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Readers Write: Dr. Gregg’s “HIStalk: The Movie”

March 3, 2014 Readers Write No Comments

HIStalk: The Movie
By Dr. Gregg

dr gregg

It’s Oscar night tonight. I know this because in my house, that’s a pretty big deal; my wife is one of the most star-struck people walking the planet.

And, as it’s a night of glam and glitz and red carpets and such, it seems an appropriate time to announce the upcoming release of the star-studded extravaganza, “HIStalk: The Movie.”

No doubt you’ve heard the rumors… and it’s true! HIStalk is coming to the big screen. Featuring a cast of some of HIT’s biggest stars, including:

The one, the only – MR. H! Nobody tells it like the inimitable, and wholly inscrutable, Mr. HIStalk. Now he tells it like it is in full, glorious Technicolor with thundering DTS surround sound. Hear Mr. H blast the blatantly bland and debunk buffaloing bloggers. See him – fully facially pixelated – tear through HIT hype and tripe. Watch as he snags rumors from the ethers and exposes the raw underbelly of the simmering underworld of HIT.

The perpetually 28 year old party girl – Inga! Nobody glides through the HIMSS exhibition halls with more panache than the sultry Swede. Watch her dance the night away with HIT celebs Farzad, Jonathan, Ivo, and many more meaningfully-used macho men. Sporting in the finest footwear this side of the Champs-Elysées, she’ll dance her way straight to your hard drive.

The ever-running, always stunning – Dr. Jayne! Hear the good doctor call out unscrupulous C-suite commands for harmful cost-cutting. Watch her shoot down ill-considered patient care policies and lambast ludicrous Luddites. She’ll run a marathon of mischief as she bears the banner for CMIOs everywhere.

The million dollar mobile man – Dr. Travis! Once again riding the WiFi waves of justice, Dr. Travis will keep you in mHealth stitches as he exposes new tech that doesn’t deliver and sorts out the portably important from the connectedly comic.

The man – Lt. Dan! Need we say more?

The vivacious new HIStalk vamp – Lorre! Supremely smart and stunningly sassy, this demure little vixen will warm your digital hearts as she becomes HIT’s newest pin-up girl. We’ve no doubt that after the world sees her stunning debut performance that she’ll be adorning screensavers like no one since Farah Fawcett.

You’ll gasp in awe at the beautiful panoramic sets designed and painted by the hand of Regina Holliday.

You’ll be blown away by the homespun humor and heartwarming insights into all things HIT based upon Ed Marx’s award-winning story.

You’ll never forget the effortless flow and seamless style of Dr. Rick’s screen adaptation.

You’ll delight in the scintillating score by the lyrical genious, Dr. HITECH, founder of The American College of Medical Informatimusicology (ACMImimi.) Performed by the entire ensemble of illustrious ACMImimi fellows, you’ll hear health information rock like you’ve never heard it before.

Get out the popcorn and pull up your favorite easy chair for tonight’s Oscars, but get ready really enjoy them next year when “HIStalk: The Movie” will undoubtedly take home all the golden statues setting new standards for both Hollywood and HIT.

From the trenches…

"Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts.” – Ruth Gordon, Best Supporting Actress, “Rosemary’s Baby”

Dr. Gregg Alexander, a grunt in the trenches pediatrician at Madison Pediatrics, is Chief Medical Officer for Health Nuts Media, an HIT and marketing consultant, and sits on the board of directors of the Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP).

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March 3, 2014 Readers Write No Comments

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 3/3/14

March 3, 2014 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment


Every year at HIMSS there’s too much going on and not enough time to write about it. We try to hit as many booths as possible while attempting to attend some educational sessions as well, but there just aren’t enough hours to do it all. I had several sheets of notes in my bag, so please bear with my somewhat rambling wrap up.

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Someone reached out to me over the weekend to follow up and share photos of the Verisk Health service project benefitting the Second Harvest Food Bank. I had mentioned last week about seeing the  woman in the carrot costume at the Phytel booth and didn’t realize that Verisk Health was the main sponsor. They ended up with over 250 HIMSS participants who prepared 4,100 food packs for kids. Thanks to those who turned out to help. They are planning to host similar events at AHIP and NHCAA, so if you’re attending either of those events, keep an eye out for the location and time. Thanks to Verisk Health for sponsoring HIStalk as well – I hope they keep me posted on future events so I can alert our  readers.

Several vendors were showing off their “big data” but weren’t ready to address the “big questions” that come with it. Having dealt with numerous EHR conversions, I’m keenly aware of the sheer magnitude of bad data out there. Those aggregating it tend to assume that the data they’re getting is good. I really pushed one of the major national vendors on how they handle data integrity and the answers were less than satisfactory. I could tell they understood the problem because they provided the example of allergy data where one vendor has separate fields for the allergy and the reaction and another vendor combines them. The rep wasn’t able to explain how they’re handling it even though they were displaying a patient chart that showed allergy data from both sources. I asked for a follow up contact, but I’m not holding my breath.

CHADIS (Child Health & Development Interactive System) is a vendor I wish I’d come across earlier. We have struggled with implementing our patient portal for pediatric patients due to privacy issues, and ultimately our health system placed it on hold. Their product is tailored to the pediatric population with online screening that covers all the Bright Future requirements. They also somehow managed to obtain permission to use most of the popular pediatric developmental screeners. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but knowing that my vendor has struggled for years to try to obtain permission to use one particular screener, it’s pretty exciting to those of us that see children in practice. CHADIS includes a research database and is interoperable with many EHRs, so I’ll be checking them out in more detail.

After Mr. H mentioned he was having difficulty finding note pads, I had my eye out for them. I spotted a handy notebook at the Accretive Health booth. The gentlemen manning the booth (which was on the fringes of the exhibit hall) at the end of the day were very engaging. One of them was leadership development author Ken Jennings, who was happy to chat about his book The Greater Goal and send me home with a copy as well. I noticed his Air Force Academy ring and we talked about the difference between a military education and a civilian one. The teenager who mows my lawn wants to attend the Academy and he was kind enough to offer himself as a resource. Those little moments where we can connect as people (and not just as vendor/prospect), especially after a long day, are one of the things I look forward to at meetings.

There were several people I wanted to connect with and missed, including Jonathan Handler, CMIO at MModal. Since he was in the board review course I attended, I was planning to ask his thoughts on what the vendor space thinks about the Clinical Informatics certification. My employer refused to pay for me to take the exam (they barely gave me the day off to sit for it) and I wonder if vendors are more generous. If they have certified informaticists on board and are using that for marketing purposes, they ought to!

I wanted to mention a little more about the educational session I attended on Monday: “Converting Your Legal Medical Record – It’s Both Technology and Process.” I’m glad I arrived early because I had some time to look through the printed HIMSS pocket guide to figure out the lay of the land and do some last-minute exhibit hall planning. I was looking for the location of the press room and noted that HIMSS had a designated “Nursing Room.” I thought that was pretty progressive until I noticed it was in the same location as the designated “Prayer Room.” What were they thinking?

Back to the educational session, the presenters were from Main Line Health (which was converting their hospital system) and Leidos Health, which assisted in the effort. They did a great job with the presentation despite some technical difficulties and had a good sense of humor about it. Having lived through multiple conversion projects, I can say that their advice was spot-on. They admitted they wish they could have started earlier and spent more time documenting the current state and figuring out how that was going to impact the new system.

They talked about building their clinical crosswalk and how they planned to handle the audit trails once the legacy system was decommissioned. They had a great statement about organizational resistance: during early meetings, they spent 50 percent of the time mourning the loss of the old system and the remainder doing actual work. I’ve been to a lot of meetings like that. If only the attendees realized that no amount of begging or pleading is going to bring an old system back once it’s been marked for death, we could be so much more productive.

They shared great examples of what to look out for in system conversions. The legacy system changed physician ID numbers, which created problems with providers showing up as “unknown physician” after the test extraction. Scope creep was a major issue, but many of the expanding requirements involved patient safety or risk elements which had to be considered at some level. They also emphasized the need to have two willing vendors and lamented the lack of an industry best practice in how to approach these projects. They interviewed a variety of consultants prior to the project and received many opinions on the best way to proceed.

One aspect of their conversion is (thankfully) something I haven’t had to experience yet. They found that when the conversion was announced, many of the staff responsible for the legacy system pursued employment elsewhere. There was a tremendous loss of institutional knowledge around the legacy system and they had to add retention bonuses to keep them on board through the knowledge transfer. I can’t imagine what my last two conversions would have been like if I lost key staffers. They also got lucky when their go-live was delayed by another project, which resulted in an extra six months for converting data. They’re still extracting as we speak, but I’m sure that gave them a bit of a cushion. They plan to go live with six years’ worth of hospital data, which is a tremendous amount.


I snuck out during the question and answer period so I could make it to my next meeting (the fact that the audience didn’t want to come to the microphone to ask their questions was definitely a contributing factor) and get the the exhibit hall when it opened. The rest of HIMSS was a blur and I’m still trying to get caught up. I found this politically incorrect squeezy stress thing in my bag when I got back. I saw them at the Hitachi booth but didn’t pick one up, so I suspect one of the folks I was roaming the hall with was trying to be funny. I’m sure if I put it on my desk at work I’d be summoned to HR before you can say “harassment.”


I did have one nice surprise this weekend – my Clinical Informatics certificate has arrived! All my certificates are in matching frames (courtesy of my first employer who actually had a budget for that sort of thing) so I hope I can find something that is close or at least complimentary. On the other hand, maybe I’ll go completely wild and frame it in animal print or something unusual. That would definitely start some conversations when people weave their way through Finance and Compliance to make it to my office.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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March 3, 2014 Dr. Jayne 1 Comment

Morning Headlines 3/3/14

March 2, 2014 Headlines No Comments

VA and DOD Need to Support Cost and Schedule Claims, Develop Interoperability Plans, and Improve Collaboration

The General Accounting Office analyzes the VA/DoD decision to abandon its iEHR development program last February. The resulting report suggests that the departments cancelled the project without ever evaluating the impact it would have on the overall cost and timeline of their interoperability goals.

How the Medical Establishment Got the Treasury’s Keys

Uwe E. Reinhardt, an economics professor at Princeton, dissects the formation of Medicare and the subsequent battles for payment reform fought between the federal government and healthcare providers.

McKesson Announces Further Changes to Corporate Governance and Compensation Practices

McKesson CEO John Hammergren voluntarily reduces his pension’s total value from $159 million to $114 million following outrage from shareholders.

Greenway Extends Patient Engagement Service with Acquisition of PeopleLYNK

Greenway acquires PeopleLYNK, a patient engagement tool that automates the process of sending patient reminders, lab results, prescription notifications, and clinical alerts.

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March 2, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/3/14

March 1, 2014 News 11 Comments


From Elizabeth: “Re: HIStalk mug. Thanks so much for the HIMSS coverage this year, as always. It was great that you had a booth because I’m pretty sure others would agree that the HIStalk gang are celebrities, albeit anonymous, in this space. I am sending you a little pic of my coveted HIStalk mug in its new home in snowy, cold NY. I think it fits in very well. It was by far my favorite takeaway from the conference, so much so that I wrapped it in a t-shirt from another vendor so it wouldn’t break on the flight home. I am happy to report that it remained safe and intact.” I can’t explain why I like seeing pictures of reader workspaces, but I do.


