveaways

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Practice Fusion buys 100Plus, a startup co-founded by Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard that provides analytics-drive personalized health predictions.

Health Catalyst increases its Series B round by $8 million with participation from Kaiser Permanente Ventures and CHV Capital.

2-28-2013 7-49-14 PM

Revenue cycle solutions vendor Cymetrix Corp. acquires analytics vendor CareClarity.


2-28-2013 5-12-48 PM

Resolute Health (TX) selects Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager EHR and Allscripts Community Record for HIE and analytics.

Physician-hospital organization St. Vincent’s Health Partners (CT) chooses McKesson Population Manager and McKesson Risk Manager to manage the health of high-risk populations.

2-28-2013 3-21-03 PM

PeaceHealth will integrate Streamline Health’s AccessAnyWare enterprise content management solution with Epic ambulatory.

Evolution Health will deploy Greenway Medical’s PrimeSUITE across its national network of house call providers.

2-28-2013 9-24-44 PM

Northeast Georgia Health System (GA) will implement McKesson Paragon.

Daughters of Charity Health System will implement CliniComp’s Essentris Fetal mobile EMR in all of its hospitals. 


2-28-2013 5-14-12 PM

API Healthcare names Daryl Joslin (Defran Systems) chief marketing officer.

2-28-2013 5-15-29 PM

WorldOne, the parent company of Sermo, names Kerry Hicks (HealthGrades) chairman.

2-28-2013 5-16-25 PM

Press Ganey Associates adds Ralph Snyderman, MD (Duke University Health) to its board.

2-28-2013 8-11-21 PM

Beverly Bell (CSC) joins Health Care DataWorks as chief nursing officer and VP of implementation services and business performance management.

Announcements and Implementations

2-28-2013 3-30-39 PM

City of Hope (CA) implements Harris Corporation’s BI Practice Variation dashboards to identify opportunities for improving clinical outcomes, safety, and documentation.

Taylor Regional Hospital (GA) and Griffin Hospital (CT) complete activation of PerGen’s PeriCALM perinatal system in their labor and delivery departments.

Awarepoint makes its aware360 Suite for Workflow Automation services available on a cloud-based platform.

Wolters Kluwer Health introduces ProVation Care Plans powered by Lippincott’s Nursing Solutions, which provides tools for maintaining evidence-based interdisciplinary care plans.

First Databank announces new medication decision support tools that include interoperability mappings (linking RxNorm to FDB data, for example), enhanced AlertSpace functionality to reduce alert fatigue, and state and federal controlled substances information.

2-28-2013 9-26-16 PM

EHR vendor Practice Fusion announces that it has discontinued its relationship with billing system vendor Kareo due to “due to Kareo’s recent price hikes” while also acknowledging that “billing has not been our strongest feature.” The Practice Fusion announcement did not mention that Kareo announced its own free EHR last week. We invited both companies to respond and received this from Kareo:

Kareo is committed to delivering an open platform and supporting multiple EHR options driven by customer requirements, including partner-based solutions and Kareo EHR. Kareo will continue to work closely with our EHR partners to enhance and support our existing integrated solutions while adding new options over time. We believe this approach provides our current and future customers with the greatest flexibility to choose the best EHR for their specific needs. Kareo is proud of our reputation as a provider of intuitive and affordable solutions, and we are committed to delivering the highest value to our customers. The pricing plans for our customer base remain in place and have not changed in any way.

2-28-2013 9-27-22 PM

The iPad-powered Sparrow EDIS from Montrue Technologies becomes the first ED system to earn certification under the 2014 Meaningful Use criteria.

Allscripts will demonstrate award winners of its Allscripts Open App Challenge at the HIMSS conference, presenting $150,000 in prizes to 15 winners at Booth #3441 on Monday at 3:00 p.m. The company will also donate $5 to one of three charities (#AHA, #ACCS, or #JDRF) for tweets to @Allscripts answering the question, “What does Open mean to you” or “How have you benefitted by using Allscripts?”

Surescripts will announce Friday that electronic prescribing service NewCrop will connect to The Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability, which allows providers to securely share clinical information.

QuadraMed announces that Shands HealthCare (FL) will integrate the company’s AcuityPlus nurse resource management system with the Epic system that Shands is implementing.

VMware announces vCloud for Healthcare, which will allow healthcare IT customers to use a common cloud infrastructure inside and outside hospitals.

2-28-2013 8-27-39 PM

Sharp HealthCare (CA) and the Foundation for Health Coverage Education launch the for-profit PointCare Web-based eligibility software vendor, saying it will “change the tone of financial conversations with their uninsured patients.” Uninsured patients take a short quiz that identify the government programs that 80 percent of them are eligible for.


2-28-2013 12-04-01 PM

Athenahealth will invest up to $10 million and lease up to 60,000 square feet of office space in Midtown Atlanta for more than 700 employees.

A CHIME survey finds that the average base salary for healthcare CIOs in 2012 was $208,417, with respondents holding the EVP/CIO title averaging 50 percent more. More than half held a master’s degree, earning 10 percent more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Three-quarters of the CIOs reported receiving a raise of less than five percent in 2012.

2-28-2013 8-55-32 PM

The Nashville business paper profiles Shareable Ink President and CEO Stephen Hau. The 50-employee, 82-hospital software company relocated there from Boston in 2010.

Security researchers using CyberCity, a military-developed model city used to study cyberattacks, find that the city’s electronic medical records system is full of security holes. “OpenEMR from a security perspective is a disaster,” overlooking the fact that few if any US hospitals use that particular open source system.

I’ve gotten wind of an upcoming announcement from Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America in which several EHR vendors that I won’t name (mostly the usual suspects, with some surprises) will pledge to add five anti-obesity features to their products at the March 6-8 PHA summit in Washington, DC. The features are BMI and weight classification percentiles, activity and dietary assessments, weight goal monitoring, referral to providers and community resources, and the ability to create a Healthy Weight Plan.

2-28-2013 9-32-23 PM

In Australia, Canberra Hospital will upgrade its ED system security after several employees were found to be altering patient data to make wait time statistics look more favorable. Most of the employees could not be identified because the EDIS was set up with generic user IDs like “nurse” and “doctor,” with managers claiming that the department could not function if users had to sign on and off individually. The upgrade will include quick logon/logoff. A server crash of the same EDIS caused the hospital to go on diversion Wednesday as the ED went back to paper.

In Canada, doctors in Nova Scotia complain of system crashes and response time problems with their $4 million Nightingale Informatix EMR, for which they were paid $10,000 each in government incentives to use. The company acknowledges software problems.

Cerner is among four dozen medical device and supply vendors that will pass along the new PPACA-mandated 2.3 percent medical device excise tax directly to their hospital customers.

Weird News Andy wonders if Meaningful Use statistics could be similarly fudged. The acting CEO of an English hospital resigns after an investigation finds that Royal Bolton Hospital coded its patient deaths due to septicemia at quadruple the expected rate, with interim findings indicating “cause for concern.” Hospitals get paid more for treating septicemia.

inga_small Researchers find that drinking red wine may protect against noise-induced hearing loss. When not drinking Hurricane Ingas, I will make a point of sticking to red wine when club hopping in the Big Easy.

Sponsor Updates

  • PatientKeeper will feature a number of hospital executives in Booth #2210 at HIMSS.
  • Wellcentive will join the Accountable Care Community of Practice.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting will feature The Honorable Tommy Thompson and Fred L. Brown at its customer and industry appreciation event at HIMSS next Tuesday.
  • Gates Hospitalists (MO) secures Medicare reimbursement using Ingenious Med’s PQRS Registry.
  • Nuance leases an additional 28,000 square fee of office space in Cambridge, MA to accommodate about 175 employees.
  • A local paper profiles Lyster Army Health Clinic (AL) and its use of RelayHealth’s secure messaging solution.
  • Iatric Systems adds CynergisTek as a reseller of its Security Audit Manager and Medical Records Release Manager solutions.
  • Lifepoint Informatics will sponsor the G2 Pathology Institute Conference February 28 – March 1 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • CSI Healthcare IT spotlights Evan Ritter, its top sales performer of 2012.
  • University Health System (TX) reports a cost savings of over $13 million within a year of contracting with MedAssets for consulting, analytics, and process improvement services.
  • Covisint will integrate Milliman’s opportunity-based population analytics capabilities into its healthcare platform.
  • AT&T lists six questions to ask healthcare cloud vendors to ensure data security.
  • eClinicalWorks  shares details of how Coastal Medical (RI) achieved a 200 percent return on its original investment and improved care coordination utilizing the company’s EHR.
  • A Nuance Communications’ survey finds that 80 percent of US doctors believe virtual assistants will change how they interact and use EHRs and will benefit patients by making them more engaged in their own healthcare.
  • McKesson names the Bread of Healing Clinic (WI) the company’s first recipient of its Practice Choice EHR software as part of the McKesson Give Back initiative.
  • Impact Advisors Principal Rob Faix is featured in a podcast discussing PHI data breaches.
  • St. Luke’s Cornwall Medical Group (NY) shares how it increased cash collections by 17 percent utilizing Greenway’s PrimeRCM.
  • Mitochon Systems will integrate drug safety information from PDR Network into its Electronic Medical Office platform.
  • Merge Healthcare will bundle MModal Fluency for Imaging and MModal Catalyst for Radiology with its Merge PACS portfolio.
  • Signature Sleep Services, dba Sleep360, will market and integrate ZirMed’s RCM solutions with its platform of sleep medicine tools.
  • Georgia-Pacific Professional introduces the SafeHaven monitoring system, which combines Versus RTLS technology with Georgia-Pacific’s dispensers and skin care products. 

