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An HIT Moment with … Eyal Ephrat

April 10, 2015 Interviews 1 Comment

An HIT Moment with … is a quick interview with someone we find interesting. Eyal Ephrat, MD is founder and CEO of MedCPU of New York, NY.

What are the shortcomings of clinical decision-support modules of EHRs?

Decision support technology was designed with the best intentions, but accuracy remains a huge problem. Prompting the clinical staff with inaccurate or redundant prompts rapidly leads to frustration, alert fatigue, and loss of reliance on this feature. In most instances I’ve seen, decision-support prompts are ignored or turned off by a busy clinical staff, often because inaccuracy makes them unreliable and therefore unusable.

Roughly 70 percent of the patient’s clinical information exists today in free-form format such as dictations, follow-up notes and discharge summaries. As physicians, we just cannot communicate the clinical picture and plan of care through simple point-and-click pull-down menus and structured fields, so we opt for free-form notes. However, the computer cannot read free text, so the decision-support modules don’t see the 70 percent or 80 percent of critical information that exists exclusively in the free-form formats.

The clinical reasoning and thought process cannot be captured through simplistic “If-Then” rules. If the patient’s hemoglobin is 8gm/dL, it’s wrong to fire a simple prompt that alerts the physician to do something with it. There could be many reasons for such a low hemoglobin, ranging form chronic hereditary conditions that warrant no action to acute conditions that require emergency response.

How do you get the necessary data, including free-text information, to perform decision support?

The industry’s current technologies used for data sharing between systems – HL7 via interface engines and Web services – are not enough. They don’t provide all the data required, in real-time, for the accurate performance of the decision support modules. To resolve this critical barrier in information availability, MedCPU developed a unique Reader technology to collect all the data entered into the organization’s EMR via an API with the operating system (Citrix server, etc.) on which the EMR runs, without touching the EMR itself, without consuming computational resources, and without requiring integration to the EMR or the hospital’s IT infrastructure.

This allows us to see, for the first time in healthcare I believe, all the data entered in real-time. Combined with a limited use of HL7 feeds for getting information entered in the ancillary systems, such as dictations, radiology, and discharge summaries, MedCPU is achieving a complete picture about the patient, in real-time, from history until the present encounter.

What results have users seen?

I’ll give you a couple of examples. One hospital that was an early adopter of our VTE prophylaxis module has seen a significant improvement in compliance with the CMS’s VTE prophylaxis guidelines (above 90 percent from about 50 percent prior to the deployment of MedCPU) over a period of a couple of months. Another health system using our radiology module has seen a significant decrease in the amount of inappropriate imaging performed based on the ACR appropriateness criteria while generating higher revenues because of better appropriate documentation.

But we’re most proud of the daily events we see where the system actually prevents clinical errors. Seeing in the logs how the physician or nurse made a certain decision, got a prompt that the decision may be wrong, and as a result cancelled this decision and reverted back to the appropriate care path makes our huge efforts worthwhile.

What effort, expense, and expertise is required to deploy MedCPU?

The effort, expense, and expertise required is extremely low compared with the typical IT deployments we all know and have traditionally experienced. Using our Reader API, we request very little IT involvement on the part of the hospital, approximately 50 hours. The overall one-time deployment of the MedCPU platform in the organization takes about three to four months, during which time we also work with the organization’s clinical leaders in reviewing the best practice protocols contained in our decision support modules. The ability to deliver low-resourced deployment is critical when dealing with the often-overloaded IT departments.

What is the direction of the product and company going forward?

We want to become the high-precision decision support layer each organization critically needs on top of their existing EMR/IT infrastructure. We’re also really excited about our new initiative with the Health Management Academy. We’re launching a multi-health-system initiative that will foster collaboration in finding and testing advanced solutions in order to bring major improvements to their point-of-care clinical, operational, and financial performance.

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April 10, 2015 Interviews 1 Comment

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 4/10/15

April 10, 2015 Dr. Jayne No Comments


For those readers attending HIMSS who might want to check out my shoes, you can catch me at the Medicomp Booth (# 2318) on Monday afternoon. This year’s celebrity contestants include Jacob Reider, Lyle Berkowitz, and Ross Martin. Medicomp will again be making donations to our favorite charities and I’m honored to have been invited back. They offered bodyguards to protect my anonymity as well as a swanky backstage green room, which should make for a fun afternoon.

After I get my game show on, I’ll be heading over to the Meditech booth for the official launch of their Web Ambulatory product. Quite a few legacy vendors seem to be trying to embrace the cloud, so I’m eager to see their take on it. Plus they’ve promised champagne, although I wonder if they’ll be sneaking in the good stuff given the typical trade show restrictions on food and beverage service. I spent a fair amount of time sorting through press releases and booth invites today (nearly all of them via email) and can report that misspellings of HIMMS are leading HIPPA 3 to 2. I’m definitely not putting those organizations on the priority list.


I received the final instructions for the HIMSS Wellness Challenge. It will be measured in steps taken on Monday and Wednesday and in distance walked for Tuesday. Entrants must be present at the Connected Patient Learning Gallery to win – times are 5:30 for Monday and Tuesday and 3:30 for Wednesday. Those times border on my social schedule, so I think I’ll have to take a pass. If you decide to hang in there, the prizes are $300 gift cards.

Our leadership is hoping that CMS uses HIMSS as the prime time to release the rule making official a 90-day reporting period for 2015 Meaningful Use. Regardless of when it happens, I suspect that quite a few organizations will be planning to attest as late as possible so that they maximize their timeframe for upgrades and workflow changes they might need to be successful. We’re historically conservative and planned for full-year reporting, so our monthly status reports continue to be amusing reads as providers have decided they don’t need to be compliant just yet.


I had a brief trip in the Wayback Machine this week when our newly-acquired community hospital started including me on its email distribution list. Apparently they can’t convince their physicians to actually use electronic charting, so they’re going to pilot scanning hand-written progress notes starting next week. They reminded physicians to “change the dial on the charts to yellow which will alert the staff to scan the note.” It’s been so long since I actually used a paper chart, I had forgotten about the colored dials and sliders we used to let unit secretaries know we had written orders.

On Monday, CMS opened the Dispute Period for Open Payments. Drug and medical device makers are required to report payments made to physicians and teaching hospitals and physicians have the opportunity to review the data for accuracy. The review period is open for 45 days. Although I have all the logins, I discovered reviewing the data isn’t as easy as it sounds. Physicians have to register for both the CMS Enterprise Portal and the Open Payments system. Enterprise Portal accounts are locked if there is no activity for 60 days and deactivate at 180 days. Based on other demands for our time, I doubt that too many physicians will be personally reviewing their data. Maybe CMS could try sending us our data using DIRECT addresses.

