Home » Search Results for "cerner":

HIStalk Interviews Jake Morris, Managing Director, McKinnis Consulting Services

April 29, 2015 Interviews 1 Comment


Jake Morris is managing director of McKinnis Consulting Services of Chicago, IL.

Tell me about yourself and the company.

I started out as part of a healthcare family in healthcare finance and compliance. I think I was pre-destined. I started out an internship out of college and got involved in big rev cycle companies. I was fortunate to be staffed in early engagements on big transformation engagements, one locally here in Chicago where they were rolling out the Epic technology back when they used to do design, build, and validate.

I was very fortunate to see all the bells and whistles of rev cycle. What people are trying to accomplish, best practice, and getting involved in the nuts and bolts of how these next gen systems behave and how integrated they are in nature. I was able to take that learning, go client to client, and start to pinpoint where these challenge points are in conversion, but more importantly, what you could do in rev cycle with this next gen technology to eliminate costs, promote efficiencies, and make sure that the process and people independent of the technology were set up for that integrated nature to take the next step and to performance within rev cycle.


How has the Affordable Care Act impacted the revenue cycle?

It has really impacted the front end of the rev cycle. Pre-service centers, pre-registration, insurance verification, and identification of Medicaid populations have always been prevalent in a rev cycle. This just highlights the importance of those processes up front, which often gets neglected in rev cycle because it’s such a focus on the back end.

With segmentation, you’re having what used to be “true self-pay,” where historically you would get maybe 1 to 2 percent yield on a collection standpoint. That is now being blended into the “balance after,” which traditionally got 40 to 50 percent. Why that’s important is propensity to pay scoring. It’s becoming even harder to segment that population and balance after to understand what my collection efforts should be.

This has highlighted the importance of patient liability estimation functionality. It’s highlighted the importance of payment plans, processes, identification of. Then also because of the Affordable Care Act, a lot of the young demographic population are the ones going to the markets, getting these high-deductible plans. They’re used to using technology and Internet, so making sure that these online portals are set up for success and you can leverage that is of the utmost importance right now.


Are hospitals struggling to get that patient responsibility portion paid now that their chunk is bigger?

I think so. There’s leading indicators right now that there’s more process improvement up front. We have all the self-pay strategies on the back end with the dunning cycles and the outsourced vendors and those are important. But we’ve always struggled as an industry in rev cycle to get point-of-service cash collections lifted on the front end.

The Epics of the world now have this technology, the robustness, and the transparency to promote it. Now we just need to make sure with the information we have that we’re leveraging the technology to actually help with that segmentation and making sure that we’re leveraging all the functionalities in front of us to promote that type of behavior.


I’ve read interesting case studies showing that it’s not so much that patients are unable or unwilling to pay, but that providers have made it too difficult for them to do so. Do you agree?

I think that is the case. It’s always been the case, even in point-of-service cash strategies in the past independent of these next gen systems. It’s always a struggle. Part of the struggle was less to do with technology and more to do with the willingness and a culture of asking. Also, with the data we have, what are we doing to interpret it and have strategies in place for that appropriate segment based on the propensity to pay?

We can have in a vacuum finance in the back end and an analyst doing mining, but if you’re not getting end users up front bought into the process, if you don’t have the leaders up front bought into the process, and there’s not an accountable metric-driven process to promote this, then it’s never going to launch no matter what technology you have.


How hard is it for hospitals to walk that line between trying to collect from patients who aren’t paying their bills but who also fill out satisfaction surveys?

What I’m talking about right now isn’t even collections. On the front end of it, when you have the patient in front of you, like in pre-service, it’s not even a collection strategy. It’s more about helping to educate the patient on their balance, how their insurance works, and when this is going to happen. Then educating them on all the different strategies, policies, and processes that we have to help promote getting that payment.

I had mentioned payment plans and making it easy with all the different partners that exist out there that can help get the prepaid credit card or online payment portals. You’re making it easy for them so they understand what they owe.

Once you understand something and it doesn’t seem complex, you’re more prone to pay. In healthcare, unfortunately, sometimes statement design makes it really hard to understand what I owe. That creates a lack of confidence in that amount, and therefore, I’m less prone to pay it.

It’s engaging that individual to educate, to help create a comfort, to then allow for that patient to make the payment. I think most people have high integrity in what they owe.


Are insurance plans that people are buying via the online exchanges harder for consumers to understand or do they contain terms that are less favorable to providers than commercial insurance plans have typically been?

You see the ads from the bronze plans in California, Minnesota, and others that have up to a $5,000 deductible. Making sure the patient understands that. Also, the insurance cards don’t really look that much different. You could have Blue Cross Blue Shield or you could have a bronze plan and it might be hard for the registrar to interpret the difference between what those cards look like. How do I identify those? Because it matters in terms of what the patient liability is based on those plans that have high co-insurance and high deductibles.


What are hospitals doing to address plans with narrow networks?

From our experience, it’s a work in progress. The first step is understanding your population, having the data to create a strategy to attack, and making sure you have that segmentation.


What typically goes wrong when a big health system has financial stumbles after implementing Epic or Cerner and what has to be done to fix the problems?

The Epics and Cerners of the world are fantastic. The whole reason we’re doing business the way we’re doing is because of this type of next gen system. It is integrated and transparent.

People underestimate the work effort. There’s an assumption that because I went live this next gen, ROI is going to come. When in reality, what we often tell our clients is that the rev cycle is always going to be the revenue cycle. Environment dictates how I attack revenue and how I attack cash.

In a conversion environment, it’s much more a mitigation tactic than it is attacking it upside, but you have to have the vision for both. You have to respect the conversion and make sure that you’re taking the right approaches to hunker down and manage possible loss. A buzzword you hear in the industry is “optimization.” You’re always supposed to be optimizing your rev cycle. It’s cyclical. It’s an assembly line. You always have to be analyzing how am I doing in that process.

A conversion is no different. I have to be much more conservative in my approach. If I do that right, I could be on the path to gains in the future faster. I think people put too much emphasis on immediate ROI from a conversion. What they need to put more emphasis on is, what are the leading indicators for successful conversion that will allow me for continued investment for future growth opportunities?


Do CFOs think those big-ticket conversions are worth it in general?

If done right, yes. People see the absolute value in these technologies. The CFOs seeing that hold their rev cycle teams accountable equal to the system the process and the people. Are we integrated, in fact? Are we an integrated health system? Are we transparent? We have a system in place that’s promoting change — the clinical departments can be involved. Are we building a structure that will last to engage them in resolution so that way we don’t just have an uptick temporarily, but we have a model for sustained performance?

People that do that and treat conversion as a catalyst for culture enhancement — those are the people that are saying, this is great, this is fantastic. These are the same people that in their optimization plans or transformation are looking to get more out of their platform as opposed to go out to market and bring bolt-ons, which we should be trying to eliminate.


Are there any technologies coming in revenue cycle that will have health system impact?

There’s some cool payment plan processes and technologies that are coming to fruition. That is going to be critical in helping with the ACA impact. The online portals have come a long way. A lot of front-end technology is making some good strides. A lot of the host systems themselves are doing a great job hearing customer feedback and trying to build those within, so you have one-stop shopping and you get the most out of your host system. I think that’s a really cool development and that’s something that our firm’s backing up — making sure that you’re getting the most out of your capital spend. I think you can.

Now more than ever you can’t separate business and IT. You have to have equal component understanding of what my IT platform can be capable of. I also have to know what am I trying to achieve from a business process standpoint? I think historically to look at rev cycle support systems, even the bolt-on technologies, that model is true. Whether it was a charge capture bolt-on, whether it was a denial management bolt-on, so on and so forth, in order to build those bolt-on technologies, the author had to understand what they were trying to accomplish in outcomes, understand the complications of the process, and ensure the system was built to that.

What we’re seeing now is that same skill set is required. However, you need to be able to do that in the host system as much as you possibly can, because they’re capable of doing it. By doing that, you’ll promote greater efficiencies and better end-user acceptance to using those work flows.


Do you have any final thoughts?

This is an exciting time to be in healthcare. That’s why you’re seeing such an interest from existing healthcare companies and also companies wanting to get into healthcare. 

What I would say to buyers out there and organizations that are looking to continue to improve their overall experience, especially in the rev cycle arena, is making sure that you’re building in the time to  get the most out of your current spend. Not have additional costs to your solution, but to challenge your business owners and your IT owners to budget the time to get together to have a strategy that aligns to your organization’s budget, to the industry trends and vision, and to get together and partner to maximize what’s going. 

Making that part of their everyday existence. Not just one time, but making it hardwired like an audit process. Always evaluating your accountability structures. Always evaluating the productivity and efficiencies that you’re supposed to be gaining. Always evaluating how I can take these efficiencies, reduce cost, or repurpose cost to always be on the cutting edge of what the industry is doing.

If everybody focuses on that,  you’re going to get a lot out of this wave of the technological boom that you’re seeing for this next gen. I’m excited to be a part of it and I’m excited to see what the results are in the next few years.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 29, 2015 Interviews 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 4/29/15

April 28, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Vanderbilt to replace clinical IT systems

Vanderbilt University Medical Center announces that it will replace its current McKesson Horizon system with either Epic or Cerner.

CareCloud announces new CEO, $15M in funding

Cloud-based ambulatory EHR vendor CareCloud replaces its CEO Albert Santalo and announces that it has raised a fresh $15 million in VC funding, bringing its total raised to $70 million.

What Health Care Will Look Like in 2030. Maybe.

Former National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal, MD publishes an article in the Wall Street Journal imagining the future of healthcare in a world where patients are monitored, alerted, and triaged by smartphone apps. To help usher in this reality, he calls for improvements in EHR interoperability and data security.

Validic Tracks Down $12.5 Million to Gather Medical Data

Raleigh, NC-based digital health startup Validic, which sells an interface engine that captures patient-generated health data from fitness trackers and medical devices, announces a $12.5 million Series B funding round. The company recently announced commercial agreements with both Cerner and Meditech.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 28, 2015 Headlines No Comments

News 4/29/15

April 28, 2015 News 3 Comments

Top News


Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) will replace its McKesson Horizon system — the CPOE portion of which it developed in-house as WizOrder starting in 1995 — with either Cerner or Epic. That’s one of the last homegrown systems to bite the dust, both at Vanderbilt and everywhere else as McKesson puts its commercialized version out to pasture after a 12-year run. It’s also interesting that Vanderbilt is echoing the general market trend of considering only Cerner and Epic to be viable choices, showing no interest in looking at Allscripts, Meditech, or McKesson Paragon.

Reader Comments

From Willow: “Re: Xerox Midas+ layoffs. Four laid off so far, apparently prompted by the first poor quarterly earnings report in the company’s history, which appear to have been caused by the high consulting and infrastructure costs spent on its Juvo product.” Unverified.


From Concerned CC Client: “Re: new CEO at CareCloud. Positioned as great new, but in reality not. Since they were founded in 2009, under Santalo’s direction, they have gone through $80.5 million, are not making money, and now need $15 million to stay afloat.” EHR/PM vendor CareCloud announces Ken Comee as CEO, replacing Albert Santalo, who will remain as chairman and chief strategy officer. The company also announced $15 million in additional funding from existing investors. Technology executive Comee has been on CareCloud’s board since 2012, and according to his LinkedIn profile (which features the overly arty “more chest, less head” look above), he has no other healthcare-related experience.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

We’ll have HIStalk Practice posts Monday through Thursday going forward (instead of just twice weekly) and Jenn will also write a Friday summary of population health management news. Sign up for short, fun, and informative updates and see what’s new in ambulatory, practice, and PHM.


None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for information about webinar services.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Private equity firm Francisco Partners will acquire healthcare talent management solutions vendor HealthcareSource from majority owner Insight Venture Partners.


Merge Healthcare announces Q1 results: revenue up 6.9 percent, adjusted EPS $0.05 vs. $0.04, beating earnings estimates but falling short on revenue.


Validic raises $12.5 million in Series B funding from investors that include the venture arm of Validic customer Kaiser Permanente.

The Raleigh, NC business paper says Allscripts will build a new 18-story building for its 1,260 local employees, although the company hasn’t confirmed. The article mentions that Allscripts recently “rebalanced” 3 percent of its workforce.


The Chicago business paper profiles referral management software vendor Fibroblast.


Scanadu raises $35 million in a Series B round to further develop its Scout tricorder-like body scanner.

CTG announces Q1 results: revenue flat, EPS $0.08 vs. $0.19. The company blames soft healthcare IT services demand as providers delay projects or staff them internally.

Aetna announces Q1 results: revenue up 8 percent, EPS $2.20 vs. $1.82. Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said in the earnings call that its Medicity business is “seeing a lot of growth.”


Roper Industries, which owns many companies that in healthcare IT include Sunquest and Strata Decision Technologies, reports Q1 results: revenue up 4 percent, adjusted EPS $1.55 vs. $1.46, falling short on analysts’ revenue expectations but beating on earnings. The company announced in the earnings call that it has changed its name to Roper Technologies to emphasize that it isn’t just an industrial company but rather a collection of businesses that deliver 60 percent gross margins. Above is the one-year share price chart of ROP (blue, up 24 percent) vs. the Dow (red, up 9 percent).


Consolidated Laboratory Services chooses McKesson Business Performance Services for billing.

Star Medical Center (TX) contracts with Anthelio Healthcare Solutions for revenue cycle optimization.


image image image

Medical kiosk vendor HealthSpot hires Gail Croall, MD (Anthem) as chief medical officer; Eric Eichensehr (Levitate Technologies) as CTO; and Bruce Roberts (RxEngage Partners) as COO.

Announcements and Implementations


In Qatar, Al Khor Hospital goes live on Cerner Clairvia for nursing staff management.

The CEO of Henry Ford Health System (MI) says that while the system took an initial financial hit in 2013 after its $353 million Epic implementation, using Epic helped it save $65 million in 2014 and HFHS will cut $300 million in cost by 2016 as its financial turnaround continues. Meanwhile, UNC Health Care (NC) also credits Epic with its stronger-than-expected operating income.

Wellcentive, SpectraMedix, and eClinicalWorks are pilot testing NCQA’s eMeasure electronic clinical quality measure program for Meaningful Use and HEDIS reporting.

T-System announces its tablet-based T Sheets Digital for Urgent care that includes 45 chief complaint-based templates.

MedAptus releases Premium Analytics for its charge capture suite.  

QPID Health is named a Gartner “Cool Vendor.”

Government and Politics

The Institute of Medicine will rename itself to National Academy of Medicine effective July 1, 2015.

National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD says in a Health Affairs blog post (which appears to have been taken verbatim from her HIMSS conference presentation) that ONC will use Medicare payments and the DoD’s EHR contract bid to push interoperability.

Privacy and Security


A security researcher finds data from Hilton Head Hospital (SC) for sale on a hacker marketplace, apparently exposed during a 2014 breach caused by PST Services, a McKesson subsidiary that provided billing services to Tenet’s hospitalist contractor and inadvertently opened up its billing records to Internet searches.


Seton Family of Hospitals becomes the latest organization to expose patient information via employee-targeted email phishing attacks. Hackers accessed the information of 39,000 Seton patients in the December 4 breach.



Pella Regional Health Center (IA) opens a 24×7 nurse hotline as part of its patient-centered medical home efforts. Anyone can call the hotline to discuss concerns or make appointments with nurses who have access to the EHR.