EPtalk  by Dr. Jayne


Several readers have asked Inga and me for HIStalkapalooza fashion advice. DO wear sassy bowling shoes or a cool retro bowling shirt. DON’T wear anything from MSN’s list of ugliest shoes of all time.


With HIMSS starting in a few days, my inbox is really filling up. If you’re exhibiting, that means you are a technology company of some kind or at least peripherally in the technology sphere. Up your game (and the chances that your message will actually be read) by proofreading your content and removing tags like that in the e-mail above prior to sending.

Even with a relatively full inbox, it’s a slow news week as everyone saves up their big news to announce at the show. You don’t have to make a big splash at HIMSS to be a success. Vendors are quietly certifying their products for Meaningful Use 2014 and I salute them.

I’ve had a lot of questions about what I’ll be looking at during the show. Rest assured I’m making my list and checking it twice. I plan to spend plenty of time in the far reaches of the exhibit hall looking for the next big thing, so stay sharp because you never know when we might come by your booth.

I’m off to the Crescent City tomorrow and will bring you the news and happenings of HIMSS. For those of you unable to attend, thank you for keeping the availability high, the loads balanced, and the issue resolution times low. We’ll raise a glass in your honor at HIStalkapalooza. Laissez les bons temps rouler!


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 28, 2013 News 2 Comments

News 2/27/13

February 26, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

2-26-2013 9-07-23 PM

Telus Health will acquire MD Practice Software, which will make Telus the largest EMR vendor in Canada. The deal is scheduled to close Monday.

Reader Comments

2-26-2013 7-26-23 PM

From Spell Checkeroff: “Re: HIPAA. The Miami Herald did something you don’t see often – spelled out the law’s name correctly, then derived an incorrect acronym!” I’ve noticed that as newspapers continue their slow swirl down the toilet, they keep losing their better people who might be able to actually investigate a story, proof read, or write editorials that express original thoughts. About all they’re good for now is sports scores, Hollywood gossip, and funny stories with zero news value. On the other hand, that’s about all their declining audience wants to read anyway.

From NoPhone: “Re: Booth etiquette. Last year you ran an article about HIMSS booth etiquette and we would love to share it with our sales team.” The Readers Write by Rosemarie Nelson offers tips for vendors on the trade show floor.

2-26-2013 7-20-48 PM

From Moe Money: “Re: PQRS submissions. See forwarded e-mail.” Above.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

2-26-2013 6-28-53 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Ping Identity, also known as “The Identity Security Company.” Its identity and access management platform provides one-click access to any application from any device, with over 900 enterprise customers including 45 of the Fortune 100. The company’s health solutions make it easier to run cloud-based applications and to meet compliance requirements, offering single sign-on to improve user satisfaction. They also provide a seamless, secure platform for internal and external collaboration and customer engagement. Ping Identity’s solutions help protect PHI and allow users of federated applications to be quickly disabled in the event of a breach. A free trial of PingFederate is available for download. Pay them a visit at HIMSS Booth #2470 and tell them you read about them on HIStalk. Thanks to Ping Identity for supporting my work.

My YouTube hunt was successful, turning up this educational Ping Identity video on Identity Management 101. It’s a really good and easily understood overview.

HIMSS Conference and Social Events

inga_small I have been hunting for a HIMSS mobile app that includes the schedule and meeting rooms. Has anyone seen one?

inga_small If you signed up to attend HIStalkapalooza before registration closed on Monday, February 11 and did not receive an invitation by e-mail, drop me a note by Thursday and I’ll check your status. Otherwise, we are totally full even though Medicomp doubled capacity to 1,000 this year, which means we unfortunately can’t invite you even if you’re one of the folks who are pleading that your HIMSS experience might be a bust if you are unable to participate in the “Inga Loves My Shoes” contest, drink Hurricane IngaTinis and Typhoon Janes, and hobnob with the coolest folks in HIT.

2-26-2013 3-59-46 PM

inga_small For those who received HIStalkapalooza invitations, here is transportation information:

  • The good folks at Medicomp have put together a pocket-sized card with transportation details. You can pick it up from their Booth #3068 on Monday or get one from one of the human directionals that will be in the main hallway of the convention center starting at 5:30 PM on Monday. Look for the HIStalk/MEDCIN Engine tee shirts and signs.
  • Buses will leave convention center for HIStalkapalooza from 6:15 p.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • If you are driving, Rock ‘n’ Bowl is located at 3000 S. Carrollton Avenue and has plenty of free surface parking.
  • Return bus service to specific downtown hotels starts at 9:00 p.m.
  • Bus service is complimentary, as is coat and bag check at the venue.
  • A Transportation Concierge will be located at the front of Rock ‘n’ Bowl to answer any questions. They can help you get a taxi if you’re in a hurry to leave and don’t mind paying.

Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I (Mr. H) will be covering HIMSS in great detail starting this weekend. Let us know if there’s anything you would like is to report on beyond the obvious (booth snark, making fun of people who deserve it, spilling the dirt we overhear in coffee lines and restrooms, and our jaded assessment of what’s important and what clearly isn’t). We intentionally avoid one-on-one appointments and demos since those are usually a waste of time, preferring to do our reporting from the ground as regular, anonymous attendees. Contact us from there if you run across anything interesting.

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meet-Ups
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Exhibitor Giveaways

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

2-26-2013 9-50-22 PM

Shares in Accretive Health drop 20 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company announces that it will delay reporting Q4 and FY2012 results while it evaluates its revenue recognition policies for its revenue cycle management agreements. Any change might require restating prior-period financial statements, management added.

Cerner announces that it will acquire PureWellness, which offers a health and wellness platform for corporate wellness programs and insurers, strengthening its position in the population management market.

2-26-2013 9-08-19 PM

Craneware reports half-year profit of $0.12/share compared to $0.10/share a year ago. Revenues were up seven percent.

2-26-2013 9-08-56 PM

OCHIN, which operates Oregon’s REC, acquires the Oregon Health Network, a non-profit focused on improving quality and access of healthcare through HIT and other initiatives.

Informatica acquires process automation company Active Endpoints.


Graham Hospital (IL) selects Merge Healthcare’s iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform and Honeycomb Archive solution.

2-26-2013 9-10-14 PM

Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center (AZ) chooses Ingenious Med’s impower charge capture solution to improve documentation and communication.


2-26-2013 11-07-27 AM

Vocera Communications appoints Sandra Miley (Juniper Networks) VP of corporate marketing.

2-26-2013 6-18-13 PM

Elsevier names Jim Nolin, MD (Ascension Health) editor-in-chief of InOrder,  an Elsevier order set solution that’s scheduled to launch in March.

2-26-2013 6-57-58 PM

Beacon Partners promotes Kevin McKittrick (above) and Scott Freeman to principal.

2-26-2013 7-32-25 PM

Cornerstone Advisors Group names Kristi Lane (Stage 7 Consulting) VP of talent management.

Charles C. Corogenes (Toshiba) joins ChartWise Medical Systems as VP of sales and marketing.

Announcements and Implementations

Kansas HIN transmits immunization data from the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas to the Kansas Immunization Registry through the ICA CareAlign HIE platform.

Rockcastle Regional Hospital (KY) goes live as the first user of Patient Logic’s physician documentation system.

2-26-2013 8-01-23 PM

You might think managed services vendor ClientFit would spell the name of its new partner athenahealth correctly in its press release announcing that relationship. You would be wrong, although I might be inclined to side with them because their version is at least properly broken out into separate words and capitalized correctly. I grit my teeth and follow The Associated Press Stylebook, which says to use the company’s made-up lower case version except when athenahealth begins a sentence, in which case capitalize it even if they wish you wouldn’t.

Albany Medical Center will become the first healthcare provider in New York to utilize Direct Messaging through the Healthcare Xchange of NY.

2-26-2013 9-28-32 PM

QuadraMed announces that Avita Health System (OH) attested for Stage 1 Meaningful Use through its use of the company’s QCPR EHR that the health system implemented last year.

Winona Health (MN) says its implementation of Cerner’s revenue cycle solutions for acute and ambulatory services fueled a 25 percent decrease in clinic coding turnaround time and consolidation of hospital and clinic billing.

