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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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February 27, 2014 Headlines No Comments

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

Email Inga.

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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

From HIMSS 2/23/14

February 23, 2014 News 7 Comments

For those planning to visit the HIStalk booth (#1995), here’s a celebrity addition: Vince Ciotti will be on hand Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 until noon.

3M announces that it will acquire analytics and BI vendor Treo Solutions.

Vonlay is doing some cool social media coverage of the HIMSS conference as they always do. Check out their page.

CVS MinuteClinic announces that it will replace its homegrown EMR with Epic.

The HIMSS opening reception was a disaster in my book, rivaling the Chicago one as the worst one ever. HIMSS decided for some reason to hold it in the Hyatt Regency across the street rather than the convention center itself as has always been the case, and International Drive was full of people who were lost since that hotel complex is almost as big as the convention center. Someone told me that HIMSS screwed up and had some of the directional signs reversed, which probably didn’t help, and I saw one HIMSS person running around with “follow me” hand-held signs to try to herd the puzzled  crowds through the bowels of the endless building to its southernmost point that seemed like a mile from the main entrance. The room was the usual cheerless airplane hangar, so the impetus to move from the convention center is unclear. HIMSS went back to the much-hated drink ticket concept that was a welcome deletion a few years back, but it didn’t really matter since the bar lines were at least 40 people deep at every location and the incessant din that could have been a band, recorded music, or a plane passing overheard made it impossible to think, much less hold even a shouted conversation. I lasted about two minutes and left without eating, drinking, or talking to anyone since it was about as pleasant as as dental surgery. There’s a lot to dislike about how HIMSS conducts business, but clearly botched conference logistics isn’t usually one of them.

We had a nice reception for HIStalk sponsors Sunday evening. Thanks to the really cool people who actually showed up, which unfortunately was only about 40 percent of the total who RSPV’ed. Because of the thousands of dollars I spent to guarantee the 60 percent who were no-shows whom I suspect were registered by their clueless admins, I’m pretty sure I won’t do another one, especially thinking of the time and effort required to manage all of their never-ending requests to bring extra people who joined them in going elsewhere. Thanks to Dr. Gregg and Lorre for running the event. Those who attended had nothing but compliments about it.


We gave out some really cool mugs with healthcare IT news headlines from the past year at the sponsor event, and because of all the folks who blew it off, we’ll have some to give away at our booth. Stop by and Lorre will hook you up. One of our longest-tenured sponsors proclaimed the mugs as, “The best favors I have ever seen.”

Monday will be the usual crazy day with the opening keynote (an insurance vendor CEO, which makes no sense), the exhibits, and the rare educational sessions that are actually worth discussing. Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I will use Lorre’s Twitter throughout the day to tell you about what we’re seeing out on the show floor. Then we move right into HIStalkapalooza, which always generates discussion and hopefully some fun pictures and videos.

Dr. Gregg has a brilliant booth idea that he describes as follows.

HIStalk Reverse Giveaway

Laaaaadies aaaand gentlemen! Announcing, the HIMSS 2014 HIStalk Reverse Giveaway!!!

You don’t want to miss this one. Stop by the HIStalk booth out in the hinterlands of the HIMSS 2014 Exhibit Hall on Monday, February 24th, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM and be part of our completely unique Reverse Giveaway. (A first for ANY exhibitor at HIMSS… we’re pretty sure.) Dr. Gregg will be there at that time and has promised to accept any and all gifts you want to unload.

Reverse Giveaway items include:

  • Tokens
  • Tchotchkes
  • Swag
  • Bling
  • Freebies
  • Trinkets
  • Baubles
  • Doodads
  • Lagniappe
  • And any general largesse or pure graft (larger denominations preferable.)

Dump that heavy load you’re carting around and make room for more. Enjoy the show (and hope to see you at HIStalkapalooza!)

From the trenches…

"If it wasn’t for graft, you’d get a very low type of people in politics.” – Preston Sturges

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Sunday

I’m moving a little slower at HIMSS this year thanks to the half marathon on Sunday morning. It was muggy, hot, and crowded, so on some level was good preparation for the upcoming week of slogging through the exhibit hall, trying to find my way to sessions, and looking for the next great thing in healthcare IT.

The opening reception seemed a little more upscale this year. Inga and I didn’t see as many people in vendor logo polo shirts, but we did see lots of sassy shoes and some pretty high heels. It’s only day one, though, so I’m looking for those heels to get shorter as the week progresses if they’re not retired after the “Inga Loves My Shoes” contest Monday night.