Partners HealthCare expects to double the $80 million in annual revenue it receives from licensing and spinoffs.

Former National Coordinator David Blumenthal, MD says in a Wall Street Journal editorial that healthcare IT will fall short of its potential unless security and interoperability are improved.

A Brookings article highlights the maximum “reasonable cost” providers can charge patients for providing 75 copied pages of their records, which ranges from $19 in California to $101 in Georgia. It mentions that providers in many states can charge patients the same per-page amount for copies of their digital records even though the provider cost is essentially zero.

Sponsor Updates

  • Amerinet extends through 2018 its member discounts to revenue integrity products from Craneware, also adding the company’s InSight Medical Necessity tool.
  • Zynx Health and Meritage ACO will present “Using a Mobile Tool to Create a Virtual Caregiver Huddle” at the NPSF Congress April 29 – May 1 in Austin, TX.
  • Cueatr posts a photo slideshow of its experience at the HIMSS conference.
  • ADP AdvancedMD announces the launch of its SmartPractice e-letter for independent practices.
  • AtHoc details its integration with Apple Watch.
  • Besler Consulting outlines how “CMS-1498-R2 gives hospitals option to have their SSI Factor recalculated.”
  • CareSync offers “Here’s How CareSync Changes Lives for the Better.”
  • CareTech Solutions takes a look at how The Metro HealthSystem used the company’s solutions to realize SEO advantages and budget benefits.
  • The local paper looks at how several HIStalk sponsors — CenterX, Forward Health Group, Healthfinch, and Nordic Consulting – are making an impact in their native Madison, WI.
  • Team CoverMyMeds shares personal highlights of HIMSS15 in its latest blog.
  • MedCPU looks back on its HIMSS15 experience.
  • Health Care Improvements Institute announces its partnership with xG Health and interviews xG Health CEO Earl Steinberg, MD and President/COO Ray Herschman.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 28, 2015 News 3 Comments

News 4/24/15

April 23, 2015 News 8 Comments

Top News


Two New York-based, healthcare-related organizations strike deals that will make them some of the first US firms to conduct business in Cuba now that sanctions have been relaxed. Roswell Park Cancer Institute (cancer research) and Infor (hospital data integration) announced their plans following a trade delegation visit this week led by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I decided to follow through on looking at female representation on vendor executive teams as listed on company webpages since it came up on HIStalk last week. Companies have the incentive to hire the most qualified people regardless of demographics, but just in case you’re interested for whatever reason, here’s the percentage of females they’ve chosen.

Percentage of Females on Leadership Team (highest to lowest)
Wolters Kluwer Health 50
Meditech 41
Merge 33
TriZetto 25
Advisory Board 25
Optum 23
Athenahealth 22
Quality Systems 22
InterSystems 22
Cerner 19
Nuance 18
Greenway Health 18
Leidos Health 17
GE Healthcare 15
Premier 15
Surescripts 12
Philips North America 11
MModal 10
Emdeon 8
Allscripts 0
McKesson Technology Solutions 0

Some other percentages:  Facebook (20), Microsoft (19), Google (15), and IBM (27). HIMSS comes in at 17 percent.

I was reading a tweet that referred to pilot turned safety expert (and 2010 HIMSS keynoter) Sully Sullenberger as a “national hero.” The cynic in me (which has a significant presence) cringes at how we’ve devalued the term “hero” to label anyone who experiences adversity (including the randomly applied kind) rather than reserving the term for those who exhibit bravery or noble deeds in intentionally sacrificing themselves on behalf of others. Sully landed his plane safely in the Hudson River, but he was saving himself as well as his passengers. He was cool under pressure, humble, and performed the job he was being paid to do better than most would have done, but “hero” might be a stretch, just as it is when referring to athletes, victims of violence, someone who calls police to report a crime in progress, or groups that may well contain some but not all heroes (firefighters, service members, or even clinicians, for instance).

This week on HIStalk Practice: interoperability melancholia sets in after HIMSS. Matter Chicago CEO previews AMA physician office of the future. Radiology practices select new rev cycle technology. Azalea Health takes on telemedicine. Physicians’ Alliance of America looks for PCP feedback on EHR charting productivity. New study finds that online physician reviews don’t have much to do with clinical expertise. Modernizing Medicine CEO Dan Cane dives into the company’s relationship with IBM Watson. StatDoctor CEO Alan Roga, MD outlines the benefits of video in telemedicine.

This week on HIStalk Connect: Tech-savvy health insurance newcomer Oscar Health raises a $145 million funding round on a $1.5 billion valuation in just its second year in business. Ernst & Young creates a digital maturity index focused on quantifying the sophistication of telehealth programs. Color Genomics unveils a $259 genetic screening test that looks for 19 key mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, that are known risk factors for developing breast or ovarian cancers. Gravie, a private health insurance exchange startup, raises a $12.5 million Series B to expand its presence into Texas and Illinois.

DonorsChoose Fundraising Project Update




Our total now stands at $10,000 thanks to new participation from ZirMed, TransUnion Healthcare, BlueTree Network, and Orchestrate Healthcare. BlueTree Network was notable in donating $1,000 instead of the requested $500, while TransUnion Healthcare VP Patrick Gilmore missed the chance to meet with Centura SVP/CIO Dana Moore at the HIMSS conference but said he wanted to donate anyway. Dana will provide a summary of his conversations with these companies later. I’ve funded $6,656 in projects and will get the remaining $3,344 out to classrooms by this weekend.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Navicure announces a 32 increase in year-over-year sales of its billing and payment solutions.

India-based Wipro expects its healthcare business to hit $2 billion in annual revenue by 2018, double its 2015 expectations, mostly due to increased technology spending triggered by US healthcare reform. The company will target acquisitions in the $100-$200 million range, saying it passed on acquiring TriZetto (acquired by Cognizant for $2.7 billion) because of the price.

The Illinois Hospital Association will merge with the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council effective January 1, meaning the state hospital association will be running an HIE (MetroChicago HIE) and insurance company.


A federal judge orders the legally prolific MyMedicalRecords to pay the defense fees of WebMD and Allscripts, which beat some of MMR’s bottomless patent infringement lawsuits after refusing to pay “licensing fees” for ubiquitous technologies.


Jeff Bezos discloses the financial performance of Amazon Web Services for the first time in the unit’s nine-year history, stating that it’s a $5 billion business that’s growing fast.

A Wall Street Journal article finds that universities (Vanderbilt, Emory, and University of Arizona) are cutting ties with their cash cow academic medical centers as their high costs threaten to exclude them from exchange-based insurance networks.



Swedish Cancer Institute (WA) chooses the Synapse Precision Medicine Platform to provide oncology clinical decision support using patient genomic information.

Mount Sinai Health System (NY) selects the InterSystems HealthShare interoperability platform.

CareWell Urgent Care chooses Athenahealth’s EHR and practice management system for its 49 providers.

LTPAC EHR vendor SigmaCare chooses Liaison EMR-Link hub to connect with lab and imaging vendors.

Augusta Health will use Meditech performance monitoring tools from Goliath Technologies. The company’s press release doesn’t bother to mention where its new client is located (who writes this stuff, anyway?), so I’ll take a Google-inspired guess and say Virginia.



Davide Zaccagnini, MD (Nuance) joins SyTrue as CMIO.


Dominick Bizzarro (Value Informatics) joins insurer MVP Health Care as EVP of business development and informatics.


Cerner co-founder and Chief of Innovation Paul Gorup is retiring, insiders tell me. He helped develop PathNet in the 1980s, left Cerner in 1987 to run a radio station monitoring company, then returned to Cerner in 1999 to develop its hosting business. Gorup said in a 2013 interview, when asked why Cerner succeeded in healthcare while IBM and GE fizzled, “That’s easy. What does the head of IBM get up and think about every morning? I guarantee you it’s not healthcare. Same with the head of GE. He might think about energy or finance, but not healthcare. You have to think about it 24 hours a day. It’s not a part-time business. If healthcare becomes a part of something else, you’ve lost your focus.”

Announcements and Implementations

Referral software vendor EHealth Technologies announces a partnership with Box to support PDF viewing, medical image display, and structured document viewing.

Craneware announces enhancements to its Chargemaster Corporate Toolkit that include a single consolidated view, corporate chargemaster change distribution, and advanced workflow integration.

Capsule releases its Early Warning Scoring System for its SmartLinx Chart Express charting solution to alert clinicians of patient deterioration based on real-time vital signs analysis.

Zynx Health enhances the secure text messaging capabilities of its ZynxCarebook mobile coordination platform.

A TransUnion Healthcare analysis finds that increasing healthcare expenses and lower consumer credit lines have left consumers less able to pay their medical bills than last year. A big driver of the increased patient cost involves joint replacement procedures, which are 20 percent more expensive than they were a year ago.

Government and Politics

In Australia, the Victoria medical association calls on the state to spend $39 million to improve connectivity between hospitals and practices, hoping to at least enable delivery of discharge summaries and lab results after several expensive IT projects failed to deliver that capability.

Minnesota’s health commissioner says he’s concerned about pushback on the state’s 2008 requirement that all providers use EHRs by the end of this year. He debunks four privacy myths that are apparently the crux of the unstated opposition’s campaign.

A New York Times investigative report finds that the VA’s wait times scandal cost only three jobs vs. the 60 firings the VA claimed. One VA employee was fired for accepting gifts not directly related to wait times, one retired to avoid being fired, one is awaiting termination, and five employees were reprimanded. The VA often transfers problem employees and those who appeal their terminations can collect their paychecks for up to two years while awaiting a decision. 

 Innovation and Research

HHS will support three projects via its Ventures Fund: a website that allows providers to crowdsource possible new uses for existing drugs, an evaluation system for funding disaster preparedness, and a smart phone based diagnostic tool for malaria.

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study of personal health records finds that while consumers believe the most important information contained in PHRs is their own recorded daily observations (diet, exercise, mood, medication response), physicians usually don’t even look at them, instead turfing such review off to nurses and health coaches. The study also found that consumers think their information is valuable enough to outweigh any privacy concerns. It also concludes that demand for PHRs is surprisingly low because nobody is sure what problems they’re supposed to solve. I’ll extend my own musing: technology-powered lusting for discrete data capture and big data analysis cannot overwhelm the essential nature of the encounter, which is to listen to what the patient (and not necessarily their data points) is saying. Not everything that’s health related can be described by passively collected data dropped into convenient little buckets, and not everything that’s important will come up without skilled engagement of the “tell me how things are going” variety. My takeaway is that we need to make sure that technology enhances rather than limits the use of the patient’s own voice in the participatory guiding of their health.



Heal releases a house call app for the Apple Watch that allows users to request a doctor visit with a single touch. Doctors equipped with mobile diagnostic apps such as the AliveCor ECG and CellScope otoscope arrive at the desired location within an hour and spend as much time as needed for a fixed fee of $99. One of Heal’s investors is Lionel Richie.


Hospitals are moving inner city hospitals to suburbs where better-paying patients live, a Kaiser Health News article reprinted in Newsweek points out. Hospitals defend the practice by saying it’s cheaper to build a new suburban hospital than to renovate a old, land-locked downtown facility, but city officials say their core areas are being medically abandoned as hospitals chase patients who have better insurance.

Oxycodone-related deaths dropped 25 percent following Introduction of Florida’s doctor-shopping database of controlled substance prescriptions, a University of Florida study finds. However, deaths were already decreasing after the state shut down hundreds of pill mills posing as pain management clinics.

A study finds that 28 percent of Americans did not perform even one physical activity in 2014, increasing the “totally sedentary” number to the highest it’s been since 2007. Experts blame reduced physical education time in school and the competitive nature of school sports that leaves most students on the sidelines.

HealthLoop founder Jordan Shlain, MD says he started the company when he realized as a doctor that his mental model was wrong – inviting a patient to contact him when in need is not the same as proactively checking up on them, which he summarizes as invalidation of the “no news is good news” attitude since that means the same as “no data is good data.” He also says hospitals dehumanize their treatment failures by giving them the blame-free, dumbed-down label of “readmission.” He warns that probability-challenged people often make bad decisions in using data and algorithms as a blunt instrument without paying attention to what it means for individual patients.

An Australian blogger who built a business (including a wellness app) by claiming she cured her terminal brain cancer by diet and lifestyle alone admits that she was lying – she never had cancer. She was caught when she failed to donate $300,000 in app sales to charity as promised.


Weird News Andy titles this article as “A Rocky Experience in the OR.” A professor and facial surgeon in England loses his license after punching an anesthetized patient in the face 10 times to correct a broken cheekbone. The doctor admits that he “manually reduced the fracture” because the patient wasn’t fit for surgery, adding that doctors punch patients all the time while doing CPR. The patient is fine, while the surgeon is now offering his services in Dubai.

Sponsor Updates

  • Valence Health is convening its second annual Pediatric Collaborative for Value-Based Care forum in Chicago this week.
  • DocuSign is named among Silicon Valley’s “Best Places to Work 2015” for the fourth consecutive year.
  • E-MDs will exhibit at the MGMA regional meeting April 29 in Galveston, TX.
  • Galen Healthcare recaps the “Top 5 Themes from the Super Bowl of HIT.”
  • Hayes Management Consulting offers “Planning for the Unexpected EHR Downtime: 4 Key Steps.”
  • HCS will exhibit at the National Association of Long Term Hospitals 2015 Annual Meeting April 30-May 1 in Washington, DC.
  • HCI group offers “7 Essential Items Every McKesson Horizon Customer Should be Considering.”
  • Healthfinch’s Karen Hitchcock offers “A First-Timer’s First Impressions.”
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the Annual NPSF Patient Safety Congress April 29 in Houston.
  • Holon Solutions offers “RightFax End of Life Support Dates: Are You Ready?”
  • Impact Advisors offers its top 10 takeaways (and HISsies Award coverage and predictions) from HIMSS15.
  • The Atlanta Business Chronicle recognizes Ingenious Med as one of the city’s top 100 fastest-growing privately held companies.
  • PDR will exhibit at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Annual meeting April 25-28 in Palm Beach, FL.
  • LifeImage celebrates five years in business and 1 billion images exchanged.
  • LifePoint Informatics offers a new white paper explaining “Why Access to Lab & Diagnostic Data is Important to Providers, Payers, and Patients.”
  • Logicworks explains why it sells managed cloud services rather than consulting services.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 23, 2015 News 8 Comments

Monday Morning Update 4/20/15

April 18, 2015 News 7 Comments

Top News


Kaiser Permanente chooses midtown Atlanta for a $20 million IT campus that will create 900 jobs.

Reader Comments

From Justa CIO: “Re: HIMSS. Do you think it’s becoming irrelevant for people in HIT leadership roles? I find it much less compelling since I can find product information or call someone who has experience with something without being away for a week and spending thousands of dollars of my employer’s hard-earned money while plugging away at real issues. I would like to know what you and others think. Your coverage is excellent – it was enough to make me post this question as I realized that the only things I miss was networking and your choice party.” I’m mixed on the value of attending the conference. Networking can be overrated if you aren’t a vendor selling something – I sometimes think CIOs should stop talking to each other entirely (except to check vendor references) and do creative rather than imitative things since healthcare IT sometimes looks like lemmings following each other off the cliff. HIMSS is efficient in bringing people together so they can schedule time together, but otherwise it’s a horribly inefficient mess of social events, glitzy exhibits, job seeking, and glad-handing and you might be better off just buying the education session recordings (which are included free with conference registration). I’m not convinced that the non-profit health systems that spend fortunes to send people there (often more as a personal reward than a business necessity) show measurable ROI or demonstrate care improvement as a result. Here’s a challenge to health system CIOs that I will report anonymously if you respond: list the immediately actionable items you took away from the conference that you couldn’t have done without attending. Or, the actions you took in the past year that were driven entirely by your 2014 HIMSS attendance. Our HISsies “best CIO” winner John Halamka keeps BIDMC running despite his non-attendance this year.