From Sipper: “Re: HIStalk mug. Big fan of HIStalk for many years, read it every day, loving my new mug!”

From Posit: “Re: HIMSS thoughts. Educational sessions were strayed, put together in silos, and not given by industry leaders but more by committee members trying to get placed on the HIMSS board. Educational content had nothing new. Hillary was dry, useless, and added nothing to the conversation of healthcare. The CIO Forum was the usual boy’s club, mostly just CIO wannabes as the majority of CIOs were out sunning themselves. The attendance count seemed to include anyone walking in the door. The HIMSS14 handbooks had many typos – sloppy work.”


From Dr. Info: “Re: HIMSS video. I saw this gem out of the corner of my eye and then had to endure many painful minutes of this insipid self-promotional video before it came around again for a quick photo for your blog. I’m probably the only person who watched the whole thing, including the producers and editors! Maybe they should just change the acronym already.” You would think HIMSS could spell its own name, especially when it was shilling its HIMSS14 TV informercials (“one-third of air time will be dedicated to our sponsors,” which puts even network TV to shame.)


From Eager Cleaver: “Re: cost of exhibiting at HIMSS. You should get someone with a modest-sized booth to anonymously provide all line-item costs to exhibit. Readers would be shocked.” I did this a few years ago and would be happy to do so again if a company would be willing to share. I would do it for the HIStalk booth, but it was tiny and we did everything on the cheap, so it’s not really representative. Meanwhile, money alone won’t buy you prime hall space, as booth selection is driven by HIMSS points, which is like your grocery store loyalty card with a lot more zeroes. The annual conference brought HIMSS $25 million in revenue, half its total take. Dues made up only 18 percent of its total revenue. According to its 2011 tax forms, Steve Lieber was paid $925K, so he’s surely well over the million-dollar mark by now. Also in the footnotes of the form: HIMSS owns 81 percent of MedTech Publishing (book value $8 million), which means if you get your industry news from Healthcare IT News, mHealth News, or Government Health IT, you’re getting it from the vendor-friendly, HIT-cheerleading HIMSS.

From GreenFlamed: “Re: Dragon Medical Network. v12.50.200.089 is not ready for prime time, especially in Virtual Desktop environments. It takes a crazy amount of support to sustain and keep your end users happy. The new service pack is riddled with bugs and the dictation box transparency feature is broken. We are facing a major Dragon buy-in and adoption crisis currently because it keeps crashing. Are there any other Dragon360 Network users out there using Dragon on a Virtual Desktop environment?”


Only 20 percent of respondents say their business card titles include a certification. New poll to your right: if you attended the HIMSS conference, how was it overall?

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Some of the classrooms we helped via HIStalk’s donation of proceeds from the big ad at the top of the page to DonorsChoose projects are already benefitting. Mr. Delperdang reports (and sends the photo above left) that his Mississippi high school students are using the inexpensive supplies we donated (remanufactured printer cartridges and a file cabinet, which he calls “a blessing”) to print and file assignments and college applications. Ms. Vega’s Illinois second graders have created a reading station from the set of non-fiction books we purchased, which she says is the most popular learning station in the classroom and that “even my students whom were afraid to speak and share ideas are now sharing their background knowledge with us.” Ms. Opatz’s Utah fourth graders have formed reading groups around the books we purchased for them (photo above right.) We funded a bunch of projects from the ad revenue and will be doing more, so stay tuned.


Oracle – like its CEO, Larry Ellison – rarely passes on the opportunity to exhibit boorish behavior. The company’s sloppy technical work reportedly assured the failure of Cover Oregon’s health insurance exchange, with the resulting outcry shaming Oracle into making a public promise to fix the problems it caused at no charge beyond the $90 million it was already being paid. The still-dysfunctional site isn’t likely to get better – Oracle has decided without explanation to pull 60 percent of its employees assigned to the project.


California’s health insurance exchange, fresh off a five-day system outage, says 14,500 people whose applications were partially completed in the days before the unplanned downtime will need to start over.


The General Accounting Office reviews the progress of the VA and Department of Defense in deciding to pursue their independent EHR plans and make them interoperable. They aren’t impressed: GAO says those organizations don’t have proof that it will be cheaper to run their separate systems than to create a single one. It also points out that despite the VA’s plan to pilot its system by September 2014 and the DoD’s intention to take its system live by the end of FY2016, neither have said what their systems will consist of, when they will be finished, or what they will cost. The report also says the VA and DoD are still fighting over control, with the federally mandated Interagency Program Office (IPO) having no power over funding and staffing. Both the VA and DoD, strangely enough, agreed with GAO’s recommendations that they perform a cost analysis, justify choosing the more expensive choice if that’s the case, create interoperability plans, and strengthen the control of IPO.


McKesson, bowing to shareholder pressure, reduces the pension of Chairman, President, and CEO John Hammergren from $159 million to $114 million, although one analyst says the company’s executive pension plan is still “the richest in corporate America.” Perhaps an earlier announcement of his forced impoverishment would have allowed him to escape the indignity of winning his second consecutive HISsie award last week for “Industry Figure In Whose Face You’d Most Like to Throw a Pie.”


It occurred to me while Mark Bertolini was delivering the HIMSS conference’s opening keynote address, his Aetna employees were setting up the company’s booth in the exhibit hall. Somehow that seems wrong. If it weren’t for HIMSS trying desperately (and unsuccessfully) to get people to stick around later into the week, they would have put the second consecutive keynoting Clinton (Chelsea next year?) in that spot as they have done with politicians in the past.


People have asked what my favorite conference giveaway was. I’ll go with the iPhone 5 cover from zCover. I wasn’t initially impressed because they had a tableful of them and they were packaged in plastic bags, to the point I was about to just toss it in the trash when I got home. It’s a really nice case that fits the phone perfectly (including little covers for each port) and a clip-on back that ties the package together. It has its own buttons that cover the ringer volume and home buttons that make them easier and more satisfying to use. I’m really glad I picked it up – it has replaced my rubber bumper cover.

It’s hardly news since Intermountain Healthcare announced that it was choosing Cerner as a partner last fall partly because it wasn’t confident about hitting Meaningful Use dates, but CIO Marc Probst says Intermountain will forego incentives and accept penalties for not being ready for MU2 in 2014.


Streamline Health Solutions promotes Richard Nelli to COO.


Greenway acquires PeopleLynk, which sends patient relationship messages based on EHR events.


Infor signs a letter of intent to acquire assets of GRASP Systems, including patient acuity, workload management, and patient assignment systems.

Ingenious Med launches its patient encounter platform One by Ingenious Med (IM1), providing care coordination and patient management to acute and sub-acute spaces.

Strata Decision Technology announces sales of its StrataJazz financial platform to Yale New Haven Health System (CT), Northwestern Medical Center (VT), and Southern Illinois Healthcare (IL).  


ONC and ANA will present a free one-day summit for nurses on March 21 at The Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, MD. The agenda includes a keynote by Deputy National Coordinator Judy Murphy, a panel discussion about using health IT to exchange information, afternoon breakout sessions, and a town hall discussion. I recommend as a counterpoint to all of that healthy discussion a side trip to my favorite place in Glen Burnie, Ann’s Dari-Creme.


In Canada, New Brunswick doctors question their medical society for striking a deal that allows only one EHR – the one sold by a for-profit company co-owned by the medical society — to access the province’s databases. Only 240 of 950 eligible physicians have signed up ahead of the March 31 deadline to earn a 50 percent government subsidy, with only 34 of those actually using the mandatory Velante software. Doctors question whether the medical society’s motivation is business success rather than patients, while the province’s health minister says it may have to take over the system if too few doctors sign up. A similar situation exists in Nova Scotia, where the province gave Nightingale exclusive rights to provide a subsidized EHR that connects to the government’s information.

The VA creates a development portal that explains how to create mobile apps for its use.


CareSync wins the most promising startup contest at the HIMSS conference.

”How the Medical Establishment Got the Treasury’s Keys,” an interesting article by economics professor Uwe Reinhardt, recounts irrational and naturally inflationary creation of Medicare in the 1960s as flawed grand plan to reduce poverty:

To help implement that vision, these proponents reluctantly paid the price the providers of health care extracted in return for accepting the legislation: Congress surrendered to the providers the keys to the United States Treasury, full well knowing that this social contract could have only a short shelf life. One would assume that physicians and hospital leaders knew that as well. In other words, the proponents of Medicare who signed on to the deal were anything but stupid. When confronted by the health care sector with a harsh trade-off between their cherished vision for health care, on the one hand, and a sensible payment policy, on the other, they let their vision override economically sound payment policy. Millions upon millions of America’s senior citizens are indebted to them for a program that remains highly popular to this day.

Weird News Andy wonders, “Does the noise in my head bother you?” in reading of a British tourist hearing scratching noises inside her head that turned out to be a happy family of eight flesh-eating maggots. WNA also likes this story, in which stethoscopes were found to carry more bacteria (especially MRSA) than anything other than the fingertips of doctors. It’s probably not realistic that doctors who can’t be convinced to wash their hands would sterilize their stethoscopes. 