Registration was a breeze and I spent most of the day catching up with old friends that I only see at HIMSS. One good friend works in the public sector and was happy to report that not a lot has been changing in her world. Hospitals in her area are largely focused on meeting Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements and preparing for ICD-10 with little else on the horizon due to budget and staffing constraints.

I managed to catch up with both Dr. Gregg and Dr. Lyle which was a nice surprise since I know how busy everyone’s schedules are. I also had a chance to expand my network with introductions to other CMIO types. At least two of them are in the vendor space, so I’m looking forward to getting their take on events from the vendors’ chairs. Inga and I also hit a couple of social events – the Divurgent-SummHIT party at the Funky Monkey was definitely hopping.

Last but not least, I heard one juicy rumor although I’m sworn to secrecy until it’s announced later this week. I’ve got a packed day of sessions and meetings tomorrow and a couple of calls to deal with issues back home so I’m turning in early. Looking forward to HIStalkapalooza and definitely need the rest!

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February 23, 2014 News 7 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/21/14

February 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Allscripts announces fourth quarter and 2013 results

Allscripts reports Q4 2013 results: bookings are up 53 percent year-over-year, but revenue remained flat. Adjusted EPS of $0.08 vs. $0.16, meeting analysts estimates.

Sixteen Health Information Organizations Join Forces As Founding Members Of The Mid-States Consortium Of Health Information Organizations

16 HIEs in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states announce that they will work together to advance interoperability in the region.

Mayo Clinic physicians spin out a digital health company & secure $1.1M

A group of physicians from the Mayo Clinic are launching a startup called Ambient Clinical Analytics that will offer mobile-based tools for physicians including surveillance alerts and an EMR viewer that uses analytics to filter the most pertinent information about the patient to the forefront.

Epic opportunity: The software giant is positioning Dane County for an economic breakthrough

A local paper covers the economic impact Epic is having on the Madison community, citing the $60k – $100k average salaries and quickly growing employee base. The Madison planning chief estimated that Epic could hit 10,000 employees by 2018.

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February 20, 2014 Headlines No Comments

News 2/21/14

February 20, 2014 News 6 Comments

Top News


Allscripts announces Q4 results: revenue flat, adjusted EPS $0.08 vs. $0.16, beating revenue expectations and meeting consensus earnings estimates.

Reader Comments


From Dr. Detroit: “Re: misspelling HIMSS. Once a vendor does it in four separate emails as this one did, they should be granted credentials as a certified ‘HIPPA’ consultant.”


From Stool Pigeon: “Re: fecal transplants. You’ve grossed out readers before, so you might find this interesting.” MIT launches OpenBiome, the country’s first stool bank, to collect samples to treat patients with C. difficile intestinal infections. At least it eliminates that awkward moment of asking friends and loved ones to sit and be counted.  


From Pathology MD: “Re: HIStalk pins. I am a loyal reader but can’t get to Orlando. I collect pins and really would like the 10-year HIStalk pin or both for my collection. I’ll pay.” Lorre and I were touched by this request for this request for the inexpensive giveaway that was her idea, so she’s sending the pins to this reader as well as another with a similar request (obviously I’m happy to pay the postage.) We have a limited number of these to give away in Booth #1995, so maybe they really will become collectible.


From Dr. J: “Re: men’s wear for HIStalkapalooza. My $99 boots arrived just yesterday.” I love these, especially because they have a big toe box unlike some of those pointed boots that surely cause digital damage. They are from Dude’s Boutique Online, which I see has a really cool crocodile and ostrich boot in cognac for only $198 on sale as long as you don’t mind leaving a trail of dead animals behind your purposeful stride. I’ve asked Dr. J which ones these are because I need a pair to make me look more rock and roll.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Netsmart of Overland Park, KS. Netsmart is the leader in coordinating care among behavioral health, physical health, and acute care hospitals. That’s important because severely mentally ill people die 25 years younger than the rest of the population and drive up Medicaid costs and other loss ratios. Netsmart links primary care initiatives with broader, coordinated care for the body and mind to reduce readmissions. Netsmart CareFabric offers clinical solutions (EHR, eRX, CPOE, consumer engagement, analytics, care coordination) and business solutions (PM, client banking, RCM.) The company’s products are used by 23,000 clients, including 450,000 providers and 40 state systems, to improve the quality of life for 25 million people each day. Its clients include mental health and addiction services agencies, health homes, psychiatric hospitals, private and group mental health practices, public health departments, social services and child and family health agencies, managed care organizations, and vital records offices. Thanks to Netsmart for supporting HIStalk.