Earlier this week, Mr. H mentioned the ECRI Institute list of top patient safety concerns. Of course health IT-related issues are hot topics, but I was surprised to see managing patient violence as number three. Our hospital was on lockdown multiple times last fall and it’s always unsettling, but the high-profile events aren’t the ones I’m most worried about. I’ve been threatened several times by patient family members. I suspect some of our outlying physicians may have firearms at their offices despite our official ban.

What are you doing to keep your staff and patients safe? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne. clip_image003

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April 10, 2015 Dr. Jayne 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.

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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 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.


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April 9, 2015 News 8 Comments

Morning Headlines 4/9/15

April 8, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Cleveland Clinic Innovations launches digital health care products e-commerce company

Cleveland Clinic’s business development unit has launched a new company called ADEO that will resell digital health products to hospitals, practices, and directly to consumers.

Data Analytics Update: Health IT Policy Committee Meeting

ONC publishes new MU numbers during its April 7 policy committee meeting, noting that Medicaid EP registrations have surpassed 2012 projections.

High Hopes, Unfulfilled Promise: Healthcare Organizations Looking Beyond Portals for True Patient Engagement, HIMSS Analytics Survey Finds

A HIMSS Analytics survey of 119 healthcare executives finds that patient portals are not delivering on the patient engagement needs of customers. Still, a majority of respondents report that the driver for implementing a patient portals was to meet MU requirements, and not necessarily to improve patient services or quality of care. The full study will be published at the HIMSS conference next week.

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Startup CEOs and Investors: Brian Weiss

My HIMSS Was Great — Hope Yours Will Be, Too!
By Brian Weiss


So Much to Say… So Few Listening

Back in ancient times when not everything had to support this quarter’s numbers or the next funding round, I took a few college courses that were not directly related to my plans to become a software engineer. I don’t remember exactly which Something Interesting And Not Practical Career-Wise 101 course it was in which we pontificated about whether a tree falling in a forest that nobody hears makes a sound.

I wish I remembered the answer, as I think it may have some implications for vendor press releases on the first day of HIMSS. It may also be relevant for writers of HIStalk columns. But I was probably busy optimizing some assembly code interpreter written in Pascal (which engineering readers will recognize as potentially good material for the aforementioned college course).

Seems that almost every day for the past few weeks someone has been serving up another high fastball over my columnist strike zone. CommonWell and Epic trade barbs, MU3 guidelines are published, everything is “on FHIR,” patient-centric data exchange is all the rage, and the US Congress allocates more time to healthcare data interoperability than most hospital system executives. If you’ve followed some of my previous articles on CommonWell, FHIR, and consumer-centric healthcare IT, you can imagine I have a few things to say about some of this stuff.

But I haven’t yet submitted any of these articles in the making. I’m pretty sure I was the most prolific HIStalk column contributor who published nothing in the month of March. Thankfully, no trees have to fall in any forests each time HIStalk news updates land in my Inbox and I feel compelled to open up MS-Word and crank out my passionate thoughts about “whatever,” only to decide somewhere on Page Two that I don’t have anything dramatically new and insightful to add to what I’ve already said.

Besides, who is going to read this stuff I’m drafting with everyone busy preparing for HIMSS?

So instead, I’ll share with you a few of my thoughts about HIMSS itself. Given that I have only attended HIMSS once in the past (in a rather peripheral role) and this is my first HIMSS as a startup CEO, why would you want to read my HIMSS tips, insights, or analysis?

You wouldn’t! That’s why I’ll leave all that to Mr. H and the HIStalk team and all the others who already helped make sure that searching for “HIMSS tips analysis” returns close to half a million hits on Google. That should keep you busy enough on the way to Chicago, even if you are on the shuttle from Uranus and you need to find parking near the convention center.

Here are some of my somewhat contrarian views on HIMSS, though I reserve the right to change my mind about all of them at the end of next week (or whenever I’m certifiably fully awake).

It’s Floor Wax AND Dessert Topping

If you understood this section’s header, then I suppose you also didn’t have enough on your social calendar on Saturday nights in the 70s. If you didn’t understand, try Google (or don’t worry about it). Point is that HIMSS is undoubtedly many different things for different attendees and audiences. While I speak for nobody (perhaps other than myself — we are still debating that internally) I’m hopeful some of this will reflect other startup participants at HIMSS (and perhaps even some more established exhibitors) and thus, in the intended spirit of this column, provide a view into life “on the other side of the aisle” for those of you on the side with the very sore feet.

I have no idea how HIMSS attendees manage to have a productive visit to the massive HIMSS hall. Those of you who actually make it to the peripheral locations (which the HIMSS rules generally assign to new participants); the small, low-budget booths (that rich startups can afford); or the individual pods allocated to partners in various “sponsored pavilions” (where startups are most likely to be) have my sincere admiration. Not enough to get me to put down my cellphone and notice you, but certainly enough to feel a little ashamed when Mr. H takes me to task on that.

I don’t fully get what you think you are going to learn with all this legwork that you can’t more easily pick up with a tablet, a web browser, and your feet up on the couch. I get the part about collecting freebies, but I’m not bringing any, so it’s probably just as well that I’m polishing my BrickBreaker skills (I will trade in my rusting BlackBerry as soon as I get past level three). But, I’m glad you’re there racking up the steps on your fitness bracelet, because without you, there would be no HIMSS.

My HIMSS Was Great!

HIMSS for me was great. Yes, “was” — past tense. Next week might be good as well, I don’t know. But that’s icing (or floor wax) on the cake, from my perspective.

For me right now, HIMSS is first and foremost a “compelling event” that makes many other things happen in the weeks leading up to it. The value of those things is rather independent of — and I expect will prove to be of far greater value than — anything that happens at the event itself.

First and possibly foremost, HIMSS is the excuse vendor companies like mine need to force a refresh of our slide decks, web site, positioning statements, brochures, demo kits, etc. It even forces our R&D departments to do one of the most unnatural acts in software engineering – release a product version.

Next, and particularly important for a small startup like mine, HIMSS creates a compelling event for our work with partners. My company, Carebox, is going to be part of demonstrations in four locations at HIMSS. Yes, I’m dying to tell you where so I can feel like I’ve gotten free marketing benefits in exchange for writing this column when there are a million other things I’m supposed to be doing right now “before HIMSS.” But even if I caveat that with some clever, self-deprecating line like, “Here comes the shameless plug,” I actually would feel shame (and Mr H might edit it out). So, think of it as a scavenger hunt with no prizes. What could be more fun than that?

Now, where was I? Oh, right, looking for the Carebox presence buried in various booths at HIMSS. The point is that even though I don’t really expect any direct benefit from people noticing our presence in all those locations, I’m thrilled about each of them. Because we now have sales demonstrations and scripts, sandbox environments, and more importantly, working product integrations and/or go-to-market plans with all of those rather important partners.

With the exception of our primary host and partner at HIMSS, Box (Booth # 8714 – I couldn’t resist the shameless plug after all — oh, the humiliation), were it not for HIMSS, I believe we would still not even have started practical product and go-to-market work with the others.

