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An HIT Moment with … Joe DeSantis

July 7, 2014 Interviews 4 Comments

An HIT Moment with ... is a quick interview with someone we find interesting. Joe DeSantis is vice president of HealthShare Platforms of InterSystems of Cambridge, MA.

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What interoperability benefits do healthcare organizations seek beyond just connecting systems, and what progress have they made?

First off, I think it’s important to say what we mean by interoperability. At the most tactical level, it means you can pass a clinical document from one system to another.

We think of it as something much more strategic to the organization. Sharing all health information, including financial and operational data, to achieve strategic objectives. If you have a platform that can view data as discrete elements and not simply as documents, you can support advanced analytics, decision support, rules, and other use cases. With robust connectivity, you can use your data in real time within the context of your existing workflows. And you have a foundation for creating new applications that work together and extend the capabilities of the entire system.

Our customers use our health informatics platform, called HealthShare, to achieve strategic interoperability and create an infrastructure of connected care solutions, not just to address their current challenges, but those that haven’t yet emerged. For example, North Shore-LIJ, one of the nation’s largest health systems and the largest in New York State, has harnessed strategic interoperability to improve care for its obstetrical population. This includes information sharing and care coordination among more than 100 providers, three outpatient EHRs, two inpatient EHRs, and two prenatal imaging centers. They share a coordinated record, dynamically identify members of the high-risk pool, and use alerts to notify providers of gaps in care. And, for a rapidly growing health system, North Shore-LIJ knows the platform can support its long-term needs.

On a regional or national level, strategic interoperability is essential to public health management. One statewide health information network, built on our platform, was able to reduce the time needed to report on a regional disease outbreak from several months to a few hours.

 

Describe the relationship between interoperability, population health management, and patient engagement.

Population health management and patient engagement are long-term goals for healthcare organizations. Both concepts are relatively new and important. They both offer the promise of helping to address the enormous issues related to chronic and lifestyle-related health problems. Neither is well defined yet.

Interoperability, or more importantly, strategic interoperability, is also a long-term goal. It differs from the others in that no one is really interested in interoperability for its own sake. They are interested in what they can do once they have it.

Population health management is about understanding the entire community served by your healthcare organization, not just the patients you have encountered. It is not a one-size-fits-all problem. There are no true off-the-shelf population health management applications. Instead, there are extensive services you can buy under the guise of a product.

The best approach to population health management, in my opinion, is to think of it as a collection of smaller, interlocking issues. The solution will be to deploy a number of focused applications, some from vendors, some custom built. These applications will need to work together and be integrated within the existing health information systems and workflows. This is why you need strategic interoperability to address this problem.

Patient engagement is about giving patients the tools to take charge of their own health. Again, strategic interoperability plays a big part. If you can provide a complete view of the patient’s information – not simply regurgitating test results from a single EHR – and if you can make services available to the patient within this context, like making appointments, education, communicating with providers, then you have something of value to offer your patient community. And coincidentally, you have a component of your population health management solution.

 

How is HealthShare different from other HIE, integration, and analytics solutions?

HIE, integration, and analytics products are, in general, single-issue solutions, each requiring separate management and often its own database. These solutions proliferate within organizations, ultimately contributing to information silos rather than addressing the fundamental challenges of healthcare.

HealthShare is above all a unified software platform designed for information sharing. The platform provides three important capabilities. It gives the ability to manage and store all kinds of data – relational, object, XML, unstructured – in a reliable, efficient, and interoperable manner. It provides connectivity – applications to applications, applications to users and devices, and users with communities. It provides insight, through analytics, as an embedded part of the entire platform. This gives our customers the ability to solve big problems.

One of the other key differentiators between individual solutions and a platform like ours is that once an organization adopts HealthShare, they have almost limitless growth options and multiple paths to success. They can implement a robust application module such as our Clinician Viewer. They can build out their own applications. And they can purchase HealthShare-based solutions from our many software partners.

 

What types of alerts are possible?

We refer to alerts as smart notifications, and again, the possibilities are nearly limitless. Because HealthShare aggregates, normalizes, and enhances all kinds of data in near real time, alerting capabilities are only bounded by your user base and your data investment.

Sometimes the simplest alerts offer the most rapid return on investment. For example, In Rhode Island, primary care doctors receive smart notifications when their patients are admitted or discharged from the hospital so they can properly manage care after discharge. They’ve measured a drop of more than 16 percent in 30-day readmissions for patients whose doctors subscribed to the alerts.

 

Many companies are selling analytics solutions. What factors will make specific vendors and their customers successful?

We have found that organizations that follow four important steps – capture, share, understand, and act – are more likely to achieve breakthroughs. Your organization first needs to capture health-related information. Then you have to share this information in a meaningful way among systems, applications, providers, organizations, and communities. The data, both structured and unstructured, must then be analyzed and understood.

Then you are ready to act. You can use the results to drive transformative action within your organization. For both vendors and customers, these four steps will be critical to success.

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July 7, 2014 Interviews 4 Comments

Morning Headlines 7/7/14

July 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Fireside chat with Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin sit down with VC legend Vinod Khosla at the annual Khosla Ventures CEO Summit. The three discuss a wide range of topics, including health IT, of which Sergey Brin says, “Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent. But I think the regulatory burden in the U.S. is so high that think it would dissuade a lot of entrepreneurs.”

Triangle hospitals go Epic with multimillion-dollar software

A Raleigh-Durham, NC paper looks back on the Epic migrations at the area’s three largest academic hospitals.

How webcams in Syria’s bombarded hospitals offer a lifeline for war victims

Physicians in the US, Canada, England, and Saudi Arabia are providing telehealth support to ICU units in war torn Syrian hospitals. 50 percent of Syria’s physicians have fled, leaving behind overcrowded ICU’s with no physicians.

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July 6, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 7/7/14

July 5, 2014 News 6 Comments

Top News

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Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (net worth: $31 billion each) don’t seem too excited about moving Google into healthcare (again) despite recent developments with Google Fit. Brin, responding to a question about the company’s experimental glucose-reading contact lenses, says, “Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent. But I think the regulatory burden in the US is so high that think it would dissuade a lot of entrepreneurs.” He’s probably talking specifically about FDA-approved medical devices, but that’s not clear. Page repeats his claim that data mining would save lives, although in this iteration he puts the number at 10,000 saved lives in the first year rather than the 100,000 he gave several times previously. You know healthcare is a mess when the guys who can take pictures of every street in the US and make self-driving cars can’t figure out how to crack the bureaucracy and special interests. On the other hand, their own efforts with Google Health and Google Flu Trends were pathetic, so maybe that just gives credence to the argument that it’s easy to criticize healthcare when you don’t know much about it.


Reader Comments

From Fort Apache: “Re: Dim-Sum’s comments about DoD claims processing and Epic. Kaiser is implementing Epic’s Tapestry Claims Payment System (AP Claims) throughout the country for all of their business. Epic won’t need to find a third-party partner for the DoD bid.” Verified.

From SQSUX: “Re: Riverside, IL. I spoke to the lab director — they are moving to Epic and Beaker.” Unverified. I will note the apparent trend, however, that hospitals previously wary of Beaker’s readiness seem more inclined to replace incumbent their incumbent LISs, even best-of-breed ones, with Beaker given that it carries no additional license fee, it has a theoretical integration advantage (whether that’s real depends on who you ask), and gives the hospital a single vendor to contact for support. I doubt that implementing Beaker is ever the favorite option of the lab director, but he or she is often pressured by hospital administration to justify why Beaker isn’t “good enough” given the perceived advantages outside the lab. I’d be interested in hearing from a lab director who’s made the switch and what was gained and lost from the lab’s perspective since I know the issue is coming up a lot.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows 9. ‘Threshold’ is the code name for the upcoming release of Windows 9 next year. Microsoft will be bringing back a new version of the their popular Start Menu that many currently miss in their present Windows version.” The hard drive of my main computer, an Asus desktop, failed last week. I found a suitable replacement desktop PC on clearance at Office Depot for around $400 that met my minimal specs (8GB memory, 1TB hard drive, USB 3.0). It had Windows 8.1 pre-loaded with a change that bypasses the Metro tile display as its default. My suggestion is to not obsess with the Windows 8.1 changes and don’t do something silly like wipe the drive and reinstall Windows 7 just to avoid learning something slightly new when most people only barely interact with the OS anyway. Everybody knows that every other version of Windows is crap and that’s been the case since the late 1990s, but at least this latest Windows 8 kludge upgrade fixes Microsoft’s colossal blunder in trying to force a tile-based mobile interface on the vast majority of computer users who don’t have (and don’t want) a touch screen for desktop use. My only hesitation was whether to buy a laptop or a desktop and I went with the latter – even though they are a dying breed, I like having lots of USB ports without needing a hub, easy dual-monitor support, and having all the wires under the desk instead of on top of it.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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More than half of respondents to my poll would recommend the Epic-IBM EHR package to the Department of Defense. The skeptic in me wonders if the large number of participants suggests vendor vote-urging. New poll to your right (or here): does your PCP offer a patient portal and have you used it in the past six months?

Listening: new post-grunge from South Africa-based Seether, which has been rocking a Nirvana-ish sound since 2002.

A few readers reported seeing pop-up ads (some with audio) when visiting HIStalk-related sites, to which I always suggested running an antivirus/spyware scan since it wasn’t happening for me. I tracked it down – the company that provided the hit counter that displayed at the lower right of the page (the “8 million visits since June 20, 2003” text) had slipped in some sneaky ad software in Javascript that could hijack the page, so I replaced it. The page loads faster and the hijacking problem is fixed, with the only downside being that the new stats package I installed can’t display the cumulative total on the page.

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Welcome to new HIStalk and HIStalk Practice Platinum Sponsor GE Healthcare. The company offers healthcare IT products in enterprise imaging (Centricity RIS, PACS, Clinical Archive, and Centricity 360 collaboration), care delivery management (Centricity EMR and PM, Perioperative Manager, Perioperative Anesthesia, Perinatal), population health management solutions, revenue cycle management, financial risk management, EDI and claims processing, contract modeling and management, activity-based costing, and utilization management. Thanks to GE Healthcare for supporting HIStalk and HIStalk Practice.