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Premier, Inc. of Charlotte, NC.  Premier (NASDAQ:PINC) is a leading healthcare improvement company that unites 2,900 hospitals and 100,000 other providers to transform healthcare. Premier enables better care and outcomes at a lower cost through integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and advisory and other services. A recent offering is PremierConnect Enterprise, a cloud-based data warehousing and business intelligence offering that combines trusted information, collaborative development, and access to expertise to enable information-driven health systems. Premier’s database is among the industry’s most comprehensive with data covering one in four hospital discharges, 2.5 million real-time clinical transactions each day, and $40 billion in annual purchasing information, all used to connect, share best practices, solve important problems, and build new technologies. The company has been named among the world’s most ethical companies for six years in a row. Thanks to Premier for supporting HIStalk.


Ion IT Group is supporting HIStalk as a Platinum Sponsor. The Carthage, TN-based company offers strategic services, consulting, and outsourcing. Specific services include managed IT, security and risk assessment, business solutions, and infrastructure. It also offers the Vital Connect remote vital sign monitoring solution (weight, blood pressure, temperature, pulse oximeter, and blood glucose) that works via a mobile phone data collector. It also provides HealthX secure messaging based on the Direct standard, which enables the exchange of EHR reports, documents, images, and structured data, and Evault services for cloud-based backup, recovery, and end point protection. Thanks to Ion IT Group for supporting HIStalk.

inga_small A few highlights from HIStalk Practice this week include: proposed Stage 3 MU objectives that may impact EPs. The Colorado Health Institutes suggests that the use of technology may help mitigate a looming shortage of PCPs. EClinicalWorks CEO Girish Navani predicts it will only be a matter of time before all providers convert to EHRs. Results from teledermatology assessments are found to be nearly identical to results of in-person assessments. Dr. Gregg provides a thorough list of all the JUNK you’ll need to lug with you to HIMSS. Thanks for reading.

On HIStalk Connect: Industry insiders suggest that the Apple iWatch will predict heart attacks in time for wearers to seek help. Surgeons at Washington University in St. Louis test a pair of smartglasses that highlight hard-to-spot cancer tumors during surgery. Partners HealthCare’s bid to acquire South Shore Hospital is rejected because the Massachusetts Health Policy Committee believes that population health-based cost savings are exaggerated. Dr. Travis dives into the world of Big Data in an article that focuses on the patient and the various tools available for capturing and sharing patient-centric data.


HIMSS has been emailing a Groupon-like but even lamer “HIMSS14 Conference Deal” that purports to offer the recipient something of value for opening it. Most of those emails haven’t offered anything at all, only a pitch for a company buying the ad. That doesn’t sound like a a deal for anyone except HIMSS. Those with memories going back more than a couple of years may recall the gentle era when HIMSS didn’t overtly flog the wares of its members to its other members with spam that promotes webinars, white papers, and other promotional stuff that has nothing to do with HIMSS except they’re getting paid to talk it up with little evidence of objectivity or restraint.


I received this by email today, just in case you wonder where all your post-HIMSS conference junk email and cold calls come from. I don’t recall having an opt-out option when registering for the conference as an attendee.


You may be rocking your HIStalk temporary tattoo after stopping by our booth, but you can’t match Lorre, who will let her fingers do the HIStalking.

HIMSS guides for your last-minute perusal: Exhibitor Giveaways, Sponsor Activities, Sponsor Meet-Ups

HIStalkapalooza Timeline


The event will be memorable, with many surprises that I won’t spoil now. The roster of attendees, which unfortunately couldn’t include everyone who wanted to be there, is spectacular and nicely diverse, with a huge number of hospital people enjoying amazing food, lots of drinks including an all-new IngaTini developed by the lady herself, and party music until late. Don’t even think about bailing out for some other event if you have an invitation because you’ll be sorry Tuesday morning when you hear everyone talking about it.

  • Transportation to and from the Convention Center will start at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
  • At the House of Blues, we’ll have a red carpet greeting, photographers, and interviews by Jennifer Lyle. Your photos will be available to pick up on your way out as a souvenir.
  • The band (Party on the Moon) will play a set starting at 7:00 as the appetizer buffet and bars are open.
  • The dinner buffet will start at 7:30.
  • We’ll open the stage part of the evening at 7:45 with the music of Ross Martin, MD of AMIA and The American College of Medical Informatimusicology and a welcome from Jennifer, Lorre, and the folks from Imprivata.
  • The “Inga Loves My Shoes” contest with Lisa Reichard and Ed Marx will start at just after 8:00.
  • We’ll crown the HIStalk King and Queen next with Dave Lareau, Bonny Roberts, and Jennifer Dennard.
  • Then come the HISsies awards, with Ross Martin and Missy Krasner of Box.
  • We’ll wrap up the stage part of the evening by around 8:45 and the band will play until 11:00.