The scheduled press releases for next week mentioning my company that Mr. H will ignore — and might have covered and called out this week, or most any other week, and I thus doubt you will even hear falling in the proverbial forest — matter to me as well. They’ll provide important quotes and links for my web site and presentations for months to come. And they create momentum with the partners that published them and within their internal sales organizations.

The obligatory “Will I see you at HIMSS?” e-mails, dinner invitations, etc. have all given me much-needed excuses to reconnect with dropped leads that are generating significant business opportunities as we speak.

There are many more examples, but I think you get the idea, and I’m well into Page Two of this article which is usually when I start boring myself (yes, and you).

While You’re at HIMSS, I’ll Be Very Busy …

I’ve never (yet?) attended the JP Morgan conference and thus enjoyed Michael Barbouche’s writeup a few months ago. My HIMSS schedule is shaping up a bit like what he described – a series of hourly slots in various locations, some at the event itself, others in nearby hotel rooms, some in local restaurants, and one or two in offices around town.

I still have a little time slotted to actually be “in the booth” as opposed to “in the closed holding cell in the middle of the booth constructed so that we can do conference meetings as if we were in the office and just trying to optimize travel logistics, but have to put up with all the noise around us and the other lousy environmental conditions for a meeting.”

But that’s only because I’m not really important (yet?), in which case you would only see me “in the booth” in the context of a journey to get liquids into or out of my body, or as per regulations for “minimum required time in the yard outside of the cell.”

Most of those meetings are definitely important to me and I suppose those constitute “part of HIMSS” and thus invalidate my claim that HIMSS is “past tense” for me, but I think logical consistency was part of that same course I wasn’t paying attention to back in college, so no worries there.

… With You?

If you think you might be a potential customer, partner, investor, or romantic interest (just kidding!) of Carebox, you can still claim my few remaining available minutes next week by reaching out and scheduling any open slots I still have. I’m told that by pre-allocating my time to pre-qualified interactions I can pre-impact the expected value from my HIMSS experience (and perhaps also finally understand why people actually board the plane during pre-boarding).

And then I suppose my HIMSS experience could be completely orthogonal to that of the thousands of people walking around the hall.

Except that won’t actually work for me. I don’t really know the statistical likelihood that a chance encounter in a booth at HIMSS will result in something that changes the trajectory of my company. Maybe that was also covered in one of those college courses I seem to have missed. But apparently the people who did really well in that course don’t buy lottery tickets and don’t start new healthcare IT companies.

So I’ll hopefully be the guy who remembered to turn off his cell phone and otherwise managed to follow a few of the thousands of “10 best tips” for HIMSS and maybe we’ll strike up an interesting conversation. And maybe next year before HIMSS I’ll write a very different (and better) article.

See you next week… if you can find me!

Brian Weiss is founder of Carebox.

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April 8, 2015 Startup CEOs and Investors 3 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.

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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.


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April 7, 2015 News 8 Comments

Morning Headlines 4/7/15

April 6, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Alarms, Health IT, and Patient Violence Lead ECRI Institute’s 2015 List of Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns

Health IT is heavily represented on ECRI’s annual Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns list, with alarm fatigue and poor alarm configuration taking first place, incorrect or missing data in EHRs taking second place. Poor medication reconciliation procedures, something surprisingly absent from all MU stages, also made the list.

HITRUST to sponsor study on healthcare breaches

The Health Information Trust Alliance announces that it will sponsor a broad, empirical study of health IT security threats aimed at analyzing “the methods, severity and pervasiveness of cyber threats targeting a variety of healthcare organizations.”

Doctors in Kearney, GI frustrated over CHI Health leadership

Doctors at CHI Health Good Samaritan (NE) have issued a vote of no confidence in the leadership of CHI. An ongoing dispute between CHI and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska is at the heart of the problem, with a small faction of local doctors leaving to build a new hospital rather than stay and work under CHI.

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April 6, 2015 Headlines No Comments

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 4/6/15

April 6, 2015 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment


The run-up to HIMSS is typically packed with marketing, but this year has been incredibly slow. As I scanned the Monday Morning Update, this ad from First Databank caught my eye. I’m pretty sure no one in their right mind would electively join a Meaningful Use club (unless they had some sadomasochistic tendencies), but it was catchy and smart. In fact, so catchy and smart that I might borrow their “varsity” idea. We typically have a theme for each year’s major EHR upgrade and I’m liking the idea of awarding varsity letters to our next class of super users.

There are only four more postal days until I board the plane for Chicago, so if vendors were going to try to reach CMIOs by snail mail, they’d better already have their marketing pieces on the way. There are usually several pieces that arrive the week after HIMSS and I hope their senders at least got a bargain when they chose PR firms that wouldn’t get the message out on time. My administrative assistant is getting seriously depressed at the lack of entertaining pieces – usually he enjoys making fun of the poker chips and other items, but there hasn’t been anything interesting this year.


The weekend email did bring a heartfelt apology from Nordic President Drew Madden, who heard about my dis-invitation from their HIMSS event. It sounds like they’re still working on right-sizing given their venue and have been able to expand capacity. Being part of the HIStalk team, I certainly understand how crazy it can be to find your event turning into the hot ticket. If I can figure out how to re-RSVP and stay anonymous I’ll certainly give it a go. I appreciate the personal contact and his kind words.

Speaking of HIMSS events, I’ve finally locked in my wardrobe for HIStalkapalooza. I’m really a jeans and boots girl at heart, but do love dressing up. It looks like the Chicago weather is going to be fairly cooperative and I’ve got plenty of other casual-dressy events, so this year’s red carpet look is going to be decidedly formal. I was completely outdone by Lorre, last year so it’s time to catch up. I’m still waffling between two different pairs of stunning shoes and will be wearing them around the house this week in the hopes that I’ll be able to decide. There’s nothing that can make you feel classier than folding laundry in heels and pearls. Eat your heart out, June Cleaver.


There are very few people from my day job who will be attending HIMSS, so I have a long list of booths to try to visit. A friend of mine recently clued me in to Humetrix, which offers several different smartphone apps. Their iBlueButton offering allows patients to store, aggregate, and share personal health data. SOS QR allows patients to create a record of emergency health information and then generate a QR code that can be displayed on their phone’s lock screen. First responders or healthcare providers can use the code to access critical health information during an emergency. A premium version allows patients to send out SOS messages to their emergency contacts.

Although it seems like these would be good for older patients or those with complex health needs, for young active patients who might wind up with a concussion or sports injury, it’s a great idea as well. It took me all of three minutes to create my record and there’s a certain peace of mind knowing that if I get loopy during my next half marathon, someone might have access to better data than what I illegibly scribbled on the back of my race number bib. Humetrix announced their Tensio app at the Consumer Electronics Show and they’ll have it at HIMSS. I’m looking forward to seeing how they use HealthKit data to engage patients for disease management.