HISsies 2014 Winners

Sponsor Updates from Last Week

  • Sagacious Consultants launches Sagacious Dispatch for Epic customers with short-term projects for optimizing their EMR.
  • Orion Health launches Collaborative Care for ACOs.
  • MEDHOST joins CommonWell Health Alliance.
  • Shore Medical Centers (NJ) selects CareTech Solutions Clinical Service Desk for night, weekend and holiday support.
  • Truven Health Analytics introduces Micromedex Pharmacy Intervention and Micromedex Infection Prevention.
  • CynergisTek expands its collaboration with Iatric Systems to offer support and management of Iatric’s Security Audit Manager.
  • Premier reports 90 percent of respondents experienced at least one drug shortage in the last six months that may have caused a medication safety issue or error in patient care.
  • Aventura releases Roaming Aware Desktop Version 5.0.
  • Kaleida Health (NY) selects Orion Health’s Rhapsody integration engine.
  • Covisint receives full accreditation with the Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program from and the EHNAC.
  • iMDsoft announces its MetaVision for NICUs will be featured at the 20th annual Cool Topics in Neonatology conference.
  • DrFirst’s controlled substance e-prescribing software will be integrated into Greenway’s EHRs.
  • ADP AdvancedMD offers an ICD-10 transition program with preparation resources, product enhancements, and a revenue cycle financing program.
  • UnitedHealthcare announces that InstaMed’s online bill payment service myClaims Managers has grown to 50,000 participating care providers with $20 million in payments processed since July 2013.
  • Emdeon publishes an ICD-10 transition white paper.
  • API Healthcare, a GE Healthcare Company, launches Patient Classification, which matches provider skills to patients.
  • Nuance announces that eCopy ShareScan is integrated with NextGen Ambulatory EMR.
  • First Databank releases FDB AlertSpace for Siemens Soarian.
  • NextGen Healthcare and Cerner announce bilateral integration.
  • Infor offers a promotion package for eGate customers interested in migrating its Cloverleaf product.
  • Infor introduces PeopleAnswers Talent Science to assist healthcare organization to select, retain, and develop clinicians.
  • DrFirst’s Patient Advisor delivers $21 million in prescription savings opportunities for uninsured patients during its first three months.
  • Imprivata will integrate its two-factor authentication management capabilities with DrFirst’s EPCS Gold solution to securely prescribe controlled substances electronically.
  • Physician First ACO (FL) selects eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record.
  • ADP AdvancedMD announces general availability of its reporting suite AdvancedInsight for physician practices.
  • Central Valley HIE (CA) joins Inland Empire HIE expanding the reach of the Orion Health Collaborative Care within California to 48 central and southern California organizations.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health announces the beta launch of its integrated clinical decision support and workflow management platform POC Advisor.
  • Northeast Georgia Physicians Group achieves Stage 7 of HIMSS EMRAM with Allscripts TouchWorks.
  • Covisint offers three reasons to physicians to avoid PQRS penalties.
  • Etransmedia expands its RCM services with the acquisition of Medigistics.
  • Intel-GE Care Innovations and Caradigm partner to integrate remote patient monitoring and smart sensor technologies to improve care plans.
  • E-MDs launches a SaaS-based RCM service.
  • AT&T announces plans to expand Digital Life into the healthcare market.
  • Predixion Software announces availability of its predictive analytics software on the Windows Azure cloud platform.
  • Baylor Scott & White Health (TX) expands its use of AtHoc Critical Communications platform for IT outages, emergency preparedness, and clinical alerts.
  • Optum launches Optum One analytics platform.
  • Advocate Health Care (IL) selects PerfectServe as its enterprise-wide clinical communications platform.
  • Healthy Catalyst reports that 76 percent of organizations lack basic analytics for Meaningful Use measures in a recently published white paper.
  • Imprivata will integrate HIT Application Solutions’ Notifi platform with Imprivata Cortext, enabling secure communications for continuum of care.
  • The Health Centers of Family Health Care join The Guideline Advantage, which uses Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager platform.
  • Siemens Healthcare launches CareXcell a subscription based solution for population health management.
  • Memorial Hospital at Gulfport (MS) selects Health Catalyst’s Late-Binding Data Warehouse and Analytics platform to provide a unified view of clinical and performance data from their McKesson and Allscripts EHR applications.
  • Capsule Tech reports a 24 percent increase in revenue for 2013, with 1,650 healthcare facility clients worldwide.
  • University Hospitals (OH) will deploy PeriGen’s PeriCALM at UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital and UH Geauga Medical Center, which will include sending OB content into its Allscripts EHR.
  • NantHealth introduces NantHealth Clinical Operating System, developed after consolidating of several healthcare IT companies including iSirona.
  • Capsule Tech introduces SmartLinx Medical Device Information System for point-of-care data delivery.
  • North Memorial Health Care (MN) is awarded joint second place in the annual Healthcare Informatics Innovator Awards after incorporating Health Catalyst’s EDW platform and analytics solution.
  • EClinicalWorks, Greenway, ICA, InterSystems, Medfusion, Medicity, Optum, and Orion Health found Carequality, which will focus on interoperability between existing and emerging HIE networks.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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March 1, 2014 News 11 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/28/14

February 28, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

Intermountain to Miss 2014 Meaningful Use Attestation Deadline, Citing Safety Concerns

Intermountain Healthcare CIO Marc Probst says the organization is not planning to attest for meaningful use Stage 2 in 2014, forgoing a sizable incentive payment and triggering penalties in 2016 from CMS.

ICD-10 deadline won’t be delayed, Tavenner tells HIMSS

During a press conference at HIMSS CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced that there would be no deadline extensions for either ICD-10 or meaningful use Stage 2, but that it would be more flexible with hardship exemption applications from providers that are unable to meet Stage 2 MU on time.

NY startups make the case for funding HIE

New York’s 10 independent and disconnected regional health information exchanges are applying for $65 million in state funding to connect to the Statewide Health Information Network of New York, or SHIN-NY.

Oracle pulls 100 programmers from unfinished Cover Oregon health insurance exchange

Oracle, the main contractor responsible for the failed Oregon health insurance exchange, has reassigned 100 of the 165 programmers working on the project even though the site is still non-operational and plagued with bugs.

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February 28, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

From HIMSS 2/27/14

February 27, 2014 News 11 Comments


From Spelling Recognition: “Re: ‘documention.’ Is this a misspelling or or marketing gone wrong?” I suspect the former and dread the possibility of the latter.

From Born Free: “Re: HIMSS opening session. It was nice of the HIMSS chair to recognize physicians in the audience, but as soon as the recognized physicians sat down, the speaker then dissed them through sarcasm about their ego and the 6,500 physicians in his organization that think they know best. It was a little uncomfortable and not very wise considering HIMSS’s desire to add physicians to their membership rolls.” I missed the presentation since I was protesting having an insurance company millionaire talking about how healthcare should work. I don’t like having vendors as keynoters.


From IT Director: “Re: HIMSS. It was a pleasure to meet Lorre in the booth on Tuesday. If you are going to have a public face I can’t think of a better one! She was engaging and knowledgeable and fun to talk with even if just for a few minutes. I love the fact that you had a booth — that was a cool thing to do.” HIMSS booths are breathtakingly expensive, but it was worth it to be able to meet readers, sponsors, and passers-by (most of them on their way to bathrooms right by our booth given our tiny HIMSS clout and budget). It was great having Lorre there since as the only non-anonymous HIStalk team member since she kept me updated with who dropped by, what they had to say, and what it was like being on the show floor with the other exhibitors. That was all new to me – my only view of HIStalk is sitting alone in front of a PC all day and night. It was cool that other exhibitors brought celebrities to our booth, sent Lorre scones and fun giveaway items, and helped us figure out the exhibit process since we were clueless. I’ve asked Lorre to do a writeup on what it was like for her to meet readers, work the booth, attend the events, and accept our Sunquest Industry Pioneer Award.

From Brian Ahier: “Re: Ed Park of athenahealth at HIMSS. Gave the best presentation at HIMSS.”


I’m glad the HIMSS conference is over. I’ll be catching up over the next few HIStalk posts. Your comments about the conference, exhibits, companies, and educational sessions are welcome.

I have to say I’m already dreading going to Chicago for the conference next year. All I remember from last time is snow, surly unionized conference center staff, outdated hotels that cost at least double what they were worth, endless cab lines because of the weather, and wearing winter clothes. I like Chicago as a tourist, but not as a conference attendee. HIMSS loves it, of course, because the travel is easier for their people and they get to deal their home city some payola.


Here’s Lorre’s new BFF Bob Murphy, MD, CMIO of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (TX), meeting people in our booth.

Orlando attendance set a record at an announced 38,828, although I don’t know how that number was derived. I assume all registrations were counted, including exhibitors and press, but I don’t know if HIMSS counted people sitting at home who paid $49 to watch streamed sessions on the Web. I know this: all event promoters like to provide optimistic attendance statistics and there’s no good way to audit their claims.


PeriGen was a booth neighbor and CEO Matt Sappern dropped by to say that “HIStalk is the only thing to read each day.”

This week on HIStalk Connect: Epic and Walgreens launch a wide-reaching interoperability partnership to rival CommonWell. HIMSS publishes the findings of its mHealth Technology Survey. Glooko unveils a population health tracker focused on improving care within the diabetic population.


Jennifer Dennard (@SmyrnaGirl) tweeted out this photo, saying she’s reading up on HIStalk while sipping from our mug now that she’s home from the conference. Our mug supply is exhausted other than a few we set aside for loyal readers who asked us to mail them one since they weren’t at the conference. I like Jennifer’s photo – if you took a mug home, send a picture of it in its new home.

I didn’t hear much about Hillary’s Wednesday keynote other than (a) it was extremely short; (b) like any skilled politician, she didn’t really say anything other than predictably lauding the work of the crowd that brought her there and kissing up to HIMSS. I would have been mad about waiting an hour or two to squeeze into the huge room for her talk given its lack of substance. Hillary’s rumored minimum speaking fee is $200K plus expenses, so she took home a big paycheck in addition to potentially impressing would-be Presidential voters who were apparently happy just to bask in her celebrity.

Hillary mentioned in her speech that corporations don’t have enough females on their boards. She didn’t define “enough” quantitatively.

HHS confirmed during the conference that neither ICD-10 nor Meaningful Use Stage 2 deadlines will change.


Hearst Health’s newly formed venture unit invests in Tonic Health, which offers an iPad-based data collection tool that counts Partners HealthCare and UCLA Health among its customers.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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February 27, 2014 News 11 Comments

From HIMSS 2/27/14 – Inga’s Update

February 27, 2014 News 11 Comments

It’s early afternoon on Thursday and I just returned home. My feet look like little sausages from all the walking and the flight, so I am putting my feet up and getting out a quick summary of random impressions from Wednesday. I’ll provide a wrap-up by the end of the weekend.

2-27-2014 1-54-06 PM

A couple of folks advised me that the guy in the red suit I noticed in the CareCloud booth was not an attendee but Stelle Smith from CareCloud. Maybe it’s the Miami influence? I had a chat with CareCloud CEO Albert Santolo, by the way, and will share more details on that later.

A word of advice: don’t walk around in public, especially at a place like HIMSS, and carry on a cell phone conversation that includes confidential information. As I was walking to the convention center I overheard a gentleman talking about “John Smith” who is over-compensated in his role, especially compared to the hardworking “Joe Brown”. Just so happens I know Joe Brown (who has a much less common name than Joe Brown) so it took me about two minutes to figure out the name of the company and the probable manager who is about to axe poor John.

2-27-2014 1-53-42 PM

I love, love, love this photo that the GetWellHealth folks sent over. I considered asking them if they had an extra  pair in a size 8 but then realized I’d probably never have the right occasion to wear them. Well, maybe they would be fun for Mardi Gras.

As I walked by the Surescripts booth there was a representative standing out in the aisle who looked directly at my badge before saying hello. I was wearing an exhibitor badge and she immediately apologized and said she was told they were really only interested in marketing to providers so she was trying to see where I was from (before she wasted her time engaging me). I proceeded to tell her that that didn’t make much sense since they partnered with vendors (maybe she has never heard of “Surescripts certified products.”) I am pretty sure she was an employee and not a hired gun and she was clearly not some 22 year-old marketing intern. Odd.

2-27-2014 1-53-12 PM

I went 45 minutes early and snagged a seat for Hillary Clinton’s keynote address. I happen to be sitting next to a guy from one of the better known HIT publications and he was telling me about the insanity of the whole “no press allowed” situation. His publisher was also exhibiting so he was able to use an exhibitor badge to get in. I laughed out loud when Clinton mentioned something about the “anti-journalist” mentality in Russia, wondering how many people caught the irony. Aside from that drama, I found Clinton to be very smart and a seasoned speaker. If she was reading from a teleprompter then she concealed it quite well. During the Q&A session she was just as quick on her feet as during her 20 minute prepared speech and she managed to throw in a little humor now and again. While she of course discussed the importance of HIT, I was fascinated with her comments on Russia, Ukraine, and the tracking of Bin Laden.

2-27-2014 1-50-52 PM

Nuance had a huge booth but I thought the lighting was odd. It was as if someone forgot to turn on the lights at the demo stations.

I played Pac Man at the Medseek booth. It took me 15 seconds to lose.