From Texas Rules: “Re: Next Wave Connect healthcare-specific social collaboration solution. It continues to purge staffers – Drex DeFord and most of the Seattle team are gone.” Drex’s LinkedIn profile indicates that he left the company in February. I asked Chairman Ivo Nelson, who replied,“ It’s pretty common for startups to go through some turnover in the first few years. As you know, I’ve been through this before and getting the right team in place is a sign of health, not illness. Next Wave Connect has steadily grown its staff and will continue to grow this year. We have a good team in place under the leadership of Jim Jacobs and I’ve been very pleased with our progress. Just our March To HIMSS campaign garnered over 15K hits and MyCHIME is has been a huge success.”

From Concerned Tester: “Re: [health system name omitted]. An IT director is under investigation for accepting an Aruba vacation from their [vendor name omitted] rep. That director and his former boss hid a problem with orders that didn’t match after an EHR upgrade. He also pushed out an update that broke the connection to the HIE that caused slowdowns and lost data. The good news that the vendor is being kicked out and Epic will happen in 10 months, but the bad news is that the director was successful in getting them to switch to the previous vendor’s HIE.” I’ve omitted names since I couldn’t verify, but I’m interested in who’s doing the investigation.


From Magnum PI: “Re: Meaningful Use data from Jamie Stockton at Wells Fargo Securities. The numbers don’t seem to match what CMS provides. I also thought CMS stopped including vendor names in their numbers due to ongoing inaccuracies.” Jamie provided this response: “The only hospitals that needed to attest for Stage 2 in 2014 were the ones that originally entered the program in 2011-12. That cohort of hospitals is 2,600 facilities (vs. the 4,800 that have registered for the program through today). If we look at net attestations (adjusting for the fact that sometimes more than one vendor is listed by a hospital when they attest and therefore one hospital occupies multiple rows for the same attestation year in the CMS spreadsheet), then we calculate that 1,800 hospitals have attested for Stage 2, which roughly matches the number your reader quoted. If you just took 1,800 and divided it by 2,600, then you would get about 70 percent of hospitals having successfully attested for Stage 2. I probably need to make that 70 percent number much more clear in the future and we also need to add a line to the bottom of our Stage 2 table that adjusts the gross number of attestations (which was 2,900) down to the 1,800 net. When we look at vendor success rate, we are excluding the hospitals that have switched vendors since 2011-12. If we didn’t, Epic would have a 130 percent success rate because many McKesson, Meditech, and Siemens hospitals that first showed up in 2011-12 with those vendors have subsequently switched to Epic and would not be in the denominator of the calculation for Epic. Excluding all 400 hospitals that have switched vendors, we get to an average vendor success rate of 55 percent. Obviously that penalizes vendors in their success rate if they have lost market share, but I think that is OK. There is a reason that the hospitals moved away from them. At least with the February data set that powered our most recent analysis, CMS continued to publish the vendor names associated with each attestation.”

From The PACS Designer: “Re: medical 3D printing. At the Washington University School of Medicine, cardiothoracic surgeons are using 3D printing to prepare for heart operations. Recently they used the 3D method to prepare for a difficult heart repair for a 20-month-old toddler at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I feel sorry for the housekeeping people who had to discard all the junk HIMSS conference attendees left in the overflowing trash cans of their hotel rooms at checkout. Every year most of the booth swag and handouts that seemed worth grabbing in the exhibit hall fail to earn their luggage space back in the hotel, so rather than pack it and haul it home, it’s easier to just chuck it. Somewhere in Chicago there’s a landfill full of Caradigm-provided HIMSS backpacks, although I actually brought mine home since it’s a nice one. I also brought back the pair of insulated coffee mugs that First Databank cheerfully provided.


Arcadia Healthcare Solutions provided the most useful handout ever, a conference essentials pack that included a bottle of water, a coozie, breath mints, ibuprofen, foot bandages, antacid tablets, and vitamin C fizzy drink powder.

The conference reminded me of an observation I had years ago after sitting in on a variety of VC and executive meetings. Mid-level executives and startup CEOs always wear impeccable suits and frown at everything to make sure people take them seriously, while the folks with real money and power wear casual clothes and joke around because they’ve earned the ability to do whatever they want and don’t care what the suited second string thinks. I like that a lot. Big-time VC guy Peter Thiel famously says that his fund will never invest in a technology company whose CEO wears a suit.

Speaking of the conference, I didn’t hear any comments or see any tweets quoting something interesting that was said by the keynote speakers. Did I miss anything by not attending any of them? I’m also interested in more definitive comments about what you liked and didn’t like. Did you go to any educational sessions? Did you meet anyone who was particularly impressive or obnoxious? What vendors raised your interest?

Here’s an odd expression I’ve heard quite a few times over the years: “a piece of software.”

Phrases that need to be expunged from the healthcare vocabulary: mobile health, population health, and patient-centered. All of those be assumed when talking about health. They don’t require being defined as a separate novelty category as they once might have been.

I was annoyed at a video interview with Karen DeSalvo conducted by a young HIMSS Media person with unstated credentials (she includes nothing about education or background in her LinkedIn profile) who repeatedly referred to the national coordinator (and acting assistant secretary for health)  as “Karen.” Even if she’s your BFF, she should be referred to as “Dr. DeSalvo” when interviewing her on video – that shows basic respect for her education, role, and age. 

Thursday beat Wednesday’s HIStalk readership record with 14,658 page views from nearly 11,000 unique visits.


The folks who didn’t attend HIMSS expected their workload to be about the same last week, although a fourth of them admitted that it’s easier when their bosses aren’t around. New poll to your right or here: if you attended the HIMSS conference, how would you grade it?

Lorre has posted some of the interviews DrFirst did at the conference. Here’s one with our HIStalkapalooza host, Forward Health Group’s Barry Wightman.

Here’s another DrFirst HIMSS conference interview, this one with DrFirst CEO Cam Deemer on the one year delay of mandatory electronic prescribing in New York.

For those who attended HIStalkapalooza: what would you do differently? How would you make it more attractive to potential sponsors for a 2016 version? I haven’t decided if I’ll do it again next year, but Lorre has confidently placed a hold on a Las Vegas venue thinking I’ll re-up.

Listening: The Suffers, big-horns Gulf Coast melting pot soul from Houston. This is your chance to tell people about a great band they’ve never heard, but will almost certainly like once they do.

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor xG Health Solutions of Columbia, MD. The clinician-led company brings to the national market healthcare transformation tools and knowledge developed by Geisinger Health System. The company offers care management services (including population health analytics) and offers help with transition to a fee-for-value environment. XG Health solutions announced at the HIMSS conference EnrG, a suite of advanced interoperability software modules that use Geisinger-developed care models to improve acute and chronic care management, connecting via SMART on FHIR to work seamlessly with any FHIR-enabled EHR (the initial partners are Athenahealth, Cerner, and Epic). The evidence-based care modules address procedures and conditions such as CABG, hip fracture, COPD, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. EnrGRheum, which addresses rheumatologic diseases, will be released in Q3 2015 with six additional apps following. Thanks to xG Health Solutions for supporting HIStalk.


April 22 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Microsoft: The Waking Giant in Healthcare Analytics and Big Data.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, SVP of strategy, Health Catalyst. Microsoft has been quietly reengineering its culture and products to offer the best value and most visionary platform for cloud services, big data, and analytics in healthcare. This webinar will cover the Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model, the ongoing transition from relational databases, the role of new Microsoft products such as Azure and Analytic Platform System, the PowerX product line, and geospatial and machine learning visualization tools. Attendees will learn how to incorporate cloud-based analytics services into their healthcare analytics strategies.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


CPSI renames its EHR business line Evident. or at least that’s what the verbose yet uninformative press release suggests. It will continue to run its services business under the TruBridge name. The Evident name seems rather generic, not particularly relevant, and likely to get lost in Google searches. Apparently the CPSI name survives as the parent and in the company’s Nasdaq listing. Vince Ciotti tipped me off with the photo above that he took in the HIMSS exhibit hall.


Streamline Health reports Q4 results: revenue up 1.2 percent, adjusted EPS –$0.04 vs. –$0.13. Shares dropped almost 7 percent Friday on the news. Above is the one-year price chart of STRM (blue, down 49 percent) vs. the Nasdaq (red, up 20 percent).

Announcements and Implementations

Tallksoft launches its Survey+ patient survey app that allows medical practices to benchmark their patient experience and practice performance.

Cerner will offer Healthwise health education content to Millennium users and via its HealthLife Engagement module.


Ernst and Young announces development of its Telemedicine Adoption Model.

Government and Politics


The estimated cost of opening the new Denver VA hospital rises to over $2 billion vs. the original VA estimate of $630 million. It’s also two years behind schedule.

The Atlantic says hospitals are chasing CMS patient satisfaction scores that focus on making people happy rather than making them well, encouraging hospitals (even those with low clinical ratings) to redirect funds toward putting in valet parking, live music, and VIP loyalty lounges. They’re also scripting nurse interactions to troll for higher survey scores and tying clinician pay to the results even though everybody knows that the patient isn’t always right. A previous version of the survey allowed comments, where patients complained that their dying roommate was making too much noise and that their sandwich didn’t contain enough pastrami. Experts worry that hospitals trying to appease patients might avoid talking to them about unpleasant topics such as losing weight, seeking mental health treatment, or stopping smoking. Most amazing is that patients with the highest reported satisfaction had higher hospitalization rates, higher costs, and a higher mortality rate.


Here’s the final installment of Vince Ciotti’s vendor revenue review for 2014, this time covering small-hospital vendors.


I missed that Athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush tweeted this last Tuesday, including a HIStalkapalooza photo taken back stage at the House of Blues.

The latest drug of abuse: amphetamine-based ADHD drugs such as Adderall (aka “mommy crack” or “productivity in a pill”), which mostly young career go-getters are using to increase career competitiveness through short-term improvement in focus and attention. Interestingly, the anonymous executive profiled in the New York Times article is a health IT startup CEO, who says she has no choice but to take the drug because it is “necessary for the survival of the best and the smartest and the highest-achieving people.”

Sponsor Updates

  • HCS sponsored the “Arc of Monmouth Walk and 5K” on the Asbury Park Boardwalk in New Jersey last week and raised more money than all other teams for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Strata Decision Technology will add Yale-New Haven Health’s quality indicators into its StrataJazz platform to help providers understand the high cost of quality variation.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 18, 2015 News 7 Comments

From HIMSS 4/15/15

April 15, 2015 News 9 Comments

From Canuck: “Re: British Columbia EMR. Big implementation gone sour with a reported $125 million spent so far with nothing to show. This story barely touches upon the issues encountered thus far, issues we’ve all seen in other similar projects.” British Columbia parts ways with IBM two years into a 10-year, $700 million project that remains 85 percent incomplete. The health minister still expects to get the project done on time and budget, which is ridiculously optimistic given government IT performance worldwide even when it doesn’t involve dumping the prime vendor. Perhaps the US Department of Defense should notice that its big EHR bidders haven’t performed well in comparable but much smaller projects outside the US, although fault is often hard to assign to either government or prime bidder incompetence. I can’t name a single big government IT project that was delivered on time and on budget, but I can name a bunch that were abandoned with no benefit whatsoever.

From Due North: “Re: NantHealth. Cancelled their HIMSS conference presence at the last minute, eating the huge deposit. Everyone I knew there is gone.” Unverified, but new President Bob Watson was available only in the private meeting rooms over by HIMSS Bistro, which I happened to see while having a lakefront lunch there today. 

Here’s an interesting rumor I heard today from a fairly good source: Karen DeSalvo will reportedly leave her HHS position in a couple of weeks. I hope it’s not true because she’s a credit to public service and has in her short tenure done a very good job in walking the ONC tightrope that tries to balance innovation, public health, and Meaningful Use. The source suggested that Micky Tripathi turned down an offer to serve as interim, which would be a surprising offer given that he’s brilliant but not an MD like all of the National Coordinators so far. I’m almost always a cynical sourpuss when it comes to industry leadership and yet I find myself hoping she not only continues as National Coordinator,  but is given more federal responsibility despite serving within a lame duck administration. The rumor wasn’t clear, so perhaps there’s a bigger role for her within HHS, such as with CDC or NIH. Or maybe it’s not true at all. Feel free to ask her after her Thursday morning HIMSS keynote if you’re still in Chicago. She gets my vote for whatever she wants to do, as does her predecessor Farzad.


Here’s Regina Holliday’s latest artwork, which she painted right in the HIStalk booth this week. It’s in honor of HIStalkapalooza, with the pie representing the one Judy Faulkner presented to Jonathan Bush and the beauty queen sash indicating, “We are your biggest fans,” which Regina said she heard repeatedly from folks at the event in reference to HIStalk.


I met one of our HIStalking scholarship winners today when Lorre introduced me to Mélanie Péron, our representative from Paris. She cried, hugged, and expressed endless appreciation for the opportunity to attend the conference representing patients. She triggered instant insight on what it takes to be successful as a patient advocate. We healthcare people are used to geeks calmly presenting reams of worksheets, but we are justifiably easily moved by people who can tell a heartbreaking or inspirational story, who get fighting mad at injustice or incompetence, or who tug at our hearts with sadness when the industry in which we work in caused harm to their loved ones or failed to prevent it. We all know it could have been us our our family members on the wrong end of a bad but unfortunately not uncommon healthcare experience. Maybe that handful of people we brought to Chicago are dwarfed by the 43,000 others here who are more interested in finding expensive dinners or selling systems, but their activism keeps us all honest and pushes our faces to the mirror of what’s wrong with healthcare that only we can fix. It’s brilliant. I’m glad they were in Chicago this week and I’m anxious to hear their thoughts about the big business aspects of a sometimes indifferent care delivery system that they’ve now witnessed firsthand.


Our HIStalk friend Marty Mercer says HIStalkapalooza is the best party he’s ever attended, possibly because he was being fawned over by two members of Party on the Moon.

Today’s Conference Notes


I started my day with a visit with HealthLoop. They were handing out badge ribbons indicating “Empathologist” because they create electronic connections to patients that make them feel connected and engaged in a high-touch way, including scripted electronic check-in. The messaging extends the patient experience before and after the planned encounter, such as sending pre-surgical patients a daily reminder by phone or email to get up and walk around or otherwise prepare for their procedure or to recover from it afterward. It boosts patient satisfaction while delivering patient education. It can even route patients automatically to doctor rating sites and collect survey information for patient-reported outcomes. It was a quick but positive look.

I then stopped by Medfusion, which offers a free “portal of portals” in aggregating multiple portals into its vendor-agnostic one. It was pretty cool in that it can tie together multiple portals to look like a single one to the patient, displaying everything via a slick app. Vendor- and provider-specific portals are really ridiculous in this day and age where every patient would have to manage 10 of them to keep up (and instead never bother to log on at all), so combining them all visually is about the best we can hope for at present.