Here’s an overview video of GE Healthcare IT that I found on YouTube. I think it’s the same one mentioned in their sponsor ad.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Orion Health is considering going public with an IPO on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, with an unnamed source suggesting a value of around $440 million US.  


Sales

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CaroMont Health (NC) contracts with Mercy Technology Services to implement its Epic system. MTS is the IT services division of Mercy, the 33-hospital Catholic system that is accredited as the first Epic Connect provider. The health system provides implementation, hosting, application management, consulting, and analytics. MTS also provides its model of Epic that includes its own customizations, or as it says, “Unlike Epic’s out-of-the-box base model, Mercy’s system contains years of enhancements driven by the physicians and nurses who use it.”


People 

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Amy Abernethy, MD, PhD (Duke Medicine) is named CMO/SVP Oncology of oncology data technology vendor Flatiron Health, which recently raised $130 million from Google Ventures. She is also on athenahealth’s board of directors and will retain a part-time oncology role at Duke. Amy is a regular HIStalk reader and we’ve decided that an interview might be fun.  

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Urgent care EMR vendor DocuTAP hires Bryan Koch (Greenway Health) as EVP of revenue cycle management.


Government and Politics

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NIH awards a four-year, $43 million grant to form the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Network, which will use genetic and clinical screening to focus on diseases that affect as few as 50 people in the entire world.

The VA signs a three-year, $162 million contract with  Accenture’s ASM Research to support VistA and develop web-based access to Vista’s CPRS patient record system.

A Washington Post analysis finds that 90 percent of the emails intercepted by the National Security Agency came from ordinary US citizens rather than suspected terrorists, some of them including medical records emailed between family members. The agency’s tools can sniff data from all voice and data networks and can extract email information from Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, all without requiring a probable cause warrant.


Technology

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An Inc. article says that Facebook’s declining usage makes it a target for startup competitors that won’t sell the personal data of their users. According to one startup CEO, Facebook has three big problems: “The first one is privacy–you want to be able to communicate without having your communication monitored and monetized. The second is monopoly. You don’t have open competition; you have somebody who controls who wins and who loses and how much they charge for the service. There is no way a social network should be a monopoly–everybody suffers, from the vendors to the consumers. And that’s the third problem: It really stifles innovation." The article predicts replacement apps that allow users to control (and sell, if they want) their own information, declaring, “If this is the information age, then information has value. And if it has value, how come everybody has it but us?”  The parallels to healthcare data are significant.


Other

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A New York Times article points out that insurance company UnitedHealth plays both sides of Medicare hospital payments as it pays hospitals less than they’d like via its Medicare Advantage plans but also charges hospitals via its Executive Health Resources subsidiary (acquired in 2010) to help them justify higher payments from Medicare.

Milwaukee Health Services (WI) receives a $190,000 city loan to upgrade its GE Healthcare EHR to earn Meaningful Use incentives. The community health center spent $3.1 million on its previous Pearl EHR from Atlanta-based Business Computer Applications, Inc., which it sued in a dispute over being locked out of its system over unpaid invoices. BCA, which did a lot of government work with CDC and NIH and sold EHR systems to prisons, was acquired in February 2014 by government contractor Acentia.

The Raleigh, NC newspaper covers local implementation of Epic at all three major systems:  UNC Healthcare, Duke University Health System, and WakeMed. It also mentions Epic-related billing problems at Cone Health and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, but WakeMed says its clean bill rates jumped from 80 percent to 96 percent after moving practices to Epic. Like most things in life, it’s not what you have but how you use it.

ICU telemedicine services are saving lives in war-torn Syria, where the both the government and rebel forces are accused of bombing hospitals that they claim are harboring opposing forces. The US-based Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) started a telemedicine program last year to alleviate a shortage of doctors to care for ICU patients, most of them civilians injured by randomly dropped barrel bombs. Doctors from Canada, England, the US, and Saudi Arabia use Skype and webcams to oversee ICU patients and offer suggestions during surgeries. Syria previously had one of the Middle East’s best healthcare systems but has lost half of its doctors. Another 460 healthcare professionals have been killed in 156 hospital attacks, 90 percent of them carried out by government forces.

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The Federation of State Medical Boards issues a telemedicine-focused model state policy that would make it easier for doctors to obtain licenses in multiple states. Expedited licensure would be available for certified specialists with no history of disciplinary problems. The patient’s location at the time of the encounter would determine which state’s medical regulations would apply. FSMB subject matter Alexis Gilroy, JD mentioned this change when I interviewed her in May. This is a great and potentially quickly implemented alternative to national licensure, allowing doctors to practice in multiple states (telemedicine, referrals from other locations) without having to apply for licensure state by state.

Weird News Andy calls out the sad story of a veteran who died waiting for an ambulance while he was inside a VA hospital. The man collapsed in the cafeteria of the Albuquerque VA hospital, but hospital policy required him to be transported by ambulance to its ED, just 500 yards from where he went down. Employees called 911 and performed CPR in the cafeteria during the 15-20 minute wait for the ambulance. The hospital is reviewing its policy, but despite the negative press, it’s pretty much standard in every hospital I’ve worked in. You can’t have ED people leaving the building (and their patients) to sprint down the sidewalk with a gurney. The article didn’t say whether those performing CPR were clinicians with code cart support, and if so, the outcome was probably predetermined regardless of location.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.

 

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July 5, 2014 News 6 Comments

Morning Headlines 7/3/14

July 2, 2014 Headlines 6 Comments

Big cyber hack of health records is ‘only a matter of time’

A Politico report interviews IT security experts who fear that health IT is primed for a massive cyberattack on par with the recent headline grabbing attacks on Target and Yahoo. Experts say that medical records are worth far more on the black market than credit card data, and the infastructure protecting the data is far more vulnerable  to attack.

Veterans Affairs Selects ASM Research to Modernize Electronic Health Records

Accenture signs a three-year $162 million VA contract to support and enhance VistA. Accenture will provide workflow analysis, software development, implementation, and end-user training. The project will address interoperability and data security, and will provide an enhanced web-based user interface to the Computerized Patient Record System used by VA clinicians.

Executive Insights on Healthcare Technology Safety, 2014 Report

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation has teamed up with the ECRI institute to publish a healthcare technology safety report. The 2014 edition, its inaugural report, focuses on alarm systems, Luer connectors, cybersecurity, batteries, and recalls.

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July 2, 2014 Headlines 6 Comments

Morning Headlines 7/2/14

July 2, 2014 News No Comments

 Billionaire With Achy Knees Cashing In on Health Data

Bloomberg profiles InterSystems and its owner Terry Ragon, whose net worth has soared to $3.1 billion since starting the company.

NextGen Healthcare and Mirth Launch Enterprise Interoperability Platform

Quality Systems Inc., parent company to both NextGen and Mirth, announces a new interoperability offering that allows NextGen customers to leverage Mirth’s interoperability platform to meet Stage 2 MU data exchange requirements.

Tale of two health care websites: Minnesota presses on; Maryland moves on

Minnesota health leaders say they will stand by its problematic health insurance exchange website despite calls for its replacement and reports that only 26 of 73 site functions are working. Deloitte has been contracted to repair the troubled site.

Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2015

PwC forecasts a 0.3 percent increase in healthcare spending for 2015, citing EHR investments and the overall economic recovery as drivers. The report goes on to say that value-based reimbursement models and integrated care delivery networks appear to be helping contain the cost inflation.

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July 2, 2014 News No Comments

News 7/2/14

July 1, 2014 News 10 Comments

Top News

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Bloomberg profiles InterSystems founder and owner Terry Ragon, net worth $3.1 billion, and the connections he has with other early healthcare IT companies such as eScription and IDX.


Reader Comments

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From Illinois Blago: “Re: Riverside in IL. Moving from McKesson to Epic.” Unverified.

From GhostofEclipsys: “Re: Allscripts. In an effort to reduce costs as sales continue to wane, the company is considering outsourcing its client education and training group this fall. This has not worked well for other HIT companies and is an often quoted reason for not selecting a vendor during RFP. Clients want training by experts from inside the four walls who have critical relationships with engineering, not the B-team outsourcer. The Allscripts education team has won several awards for client education nationally.” Unverified.

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From Block and Tackle: “Re: Self Regional Healthcare. Has had three days of Allscripts Enterprise downtime due to a known issue involving a patch. I’m curious if readers have had similar experiences with Allscripts Enterprise.” Unverified.

From Nasty Parts: “Phytel laid off a large number of people today. Rumor has it that the primary VC wants their $40M investment back and that Premier backed out of a deal to buy Phytel. I hear Phytel wants $225M and Premier wants to only pay $165M. So, today’s layoffs are to help the company get to a more profitable number that can justify the larger purchase price.” Unverified.

From Furydelabongo: “Re: athenahealth. The Belfast, ME office is bringing in a local primary care practice, Searsport Family Medicine,  to serve as the clinic practice for their employees as well as be a test site for new functionality.” Unverified.


DoD EHR Update from Dim-Sum

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DHMSM status and latest rumors in the halls of bedlam, located “just to the right” of K Street. Sorry about he delay, I have been rather busy.