2-27-2014 1-50-04 PM

What was with the dead bushes decorating the NantHealth booth? I just realized that NantHealth is the new name for iSirona, which might explain why I found next to no signage with the company’s name.

I felt sorry for the exhibitors that were in the section past Cerner (7000s and above) because there was definitely less traffic than in the other section of the hall. There are probably a lot of people like me that make a conscious decision to start in the 100s and work their way through the hall, only to be fatigued before completing the journey.

2-27-2014 1-49-34 PM

API Healthcare was proudly displaying its four KLAS trophies.

I met Brian Ahier who is a big Tweeter (@ahier) and HIT writer who often sounds good stuff to Mr. H and me. I get so excited when I get to meet HIT superstars.

2-27-2014 1-49-06 PM

3M’s booth was much larger than I recall in recent years and all the signage was about getting to ICD-10. Strike when the iron is hot, I guess.

Speaking of ICD-10, I saw some Tweets that CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in her Thursday morning keynote that the ICD-10 transition would not be delayed.

2-27-2014 9-44-31 AM

A few folks that didn’t get an invite to HIStalkapalooza decided to have their own party, which they called “HIStalk-a-Pa-Losers. They tell me they spent at least 10 minutes creating their banner and ended up having a fabulous time.

Several exhibitors told me that they were staying a few miles away from the convention center because there were not enough rooms in walking distance, especially if you wanted a large block of rooms. Unfortunately that’s probably going to be the case again next year in Chicago.

2-27-2014 9-34-51 AM

Holly sent me this picture of the guy I loved from SIS who was aggressively handing out goodies to folks passing by and even to  the people on trams. I incorrectly said he was asking, “Would you like gum, mints, or analytics for your EHR.” Actually SIS offers analytics for the “OR.”

2-27-2014 9-33-14 AM

Dr. Jayne and I passed by the Greythorn booth and actually caressed the winning pair of shoes from the Inga Loves My Shoes contest. Apparently we were not the only ones so I am glad they had fun with the sash.

2-27-2014 9-12-06 AM

Ross Martin, who co-emceed the HISsies and provided some musical entertainment to start the evening, posted the above note on Facebook Sunday. He told me that at least a dozen people had asked him to find them a HIStalkapalooza invite.

2-27-2014 9-03-36 AM

The CareTech Solutions folks wanted to make sure we knew they were proud of their sign.

2-27-2014 8-54-05 AM

The Versus folks put out this Tweet on Tuesday. I definitely took advantage of their hospitality.

2-27-2014 8-51-34 AM

The T-System ladies were decked out in fun red shoes.

2-27-2014 8-47-52 AM

PeriGen had adorable baby Uggs as pen holders and baby flip flops right by their sponsorship sign. They were also giving out USB drives, which they had arranged to create the letters, “OB.” Very clever.

Mr. H had commented that people in the exhibit hall were “zombies” Wednesday and I was definitely one of them. Inga may perpetually be a 28 year-old party girl but unfortunately she has taken residence in body that is a little more mature. I think I’ll spend the rest of my day and evening on my couch wading through 2,000 emails and hoping my feet return to normal.

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February 27, 2014 News 11 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/27/14

February 27, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Top healthcare groups petition HHS for meaningful-use extensions

50 influential healthcare groups, including the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association, send a letter to HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking that MU stage 2 be delayed due to a lack of EHR vendors meeting 2014 edition certification standards.

Framework for I.T. Regulation Slated to Reach Congress in March

Representatives of the FDA, ONC and FCC all promise that the now overdue report on a risk-based regulatory framework for health I.T will be published as a draft version by the end of March

Congress wants to kick the FDA out of digital health with this new bill

A new bill has been introduced in Congress that would remove the FDA’s regulatory authority over all but "high risk" digital health technologies.

Health law cybersecurity challenges

An AP report shows that more than two-thirds of state-run health insurance exchanges were rated as having "high risk" security vulnerabilities just after their launch.

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From HIMSS 2/26/14

February 26, 2014 News 5 Comments

From SoreThroat: “Why did CCHIT leave the ONC Testing & Certification program? Why were they really losing money? What was the ‘exit plan’ and who benefited? Who will be left to turn off the lights on CCHIT once the relationship with HIMSS is consummated? CCHIT rolls down hill: vendors, hospitals and others don’t like the feel or the smell.”

From Soft Skills Are Key: “Re: consultants. When will vendors learn that consultants are not the enemy? We approached the SCC Soft booth at HIMSS, introduced ourselves to the booth sales rep, and asked if we could see a quick glimpse of his product. We explained to him that we we’re consultants and wanted to familiarize ourselves with their product at the interest of our clients. The sales guy’s response, along with the stone-cold stare, was, ‘I don’t see the point,’, and then walked away. Soft Lab, ‘Yes’, but Soft Skills, ‘No.’”

The lessened enthusiasm of the throng of attendees and exhibitors was palpable Wednesday. The coat check stations were full of bags of folks taking flights out Wednesday, the exhibit hall energy level was a fraction of that Monday and Tuesday, and most of the big social events were over.

I started my day noticing that every single men’s restroom on the main level was closed. Two had signs saying the conference center was being improved, while another just had a barrier stuck in front of it.


SIS was demoing their analytics application.


Health Catalyst had big booth crowds Wednesday morning.


Optum had a disturbingly large display that was like being at a drive-in movie with men in suits milling about in front of the screen.

I noticed multiple occurrences of odd grammar usage that’s as common as uptalking in young folks: saying “yeah, no,” usually expressed when agreeing with someone making a negative point.

Someone forwarded me a HIMSS email intended for working press saying that because of the contract HIMSS signed with Hillary Clinton for her keynote, reporters not only couldn’t cover her speech, they weren’t even allowed inside the hall to see it. I verified that HIMSS people were indeed turning away reporters at the door, although checking every badge must have slowed down the entry process. I say “must have” because having arrived early last year to see Bill, I still ended up sitting on the floor in front of a TV monitor and decided I would rather just beat the crowds out the door instead of in, so I left the conference early.

Athenahealth wasted no time in printing up big booth signs proclaiming themselves as the top-rated software vendor in KLAS. A reporter asked Judy directly what she thought of it and she said it was a scoring anomaly that won’t happen again. The reporter followed up with KLAS and found that she is technically correct because KLAS is getting rid of the category.

We’re first-time HIMSS exhibitors working on the cheap, so Lorre got a lot of help from many folks, including our booth neighbors and readers. She would especially like to thank Dr. Gregg and Mike “PACSMan” Cannavo, who covered the booth when she needed to step away, brought her lunch, and otherwise made her day a lot better.


Speaking of Lorre, I have received a ton of positive comments about how well she represented HIStalk at our events and in the booth. I had little doubt when I brought her on board, so I’m not surprised. I’m gratified that after spending time at Sunquest and Mediware, she is loving her HIStalk role in running Webinars, supporting our sponsors and readers, and managing all the details that I wasn’t handling well because of time constraints. Above is Dr. Lyle Berkowitz, James Aita, Lorre, and Amy Gleason at HIStalkapalooza.

image image

Here’s Lorre wearing the Super Bowl ring of Stephen Baker the Touchdown Maker while he visited our booth, also showing her HIStalk party nail. Note that SB isn’t just trading on his former athletic glories: he is a substitute teacher and supports several charitable causes related to children.



Lorre and I now know that we have a lot of readers from Epic because several of them dropped by our tiny booth to say hello. Lorre says the taxi-themed shoes were her favorite of the entire conference.


Epic people were great about being attentive to their customers and not staring at their phones until we tweeted my desire to capture at least four booth reps doing so at once. They helpfully staged a photo shoot in the Epic booth just for Lorre. They are a fun group.

We have around 1,200 professional photos from HIStalkapalooza. These will provide good memories for those who where there until I can go through the entire set.

















Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Tuesday and Wednesday

More hours in the exhibit hall means more interesting things to see. I must say I like the HIMSS decision to not close the hall during lunch. It may make it more challenging for exhibitors but it made it easier for me to see more booths. Unfortunately, I also forgot to eat on Tuesday, so maybe the forced break was a good thing.


Inga and I spotted this walking carrot earlier in the week but couldn’t catch a photo fast enough. I finally found her at the Phytel booth. She was there to promote their service project where attendees could stuff backpacks with food for Second Harvest, which provides it to children who may not have meals when they’re not able to receive a free or reduced price lunch at school. I wish I had known about it earlier and would have made time on my schedule to participate if I hadn’t already been double-booked.


I had the opportunity to cruise the hall Tuesday afternoon with Dr. Ross Martin, who not only sings fabulous songs about HIStalk by night, but is part of the leadership team at AMIA by day. I always like to visit the first-time exhibitors and we were over in the low numbers when the staff of Nobl engaged us with cookies. They were also kind enough to allow Ross to charge his dying cell phone while they showed us their Vigilance product. It’s a proactive nurse rounding program designed to improve patient satisfaction (and therefore HCAHPS scores). They also have the ability to notify family members about the activities of their loved one – whether he or she is sleeping, eating, taking their medications, etc. I’ll be interested to see how they fare over time.

Ross also granted me a provisional degree of Fellow for ACMImimi, the American College of Medical Informatimusicology. He assures me the board will formally approve my candidacy at their next meeting, but I better brush up on the show tunes in case they ask for an audition tape.

I attended a nice presentation at Aventura about their instant-on and roaming solutions. I particularly liked the fact that they had actual clients delivering the presentations rather than sales reps. They were also very interested in feedback from attendees and prospects which was a nice change. The lovely Bonny Roberts also had her HIStalk beauty queen sash on display.


I stopped by to watch Inga play Quipstar at the Medicomp booth. Although she didn’t win, she did score a $1,000 donation to her favorite charity. Thanks to Medicomp for allowing us to be their celebrity contestants and for their support of worthy causes. Of course Inga had her usual security detail – two handsome men in black who made sure Inga’s many admirers kept a safe distance. Although they didn’t have the shoe-cam this year, she was sporting some sassy heels with bows on the toes.

Inga and I sampled some of the Tuesday afternoon cocktail hours including Aventura, FormFast, and Sunquest. Tuesday night I hit a couple of parties including PatientSafe Solutions and the Athena Cloud Party. I had several others on my dance card, but the distance between Universal CityWalk, Downtown Disney, and Pointe Orlando was pretty daunting. Roving reporters let me know that the band at Greenway was good and the NextGen clients were having a great time at Pub Orlando.


Orchard had a large tree in their booth. I liked the crates as well. After so much walking around, I needed a break, so I went back to find the quiet sofa on the fourth floor that I had spotted on Monday. Unfortunately today there were several screens blaring a HIMSS14TV broadcast that no one was watching. It was kind of annoying.


I missed the #HITchicks tweetup, but Lorre brought me some swag from the event, which was much appreciated. I’m a little jealous of her non-anonymity because she’s had some great networking opportunities at the booth. Inga and I stopped by several times over the last few days and there seemed to be a lot of others passing by as well.


Imprivata had various different people presenting in its booth with its realistic care setting. On one pass through the area, they had these folks dressed as care team members. I generally don’t like people trying to act like doctors and nurses even if it is in the name of marketing. At least if you’re going to do it, make it more realistic. Their scrubs should be rumpled, they should have overstuffed pockets, and they should look much more haggard.