Next I visited Influence Health, whose EHR-agnostic product brilliantly combines patient engagement, provider marketing, and a patient portal. Consumer choice means providers need to selectively market their services and it’s interesting how Influence Health does it with a consumer user interface that is as familiar as Facebook and Outlook. The company seems to get the connection between clinical patient engagement and provider marketing better than anyone. I only saw a short demo, but it looked solid and smart to me.

A reader asked me to check out Patient Route, way back on the no-man’s land of the HX360 pavilion (which was maddeningly difficult to navigate even with booth number in hand – it literally took 20 minutes to find them even though I was within 100 feet of their little stand). They do some kind of predictive throughput and staff modeling based on historical and real-time information, although I have to say the pitch I was given was not particularly well thought out or informative. About all I heard is that the Brigham is using it to push more surgeries to their suburban hospitals where they get paid more for the same work and don’t have capacity limitations. They didn’t give me enough information to form an opinion.

I checked out MedCPU and was guardedly impressed. The company’s clinical decision support product brings in the usual HL-7 data but also decomposes the free text information that forms most of the available patient data, using natural language processing, text extraction, and a clinical context engine. It turns all of that text into discrete information that is used to provide EHR warnings via a Citrix DLL, so that it sits in the EHR window but separate from it and thus requires no integration effort. It gives clinicians warnings of conditions that are far too subtle for normal field-based CDS to detect. My “guardedly” adjective refers only to the fact that I want to talk to a live site, which the company is arranging. If it works as billed, it’s really well beyond the rather primitive CDS such as drug-drug interaction warnings and drug-lab contraindications. Eyal Ephrat, MD has a track record that instills trust, having founded E&C Medical Intelligence (now PeriGen, which does great work). He and I got a bit deep into the bowels of their patented technology and I want to learn more from actual users.

A reader suggested I look at Innovatient, which offers in-room entertainment, patient assignment, and some nurse call system overlap. I can’t say it struck me as offering anything not already readily available from Oneview, GetWellNetwork, and other vendors, but they have 10 live sites and maybe there’s more than I noticed.

Another reader wanted me to look over Patientco. I can’t get too excited about patient bills and payment options, but if I did, I would love it. They print easily understood bills (designed using sound psychological principles right down to the colors used) and make it easy for patients to settle up online. Patientco is about as cool as billing can get and customers are seeing higher collections and patient satisfaction from using it.

Yet another reader asked me to check out Healow, part of eClinicalWorks. I don’t have much of a reaction – it seemed to be a basic phone-powered portal into a provider’s eCW system with some wearables connectivity built in.


NextGen had this cool, computer-controlled waterfall that actually spelled out words and presented pictures using only water patterns. It was bizarre but fascinating.

Today’s MedData scones: banana-maple and pumpkin. My Fitbit can’t count enough steps to offset the calories I took in enjoying them.


HIMSS requires exhibitors to refrain from heading out before Wednesday’s 4:00 exhibit hall close time, but plenty of them (HIStalk included) were boxing up well before then.


Some strange Epic booth art.


Epic’s KLAS results posted on their booth walls shows Cerner second with no green at all, Allscripts flailing around in the middle spot, and Meditech dropping precipitously toward the all-red CPSI bottom feeder level.


This is pretty amazing. Centura SVP/CIO Dana Moore met with interested vendors today at a price of a $500 donation to DonorsChoose in return for 20 minutes of his uninterrupted time (which was matched by a generous, anonymous vendor so that we raised $6,000 for needy classrooms today). I expected Dana to nod politely and check his watch constantly from boredom, but instead he told Lorre that it was the best two hours he’s ever spent at a HIMSS conference. Every one of the six vendors had a solution to one of his current problems and one of them had a solution that he didn’t even know existed. His positive experience makes me think we should replicate it on a larger scale at some point, carefully matching provider executives with vendors based on needed, available solutions.  

HIStalkapalooza Photos from DrFirst

Thanks to DrFirst for providing photography and videography at the event. I’ll probably turn some of the many great photos into a video slideshow or something since it’s great for folks to see themselves having fun. As much as I fussed for many months about the effort and personal cost exposure of running the party, it felt worth it to see the crowd responding so positively to the HISsies and the band.
















I’ll get back to a more regular posting schedule since I’ll pass on returning to the conference Thursday. It’s been a long week.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 15, 2015 News 9 Comments

From HIMSS 4/14/15

April 14, 2015 News 11 Comments

From Thinking Ahead: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. How can we sponsor next year’s event?” Contact Lorre. I think this year’s sponsors feel they got their money’s worth since it let them have a “party within a party” that offered cool exposure that impressed prospects, but didn’t cost them much since the fixed costs were spread over several sponsors. I question my sanity in assuming so much work and financial risk just to throw a free party where I don’t know all of the attendees, but for at least one evening per year, it almost seems worth it. I haven’t fully decided about doing it again next year.

From Donnie Brasco: “Re: Epic. Announced that Care Everywhere is free until 2020. The $2.35 per patient per year Epic to non-Epic exchange fee was eliminated. Haven’t heard start date or other details.” Epic was taking in only a tiny bit of revenue anyway, and given the negative (and often inaccurate) press as well as the occasional Congressional scorn, it’s a smart move to just waive the small fee rather than defending it.

From GE Hellcare: “Re: Centricity Enterprise. Announced as retired during HIMSS. No more inpatient EHR. They haven’t decided whether to sell it to another company or retire it.” I hadn’t heard that, but then again it’s not exactly a force to be reckoned with either way.

From Tom Terrific: “Re: MedCity News referring to HIStalk as ‘the National Enquirer of health IT.’ I may never read that site again!” I was peeved that a snarky report that recapped HIStalkapalooza made it sound like HIStalk is some kind of tabloid journalism site that isn’t respected or trustworthy, which seems a bit ungrateful given that the writer enjoyed their evening at my expense and filled some of their news space recapping the Jonathan-Judy portion of it (which, now that I think of it, sounds a lot more like ‘National Enquirer’ celebrity gossip masquerading as news than anything I write). I’ll compare experience, issues analysis, news relevancy, and rumor accuracy with anyone.

From Lincoln: “Re: Allscripts. I heard UCI is dropping Sunrise for Epic, the last of the UCs to do move there.”

Centura Health SVP/CIO Dana Moore’s dance card is filled for his 10 until noon time slot in our booth Wednesday, but if you’re willing to donate $500 to DonorsChoose to get 20 minutes of his undivided attention, Dana says he’s willing to stick around later. Remember that we also have an anonymous vendor that is matching that amount, so each 20-minute taker sends $1,000 to underserved classroom projects. One vendor’s executive says she doesn’t really have anything to pitch to Dana, so she’ll use her time to teach him how to make balloon animals. See Lorre in the booth Wednesday morning.

News: the Senate passed the SGR doc fix bill late Tuesday without ICD-10 additions, requiring only the President’s signature to avoid cutting doctor payments (at the expense of adding another $141 billion to the deficit).

Announcements That Are Kind of Interesting

  • Arcadia Healthcare Solutions announces $13 million in new funding.
  • InstaMed offers its payment network customers the ability to charge patients using Apple Pay.
  • Identity management vendor CrossChx raises $15 million.

Today’s Conference Notes


We had The Walking Gallery in our booth this afternoon. Each painted jacket tells a story of suffering and loss amidst a struggle with a sometimes uncaring, bureaucratic, paternalistic, or inefficient medical establishment. You should care because it’s about patients and we’re all a patient at one time or another – working in healthcare doesn’t protect you or your family from its problems.


Our favorite attorney Steve Blumenthal (on the right) hung out in the booth today and handed out swag. He tried to get approval to give away little bottles of whiskey since his company is in Nashville, but being lawyers, they scotched the idea (no pun intended) fearing mass litigation from conference attendees who might injure themselves in an alcoholic stupor. He made himself a badge labeled “HIStalk Booth Babe” that featured a silhouette of a reclining obese male (he’s pointing at it in the photo). He says he’s pretty funny for a lawyer but it’s not exactly a high bar, so I’m not sure if the “bar” part was an intentional pun.  


I still haven’t received any of the HIStalkapalooza photos or video folks were taking for us, but here’s a great band shot from Nordic. Guys loved those red dresses. I should have Lorre check the band’s rider and production details to see if they intentionally installed a hair-blowing fan to make the angelic-sounding ladies look more model-like – I noticed their tresses were undulating fetchingly in the apparently intentional stage breeze.

Want to see the big HIMSS conference keynoters? Plan on sticking around longer than you should since HIMSS backloads the big guns – George Bush is at 4:30 Wednesday and Karen DeSalvo isn’t until 8:30 Thursday morning after everybody who has real work to do is already back doing it.

I remember when vendors weren’t allowed to offer food from the exhibit hall, not even packaged candy. Now you can get just about everything – I’ve had margaritas, mini hot dogs (the sauerkraut was smelling up the adjacent booths), and of course the amazing scones from MedData – my favorite was on tap today, peach with passion fruit icing. Seriously good. I would have had a second one with my HCI-provided beer except they ran out. MedData even delivered some scones to our booth. I’ve heard a scary rumor that Las Vegas doesn’t allow ovens in the exhibit hall and that’s a problem for next year’s scone supply.

Tip: if you want to take UberX back to your hotel, they can’t pull into the taxi loop at the door and the app won’t let you call a car – instead, walk a block or two to the right and then place your Uber request. Even with surge pricing I was able to get back to Bridgeport for $13 this afternoon.

I meant to check out NantHealth since last year I couldn’t figure out what they do even after the booth people tried to explain it to me (clearly they didn’t really know either). I haven’t found their booth so far.

The companies that seem to be on a growth rocket ride, at least from their conference presence, include Access and CoverMyMeds. I’m sure there are others, but those made my radar.

Speaking of growth, here’s a project for all you analytics people. Get copies of the HIMSS exhibitor guide from the previous couple of years. Assign weighting factors to each vendor in the exhibit hall that are both positive (bigger booth, more desirable location, consecutive years of exhibiting) and negative (dropping out of exhibiting or taking a smaller booth). Who is trending up or down? Who stopped showing up at all? How many first-timers returned? How many companies shot their financial wad on one big HIMSS presence and then sank without a trace?

I took a look at Medhost’s YourCareEverywhere, which is sort of a patient portal for hospitals that run its systems. It looked pretty good.

I thought Marshfield Clinic had given up trying to turn its CattailsMD ambulatory EHR into a commercial product, but they’re back with a new cloud-based version. I watch part of a demo and it looked OK but nothing special. I don’t know why with all the EHR vendors out there someone would buy from a provider, but Farzad was checking it out, so maybe it’s cooler than I thought. They only ever sold 34 Cattails systems and now those users have to move to the new one.

PeraHealth says it has grown a lot and they list a bunch of big-name academic medical centers as customers for its Rothman Index patient early warning system.

The Anthelio folks say they’ve grown a lot. I liked them.

I got a quick look of PerfectServe’s slick Synchrony secure communication app. They’re planning to expand it to cover nurses.

I sat through part of a demo of Oneview Healthcare, which offers a cool tablet-controlled in-room patient display where patients can order meals within their prescribed dietary restrictions, input questions that employees are prompted to answer, view educational material (which can be prescribed by clinicians), and a lot more that I couldn’t stay to see. It’s worth a look.

It was bad enough that the exhibit hall is divided into two wildly non-linear sets of booths, but today I found that way down on one side is a real no-man’s land housing the cybersecurity, disaster recovery, and HX360 tracks. You go through some depressing loading dock type doors into what looks like a truck garage and there are a bunch of nondescript booths, mostly free of people, energy, and buzz (although the Leidos cybersecurity speaker had a pretty good crowd). I felt bad and strolled through all the aisles trying to raise spirits by just having a visitor poking around, but the reps had mostly already flatlined their interest and were counting down the minutes until quitting time. I figure some of the products back there surely have a chance to be eventually successful, but the HIMSS setup as so awful that it was creepy just hanging around back there, so I bailed. Here’s how remote it was: there were a ton of empty soft couches, tables, and chairs with no takers. Haul that messy barbeque sandwich there at tomorrow’s lunch and you’ll have a place to eat it instead of spilling it on your shirt and shoes.

I saw a display that offered, in large letters, a “Wellenss Kiosk.” I didn’t have the heart to snap a photo to run here.

Speaking of food, we had a great CMIO lunch today in Bistro HIMSS in the Lakeside building near the exhibit hall. The buffet was really good, the lake view was nice, and it was comfortable and reasonably quiet. Anybody can stroll up and buy lunch for $24. Thursday’s menu sounds excellent and we have a handful of leftover tickets, so maybe I’ll buy someone lunch if I’m in the mood. The CMIOs seemed to enjoy getting together today with Lorre.


Cerner takes direct aim at Epic on one of its booth signs.


This prize must have had the nerds salivating.



Clever badge ribbons.


I thought I might learn something about the just-announced IBM Watson Health, but this guy was way over my head with P53 genetic variants.

HISsies 2015 Winners

The winners are here.

More Wednesday. I’m taking a look at products claiming to be innovative for patients and families. Let me know if there’s anything else I shouldn’t miss.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 14, 2015 News 11 Comments

From HIMSS 4/14/15

April 14, 2015 News 1 Comment

HIStalkapalooza took up a lot of my time yesterday, so I didn’t even have time to post. This will be a dribs-and-drabs version – I’ll have more time the rest of the week to get organized. Let me know if there’s something I should make sure to see since I’m just flailing around for the most part.

From Anonymous Vendor President: “Re: Dana Moore and DonorsChoose donations. We will anonymously match whatever total you raise up to $5k. Let’s make this thing really work! Many of my family and countless within our company have ties and heartstrings attached to the cause.” Centura SVP/CIO Dana Moore will be in our booth Wednesday, meeting with vendors for 20 minutes each in return for their $500 donation to DonorsChoose. I’ve scheduled six sessions with him so far, meaning with with the very generous anonymous matching funds, we’ll be donating $6,000 for individual classroom projects via DonorsChoose. I have a bunch of teacher thank-you emails to get through from the projects already funded. Next up is the fun of funding new projects. Thanks to everyone involved.

From Kaboodle: “Re: MedStar in Maryland. You failed to mention their GE Centricity EHR crash, where all clinics were down and back to paper. But, but mind you, care was not affected!” Unverified. I haven’t heard anything about it.