Legacy Data Access introduces LegacyCompleteClinicalView and LegacyRemitBank to enhance clinical and revenue cycle functionality for retired healthcare applications.

Jardogs releases version 1.5 of its FollowMyHealth universal health record.

CommVault launches Simpana 10, which offers an open, scalable platform and advances in data and information management.

LDM Group’s ConnectSys 3.0 achieves 2014 Edition Ambulatory and Inpatient EHR Module Certifications by ICSA Labs.

McKesson announces that more than 90 percent of physician users of its iKnowMed oncology EHR have successfully attested for Meaningful Use.

2-26-2013 7-00-56 PM

McKesson and Cerner will announce their unspecified collaboration (presumably related to cooperative interoperability in trying to derail the Epic juggernaut) from HIMSS on Monday, March 4 at 11 a.m. Central.

2-26-2013 9-16-01 PM

Microsoft-GE joint venture Caradigm will announce next week its selection by Continuum Health Partners (NY) to provide tools that will support the health system’s care coordination and population health strategy. Caradigm’s products include the Caradigm Intelligence Platform (the new version of Amalga), applications from both Caradigm and third parties for population health management, Caradigm Health Information Exchange, and identity and access management solutions.

MMRGlobal, featured in my interview with CEO Bob Lorsch, will launch a health and wellness app at the HIMSS conference that will work with its MyMedicalRecords PHR. The company also says it has started notifying mobile healthcare app vendors that their products appear to infringe on its patents.

MModal and 3M Health Information Systems collaborate to link MModal’s voice-enabled clinical documentation platform with the 3M 360 Encompass computer-assisted coding system.

VitalWare files a provisional patent for Sherpa, a physician documentation ontology engine that automatically presents physicians with clinical concepts and their related categories at the point of care.


2-26-2013 8-14-31 PM

An India-based startup announces Uchek, a urinalysis app for smartphones. You pee in a cup, not on the phone, and then take photos of dipped chemical strips to monitor diabetes, UTIs, and kidney and bladder problems. I might be concerned that its display shows “keytone” since I get nervous when medical software contains misspellings.

I mentioned the Android-only Swiftkey on-screen keyboard and medical dictionary ($3.99) that gets rave reviews for clinical documentation. The company announced Tuesday that it will launch a healthcare-focused typing app for the iPad. Apparently the new BlackBerry 10’s all-touch keyboard runs Swiftkey, although neither company will confirm.


inga_small Massachusetts General Hospitals offers its 22,000 employees a $250 bonus for watching an 11-minute video on customer service. About 98 percent of the employees thought it was worth $22 per minute to score some cash, meaning the hospital shelled out more than $5 million to teach them how to be nice. 

2-26-2013 9-23-26 PM

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards PatientsLikeMe a $1.9 million grant to create the first open-participation research platform for the development of patient-centered health outcome measures.

2-26-2013 7-48-02 PM

I mentioned in introducing new sponsor MediQuant in the Monday Morning Update that I was enjoying the Legacy System Blues song on its site. Apparently I caught it early — a new press release just announced it, also mentioning that the band is led by MediQuant Founder and President Tony Paparella, who has had the track pressed on vinyl 45 RPM records.

Security volunteers who find an unnamed hospital’s data exposed on the Web are perplexed when their phone calls, service desk ticket, and e-mail to the hospital’s CEO are all ignored and nobody has taken the data down. A technician at the hospital’s outsourced help desk told them he doesn’t have an e-mail address. The group suggests that hospitals include a dedicated, monitored e-mail address and telephone number on their home page so they can be notified quickly of security problems.

Weird News Andy says he bet the surgeon was heard to say, “Awww, nuts” in this story of a patient suing a British hospital after surgeons removed the wrong testicle. Surgeons performing the cancer surgery realized their mistake 40 minutes in and “tried to correct the mistake in an emergency procedure,” but it was too late.

Strange: police in India arrest the son of a hospital CEO after he threatens to post to the Internet a homemade sex video featuring himself and his wife unless she agrees to pay for the hospital’s new trauma center. Also in India, 35 specialty physicians protest their hospital salaries by threatening to kill themselves.

Sponsor Updates

2-26-2013 9-33-54 PM

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Levi, Ray & Shoup discuss the simplification of document management processing in Webinars March 12 and 14.
  • Hyland Software validates integration between its OnBase enterprise content management and Nuance Communications’ eCopy ShareScan scanning and workflow solutions.
  • The AMA and McKesson agree to a licensing arrangement that allows for the mapping of molecular diagnostic testing codes in McKesson’s Diagnostic Exchange software to the AMA’s CPT code set.
  • Greenway Medical Technologies achieves PCMH 2011 Prevalidation status from NCQA for its PrimeSUITE EHR platform.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health adds a Patient Safety Programs File to its Medi-Span solution.
  • MedAssets CEO and President John Bardis will ring the NASDAQ closing bell February 27.
  • Bottomline Technologies announces the GA of Logical Ink 4.6 and MedEx 4.0.
  • Marion McCall of Surgical Information Systems reviews considerations when selecting perioperative analytics solutions.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting adds Clearwater Compliance’s HIPAA-HITECH compliance tools to its portfolio of services.
  • Truven Health Analytics releases its annual list of 100 Top Hospitals based overall organizational performance.
  • CTG Health Solutions announces that it increased revenues 18 percent from 2011 to 2012 and expanded its IT consulting team.
  • Direct Recruiters, Inc. offers an interview called “Hiring Game Changers.”


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 26, 2013 News 2 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/26/13

February 25, 2013 Headlines No Comments

Cerner To Buy PureWellness

Cerner announced this morning that it will acquire PureWellness, which offers an online health and wellness platform. Cerner said in a blog post, “We think the combination of our Millennium solutions and Healthe Intent platform with PureWellness’ engagement platform creates the most comprehensive set of capabilities on the market to support an individual’s health and care needs. Individual engagement is an important piece of a comprehensive approach to population health management, a concept we see playing a vital role in the evolution of health care.”

CIOs say lack of security pros leads to more breaches

In a survey released this week, CIOs report that a shortage of qualified IT security professionals is directly impacting network security within healthcare.

Rural Health Information Technology (HIT) Workforce Program Funding Announcement

HHS announces a $4.5 million grant that will be awarded in $300,000 increments to rural health networks engaged in recruitment, education, training, or retention activities aimed at developing and sustaining a population of health IT professionals in rural areas.

HealthEdge adds Arik Hill as Vice President of Customer Support

HealthEdge, a software vendor which provides an integrated financial, administrative, and clinical platform for healthcare payers, announces that Arik Hill (CIO, FirstCare Health Plans) has joined the company as vice president of customer support.

SAIC Announces Names For Planned New Companies

SAIC announces the names for the businesses that will be created later this year following its planned split into two independent companies. The national security, health and engineering business – to which acquired health IT consulting firms maxIT and Vitalize will belong — will be named Leidos, a coined word clipped from “kaleidoscope.” The technical services and enterprise information technology business will continue to carry the SAIC name.

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February 25, 2013 Headlines No Comments

HIStalk Interviews Robert Lorsch, CEO, MMRGlobal

February 25, 2013 Interviews 23 Comments

Robert H. “Bob” Lorsch is president, CEO, and chairman of MMRGlobal of  Los Angeles, CA.

2-24-2013 4-21-10 PM

Tell me about yourself and the company.

I sold my business in 1998 for several hundred million dollars to AT&T. After the company was sold, I have spent many years focused on philanthropic activities – California Science Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, St. John’s Hospital, and a variety of other organizations.

In 2000, I myself was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer. Despite the fact that I was extremely connected to doctors, hospitals — both as someone who’s been in the Los Angeles community for many, many years and as somebody who had supported these organizations — I was personally subjected to the task of selecting the guy that was going to be the surgeon who was going to go into my neck and deal with my cancer.

In the course of that, I quickly realized that having the disease was only one aspect of what I had to deal with. But the real aspect of what I had to deal with was the emotional trauma of what goes with being diagnosed with the disease and the challenges that are placed in front of a patient in terms of collecting and getting information so they can get competent physicians to give them knowledgeable and informed information to deal with their situation.

I must tell you that I’m not sure that dealing with the cancer — which was a six-hour operation where I was completely out of it — was probably easier in the long run than the months of agony and emotional torture of trying to figure out if I picked the right doctor, how was I going to get copies of my medical records, what the diseases meant, etc.

In 2005, someone showed up at my house and said, “I think you should go in the electronic medical records business” because Bush had signed an executive order in 2004 suggesting — or ordering — that everybody in America have an electronic health record within 10 years. I took a look at that and I said, “You know, interesting concept. I’m not interested, though, in competing with GE, Cerner, Allscripts, McKesson, and all the giant companies in the industry.”

But nobody had focused on the personal health records side of the house. I decided that that would be something I was interested in and we formed MyMedicalRecords.