HIMSS Conference Social Events

2-20-2014 11-27-39 AM

Verisk Health is conducting a service project supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Participants can spend an hour helping to assemble 4,000 food packs for children who do not have access to school cafeterias during the weekend.

2-20-2014 11-33-03 AM

ICSA Labs will host an evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency.  RSVP here.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Merge Healthcare announces Q4 results: revenue down 17.2 percent, EPS $0.00 vs. -$0.19, missing expectations on both. Shares are up 15 percent in after-hours trading.


Vocera reports Q4 results: revenue up 6 percent, adjusted EPS $0.03 vs. $0.03, beating earnings expectations. The company also announces that two New York luxury hotels are implementing its solution for employee communication.

2-20-2014 10-39-54 AM

Healthwise and the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation announce their pending merger.


UnitedHealth’s Optum division acquires a majority stake in Audax Health, the developer of a consumer health management platform that was founded four years ago by the now 24-year-old Grant Verstandig.


ISirona retires its name following its January 2014 acquisition by NantHealth.



Saint Luke’s Health System (MO) selects Solarity technology from EDCO Health Information Solutions for scanning medical records at the point of care and remote indexing services.

Sanford Health (ND)  will spend $30 million to implement Intelligent InSites RTLS at several locations.



Farzad Mostashari, MD joins the board of patient engagement company Get Real Health.

2-19-2014 4-08-08 PM

CureMD announces the death of  President, CEO, and Co-Founder Kamal Hashmat, MD following a “tragic accident.” Co-founder and CIO Bilal Hashmat will replace him.

2-20-2014 11-48-36 AM

The Institute of Medicine names Duke University Health System President and CEO Victor Dzau, MD to a six-year term as president. He will replace Harvey Fineberg, MD, PhD, who has held the role for 12 years.

image image

Bill Spooner, SVP/CIO of Sharp HealthCare, announces his retirement after 32 years in the position. He will be replaced by Ken Lawonn, formerly SVP of strategy and technology at Alegent Health.

Announcements and Implementations

Sixteen health information organizations throughout the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states form The Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations, with the goal of advocating for health information exchange across states and in rural areas.

HIMSS Analytics introduces the Continuity of Care Maturity Model to address the importance of information exchange, care coordination, interoperability, patient engagement, and analytics.

The president of Toshiba says the company will spend billions of dollars on mergers and acquisitions to boost annual sales in its healthcare division to $9.78 billion by March 2018.

Kaiser Permanente Colorado, the largest not-for-profit health plan in Colorado, will join the CORHIO HIE.


Deloitte Consulting launches ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, a business unit that supports data-driven transformation of healthcare using analytics, consulting, and collaboration with leading healthcare organizations.


A group of Mayo Clinic physicians launches Ambient Clinical Analytics and raises $1.1 million in funding on top of its original $16 million CMS grant. It will offer Mayo-developed mobile device tools such as surveillance alerts and an analytics-powered EMR viewer. It will be debuted at the HIMSS conference next week.

Government and Politics

CMS announces that it will offer end-to-end ICD-10 testing in summer 2014 to a small group of providers.

2-20-2014 1-39-23 PM

ONC selects 15 provider and administrator champions for its HIT Fellows Program.



Carilion Clinic identifies 8,500 patients at risk for developing heart failure using NLP and predictive analytics technology from IBM to analyze clinical data from the health system’s Epic EMR.

A HIMSS survey finds that 19 percent of health systems and physician practices experienced a security breach in the last 12 months and 12 percent had at least one reported case of medical identity theft.


Nashville attorney Michael Dagley, who represented Trinity Medical Center (ND) in its $106 million settlement with Cerner over its ProFit accounting software, indirectly accuses the company of over-promising on ProFit’s capabilities to earn the clinical systems business. He also warns hospitals that limitation-of-liability clauses may prevent hospitals from suing their vendor, saying, “Vendors will have in their contract, almost always, a limitation of liability. Which means you cannot sue us for any consequence of the software being defective, you can only get your money back for the software. The providers, a lot of times, do not understand the significance of that agreement. So now, they’re three months into it, they’ve bought the software, and they’ve lost $100 million. They pull up the contract, and the contract says you can get your money back for the software and they’re going, ‘That’s $300,000, but I lost $100 million!’” He suggests consulting KLAS rankings and talking to clients.

A study finds that few consumers pay attention to online physician reviews even though they’ve gained popularity.