  • June marked the date where the DHMSM vendors will finally peruse a more comprehensive assessment of what each and every vendor will have to endeavor.
  • Great job Captain W and your respective team – The REAL RFP will be dropped September 2014.
  • One can only hope that your DHMSM team’s work will allay the fears and will fuel the excitement of those that are crazy brave and yet confident to move forward with this unique EHR experience
  • Rumors are ringing about the Womack ousting. In all sincerity, I believe that all three impact solution teams could improve safety across the DoD HIT environment, be it Cerner, Siemens/athena, or Epic (have yet to decide if Allscripts can compete with their sub-mundane acute solution). Good news, DoD, all of these solutions will improve workflows, enable true integration and interoperability, and will be focused on clinician adoption. In the immortal words of the DoD, “There is no such thing as too much training?” COTS love to train the trainer (for a nominal fee) and perhaps that mentality will be a bright spot in a bleak environment.
  • Six site visits by DoD to Epic sites, one gratis for McKesson, Meditech, and Cerner. I guess Siemens/athena and Allscripts missed the boat?
  • Can anyone explain how with two media submissions (one article, one announcement) the DHMSM solution price went from $5.5B to $11B? Perhaps it is the Watson effect?
  • In that same way of thinking, I believe that the first decade in a half of amateur DoD HIT design cost tax payers a trillion dollars give or take a half a billion!
  • Claims rumors abound. Wondering how much of the claims processing debacle including collections will be handled by one of the big three. This is an essential component, and since ABACUS is having FISMA issues, I figured that maybe Mr. Miller will see value in pushing claims in the DHMSM deal – more than revenue cycle, so sorry, Epic, you will have to actually find a third-party system (feel the fear!)
  • Industry Day – interesting, not as interesting as the RFP team read. Telehealth, asset tracking, real enterprise scheduling, military styled healthcare logistics (COTS, this is more of a challenge than most realize – hope there are some real discussions to understand what it means to be a functional ERP+ system).
  • Cerner, you are not ranked in the top five to install your own system. Good thing you have Accenture to pick up the slack – Leidos “as is” is your key to victory – Theme “transition, transition, transition”
  • Siemens, be happy athena is a very competitive ambulatory care solution. Teamed with your SOA your co-hosting maturity in acute and ambulatory settings make a lot of sense. I believe it might be appropriate for Tibco to lend a hand in the technology story that is truly a differentiation for the Lockheed team.
  • BTW, Lockheed, I could have sworn you had more than a part-time employee working your public relations program – is it difficult to state your intentions? CSC passed you as though you were riding a moped on the autobahn.
  • Allscripts, CSC, and HP — what a combination. You only need a population health solution and have to press the fact that Eclipsys is not archaic – good luck with that. Great announcement, short, succinct, and made people scratch their head.
  • McKesson is rumored to be in deep negotiations with themselves – so far no progress.
  • Cerner is the closest COTS to try to emulate what Epic has done, stating proudly that they are a monolithic solution, built on a myriad of frameworks they are competitive and can hold their own (however, I do not like the ambulatory solution, but the RFP will not have a weighted value assessment on features and functions, merely a check box that allows a team to state “YES we CAN"). Cerner should also utilize the Oracle story as they did in Utah for a win.
  • Accenture “good on you” for the Henry Schein relationship. If my teeth were falling out of my mouth, the first and most exciting dental EHR solution I would want managing my episode of care would be Dentrix!
  • GE Healthcare is missing in action. Perhaps an upcoming announcement will be made about their acquisition by SAIC? OK, maybe that is pure rumor :-)
  • VistA – we all know your solution is awesome, everyone loves it, adoption in a monopoly environment is 110 percent. However, do you really think after the debacle that is VA, informatics should try to be proliferated across the DoD? Methinks NO.
  • NOTE: After several “as is” and “to be” meetings, the EHR vendors real fears have more to do with two things: (a) Legacy solutions that were so poorly designed and the manner in which they were integrated requires duct tape and glue – can any vendor that programmed the old solutions actually stand behind their solution?  Did anyone within 50 miles of the beltway ever read anything about HIT standards? (b)How does a real EHR maintain parallel operations with a variety of poorly designed systems? These two thoughts are constantly on the minds of the EHR vendors – it haunts their dreams!
  • There is a sobering thought I had with a colleague over a cigar — that Leidos (SAIC in general) and Grumman should not be allowed to bid as a member of any team, but instead be enlisted as enablers to access the “stuff” they created. Perhaps they should be relegated to provide 100 percent support for all transitions, migrations, parallel synchronization, and conversions for the new EHR solution team. This time using real standards, ones that people can understand, would be refreshing. In essence they should act as Switzerland so they can actually do something that emits value over the next 5-7 years associated with rollout. Think of it as penance.

Webinars

July 2 (Wednesday) noon ET. The CIO’s Role in Consumer Health. Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: David Chou, CIO, University Of Mississippi Medical Center. We are moving towards an era where the consumer is searching for value. Healthcare is finally catching up with other industries and this is forcing health care providers and health plans to rethink their "business model" as consumers test new decision-making skills and demand higher quality and better value. Technology can provide value in this space as we move towards a digital healthcare.


Sales

Arkansas Methodist Medical Center (AR) chooses T-System’s ED documentation and coding solutions.

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Children’s of Alabama extends its contract for Allscripts Sunrise and adds dbMotion, Sunrise Ambulatory Care, and Sunrise Emergency Care.


People

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Voalte promotes Trey Lauderdale to CEO and appoints a new board of directors: Tom Johnson (Global Imaging Systems), Nico Arcino (Kaiser Permanente), William Gish (Cerner Corporation), Isobel Harris (PeopleFluent), Jeffrey Lozon (Revera), Michael Marvin (MapInfo). 

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SRS names Scott Ciccarelli (GE Healthcare) as CEO. He replaces Evan Steele, who will become senior advisor.

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AirStrip promotes Matt Patterson, MD to president and hires Nancy Pratt, RN, MSN (St. Joseph Health) as COO.

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Robin Raiford, RN-BC (The Advisory Board Company) died on June 26 at 62. The visitation and service will be held Wednesday, July 2 in Springfield, VA. Details and guest book are here.


Announcements and Implementations

PatientKeeper adds a rules engine to its charge capture solution that allows billers and coders to manage code edits.

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QSI subsidiaries NextGen and Mirth announce NextGen Share, a Health Information Service Provider (HISP) that will connect NextGen and non-NextGen EHR users via Direct.

Albany Area Primary Health Care (GA) goes live on Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager and The Guideline Advantage.


Innovation and Research

Researchers develop the capability to create blood vessels using a 3D printer and then growing cells around them, leading to the possibility of “printing” a full organ.


Other

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An Ars Technica article written by an early Google Glass Explorer  says Android Wear smart watches make Google Glass obsolete. Reasons: (a) Google is developing more technology for Android Wear than for Glass; (b) Glass will always look weird and raise suspicions that the wearer is secretly recording them; (c) Google disabled live video streaming on Glass because it didn’t work well; (d) Glass doesn’t fold, so it takes up a lot of room wherever you place it other than on your face; (e) it’s easier to look at a watch than upward to Glass; (f) Android Wear watches cost $200 vs. Glass at $1,500 and do more; (g) Android Wear is being run by Google’s powerful Android team while Glass is a skunkworks project that hasn’t even exited beta; (h) Android Wear is faster and less buggy; and (i) Google has no plans to add augmented reality or facial recognition to Glass to make it something more than just a computer built into a pair of glasses.

Weird News Andy wonders “retail or wholesale” when an ED patient is charged with walking out with $300 worth of medical supplies that included bed sheets, 47 latex gloves, a bloody syringe, oxygen tubing, washcloths, alcohol wipes, lubricant, and pulse oximeters. WNA concludes, “The list price on a pulse oximeter on Amazon is $199. A single aspirin might be a hospital charge of $25. Seems like the perp might have gotten off cheap.”


Sponsor Updates

  • Aventura releases the latest in its “This is Aventura” video series, seasonally appropriate in being set to the “1812 Overture.”
  • EDCO Health Information Solutions publishes an article, “Solve Patient Indexing Errors Once and for All.”
  • Liaison Healthcare will offer its EMR-Link laboratory and radiology integration solution to members of GNYHA Services.
  • Beacon Partners offers an article, “Four Key Components for Building a Sustainable mHealth Strategy” and publishes a blog post “Are You Ready for Change? Four Questions to Ask Before Launching a Healthcare IT Project.”
  • Truven Health Analytics reports that 300 hospitals have integrated Micromedex patient education and clinical decision support with their EMRs so far in 2014.
  • QPID CEO Mike Doyle will participate in the “Big Data and Decision Making” panel at the Connected Health Symposium 2014 October 23-24 in Boston.
  • ADP AdvancedMD introduces integrated fax with a short video clip.
  • ICSA Labs certified products from First Databank, Iatric Systems, Juniper Networks, Orion Health, Quest Diagnostics and The Advisory Board Company in June.
  • Health Catalyst explains the anatomy of healthcare delivery model in a recently published white paper.
  • Maury Regional Medical Center (TN) selects Nuance services for its medical transcription needs.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.

 

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July 1, 2014 News 10 Comments

Morning Headlines 7/1/14

June 30, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

 Medical Boards Draft Plan to Ease Path to Out-of-State and Online Treatment

State medical board from across the country have unveiled draft legislation that will ease licensure restrictions that are currently preventing doctors from treating patients that live in other states, a change that proponents of telehealth have been lobbying for for some time.

American Medical Association and the Medical Group Management Association Letter to CMS

AMA and MGMA send a joint letter to CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner asking for a 30-day extension to the MU Stage 2 hardship exception application deadline, which is currently set for July 1. ONC recently proposed changes relaxing EHR certification standards for the 2014 attestation period, but those changes have not been finalized. The changes would allow providers to use 2011 certified products and 2013 criteria for the 2014 period. Providers are asking that the hardship application deadline be extended so that they can wait to see if these changes are approved and finalized before applying for a hardship exception.

Digital Health Funding: Midyear Review 2014

Rock Health notes, via its mid-year digital health funding report, that digital health startup funding has reached $2.3 billion for the year, already surpassing the total funding levels seen at the close of 2013.

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June 30, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 6/30/14

June 30, 2014 Dr. Jayne 11 Comments

I spent most of this weekend doing a special project. Our coding and compliance officers approached me about how some of our providers’ notes look in EHR. They had seen some notes that were “really awful” and naturally assumed that something was going on with the EHR to cause them to be that way.

Our ambulatory vendor offers checkbox-style documentation templates, so I figured the complaints were about how their documentation was being output now that we’re dealing with SNOMED and other factors.