Everybody assumed that that would be a really hot sector because people were Googling medical issues, symptoms, and drug side effects, yet for the most part personal health records didn’t do very well. Google shut theirs down, presumably because patients don’t really want to enter that information themselves manually. How have you found that to be with your personal health record?

Our personal health record doesn’t really require the patient to enter anything manually. We have a completely different perspective on what goes into a personal health record and the ease of utilizing a personal health record. 

We give a patient what we call a lifeline number, which is a 10-digit telephone number. We basically have a personal health record that is completely connected, completely interoperable with not only any hospital, physician, or medical professional in the United States, but any hospital, physician, or medical professional in the world based, on the backbone of the telecommunication system.

If you go to a doctor, you have a right to get your medical records in the United States. All you have to do is tell them how you want them. You give him or her your lifeline telephone number, and when you leave the office, they fax your record or e-mail the record to you so you can upload the record and it goes right into your account.

As a patient, when I look in my account, I’m seeing medical records from my physician. I’m seeing medical records from Cedars-Sinai. I’m seeing medical records from St. John’s. I’m seeing medical records from Long Beach Memorial. I’m seeing medical records from private practices. I’m seeing medical records from my orthopedic guys. I’m seeing medical records from my father. All consolidated into one place that requires me to actually input nothing but look at the document and select the file folder I want to insert it into.

It doesn’t require somebody to sit down and start typing in stats and results and information that in all likelihood will be plagued with typographic errors, wrong and not reliable. When somebody goes into my emergency view, they see my most recent laboratory tests on Cedars-Sinai or Quest lab forms with the phone number, the physician, and the lab that ran the tests. Exactly as they would see it in their office, regardless of where it was originated.


That’s a pretty fascinating approach. Other organizations advocated that health records be exchanged as PDFs, but nobody really ever bought into that concept too much. By doing that, you eliminate the concerns about what data you can accept and the standard interchange formats and all that. You just take everything that looks like a fax or an e-mail and it’s just stored in that exact form. Is that correct?

Part of that’s correct. We also have in the site a patient history. Assuming the patient actually wants to go in and enter data, there’s a form with simple drop-downs where they can say, “I want to input my maternal grandparent’s health history.” You just hit the button that says “grandparents.” It drops down and says is it a condition, an allergy, or a surgery, and gives them some categories. You click on that, write what it is, write the doctor and any information that you want, and save it. Then you can go in and put in your mother, your father, yourself, or your children.

Basically what’s happening is you are building through data entry your personal health record, but all you’re really building is that form that you’re going to fill out in the doctor’s office anyway. When you go to the doctor, you hit a button that says “print my record.” You just bring it in and pretty much everything you’re going to need for that form is with you on the spot and can go right into the doctor’s file. If it’s a medical record or chart note or handwritten note, or in my case, my eyeglass prescription … 

Each account works for 10 family members. In my case, I have my son, my father ­– may he rest in peace – my dog, my wife. Everybody’s in this kind of system. Depending on the emergency password that a physician or a paramedic or emergency room representative would put in there, it brings up the medical records, photo, insurance information, and prescription and labs for that individual. From any Internet-connected computer anywhere in the world, no questions asked for the quality of the form, because the person looking at it can basically reach out to the lab and confirm it’s accurate.

One of the problems of personal health record is you may get a patient that’s embarrassed about something. They may kind of redact something from data. We do not give the patient the ability to do that, because there is no data in the actual record. There is data in the health history.


I believe I understand right that it’s priced for families at somewhere around $100 per family per year.

There are multiple pricing programs. Direct online, somebody can go and pay $9.95 a month or $99.95 a year and set up and have their account. They can also pay for what we call personal touch — $80 more — and we find a nurse practitioner to go to collect forms for them. We contact all the physicians from throughout their life and we update the medical records in the account for them.

And then there’s the employer programs, where an employer with 1,000 employees can pay us less then $2 a month per employee and every employee in a company would have access to an account. And then there are associations, much larger groups, where they would pay an annual fee for every member in the association and it becomes an affinity benefit, much like a LifeLock or other similar service — whether it be lost baggage, a personal health record, insurance services — that are embedded into the benefits of that organization.


I don’t want you to tell me anything that’s proprietary, but can you give me a feel for how many active users the service has?

We define users in two different ways. We have members and we have users. For example, if you’re part of a company that has 5,000 employees, every one of those employees is a member. The actual user, depending on the type of company, can range anywhere from 5 percent to as much as 28 percent, and so we define members from users separately.

At last count, we had I think 750,000 members, although that does fluctuate up and down. We had from those members approximately 8 or 9 percent what I would call heavy, heavy users. But it doesn’t really matter, because if you work for that company, you have the ability to go in and set up your account at any time.

You might take some medications. You might have something going on in your life. But you take somebody who’s 30 years old. They get a personal health record, they don’t even think about it. They’re not as aware of it. Until one day they go to the doctor and he says, “You know, you need to have appendicitis operation or your cholesterol is too high or for some reason we’ve got a little spot that we want to deal with or some type of MRI.” All of sudden then, the person is, “Oh my gosh, I’d better start collecting my information and building my medical record.” We find that as people have their record over time, more and more people will come in and start adding things into the record.

The other thing that we find is attrition. Since we’ve been in business — which is almost eight years now and with the product out there a little more than six — attrition is less than 2 percent. The real-world attrition, we think, is less than 1 percent. The difference is that is people who have passed away or for whatever reason aren’t getting the benefit any more. It’s not really the attrition in the account, because once somebody gets their information in the account, they don’t want to give up the account.

In the account are 16 file folders. You have complete control over what those file folders are called. Four of those file folders are actually password protected. You can call them an e-safe deposit box. You can call them a real estate file. You can call them advance directives. If somebody gets into your medical record on emergency basis, they won’t see those files, because they are password protected through the administrative side of the site.

I could be anywhere in the world and I would have passport, driver’s license, advance directives, emergency documentation, inventories of all the furniture, fixtures, and materials in my home, etc. It’s not only a personal health record, but it’s an emergency disaster preparedness medical record. You’re in a community, a tornado comes in, you’re wiped out, you need your medical records. You also need your driver’s license, your banking information, your advance directives, the articles that were in your home, your insurance policies. They are all in password-protected files that are embedded into the account.

The other reason we do the password-protected files is when a child becomes 16 years old, they are entitled to have privacy to their personal health information. This way, a family can have a MyMedicalRecords account and they can allow a one file folder to be assigned to each of the teenage members of the family so that the parents can’t have access to what’s in that account. If you have a daughter that, for example, decides they want to take birth control pills, their medical record could be separate from the family’s medical record and password protected so the parents cannot get into that account.


I want to ask you a question about patent licensing. You’ve made some statements that licensing is the future of the company’s growth and a lot of the press releases involve that. Is it fair to say that a long term plan is that the licensing fees will be the majority of the company’s income?

If I may push back a little bit, I’m not sure that I’ve said licensing is the future of the company anywhere. I don’t think that’s actually a quote that I made. What I have said is that as a result of Meaningful Use Stage 2, hospitals, healthcare professionals are obligated if they sign on the dotted line and tell the federal government that they are requesting reimbursement under Meaningful Use Stage 2, there are certain things they have to attest to. One of them is to provide a certain percentage to their audience with a personal health record. Under Stage 3, it will be more severe, because under Stage 2, they have more time. They’re talking about bringing that down to less than a day in Stage 3. Those records are required.

If somebody complies with that Stage 2 Meaningful Use, we believe that they will infringe on one of seven patents that we have issued in the US Patent Office an additional patents that we have issued in 12 additional countries around the world. What we have done is we’ve gone to the hospitals, providers, vendors, laboratories, and we’ve said, “Look, if you’re going to comply with Stage 2 Meaningful Use or you’re going to offer products and services that enable healthcare professionals to meet Stage 2 Meaningful Use, they’re probably going to infringe on one of our patents.”

We’re suggesting that they license those patents at very reasonable license fees, such that whatever they decide to do to comply with Stage 2, Stage 3 Meaningful Use, they have a license – a safe harbor — that they’re grandfathered in, where they never have to be concerned about infringement on any of our patents or other intellectual property. If those same hospitals say, “Are there any other ways to address this?” they could also use our products — our MyMedicalRecords products, our professional products — which are embedded with licenses for the technology.

What we’re essentially saying is if a hospital wants to comply with Stage 2 Meaningful Use … and I want to be very, very clear, I’m not saying they’re definitely infringing, but we believe with nearly 400 claims, that there is a high degree of likelihood that they will infringe on our patents and other intellectual property — we will, as cooperative a way possible, reach out to them to offer them licenses, the ability to utilize their product, prior to bringing any form of legal action if we believe the infringement is direct and on point.


Have you ever taken someone to court for infringement?