The annual HIStalk guide to HIMSS is out and lists sponsor booth numbers as well as blurbs about swag and other giveaways. Several sponsors are donating to charities if you stop by, so be sure to visit AirStrip, Divurgent, and Orion. The Guide is also a great way to plan your route for complimentary drinks and snacks (cocktails at Billian’s, coffee at First Databank, scones at MedData, smoothies at PatientKeeper, and of course candy at PerfectServe). HCS Health Care Software, Inc. is hosting “a night of baseball, beer, and burgers” near Wrigley Field – check out the Guide to see what else you might be missing.

What’s your HIMSS15 exhibit hall battle plan? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne. clip_image003

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April 6, 2015 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment

Startup CEOs and Investors: Bruce Brandes

All I Needed to Know to Disrupt Healthcare I Learned from “Seinfeld”: Part IV – Are You the Master of Your Domain? 
By Bruce Brandes


Was it Freud or Costanza who once said, “The ego is not master in its own house”? Ah yes, Sigmund Freud. Costanza said something else about being master of one’s domain. George Costanza also once rebuked George Steinbrenner for destroying the institution of the New York Yankees "all for the glorification of your massive ego”.

For an entrepreneur, ego is both a critical ingredient in the recipe to build success as well as a foundational risk to predestine failure. A keen self-awareness of when to intentionally fortify one’s ego versus the appropriate time to acknowledge the fine line between self-confidence and pride in order to relinquish one’s ego may dictate your fate as an early stage company.  

Today we will discuss the importance of knowing when to have an ego … and its corollary of knowing when to check your ego.

Know When to Have an Ego


When you first come up with an idea or start a new venture, expect a resounding chorus of naysayers to tell you every reason why your assumptions are flawed, no one will buy from you, someone else has already solved the problem better than you could, etc. In the early days, the entrepreneur must maintain enough self-confidence and commitment to ignore detractors.  

When AirStrip was conceived in 2004, think about what mobility meant. There were no iPhones, no tablets, no texts, no apps, no 4G speed. People carried flip phones, and if they were really progressive, they had a BlackBerry for emails. Remember the Palm Pilot? And yet the AirStrip founders were building a business betting that soon most everyone would be carrying a mobile device in their pocket that could eliminate the traditional geographical boundaries that have restricted healthcare.  

Further, we would have to rely on securing the attention and support from large, closed EMR and medical device companies to collaborate with — what was essentially at the time — two guys in a garage. Not many people inside or outside the industry could embrace their vision at the time. Committed to their mission and confident in their vision and abilities, Cameron Powell and Trey Moore tuned out the noise, relied on sage guidance from trusted advisors, and maintained their focus to deliver.

Two years later, not only had they secured multiple patents and FDA clearances, AirStrip delivered live clients that reported actual clinical and financial outcomes. Their progress attracted attention from a global healthcare technology company which signed a distribution agreement to sell AirStrip’s first product. Like Kramer ignoring Elaine’s negativity regarding his idea for a coffee table book about coffee tables, the AirStrip founders had enough ego to overcome cynics to earn early validation that they were on the right path.  

Further fortifying their boldness, a year later Trey had the vision to go “all in” on switching all development at the time to the newly announced iOS platform. Cameron had the intestinal fortitude to fire his Fortune 100 partner by canceling their distribution contract, believing that we could sell these innovations better ourselves by building our own team. Both of these bold strategies attracted a new round of confused critics.  The following years would prove these decisions to be key factors foundational to AirStrip’s market success.

Believe in what you are doing and let your passion and growth mindset bolster your self-confidence.

Know When to Check Your Ego


While it is certainly important to have an ego, it is equally as important to know when to check your ego.  

The best entrepreneurs surround themselves with others possessing complementary skills and experiences. Be honest with yourself to know your own shortcomings. Diversify your leadership team to actively invite alternate points of view to support you make the best decisions. Recognize that the skills required to launch a new venture are different than the skills needed to scale a company, which are different from those needed to manage a mature organization.  

At AirStrip, after we secured Series A funding, our new investor wanted to hire a seasoned CEO to take that role from the founders. Cameron loved the company enough to bring in a proven healthcare technology executive to become CEO and catalyze the organization to a new level and scale, with Cameron enthusiastically serving as chief medical officer for the now rapidly growing company.

In contrast, consider the fate of the founder of a fantastic organization of which I was part in the early to mid 1990s. Many industry old-timers may fondly remember Enterprise Systems (or ESi) as a fast-growing, fun-loving pioneer of best-in-class resource management software for materials management and surgical services.  

As the company grew and took on outside investors, the founder and CEO, who passionately built an incredible business (which benefited earlier from his strong will and ego) resisted the changes needed to best position the company for its next chapter of growth. He was unfortunately removed from his own company, which created the opportunity for Glen Tullman, in his first healthcare CEO gig, to lead the organization through a successful IPO and eventual sale to HBOC.

Trusting the right investor is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur will make to guide a founder’s understanding of his or her best evolving role. The wisdom of our Series A investor at AirStrip was invaluable as the company expanded leadership and attracted subsequent follow-on investment to give our founders confidence their company was in good hands as their roles changed.

After opening this column with words from Freud, consider Jerry’s prescription below to George to improve his life and how it may apply to improving your business.

“You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn’t even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the university level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That’s the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That’s what I’m talking about because that’s the only way you’re going to get better.”

Only through an understanding of human behavior by considering the unexamined intersection of Sigmund Freud and Jerry Seinfeld can an entrepreneur know when to be the master of your own house versus when to be the master of your domain. This may determine whether or not you are ultimately “in” or “out.”

Bruce Brandes is managing director at Martin Ventures, serves on the board of advisors at AirStrip and Valence Health, and is entrepreneur in residence at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business.

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April 6, 2015 Startup CEOs and Investors No Comments

HIStalk Interviews Deborah Gage, CEO, Medecision

April 6, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Deborah Gage is president and CEO of Medecision.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

I joined Medecision five years ago because of my belief that the convergence of big data and workflow applications were at the core of engaging consumers, hospitals, and physicians and achieving the Triple Aim. What I loved about Medecision is that it was uniquely positioned in the market, with a legacy and a history of serving health plans and doing exactly that. As we watch the shift from volume to value, it’s clear that a series of new capabilities is needed to support that business change. That’s what we do at Medecision.


If I’m a patient or health plan member, what do I see firsthand as my provider or my health plan implements population health management?

I’m so glad you asked me that question because it’s the single thing that we at Medecision are focusing on more than ever as we look at how we build capabilities for all of our clients who are bearing risk.

What patients should see changing very soon is transparency of data — the ability to see greater alignment, information, and decision-making between the previously fragmented players in the system, whether it be hospitals, physicians, the extended care team, providers of DME products, etc.