Siemens had an awesome presentation using a dynamic array of tablets to display content. One attendee commented that he didn’t know anything about their products but the presentation was amazing.


CMS had a relatively large booth with virtually no one in it. Your tax dollars at work, folks. Speaking of tax dollars, on Tuesday ONC released a new Data Brief reporting results from the 2012 ONC Consumer Survey on Privacy and Security. The data was gathered from a telephone survey of 2,000 adults conducted in 2012. That’s not a tremendous sample size and the writeup makes it look like there were only four questions asked, so I wonder why it took so long to release the data? If anyone has insight, let me know.

Wednesday was a short day for me due to an early flight home. I really wanted to stay through Thursday to hear keynote speaker Erik Weihenmayer, but work responsibilities and the lack of a hotel room for Wednesday night conspired against me. I’ve heard him before, and if you can spare the time, he delivers an extremely compelling story. Although I do enjoy HIMSS it’s just exhausting and I can’t wait to get home to my own bed.

Dr. Gregg’s HIMSS Report

HIMSS this year was a short, fast blur. Well, for me anyway. I made a fairly late decision to go when Lorre wrote to ask if I might be able to help out at the sponsor dinner and the all-new HIStalk HIMSS booth. It’s a tough thing for a solo doc to take time away from practice, so I was thinking of skipping it. But I like being able to connect in live mode with old friends, see the latest HIT tech, hear new and fresh (or sometimes even old and stale) vendor pitches, but mostly I enjoy supporting the HIStalk efforts.

Flying in later Sunday afternoon, I made it in time for the 2014 HIStalk Sponsor Dinner. It was held at the same place as last time HIMSS was in Orlando, Maggiano’s. There’s a good reason for the repeat booking: Maggiano’s does a great job. They have a lovely place and make spectacular dishes. (The stuffed mushroom caps were divine.) Despite Mr. H’s less-than-happy take on the turnout, it was a very enjoyable event.

By the way, Mr. H, I had several vendor folks tell me later that they regretted not making it, but they had legit reasons such as booth set up issues that kept them tied up until the dinner was over or they had out-of-their-hands air travel delays. Lorre did a very nice job arranging the dinner and her HIStalk mugs were a real hit, both there and at the booth.

I hope Mr. H rethinks not holding it. It’s a nice gesture of appreciation for the generous HIStalk sponsors (and saying “thanks” isn’t about getting a “you’re welcome,” right?) Maybe it gets arranged a little differently, perhaps more casually next time, but I’d offer one suggestion more: Mr. H, Inga, and Dr. Jayne should make an appearance as they did last time we were at Maggiano’s. Their anonymous allure is certainly a special draw.

The HIStalk booth was an undeniable hit. For a small, first-time booth back in the uncharted regions of the HIMSS exhibit hall hinterlands, it had a slew of traffic. Lots of folks made a point to hike back just to say “Hi” and “Thanks for what you guys do.” Lorre did such a great job. The HIStalk swag including buttons and mugs and tattoos and magnets were snatched up by many/most who visited. The traffic was so remarkable that nearby vendors eyed the booth covetously. Lorre told me one looked over after a while and said, “Who are you guys? Why do you get such great traffic?” Booth envy.

Speaking of Lorre – what a gem! I had not met her before Sunday’s dinner, but I gotta tell you, she is a real delight. If you haven’t had the honor, you’ve a treat in store. Smart, pleasant, and just plain nice. Her one flaw may be that she’s too humble. (Wait… that’s not a flaw; that’s refreshing!) Mr. H found a real keeper.

As I mentioned, my time was very limited, but I got to know the vendor landscape early on helping Lorre deliver the HIStalk sponsor signs. (Shame on those who neglected to display them!) The exhibits are overwhelming at first. It takes a trip or three before you can really discern wheat from chaff. I can’t honestly say that I saw anything that really knocked my socks off. Lots of (too much) chatter about data analytics and population health. Minimal, if any, Meaningful Use hubbub. (thank goodness.) A dearth of “wow” overall, though there were some cool things to see.

I took another look at CareCloud. Got a great demo (thanks, Brian) and spoke with Brad and John (big CC wigs) about some of the cool stuff they’re developing. I also got a view at the next phase for athenahealth. It’s definitely a good direction for them. Thanks to Pierre and Maria and the nice Athena folks who showed me their new UI (and for the new Kindle!) Jonathan Bush was not around, off in Sochi at last spotting.

I enjoyed a couple of rounds of Quipstar at the Medicomp booth. FYI: Inga was robbed; she actually would have won on total points, but they missed that she had been first to respond on a question. Nevertheless, she and her charity made out. As did all the charities and those participants who walked away with cash or iPads. The illustrious James Aita (no longer with Medicomp having returned to his Canuck roots working at Idea Couture) flew in for a command performance and yet again gave Alex Trebek a run for the money as a game show emcee. Heck, the whole crew, including Cindy and Shannon at Thomas Wright Partners and Patrice of Bzzz Productions, does a really nice job with that event.

Speaking of Medicomp, their CEO, Dave Lareau, walked me over and introduced me to “Marck and Mark” at Clinical Architecture. They do a middleware mapping and a form of NLP (it isn’t really natural language processing, more a “terminology processing”) thing that is simply amazing. They create more connections than eHarmony. Truly awe-inspiring, cool stuff that will undoubtedly have a huge effect on indexing and connecting all this disparate data we’re now digitizing.

I was really lucky running into the guys (Omar, Rufi, and Asad) from Panacea EHR. They are some of my favorite folks – really nice and trying to things for the right reasons. They didn’t opt for a booth and were just taking meetings and checking the floor – a pretty good, more cost-effective idea for a smaller vendor, in my opinion.

I enjoyed seeing lots of good folks, such as Dr. Travis who was there in the Startup Showcase with his new company, Catalyze, and Amy Gleason, Travis Bond, et al, from CareSync, also in the Startup Showcase. (CareSync won the top honors in contest there, but I’m sorry, I don’t remember the contest’s name.) It was great seeing Dr. Lyle who was even more bubbly than usual since his new company, healthfinch and their RefillWizard are performing magically, by all counts.

Of course, my cohorts from Health Nuts Media were roaming the hall, too. It’s weird; for as often as we speak, HIMSS is one of the few times I get to actually see them live and in person.

There’s a laundry list of friendly folks I won’t have time to mention much – such as Jason from Health Care Dataworks, Andrea and Fred from the Ohio Health Information Partnership, Marcy from Fleisher Communications, and more – with whom I really enjoyed getting a little face time.

For anyone I didn’t mention, please know I still really enjoyed connecting. And, for all the folks who took time to stop by the booth or stop me somewhere else to chat or share kind HIStalk words, thanks!

Though I doubt the Twittersphere noticed, I didn’t get to tweet (or take any pix) as my phone’s battery started dying on Sunday and wouldn’t hold a charge well. It was actually sort of nice not being too plugged in for a bit!

Lastly, as I was getting ready to fly out Tuesday night, I got to enjoy a nice dinner and some super conversation when we held little impromptu pediatric geek get together. CMIOs from Ivy League and top-ranked hospitals sharing with trench grunt peds. Thanks to Drs. Andy Spooner and Allen Hsiao for the great time.

HIMSS for the little guy: too big, too fast… and too fun!

From the trenches…

"Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.” – Frank A. Clark

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February 26, 2014 News 5 Comments

From HIMSS 2/26/14 – Inga’s Update

February 26, 2014 News 4 Comments

So much to share and not much time nor energy following a very long Tuesday and a very short night’s sleep. Coffee will be my friend today.

Random highlights from my day:

2-26-2014 5-18-20 AM

I did pretty good on the swag front, choosing to only pick up items deemed cool enough to lug home. One of my favorites is the stuffed yellow lab from Sunquest, which I intend to give to a special friend who has one of the real versions. I went to the Sunquest booth and asked to have one but was told they had run out. Lorre then went to their booth and told them Inga wanted one and curiously they found an extra. I also love the autographed copy of  Niko Skievaski’s Struck by Orca.

I played Medicomp’s Quipstar game and came in last place. Oh well, the Medicomp folks still cut an $1,100 check to my favorite charity.

2-26-2014 5-16-57 AM

How about these booth shoes sported by Patrick from Lightbeam?

2-26-2014 5-16-03 AM

Humana was giving away smoothies that were created from a bicycle-powered blender.

2-26-2014 5-15-36 AM

More than 100 vendors had requested desktop signs proclaiming their support of HIStalk. They are a bit of a labor of love to create and I was sad (hmm…annoyed) that a few opted not to display their signs after all. However, many thanks to those that I spotted, including Orchestrate, Summit, Bottomline, Forward Health, Awarepoint, Healthwise, GetWell, Imprivata, Infor, MBA, Versus, TeraMedica, Fujifilm, Netsmart, PatientSafe (their folks were also sporting HIStalk label pins), Greythorn (they had their sign displayed in a sparkly frame), TalkSoft, Health Care Software, Perceptive, and SIS. If you see one, please tell the booth folks that Inga sends her love.

2-26-2014 5-15-00 AM

Stoltenberg Consulting’s booth always reminds me of camping. Maybe that’s the intent. I guess it’s fun.

2-26-2014 5-14-30 AM

I really love most of the art in the Epic booth but this girl was a bit creepy because she looked a little too real.

2-26-2014 5-13-58 AM

This bear was a little more my style.

2-26-2014 5-13-00 AM

I loved the purple sneakers that the GetWellNetwork folks were wearing.

SAP had a big booth but Derek was out in the middle of the aisle trying to engage people in a very friendly and not too pushy way.

2-26-2014 5-12-22 AM

It’s a bit hard to see but this guy getting a demo in CareCloud’s booth was wearing a red suit. Um, you have to be pretty confident or a little color blind to wear a red suit. CareCloud, by the way, has a cool new booth with a balcony.

2-26-2014 5-11-32 AM

I liked the looks of the MedeAnalytics booth. This is actually the backside of it.

Every time I walked by IBM’s booth it was packed, but I could never quite figure out why.

2-26-2014 5-10-58 AM

Some of my favorite guys of the day were from Headspring, which was promoting a mobile nursing application.They were all in cowboy garb (because they are from Texas) and were standing out in the aisle handing out packages of nuts (which I happen to be eating right now for breakfast.)

2-26-2014 5-10-30 AM

TeraRecon has this massive screen as part of their booth. I thought it overpowered their space a bit.

I went by CommonWell and was disappointed that when I asked what they did I was handed a marketing slick that showed the various members but was not given any additional explanation of what they were all about. I let them keep their slick.

2-26-2014 5-09-41 AM

McKesson’s coffee bar was quite popular. If you are seeking coffee, however, many of the smaller vendors are also happy to give you a cup and most have shorter lines.

Kyle with INUVIO did a great job getting my attention as I walked by and then provided me a nice concise explanation of their card scanning solution.

2-26-2014 5-09-03 AM

I liked the look of ICA’s booth.

Check out the magician at NTT’s booth. He had me intrigued.

2-26-2014 5-07-25 AM

I had mentioned previously that Alere’s booth was one of my favorites and they were getting plenty of people walking through their tunnel.

The ladies at Dirvugent were super sweet and I liked that the company is donating money to a local children’s charity if you spin their wheel (and let them scan your badge.)