I haven’t had much time to do the post-mortem on HIStalkapalooza since I didn’t get back until well after midnight. House of Blues was perfect and ran things with great skill, the food and bar service was really good, and the band was as outstanding as I remember them from last year. I was backstage the whole time so I didn’t experience the event as an attendee this time around, which I sort of regret, but I could feel the energy and excitement. Some notes:

  • Lorre Wisham worked on the event for many months going back to last spring. She arranged everything you saw or did as an attendee, wrangling an enormous list of to-do items (contracts, menus, sponsors, band details, banners and signs, etc.) The many hundreds of hours were in addition to her doing her “real” HIStalk work.
  • I would have gone seriously broke without the financial help of the event sponsors since we had to sign band and venue contracts almost a year ago, putting me at complete financial risk if sponsors hadn’t participated. Thanks to Elsevier, Santa Rosa Holdings, Divurgent, Sagacious Consultants, Aventura, CommVault, Falcon Consulting Group, Greenway Health, PatientSafe Solutions, Sunquest, Thrasys, and Validic for making it happen. Those who had opera boxes seemed to be enjoying themselves as Lorre checked in with them several times through the evening.
  • Sagacious did a superb job checking people in (and apparently, according to their report, keeping quite a few people out who showed up but weren’t supposed to be there). HOB says we had close to 1,000 people in the house (of 1,500 invited), meaning their folks got everybody in professionally and cheerfully. Elsevier ran the red carpet and I heard people enjoyed that.
  • The House of Blues staff was super professional and treated us like the big-name acts they host there.
  • Rocking doctor Ross Martin kicked it off in style despite a technical snafu that prevented us from enjoying the big finish of his freshly updated Interoperetta. I’ll try to get something on audio or video from Ross so we can hear the full version.
  • Barry Wightman and Jennifer Lyle were great hosts on stage. It’s harder than it looks to engage a huge room full of partygoers and managing the people and equipment on stage.
  • Special thanks to Judy Faulkner and Jonathan Bush for presenting each other awards on stage in a funny but classy manner.
  • I can’t really say anything about Party on the Moon because if you were there, you already know how electrifying they were, and if you weren’t, words alone can’t describe it. Lorre had vendors coming up to her wanting to know how to book them for their own events. The 13 band members came all the way from Atlanta on their tour bus to spend the evening with us. You know a band is killing it when, as one attendee pointed out, you have nerdy IT guys so anxious to participate that they dance with each other. There were some great moments out there in the audience. According to one attendee, “Easily the best party I have ever been to, as good or better than any fraternity party.”
  • We have photos and video coming from several sources that I haven’t had time to review yet. Stay tuned and we can all relive the evening all over again.


Neil Versel took some good pictures of the Judy and JB show, even though he annoyed me by dismissively referring to HIStalk as the “National Enquirer of health IT.”


A nice HOB exterior shot by Rudy Flores. The stencil over the light that shines the logo — I now know having ordered three of them for this event — is called a “gobo,” just in case you want to increase your vocabulary.

Somewhat Interesting News Announcements

  • IBM creates Watson Health with the announced acquisition of Explorys (analytics and population health management) and Phytel (population health management). The company also announced health partnerships with Apple, J&J, and Medtronic.
  • Surescripts creates a National Record Locator Service along with EClinicalWorks, Greenway, and Epic that will allow providers to locate and exchange patient health records using the Carequality trust framework.
  • InterSystems announces a vendor-neutral, interoperable patient portal.
  • HIMSS turns the work of its interoperability workgroup into a certification program for EHRs, HIEs, and HISPs, run by ICSA under the name “ConCert by HIMSS.” I don’t think of HIMSS as the group that should be certifying products, but apparently their opinion differs from mine.
  • KPMG acquires Beacon Partners, as was predicted in an HIStalk rumor report a couple of weeks ago.
  • Peer60 publishes a free report titled “Will mhealth Drive Patient Engagement?” that questions whether EHRs provide adequate mobile support to meet consumer expectations.

Today in our booth (# 5371)

All day (I think): Regina Holliday will be painting
11:00 Funny lawyer Steve Blumenthal will be handing out swag and dry humor.
2:00 NVoq will hand out Garrett Popcorn (it’s the great Chicago kind that costs a fortune in the airport).
3:00 Your HIStalkapalooza host Barry Wightman will be autographing copies of his book “Pepperland” (which I enjoyed a lot).
4:30 The Walking Gallery will meet.

I forgot that we intended to auction off Regina’s HIStalking original painting from which we made the scholarship winner tee shirts. Make Lorre an offer if you are interested. Maybe she can post the highest current bid on an index card underneath it or something.

My Fitbit shows that I walked 12 miles Monday. It felt like I wasted a lot of time just walking around, but that’s par for the course on the first day of the conference.


The folks at XG Health Solutions (a new HIStalk sponsor that I haven’t announced yet) invited me to a breakfast briefing covering their new apps. It’s a Geisinger spinoff that will sell software based on work done there to present clinicians with a better view of EHR data and collect additional information to make it easier to quickly understand patient problems and concerns and to document additional specialty-specific findings (rheumatology is the first one). Partnerships were announced with Epic, Cerner, and Athenahealth, whose EHRs will exchange information with the XG apps using SMART on FHIR. They have four apps going to beta testing by summer and plan to roll out six over the next 18 months.

From the hallway conversations I heard and my own opinions, here are the positives: Geisinger has developed a lot of expertise and content that’s less ivory tower than most big academic medical centers, they put some thought into involving the patient in the use of their apps, and the SaaS-based subscription means new best practices can be put into place quickly. Negatives: the company has significant venture capital ownership (they aren’t Geisinger, in other words), you might suspect that Geisinger applied soft pressure to the newly named EHR vendor partners to get on board with uncertain future commitments, and so far they’re a company that hasn’t done much to dent the market other than to do Geisinger stuff and make announcements. Success in commercializing hospital software is elusive, and while Version 1.0 is easy, it’s Version 2.0 that gets ugly with upgrades, design decisions, and testing. The first non-Geisinger betas will be important.  











Some notes from my circuits around the exhibit hall (actually both of them – it’s a split hall that ensures confusion and uneven booth traffic). My badge is intentionally unimpressive to vendors, so I get the same treatment as everybody else.

  • Trying to find a given booth even when you know its number is maddening given the gerrymandered aisles. The printed floor layout is laughable – you would need a high-powered microscope to read any part of it except the anchor booth companies (which may be the intention, come to think of it).
  • Booth reps were screwing around with their phones literally from the moment the exhibits opened. It was depressingly easy to find booths where every single person was staring in rapt attention at their phones while prospects passed by without even being acknowledged. Vendors are really stupid in not coaching and policing their people.
  • Even the fake patient in the hospital bed was surreptitiously killing time with her phone while waiting for her next scene. Check her out in the photo above – I wasn’t quite sure what was going on under those sheets until I came around to the head of the bed.
  • I have three mandatory HIMSS kickoff rituals – I have to stroke the sultry curves of the latest Enovate cart; I have to have amazing scones from MedData (the orange chocolate chip were great, but I swung by later for one that had ham, cheese, and what looked like chives); and I have to see the magic guy in Hyland’s booth (above), who is simply amazing not only magically, but in snarky humor and getting people to come closer. I don’t usually like that kind of stuff, but he has been my favorite part of HIMSS for a bunch of years.
  • Amazon Web Services had a little booth, which was interesting.
  • A guy from Network Detective for Healthcare pitched their product that analyzes the network looking for HIPAA-related problems. It seemed pretty cool, especially the report showing the results in plain English with cross-references to HIPAA sections.
  • Scotland-based Nugensis had guys in kilts and bottles of Scotch on the shelf.
  • I tried to use the HIMSS app, but it locked up, spammed me with some guy’s endless and boring motivational quotes, and then started pushing ads as notifications. Big waste of time. The conference is basically just one giant advertising platform already.
  • The NextGen booth was very cool with clear walls and a waterfall.
  • Elsevier demoed their Tonic iPad app that collects information from patients. One of the cool aspects is that it can steer patients to automatically log on to the patient portal without their even realizing that it’s a separate app, which is nice for Meaningful Use. I didn’t see many products Monday, but this one was my favorite. That’s my bad iPhone picture of it above with the beer mug.
  • The nice folks at zCover gave me a new iPhone case to replace the one they gave me a couple of HIMSS conferences ago. Stop by and they’ll even put it on for you.
  • The FHIR puns were plentifully irritating. IT geek humor doesn’t usually work.
  • Kforce was giving out pretty decent pizza way back in a low-density corner of the hall.
  • Sagacious had their fun HIStalkapalooza posters out.
  • InterSystems had a huge audience for one of their presenters. Their presence was significant.
  • I stopped by the Microsoft booth and, as happens every single year, the reps were too busy yapping at each other to even look at all those prospects invading their space. As also happens every year, I stood patiently in front of a display (mobile devices and Surface this time) and the nearest Microserf stormed by scowling while nearly pushing me out of his way. Perhaps that’s why, unlike years past, their booth didn’t have much traffic.
  • The Georgia display featured the sign I had made for them a few months ago following Atlanta’s HIStalk poll win.
  • Bathroom capacity and seating space were ridiculously inadequate. I hiked forever down a long hall following the restroom sign, only to be met with the dreaded “pardon our dust” sign that said to find another restroom without actually saying where one might be. Another one had a grand-looking entrance, but inside was just one stall and one urinal. I’m thinking of one of those parking space type apps where I hire people to sit in the very few actual seats where people can relax or eat, then providing an app for attendees to find and buy their seats. It makes me uneasy to watch guys in crisp white shirts slopping down a wildly overpriced commissary barbeque sandwich while standing in front of a trash can.


Tahoe Forest Hospital (CA) names CIO Jake Dorst as interim CEO. He’ll also continue as CIO.

The outcome of dueling lawsuits between Allscripts and Medfusion may hinge on interpretation of the use of an Oxford comma in their agreement, which is pretty fascinating.


A reader wants to know if anyone else thinks that having costumed female entertainers at the HIMSS opening reception crossed the border into sexism territory. I wasn’t there, but if they didn’t have any men, that might at least make me think about it. I noticed fewer obvious booth babes in the hall this year, so maybe the “skin to win” sales approach is finally and deservedly dying off. It would seem especially inappropriate to have a provocatively clad model pretending to be a company rep in trying to get the attention of a female CEO, CIO, or CMIO.

A terribly written and insight-free Forbes article click-baitingly titled “Two Dirty Little Secrets About Electronic Health Records” says EHRs are “a threat to freedom of speech and academic freedom” in claiming that EHR vendors (and Epic specifically) requires customers to sign non-disparagement clauses. The author works up righteous indignation for Bob Wachter, MD, who the author says had to get Epic’s permission to write about a UCSF medication error and to use Epic’s screenshots to illustrate it. The problem is the author just made stuff up rather than asking anyone involved and Bob had to correct him – Epic doesn’t include non-disparagement language in its contracts, although the screenshot part is true and Bob’s not thrilled about that (he emailed me to clarify that the author was wrong on the first point and has since changed the story). The second big secret is that EHRs are designed to help with billing and management. The author magnanimously proclaims that, “I’m not against EHRs,” which would be comforting except nobody’s ever heard of him and his mastery of the subject is clearly minimal.

That’s all for now. I’m headed over to McCormick Place later than I’d like.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 14, 2015 News 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 4/14/15

April 13, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Former ONC chief opposes CMS rule weakening patient access to records

Former ONC lead Farzad Mostashari, MD spoke out against CMS’s recent decision to strip MU2 of its five percent view/transmit/download requirement, saying “If this proposed rule stands, it would roll back a lot of progress that’s been made incorporating patient engagement into workflows. To meet even a low threshold, providers have had to change their processes to engage patients.”

athenahealth Announces athenaText App for Apple Watch

AthenaHealth follows in Cerner’s footsteps in announcing an Apple Watch app. Unlike Cerner, Athena’s app is aimed at providers, while Cerner’s will be marketed directly to patients. 

An ACT Relating to telemedicine

Washington state becomes the 23rd state to pass a bill requiring private insurers to cover telehealth services.

Practice Fusion and AstraZeneca Partner on Population Health Management Initiative for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Freeware EHR vendor Practice Fusion announces a program sponsored by AstraZeneca in which COPD and Asthma patients in Practice Fusion’s system whose care does not meet evidence-based clinical guidelines will be identified and their care providers alerted.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 13, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/10/15

April 10, 2015 Headlines No Comments

FTC: Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap DRAFT Version 1.0

The FTC sends a 14-page letter to national coordinator for health IT  Karen DeSalvo, MD commenting on its interoperability roadmap, agreeing that its full implementation has the potential to benefit patients and providers, but also warns that both health systems and vendors may resist.

HIStalk Practice Interviews Farzad Mostashari, MD CEO, Aledade

Former national coordinator for health IT Farzad Mostashari sits down with our own HIStalk Practice to talk about life since leaving ONC and his new role as the CEO of Aledale.

Cerner Announces Apple Watch App

Cerner unveils an app for the yet-to-be-released Apple Watch. The app is designed for patients and will capture biometric and activity data and integrate it into their patient portal and EHR. It will also send health-related reminders and support disease management.

New Law Allows Arizonans To Get Lab Tests Without Doctor Order

Arizona passes a law that will allow patients to order lab tests without going through a doctor, crediting Silicon Valley lab vendor Theranos for making it possible.

Doctors Make House Calls On Tablets Carried By Houston Firefighters

In Houston, firefighters are turning to tablets and telehealth to connect non-emergency patients with doctors, rather than driving them to the hospital and driving up the cost of care.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 10, 2015 Headlines No Comments

News 4/10/15

April 9, 2015 News 8 Comments

Top News


The Federal Trade Commission likes ONC’s interoperability roadmap for the most part, but observes that interoperability will continue to be hampered by the competitive interests of providers and vendors. It also gently warns ONC that its strategy of using policy and funding levers to create interoperability demand might encourage less innovation than if the government instead created market forces as a payer (i.e., Medicare). FTC says that its experience shows that vendor participation in creating standards and certifying products causes anti-competitive behavior, such as withholding certification from a competitor, excluding new products from meeting prior standards, rigging the standards-setting organization with vendor-friendly members, and not paying enough attention to patient rights. FTC is also worried that vendor-recommended standards will lock consumers onto a platform that may have been created with the intention of stifling competition. Lastly, FTC is concerned that any standards ONC chooses will be treated as law, so if they really want to get into the standards-setting business, they had better choose carefully.

Reader Comments


From Pulpit Bully: “Re: Georgia Medicaid Fair. Here’s a free training event for those who want to get some insight into why our industry is hopelessly complex. I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, but this is an ENTIRE DAY of sessions about how insurance companies and the government make it difficult for people to manage their health.” It doesn’t sound like a target-rich environment for booth swag.


From Nasty Parts: “Re: CPSI. Heard there is an ‘all hands on deck’ meeting on Monday and they have rented a large facility. Wonder why would they do this during the HIMSS conference?” Unverified. At least some of their hands won’t be on deck in Mobile unless they vacate their HIMSS exhibit. It’s probably their user group meeting in Sandestin, which is also next week.

From Beaker: “Re: self-ordered lab tests. This should end well.” A just-signed Arizona law that will take effect in July will allow people to order their own lab tests without a doctor’s involvement. It was pushed by Silicon Valley lab high-flyer Theranos. I like the patient-centered aspect, although certainly Theranos has executed a smart business coup in removing physicians as its sales bottleneck. The obvious unknown is how consumers will react to receiving abnormal results – treat themselves inappropriately, pester their doctors, or demand that their insurance pay for tests of questionable medical usefulness. Doctors serve both as clinical and utilization gatekeepers and it’s a brave new world when those roles are removed and consumers are turned loose with minimal knowledge.

From Epic Doesnt Market: “Re: Epic marketing. Not sure if you’d consider the $2 million that Epic pays KLAS as marketing, but I do.” I would. Every company does marketing. Epic is different only in that it’s a bit lower key about it and it doesn’t place actual ads most of the time. Marketing isn’t the same as advertising, as everybody who has taken an MBA marketing class knows, and while Epic does little or none of the latter, it does quite a bit of the former under the label of “events.” It milks its KLAS results hard, as anyone who has seen the giant displays plastered on its HIMSS booth knows, and those billboards didn’t just jump up on the wall without help.