We currently have four matters that are of interest. Approximately two or three weeks ago, we filed a lawsuit against Walgreens. Last week, we filed a lawsuit against WebMD. We currently have identified in Australia that the Australian government actually built a $1.1 billion personal health record system that blatantly, we believe – and I would appreciate it if you would always qualify it with “we believe” – infringes on our patents almost totally. The irony of the whole thing is that the government actually appears – and I want to say “appears” – to have used our attorneys who got us the patents in Australia to review and give them an opinion on the intellectual property.

We have found the same thing in Singapore, where the health department in Singapore and other companies — including a very, very large company out of China — are infringing on our patents there. 

We have begun the process of pursuing Australia. We would hope to settle it very, very quickly, because they have a billion-dollar system that is basically given away to everybody who lives in Australia, which completely, completely destroys the ability for us to sell our product.  We would hope that they will be objective in entering to some type of licensing agreement with us. Our patents go far back before they ever actually looked at the system that they built subsequent to the issuance of the patents, which we believe they were aware of.


I forgot to ask that earlier. What years were your patents granted?

The patents have been granted throughout the last seven years. I mean, originally they were filed … I think originally the first filings were in 2005. The US patents mostly were issued at the very, very end of 2011 and throughout 2012. We continue to have numerous applications on file, both pending applications and continuation applications on existing patents.


Your patents were filed in 2011. What was new in 2011 in your patents that hadn’t already been marketed by someone prior to that?

It has to do with what we originally invented in 2005. The patent is like three legs of a stool. You plant the first leg and the stool is going to be a bit wobbly. Then you plant the second leg and the stool is going to be solid. Then you plant the third leg and the fourth leg and you build on intellectual property. The original inventions were true inventions at the time they were filed in the patent office. They’re all based on the original art. Then over time, you amend those applications to bring in different features and functionality that rely upon the original prior art.

But the original prior art when we file these patents or the amendments to these patents or additional patents or continuation patents on,  the Patent Office is very, very thorough. I mean, very, very thorough. It took us close to seven years to issue the first patent. It took us, I think, five or six years to issue the first patent internationally. It took almost eight years to issue patents in Mexico. It’s not a simple process. They look at everything. It costs this company millions of dollars in fees, expenses, and attorneys on a global basis in order to prosecute this portfolio.


Most patents are written to be as broad as the patent office will accept. Can you just describe in general what the patents cover? Maybe the top one or two that are in question now with other people infringing.

There is a valuation that was done which I can send you the link to. It was actually covered in a news release by the company when it came out about a month, a month and half ago. That valuation identifies every one of the patents around the world by its name, description, and number. I don’t want to answer a question that really has the potential of narrowing the scope just by the fact that I can’t properly answer it in an article like this. What I would do is I would refer people to that valuation summary and they would be able to go to the patent office and look up everything.

There’s claims that deal with how the patients get personal health records. There’s claims that deal with telemedicine. There’s a broad spectrum of claims. Like I said close, to 400 in stage, with more patents and additional claims pending and a lot of claims around the world. It wouldn’t be fair to you, me, or the reader to just say, “The basics of it is this.”

They are a method and system for providing personal health records, electronic health records, and other forms of electronic documents. They run the gamut of e-safe deposit box, which could mean personal information like we discussed with advance directives and maybe a copy of your passport all the way to your medical records.


Some of the recipients of the potential infringement letters have been hospitals, most of which are non-profit. I don’t want to ask you a proprietary question, but when you say the fees are reasonable, what kind of terms would you offer them to license?

Every one of the agreements and licenses that we’ve entered into is confidential. If you look at me or you Google me, I spent the last 13-14 years of my life dedicating it to giving away money to charity. Prior to that, I probably have raised more money for organizations using what was called cause-related marketing, where a portion of a dollar that a company like Procter & Gamble would get would go to Special Olympics or the Heart Association or D.A.R.E. America. So when it comes to non-profit charity and giving, it’s in my DNA.

When I say reasonable, I mean in a way that protects the hospital, gives them a benefit so that they can provide a broader service to their patients. It’s not the kind of dollars that you’re looking at from all these lawsuits with Samsung and BlackBerry and Apple. It’s not that kind of a thing.

We look for a win-win situation with the hospital. The best way I can  explain it is our primary business is personal health records. A lot of people have tried to paint the letters we’ve sent to the hospital as if we’re patent trolling. A troll is somebody who has rights to a patent, but basically goes around suing people and demanding royalties. A troll is not the original inventor of the patents, of which I am on every patent that’s been filed anywhere in the world.

We invented those patents so that we would have the opportunity to go into the market and compete and create a barrier to entry for our competition. By ignoring our rights under those patents, we are essentially being denied the ability to compete in that marketplace, because other people will just go in and sell their product at the expense of infringing on our patents. 

What’s fair and reasonable in our mind is something analogous to the amount of money that we would have made had we were providing those products and services. But if somebody is going to say we’re going to preclude you from providing those products and services, then they should pay us something reasonable for infringing on our intellectual property.

In our case, we don’t care if somebody licenses or somebody buys. They win and we win either way. The objective here is to not do something that makes it impossible to make a deal, but also do something that is fair to our shareholders in the sense that we’re not denied access to the marketplace just because somebody said, “The heck with them. We don’t care about their patents,” which is what is happening in Australia. I mean the Australian government in a macro example — macro being huge, but one country — they basically said, “We’re going to make a personal health record. We’re going to give it away to 20 million people free and we’re going to infringe on IP and we don’t care.”

I had a meeting with a group of Congressmen last week in Washington, DC. Ironically, we focused on stimulus, and some of the things were covered in the Page 1 article in The New York Times. These Congressional representatives who are on the oversight committees have said that intellectual property –the right to own property, the right to own a home, the right to own what you create, eat what you sow — is a fundamental right of every American, and it’s probably a fundamental right of everybody wherever they are anywhere in the world.

These are rights that we built products for, we created things for. When somebody takes away your right to compete in the open marketplace, they pay a royalty or a license fee. In those rare cases where you unfortunately have to go to litigation, maybe they’ll pay more. But the objective here is to create reasonable relationships with hospitals.

I have said to our shareholders, there’s 5,000 hospitals out there. It doesn’t take a lot to figure if every hospital gave you some reasonable amount of money for every 250 beds, the hospital would win based on the quality of our product and we would win for our shareholders.


There was a rumor that there was some interest by the National Coordinator or some part of HHS about what was going on with the patents and the letters that were being received by hospitals, and possibly by somebody in California, maybe the Attorney General, as well. Has there been any official interest or discussion about what you’re doing from any government or oversight-type body?

When we originally sent out the letters, some of the hospitals apparently forwarded them to the California Hospital Association and the AMA. I received a copy of a letter that was sent by the California Hospital Association legal counsel Jana Du Bois to every hospital general counsel saying, “If you get a letter from a company called MyMedicalRecords, we think they’re some kind of patent troll. Let us know.”

When I got a copy of that, we contacted her, and we explained to her that, “Hey, it’s our primary business. We invented it. We did not buy these patents. We are not trolling with these patents, and by the way, we are very, very anxious to enter into reasonable business relationships with the hospitals to license the patents or utilize our products and services.”

She turned around and basically sent out what I would – I’m not going to say it was an apology letter — but she definitely sent a letter out to everybody to set the record straight. To the point that I just found out last week in one state on the East Coast, meeting with their association, actually discussing the possibility of saying, any hospitals in the state, we will negotiate through the association one license agreement so that the hospitals can get the benefit of the lowest possible rate, and as long as the hospital is a member of that association, they would get the license agreement.

In addition to that, we — meaning MMR — would take 30 percent of those license fees, put them into a non-profit managed by that association to provide healthcare and philanthropic services to underprivileged in their communities through their hospital network. So in essence, we would say, State XYZ is kind of like a safe harbor for,  I think it’s 10 months. We would negotiate a license agreement with that association. The license agreement would be based on the beds in the hospital. They would offer it to everybody in that state.

If they accepted it, they got that rate. We would take 30 percent of the money, give it back to the community to provide healthcare and other services to the community through those hospitals. If the hospital did not sign on, then we would see what happens after that period of time. That is as recently as last week. It was very well received. We are already in the process of signing agreements to facilitate those conversations.

The associations are very aware. The associations hopefully will understand that we’re trying to be reasonable about the whole thing.  As for the AMA, I know they’re aware of it. We’ve not communicated with them.

As to the National Coordinator, my days with the National Coordinator go back to Dr. Brailer, when Mike Leavitt was Secretary of Health. Mike Leavitt knew about MyMedicalRecords and our intellectual property in the early, early days. Dr. Brailer knew about MMR and our IP in the early, early days. The Small Business Administration acknowledged what we were doing after Katrina, because we had the ability to not only provision personal health records, but emergency safe deposit boxes for victims of natural disasters – they presented us an award. Subsequently, I meet with Dr. Blumenthal and William Yu, when he was in the office, went through the products, service, patents, the intellectual property. There could be no surprises to anybody about what we have been doing.