I asked my team to pull a sampling of notes from each of our specialties so that I could look at them myself. We’ve seen issues where the behind-the-scenes verbiage engine generates some subject/verb disagreements. Additionally, when a large number of positive and negative symptoms are documented, sometimes that can get a little strange.

Since our analysts are not clinical, I know that I can’t exclusively use their review to identify good vs. bad notes. Sometimes the documentation might be technically accurate, but would actually be something a receiving physician would laugh at.

We have a lot of subspecialists who do a lot of procedures, so I had the team pull a variety of those notes as well. They’ve been problematic in the past, especially when multiple procedures are documented. Most of those issues have been easy fixes. Still, considering the variety of specialties and all the different kinds of documentation, I had well over 100 visit notes to review.

By the time I was done, I could barely contain my aggravation. The largest subset of “awful” notes came from our providers who are heavy users of voice recognition. Some of the notes were downright incoherent. The problem however wasn’t with the technology – it was with subspecialists dictating sheer nonsense that normal humans (even those with medical degrees) would have difficulty comprehending.

The next subset of bad notes came from providers who have created their own documentation macros. The idea of providers having their own saved text blocks is generally a good one. We all know that there are some parts of the note that are the same over and over again: “regular rate and rhythm, no murmurs, rubs, or gallops, lungs clear to auscultation bilaterally, abdomen soft non-tender and non-distended with normal active bowel sounds.” From years of dictation it just rolls off the tongue, so it would make sense to save it as a block for EHR.

The problem comes when providers save text that either doesn’t make sense or has gender-specific findings that winds up being reused on the opposite gender. The point of saved text is to be able to quickly add documentation with little work. Some of our providers take the idea of efficiency too far, with so many acronyms and abbreviations it’s impossible to figure out what is going on with the patient.

Even with the subject/verb disagreement and some of the typical template issues, the group that most heavily uses check-box powered documentation did the best. They were easy to sort out due to the way the history blocks format and I was surprised at how much clearer their notes were compared to those done via other methods. Those that used the templates, however, had a much higher propensity to document Review of Systems items that I’m sure they didn’t actually perform.

For your amusement, I’ll share some of the highlights:

  • General surgeon sees a patient to remove a skin cyst. She documents a gynecological review of systems with seven negative elements. I confirmed that it wasn’t from a paper form the patient completed and staff keyed in. She also documented the procedure as “EXC TR-EXT B9+MARG 2.1-3cm.” What does that even mean? I could extrapolate “benign” and “margins” from that, but it makes no sense for the type of cyst excised.
  • The same surgeon documented a 21(!) point male urinary review of systems for a similar visit. The procedure document was the same except it was 0.6-1cm. At least she’s consistent. And apparently thorough, since she documented that she examined all 12 cranial nerves and the cyst was on the shin.
  • Orthopedic surgeon documents a physical exam that includes a normal fundoscopic exam. I’d pretty much bank that the last time an orthopedic surgeon touched the instrument needed to look at the back of the eye, it was in medical school.
  • Chief complaint of “bx results” which was saved to a provider custom list. Could we not have spared the extra characters to have it read “biopsy results” so that when the patient receives the note on our patient portal it makes sense?
  • Not capitalizing the names of other physicians on the team. Nothing says “thanks for the referral” like addressing the letter to “dear dr jayne.”
  • A “follow up back pain” visit with a (no kidding) 91-point review of systems including “changes in shape/size of moles” and “breast lumps.” I can’t wait until that one gets pulled for a CMS audit.
  • Detailed discussions of radiologic studies pulled into the note from other practices. I guess in addition to being “one patient, one chart” the EHR also lets us time travel because the same CD with the MRI results that the patient hand-carried from shoulder surgeon was simultaneously imported to the orthopedic consultant’s May visit note and also to the nephrologist’s note with a date stamp two months prior to the visit.

I could go on, but it would just make me frustrated and likely make you angry. More than anything, it just makes me sad, especially since the providers electronically signed all of them and indicated that they were read and reviewed.

You might ask who had the best documentation. Hands-down the most coherent, thorough, and clearly non-padded were the notes done by one cardiology group using a mix of voice recognition for the history and plan and template documentation for the physical exam and review of systems. I didn’t identify any gratuitous documentation and the notes were high quality. It probably takes them longer to document since they’re speaking most of the note vs. clicking. However, their documentation was so pretty I wish I could clone them. But CMS says cloning is bad, right?

Got documentation problems? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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June 30, 2014 Dr. Jayne 11 Comments

Morning Headlines 6/30/14

June 29, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Report Finds Health Unit of V.A. Needs Overhaul

A review of the Veterans Health Administration conducted by Rob Nabors, deputy chief of staff to President Obama, finds that VA leadership “is not prepared to deliver effective day-to-day management.” The report says that inept managers and a corrosive and non-transparent culture across the system have eroded the VHA’s ability to accomplish its mission. Nabors concluded by recommending that the VHA be completely restructured with a focus on transparency and accountability.

Obama to nominate former Proctor & Gamble CEO as Veterans Affairs secretary

In related news, former Proctor & Gamble CEO Bob McDonald will be nominated to take over as the secretary of the VA. McDonald graduated from West Point and then spent five years in the Army before getting out and moving into the corporate world. He was ousted from Proctor & Gamble last year, after a 33-year career, following a string of disappointing quarters that drove stock prices down and eventually attracted activist investor pressure.

Cerner is going after a huge government contract

Cerner announces that it will partner with Leidos (formerly SAIC) and Accenture in its bid for the DoD EHR contract.

Are Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified EHRs ready for interoperability? Findings from the SMART C-CDA Collaborative

A JAMIA study finds that many Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified EHR vendors have failed to properly implemented the interoperability standards outlined within the MU2 Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) specifications. Researchers found 615 errors within 91 sample C-CDA documents provided from 21 different certified EHR platforms.

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June 29, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 6/30/14

June 28, 2014 News 22 Comments

Top News

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White House Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors delivered his review of the VA to President Obama Friday. The report’s high points:

  • The VA is the country’s largest health system with 1,700 sites and $150 billion per year in funding.
  • The 14-day patient scheduling standard was unrealistic and encouraged inappropriate behavior.
  • The Veterans Health Administration needs to be restructured because it has little accountability, isn’t responsive, and can’t communicate effectively.
  • One-fourth of all federal government whistleblower complaints involve the VA.
  • Individual VA facilities often ignore VHA’s directives and sometimes express their disagreement via the press.
  • Employees know that the federal government rarely fires anyone, so they don’t try to solve problems.
  • The VA’s VistA system is “cumbersome and outdated,” but is state of the art when it comes to capturing patient documentation to form an integrated health record. The real problem with scheduling patients is a lack of clinicians, support personnel, and space, not deficiencies in IT systems.
  • The VA hasn’t planned well and hasn’t tied its budget requests to specific outcomes.

Reader Comments

From Mcklayoffs: “Re: McKesson layoffs. There were huge ones in April. I heard it happen again on Thursday. I heard even some of the Paragon folks were let go from services. You have to wonder if that’s their go-forward solution.” Unverified.

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From Lt. Dan: “Re: cyberwarfare visualization. This real-time map of hacker attacks shows that the US is getting bombarded by pretty much everyone.” The extremely cool display from cybersecurity firm Norse, which looks like one of those 1960s US-Soviet World War III doomsday scenario illustrations, shows who’s being attacked and from where. Some of the information is surprising: at this moment, attacks are being launched from the domain of drug maker Merck in New Jersey as well as the University of Michigan and Cal Berkeley, quite a few attacks are originating from military domains, and the US is by far the most popular intended target with 10 times as many attacks as #2 Hong Kong.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Ivenix. The Amesbury, MA-based company offers the Ivenix Infusion Management System, a smart IV pump that combines information technology with new smart pump design to reduce errors and improve patient safety. It measures and adjusts IV flow rate in real time and manages patient-specific infusion information via a secure, wireless, Web-based architecture that lets clinicians make decisions by viewing remote dashboards that display infusion information, alerts, alarms, and cross-pump drug alerts. Its analytics capability supports organization-wide quality and cost projects. IV orders are sent to the pump with nurse verification via open, pluggable EMR integration and drug library and software updates are delivered transparently. Thanks to Ivenix for supporting HIStalk.

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Six percent of poll respondents said they participated in a video-based visit as a patient in the past year. New poll to your right: which EHR package should the DoD choose – Allscripts, Epic, or Cerner? Click the Comments link on the poll widget after voting to defend your decision –  you never know, maybe the DoD is looking for your insight.

Listening: Austin-based Ume, who I saw live awhile back. Singer/guitarist Lauren Larson shreds it on stage with monstrous distorted guitar licks, passionate vocals, and a head-pounding mane of blonde hair, but I met her after the show and she’s a tiny, sweet Texas cheerleader type who decided to take a break from working on her PhD to focus on music along with her bass-wielding husband Eric. Ume is on tour with Circa Survive, which will play in Riot Fest in Chicago in September with some of my favorite bands: Jane’s Addiction, The Cure, Weezer, Metric, Failure, Superchunk, Dandy Warhols, and Mastodon.


Webinars

July 2 (Wednesday) noon ET. The CIO’s Role in Consumer Health. Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: David Chou, CIO, University Of Mississippi Medical Center. We are moving towards an era where the consumer is searching for value. Healthcare is finally catching up with other industries and this is forcing health care providers and health plans to rethink their "business model" as consumers test new decision-making skills and demand higher quality and better value. Technology can provide value in this space as we move towards a digital healthcare.


People

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ONC’s Director of the Office of Consumer eHealth Lygeia Ricciardi announces on Twitter that she has resigned effective July 25.


Announcements and Implementations

ZirMed announces enhancements to its Analytics solution that include a customizable dashboard and drill-down interactive KPIs for key business metrics.