From Epic Does Too Market“Re: Epic marketing. If they don’t market, someone forgot to tell their employees, or maybe they don’t control the ones who have left. At least eight former Epic employees identify themselves as marketing people on LinkedIn and one career marketer (who has since moved to another vendor) says she reported directly to Epic’s CEO. They’ve had several spokespeople quoted. I see the work Epic produces on their website, fact sheets, slide presentations, dance numbers, etc. Whether they call it marketing or not, they must have full-time people engaged in producing it all.” 

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Recondo Technology. The Denver-based revenue cycle technology company’s patented, no-touch ReconBots find and assemble critical payer information to speed up eligibility, authorization, and claim status transactions. Its business office products cover claim data integrity, claim adjudication status, and payer follow-up, while the company’s patient access solutions include eligibility, registration quality assurance, point-of-service patient financial responsibility statements, prior authorization, and a real-time dashboard for reporting KPIs. Recondo’s rules, legacy integration, and data mining are used by 900 hospitals and 500 payers to ensure proper payments and financial clarity. You probably know industry long-timers CEO Jay Deady and Chief Growth Officer Ralph Keiser. The just-released Gartner report “Cool Vendors in Healthcare Providers 2015” notes Recondo as providing health systems with innovative technologies to help solve their evolving problems. Thanks to Recondo for supporting HIStalk.

Also supporting HIStalk as a Platinum Sponsor is Practice Unite, which offers a customizable, HIPAA-compliant mobile platform for delivering real-time care (secure communications, clinical data display, and customized workflow). Clinician-friendly communication and collaboration tools include consults, secure text, lab results, patients, on-call and hospital directory, news, events, and several others. Customers have reported six-times-faster inpatient-related communication, a 20 percent ED wait time reduction, easier MU Stage 2 compliance, and reduced network leakage. Check out the case studies. Thanks to Practice Unite for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s an overview video of Practice Unite that I found on YouTube.

Every year I tell vendors how stupid they are in listening to clueless marketing people who advise them to hold their big announcements until HIMSS conference week, which ensures they’ll sink without a trace in all of the confusion and real news happening there. Finally they’re seeing the light and making significant announcements this week instead. Reporters are too busy partying excessively or wasting time doing cookie cutter executive interviews to pay attention to self-serving HIMSS week announcements.

This week on HIStalk Practice: PointNurse partners with Swarm Fund to offer clinicians new telehealth business model. New York’s physician profile website stays alive. Montana Primary Care Association taps eCW for HEDIS help. AMA makes no bones about who it won’t support in the presidential election. Maryland creates a new accelerator for healthcare IT startups. Aledade CEO Farzad Mostashari, MD hints at the EHR features he’ll be looking for at HIMSS15. Thanks for reading.

This week on HIStalk Connect: ONC launches a resource center for states interested in incorporating digital health tools into care delivery. Rock Health releases its quarterly funding report on the digital health industry, noting a slight decline in funding this quarter compared to Q1 2014, but still generating $600 million in new investments. An MIT student is building the Stack Overflow for mental health in his new startup Koko. Weight Watchers acquires fitness social media platform Weilos for an undisclosed sum.


Dana Moore, SVP/CIO of Denver-based Centura Health, has generously offered to collaborate with me on a purely charitable HIMSS conference project. He’ll be in our booth (#5371) Wednesday morning 10 until noon. Vendors (or anyone else, for that matter) can have 20 minutes of uninterrupted one-on-one time with Dana in return for a $500 donation (I chose that value) to DonorsChoose.org since Dana and I both like funding education projects. Then, he and/or I will recap his impressions about your pitch right here on HIStalk to a pretty big audience. Contact me if your company is interested and we’ll book a time. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than trying to get his attention and then flying to Denver to meet there, you’ll be benefitting a classroom, you’ll get prime HIStalk real estate, and Dana just might be interested enough in your pitch to want to speak further (startups take note).


April 22 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Microsoft: The Waking Giant in Healthcare Analytics and Big Data.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, SVP of strategy, Health Catalyst. Microsoft has been quietly reengineering its culture and products to offer the best value and most visionary platform for cloud services, big data, and analytics in healthcare. This webinar will cover the Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model, the ongoing transition from relational databases, the role of new Microsoft products such as Azure and Analytic Platform System, the PowerX product line, and geospatial and machine learning visualization tools. Attendees will learn how to incorporate cloud-based analytics services into their healthcare analytics strategies.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Specialty EHR vendor Modernizing Medicine signs a lease for new office space in Roseville, CA to expand headcount from 24 to up to 70 for the former Aesyntix Health, which it acquired in December.


NextGen parent Quality Systems, Inc. acquires healthcare analytics vendor Gennius.

UnitedHealth Group will pay $12 million in damages after a federal jury finds that its OptumInsight subsidiary infringed on physician efficiency calculation patents held by Cave Consulting Group, which offers several products including the CCGroup EfficiencyCare physician efficiency measurement module.


YourCareUniverse chooses VisionWare for master data management.

EvergreenHealth Partners (WA) selects Wellcentive to coordinate care of 400,000 residents served by the 500 physicians of the clinically integrated network.

Announcements and Implementations

McKesson announces Conserus, a vendor-neutral diagnostic imaging interoperability lineup that includes workflow, work lists, image repository, and data exchange.  

Cerner will integrate visual analytics from Tableau Software into its enterprise data warehouse and analytics products.

Validic announces that it integrated with 27 additional digital health devices in Q1 and is beta testing its connectivity with Apple HealthKit. The company has also released a developer platform that provides API access to its marketplace.

MEA-NEA adds HIPAA-compliant email encryption from Virtru to its information exchange, storage, and attachment solutions.

ZeOmega adds a medication management module to its Jiva population health management system.

Awarepoint announces a Bluetooth Low Energy RTLS platform.

Caradigm’s latest release includes new modules for condition management and utilization management.

Greenway Health announces a new patient portal.  

Aventura will offer biometric authentication for electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

Lifepoint Informatics offers free trial of an API toolbox for medical necessity validation and ICD-9 to ICD-10 crosswalk.


The non-profit, hospital-focused Center for Medical Interoperability, funded by a $10 million grant from the Gary and Mary West Foundation, names its initial board of directors.

Government and Politics

The Texas Medical Board is considering barring doctors from generating prescriptions for patients they haven’t met in a face-to-face visit, although the wording seems vague on whether “face-to-face” excludes video consultations. Dallas-based telemedicine provided Teladoc says the state is moving backward in prohibiting use of a technology that can help solve access and cost problems, but others think it’s the state’s job to avoid creating a double standard that devalues the traditional office visit and relies on new technology.  

Privacy and Security

A painfully long and overwrought Wired article with the obligatory “click me please” headline (“Drug Pump’s Security Flaw Lets Hackers Raise Dose Limits”) prattles at length about the purely theoretical possibility that hackers could alter the drug libraries of smart IV pumps, meaning they couldn’t do much of anything other than altering the minimum and maximum allowed doses (not a given patient’s actual dose). Sometimes security analysts find real, previously undocumented security holes of major importance, but sometimes their announcements are more boastful than useful.

Innovation and Research


NPR covers the use of telemedicine by Houston firefighters, who instead of driving people with non-emergent needs to the ED, can instead connect them with a doctor using iPad video. They can assess the patient and connect with a doctor in real time to decide whether an ED visit is warranted, and if not, schedule them for a regular doctor’s appointment (including a free cab ride). The project addresses the fact that 40 percent of Houston ED visits are for non-emergent primary care issues.


Surescripts and Accenture join HL7’s Argonaut Project.


Box integrates with Carebox to support EHR integration and patient portals.


Doximity announces a secure clinician communication app for the Apple Watch that sends the user to their iPhone for more detailed information (since Watch does nothing without being connected to an iPhone). In a bizarre “only in healthcare” intermingling of old and new technologies, it will alert doctors when they receive a fax.


Cerner will release an Apple Watch version of its HealtheLife that will offer consumers push notification health reminders and data tracking while collecting biometric data to send to Millennium.



In an HIStalk Practice interview, former National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD (now CEO of Aledade) says he’s surprised that the certified EHRs he now has to deal with personally “can’t perform in a real clinical setting” and he’s happy that ONC is considering field testing and a mechanism to deal with EHR customer complaints. He says he’ll be cruising the HIMSS exhibit hall to look for systems for his participating practices that create “practice happiness,” meet MU requirements in a workflow-friendly manner, and are sold by vendors who are willing to work with third-party health applications. He adds that EHR vendor interfacing charges are “outrageous” and that every public and private HIE should offer ADT notifications. On fuzzy, buzzwordy topics like patient engagement, population health management and precision medicine, Mostashari says vendors should have embraced Meaningful Use enthusiastically as a roadmap that would have gotten them there, but instead took a compliance-only approach that frustrated their users.


Here’s a smart idea from HCS since HIMSS badges don’t make it clear what kind of organization an attendee works for: they’re offering badge ribbons that denote long-term care, behavioral health, and long-term care acute hospitals so that attendees with similar interests can find each other. Not to take away from HCS’s efforts, I had a similarly great idea for identifying attendees by their personal characteristics, but I’m hampered by limited attendee demand for badge ribbons that indicate “Self-Important Douchebag,” “Incompetent Despite Appearances,” “Obliviously Intellectually Challenged,” and “No, This Isn’t the First Sales Job I’ve Lied In.” Perhaps I should instead have them manufactured in the “Kick Me” back-attached variant that could be applied by observers who are more situationally objective than the wearer.

A New York Times article examines the trend of insurance companies trying to boost lagging life insurance sales by offering premium discounts to customers willing to share electronic data that includes real-time tracking of gym utilization and overall physical activity via a monitored Fitbit. A privacy expert questions how all of that consumer data will be used, while a law professor ponders whether the program is just a way for life insurance companies to weed out less-healthy customers: “The people who have the time to devote to jumping through all the hoops are likely to be better off than average, and those healthy enough to do wellness activities may be unrepresentative of the chronically ill. I believe that is one reason why there is empirical research severely questioning the value of wellness programs.”

A jury awards $1.38 million to a former billing supervisor of Harrison Medical Center (WA) who was fired after filing a whistleblower lawsuit in which she questioned why she was told to run a monthly Medicare billing program daily instead.

Sponsor Updates

  • VitalWare earns Service Organization Controls Reports (SOC) 2 Type 1 certification of its revenue cycle private cloud. It also announces that Epic consulting firm E-Volve Health will offer VitalWare’s revenue cycle solutions.
  • Medhost posts a video describing how its physician advisory board impacts product development.
  • Logicworks achieves Amazon Web Services partner network healthcare competency.
  • Extension Healthcare offers “Knowing is Half the Battle – Measuring clinical interruptions with advanced alarm management middleware.”
  • Impact Advisors posts “mHealth — The Newest Front Door to Your Organization.”
  • Galen Healthcare asks, “How does Mirth Connect stack up as an HIT Interface Engine?”
  • LifeImage writes “Medical Image Sharing for Trauma Care.”
  • Hayes Management Consulting offers “Making the Case for Physicians as Part of the EHR Project Team.”
  • The HCI Group offers “Technology Partnerships and Data Mergers: Challenges for Small and Medium-sized Hospitals.”
  • HDS CEO Bill Horne takes a pie in the face to raise money for the American Heart Association.
  • Healthwise earns certified status for data security and protection of health information.
  • Holon Solutions offers “Health IT Interoperability Must Be Built From The Bottom Up.”
  • Liaison Technologies offers “The Right Way to Address Today’s Data Challenges.”


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 9, 2015 News 8 Comments

Morning Headlines 4/8/15

April 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

A study of the role of communications in population health management

PerfectServe publishes findings from a study on communication tools used by providers and health systems, finding that most rely on follow up phone calls and patient portals to communicate with patients, and that less than 25 percent use their EHR to communicate with each other. 81 percent report being frustrated with having to use multiple, disconnected communication systems.

Banner Health, Cerner form multi-year strategic partnership

Cerner announces a partnership with Banner Health (AZ) that will include development efforts centered around patient engagement, population health, and financial management. Banner runs Cerner across 26 of its facilities, with 21 of them being HIMSS Stage 7 sites.

MEDITECH Selects Validic For Digital Health Platform

MEDITECH will connect with Validic’s interface engine to integrate consumer health and wellness data into its patient portal and EHR systems.

Kleiner Perkins Leads $20M Round in Livongo for Cloud-Enabled Glucose Meter

Livongo Health, the diabetes management startup of former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman, has raised $20 million in venture capital financing from KPCB.

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 7, 2015 Headlines No Comments

News 4/8/15

April 7, 2015 News 8 Comments

Top News


ECRI Institute names its top patient safety concerns for 2015:

  1. Alarm hazards.
  2. Missing or incorrect data in EHRs and other IT systems.
  3. Patient violence.
  4. Wrong IV line drug administration.
  5. Care coordination problems due to lack of medication reconciliation.
  6. Failure to perform double checks.
  7. Opioid events.
  8. Improper instrument sterilization.
  9. Inadequate handoffs during patient transport.
  10. Medication dosing errors due to weight confusion in kilograms vs. pounds.

Reader Comments


From Nature Valley Sweet and Salty: “Re: Beacon Partners. Guess the acquisition is true.” I see the slide that contains both company names, but I’ll have to say “Unverified” until something more definitive comes out. Everybody is holding their big news for next week, so we’ll know soon.

From Consensual Sects: “Re: SSI Group. Acquisition by an unnamed company to be announced this week.” I heard that a couple of weeks ago, with the rumor reporter claiming the acquirer is Medhost. I asked my SSI Group contact and they flatly denied that anything is in the works, but then again companies always say that since “no comment” is the same as verifying the rumor. Consensual Sects was told it’s a West Coast-based patient access company with a recognizable name.


From One M Dammit: “Re: HIMMS. Here’s another sighting.” There are many, unfortunately, with even mHealth News (published by HIMSS Media) managing to misspell it as HIMMS. Googling “HIMMS” for news sources turns up 157 examples.


From Occupy HIMSS: “Re: Scripps. Check out the spelling on this LinkedIn article.” It was posted on April 1, so perhaps its Epic author, who looks almost old enough to buy his own beer, was going for subtle rather than unintentional humor.


From Senor CMIO: “Re: Tennessee-based Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont merger. Wellmont just installed Epic under a year ago (and may be suffering financially, partly due to this). MSHA runs Siemens Soarian. MSHA will likely have final control of the merged company since its CEO is chairman of the merged board. It will be interesting to see if Epic will be replaced by Soarian or if efforts at HIE will be ramped up successfully between the two systems.”