I think I read that you’re sending – maybe it’s not the right figure — 250 letters a week. I’m just curious how much response you’re getting from those letters or what hospitals are doing when they receive those letters?

We’ve sent out somewhere between 600 and 750 letters. Many of them respond. Some of them don’t respond. When they don’t respond, we reach out and try to communicate with them.

There are maybe additional letters, but at this particular point in time, we’ve had a lot of success with everything from the association I described to numerous hospitals in California that have opened the door for meaningful negotiations. If somebody opens the door for meaningful negotiations, we’re basically going to take the time that’s necessary to make them comfortable that they’re making the right decision.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 really starts in February 2014, I think. And so, if the hospital wants to understand this, vet the product, vet the service to understand the IP, we’re anxious to work with them in a businesslike manner.


Any final thoughts?

We’re looking forward to HIMSS. There are a lot of people that have gotten letters from us. We’re looking forward to more patents being issued. There are a lot of people that have contacted us and arranged to meet with us at HIMSS to discuss a variety of business opportunities from strategic partners, licensing. We’re going to be previewing wellness applications connected to our personal health records. We’re going to be focused on integrating our personal health record with the output from all the apps that are coming in on iPhones and Android phones.

We’re looking forward to meeting people in the booth who may have the wrong perception of the company. If the perception they have is it’s some guy sending out letters trying to get royalties who is not entitled to them, we’re not those people. There may be some of those people out there. We’re not those people.

We have a real product that we invented that we would prefer to sell people. But if people are not going to buy it and they’re just going to work around it or they’re going to ignore us … the most reasonable thing to do is to license, because that way everybody wins. Should they decide that, you know, it’s really not such a dumb idea to attach a 10-digit telephone number to every one of our patients’ personal health records so that they can go anywhere in the world, and if they’re on vacation in Israel – where, by the way, we own the patents — they can literally get a lab test, have it put in their account, and seen by their physician at New York Pres in three minutes.

I’m a big believer in supporting hospitals so that if, God forbid, I go into the emergency room and I need something, the little green light goes on and says, “He’s a good guy." But hundreds and millions of dollars have recently been spent in this community by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and UCLA. They both have Epic systems. They can’t talk to each other. Here I’ve got a health savings plan. I’m in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai, but next time because I’m closer to UCLA or the Cedars emergency room is full, all the tests that I had at Cedars now have to be redone at UCLA. Why?

Kaiser is  a classic example. The rumor is more than $6 billion has been spent on EMR and PHR. Right now, I’m not a Kaiser member. If I get sick anywhere and I need my medical records, yeah, I have some kind of a patient view. But that emergency physician in Sheboygan, Wisconsin or in Deer Valley, Utah, where I just came off at a ski slope with a pain in my arm or my chest or broken bone — they can’t get that data. They’ve got to completely rework me up before I go into surgery. If I’m unconscious, these people don’t know today that I’m a thyroid patient. I don’t have a thyroid. I have to take certain medications. If I’m unconscious, I can’t tell them that. 

If you start asking around about how much money has been spent on a state-by-state basis trying to create a regional health information system — I’m going to be kind — It’s probably $20 to $50 million a year, and I don’t think you can find a working model. If you do find a working model, I don’t think you can find a handful of hospitals that talk to it, because they’ve all got their own EMRs. There’s no interoperability, despite the fact that this whole effort from Bush was designed to empower the patient and create interoperability. So basically we’re at $11 billion and counting — maybe 12 now, I don’t even know, it goes so fast — and the original selling proposition of why we needed this has not been met.

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February 25, 2013 Interviews 23 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/25/13

February 25, 2013 Headlines No Comments

Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us

Time magazine’s special edition report on rising healthcare costs is the longest article the magazine has ever run, but it is short on offering meaningful solutions.

Grace Cottage blames federal law for job cuts

19-bed Grace Cottage, of Townshend, VT, defends its $2.5 million Cerner implementation, as well as other major capital expenses, after firing 10 percent of its workforce which officials say was necessary due to steadily declining reimbursements and increased expenses. In perhaps related news, the only job opening posted on the hospital’s career page is for a new CEO.

Huge Decision Coming for Doctors Who Sued EHR Company

A group of doctors suing Allscripts over the discontinued MyWay EHR platform will find out Tuesday whether they the lawsuit will be allowed to continue or whether they will be forced to honor the binding arbitration clauses in their contracts.

MModal and Intermountain Healthcare Collaborate on Industry’s First Speech-Enabled Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) App for iPhone and iPad

MModal will partner with Intermountain Healthcare to develop a speech-enabled CPOE app for iOS devices. The app is expected in the fall of 2013 and will be integrated within EHR systems not yet named.

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February 25, 2013 Headlines No Comments

News 2/22/13

February 21, 2013 News 3 Comments

Top News

2-21-2013 10-18-36 PM

An article in The New York Times called “A Digital Shift on Health Data Swells Profits an an Industry” takes direct shots at the HITECH act, particularly emphasizing the “behind the scenes lobbying” that Allscripts, former CEO Glen Tullman, and other unnamed vendors employed to get it passed. It points out that Tullman was health technology advisor to the Obama campaign, a personal donor of $225,000 to Democratic political candidates, and a seven-time White House visitor after Obama took office. Cerner doubled its lobbying dollars to $400,000, with almost all of it going to Republicans.

Athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush weighed on “the Sunny von Bülow bill” that he says kept his stagnant competitors “alive for another few years.” In a seemingly random quote, the ED chair at UCSF Medical Center said Epic is “mediocre” on a good day but “lousy” most of the time, while a counterpoint from UCSF’s CMIO saying that most doctors there like it receives less-sensationalized coverage. The article also points out that Neal Patterson’s stake in Cerner is worth $1 billion and mentions that a letter from Steve Lieber of HIMSS urged President-elect Obama to set aside at least $25 billion to increase EHR adoption.

In other words, the article is all over the place. The only new material appears to be a handful of quotes that were allowed to run unchallenged, with everything else looking more like a set of Google search results than a thoughtful and balanced piece. Its conclusion is hardly startling: the federal government wastes enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars in scratching special interest backs and a few people get really rich as a result (fun fact: Glen Tullman is now running his solar energy company, reaping the benefit of another big federal spending program.) Far more interesting than the article itself are the reader comments:

  • My impressions of the vendors can be described in two words: Welfare Queens. The systems are glorified billing and scheduling systems. Vendors were "certified" before they actually created the upgrades that supposedly met MU criteria.
  • Regardless of how much customization you do to the form and how many drop-boxes there are for entering data, the result is medical records which look very similar from patient to patient, and omit nuances and details which are specific for individuals.
  • It is interesting that so many commenters complain about a lack of privacy (signing my life away on consent forms!!), while others complain because not all providers in the country have easy, fast access to their medical records.
    You must realize that these things are at odds, and affected more by HIPAA than limitations of technology.
  • EMR 1.0 = islands of information, designed for billing and documentation. EMR 2.0 = system of engagement – Key information summarized and shared. Saves time for the users. It’s coming!
  • Try telling countries like Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands and Japan that they should give up all of the EMR systems that are unusable despite the fact that the majority of their docs are using EMR systems today. Just because a few people in an article determined a system to be unusable doesn’t make it so.
  • The EHR has become the patient. It is sicker than you and more complicated, taking more time. You, the real patient, can just lay there waiting in a state of abject neglect.
  • There is a lot more to this movement than this article suggests — and it is good. "The clear winners are big companies" — yes, in some ways, but the even bigger winners are patients and the doctors who care for them. In my family, this record-keeping already has resulted in a life-saving developments.
  • In our office we have had three over 50 early retirements due to the EPIC system.
  • Think if America had as many electric outlet types as Europe (free markets!) This mishmash of EMR will take a generation to unravel and cries out for a centralized system & format.
  • I’m a primary care physician working at Kaiser Permanente. We’ve been using the Epic system for years. While it isn’t perfect, I’d never go back to paper … the real reason this system works for us is because we are an integrated system. If we weren’t, it wouldn’t work well at all. The real problem is lack of integration in US medicine.
  • Banks and many other industries already embrace efficient and effective computerized systems. Where your life is at stake, wouldn’t you want your doctor to have the same advantages as your bank?
  • This is a very one-sided article, and almost reads like a smear in some places.

For a counterpoint, see DrLyle’s post, The HIT Productivity Paradox — It’s Gonna Be OK.

Reader Comments

inga_small From Ms. HIM: “Re: X-Rays. Inga, did you report to someone at the facility that you were able to see the patient data in the hallway?” Ms. HIM is referring to my recent visit to a radiology practice that had patient data prominently displayed on several monitors in common areas. I did e-mail the CIO and included my stealthily-taken pictures. No response yet.