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Cerner, not surprisingly, joins Epic and Allscripts in throwing its hat into the DoD’s EHR replacement ring. Cerner will bid along with partners Accenture and Leidos. Someone asked me on Twitter how I saw it playing out and I gave the odds at 80 percent Epic, 20 percent Cerner, and zero percent Allscripts. Epic has a big advantage in covering a huge chunk of the US population, having the only comparably sized implementation in Kaiser Permanente, winning just about every large-system bid, having implemented its system with the Coast Guard, having IBM as a partner, and having powerful members of Congress like Paul Ryan who have previously demonstrated willingness to use their clout to push Epic. Cerner’s advantages are the comfort level of being a large, publicly traded company with increasing healthcare reach outside of IT, strong government-savvy partners in Accenture and Leidos, good hosting experience, and a potential willingness to beat Epic on price in what will be the biggest deal in healthcare IT history. I don’t see Allscripts having a chance since large hospitals aren’t buying Sunrise, its biggest client North Shore-LIJ is keeping whatever enthusiasm it has quiet, its offerings are narrow compared to Epic and Cerner, and memories of its corporate stumbling  haven’t faded yet, but it does have the strongest set of partners in CSC and HP, the latter being important since the much-touted $11 billion bid value is a 10-year cost including maintenance and infrastructure where HP shines.


Technology

3M announces ePrivacy Filter, $50 software that uses webcam-powered facial recognition to limit screen viewing to the authorized user, warn them if someone is looking over their shoulder, and blur their screen when they step away.


Other

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Implementation of the C-CDA (Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture) semantic interoperability standard needs work, according to a JAMIA-published study by a group that found many errors in documents submitted from 21 systems. Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires using C-CDA, but the samples provided to the authors often included missing or incorrect information. The authors made four recommendations: (a) create a site with public C-CDA samples and scenarios since vendors say they don’t always know how to represent their data; (b) require EHR certification testing to include validating terminology such as SNOMED and RxNorm; (c) add a certification requirement that EHR vendors provide all of the data elements they capture instead of making many of them optional; and (d) electronically monitor the quality of real-world C-CDA documents being produced and report results. The authors conclude that further effort will determine whether C-CDA documents “can mature into efficient workhorses of interoperability.”

A study finds that patients discharged from hospitals that use an advanced EHR cost $731 less than those from non-EHR using hospitals. The methodology isn’t convincing: (a) the data is from 2009 and simply matched up a discharge database to what the article says is the HIMSS annual survey (which really means the HIMSS Analytics database);  (b) the “cost” figures were the nearly worthless cost-to-charge ratios that everybody uses because hospitals don’t track individual unit costs well; (c) the analysis seems to have looked only at overall cost rather than for comparable diagnoses or treatments, but I’m not clear on that from the methodology provided; (d) correlation isn’t causation, so any jumping to conclusions that plugging in an advanced EHR will reduce hospital costs is ridiculous.

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Here’s how disintermediated San Francisco cab drivers are competing with ride-sharing service Uber (valued at $18 billion): they’re using an app that lets people pay them for the public parking spots they intentionally occupy for that purpose. The city has ordered the app’s Italy-based developers to cease operations, saying its excuse of selling convenience rather than parking spots is “like a prostitute saying she’s not selling sex — she’s only selling information about her willingness to have sex with you.” The developer of a competing app is paying people $13 per hour to tie up high-demand evening spots in the Mission District and then resell them, give the company working inventory to promote its app.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.

 

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June 28, 2014 News 22 Comments

Morning Headlines 6/27/14

June 26, 2014 News No Comments

Philips and Salesforce.com announce a strategic alliance to deliver cloud-based healthcare information technology

Philips will partner with Salesforce to create a CRM-like population health platform they are calling a ‘patient relationship management’ system.

CareCloud Raises $25.5 Million in Venture Debt from Hercules Technology Growth Capital

CareCloud raises $25 million in a debt-backed financing from Hercules Technologies Growth Capital. The cloud-based EHR vendor will use the funding to further develop its system and grow its market presence.

Boston gets second tech IPO of the year via Imprivata

Imprivata raises $66 million in its IPO Wednesday, with shares closing eight percent higher than their $15 initial price.

CCHIT Announces Launch of New Guide Services

CCHIT announces that it will begin offering consulting services to guide EHR developers through the ONC certification process.

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June 26, 2014 News No Comments

News 6/27/14

June 26, 2014 News 5 Comments

Top News

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Philips will deploy clinical applications in a Salesforce.com-powered cloud environment that’s centered around patient relationship management. Two applications will be launched this summer, eCareCoordinator and eCareCompanion, which are collaboration platforms for monitoring chronic condition patients at home.  Philips says future offerings will incorporate information from EMRs, medical devices, home monitoring, and wearables. The platform will be open to developers to create add-on products.


Reader Comments

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From Otto Complete: “Re: HTRAC East conference in Leesburg, VA. I attended this week and found it to be amazingly enlightening! Limited vendor involvement, zero exhibitors, and passion for IT improvement in our space, along with tremendous information sharing – these are just a few of the compliments I would give the conference. As you are a thought leader in our field, I wanted to be sure this group was on your radar.” I hadn’t heard of the group or conference, but they get points from me for being non-profit and for bundling meals (and an open bar) with the registration fee. The write-up says it’s invitation-only and limited to around 200 attendees, with minimal vendor participation and no exhibit hall.

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From Demon Deacon: “Re: Wake Forest Baptist IT department. The CMIO and VP of clinical applications positions were eliminated and will be replaced with a chief clinical information officer.” Unverified, although a search of Google’s cache turns up the now-removed job posting that I assume they filled. They’ve had a lot of IT turnover after their horrific Epic implementation.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Avecinia Wellness Center CEO Unaiza Hayat, MD shares the details of successfully attesting for S2MU and the role good physician leadership plays in any implementation. HIE merger creates largest in Michigan. Nashville physicians show no love for Epic. Verizon gets into the telemedicine game. Maine Primary Care Association goes live with new pop health technology. Thanks for reading.

This week on HIStalk Connect: researchers with Sandia National Laboratory make headway on their work developing non-invasive ways of monitoring electrolyte levels. Google unveils Google Fit, a digital health developers’ platform that promises the same basic functionality that Apples HealthKit offers. San Francisco-based startup Grand Rounds raises a $40 million Series B round to expand its growing network of physician thought leaders who offer remote second opinions on complex cases.

Listening: Chicago-based Eleventh Dream Day, probably the best and hardest-rocking Midwestern band that nobody’s heard of thanks to their record label’s incompetence. Also: Queens of the Stone Age.

My latest reading peeves: (a) cutesy reporters who start off a healthcare technology story with, “The (technology name here) will see you now.”; (b) using “there” as the subject of a sentence; (c) clickbait headlines, tweets, and lame slide shows that will do anything to get you to click even though you will regret it almost immediately; (d) referring to doctors as Dr. John Smith, which doesn’t tell us what kind of doctorate John earned; (e) surveys that try to hide low participation by giving results only as percentages; and (e) as I try to ignore the flood of World Cup chatter, people who confuse spectating with exercising in referring to someone else’s athletic team as “we.” I’ll keep the porn analogy that popped into my head to myself.


Webinars

July 2 (Wednesday) noon ET. The CIO’s Role in Consumer Health. Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: David Chou, CIO, University Of Mississippi Medical Center. We are moving towards an era where the consumer is searching for value. Healthcare is finally catching up with other industries and this is forcing health care providers and health plans to rethink their "business model" as consumers test new decision-making skills and demand higher quality and better value. Technology can provide value in this space as we move towards a digital healthcare.

We’ve decided to post the recorded videos of our HIStalk Webinars on YouTube to avoid the playback problems some viewers were having. The webinar, Cloud Is Not (Always) The Answer, ran live this past Wednesday. Not only did Logicworks do a great job in taking our suggestions and input from two CIOs into account to perfect their content and delivery, running the recorded version from YouTube is cleaner and faster, with no signup required to start watching.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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CareCloud borrows $25.5 million from a growth capital lender. I’m never cheered by a company taking on debt just like I wouldn’t be thrilled about a relative signing up for a home equity loan, but I guess it’s good news to be found credit-worthy and to have your plan for using the money vetted by someone whose objectivity is inarguable given their interest (no pun intended) in being repaid.

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Physicians Interactive, which markets life sciences products to physicians, acquires consumer health information site WebHelp.

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Imprivata’s raises $66 million in its Wednesday IPO.


Sales

Central Florida Health Alliance (FL) chooses MModal for transcription technology and document insight.

Sutter Health (CA) selects Orion Health to build and deploy its HIE.


People

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Mark Caron (Capital BlueCross) is named CEO of population health and analytics systems vendor Geneia, which is owned by Capital BlueCross.

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The Jersey Health Connect HIE names Judy Comitto, VP/CIO of Trinitas Regional Medical Center (NJ), as its board chair.  

Secure email vendor DataMotion appoints Kathleen Ridder Crampton (United HealthCare Group) to its board.


Announcements and Implementations

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Ivenix announces that it is developing a new smart IV pump that will feature a smartphone-like user interface, enhanced IT capability that includes Web-based EHR integration and analytics, and new pump technology.

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Telehealth solutions provider AMC Health says it has integrated its system with Epic.

Verizon announces Virtual Visits, a secure video technology platform that allows consumers to connect with doctors. The company hopes to license the technology to health plans (i.e. doctor not included.)

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The non-profit CCHIT, which exited from what it said was the unprofitable EHR certification business in January 2014, announces its new mission of selling developers advice on how to get their EHRs certified.

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Biometric Signature ID announces its handwriting-powered identity authentication system for Epic. It seems that handwriting would not be reliable given that users would be “writing” with their fingertip on a small screen while standing up in most cases, but maybe they’ve figured it out. You can try cracking a “Go Verify Yourself” signature-powered access page on their site.


Government and Politics

A Bloomberg editorial says that the Affordable Care Act is drawing a disproportionate number of people with chronic conditions to sign up for health insurance, which could possibly drive insurance companies out of the market or force the President to try to bail them out (with questionable legality) as he promised upfront to get them to participate.