From Panko: “Re: Epic. I read a site’s in-depth profile about Epic that struck me as odd since there was no really newsworthy item. It basically read as a press release touting Epic ahead of the DoD’s decision and brushed aside interoperability criticisms. I was wondering what your take on this is? Epic supposedly does not do press or marketing, but this article seems to me to be the result of a really carefully orchestrated media push.” Epic has been making itself slightly more visible to the press. Some of its people have been quoted in articles and there’s no way that happened without Judy’s approval. It hired a lobbyist. It is mentioned in announcements every now and then. All of this happened after the DoD bid came up and the interoperability and cost criticisms started getting potentially damaging airtime. I’m pretty sure Judy Faulkner still doesn’t do interviews although her words from quick email responses are sometimes passed off as an “interview” by sites hoping to give the impression that they’re so important that Judy took the time to sit down with them (you can recognize those articles because they contain dozens of paragraphs of regurgitated common knowledge along with about two actual Judy sentences inside quotation marks). Epic says it doesn’t do marketing, which I’ll generously interpret as being true since the company doesn’t have employees whose full-time job is marketing. Epic gets visibility when it wants it most, so while it keeps a lower public profile than most vendors, doesn’t advertise, and doesn’t fawn over the press, it also doesn’t just sit in a Verona barn and crank out MUMPS code while ignoring the fact that it’s a multi-billion dollar market-leading company whose interests have always been competitive, With the DoD bid and the involvement of prime bidder IBM, Epic seems to be slightly more active in managing the press as public opinion dictates, but often in a minimally visible way. 


From Belle: “Re: Epic overdose warning. Here’s our setup and the error that displays with a massive overdose as UCSF ordered.” This hospital keeps it simple by configuring Epic to order Septra DS by the whole tablet rather than in either mg or mg/kg of the trimethoprim component alone, which probably works great for adult patients but maybe not so for peds. The overdose warnings are pretty clear and even offer the choice of just switching to the maximum dose of two tablets per day with a single click. UCSF’s resident and pharmacist both received similar overdose warnings, which they didn’t heed. We talk about alarm fatigue when referring to patient monitors, but it happens a lot with CPOE drug warnings (dose, allergy, drug interaction, etc.) I’m sure someone has done a presentation on how to analyze and detune drug warnings in a way that is appropriate for a given hospital and/or provider since, as illogical as it seems, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to such warnings. Reducing the clutter is better than just shutting off all alerts as some doctors claim they would prefer (until they get sued for missing a conflict, of course).

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The HIMSS conference crunch has officially begun. Vendors are queuing up their announcements for next week, people are flooding my inbox with issues they think are important (although I often don’t share their level of excitement), and lots of people are packing up for their migration to Chicago. The weather is looking great with daytime highs in the 60s predicted, so it will be brown but comfortable.

Here’s the schedule of who will be holding court in our value-sized HIStalk HIMSS booth (#5371) next week:

  • Monday 2:00: Niko Skievaski of Redox, signing copies of “ICD-10 Illustrated” and maybe “Meaningful Use Stage 2 Illustrated.”
  • Monday 3:00: Ed Marx, signing copies of “Extraordinary Tales From A Rather Ordinary Guy.”
  • Tuesday 11:00: Steve Blumenthal of Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis LLP, answering health IT legal questions, being way funnier than you’d expect for a lawyer, and giving away swag while Lorre attends our CMIO get-together lunch.
  • Tuesday 2:00: nVoq, dispensing Garrett popcorn and collectible pins.
  • Tuesday 3:00: Barry Wightman of Forward Health Group, signing copies of “Pepperland” and dishing on what it was like hosting HIStalkapalooza the night before.
  • Tuesday 4:30: The Walking Gallery get-together.
  • Wednesday 11:00: Ross Martin, MD of AMIA and the American College of Medical Informatimusicology, handing out ACMImimi pins and badge ribbons for current Fellows.


We did a tweet chat Tuesday called “The Role of Patient Engagement and Advocacy in HIT” (the link goes to Jenn’s Storify recap). Thanks to those who participated, especially our patient advocate scholarship winners.

We’re doing video interviews with DrFirst at the HIMSS conference, asking folks for their impressions. Want to be included? Sign up here.



The HIStalkapalooza timeline looks like this:

  • 5:00 House of Blues closes to the public.
  • 6:30 House of Blues outside doors open only for HIStalkapalooza registered guests. Security will turn away anyone who wasn’t invited, so don’t plan to crash or to bring an unregistered guest (I don’t have any more invitations, so please don’t ask).
  • 6:30 Pick up your badge, check your coat, and walk the red carpet to participate in the shoe and apparel judging. Visit the event sponsor tables and stake out a good spot. We’ll have caricature artists, a photo booth, videographers, and other activities to be checked out. Bars and food won’t be open yet – that way people can enter leisurely without trampling each other in a rush to get to the first visible bar.
  • If one of the event sponsors has invited you to their private opera box, use your sponsor-issued wristband to pass security to the third and fourth floors (everybody without wristbands will be limited to the first two floors). We’ll have food service on the third floor, bars open on both floors, plus cocktailer (that’s a new word I’ve learned) service to the opera boxes, which will also be stocked with appetizers.
  • 6:45 Jazz combo starts playing dinner music on stage.
  • 7:00 Bars and dinner buffet stations open in multiple locations.
  • 7:40 Stage activities start, include sashing, the HISsies, and special guests. Your hosts will be Jennifer Lyle, Barry Wightman, and Lorre Wisham.
  • 8:30 (approximate) Party on the Moon’s stage performance begins.
  • 8:30 House of Blues doors outside doors will be closed. No one will be admitted after 8:30.
  • 10:00 Bars switch over from open to cash. I’m buying until 10:00, you’re buying after.
  • 11:00 Event ends.


If you can’t make it to HIStalkapalooza or didn’t receive an invitation, event sponsor PatientSafe Solutions will be live streaming video from the event via Periscope, a new Twitter-powered video service. Follow @PatientSafeSoln on Twitter, install the Periscope app, and watch for live tweets tagged #HIStalkapalooza. Next time maybe I’ll just stay home and throw a viewing party with a keg and some Italian beef sandwiches.


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

April 22 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Microsoft: The Waking Giant in Healthcare Analytics and Big Data.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, SVP of strategy, Health Catalyst. Microsoft has been quietly reengineering its culture and products to offer the best value and most visionary platform for cloud services, big data, and analytics in healthcare. This webinar will cover the Healthcare Analytics Adoption Model, the ongoing transition from relational databases, the role of new Microsoft products such as Azure and Analytic Platform System, the PowerX product line, and geospatial and machine learning visualization tools. Attendees will learn how to incorporate cloud-based analytics services into their healthcare analytics strategies.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Livongo Health raises $20 million to expand its connected glucometer-powered diabetes management service. Former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman started and runs the company.


Lexmark will consolidate its acquired brands, including Perceptive Software, under the single name Lexmark and a new logo. Perceptive will be placed under the Lexmark Healthcare banner. 


Mansa Capital Management acquires Accreon with a $5.5 million investment and the participation of the company’s founders and management team.



Baptist Health (KY) chooses Capsule for medical device integration.

Meditech chooses Validic to integrate clinical, fitness, and wellness data into its applications.



Gary Meyer (Financial Chief) joins Cumberland Consulting Group as CFO.

Announcements and Implementations


A PerfectServe survey with decent methodology finds that 71 percent of doctors waste time trying to communicate with other care team members, the EHR is rarely used to communicate with external providers about complex issues, and respondents report extensive dissatisfaction with their clinical communications tools that often span telephone, texting, and other forms of messaging. Nearly two-thirds think HIPAA requirements impede care team communication.


Cerner and Banner Health sign a collaboration agreement that would seem to cement the strong possibility that Banner’s new acquisition, Tucson-based University of Arizona Health Network, will eventually be migrated from Epic to Millennium.

Healthgrades announces its annual awards for patient experience and patient safety, naming the top hospitals based on analysis of claims data, HCAHPS scores, and reported patient safety incidents. It’s interesting that some questions that formerly well correlated with “likely to recommend” now don’t, suggesting that consumer expectations are changing.

TeraMedica will launch analytics and dashboard additions to its Evercore vendor-neutral archive next week.

Privacy and Security

Tulare County HHS (CA) suggests that 800 people change their email addresses after a county employee used CC: rather than BCC: in sending out emails to clinic patients. The department also disabled the exposed email addresses for its patient portal.



Jamie Stockton, CFA of Wells Fargo Securities sent over his latest slice-and-dice of Meaningful Use data. For hospitals, nearly every Epic user has reached Stage 2, while users of Cerner, Meditech, CPSI, and McKesson are congregated at around the two-thirds mark.


Wells Fargo’s EP numbers suggest that Athenahealth customers lead the MUS2 pack at 71 percent, although not up to the 98 percent it boasted a couple of weeks ago that in reality measured the percentage of EPs that attempted MUS2, not the percentage of its overall customer base. Obviously EPs aren’t nearly as willing and able as hospitals to keep chasing HITECH money, and if they purchased these EHRs with intentions of getting it, they are likely not only disappointed, but potentially more likely to replace the systems they bought for that reason.

Carequality publishes collaboration and trust principles that data-sharing participants can legally agree to follow.


A Minnesota couple hears music playing from their child’s bedroom, finally realizing that an Amsterdam hacker had taken over their nanny cam. Theirs was one of thousands of cameras that had screen shots and live stream links posted online because the parents did like many people in buying an IP security camera and ignoring the instructions for changing the default password.

Sponsor Updates

  • CitiusTech launches a healthcare practice focused on big data and Hadoop.
  • ADP AdvancedMD offers the “Top 4 claim exclusions & resolutions.”
  • AtHoc offers “Diversity Makes Us Stronger.”
  • Besler Consulting offers a new video on the clinical impact of readmissions.
  • Medecision publishes a video of Neil Kudler, MD, CMIO of Baystate Health, discussing how he uses the Aerial platform to engage patients.
  • PDS posts “When I Was Your Age: The Challenge of Generational Patient Engagement.”


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 7, 2015 News 8 Comments

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS15

April 4, 2015 News No Comments

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


2-13-2013 6-35-16 PM

Booth 2256

Contact: Lindsey Keith, sales and marketing operations manager

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



Booth 4421

Contact: Jeaniene Outley, executive assistant

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

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

AirWatch by VMware


Booth 8164

Contact: Jeff Pool, director of healthcare solutions

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

Anthelio Healthcare Solutions


Booth 7132

Contact: Andrea Watson, executive sales assistant/conference coordinator

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

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

Aprima Medical Software


Booth 3020

Contact: Judy Friedman, marketing and events

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

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

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

Arcadia Healthcare Solutions


Booth 7834

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

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

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

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

Aspen Advisors, part of The Chartis Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Dan Herman, information and technology practice leader

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

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

Billian’s HealthDATA


Booth 2045

Contact: Jessica Clifton

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

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

Capsule Tech

1-15-2012 12-03-51 PM - Copy

Booth 455

Contact: Brianna Roy, marketing and even specialist

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

Giveaway: Raffling off a Samsung Galaxy 4 Tablet

CareTech Solutions


Booth 7819

Contact: Lisa Kennedy, director of marketing and communications

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

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



Booth 4094

Contact: Christopher Marshall, COO

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

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

ChartMaxx by Quest Diagnostics


Booth 1280

Contact: Vicki Joyce, ChartMaxx Marketing Specialist

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

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

Clinical Architecture


Booth 2074

Contact: John Wilkinson, Vice President, Business Development

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

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



Booth 8191 Kiosk M-28 in the HX360 Innovation Pavilion

Contact: Michael Burke, CEO

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


2-12-2014 6-07-51 PM

Booth 4873

Contact: Jay Savaiano, director, worldwide healthcare business development

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

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



Booth 6027

Contact: Alison Bechtel, marketing manager

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

CTG Health Solutions


Booth 1580

Contact: Amanda LeBlanc, managing director, marketing and communications

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

Cumberland Consulting Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Dave Vreeland, partner

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

Direct Consulting Associates


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Anthony Caponi, vice president of healthcare IT

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



Booth 1891

Contact: Keri DeSalvo, marketing manager

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

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



Booth 7832

Contact: Patrick Hall, executive vice president, business development

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


1-15-2012 12-30-58 PM - Copy

Booth 2749

Contact: David Tucker, vice president of national sales

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

Experian Health/Passport


Booth 2677

Contact: Cindy Dullea, chief marketing officer

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

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

Extension Healthcare

2-12-2014 7-36-22 PM

Booth 4408 / Intelligent Hospital Pavilion Booth 6656-23

Contact: Jenny Kakasuleff, PR manager

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

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

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

Falcon Consulting Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Brendan Downing, partner

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

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

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

FDB (First DataBank)

2-15-2013 2-41-17 PM

Booth 2260

Contact: David Manin, director of marketing

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

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



Booth 1538

Contact: Philip Blanks, marketing manager

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

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

Forward Health Group


Booth 5052

Contact: Barry Wightman, manager, media and communications

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

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

GE Healthcare


Booth 939

Contact: Chris Bowler, general manager, Americas region marketing

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

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



Booth 6627

Contact: Tony Cook, vice president, marketing

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

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

Greencastle Associates Consulting

2-10-2014 9-24-39 AM

To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Joe Crandall, director

Greenway Health


Booth 1806

Contact: Ryan Grable, Director, Demand Generation

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

Hayes Management Consulting


To schedule a meeting:

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

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

The HCi Group

2-14-2014 6-34-48 AM

Booth 5155

Contact: Mitch Paine, executive vice president of business development

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

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

Health Care Software (HCS)

1-15-2012 3-58-32 PM

Booth 1709

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

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

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

Health Catalyst


Booth 7545

Contact: Patty Burke, program manager

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


2-13-2014 5-06-47 PM

Booth 5273

Contact: Karen Hitchcock, director of marketing

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

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

Huron Healthcare


Contact: Casey Liakos

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

Iatric Systems


Booth 7815

Contact: Judy Volker, marketing director

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

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

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


2-4-2014 1-30-39 PM

Booth 3848

Contact: Mark Erwich, vice president, marketing

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

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

In addition, Imprivata will feature a theater at its booth where customers will share their experiences and success stories using Imprivata solutions. Imprivata will have more than 35 presentations delivered by IT executives from hospitals and health systems providing details about their technology infrastructure, some of the challenges they faced, and how they are leveraging Imprivata’s solutions to address them. To pre-book a meeting with Imprivata, please visit http://www.imprivata.com/himss15.

Influence Health


Booth 3148

Contact: Anna Powell, vice president, marketing

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


2-13-2014 5-21-18 PM

Booth 961

Contact: Jerry Hinch, director of North American marketing

Be the first to know. Attend our new product announcement, Monday, April 13, 1:30 PM, for a revolution in patient engagement. InterSystems develops advanced software technologies that enable breakthroughs. With a passion for excellence and a focus on client success, InterSystems provides data management, strategic interoperability, and analytics platforms used in healthcare, financial services, government, and dozens of other industries. In selected countries, InterSystems also offers unified healthcare applications, based on these platforms, that deliver on the promise of connected healthcare. Founded in 1978, InterSystems is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices worldwide, and its products are used daily by millions of people in more than 100 countries. For more information, visit InterSystems.com/himss15.