The outgoing CFO of Nevada Regional Medical Center (NV), which is laying off employees and losing $575,000 each month, says, “The biggest expense we’ve had is Cerner’s fees.” Cerner agreed to lower its payments by $31,000 per month for six months and then add $2,000 per month for the remainder of the eight-year agreement (they get paid the same total amount, in other words.)

The local paper says that Epic may reach 10,000 employees by 2018, with much of the growth due to international expansion that will be run from Verona. The article lists “Epic’s 12 Principles” that it says are posted all over its campus:

1. Do not go public.
2. Do not be acquired.
3. Expectations = reality.
4. Keep commitments.
5. Be frugal.
6. Have standards. Don’t do deals.
7. Create innovative and helpful products.
8. Have fun with customers.
9. Follow processes. Find root causes. Fix processes.
10. Don’t take on debt, no matter how good the deal.
11. Focus on competency. Do not tolerate mediocrity.
12. Teach philosophy and culture


St. Vincent Hospital (IN) notifies 1,100 patients that their medical information is in unknown hands after a laptop attached to an EEG machine is stolen. The hospital issues the standard boilerplate in staying it has no reason to think the information is at risk, that it will offer free credit monitoring, and that it just might take a look at encrypting devices one of these days.

All-digital Banner Health (AZ) was all-paper Banner Health Wednesday as its Cerner systems go offline, forcing its hospitals in Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada to go to downtime procedures. The systems came back up Thursday afternoon.


I bragged on buying a cell phone charger to use at HIMSS so I can recharge my iPhone without tethering to a wall jack, but I should have waited: Jay at Lifepoint Informatics saw the mention and said the company will be giving them away at the HIMSS conference. Jay not only says the company is a proud HIStalk sponsor, he even posed the charger with their HIStalk booth sign from last year to demonstrate it. I would get to Booth #6069 early since this is a really nice giveaway.

If you are headed to Orlando, travel safely and I will see you there. If not, thanks for holding down the fort and feel free to take long lunches and leave early because your boss isn’t really working that hard at the HIMSS conference.

Sponsor Updates

  • Caristix interfaces the Mirth Connect interface engine to iNTERFACEWARE’s Iguana engine to provide point-and-click migration from one interface to another.
  • ScImage announces availability of a universal MPI translator for importing diagnostic images from disparate systems into its  PICOM365 system.
  • IMDsoft makes MetaVision AIMS available for anesthesia practices independent of any facility infrastructure and as a subscription-based license.
  • DataMotion enables 16 EHR systems to achieve 2014 ONC-ACB certification using its DataMotion Direct secure messaging service as “relied upon software.”
  • Ricoh Americas partners with InterSystems to develop new interoperable healthcare solutions, including the Ricoh Healthcare Camera, which allows clinicians to scan barcodes from a patient’s wristband and add information on the injury before taking pictures.
  • Surescripts certifies First Databank’s FDB MedsTracker for prescription routing in adherence with the NCPDP SCRIPT 10.7 standard required for MU Stage 2 certification.
  • Coastal Healthcare Consulting launches Wave, an implementation solution that encompasses project management, workflow analysis, design, building, testing, training, and go-live support.
  • EClinicalWorks deploys Array Network’s APV10650 appliances to consolidate its cloud-based application infrastructure into a smaller number of larger data centers.
  • Welch Allyn will use Accelero Connect from Iatric Systems to automate the capture and recording of vital signs into EHRs.
  • Bon Secours Medical Group (VA) VP/Chief Clinical Officer Robert Fortin discusses his organization’s move into population health management in an iHT2 article.
  • Apelon and Clinical Architecture partner to offer Clinical Architecture’s Symedical with Apelon’s professional services
  • Covisint and actuarial Milliman Inc. introduce the Covisint Predictive Analytics solution.
  • Liaison Healthcare completes interoperability testing of its Master Person Index and Patient Document Repository offerings with 70 test partners during last month’s 2014 IHE North American Connectathon.
  • University Medical Associates (OH) joins the Guideline Advantage quality improvement program, which leverages Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager toolset.
  • Orion Health reports that its statewide HIE customer count grew 40 percent in 2013 and its HIE customers increased by 200 percent. The company will open a  development center in Scottsdale, AZ later this year.

Sponsor Speaking Engagements at HIMSS

  • Brian Levy, MD, VP of global clinical operations for Wolters Kluwer Health’s Health Language division, will discuss leveraging analytics to capture the benefits of ICD-10 on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.
  • Vital Images will feature VitreaView in a live case study at the Interoperability Showcase on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
  • Medhost will demonstrate YourCareCommunity in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase (Hall F).
  • Ryan Witt, global manager director for Juniper Networks, will moderate a lunch and learn session Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. that will discussing managing network requirements to support new technologies.
  • Intelligent InSites customer Veterans Health Administration will share best practices in implementing RTLS in a Sunday pre-conference symposium.