CMS claims that its much-maligned Medicare fraudulent claims detection system prevented $210 million in payments in 2013, its second year of operation. That works out to something like 0.02 percent of total payments, a fraction of the government-estimated $50-60 billion that CMS improperly pays each year, and less than a monkey throwing darts could turn up before hitting the Beltway by noon on the Friday before Independence Day.


Other

A Wisconsin high school loses its track coach to Epic, where he will become a project manager. He says, “I’ll be working to implement software, and going out to hospitals and clinics, visiting with doctors and nurses, and discuss their ideas and concerns with the developers at Epic … I’m no computer whiz. They say they want people who are able to distinguish themselves through their careers, and they’ll teach the rest. There will be a lot of learning.”

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An editorial in Applied Clinical Informatics says that specifying advance directives should be easy and the resulting preferences should be stored by HIEs and shared via interoperability. It proposes an input sheet that looks like a US tax form in making the analogy that advance directives should be as easy as electronic filing of taxes. Misusing the term as “advanced directives” drives me crazy (you make them in “advance,” not “advanced”) so it was disappointing that “advanced” made an unwelcome appearance three times in the mostly-correct article. Note the subtle humor in identifying the form as 419, the police code for a “dead body found.”

A small (120 responses) AMDIS-Gartner survey of CMIOs finds an average annual salary of $326,000 in a range of $206,000 to $550,000. Respondents reported slightly less job satisfaction than last year, higher CMIO turnover, and an overwhelming preference for reporting to the chief medical officer rather than the CIO.

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In Canada, a $300 million privacy lawsuit is filed against Rouge Valley Health System that alleges two hospital employees sold the names of 8,300 mothers of newborns to an investment who cold-called them to sell education savings plans.

Google CEO Larry Page says yet again that 100,000 lives would be saved each year by more healthcare data mining. He’s made that claim (without backing it) several times.

A Bloomberg article says that hospitals are starting to use consumer information from big data sources to target their at-risk patients for interventions, such as finding out which asthma patients are buying cigarettes or whether heart patients are allowing their gym memberships to lapse. Patients say hospitals making cold calls about health habits is intrusive, but hospitals say they need to aggressively manage their patients under new payment models.

A new KLAS report reaches an obvious conclusion: only Epic, Cerner, and Meditech are expanding their hospital EMR client bases. Actually I was surprised that Meditech was included since my perception is that they are falling behind rather than gaining, but I assume KLAS has hard data suggesting otherwise.


Sponsor Updates

  • Validic will be featured by TEDMED 2014 as one of its chosen “transformative startups and the inspiring entrepreneurs that power them.”
  • Optimum Healthcare IT will be featured in a June 29 episode of “21st Century Television” on Bloomberg Worldwide.
  • Jeanette Ball, RN, PCMH CCE of CTG Health Solutions shares her experience working with western New York providers to create a PCMH framework in the Journal of Clinical Engineering.
  • CareTech Solutions launches its website built on CareWorks CMS v4.1.
  • ESD shares how to implement automated testing.
  • Navicure partners with Acculynk to launch a customized payment platform for providers.
  • Netsmart posts a white paper exploring the similarities and difference in PC and behavioral health.
  • Allscripts receives 23 commitments for expanded Allscripts Sunrise solutions such as Ambulatory Care, Emergency Care and Surgical Care.
  • Practice Fusion partners with Emdeon to offer automated health plan eligibility check in its EHR.
  • Juniper Networks announces the capabilities and enhancements of its Next-Generation Firewall and SRX Series Services Gateways.
  • The Advisory Board Company is profiled by a local news station for its community volunteer projects.
  • Extension Healthcare discusses how EHR alerts have contributed to alarm fatigue and offers a two-part white paper on managing alarms to improve patient safety.
  • Wellcentive client Children’s Health Alliance (OR) receives the Analytics All Stars Award for Population Health Project of the Year award.
  • Albany Area Primary Health Care (GA) goes live on Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager and The Guideline Advantage.
  • Divurgent offers a series of free conference calls on big data and analytics.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

It’s been a completely random week at work. Most of the practices we acquired earlier in the year have stabilized from a revenue cycle perspective, so it’s time to bring them up on EHR. Once the Independence Day holiday rolls by, it will be full steam ahead.

There have been a couple of last-minute glitches though, mostly involving providers behaving badly. There are always challenges when a practice has to change its culture, but I’ve not seen this many employed providers who don’t seem to remember that they’re employed.

Some of our operational leaders try to soften the blow by referring to them as “partners” or “associates,” but the bottom line is that they are employees. If we were partners, there would be shared decision-making and give and take. There would not be top-down leadership with requirements that must be adhered to. There would not be contractual obligations that require compliance with a host of regulatory items. There would not be penalties for failure to adhere to documented policies.

I’m fortunate to have an implementation team that’s well-seasoned and grateful for its manager and her solid leadership. Since the team has had a couple of months without active deployment cycles, we front-loaded the calendar with some of the most difficult providers. That way they can get them done while they’re still fresh. The majority of the team agreed they’d rather save the best providers for last rather than having to look forward to all the difficult ones at the end.

From Stay Glassy San Diego: “Re: Dr. Chrono’s Glass app. Did you see it? They’re referring to it as the first wearable health record.” I did see, it but I’m not sure it’s actually a wearable record as much as a different way to interface with the record. Physicians can store a video of an office visit in the EHR but it’s not clear how that translates to discrete data or the other hoop-jumping we need for payers and incentive programs. I did find it interesting that media reports cite 300 of the 60,000 drchrono clients as users of the Glass app. They may have downloaded it, but given psychosocial and privacy concerns around use of Glass, I’d be surprised if that many were actually using it. According to the company website, users can sign up to be beta testers, which doesn’t exactly sound like widespread adoption to me. If there are any readers who have actually used it, I’d be happy to share your stories.

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From App-e-tite for Destruction: “Re: Open Payments, did you look at any of the other government apps that were available? Some are amusing.” I was on a pretty focused expedition the other day but did have some time tonight to check out the Mobile Apps Gallery at USA.gov.  In addition to Apple and Android, they still offer content for BlackBerry. There’s an app to help you through the National Gallery of Art as well as one to locate alternative fueling stations for electric, biodiesel, CNG, and other non-gasoline vehicles. I spent some time playing with the FDA Mobile app, which has medication recalls and safety alerts as well as consumer updates. There’s also a radiation emergency app, one that manipulates census data, a rail crossing locator, and a ladder safety app to boot.

What’s your favorite government app? Email me.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.

 

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June 26, 2014 News 5 Comments

Morning Headlines 6/26/14

June 25, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Four to six teams expected to bid on Defense health record effort

FCW predicts that a total of just four to six teams will compete for the upcoming DoD EHR contract, with three already being identified as: Epic/IBM, CSC/Allscripts/HP, and VA/Vista.

A medical first: Quadriplegic man controls arm using a chip implanted in his brain

A quadriplegic man has regained muscle control of his arm through the help of a computer chip implanted in his brain that captures and transmits commands to an electrode-packed sleeve worn around his arm. One researcher explains “It’s much like a heart bypass, but instead of bypassing blood, we’re actually bypassing electrical signals. We’re taking those signals from the brain, going around the injury, and actually going directly to the muscles."

Verizon Expands Access to Medical Care for Patients, With ‘Verizon Virtual Visits’

Verizon introduces a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform that it will market to health systems, payers, and employers.

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June 25, 2014 Headlines No Comments

HIStalk Interviews Davin Lundquist, MD, CMIO, Dignity Health

June 25, 2014 Interviews 1 Comment

Davin Lundquist, MD is VP/CMIO of Dignity Health of San Francisco, CA.

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What systems are you using on the ambulatory side and what are your priorities there?

In California, we have laws that prevent corporations from hiring physicians directly. The structure that Dignity Health primarily uses in California is a medical foundation. We have Dignity Health Medical Foundation, for which I practice at one of their sites in the Ventura market. Camarillo, California specifically. I’m a family medicine physician, a PCP. 

In our medical foundation, which has about 600 physicians plus several hundred radiologists, we use Allscripts Enterprise for our ambulatory EMR. Dignity Health has nearly 40 hospitals crossing California, Arizona, and Nevada. We are moving to the Cerner platform in the hospital.

Outside of the foundation, we also have some employed medical groups in Nevada and Arizona. The large one in Arizona is using Allscripts Enterprise. Then in Nevada and a lot of our clinics that are not part of the foundation … many hospitals have community-based clinics. There’s a hodgepodge of systems that are being used there. We are in the process of looking to maybe consolidate or figure out if there’s an enterprise solution that we can roll out to all of those sites.

 

Are you having any challenges to tie in Allscripts ambulatory with Cerner inpatient?

In some of our markets, we’ve done a better job than in others with creating the integration. I would guess that a lot of health systems have this challenge of integrating data and having it be seamless. Integration tends to be very costly. There are issues around patient matching. 

We have one of the largest private HIEs in the country. We use MobileMD, which was acquired by Siemens a few years back. We have nearly 7,000 of our physicians that have an account with that HIE. Primarily we’ve used that as a way for doctors out in the community to get information from Cerner, the hospital. Both the Cerner and the Meditech hospitals will feed data into MobileMD and then those physicians and offices in the community can access that. 

Leveraging that integration platform, we’ve been able to, for our own providers that are on Allscripts, create a pretty good integration. A lot of our Allscripts providers in Sacramento will get automatically delivered to their Allscripts platform discharge summaries and radiology reports and labs and things that are done in the hospital.

 

Are most of the physicians attesting for Meaningful Use?

Yes. Of the providers who are on a system that is up to speed with Meaningful Use, we’ve had a nearly a 100 percent rate of Meaningful Use attestation. The clinics where we don’t run them from a foundation standpoint, then those doctors tend to work in clinics where he hospital staffs it, but the doctors are independent contractors. There’s a lot more variability there because a lot of those doctors may be specialists who have their own practice and just come in a few days a month. We believe a lot of them are attesting in their own practices.

 

Are you looking at any specific Meaningful Use Stage 2 challenges?