Consumers will soon be seeing mobile applications like one that we’re market testing right now — our InCircle product, in western Massachusetts – that will present their full electronic health records, that will be real time, and that will allow them to take charge and control of their health and the services that they need to maintain their health. It will all be much more seamless, transparent, and effective, but all of those three things being the Triple Aim.


Is it an unexpected benefit that consumers are becoming their own health quarterback?

I think there are a number of industry parallels that we could look at, whether it be banking, transportation, or the airline industry. Even in the business world, we’ve all become our own secretary. Yes, it is a natural outgrowth, but I think it’s also important to recognize that it is not easy. The work that we have to do as executives in the healthcare IT and healthcare industries is hard.

There’s an enormous amount of work that needs to be done in big data, analytics, and the engagement applications that take all of those difficult, challenging, and disparate systems and processes in healthcare and drive them to a big app that allows us to take charge of our health, to make decisions, and to share that information with those who we share the responsibility for our health with, whether it be a family member or a whole series of different providers if we have a chronic condition. That is really the Holy Grail — the ability to have information at our fingertips when we need it and be able to share it with everyone who has an important role in helping us maintain and improve our health.


Our interoperability goals have been paternalistic, where we expected providers to figure out how to share information without patient involvement. Is there more of an expectation that patients become responsible for their own information sharing rather than having somebody else do it invisibly behind the scenes?

All parties have an obligation for privacy and security. It’s something that we’re seeing in the headlines every day and that we’re all focused on. The challenge now is to push through those challenges and opportunities so that the consumer can become the quarterback of their care. Not only are there important issues to be dealt with from a regulatory, compliance, and privacy perspective, but also technology needs that will enable all of that to occur. That’s what we’re about at Medecision. It’s very rewarding after a 20-odd year career to see the pieces coming together from legislation all the way through consumer engagement.


In the old days, a technology vendor sold only to a specific niche, such as ambulatory practices or health plans. Now companies like Medecision have products for hospitals, practices, and health plans. Is is more difficult from a sales, marketing, and product development standpoint to serve all those markets?

It is very difficult. It is our everyday challenge.

When we engage in a dialog with a customer or a prospective customer, the first thing we have to figure out is where they are on the maturity scale from volume to value. How are they thinking about making the journey? That’s our first challenge. We know that we have the tools, the capability, the people, and the clinical components necessary to help our customers, but our challenge is meeting them where they are today and leading them to where they need to be in their business transformation.

It’s an enormous challenge. It’s far more than technical. It involves having consultative skills.

The irony, as has always been the case, is that technology is not the limiting factor. It’s more about how we view the change process, how we finance that, and how we manage it as individuals and as organizations. That’s where we’re focused — helping our customers make that transformation from volume to value and doing it in a way that is not only least disruptive, but provides the greatest return. Not only for them, but for their members and patients — the consumer.


What’s your experience in getting the data that you need from other systems, such as provider EHRs?

We have some very good experience. We have probably five use cases today where we are integrating data across multiple systems — EMR systems, claims systems, practice management systems, all of the historically disparate systems — to power population health and consumer engagement.

There are some interoperability barriers that tend to be as much policy oriented. We find that to be the case from time to time. But by and large, we are experiencing significant success in creating broad data sets across multiple sources for use in more effectively managing population health and engaging consumers. The going is much better today than it was three years ago and I expect it to accelerate incrementally almost by the month.


Your Aerial platform offers Web services and published APIs. Are you seeing, or hoping to see, other system vendors embrace those technologies as Medecision has?

The organizations that are going to be successful in the future in population health will recognize that transparency and interoperability — whether that be at the technical level such as APIs or at the policy level – are an absolute requirement for success. We’ve embraced it wholeheartedly. I came here five years ago. We started opening our APIs. We’ve gone from a handful of APIs back then to hundreds and we’re going to continue to do that.

That being said, a lot of companies view their capabilities as intellectual property. We view our capabilities as the combination of clinical expertise, technology expertise, and engagement expertise in how to engage providers and consumers in achieving the Triple Aim. It’s how all of those things come together, not whether or not you have them, that will ultimately make the company successful and the industry successful.


That seems true in other industries, such as when competing banks agreed to participate in the Visa network and everybody’s markets grew exponentially. Is the healthcare business case not as clear or are participants trying too hard to demand direct benefit for everything they share?

Being an economist, I think it’s fundamentally a problem associated with the economic structures in the industry. So long as we maintain a fee-for-service model as a primary or dominant model in our system, that economic relationship is in part what creates the barriers to free, open information exchange.

Using the banking analogy, there were regulatory things that had to occur. Some of those have occurred in healthcare. I’m sure others will continue to be promulgated to ensure that we have interoperability and transparency in a way that will make a real difference for American consumers. In the end, businesses like Medecision and others will figure out how to succeed, thrive, and prosper as we are subject to those rules.


We forced providers to behave as competitive businesses, but then we expect them to not be too cutthroat. Are the competitive lines becoming blurred?

We’re seeing so many different approaches across the industry. It’s just a time of experimentation. We have customers who have shared savings programs with just a small amount of economic risk transferring between the parties to create incentives. We’re seeing fully clinically integrated networks agreeing to share openly all of their information.

The answer to your question is yes. We are seeing a broad range of economic and business models being experimented with across the industry. I’m likening it to the gold rush. Everybody is in a covered wagon. Some people haven’t pulled off of the East Coast yet. We’ve got a few that have made it to California. But nobody’s found gold.


It must be tough to develop a company strategy as the industry unrolls in different directions. How do you create a multi-year strategic plan and what does it look like for Medecision?

Thank you for asking that question, because while it’s an obvious question and one that we deal with every day and discuss with our board, the answer is pretty simple. The risk-bearing entities of the future — whether they were originally a health plan, an integrated delivery system, a physician, or some other entity — need three things in order to be successful. Our business strategy is focused on those three core pillars of capability – big data and analytics, clinical decision support, and engagement applications.

While some of our customers may only use one of those three pillars today because of their readiness or their place on the journey to value-based care, we know that ultimately they will need those three capabilities. We will begin where they are and help them along the way on their journey to value-based care.

That’s our strategy. It’s a difficult one to execute on, but it’s one that Medecision has had success with historically. We expect to continue to have success as we help our clients along the journey.


Do you have any final thoughts?

A very important component of success for all of us in the industry, and particularly for Medecision, is around the ability to innovate. Our focus on innovation at Medecision over the past five years has been a significantly differentiating factor for us. We’re helping our clients win, and winning in the market, because we have innovative new solution capabilities, consulting services, and other components that help our customers transform their business.

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April 6, 2015 Interviews No Comments

Morning Headlines 4/6/15

April 5, 2015 Headlines 2 Comments

Allscripts To Pay $10M To End Investor Suit Over Merger Woes

Allscripts will pay $10 million to settle a class action lawsuit with its shareholders stemming from its 2010 Eclipsys acquisition, which shareholders say was presented with overly optimistic integration plans and revenue projections.