HIMSS14 in Review
By Vince Ciotti

Since I spend my winters right here in sunny Florida next to Orlando, I thought I’d give readers of HIStalk the advantage of reading the very first report on HIMSS 2014.

  • The crowd was huge, way up from last year’s paltry 35,000 to about 40,000 this year. At an average of $800 each for registration fees, that gives HIMSS over $30 million. Maybe next year they’ll lower their annual membership dues.
  • Weather was near perfect, although a little on the warm side at about 80 degrees. Interestingly, that was the same temperature inside the hall as well as outside due to the large volume of hot air from all the demo dudes & dollies.
  • There were almost 200 booths from vendors new to HIMSS this year, with 195 of them featuring “Big Data” analysis and reporting. Conspicuously absent were major players NSA and Target.
  • Vendor booths were absolutely stunning. If you add the out-of-pocket costs for their thousands of marketing mavens and sales reps plus the fees charged for booths and floor space, it was possibly the single largest line item in healthcare costs outside of EHRs.
  • The multitudes of speakers had truly impressive PowerPoint files: amazing builds, animation, and other visual effects that must have taken many months of hard work away from providing user service & support.
  • 1,275 vendor booths featured banners that claimed they were “Best in KLAS” for one category or another. Indeed, KLAS’s own booth claimed they were rated as the very best source for evaluation of vendors’ true capabilities by… guess who?
  • It was hard to count the many new products and releases that were announced, every one of them far better than what clients are suffering with today. All of it was offered at special low pricing for HIMSS attendees who signed up early.
  • 417 consulting firms announced new divisions that specialized in Epic implementations, every one of them manned by senior employees (some actually in their 30s) with vast experience of more than one year each.
  • Keynote speaker Hillary Clinton surprised everyone when she praised the Affordable Care Act. Her only complaint was that it didn’t go far enough, and whoever becomes the next president really needs to try to improve healthcare even more.

Stay tuned next month — I may have an early report on HIMSS15 in Chicago.

Vince Ciotti is a principal with H.I.S. Professionals LLC.

Ten Tips for Making the Most of Your HIMSS14 Experience
By Jodi Amendola


  1. Build your plan around the trends or issues you’re most interested in, then mark the booth and educational sessions that address them.
  2. Include networking events in your plans.
  3. Building in scheduled breaks throughout the day. Real ones, not check-your-email breaks. Many vendors offer space to sit along with free refreshments.
  4. HIMSS14 is not the place to break in a new pair of shoes or to sacrifice comfort for fashion.
  5. Take advantage of apps such as the HIMSS14 Mobile Guide; a business card scanner; a personal health monitor; a friend locator; a restaurant and entertainment locator; and apps that let you confirm travel plans for the trip home.
  6. Re-invigorate a long-distance relationship over a cup of coffee or a meal and mine your contacts to reconnect with or get to know other colleagues better.
  7. Put away the smartphone. Considering how much time and money you’ve invested in being here at the best health IT conference of the year, that email can wait.
  8. Connect with the speakers by asking questions during the Q&A, introducing yourself, or connecting via Twitter or LinkedIn.
  9. Put a star in the margin of your notes (electronic or handwritten) next to any action item, then distill every session into one or two key takeaways.
  10. Share video or audio files of the sessions you found especially valuable with your colleagues and friends or give a talk about something you learned at your next staff meeting.

Jodi Amendola is CEO of Amendola Communications.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

I’ll keep it this post relatively short because I am completely overwhelmed by HIMSS preparations and a major calamity at the office. Let’s just say that nothing can prepare you for the chaos that ensues when a provider is arrested in the middle of the work week.

Since it was a solo provider and we had to close the office, I seriously toyed with the idea of using our patient portal to blast a message to the impacted patients, but the risk management department shot me down. I guess it’s better for the patients to sit and wonder what will happen with their care, at least in their eyes.

Inga and I have been hard at work finalizing our social plans for Orlando. We had a reader ask if I would be making a scheduled appearance at the HIStalk booth (#1995 for those of you playing at home.) Although I will definitely be stopping by to pick up my HIStalk tattoo and a Smokin’ Doc pin, I’ll be doing it anonymously. Feel free to swing by, however, and see if there are any sassy blonde physicians lurking about. I’ll probably be there to support some of our scheduled celebrity appearances. I’ll also be at the Medicomp Systems booth (#2703) to support some of my BFFs as they compete in Quipstar.