2-26-2014 6-26-59 AM

This is an amazing statistic.

Maybe someone can explain why so many people (all men that I observed) were walking around with Google glasses. Late in the evening I tried on a pair and didn’t see enough to make me feel compelled to buy some.

I had the opportunity to chat with Girish Navani of eClinicalWorks. He’s a really nice, down to earth guy and I will later share more details of our conversation, which ranged from eCW’s growth, to Girish’s intent to keep the company private, to his prediction for what HIT topics will be hot over the next couple of years.

I loved the pitch from the SIS guy as I strolled past their booth. He was sporting a red jacket, standing in the aisle, handing out goodies, and asking folks if they cared for mints, gum, or analytics for EHR.

I have another busy day planned and am very excited to see Hillary Clinton’s keynote this afternoon. Hope my feet survive.

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February 26, 2014 News 4 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/26/14

February 26, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Carequality Launches Significant Industry-Wide Effort Focused On Achieving Interoperability Between Existing and Emerging HIE Networks

HealtheWay, formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange, partners with Epic, Meditech, eClinicalWorks, Greenway, CVS, Walgreens, UnitedHealth Group, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and others to create a wide-reaching health information exchange.

Cleveland Clinic, Dell collaborate on EHR service

Dell and Cleveland Clinic announce a partnership to offer EHR consulting services for hospitals implementing Epic.

A New One-Stop Shop for eHealth

CMS launches eHealth University at HIMSS14, a website designed for providers that consolidates information on various health IT programs and requirements.

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February 26, 2014 Headlines No Comments

From HIMSS 2/25/14

February 25, 2014 News 10 Comments

Imprivata’s people worked hard overnight to get out video from HIStalkapalooza. They did a great job capturing what the event is all about. Thanks again to the companies that made it possible – Imprivata, Greenway, Nordic, Hill-Rom, RFIDeas, and VMware. If you attended, I’m sure those companies would appreciate your stopping by to say thanks (as would I.) The band rocked the house to the point I was told (having left long before so I could get work done) that they were still playing with people dancing until at least midnight. When we all get some catch-up time, I’ll list the contest and HISsies winners.


Lorre wanted me to make sure to thank three guys from our booth neighbor Park Place International. She asked them if they might have a hand cart that she could borrow to bring in three heavy boxes of our giveaway mugs that were sitting in her vehicle on the top level of the Rosen parking garage (since that was the only place left to park). They insisted on going out in their dark business clothes on a sticky morning and hauling in the boxes by hand, starting off their day sweating. That was a classy and chivalrous thing to do. Their behavior reflects positively on the company and we appreciate them, especially since Park Place is also an HIStalk sponsor (they provide Meditech services.)



Sunquest emailed yesterday asking if we could drop by their booth Tuesday afternoon to accept an award. That was a surprise since we’ve never received an award, so Lorre went over during their booth happy hour. It was a bigger deal than we expected – Sunquest’s executive team, including President Richard Atkin, presented HIStalk with the “Sunquest Industry Pioneer Award.” Richard remarked that some companies keep HIStalk at arm’s length knowing that we’re going to call them out if they do something stupid, but that Sunquest supports what we do and considers us a partner. It was a nice thing to do and an honor, and Lorre reports that lots of people stopped her on her way back to the booth wanting a peek at the award.

Odd: everybody was giving away pens, but notepads and sticky notes were impossible to find. Vendors, if you’re going to go green by not giving out paper, we don’t really need pens. I couldn’t find anything to write notes on.


I was walking in the hall and heard what sounded like a high-pitch voiced fire and brimstone preacher. It was patient advocate Regina Holliday of “The Walking Gallery” fame, almost seeming out of place pushing for patient involvement in a hall full of people and products that aren’t really wired with that in mind.

I’m trying to track down something that supposedly happened during the opening reception. I was told that someone from HIMSS was addressing the audience and said something that was potentially insulting to physicians (something about ego, I was told with no further details). If you were there and can elaborate, please do.


Evena Medical had cool glasses designed for venipuncture that view 16 lines transparently in the center of both lenses. They can also take pictures to send back to the EMR. They were interesting, although the venipuncture app seems to have limited sales potential compared to other possible uses.


The folks from 7 Signals showed me a cool display of their WiFi monitoring tool. They have it set up to report on the exhibit hall’s WiFi, which you might guess from the red indicators and the long list of exhibitor sessions, is pretty much useless. Their tool can not only report problems, but actually fix them with a single click. They couldn’t confirm a rumor I had heard – that vendors can’t avoid paying exhibitor company Freeman hundreds to thousands of dollars per day for Internet access in the hall because they run a program that disconnects all sessions that have been active for more than 15 minutes. Along those lines, Lorre found it amusing that we paid Freeman $185 for a single electrical outlet in the booth and they made sure to tape over the second outlet on the jack so we didn’t dare use it without paying.


I would come to HIMSS just to see the Hyland magician. Not only is he very engaging and fun, he fills up their sports bar booth all day long. I can never figure out if he’s a Hyland-knowledgeable magician or a magic-knowledgeable Hylander, which is a testament to how good he is at his craft(s).

Here’s a shout-out to booth visitor and Meditech employee Ockert Coetzee, who earns recognition for reading HIStalk every day from Dubai.



Lorre got a booth visit from Niko, who put together the fascinating book Struck by Orca: ICD-10 Illustrated that features fun and/or bizarre artistic interpretations of obscure ICD-10 codes. He autographed copies for Inga and me, which we appreciate. Copies of the book would make a fun vendor giveaway if you can strike a deal.


Also visiting our tiny but expensive patch of HIMSS release estate was former New York Giants receiver Stephen “The Touchdown Maker” Baker, who caught a touchdown pass that helped beat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. Thanks to Quest Diagnostics for bringing him by. He let Lorre take a picture of her finger wearing his Super Bowl ring and autographed footballs for Inga and me.

HISsie-nominated CMIO Bob Murphy, MD from Memorial Hermann, who is a really funny guy, will be in our booth #1995 today from 10:00 to 11:00. His co-workers Alan Weiss, MD and Mitch Kwartler will join him. Stop by and say hello.

Also in our booth today will be Vince Ciotti (11:00 until noon), who will bring along his HIS-tory timeline poster showing vendor acquisitions over the years.

Lorre reports that someone from Epic told her that if I see their employees on their phones, they aren’t screwing around (as I always accuse) but instead are religiously watching for HIStalk tweets. He said a lot of Epic people read HIStalk. I suggested inviting Epic’s people to flashmob our tiny booth, to which Lorre counteroffered that we should ask them to pose looking at their phones in Epic’s booth since my conference goal is to snap a photo in which at least four company employees are paying attention to their phones instead of the people standing right in front of them.  

Inga, Lorre, and I are all tweeting quite a bit from the conference, so follow us and you might find out where the good snacks and goodies are.


We have a few more 2013 HIStalk headlines mugs to give away in the booth Wednesday. Karen DeSalvo, your photo is on them if you’d like one as a souvenir. We’ll even mail it to you.

People keep asking if I’ve seen anything particularly noteworthy in the exhibit hall. Not so far. I think the government has taken over the agendas of both vendors and providers with ICD-10 and Meaningful Use requirements. One CIO I talked to said he attended the conference only to get ICD-10 deliverable dates from his vendor – he isn’t even thinking about buying anything new.

Today I started at the low-numbered booths and made it to around the 5000 row before my feet and interest gave out for the day. I’m hoping to check out the rest and also take a deeper dive into anything especially interesting, so if you saw something fresh and exciting, let me know. Meanwhile, here are the notes I surreptitiously made as I prowled the hall. My contrived badge title makes it clear that I’m nobody of influence, so I get to see vendor people as they really are when they aren’t kissing butt hoping to make a sale.

  • Pentaho was a company that seemed to get traction a couple of years ago, then went off the radar. They are an Orlando-based commercial open source vendor of data analysis tools, with emphasis on Hadoop. They said they got a CMS contract to figure how how to handle the information from because CMS couldn’t figure it out and their processing time was hours instead of minutes.
  • Ingenious Med had our “We Power HIStalk” sign out. I appreciate that, so indulge me when I mention that fact because it’s pretty cool that companies will use their space to promote their relationship with HIStalk.
  • PDR Network had our sign out. They explained that their customers are vendors that integrate their information into their products, so they were mostly using their booth to meet up and prepare for meetings. That’s something about exhibitors that attendees might not know – B2B type companies might rent space just to connect with potential non-provider partners or customers.
  • I saw several exhibits featuring variations of the old “Operation” game (“Remove Funny Bone.”)
  • I looked over someone shoulder at an NTT DATA demo. It looked pretty good.
  • I saw only a couple of white coats worn by booth people who clearly aren’t clinicians. Thank goodness. They were about as phony as those worn by Clinique makeover people at the mall.
  • MEDHOST had an impressive booth that was crowded. They said their patient flow solution is new. Some customers have had a payback period of only nine months from implementing their EDIS (note to vendors: if you quote a time-based result, that’s payback period, not ROI.)
  • CTG had our sign out. They were nice guys and made me feel better about sweating like a pig all afternoon Monday – apparently the exhibit hall AC was out and it wasn’t just me perspiring.
  • Caradigm had a big crowd in a big booth.
  • I saw one of the girls who was serving up frozen yogurt in one vendor’s booth fill up a cup for a waiting attendee, then lick her fingers vigorously before handing it over.
  • Clinical Architecture had our sign out.
  • The red-white dressed people from Alert were there as they are every year despite never seeming to have made a US sale.
  • McKesson had a cool coffee bar.
  • TeraRecon had a big booth and some cool display stuff.
  • Summit Healthcare had our sign out and was baking cookies in the booth.
  • Symantec was emphasizing breach protection and had customer IT people talking on stage. They had an effective booth person engaging passers-by.
  • Peer60 had some cool, non-corporate guys who explained that they develop customer surveys that require less than 60 seconds to complete. I suggested that their biggest potential prospect is on site since HIMSS sends out ridiculously long and poorly designed member surveys that I’ve never completed even once.
  • The Advisory Board Company had a big booth and a lot of traffic.
  • Hitachi was going to offer an Orlando microbrew for happy hour, which would have been a welcome alternative to the lowbrow canned swill (Budweiser, Amstel Light, Heineken, etc.) that everybody else was serving up.
  • I chatted with someone from ICA, who explained that hospitals are connection to long-term care providers as a “short putt” to meet Meaningful Use requirements with as little effort as possible. He also said that some small companies are getting traction with specific services that use Direct platform. He pointed out that HIE vendors often require hospitals send them all HL7 transactions, which the always-secretive hospitals don’t want to do, so hospitals are choosing ICA to filter what is sent out.
  • I talked for a few minutes with Chris Joyce of Bottomline Technologies, who said that its acquisition of his former company Logical Ink opened up a lot of possibilities because of ECM synergies with Hyland Software.
  • Thanks to Winthrop Resources, MediQuant, and Arcadia for putting our sign out.
  • Passport had our sign out and was busy.
  • ESD and Shareable Ink had our sign out – thanks.
  • GetWellNetwork displayed our sign and had an effective person engaging on the perimeter.
  • The eClinicalWorks booth was large and busy. The rep said they’re signing 2-3 ACOs each month. They got a great gift with Farzad Mostashari pushed their population health and primary care agenda when he was with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – they are very well positioned.
  • Medicomp was playing the Quipstar game, which is always fun.
  • Aprima had our sign out, along with brownies and coffee.
  • InterSystems had a huge booth.
  • Also displaying our sign: Innovative Healthcare Solutions, Healthwise, Quest Diagnostics, and Infor.
  • SSI Group had our sign out along with coffee, drinks, and a cool mobile device charging station.
  • Aventura hung out their Bonny’s “Fashion Diva” sash.
  • PC Connection was making great-smelling cinnamon almonds and pecans.
  • NantHealth had out stuff from the LA Lakers that billionaire founder Patrick Soon-Shiong owns. I tried to figure out what they are selling, but I never did given that all the screens seemed to be lofty PowerPoints and videos of PSS talking rather than anything with specific details about how several dozen recent acquisitions that cost a billion dollars have suddenly transformed into a “Clinical Operating System” as was announced this week. He’s a genius, but the roadside is littered with companies that were long on acquisitive ambition but short on integration.
  • I was pretty pleased when I saw three sponsor people seemingly caressing their HIStalk sign in their booth, but then I overhead them complaining bitterly that their bosses got invited to HIStalkapalooza and they didn’t.  I’ve heard that almost constantly over the last few weeks from people who should intellectually be able to understand that no company can afford to thrown a bash for the probably 3,000 people who would want to attend, so I’ll resist the urge to call the company out and instead I just won’t mention them at all. I should have jumped in and opined that the Super Bowl needs to be played in a million-seat stadium so everyone can come.
  • Max from Legacy Data Access gave me a good elevator speech on the company’s system retirement services.
  • The Qlik booth was packed, our sign was out, they had customer presentations, and they gave me a killer chair massage.
  • My award for best use of a small booth goes to CommVault, which had a great design, a fun game run by Katrine, and fun giveaways (syringe pens and ear buds). I’m sitting here hours later and I still remember the company’s selling points as featured in the game – performance, access, and management. I’m really impressed with how polished and fun their booth was given its modest space and furnishings.
  • Also displaying our sign: healthfinch, Versus, MBA Health Group, Leidos (they had it front and center in their big booth), ICSA Labs, PatientSafe Solutions, Valence Health, Patientco, Beacon Partners, and Wellsoft.
  • Divurgent was raising money for a local children’s hospital. You spin the wheel and whatever dollar about you hit is added to their donation check. Nice job.
  • Greythorn not only had our sign on display, they had placed it in a glittery frame and mounted it to the back wall. They get the “most creative” award.
  • I talked to Talksoft President Ken Walsh about the company’s phone messaging system.