Premier comments on ONC Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap

Premier comments on ONC’s interoperability roadmap, suggesting that ONC develop comprehensive interoperability standards and mandate EHR vendor compliance through its EHR certification criteria.

Forbes Hospital prepares for digital transformation

Forbes Hospital (PA), which was acquired by Highmark in 2013, will go live with Epic on April 11, moving off paper and onto its first full EHR.

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April 5, 2015 Headlines 2 Comments

Monday Morning Update 4/6/15

April 5, 2015 News 7 Comments

Top News




Allscripts will pay $10 million to settle a 2012 class action lawsuit in which investors accused the company of hiding problems after its 2010 acquisition of Eclipsys. Allscripts unsuccessfully filed to dismiss the case, saying that its executives didn’t intend to deceive shareholders with their “unspecific puffery,” “immaterial optimism,” and “vague aspiration.” I didn’t realize until just now that the lawsuit extensively quoted parts of my 2010 interview with former Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman and former Eclipsys CEO Phil Pead right before the announcement.

The lawsuit accuses the company of painting an overly rosy picture of how Allscripts would absorb the Eclipsys people and integrate its products, pointing out the extensive head-rolling that followed (head of sales, CTO, COO, board chair, three directors, the CFO, the president, Pead, and finally Tullman) and revenue projections that required tripling Sunrise sales even as prospects held back because of a bad 5.5 release and uncertain integration progress. The suit also quoted internal company witnesses who said Allscripts canceled its reseller agreement with Medicity and chose instead what the witness said was the inferior product of dbMotion (which Allscripts acquired in March 2013 for $235 million) and laid out an ugly story of Tullman steamrolling those who questioned him, executives who believed the incorrect information being fed to them by subordinates, salespeople unable to make quotas because of product deficiencies, hospitals with increasing ambulatory needs either replacing their Allscripts practice EHRs or moving to Epic, Pead losing his job after failing to get Tullman fired, and customer unhappiness with product releases and integration. It’s a pretty fascinating read even allowing for the fact that it’s just one side of the story. It’s probably reflective of that tumultuous time in the company’s history that it won the HISsies “Smartest Vendor Action Taken” category in both 2013 and 2014 for taking the same action in both preceding years – firing its executive team.

Reader Comments

From Sturges: “Re: Epic-Mayo deal. Epic supposedly bought Mayo’s data center for $45 million and is leasing it back to them at an infinitesimal cost. Buying Mayo’s business?” Unverified.


From Pickle Loaf: “Re: IBM’s new provider apps. I heard they developed these for Tenet originally. They look nice, but came out of nowhere and IBM didn’t commit to integration or ongoing maintenance. Companies, especially those new to healthcare, often jump to mobility as just another interface without considering the app itself.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Poll respondents say the most important reason they would avoid doing business with a startup is the fear that the company isn’t financially viable. That might be a surprise to startups that think they are failing mostly because they don’t have reference sites. New poll to your right or here: what should happen to ONC’s certification program after MU Stage 3?

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Burwood Group. The Chicago-based consulting firm’s healthcare business offers help with clinical collaboration, adoption, regulatory compliance, medical device strategy and integration, and strategic planning. The company’s client roster includes Palomar Health (which hired the company to develop the infrastructure strategy for its new 740,000 square foot hospital of the future) and North Shore-LIJ Health (for which the company created a far-reaching clinical collaboration and communications strategy). The company’s healthcare leadership team is available for meetings at the HIMSS conference. Thanks to Burwood Group for supporting HIStalk.

Interesting people will be meeting and greeting in our tiny HIMSS booth (it’s as small and sparsely furnished as my 11-year-old econobox car) including authors, CIOs, and other characters that I think are interesting. I’ll consider giving you an hour to meet your fans if you email me describing why you in fact have fans (or if you don’t have them, why you think you should). We don’t have anything to sell or business to conduct, so we’re just hanging out there as I try to forget how much it’s costing. I’ll run a schedule of who’s dropping by later this week. I know the Walking Gallery folks are meeting there.


Find out what HIStalk sponsors are doing at the HIMSS conference by checking out our guide.


Join Jenn and our patient advocate HIMSS conference scholarship winners for an #HIStalking tweet chat Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET. @LAlupuslady, @woodymatters, @leffet_papillon, @carlyRM and @bostonheartmom will talk about patient engagement, advocacy, and healthcare IT. You can brush up on their backgrounds here. They’ll be wearing their Walking Gallery tee shirts at the conference as they follow a busy schedule of interviews, meetings, and exhibit hall cruising.

I saw a restaurant menu the other day that had sections labeled “nibbles” and “drinkies.” I like to think it was intentionally self-ironic, but I passed anyway since maybe they’re just clueless. I’m not eating anywhere that leans hard on grammatical cutesiness, like writing “veggies,” “sammies,” or anything in the form of “Get your _____ on.” 

Thanks to the following sponsors, new and renewing, that recently supported HIStalk, HIstalk Practice, and HIStalk Connect. Click a logo for more information.


Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • IBM releases four iPhone apps for healthcare providers, although the company offered no details about integration or validation testing.
  • Two visible CIOs, Chuck Christian and Ed Marx, resigned their jobs, as did HHS CTO Bryan Sivak.
  • CommonWell announced several new vendor members.
  • In Australia, 30 doctors resigned over patient safety concerns with its new Department of Defence EHR.
  • The Senate deferred its deliberation of the SGR doc fix bill, which so far is free of ICD-10 delay language, until after its two-week vacation.


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


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel helps ZirMed celebrate the opening of its Chicago office, for which the company plans to hire 200 employees for its predictive analytics business.

Vince Ciotti covers mid-range vendors in his new series on 2014 company revenue.

Aetna SEVP Joe Zubretsky, who is in charge of the company’s Healthagen business, sells $22 million worth of stock and still holds shares worth $23 million.


image image

Pharmacy automation vendor Parata Systems promotes D.J. Dougherty to CEO. He replaces Tom Rhoads, who will become CEO of HAP Innovations, a Parata spinoff that is developing consumer medication adherence technologies.

Announcements and Implementations

Sacred Heart Hospital (FL) goes live on GetWellNetwork’s interactive patient care system.

Government and Politics

Premier’s comments on ONC’s interoperability roadmap suggest that ONC develop interoperability standards and add them to its EHR certification criteria, require EHR vendors to publish APIs, and prohibit EHR vendors from “data blocking” by charging fees to access standard information or by not providing adequate interoperability documentation. 

Privacy and Security


Indian River Medical Center (FL) blames an unnamed software vendor for a mistake that exposed the records of 30 of its patient portal users to other patients. Their patient portal appears to be from RelayHealth, but the hospital’s broad description suggests that the problem was exporting information from another system rather than the portal itself. On the EHR side, I think they used to run McKesson Horizon but migrated fairly quickly to Paragon.