Legacy Data Access


Booth 3455

Contact: John Hanggi, director

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



Booth 4674

Contact: Jackie Leckas, vice president, marketing

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

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



To schedule a meeting:

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

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



Booth 108

Contact: Yoni Ben-Yehuda

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


2-13-2014 5-41-24 PM

Booth 4851

Contact: Chris Farrell, vice president of marketing

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

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



Booth 1817

Contact: Tom Mitchell, vice president of marketing

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

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

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



Booth 3431

Contact: Lauren Tilelli, director of marketing

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

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

Medicomp Systems


Booth 2318

Contact: David Lareau, CEO

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

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



Booth 1699

Contact: John Pollard, senior director of marketing

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

NTT Data

2-13-2014 5-49-32 PM

Booth 3943

Contact: Larry Kaiser, senior marketing manager

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



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

Oneview Healthcare


Booth 7330

Contact: Jeff Fallon, president, North America

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

Orion Health


Booth 4435

Contact: Sam Rosenbaum, senior marketing manager

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

Park Place International

2-13-2014 5-58-32 PM

Booth 6015

Contact: Christine Mellyn, Director of Marketing


2-13-2014 6-01-16 PM

Booth 3639 in the Georgia Pavilion

Contact Josh Byrd, director of marketing

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

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



Booth 3212

Contact: Kathy Ruggiero, senior director of corporate marketing

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

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


2-13-2014 6-04-27 PM

Booth 5225

Contact: Kimberly Koss, senior operations manager

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

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


2-13-2014 6-07-28 PM

Booth 7439

Contact: Tom Hills, executive vice president, sales

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

Phynd Technologies


Booth 2084

Contact: Thomas White, CEO
855.749.6363, Ext 710

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

Porter Research, a Billian Company


Booth 2045

Contact: Cynthia Porter, president

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

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

Sagacious Consultants


Booth 1690

Contact: Jesse Adams, executive vice president

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

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

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

Sandlot Solutions

2-15-2013 8-21-02 PM

Booth 2641 & 2939

Contact: Lisa Verrecchia, marketing director

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

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

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

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

Santa Rosa Consulting


Booth 2641 & 2939

Contact: Ashley Burkhead, sales operations and marketing manager

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

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

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

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

Sunquest Information Systems

2-13-2014 6-30-12 PM

Booth 923

Contact: Ajay Kapare, director, marketing


2-13-2014 6-44-51 PM

Booth 4390

Contact: Eric Pearlman, director of business development

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


2-13-2014 6-47-43 PM

Booth 3239

Contact: Robin Schroeder-Janonis, vice president of sales

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

Valence Health

2-14-2014 6-02-18 AM

Booth 5073

Contact: Kevin Weinstein, chief growth officer

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

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

Versus Technology

2-14-2014 6-04-01 AM

Booth 2053

Contact: Stephanie Bertschy, director of marketing

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

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



Booth 7139

Contact: Julie Bastien, marketing director

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

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



To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Marc Grossman, principal

Wellsoft Corp.

2-14-2014 6-09-07 AM

Booth 1742

Contact: Denise Helfand, vice president, sales and marketing

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

Wolters Kluwer Health


Booth 8103

Contact: Alyssa Lamoreaux, director of communications

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


2-14-2014 6-26-16 AM

Booth 4426

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

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

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

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

View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 4, 2015 News No Comments

News 4/3/15

April 2, 2015 News 17 Comments

Top News


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

Reader Comments 

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

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


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

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

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

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

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


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

HIStalkapalooza Sponsor Profile


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

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


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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


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

Healthland acquires revenue cycle solutions firm Rycan.



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

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

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

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



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


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


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


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


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

Announcements and Implementations


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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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

Government and Politics

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sponsor Updates

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 2, 2015 News 17 Comments

News 10/14/15

April 1, 2015 News No Comments

Top News


DrFirst firms up $25 million in equity financing from Goldman Sachs, bringing its total financing over the last year to $42 million. The company, which announced last week the integration of its medication management software and secure communications with the Rx30 Pharmacy Management System, will use the investment to ramp up sales, marketing, and product development.

#HIStalking Tweet Chat – Patient Engagement Outside the Office


Loran Cook (@loranstefani) will host the next #HIStalking tweet chat on Thursday, October 15 at 1pm ET. Check out discussion topics here.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Sunnyvale, CA-based Health Gorilla secures a $2.4 million Series A led by Data Collective with additional financing from True Ventures, Harris Barton, Orfin Ventures and Venture Investment Associates. The company has also expanded its diagnostic test automation platform to include electronic ordering and secure messaging. Complete health history capture and sharing will be added to the new Clinical Network in the coming months. 

Nightingale Informatix finalizes the sale of its US-based PM business to Pulse Systems, with gross proceeds totaling $11 million. As part of the transaction, Nightingale and Pulse will refrain from selling into each other’s markets for three years.



Announcements and Implementations

Georgia Health Information Network successfully connects to Alabama’s One Health Record HIE. The state-to-state connection is the second for GaHIN, which connected with South Carolina’s HIE late last year.


Three Pennsylvania-based HIEs – ClinicalConnect HIE, HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Keystone HIE – join the Pennsylvania EHealth Partnership Authority’s Pennsylvania Patient & Provider Network. (You can read my interview with Pennsylvania EHealth Partnership Authority Executive Director Alix Goss here.)


Smartphone patient scheduling vendor Everseat joins Athenahealth’s More Disruption Please program.



Pam Stampen (American Family Insurance) joins Nordic as vice president of human resources.

Research and Innovation


A two-year study of eight primary care practices and three mental health clinics determines that there’s no seamless way to bring behavioral health and primary care data together into their different EHRs. Clinicians developed workarounds to handle duplicate data entry, different templates for primary care and mental health, and reliance on physician or patient recall for inaccessible EHR information. Researchers conclude that vendors and physicians work together to design EHRs that better support: integrated care delivery functions, including data documentation and reporting; integrated teams working from shared care plans, template-driven documentation for common behavioral health conditions; and improved registry functionality and interoperability.



Peer60’s new standalone ambulatory facility EHR report (not ambulatory EHRs in general as other sites misinterpreted) finds that Epic and Cerner are tied for mind share leadership, with Epic holding a big market share lead. Meditech and Allscripts have decent market share in hospital-owned facilities, but zero mind share, meaning their customers are at risk for defecting. NextGen is also at risk since it has the highest market share among independently owned facilities, but also zero mind share in which Cerner, Epic, and eClinicalWorks dominate. Respondents said vendors should make their product easier to use, improve reporting, and improve practice management capabilities, although 32 percent say it won’t matter since the hospital dictates the EHR used.


Quartz takes a refreshing crack at removing unnecessary business jargon from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s memo announcing 336 layoffs. My inner journalist only wishes the editors had used red lines instead of black. 

Sponsor Updates

  • Aprima will exhibit at the Oklahoma Primary Care Association event October 14-16 in Oklahoma City.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at The National Conference on Correctional Healthcare October 17-21 in Dallas.

Blog Posts


JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice  updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
April 1, 2015 News No Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/30/15

March 28, 2015 News 5 Comments

Top News

The Senate won’t review or approve the House-passed doc fix bill until after its two-week recess ends on April 13. You may recall that 2014’s one-year ICD-10 delay was inserted when the Senate, working hours before the previous SGR patch was set to expire, couldn’t muster enough votes to pass its own version of SGR bill that didn’t include the delay.

Reader Comments


From Raygun: “Re: Epic. They’ve never posted in social media, but I got this in my LinkedIn stream.”

From Hanoi Hotel: “Re: [vendor name omitted.] Supposedly laying off 300 people. Trying to get better intel.” I’ve omitted the name of the publicly traded company. Update: a second reader confirmed the first reader’s statement that the company is Allscripts.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


The least-trusted interoperability organization is CommonWell, according to 50 percent of readers. If you add the totals of its members that are listed in the poll, the distrust number increases to 78 percent vs. Epic’s 22 percent. Respondent James explained his thought: “McKesson’s CEO has said in quarterly calls that he expects CommonWell to gush licensing money any day. Cerner’s documentation is near impossible to find. Epic’s HL7 documentation is there for all to see but that doesn’t do much in the expense department. Athena’s API is non-healthcare-industry-standard, which is a good thing, but it can’t move the market.” A third of the votes came from the Madison area, although Epic was hosting a bunch of customers there and there’s no way to separate their votes from those of Epic employees. New poll to your right or here: what’s the #1 reasons you would decline to do business with a startup?


A year ago I donated most of the proceeds from the Top Spot banner ad at the top of every HIStalk page (it mostly ran during the HIMSS conference) to classroom projects via DonorsChoose.org. Teach for America teacher Ms. Moore sent photos this week of her students enjoying the 50 library books we as HIStalk readers donated to her school (with matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). Her school, in which 65 percent of students get free or reduced price lunches, is the sixth-highest performing school in North Carolina, with 97 percent of students performing at or above grade level and 100 percent of seniors accepted to college (85 percent of those are the first in their families to attend college). The Top Spot banners are still available if your company wants HIMSS exposure and to help me fund more classrooms in need.


Our networking event for HIStalk sponsors will be held Sunday evening (April 12). I’m offering great food and a premium open bar at a nice venue not far from the river and Miracle Mile. I had this last-minute thought: if you’re the CEO of a non-sponsor startup and want to network with some great folks, tell me why you’d like to come and I’ll choose up to five to join us at my expense.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • The House passes an SGR doc fix bill that is free of ICD-10 delay language.
  • HHS publishes drafts of Meaningful Use Stage 3 and 2015 certification requirements.
  • Industry leaders John Halamka and Micky Tripathi question the direction and value of ONC’s Meaningful User and EHR certification programs.
  • Vermont’s governor threatens to shut down the state’s floundering health insurance exchange and move to Healthcare.gov.
  • The head of the Department of Defense’s EHR project suggests that it will choose the bid group that offers the best services, not necessarily the best EHR.

HIStalkpalooza Sponsor Profiles


Do you need a little Tonic to help face those Healthcare Challenges? Visit Elsevier booth #2207 to witness how our innovative solutions and services empower patients and providers and improve clinical outcomes embedding trusted medical content at every stage in the patient journey. Participate in our exciting Healthcare Challenge and win special event giveaways. Are you curious to learn about extreme patient engagement? If that doesn’t convince you, than how about cocktails and mocktails served with a flair? Please join us for our daily in-booth happy hours. We look forward to seeing you there.


Mark your calendars… HIStalkapalooza gold sponsor Divurgent will be bringing back their ever-popular Children’s Hospital Charity Drive to the HIMSS exhibit floor to raise monies for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Divurgent’s booth #1891 will feature a fast-paced, interactive Trivia Charity Drive, inspired by the explosively popular mobile app game, Trivia Crack. It will be hard to miss the vibrantly-colored Trivia Charity Wheel as HIMSS attendees spin to see what trivia category they will land on, along with what donation value Divurgent will contribute on the attendee’s behalf. Make sure to visit booth #1891 to help Divurgent meet their goal of raising $5,000 for Lurie Children’s.To view all of Divurgent’s exciting events and happenings during HIMSS, click here.


March 31 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Best Practices for Increasing Patient Collections.” Sponsored by MedData. Presenter: Jason Bird, director of client operations, MedData. Healthcare is perhaps the last major industry where the consumer does not generally have access to what they owe and how they can pay for their services. Collecting from patients is estimated to cost up to four times more than collecting from payers and patient pay responsibility is projected to climb to 50 percent of the healthcare dollar by the end of the decade. Learn how creating a consumer-focused culture, one that emphasizes patient satisfaction over collections, can streamline your revenue cycle process and directly impact your bottom line. 

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Valence Health will move to a new Chicago location as it plans to add 500 jobs by 2019.

Vince continues his 2014 review of health IT vendors in covering those that serve large health systems – Cerner, McKesson, Epic, Allscripts, and GE Healthcare.  



Public Hospitals Authority of the Bahamas chooses Surgical information Systems for perioperative systems.

Announcements and Implementations


EClinicalWorks subsidiary Healow announces integration with several wearable and fitness tracker products.

Government and Politics

Programming website GitHub is hit by a distributed denial of service attack from what appears to be the Chinese government, which is unhappy about GitHub tools that allow China-based users to bypass their government’s censorship.

Privacy and Security


A TransUnion Healthcare survey finds that two-thirds of recent patients (with a heavy representation of younger ones) would avoid a provider that has experienced a data breach. Half of the consumers expect to be notified within one day of the breach (hopefully of its announcement rather than the actual event since it’s foolish to announce a breach before doing preliminary investigation) and about the same percentage expect a dedicated phone hotline and website to answer their questions.



The local TV station profiles Seattle Children’s use of software from local startup Luum, which tracks how employees commute to work so that the employer can reward the use of sustainable transportation. Seattle Children’s gives employees a free fancy coffee if they don’t drive to work in a car.

Johnson & Johnson-owned medical device vendor Ethicon signs a collaboration agreement with Google to develop a robot-assisted surgical platform.


I’m interested in a couple of new apps (Meerkat and Periscope) that allow someone to stream a video broadcast from their smartphones to their chosen Twitter followers. It would be kind of cool to watch a live stream of the HIMSS keynotes or to show a first-person view of what’s going on at HIStalkapalooza.


The City of Baltimore uses its Netsmart EHR to remind employees who are treating heroin addicts to test them for HIV and refer them to HIV care if positive.

I missed this until @Farzad_MD tweeted it out: great investor advice presented as quotes from venture capitalist Paul Graham:

“What investors are looking for when they invest in a startup is the possibility that it could become a giant. It may be a small possibility, but it has to be non-zero. They’re not interested in funding companies that will top out at a certain point.  A startup is a company designed to grow fast. Being newly founded does not in itself make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology, or take venture funding, or have some sort of  ‘exit.’ The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.… To grow rapidly, you need to make something you can sell to a big market … If you want to start a startup, you’re probably going to have to think of something fairly novel. A startup has to make something it can deliver to a large market, and ideas of that type are so valuable that all the obvious ones are already taken…. Usually, successful startups happen because the founders are sufficiently different from other people – ideas few others can see seem obvious to them.

Weird News Jeff channels WNA in providing this family-unfriendly story. Two UC Berkeley researchers develop SmartBod, an adaptive biofeedback app that manages the most personal of wearables in order to guarantee a happy ending, tracks performance over time, and allows proudly sharing the results with social media. If that’s not enough, the last names of the scientists (who are in fact a couple) are Klinger and Wang.

Sponsor Updates

  • Zynx Health client Meritage ACO (CA) achieves successful reduction of at-risk patient readmissions.
  • Senator Lois Wolk (D-CA) recognizes Geni Bennetts, MD of WeiserMazars as one of the Third Senate District’s “Women of the Year.”
  • Huron Consulting Group will sponsor and exhibit at the 2015 Cancer Center Administrators Forum March 29-31 in Lexington, KY.
  • Verisk Health offers “How the Boomers will Change the Shape of Medicare.”
  • T-System President and CEO Roger Davis weighs in on EHR interoperability.
  • Shareable Ink names Chris Buckley as regional sales director of the year.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only
March 28, 2015 News 5 Comments

Subscribe to Updates



Text Ads

Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS



Founding Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors

































































Gold Sponsors





















Reader Comments

  • PM_From_Haities: I must be more cynical. My 3 hopes are that it's not serious, that my Dr has enough time to spend more than 5 minutes e...
  • Mike Cannavo "PACSMan": The $5.5M Pulse write off at Orlando Health was not quite as magnaimous as it seems. According to today's Orlando Sentin...
  • Leftcoaster: My entire 30+ year career has been in healthcare and healthcare IT. Over the years I've seen insurers reap huge profits...
  • Rob: She gets to keep her job and pay raise because the company is making more money under her leadership. I won't argue t...
  • Frank Poggio: There is a very good Ted Talk entitled "The Future of Medicine" at: http://www.ted.com/playlists/23/the_future_of_medic...

Sponsor Quick Links