Yes. For Stage 2, the biggest challenge for us is the patient portal. We’ve been working with a company called Medseek to customize a portal for our Allscripts users. We’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s still challenges in getting patient enrollment, in getting doctors to feel comfortable sharing the amount of information that needs to be shared to achieve Meaningful Use. We’re still working through a lot of those issues, but we feel like we’re on a trajectory to make that happen by the end of the year.

 

Did you make that decision before Allscripts acquired Jardogs and FollowMyHealth? I’m just curious why you wouldn’t have chosen it.

We did. Without getting into the specifics, there was a very detailed RFP that went out and Jardogs was part of that. There were, I think, some specific limitations that Jardogs had, not necessarily related to function, but more around privacy and security and the way that Dignity Health approaches those things that I think made it incompatible with our setup. That was all pre-date of the acquisition by Allscripts.

 

Describe the pilot that you’re doing with Google Glass and Augmedix.

I practice in a clinic in Camarillo. We have several other primary care doctors there. We learned of the Augmedix solution. As you heard me describe some of the other technologies that we’re using at Dignity Health, you probably didn’t hear a lot of excitement in my voice. [laughs] I try not to reveal my true feelings.

Technology for physicians, while we understand and we know that it’s where we need to go, it hasn’t always been easy to adopt. If you talk to most physicians, they probably wouldn’t say that the EMR has made them more efficient. Again, I think we all understand that it’s important and having access to that data will eventually be more important.

The Google Glass technology was something that intrigued me. How is this going to impact healthcare? Where will this fall? You can imagine lots of potential use cases for it, but what we liked about the way Augmedix was deploying it, it seemed to be something that added value to physicians that would improve their ability to interact with patients, to do their job more effectively and not feel like they were getting bogged down with technology.

The way that it works is we wear the device as we’re seeing patients. The audio and video are being streamed to the Augmedix team. Through a combination of humans and technology that’s proprietary to them, the progress notes are being completed. As a practicing physician, the ability to feel like you’re getting back to that doctor-patient interaction has been a tremendous experience.

 

I assume they use some type of back-end speech recognition with human review and correction and that information is placed in the EMR?

I would encourage you to reach out to the Augmedix people and have them explain it to you. I want to protect their proprietary endeavors there. But I would guess that there’s probably some combination of human and technology going on there.

My experience would tell me that it has to be different than just voice recognition. You would understand this better than people that have interviewed me that when you use Dragon or even traditional dictation, you as a physician have to summarize the encounter for that voice-to-text to happen. In this case, Augmedix has partnered with us. They came and observed our workflow, observed the physicians that are using it beforehand, they met with us, they understood how we like to document, how we like to capture our physical exam and other things. They’re summarizing in real time for us. The true medical elements of that conversation are making it into the chart.

 

That’s not customized for each physician, right? It’s somewhat of a templated formula of how you speak to Glass to get it to understand what you’re doing at that point?

It’s not fully customized. I don’t want to imply that you can have it any way you want, but there is some customization. They do take time to learn how we like our notes to look. Also things like as I’m examining the patient, they can’t hear what I’m hearing, so I have to be able to communicate that to them in some way. Things like, if someone’s exam is normal, then in the absence of me verbalizing what I found, they may use a normal exam template that we agreed upon.

Then other times, if I miss something, one of the great and nice things about Google Glass is they can send me a little message that shows up on the Glass device and says, hey, you forgot to tell me what you saw in their ear exam. So there’s some two-way interaction that goes on.

 

Did Augmedix have to interface into Allscripts or did Allscripts have to participate in the setup to get your progress notes into their EMR?

Our version of Allscripts is hosted internally by Dignity Health. The Dignity Health IT team worked closely with Augmedix to sort that out. We ran everything through the privacy and security and compliance people so that the way it’s set up, everyone’s very comfortable with.

 

The release used the word “partnered.” There’s no financial interest either by you personally or Dignity Health with Augmedix, right?

Correct.

 

This is a three-physician pilot. What are the plans to roll it out further?

We’re currently looking in negotiations with Augmedix to expand to other physicians in Ventura. We’re excited about that opportunity. Then depending on how that goes, we may look to roll it other sites within Dignity.

 

What’s the patient reaction to using Glass in their encounters?

Overwhelmingly it’s been very positive. That’s definitely a question I had going into this — whether or not patients would accept it. I don’t wear glasses normally, so I was kind of curious what my patients would think of me wearing something like this. 

One of the most surprising things is how many of my patients don’t even seem to notice. I think that probably has to do with patients coming in not feeling well or looking for help and focused on their concerns. When they come in now and see that I’m not typing, that I’m just sitting there, looking at them, waiting and listening and asking pointed questions about what’s happening — they almost don’t even notice that I have it on there.

There’s another group, obviously, that’s more tech savvy. They recognize that it’s a Google Glass and they’re interested in that because they haven’t seen one yet and they want to know what is it like. But even that, too, is a really short conversation. I explain to them what’s happening, that the information is being transmitted, and that this is helping us to document so that we can spend more time with them. 

Across the board it’s been very well received. They even get a little excited about the fact that their doctor is using a new technology. It gives them confidence that we’re looking to whatever it takes to provide better care for them.

 

Are there still things in an encounter that you have to use a keyboard or a tablet for, or are there things that you would like to see added to what Augmedix can do to make it complete so that you don’t have to use any other device?

In this first phase, we still have to do our orders. We didn’t feel comfortable yet turning over the keys to that CPOE engine given that there’s a lot more important things going on there, like we should get the right medicine ordered, right labs ordered, those kinds of things. 

Usually that happens at the end of a nice interaction with the patient, though, where we say, “OK, this is what I’m going to do for you.” That’s when I can turn and enter in some orders. But I think that’s a much more accepted thing for patients because they feel like they’ve had their time and now you’re actually doing something for them. When you do have to turn to your computer to do that, I think that’s an appropriate thing.

We are looking and hoping that as the technology matures, both the EMR and the Augmedix technology, that maybe at some what point we can verbalize those orders and that our voice can be recognized and authenticated. Who knows what that will turn out to be? But I am optimistic that we can push the limits of that.

 

Is it storing video or audio or both from the encounter?

At this point, no. I think our compliance people and everybody wasn’t comfortable with that yet, is my understanding. It’s an interesting thought, though. I think I saw an article recently where someone else was looking to maybe record video and audio right into a medical record, which I thought was an interesting concept. But we’re not doing that.

 

People always say technologies don’t preserve the patient’s story or the full richness of the encounter, so it would be pretty cool to say, “I want to see this whole visit over. I want to hear what I said, what the patient said.” That would be interesting documentation, although certainly there’s privacy and litigation concerns on both sides.

Absolutely. Once people feel comfortable that there’s technology out there that would really keep that safe, then I think we’ll move in that direction.

 

Dignity recently formed an accountable care organization. What lessons are you learning about the need for data and analytics tools?

ACO is kind of a broad term. There are several ACO-type contracts throughout Dignity Health in both California and Arizona. Some of them are more along the shared savings route and others are maybe more along just some metrics and other things. Clearly we understand the need for having access to data across the continuum of care. We need to be able to see longitudinal view of a given patient in order for us to really understand what it’s going to take to care for that patient and partner with them in helping them achieve their health goals.

 

What other projects are taking the most of your time and energy?

I’m working on projects with population health. We are looking to create what we call our population health management technology stack. You described the need for data — we’re looking at getting the data gathered for the first phase, then getting into the analytics layer, care management, what we do with that data, the clinical and patient portal-type interactions. 

Related to pop health, we’re looking at collaboration tools, secure messaging tools, video visits … the list goes on and on. I think there’s probably a common list that you would hear from any big health system that is trying to anticipate what might be needed as we turn the corner on healthcare reform.

 

You’ll be buying and implementing quite a lot of systems over the next several years.

Yes. We are in the process of looking for vendors who, in some cases, have the maturity for us to buy them and purchase. But in most cases, especially in the population health space, we’re looking to either build or partner to co-develop solutions. I think it would be naive of us to invest too much money in a "solution" when nobody really knows what’s exactly going to be needed. We’re going to be very busy for a few years on that front.

 

Do you have any final thoughts?

I just want to say that I’m excited to be a part of Dignity Health. I’ve only been here for a couple of years. I came on at a really good time. I arrived right about the time that they were changing their name from Catholic Healthcare West to Dignity Health. I’ve seen a trajectory in this company that seems to really understand where things are headed, but not losing sight of the mission and value, this campaign around human kindness. 

This particular Google Glass pilot and project has demonstrated that Dignity Health is willing to put their support and invest in projects that go in line with that. I’ve done a lot of technology stuff over the years, but this is one of the first that seems to excite every physician that comes around it, which is different from a lot of technology. I think the reason is because it really does get us back to why we got into medicine, which is that patient interaction, making a difference and feeling like you’re using something that’s more transparent and that is helping you as opposed to getting in your way.

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June 25, 2014 Interviews 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 6/25/14

June 24, 2014 News No Comments

Emdeon to Acquire Capario to Enhance Its Revenue Management Platform

Emdeon will acquire Capario for $115 million in cash, incorporating Capario’s revenue cycle management product into its own Intelligent Health Network.

ZocDoc is raising $152M, bringing its valuation to $1.6B

ZocDoc, the physician rating and appointment booking website, is in the process of raising a $152 million funding round, according to a Delaware corporate filing.

Montana to notify 1.3 million of computer hacking

Officials within Montana’s health department are informing 1.3 million patients that a server containing personal health information has been compromised.

CSC Bids to Modernize the Health IT System for U.S. Military Personnel and Their Families

CSC announces that it will join Allscripts and HP in a joint effort to win the upcoming DoD EHR contract.

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June 24, 2014 News No Comments

News 6/25/14

June 24, 2014 News 1 Comment

Top News

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Emdeon will acquire Capario for $115 million in cash from its private equity owner Marlin Equity Partners, with Emdeon announcing plans to incorporate the CaparioOne revenue cycle management product into its Intelligent Health Network.