Walmart’s head of payments says chip-based credit cards won’t help much with fraud and says the US banking industry’s failure to adopt a PIN-based system for credit cards (as has already been done for debit cards) is “such a joke.” Experts blame the cost of adding PINs and the fear of banks that the extra user step might reduce the use of their high-interest credit cards.



Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen tweeted this photo of the cover page of the source code from the company’s first product, BASIC, that was created 40 years ago. Microsoft was formed April 4, 1975. Allen is on the lower right in the 1978 company photo, with Bill Gates at the lower left. While you’re pondering just how long ago that was, recall that Meditech was formed six years before Microsoft in 1969.



I asked readers to send screenshots of how their system configuration would have handled the error that Bob Wachter, MD writes about in his book aimed at consumers, in which he mostly blames a ridiculous medication error on the IT systems his employer (UCSF) bought and configured rather than the people UCSF turned loose on patients with minimal experience and questionably effective training  (I wrote about the error, in which a nurse gave a peds patient 38.5 adult tablets, last week). Above is UCFS’s Epic screen, which forces the prescriber to order every drug by weight in mg/kg, a requirement they imposed along with their Epic implementation just over a year before the error. The resident was trying to enter a patient’s home med of one Septra DS tablet daily, which in UCSF’s laborious setup would require her to divide the home dose of 160 mg by the patient’s weight of 38.5 kg on a separate calculator, then enter the dose into Epic as 4.15 mg/kg to allow it to calculate the already-known dose. She screwed it up by entering the dose as 160, which as the screen plainly showed (and warned her about) would be a massive overdose (160 mg/kg x 38.5 kg, or 6,160 mg instead of the intended 160 mg). The resident and the pharmacist ignored Epic’s dose warning and the brand new nurse working on an unfamiliar unit was afraid to speak up, so she gave the patient 38.5 tablets, luckily without harm. Bob pretty much blames Epic specifically and EHR vendors generally for allowing people to make mistakes.


A CMIO reader from a children’s hospital provided this screenshot, which shows the mistake-proof way his hospital configured Epic. Prescribers can click the most common doses in either mg/kg or the overall dose, so the UCSF resident would have simply needed to click the 160 mg button and everything would have been fine. This screen makes it easy for doctors to to the right (and most common) things (note that they put the preferred dosing method first on the screen, but didn’t prevent use of the other method). This CMIO says this is the way most Epic sites do it – UCSF created a cumbersome, error-prone screen just to force doctors to order in mg/kg even when it doesn’t make sense and they could have killed their patient as a result.

The UCSF error made me recall errors I’ve seen that were caused by faulty configuration assumptions, all of which mortified the application analysts who had failed to consider the oddball exceptions or the possibility of irrational prescriber behavior:

  • Invoking peds dosing pathways as deduced from patient location. Sometimes adults get moved to a peds bed and are inadvertently dosed using pediatric formulas.
  • Invoking a particular dosing pathway as deduced by age, which caused a problem in my hospital’s 14-year-old, 300-pound patient.
  • Assuming that only adults are assigned to a particular service, such as when our 12-year-old patient was overdosed on oxytocin while in labor.
  • Complex IV order entry screens that led some doctors to simply give up and enter plain IV fluids with their desired additives entered as free-text comments.
  • Accidentally moving acetaminophen liquid to the top of the pick list, driving its usage through the roof as doctors failed to notice that tablets no longer came up first.

As the CMIO commented, you have to be very careful with the assumptions you use in creating forcing functions that limit the doctor’s options.


Forbes Hospital (PA) finally replaces paper charts and fax machines by implementing its first EHR. They’re the first Allegheny Health Network hospital to go live on Epic.The 350-bed hospital was supposed to implement Allscripts several years ago, but scrapped that plan when insurance company Highmark acquired the struggling West Penn Allegheny Health System in 2013 after an ugly ongoing fight with cross-town competitor UPMC.

A psychiatrist says patients sometimes show up for their first appointment with a folder full of Google search results about her that contain scarily personal details, also adding that ED psychiatrists often Google new patients before seeing them to make sure they aren’t dangerous or famous. She also says patients threaten doctors who refuse to give them drugs or special treatment by vowing to write negative online reviews. She adds a positive example of how overhearing patients on phone calls lets her see how they behave outside her office::

My patients arrive in my office and, like gunslingers in a saloon, unload their various electronic devices, laying them on the sofa, often two or even three, before turning them off. But there are times when the phones have to stay on: There’s a sick child at home or the boss may call. Hearing in real time patients’ responses to important figures in their lives gives me an unfiltered glimpse into those relationships. A man who sarcastically belittles his girlfriend to me is surprisingly tender speaking with her on his cellphone. An unhappy, self-deprecating executive is suddenly a confident and even commanding figure speaking with one of his subordinates. An aggressive lawyer becomes shy and awkward when speaking with his mother.


An interesting New York Times article cleverly titled “When ‘Moneyball’ Meets Medicine” describes how health economists are measuring personal, public, and global health using a sports-like measure called disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), which count not only premature deaths but also the detractive effect that chronic conditions have on good health (example: being paralyzed is half-healthy). It sounds geeky, but it isn’t — car accidents, for example, are 2.5 times worse for humanity than lung cancer, which mostly affects older people and leaves few of its sufferers with lingering disabilities. Mexico used the calculation to prioritize medical treatments that reduced DALYs the most, while Australia allocated public health spending using the method. US figures highlight several high-impact, low-fatality conditions that don’t get the research and awareness money spent on less-impactful conditions such as stroke and breast cancer — low back pain, depression, neck pain, and anxiety disorders. I’m interested in the new book called “Epic Measures: One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients” about economist, physician, and public health professor Christopher Murray, MD, DPhil, whose “Global Burden of Disease” work was funded for $100 million by Bill Gates.

Sponsor Updates

  • Sunquest hosts its Point of Care Summit April 7 in San Francisco.
  • Versus Technology offers a blog on how wireless technology works to track the spread of infection.
  • NVoq describes “The Link Between the Simple Checklist and Improved Patient Safety.”
  • Zynx Health posts “Zynx Carebook: Real People, Real Impact.”
  • MBA HealthGroup offers “5 Ways to Optimize Your Revenue Cycle on Allscripts PM.”
  • MedData offers a sneak peek at its ICD-11 conversion tool.
  • New York eHealth Collaborative will exhibit at the Health 2.0 Mental Health Digital Innovation Challenge April 8 in New York City.
  • Perceptive Software offers the third of its series on “Tips for Sustainability Progress in 2015.”
  • NTT Data posts its top five takeaways from Mobile World Congress.
  • Oneview Healthcare offers “Eight Steps to Improved Patient Experience and Outcomes.”
  • Orion Health posts “Improving Patient Care, One eReferral at a Time.”
  • Patientco offers “The Future of Patient Engagement: Going Beyond the Clinical.”
  • PMD shares “On the Cutting Edge in Anchorage.”
  • Dodge Communications interviews Porter Research President Cynthia Porter.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 5, 2015 News 7 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