From Disappointed: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I want to give kudos to Shannon at Thomas Wright Partners. I am unable to attend HIMSS due to a family thing, but she promptly and cheerfully changed my confirmation to my boss who had neglected to sign up (what can I say?) She also said if things changed and I was able to attend, she personally would ensure I would get in and gave me her cell phone number. What great service!!!” Medicomp is working with the same team (Thomas Wright Partners, Bzzz Productions, Istrico Productions) that brought you HIStalkapalooza 2011 in Orlando. They are indeed efficient and responsive. I had no qualms about putting my name on the event and leaving the details to them.

2-21-2013 9-25-51 PM

From Letter of the Law: “Re: Allscripts Meaningful Use Guarantee. Doesn’t sound like MyWay will meet Stage 2 MU or get 2014 ONC certified as a Complete EHR. Does this mean MyWay clients get a 12-month support credit or refund? Seems like the guarantee was written to be purposefully vague and has now mysteriously disappeared from the Allscripts site (convenient) except in the Investor area.” Allscripts told us they would respond, but they haven’t so far.

2-21-2013 9-31-51 PM

From Tom: “Re: Epic. An electrophysiologist wrote a satirical post about Epic and used screenshots to convey the problems he experienced. He says Epic contacted his hospital administrators and asked him to take the screenshots down. He is now concerned about legal ramifications.” It should be noted that the doctor sells software on the side, although it costs only a few dollars and is specific to electrophysiology. Still, Epic has made it clear in the past that it won’t tolerate posting screen shots, documentation text, or almost anything else publicly. I’m thinking I remember (but could be wrong) that they warn UGM presenters not to post their slides publicly if they contain anything that Epic might deem proprietary. Says the doc (with some of his preachy indignation removed):

I’m just a physician who uses their software … No software is perfect however and I think the Epic bosses should be more interested in using feedback and criticism from health care professionals to improve the program rather than spending their time worrying that a screenshot of their user interface is available on the web … these massive companies who have benefited enormously from our tax dollars have the nerve to threaten those who criticize their software and publish a few bland screenshots. Unfortunately though, with their cash reserves and cadres of lawyers, there is little that EP Studios (cash reserves = $0) can do to stop their bullying.

2-21-2013 10-04-37 PM

From Say What?: "Re: HIMSS in Cleveland. Surely you jest. What is moving 345 miles from its Chicago base going to do for HIMSS? At least Nashville made sense from a different geographic, cultural, and transportation point of view, as would Phoenix, San Francisco, or Seattle.”

From Richard: “Re: HIStalk. Thanks for one of the most concise, relevant online healthcare IT publications out there. Your work is an excellent balance of current news, pertinent insight, and subtle (or sometimes hot so subtle) humor. Please pass on my compliments to the entire HIStalk crew for their excellent contributions. P.S. I admire your team’s ability to present a meaningful contribution and at the same time party like college freshman at HIMSS.” I did indeed pass along your much-appreciated comments to the crew, which got me trapped in the e-mail crossfire as Inga and Dr. Jayne tried to one-up each other with their claimed partying capacity beyond freshman level. I stopped reading once they escalated to grad school.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small This week on HIStalk Practice: MGMA introduces a Web-based tool that allows organizations to benchmark themselves against peers using national MGMA data. The RI REC offers EHR adoption assistance to specialists. Researchers devise an AI tool that may outperform physicians in making cost-effective clinical decisions. Michigan lawmakers consider legislation requiring a single universal prior authorization form for prescriptions. PCMHs deliver slightly better patient satisfaction and preventative care but may not result in cost savings. Dr. Gregg shares details of the meeting between Focus and Byproduct … heck, it’s a great story, so give it a read. Greenway Medical CEO Tee Green discusses the company and industry and makes some predictions for the future. Thanks for reading.

Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t know: Word, going back to the 2007 version apparently, has a “Save as PDF” option that’s easier than PDF print driver products like CutePDF or PDF995. And in another Andy Rooney meets Larry King kind of non sequitur, I heard programmers repeatedly pronounce two words oddly in a meeting today: DISplay and REfresh. I am monitoring further accent-switching occurrences.  

I got an e-mail today that HIMSS has kicked me out of my reserved hotel and put me in a lower-rated one because of “an oversold situation,” adding that they “wanted to inform you before you arrived in New Orleans.” How thoughtful, especially considering that I booked in September.

2-21-2013 8-54-49 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Greythorn, whose healthcare IT practice places candidates in the specific high-demand market segments of Epic, Cerner, and ICD-10. Greythorn has offered specialty IT staffing solutions for more than 30 years. Check out their LinkedIn Epic and EHR Professionals group, or seek their folks out at HIStalkapalooza since they told me they’re going and I sense they’re a fun bunch. For clients, expect nice people, a big pipeline of candidates including international ones, and a zeal for understanding your business and your needs. Job candidates should read their Resume and Interview Tips document (“Questions to Be Prepared For” contains just about all of the HR-mandated behavioral interviewing questions I’ve ever asked). Stop by Booth #5358 at the HIMSS conference and pass along my thanks to Greythorn for supporting my work.

Here’s a “Working at Greythorn” video I found on YouTube.

HIMSS Conference Social Events

2-21-2013 1-05-34 PM

inga_small If you registered in advance, your official HIStalkapalooza invite should have hit your inbox Wednesday (check those spam folders!) Make sure you’ve arranged your schedule to be there in time for the Inga Loves My Shoes contest and the crowning of the HIStalk King and Queen. The highly coveted beauty queen sashes and prizes will return.

inga_small Speaking of sashes, we decided to give readers a chance to win one, along with stage recognition and a $25 Amazon gift card. All you have to do is declare Inga, Dr. Jayne, or Mr. H as your secret crush and explain why. We’ll choose the most convincing entries, so feel to free to lay it on thick and shamelessly in an obvious appeal to our vanity. Winners (who must be at HIStalkapalooza) will be sashed on stage with "Inga’s Secret Crush," "Dr. Jayne’s Secret Crush," or "Mr. H’s Secret Crush" as a token of our reciprocation.

Aventura is participating in a booth block party at the conference on Tuesday from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m., with beer and margaritas.

2-21-2013 6-33-14 PM

Speaking of Aventura, they’ve sent the best e-mail promotion so far with their serious-sounding “HIT Survival Handbook” that includes some dry humor. I forwarded the e-mail home from work just to run it here.

I always scan down the HIStalkapalooza attendee list to see who’s coming and what titles they hold. Eyeballing it, it looks like over 100 presidents/CEOs, 200 VPs, 24 CIOs, 13 CMIOs, and eight financial and equities people. That’s a fraction of the total invitations, so obviously many other titles were represented.

Here’s a list of our HIMSS-related pages and their downloadable/printable PDF equivalents that will tell you what our sponsors are doing at the conference:

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meet-Ups
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Exhibitor Giveaways

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

2-21-2013 10-29-21 PM

Shareholders of PSS World Medical approve the company’s agreement to merge with McKesson, clearing the way for a Q1 closing.

2-21-2013 10-28-51 PM

GetWellNetwork reports 30 percent growth in revenues and a 90 percent increase in orders from 2011 to 2012.

2-21-2013 10-30-07 PM

MedAssets reports Q4 results: revenue up 4.5 percent, adjusted EPS $0.27 vs. $0.32.


The New Hampshire Health Information Organization selects the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative to provide executive director management services for the implementation of its statewide HIE, which will utilize Orion Health’s technology backbone.

2-21-2013 3-56-46 PM

NYU Langone Medical Center contracts with Accenture to support its ICD-10 implementation process.

Intelligent InSites wins a $543 million contract to implement to RTLS at 152 medical centers, as reported here previously. We interviewed President and CEO Margaret Laub last week.

2-21-2013 3-58-09 PM

Numera selects AT&T to be the wireless network and location services provider for Numera Libris, a mobile home health management and personal emergency response system.

2-21-2013 3-59-23 PM

Banner Health expands its portfolio of 3M products to include the 3M 360 Encompass System for computer-assisted coding and clinical documentation improvement.

2-21-2013 4-02-04 PM

Memorial Sloan-Kettering (NY) chooses Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine for communication and data sharing between the hospital’s different IT applications.

2-21-2013 4-03-30 PM

Phoenix Children’s Hospital (AZ) selects Allscripts Sunrise Financial Manager, Sunrise Ambulatory, and Allscripts Community Record.

Mid-Valley Hospital (WA) selects e-forms and electronic electronic patient signature solutions from Access to use with its Meditech Scanning and Archiving system.

2-21-2013 10-31-08 PM

Fairview Health Services (MN) will implement Strata Decision Technology’s StrataJazz for decision support, operating budgeting, strategic planning, and capital planning.


2-21-2013 6-04-10 PM

Avere Systems appoints Michael McMahon (CommVault) as VP of business development.

2-21-2013 6-05-43 PM

Tom Giannulli, MD (Epocrates) joins Kareo as CMIO.

2-21-2013 6-06-38 PM

VA CTO Peter Levin, who led the Blue Button initiative, announces his resignation.