Upcoming Webinars

June 25 (Wednesday) 2:00 p.m. ET. Cloud Is Not (Always) The Answer. Sponsored by Logicworks. Presenter: Jason Deck, VP of strategic development, Logicworks. No healthcare organization needs a cloud – they need compliant, highly available solutions that help them deploy and grow key applications. This webinar will explain why public clouds, private clouds, and bare metal infrastructure are all good options, just for different circumstances. We’ll review the best practices we’ve learned from building infrastructure for clinical applications, HIEs, HIXs, and analytics platforms. We will also review the benefit of DevOps in improving reliability and security.

June 26 (Thursday) 1:00 p.m. ET. The Role of Identity Management in Protecting Patient Health Information. Sponsored by Caradigm. Presenter: Mac McMillan, FHIMSS, CISM, co-founder and CEO of CynergisTek. Identity and access management challenges will increase as environments become more complex, users create and manage larger amounts of sensitive information, and providers become more mobile. Learn how an identity and access management program can support regulatory compliance, aid in conducting audits and investigations, and help meet user workflow requirements.

July 2 (Wednesday) noon ET. The CIO’s Role in Consumer Health. Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: David Chou, CIO, University Of Mississippi Medical Center. We are moving towards an era where the consumer is searching for value. Healthcare is finally catching up with other industries and this is forcing health care providers and health plans to rethink their "business model" as consumers test new decision-making skills and demand higher quality and better value. Technology can provide value in this space as we move towards a digital healthcare.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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KPMG acquires Cincinnati-based Zanett Commercial Solutions, an Oracle partner and health IT consulting firm.

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A new $152 million funding round for doctor-finding site ZocDoc values the company at $1.6 billion.

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Second medical opinion site Grand Rounds raises $40 million in funding. The company charges $7,500 for an online review by a nationally recognized physician, while arranging an appointment with a specialist costs $200. The company says that its second opinion finds the original doctor wrong 60 percent of the time, giving employers more than a threefold benefit to their investment, which for companies of fewer than 1,000 employees is $10 each per month. The company also offers physician-to-physician consultation for hospitalized patients who demand a review by a recognized expert. It would be interesting to know how they choose the “top 3 percent of specialists in the nation.”   

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IMS Health will acquire some product lines of Cegedim, which sell life sciences marketing solutions, for $520 million in cash. Cegedim’s Pulse Systems products for medical practices (PM/EHR, RCM, patient portal, patient kiosk) weren’t mentioned as being part of the deal.


Sales

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St. Luke’s (MN) chooses Strata Decision’s StrataJazz for Decision Support.

Cerner signs a 10-year deal with existing customer Mission Health (NC) to work on unspecified innovation and population health projects.

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University Health Shreveport (LA), UMass Memorial Medical Group (MA) and Baptist Memorial Health Care (TN) select Infor Healthcare financial solutions.

RegionalCare Hospital Partners (TN) will deploy Agilum Healthcare Intelligence’s BI solutions and services across its eight hospitals in seven states.

Verizon will provide AirWatch by VMware to its US enterprise clients.


People

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M. Bridget Duffy, MD (Vocera) joins the board of scribe and EHR consulting vendor Essia Health, formerly known as Scribes STAT.

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Athenahealth names Kristi Matus (Aetna) to the newly created role of EVP/chief financial and administrative officer.


Announcements and Implementations

Premier, Inc. launches PremierConnect Price Lookup, which will allow members and vendors look up pricing information for nearly 7 million contract items.

CSC will partner with Allscripts and HP in vying for the DoD’s $11 billion EHR replacement. CSC wastes no time in playing the card of Robert Wah, MD, its chief medical officer and newly installed AMA president.

The newly merged Great Lakes HIE and Michigan Health Connect choose Great Lakes Health Connect as their new name.


Government and Politics

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Janet Woodcock, MD, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says the agency’s Mini-Sentinel drug surveillance system that’s being piloted combines claims and EHR dispensing data from 18 large healthcare organizations in a common data model that its safety scientists can query with drug safety questions. It covers 153 million people, 4 billion drug dispensing episodes, and 4 billion patient encounters.

A South Dakota newspaper points out that small claims collection lawsuits for medical expenses often violate patient privacy since they list the services for which the patient owes the provider. One collections agency requests that each of its lawsuits be sealed to prevent casual electronic observers from prying into a given patient’s procedure codes.

Above is video from Tuesday’s 21st Century Cures digital health roundtable convened by the US House Energy & Commerce Committee. Among those speaking are Jonathan Bush (athenahealth), Jeff Shuren (FDA), Martin Harris (Cleveland Clinic), and Brian Druker (OHSU).


Other

Seven-bed Reagan Memorial Hospital (TX) says it was unable to pay its vendors after the only employee who knew how to issue checks from Meditech quit. They’re back on track after having Meditech train more people.

Above is Deborah Peel, MD of Patient Privacy Rights at TEDxTraverseCity on “Designing Technology to Restore Privacy” from a few weeks ago. She’s also starting a campaign, #MyHealthDataIsMine.

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Fitch Ratings holds the rating on bonds of Beebe Healthcare (DE) at BBB-, one step above junk status, with EHR implementation contributing to its losses.

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The State of Montana starts notifying 1.3 million people — more than the entire population of the state — that hackers got into a state health department server containing their medical information. A surprising amount of medical information was stored on the server, including “health assessments, diagnoses, treatment, prescriptions, and insurance.” Also on the same server: the bank account information of 3,100 department employees and contractors and 50 years’ of birth and death certificate information.

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Parkview Health (IN) pays $800,000 to settle an OCR HIPAA investigation in which a retiring independent doctor who was transferring her patients to new practices found 71 boxes of medical records dumped in her driveway when she got home. The hospital says it has since replaced its insecure paper records with an EHR.

On Computerworld’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT 2014” in the “Large Organizations” category are Sharp HealthCare (#7), Texas Health Resources (#8), OhioHealth (#10), Carolinas HealthCare System (#20), Cedars-Sinai Health System (#21), Cancer Treatment Centers of America (#27), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (#33), Cerner (#37), Ascension Health (#39), HCA (#42), Kaiser Permanente (#45), and McKesson (#50). On the “Midsize Organizations” list are Miami Children’s Hospital (#8) and Genesis HealthCare System (#12). UHC takes the #2 spot in the “Small Organizations” category.  

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A small (111 hospitals) AHA-sponsored survey finds that a third of the responding organizations don’t feel they have the right executive team in place to execute their strategy, with their biggest talent shortfall being in creating non-traditional partnerships, managing community and population health, and managing change. Just half have a CIO/CTO on the executive team, and only 20 percent say the CIO is always involved in making decisions. The report predicts the emergence of new executive titles that include chief population health manager, VP of cost containment, chief patient engagement officer, and VP of clinical informatics.

“No Matter Where,” a movie about HIEs in Tennessee, has a limited premiere in Nashville. The executive producer is Kevin Johnson, MD, professor of pediatrics and biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.


Sponsor Updates

  • Black Book Rankings names Streamline Health’s Looking Glass ECM system as #1 in the “Document Improvement” category of “Financial Products and Services.” Also #1 in its category is PatientKeeper in the “Charge Master” and “Charge Capture” categories.
  • Netsmart is providing CareManager to the Early Connections Network in Tennessee.
  • Levi Ray & Shoup announces its MFPsecure pull printing software that enables secure delivery for Ricoh devices.
  • Craneware earns HFMA Peer Review Designation for five products for the tenth consecutive year.
  • Agilum Healthcare Intelligence introduces its new website and BI solutions.
  • Health Catalyst posts a video demonstration of its new Financial Management Explorer.
  • MedAssets introduces the first module of it revenue cycle analytics suite Contract Analytics during the 2014 HFMA National Institute in Las Vegas.
  • Vital Images releases VitreaExtend advanced visualization solution that supports up to three simultaneous users.
  • Navicure launches BillingBetter.com to connect medical billing companies and practices and provide education resources on billing.
  • MedAssets unveils the next generation of Decision Support Costing and Contracting this week at the 2014 HFMA National Institute in Las Vegas.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk updates.
Contact us online.

 

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June 24, 2014 News 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 6/24/14

June 23, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

An analysis of electronic health record-related patient safety concerns

A study published in JAMIA analyzes 100 EHR-related patient safety investigations conducted within the VA between 2009 and 2013 and find that 74 stemmed from unsafe technology, while another 25 stemmed from unsafe use of technology. The study points to poorly designed clinical screens within the EHR as the most common technology failure, followed by: improperly configured software introduced to the live environment after a system upgrade; multi-system interfaces introducing erroneous data into the patient chart; and hidden dependencies within the systems triggering unwanted changes to patient care, such as medications being automatically discontinued in the background because a patient was transferred from an outpatient to an inpatient status. The study also warned that “EHR-related safety concerns involving both unsafe technology and unsafe use of technology persist long after go-live.”

Massachusetts paying $35M to end contract

Massachusetts will pay CGI Group, the contractor responsible for its failed health insurance exchange, $35 million to conclude the contract and part ways.

$800,000 HIPAA settlement in medical records dumping case

Parkview Health System agrees to pay a $800,000 HIPAA settlement after inadvertently leaving 71 boxes of patient medical records unsecured in a local physician’s driveway. Employees were trying to deliver the medical records to a local physician’s house, but when they arrived and found no one home, they stacked the boxes in his driveway and left.

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June 23, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

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Reader Comments

  • Sara Coulter: Great work you are doing Chris! We need more medical informatics leaders like you to solve the quality and cost of care ...
  • Chris Longhurst: Thanks all for the comments! @inspired informatics - we have been very pleased with Epic as a partner. As Eddie highligh...
  • Leonard Smith, MD, MS: Chris, Great work by you and your team. With ePrescribing via EHRs and Surescripts Rx History, patient lab and diagnost...
  • Eddie T. Head: @Inspired Informatics - I thought the following pretty much answered your question: "We have such a high rate of data ex...
  • The PACS Designer: Wow! Dr. Chris has TPD excited about getting HIT to be a focus of fellow education for better treatment decisions throug...

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