Most of the events we’re attending are those whose hosts generously agreed to allow us to invite all our readers. Inga and I also have a penchant for hitting the in-booth happy hours, so look for us during the cocktail hour in the exhibit hall as well. I’m trying to fit in some educational sessions in between cruising the booths and taking pictures of ridiculous costumes that the hired booth attendants are forced to wear. Be sure to have your cameras at the ready and feed us pictures of hot shoes, cool giveaways, and the wildest outfits you see.

We’ve also been hard at work identifying the recipients of some of the coveted HIStalk beauty queen sashes. Don’t worry, there is still a chance to win one for yourself by entering Inga’s shoe contest or aiming for the coveted HIStalk King and HIStalk Queen titles.

I look forward to HIMSS each year, but it’s bittersweet on some levels. While many of us are away, we will be depending on the rest of our colleagues in the trenches to keep the infrastructure running and the providers under control. Although a lot of vendor organizations freeze in time around HIMSS, the rest of the health IT world does keep turning.

Case in point: NCQA announces the opening of a public comment period for proposed changes to the HEDIS measures for 2015. Proposed new measures include one on overuse of colorectal and prostate cancer screening and another on appropriate use of antipsychotic measures in children. Those slated for retirement include glaucoma screening in older adults and cholesterol management for patients with cardiovascular conditions.


HHS release a model Notice of Privacy Practices in Spanish. Since over 38 million people in the US speak Spanish, it’s about time. The offerings include fillable forms that can be printed for patients and are designed for both provider organizations and health plans.

The hot topic of conversation in the physician lounge this week has been the publication of the final rule amending the 1988 CLIA regulations to allow patients and their designees to receive lab results directly from laboratories. Physicians are generally resistant to anyone releasing lab or test results directly to the patient. Most of the time they cite concerns that the patient will not be able to interpret the results or that they may be confused or even harmed by results that lack explanation.

Our health system releases results to patients without physician review after 96 hours, so physicians have had to get on the ball and notify patients in a timely manner because the patients are going to receive their results if they are enrolled on the patient portal. There are a couple of tests that are restricted (like HIV and sexually transmitted infection labs) due to state privacy laws, but pretty much everything else in the lab or radiology realms is fair game.

Personally, I think it’s about time that other organizations have to start jumping through all the hoops that providers do with all the different rules that continue to be propagated. In this case, they only require the release of information within 30 days. Let’s make them release within three days like the rest of us and see how they do.


I’m off to pack. Including a half marathon in my weekend plans has definitely added to my fashion worries. If you happen to be at Walt Disney World in the wee hours of Sunday morning, keep an eye out for me as I run through Cinderella’s Castle in bling that even Inga would envy. Otherwise, my next report will be from the HIMSS opening reception.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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February 20, 2014 News 6 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/20/14

February 19, 2014 Headlines No Comments

About-face: CMS to conduct ICD-10 end-to-end testing

CMS reverses its original position on ICD-10 testing, announcing that it will conduct end-to-end testing with a group of chosen practices prior to the October 1 switchover.

QUEST: High-performing hospitals: 5-year collaborative findings

Premier Inc. claims that its 350 hospital members have collectively prevented 136,000 deaths and saved $11.6 billion over the last five years by setting aggressive quality improvement goals and benchmarking against top performers.

Mostashari to join Get Real Health board

Farzad Mostashari, MD accepts a position on the board of Get Real Health, a PHR developer from Rockville, MD.

Triple-S fined $6.8M for HIPAA issue

A San Juan, PR-based insurance company is hit with a $6.8 million in fines from federal, state, and local agencies all stemming from a HIPAA violation that was triggered when the hospital sent out 13,000 letters with Medicare numbers visible from the outside. It was the organization’s second large breach, it failed to notify affected patients within the 60-day window, and it submitted vague and incomplete responses during the investigation.

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February 19, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Health IT from the CIO’s Chair 2/19/14

February 19, 2014 Darren Dworkin 2 Comments

The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine personally and are not necessarily representative of current or former employers. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. MSRP excludes tax. Starting at price refers to the base model; a more expensive model may be shown.

Why the Website Reminds Me of a Big Hospital EMR Project

Despite the old adage that “there is no such thing as bad press,” I think all CIOs would agree keeping your IT project off the front page of the newspapers is a good thing. When the website stuff made the news, it got me thinking that perhaps the project had some traits in common with large hospital EMR projects.