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Monday


If I wasn’t already moving a little slowly, the sheer size of the conference center and exhibit hall has almost done me in. I was a little turned off by the keynote speaker. Although many of his recommendations for transforming healthcare are solid, I would love to see payers help lower costs by doing something about the outrageous bonuses that some of their leaders receive. I understand the bonus is for doing a good job, but we all need to remember that those bonuses are funded through premium dollars in the end. After that, I attended a session on converting the legal medical record. Lots of good information and I’ll write more about that later in the week when I have a chance to go through my notes.

At this point, I’m running a mile a minute trying to make it to all the booths I want to check out and fitting in lots of meetings. Usually convention center food is pretty bad but I did score a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich that very good and even better found a quiet sofa on the fourth floor to eat it. There have been a couple of glitches, though. Some of the entry doors are locked (even the ones they actually want you to use) and there were some audiovisual problems in the sessions I attended. In one presentation, the slides were chopped off on the bottom, so content was missing. I’ve been a presenter at large meetings before and I know there’s a speaker ready room here. HIMSS is the big dance and you need to bring your A-game, so make sure your slides look good before you session starts.

Walking through the crowded lobbies, I remembered the jazz combos they had playing last year in New Orleans. They would have been a good distraction from the ridiculously long coffee lines. At one point there was a crew of concession workers bringing out dividers to rope off the lines from the crowd. I’m surprised with a meeting of this size that they didn’t anticipate the need for that sooner.


I haven’t seen a lot of costumes or scantily clad booth attendants this year, but MEDecision did catch my eye with their morph-suited dancer. One of their other staffers was sporting a knee brace, which she assured us was not due to a dance-related, on-the-job injury.

I spent some time in University Row and the career center area. I was happy to see A Hero’s Welcome (#165) on site to help veterans identify job opportunities. Also in the low numbers was MDI Access (# 279), who not only were nice guys, but were giving out hand sanitizer. Mine keeps getting confiscated by TSA, so they were happy to share a couple.

Inga and I spent some time cruising the hall together and had a few product demos. We make an excellent “good cop / bad cop” team because she asks a lot of patient-centric questions while I hit the clinical and technical areas. Some tips for those of you doing demos, especially if you will have a physician in your audience:

  • Make sure your clinical scenarios are valid and your sample patients have been cleaned up. Nothing turns me off as much as seeing an inappropriate antibiotic prescription or ridiculous diagnosis code on your patient chart.
  • Don’t make broad statements about “all physicians think” or how large healthcare organizations run without understanding your audience (especially if it’s a one-on-one demo.) One presenter make several statements that were directly contrary to how my organization works, which made me immediately feel that they would not be a good fit for us.
  • If you’re going to hand out information sheets, make sure you don’t inadvertently give an attendee your copy that you wrote notes on (although I did enjoy reading them.)

I attended the first round of Quipstar at the Medicomp booth (#2703). If you haven’t seen it, I’d encourage you to attend. Inga is playing Tuesday afternoon and they have a great product, so be sure to stop by.


First time exhibitor CoverMyMeds (#4495) proudly displayed their HIStalk sponsor sign and also offered a quick recharge for those whose phones were dying. After a couple of hours, my feet were dying as well, so it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for HIStalkapalooza. Unfortunately Inga and I were on a shuttle that got stuck behind an Aramark truck unloading in an alley, so we ended up in a mad rush to get ready.


Dr. J brought his A-game in these shoes. Although he missed the contest, they were my personal favorite in the men’s division. I was happy to see a physician named the winner of the Stiletto category. It just goes to show we can look good in something other than a white coat and surgical clogs.


The ever-dapper Mike Quinto of PatientSafe Solutions (#3983) sported the “I Could Be Dr. Jayne,” sash, which ended up being worn by several different gentlemen throughout the evening. HIStalkapalooza was rocking, the band was excellent, the drinks were tasty, and I thought the night couldn’t get any better until my not-so-secret crush Dr. Farzad Mostashari showed up. I was able to get a nice pic of the two of us, which really made my day. Thanks to everyone who came out and especially to our sponsors for making the night possible.

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February 25, 2014 News 10 Comments

From HIMSS 2/25/14 – Inga’s Update

February 25, 2014 News 4 Comments

2-25-2014 5-16-19 AM

From Amanda: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I had SO. MUCH. FUN. Thank you for everything! Seriously – best time ever.”

From Erin: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. This is the best HIStalkapalooza! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it!!”

From Lisa: “HIStalkapalooza. Many thanks to you and the HIStak team for a wonderful party. Everyone I spoke with was having a blast.”

Those are a few of the early HIStalkapalooza reviews. Based on the flood of Tweets I read on the ride back to my hotel last night, a whole of people had a great time.

Before I share more on HIStalkapalooza, I’ll mention a few other details from my day Monday.

2-25-2014 5-20-23 AM

Fortunately my hotel is in walking distance to the convention center. I was amused by this gentleman standing at a crosswalk handing out one of the free newspapers. Even more amused that so many people actually take one (do they read it?)

2-25-2014 5-38-14 AM

I walked in a bit late for the opening keynote by Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, who provided his vision for transforming healthcare. Among his recommendations: providing patients with digital tools to help manage their own health, increasing emphasis on wellness, and better managing chronic disease.

Outside the auditorium, by the way, HIMSS had a monitor with a feed of the keynote. Unfortunately 15 feet away was a HIMSS TV monitor, which meant that unless you were in directly in front of the keynote monitor you couldn’t hear the presentation. Hope someone fixes that.

2-25-2014 5-37-35 AM

I next headed to the ONC Town Hall. I was amused that Karen DeSalvo jumped right into the session without first introducing herself. All the ONC big-wigs were on the panel and after brief introductions the session proceeded in a Q&A format. Questions ranged from concerns about the exclusion of certain groups from the MU incentive program (pharmacists, for example) to possible requirements for Stage 3. The panelists did a commendable job of taking turns replying to the different questions and comments.

2-25-2014 6-02-33 AM

There’s always a crowd standing outside the exhibit hall doors right before it opens and this year was no different. The first thing I did was head to the athenahealth booth and took a look at their new athenaCoordinator Enterprise, which provides hospitals with tools and services to coordinate care. The differentiator from other care coordination platforms is that athena also provides much of the behind-the-scenes services, such as contacting patients in need of visits and checking prior authorizations. I think there will definitely be health systems interested in an option to out-source these tasks, though I can also see many that would fear giving up that much control to a third party. The product looked quite intuitive and easy to navigate. The athena folks also gave me a peak at the new user interface they are working on. I remember first seeing athenaClinicals about five years ago and was not impressed with how the product looked visually. However, I think they are on the right track with the changes that provide a much more current and sort of  Facebook-like look and feel.

2-25-2014 5-33-21 AM

A quick shout-out to Maria at athenahealth. Her shoe wardrobe never fails to impress me.

2-25-2014 5-44-19 AM

I then did a bit of cruising around the exhibit hall and came across the handsome Dr. Travis who is hanging out with his new company Catalyze at the Startup Showcase. The Startup Showcase was actually hopping, to the point that the everyone looked uncomfortably crowded. Vendors with kiosks in the center were at a disadvantage because you pretty much would need to elbow your way in to chat with anyone. Guess that’s a better problem than twiddling your thumbs because of a lack of traffic.

2-25-2014 5-35-48 AM

Vendors participating in the showcase also have an opportunity to provide 30 minute company and product overviews. I predict the whole showcase will be much bigger next year, based on its early popularity.

2-25-2014 5-36-18 AM

I stopped by the Siemens booth just long enough to see this big game board. I didn’t stay long enough to learn what they were talking about but the way the panel tiles were displayed was pretty fascinating. I am going back today.

2-25-2014 5-45-01 AM

I spinned the wheel at Actuate’s booth and am now in the running for a Fitbit force. I am not 100 percent sure what a Fitbit will do for me but I am sure I need one.

2-25-2014 5-35-08 AM

If you are going to ask folks to spin your wheel, I think you need to offer prizes that are worth the effort. Dr. Jayne and I kind of giggled at these folks that were offering not-so-amazing trinkets like earplugs, pens, and TSA zip lock bags. We liked her shoes, though.

2-25-2014 5-36-48 AM

I don’t recall seeing this guy before at Epic’s booth. I plan to tour the art a big more closely today.

2-25-2014 5-33-54 AM

2-25-2014 5-25-25 AM

I was intrigued by SAP’s bus, which they had in addition to a regular booth. Inside it was set up like a booth with demo stations. Kind of cool.

2-25-2014 5-34-25 AM

I ran into two HIT superstars on the floor. That’s Dr. Mostashari being photo-bombed by Dr. Lyle Berkowitz. It’s my favorite picture of the day.