Booth 4421

Contact: Jeaniene Outley, executive assistant

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

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

AirWatch by VMware


Booth 8164

Contact: Jeff Pool, director of healthcare solutions

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

Anthelio Healthcare Solutions


Booth 7132

Contact: Andrea Watson, executive sales assistant/conference coordinator

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

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

Aprima Medical Software


Booth 3020

Contact: Judy Friedman, marketing and events

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

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

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

Arcadia Healthcare Solutions


Booth 7834

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

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

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

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

Aspen Advisors, part of The Chartis Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Dan Herman, information and technology practice leader

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

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

Billian’s HealthDATA


Booth 2045

Contact: Jessica Clifton

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

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

Capsule Tech

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



Booth 4094

Contact: Christopher Marshall, COO

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

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

ChartMaxx by Quest Diagnostics


Booth 1280

Contact: Vicki Joyce, ChartMaxx Marketing Specialist

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

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

Clinical Architecture


Booth 2074

Contact: John Wilkinson, Vice President, Business Development

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

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



Booth 8191 Kiosk M-28 in the HX360 Innovation Pavilion

Contact: Michael Burke, CEO

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


2-12-2014 6-07-51 PM

Booth 4873

Contact: Jay Savaiano, director, worldwide healthcare business development

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

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



Booth 6027

Contact: Alison Bechtel, marketing manager

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

CTG Health Solutions


Booth 1580

Contact: Amanda LeBlanc, managing director, marketing and communications

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

Cumberland Consulting Group


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Dave Vreeland, partner

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

Direct Consulting Associates


To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Anthony Caponi, vice president of healthcare IT

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



Booth 1891

Contact: Keri DeSalvo, marketing manager

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

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



Booth 7832

Contact: Patrick Hall, executive vice president, business development

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


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

The HCi Group

2-14-2014 6-34-48 AM

Booth 5155

Contact: Mitch Paine, executive vice president of business development

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

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

Health Care Software (HCS)

1-15-2012 3-58-32 PM

Booth 1709

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

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

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

Health Catalyst


Booth 7545

Contact: Patty Burke, program manager

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


2-13-2014 5-06-47 PM

Booth 5273

Contact: Karen Hitchcock, director of marketing

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

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

Huron Healthcare


Contact: Casey Liakos

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

Iatric Systems


Booth 7815

Contact: Judy Volker, marketing director

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

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

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


2-4-2014 1-30-39 PM

Booth 3848

Contact: Mark Erwich, vice president, marketing

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

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

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

Influence Health


Booth 3148

Contact: Anna Powell, vice president, marketing

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


2-13-2014 5-21-18 PM

Booth 961

Contact: Jerry Hinch, director of North American marketing

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

Legacy Data Access


Booth 3455

Contact: John Hanggi, director

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



Booth 4674

Contact: Jackie Leckas, vice president, marketing

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

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



To schedule a meeting:

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

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



Booth 108

Contact: Yoni Ben-Yehuda

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


2-13-2014 5-41-24 PM

Booth 4851

Contact: Chris Farrell, vice president of marketing

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

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



Booth 1817

Contact: Tom Mitchell, vice president of marketing

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

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

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



Booth 3431

Contact: Lauren Tilelli, director of marketing

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

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

Medicomp Systems


Booth 2318

Contact: David Lareau, CEO

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

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



Booth 1699

Contact: John Pollard, senior director of marketing

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

NTT Data

2-13-2014 5-49-32 PM

Booth 3943

Contact: Larry Kaiser, senior marketing manager

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



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

Oneview Healthcare


Booth 7330

Contact: Jeff Fallon, president, North America

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

Orion Health


Booth 4435

Contact: Sam Rosenbaum, senior marketing manager

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

Park Place International

2-13-2014 5-58-32 PM

Booth 6015

Contact: Christine Mellyn, Director of Marketing


2-13-2014 6-01-16 PM

Booth 3639 in the Georgia Pavilion

Contact Josh Byrd, director of marketing

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

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



Booth 3212

Contact: Kathy Ruggiero, senior director of corporate marketing

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

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


2-13-2014 6-04-27 PM

Booth 5225

Contact: Kimberly Koss, senior operations manager

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

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


2-13-2014 6-07-28 PM

Booth 7439

Contact: Tom Hills, executive vice president, sales

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

Phynd Technologies


Booth 2084

Contact: Thomas White, CEO
855.749.6363, Ext 710

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

Porter Research, a Billian Company


Booth 2045

Contact: Cynthia Porter, president

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

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

Sagacious Consultants


Booth 1690

Contact: Jesse Adams, executive vice president

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

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

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

Sandlot Solutions

2-15-2013 8-21-02 PM

Booth 2641 & 2939

Contact: Lisa Verrecchia, marketing director

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

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

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

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

Santa Rosa Consulting


Booth 2641 & 2939

Contact: Ashley Burkhead, sales operations and marketing manager

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

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

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

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

Sunquest Information Systems

2-13-2014 6-30-12 PM

Booth 923

Contact: Ajay Kapare, director, marketing


2-13-2014 6-44-51 PM

Booth 4390

Contact: Eric Pearlman, director of business development

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


2-13-2014 6-47-43 PM

Booth 3239

Contact: Robin Schroeder-Janonis, vice president of sales

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

Valence Health

2-14-2014 6-02-18 AM

Booth 5073

Contact: Kevin Weinstein, chief growth officer

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

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

Versus Technology

2-14-2014 6-04-01 AM

Booth 2053

Contact: Stephanie Bertschy, director of marketing

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

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



Booth 7139

Contact: Julie Bastien, marketing director

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

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



To schedule a meeting:

Contact: Marc Grossman, principal

Wellsoft Corp.

2-14-2014 6-09-07 AM

Booth 1742

Contact: Denise Helfand, vice president, sales and marketing

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

Wolters Kluwer Health


Booth 8103

Contact: Alyssa Lamoreaux, director of communications

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


2-14-2014 6-26-16 AM

Booth 4426

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

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

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

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

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April 4, 2015 News No Comments

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

April 3, 2015 Readers Write 3 Comments

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles Settles is a product analyst at TechnologyAdvice.

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April 3, 2015 Readers Write 3 Comments

HIStalk Interviews Lalo Valdez, CEO, Stella Technology

April 3, 2015 Interviews 2 Comments

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


Tell me about yourself and the company.

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


What interoperability projects are health systems working on?

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


What do you think about ONC’s interoperability roadmap?

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

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


Will document-based exchange eventually become obsolete?

Absolutely, and I look forward to that day.


What will interoperability technology look like in a few years?

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


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

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


What common problems do HIEs need help with?

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


Do you have any final thoughts?

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

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April 3, 2015 Interviews 2 Comments

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