2-21-2013 6-50-40 PM

As reported here last week. Health Catalyst names Brent Dover (Medicity/Aetna) as president.

Wolters Kluwer promotes Kevin Entricken from CFO of the Wolters Kluwer Health division to CFO of the parent company.

Harris Interactive names Matt Knoeck (TNS North America) SVP of healthcare and Sharon Albert (TJ Sacks) VP of marketing for its healthcare group.

Announcements and Implementations

The Rochester RHIO partners with area ambulance companies to allow physicians to see critical patient information gathered in the field during ambulance calls.

Medical equipment provider Skytron upgrades six of its customers to CenTrak’s clinical-grade RTLS technology.

SuccessEHS connects with MyHealth Access Network HIE (OK) to send clinical care documents from its EHR.

Aker Eye/Vision Source (FL) implements RTLS from Versus Technology.

The Joint Commission begins offering a PCMH certification for accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals.

2-21-2013 10-33-07 PM

SCI Solutions launches Readmission Minimizer to track and monitor post-discharge processes.

The Utah Health Information Network offers Direct secure messaging labeled as cHIE Direct, using technology from Secure Exchange Solutions.

2-21-2013 9-59-07 PM

Enovate announces two new products, the e5000 telemedicine cart and colorful peds-oriented Emagination Stations.

2-21-2013 10-34-16 PM

Humetrix introduces cross-platform capability for its iBlueButton app that allows consumers and patients to exchange clinical information at the point of care regardless of which smartphone they use.

2-21-2013 10-35-08 PM

Kareo launches a free cloud-based EHR that can be used as a standalone application or integrated with the company’s PM and billing services. It was developed using technology acquired from Epocrates, which exited the EHR business a year ago. Kareo notes that the EHR is “advertisement free” and says it will provide support and updates at no charge. The company hopes that the free EHR offering will attract more clients for its PM and billing service products.

Government and Politics

2-21-2013 10-36-08 PM

ONC is accepting applications from those interested in serving on a new workgroup, the HITPC Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act Workgroup,  that will provide recommendations for a risk-based HIT and mobile device regulatory framework.

2-21-2013 10-37-00 PM

Worth a read: The Advisory Board Company publishes “How Stage 2 Raises the Bar on Stage 1 Organizations.” Like everything Advisory Board, it’s fluff-free and to the point.

Innovation and Research

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati find that physicians using an EMR are more likely to order routine screening tests for women.

Processing a prescription drug order through a CPOE system decreases the likelihood of error with that order by 48 percent according to a study supported by AHRQ. Researchers say the findings suggest CPOE can substantially reduce the frequency of medication errors in the inpatient setting, but it is unclear whether that translates into reduced harm for patients.

2-21-2013 9-46-43 PM

Christiana Care Health System is awarded a $10 million grant from CMS’s innovation grant program for its Bridging the Divides program that uses predictive analytics to target patients who would benefit from intervention. CMIO Terri Steinberg, MD, MBA (above) tells me that analytics can be run against the patient’s entire data set even if it originates from a different health system. I may follow up for more information.


2-21-2013 1-40-54 PM

Healthgrades says Dayton, OH, Phoenix, AZ, and Milwaukee, WI have the lowest risk-adjusted hospital mortality rates in its list of America’s Best Hospitals 2013.

Express Scripts sues Ernest & Young and one of its former partners for stealing trade secrets and corporate data to boost E&Y’s healthcare business. The lawsuit claims Donald Gravlin, who was working on the Express Scripts-Medco merger, entered an Express Scripts facility several times  to forward confidential company e-mails to his personal account.

Black Book Rankings releases the results of a survey to identify the top hospital EHR vendors based on client satisfaction. Winners include:

  • CPSI (under 100 beds)
  • Cerner (100-249 beds)
  • Epic (academic teaching hospitals and major medical centers)
  • Cerner (healthcare systems, hospital chains, integrated delivery networks)
  • Picis (ED)

UnitedHealth Group announces the creation of 1,000 new jobs in North Carolina by its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses.

2-21-2013 6-49-09 PM

Weird News Andy waxes poetic on the news that Cornell researchers have created a realistic 3-D printed human ear. WNA says, “Poems are make by this fool right here, but only Cornell can make an ear.”

WNA finds this item both odd and sad: a suspended Johns Hopkins gynecologist accused of secretly taking photos of hundreds of his patients using a pen camera commits suicide.

Sponsor Updates

  • Aspen Valley Hospital (CO) shares how it increased front office payments and cash on hand and reduced administrative time and costs by using InstaMed solutions in a case study.
  • Covisint extends its cloud identity services to include small and medium-sized organizations.
  • US Secret Service Special Agent Erik Rasmussen and Trustwave SVP Nicholas Percoco will lead a keynote address on cybercrime at next week’s RSA conference.
  • Halfpenny Technologies adds Altosoft’s BI dashboard to its ITF-Hub solution for clinical laboratories. 
  • API Healthcare offers a Webinar series focused on effective employee recruitment and retention.
  • HealthMEDX expands its support of LeadingAge, a non-profit committed to providing care and services to the aging.
  • eHealth Technologies releases a zero-footprint, Web-based image viewer that uses the eUnity platform of Client Outlook.
  • Informatica releases Cloud Spring 2013, the latest release of its integration and data management applications, and will hosts a February 25 Webinar to introduce its features.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne


Clinicians can now diagnose leprosy (Hansen’s disease) more than a year before patients are symptomatic. The new test uses a smart phone, a test strip reader, and a single drop of blood. Each determination will cost $1 or less.

This week President Obama announced an initiative to map the human brain, citing the Human Genome Project as a precedent. The brain is a fascinating thing and I’m excited about the role that information technology will play in making it a reality. Even better was the adrenaline rush I got since I read the announcement while I was hopped up on cold medicine watching “The Bourne Legacy.” Hopefully the CIA isn’t waiting in the wings to create neurologically engineered killers with the resulting data.

I’ve enjoyed the reader comments about travel arrangements for HIMSS. I apparently waited too long to book my hotel room (silly me for thinking three months in advance was enough) so I am arriving a day later and leaving a day earlier than I’d have liked. The idea of having to split between two different hotels to cover the entire stay was not very appealing. The comments about venues for future HIMSS meetings are spot on as well. I mentioned the HIMSS rotation to a dental colleague today and learned that there IS something worse than HIMSS returning to Chicago: The Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, which is held every February in the Windy City. The schedule of events lists a Fashion Show Luncheon. I wonder if they feature parkas, boots, and mittens?

Twitter served up an item from @ONC_HealthIT celebrating a physician who built his own EHR in response to budget cuts. A read of the actual article reveals that “eventually he turned to Cerner.” Unfortunately Meaningful Use has stifled grassroots innovation like building a custom EHR for your practice. I also like the line about practice administrators scanning paper test results into the EHR. If they actually have practice administrators feeding the scanner, I can recommend some additional overhead cost cutting for them.


In addition to the paper mail and tchotchkes enticing me to various booths at HIMSS, I’ve started receiving e-mail invitations to focus groups. Today’s gem promised to “present 4 innovative clinical strategies that leverage technology to reduce cost and improve all quality metrics.” Wow! They improve all quality metrics? That’s impressive. Even more impressive is the honorarium offered: a “Personalized tour of Walgreens Flagship Location – TBD.” Sheesh.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 21, 2013 News 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/21/13

February 20, 2013 Headlines No Comments

Top Hospital Electronic Health Records Vendors Rated by Client Satisfaction, Black Book Rankings Announce 2013 Inpatient EHR Leaders

Black Book Rankings, which provides vendor satisfaction reports, gives CPSI the under 100-bed market, Cerner wins in the 100-249 bed range, and Epic takes the 250+ bed market. Unlike KLAS, Black Book’s methodology includes an external audit of data by independent statisticians.

VA CTO Peter Levin to leave agency

VA CTO Peter Levin announces his resignation just days after VA CIO Roger Baker made his own announcement. Levin led the Blue Button initiative and was a key advisor to the iEHR program. Both Levin and Baker were scheduled to appear before the House Veterans Affairs Committee next week to answer for the abrupt halt of the iEHR program.

Express Scripts accuses Ernst & Young of stealing trade secrets

Express Scripts sues Ernst & Young after discovering that an E&Y health information technology partner stole confidential documents related to pricing information, business projections, and strategy while working on the Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions merger. Express Scripts claims the E&Y employee emailed more than 20,000 confidential documents to his personal e-mail account with the intention of using the information to secure future business with both Express Scripts and its competitors.

Health System Chief Information Officers: Juggling responsibilities, managing expectations, building the future

Deloitte releases a whitepaper on future challenges within health IT according to hospital CIOs. Respondents largely report being comfortable with their ability to handle MU and ICD-10 requirements. Goals moving forward included integrating independent medical practice IT systems, protection of PHI in a quickly growing digital environment, and transitions from fee-for-service to value-based models.

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February 20, 2013 Headlines No Comments

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