2-25-2014 5-32-26 AM

My first stop this morning will be to MedData which is offering freshly baked scones.

2-25-2014 5-28-57 AM

I headed back to my hotel before the exhibit hall closed so I could get spiffed up for HIStalkapalooza.  Many thanks to Imprivata, VMware, Greenway, Nordic Consulting, Hill-Rom, and RFIDeas for sponsoring.

2-25-2014 5-31-56 AM

The Inga-Tini – Mr. HIStalk was my drink of choice for the evening, though some of the other options looked quite fun as well.

2-25-2014 5-30-55 AM

2-25-2014 5-26-56 AM

I thought Lorre looked stunning at the official HIStalk ambassador. If she weren’t hosting I am sure she could have won both HIStalk Queen and the Inga Loves My Shoes contests.

Speaking of the contests, I’d love to know the names of all the winners, so if you were sashed, please drop me a note and/or a photo.

2-25-2014 5-31-25 AM

Jennifer Lyle of STS Healthcare did an amazing job as the official emcee for the evening. She was beautiful and funny, as always.

2-25-2014 5-28-03 AM

I loved the little decorating touches, including the HIStalkapalooza lamp shades. I think I need one.

2-25-2014 5-28-32 AM

I absolutely loved the band. I wasn’t the only one since when I left at 11 there was still quite a crowd that appeared they’d keep dancing until they were kicked out. Who knew HIT had so many great dancers? Ross and Kym Martin, Ed and Julie Marx, and Matthew Holt and any and everyone he could get to dance with him were all non-stop on the dance floor.

2-25-2014 7-08-20 AM

Our esteemed shoe and fashion judges, all of whom could have been winners themselves.

2-25-2014 7-14-46 AM

I almost missed the whole back room area which had a photo booth and Dance Head recordings. Great keepsakes and hilariously funny.

As a whole, I was only disappointed about a couple of things. First, it was difficult to hear the quite funny Missy Krasner and Ross Martin as they presented the HISsie awards. I also wish more folks could not have been added to the guest list. I hope we have the opportunity to change these imperfections next year.

I actually have so much more to share but I must get moving to the convention center. On today’s agenda: a couple of meetings, possibly the #HITsm Tweet-up, and at 3:00 p.m. I’ll be playing Quipstar at the Medicomp booth (2703). Please come cheer me on as I play for charity.

Inga large

Email Inga.

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February 25, 2014 News 4 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/25/14

February 25, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Introducing the Blue Button Connector

On opening day at HIMSS, ONC unveils the Blue Button Connector, an open-source website created to help patients view and download a centralized patient record that houses information from all contributing Blue Button partners.

CMS, ONC foretell aligned initiatives

ONC suggests that it may combine various incentive programs, as Karen DeSalvo explains "HHS is working to harmonize its various programs to create a more seamless and streamlined way to capture the info necessary for VBP and ACOs,” said national coordinator referring to value-based payments and accountable care.”

Practice Fusion Strikes Medical Device Deals to Offer Docs Real-Time Data

Practice Fusion announces a new partnership with AliveCor and Diasend that will allow it to integrate ECGs, insulin levels, and glucose levels into the ambulatory EHR in real-time. 

U.S. Veterans Health Administration Leverages New Nuance Cloud-Based Dragon Medical Solution to Optimize Physician Experience

The VA will implement Nuance’s cloud-based speech recognition system.

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February 25, 2014 Headlines No Comments

From HIMSS 2/24/14

February 24, 2014 News 8 Comments

It’s late and I’m tired after a long day and then HIStalkapalooza, plus I have to get up early in the morning, so I will keep it short and catch up later.

Note to self: don’t drive the rental car to the convention center to drop off stuff for the booth. I got stuck in traffic mid-morning, the parking lot lots were all full, and I was happy to finally get a spot in the Rosen Plaza deck maybe 30-40 minutes later. Thanks to our friends from Nuance who helped bring in some of our heavy items. The hall is not the least bit cooperative about helping with carts since it’s all about the Freeman trade show monopoly and you have to pay them for anything you need, so we didn’t have any easy way to bring in heavy boxes of mugs.

The only session I attended  today was one that was supposed to feature several politicians talking about federal legislation. It turned to be their staffers instead. They were unintelligible for the first several minutes because of an audio problem, correction of which made it even less interesting, so I was out of there within ten minutes.

The exhibit area is, of course, sprawling. I mostly just cruised around today getting the lay of the land, tweeting out interesting giveaways and food (MedData’s passionfruit scones were easily the best). I don’t know that I saw any particular trends other than an uptick in privacy and security offerings and of course more vendors touting analytics.

Our little booth got respectable traffic as Lorre hosted her celebrity guests, applied HIStalk temporary tattoos, gave away buttons, and denied that she is either Inga or Mr. H. We didn’t get the 2013 headlines mugs into the hall because of the traffic problems I mentioned, but she will have some on hand Tuesday. Several people asked for a mug and one person said his was stolen, which I suppose is a good problem for us to have.

I was frustrated at the HIMSS people over CEUs. Individual sessions may offer CEUs for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, etc. If you’re a doctor, let’s say, you then need a list of sessions that offer your CEUs. You won’t get it from HIMSS, apparently: the lady in the CE booth says HIMSS has a 20-page PDF print of an Excel worksheet that lists all the sessions and which CEUs if offers, but it’s not available to attendees to print anywhere in the hall (and darn it, this time I didn’t pack my laser printer). This is one of the dumber things I’ve seen HIMSS do, but it’s certainly not unprecedented since they always seem to struggle with the simple idea of providing some indication of which sessions are approved for which CEUs.

The VA will implement the cloud-based version of Nuance’s Dragon Medical.  


Here’s an interesting Epic booth graphic showing how handily they beat their competitors, also pointing out that they’ve never lost a hospital EHR customer.


Thanks to the event sponsors: Imprivata, RFIDeas, Greenway, Nordic, VMware, and Hill-Rom. I thought the venue, food, and music were excellent. Also thanks to the several folks who presented on stage, including opening music by Ross Martin, MD, Jennifer Lyle as our emcee, and Ross and Missy Krasner as HISsies presenters.

I noticed one error in the final HISsies award as presented on stage. Farzad Mostashari won the “Industry Figure of the Year” award (as well as the “When ___ Talks, People List” one earlier) and the slide was correct, but it was read as though Judy Faulkner was the winner. She won in 2013, not this year. Also accepting their awards in person were Ed Marx, SVP/CIO, Texas Health Resources (best provider IT executive) and Carl Dvorak, President, Epic (HIStalk Lifetime Achievement Award).

Imprivata had still and video photographers on hand and I’ll have high quality images as soon as tomorrow, but here are a few snapshots until then. I’m sure I’ll also have reports from Inga and Dr. Jayne tomorrow. You can also give me some crowdsourcing backup by adding your comments about HIStalkapalooza, the conference, and anything else of broad interest.









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February 24, 2014 News 8 Comments

From HIMSS 2/24/14 – Inga’s Update

February 24, 2014 News No Comments

2-24-2014 5-09-11 AM

I arrived in Orlando late Saturday afternoon and was able to hop right into a cab – unlike folks who arrived Sunday afternoon. A friend sent me this picture and told me he waiting more than 20 minutes for a ride, but I also heard stories of 40 minute waits.

2-24-2014 5-14-54 AM

I was up early Sunday morning and walked through the fog to the convention center. About the only people I ran into along the way were joggers and jet-lagged Europeans. Once I arrived there were a few different hubs of activities, primarily from the pre-conference sessions.

2-24-2014 5-19-17 AM

It’s too bad that all these Sunday sessions come with an additional price tag of about $300 because I understand that most are quite good. I did sneak into the Innovation session long enough to hear Dr. Lyle Berkowitz’s presentation, which was informative, nicely paced, and full of interesting anecdotes from the “real world.”

2-24-2014 5-13-09 AM  2-24-2014 5-20-05 AM

The other hub of activity was in the exhibit hall. I am always amazed at the transformation that occurs in a relatively short amount of time. Here’s how it look about 24 hours before the doors opened.

2-24-2014 5-17-12 AM

This year a friend hooked me up with a “back-stage pass,” aka an exhibitor badge so I could actually walk amidst the chaos. Looks like Judy will be back in front of the fireplace again this year.

2-24-2014 5-13-34 AM

Alere gets my early vote for coolest booth. This picture doesn’t do it justice but it basically looks like a tunnel. As the worker vacuuming the carpet in the next booth commented, you can’t help but want to walk through it.

2-24-2014 5-18-03 AM

CareTech’s booth was also unique. I like the glass walls surrounding it but I wonder if the design will detract people from actually walking in.

2-24-2014 5-16-01 AM

This sad little space is where you will find Lorre holding court on behalf of HIStalk this week. Be sure to pick up your HIStalk swag and tell Lorre hello at booth 1995.

2-24-2014 5-12-26 AM

Here’s Medicomp’s booth, which was getting prepped for its Quipstar game show. I’ll be playing Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. so please come cheer me on.

2-24-2014 5-20-45 AM

Apparently I am not the only person who loves to check out the transformation in progress. That’s HIMSS executive director Steve Lieber taking in the details at one of the learning galleries.

2-24-2014 5-14-08 AM

The Startup Showcase looks like it will be a good stop. I look forward to investigating a few of the 44 vendors that have kiosks.

2-24-2014 5-08-28 AM

I met up with my BFF Dr. Jayne at the opening reception (no, that is not her.) Mr. H gave the event a big thumbs down, but Dr. Jayne managed to have some fun. Okay, there was minimal decoration or signage or entertainment (no live band this year) but we liked our free drinks and the opportunity to people watch.

2-24-2014 5-11-14 AM

There were a few “party pits” with comfy red couches which offered a nice alternative to high top tables.

2-24-2014 5-09-53 AM

Yep, some folks brought their fashion A game to the party.

2-24-2014 5-10-36 AM

The Voalte guys were making their own fashion statement. I love that they always come decked out in the signature pink pants, which has to be a great conversation starter.

My agenda for Monday: keynote session, ONC Town Hall, a walk through the Interoperability Showcase, the exhibit hall, and some big party tonight. Oh yeah, HIStalkapalooza. Can’t wait.

Inga large

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February 24, 2014 News No Comments

Morning Headlines 2/24/14

February 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

3M to Acquire Treo Solutions

3M announces that it will acquire Treo Solutions, a data analytics and business intelligence company that caters to healthcare payers and providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Deloitte announces the launch of ConvergeHEALTH

Deloitte invests $150 million in a new business unit called ConvergeHEALTH that will focus on developing data analytics solutions and services for healthcare.

Next edition of electronic health record technology certification criteria issued

ONC publishes its proposed 2015 EHR certification standards. The new standards are voluntary, meaning that vendors are not required to support them and providers are not required to implement them in order to predicate in Meaningful Use.

HIMSS 14 Coverage: ONC’s Fridsma Says ‘Jury Still Out’ on Stage 2 Progress

Doug Fridsma, MD and chief science officer for ONC, states during his pre-HIMSS keynote speech on Sunday that, while the nation’s health systems are making good progress toward achieving the EHR adoption requirements outlined in stage 1 MU, "the jury is still out" on meeting stage 2 requirements.

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February 24, 2014 Headlines No Comments

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