Then my family and friends outside of work — who only vaguely really understand what my job is, anyway — lumped the IT project into my past explanations of EMR projects and asked me for my opinion. I decided I might be on to something. Here are my top 10 reasons why the two initiatives could be the same.

10. Apparently, despite lots of dollars spent on IT, failure is an option. Over the years, is has amazed me how many people assume a big budget means success. While a big budget can mask many things, the core project still has to be sound.

9. Strong desires to get it done combined with an important mandate from the top really just creates a lot of pressure, not a sound strategy or rational tactics.

8. A short timeframe due to an artificial deadline (see #9) drives a go-live date. That go-live date will then be a function of the math. That does not mean you have the right go-live date — just that you can count days correctly on a calendar.

7. Slow response times will elicit feedback from everyone who has ever used a computer. Everyone will be an expert. Everyone will compare your slow site to ones that are fast (probably The hardware and software just have to work. PERIOD.

6. What programmers think is clever does not mean end users will find it to be a good experience.

5. It is a simple order. Vary the steps and you will fail. First the goal, then the workflow, then the specs, then you build. Cheat the order and you run the risk of everyone who once used a computer explaining to you how and why you got it wrong (or why your project is not as good as

4. Testing. Do it. If you ran out of time in your project plan, then you missed your go-live date. It was not in the plan to represent make-up days.

3. Workflow, workflow, workflow. You need to configure or build an experience that matches how end users approach and think about their work. When you find your electronic experience intuitive, it is not because something radical was presented to you. It is because the experience followed what you were expecting. The workflow matched your work. It was intuitive.

2. If you stumble, listen to your users. Transparently explain the problem. Do not explain why you made the mistake. Engage your users and fix it. Don’t stop communicating.

1. Listen and involve the people who will use the system. Shadow their workflows and apply it to the new paradigm. Accept that Steve Jobs and Henry Ford were exceptions in not caring what the customer wanted. They knew better. The rest of us mere mortals simply need to listen to our customers.

The politics of aside, it broke a bunch of the top 10 reasons above. It was rushed to hit a date. It was not well tested, It experienced software and hardware bugs. Most importantly, it failed to deliver an expected workflow to participants, probably because the initial goals were not clearly defined.

Big EMR projects over the years (and some currently) continue to stumble with the same top 10. Big IT projects are complicated and always involve a lot of hard-working people behind the scenes scrambling to make it work. I’ve rarely observed the problem that the IT team did not work hard enough or care enough. It is everyone’s job to make sure the team is positioned to win, so follow the rules.

1-29-2014 12-54-46 PM

Darren Dworkin is chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, CA. You can reach Darren on Linkedin or Follow him on Twitter.

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February 19, 2014 Darren Dworkin 2 Comments

HIStalk Advisory Panel: IT Department Layoffs

February 19, 2014 Advisory Panel 1 Comment

The HIStalk Advisory Panel is a group of hospital CIOs, hospital CMIOs, practicing physicians, and a few vendor executives who have volunteered to provide their thoughts on topical industry issues. I’ll seek their input every month or so on an important news developments and also ask the non-vendor members about their recent experience with vendors. E-mail me to suggest an issue for their consideration.

If you work for a hospital or practice, you are welcome to join the panel. I am grateful to the HIStalk Advisory Panel members for their help in making HIStalk better.

This question this time: Has the IT department laid anyone off in the past year?

Our local IT department had to let go of people, but the biggest loss we witnessed was the whole CIO’s team as well as the CMO being gone as the hospital chain got bought by a larger organization. Many of us are very apprehensive as "bigger does not mean better" always and the vacuum created may be filled in a hurry by hubris. The jury is still out on that one and  I will be happy to share any happy endings if we should have any.


No layoffs. We have implemented approximately 20 applications the past 18 months and assumed responsibility for another six systems that had been managed by other departments. We added four FTEs to our staff the previous year and have 4-5 contractors at any given time.   

We are still hiring, but have laid off a number of consultants.  

No layoffs. We need all the people we have. 

Are you kidding me? Our problem is not being able to keep good staff. But who can blame them? We underpay them compared to vendors, we overwork them, and we don’t let them be innovative. No wonder they are jumping to startups and vendors so quickly. We are learning and trying to improve on each of those issues, but it’s still new stuff for large healthcare organizations.

Yes. Consequent to budget cutting. 

No. We added staff.

No layoffs this year, thank God.

No, but some have left due to burnout and boredom and stress.

No. There have been some reductions in other areas of the health system, However, they have not impacted IT. Justification for open and new positions is much more highly scrutinized, though.

No layoffs so far.

Not in the last year, fortunately.

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February 19, 2014 Advisory Panel 1 Comment

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