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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Morning Headlines 2/19/14

February 18, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

SANS-Norse Report Reveals that Cyberattacks Are Causing an Epidemic of Compromises at Healthcare Organization

A investigation of network security within the healthcare industry finds that 94 percent of healthcare organizations have been cyberattacked. Small practices are the most common target, but hospitals, payers, and pharmaceutical organizations have all been breached.

Analysis Of Duplicative CT Scans Shows Conservative Cost Savings Of $1.3 Million To Western New York Health System

In Western New York, the regional HIE is credited with saving $1.3 million during its first six months in operation, based on a measured reduction in CT scans.

Paying Doctors to Shun Hospitals

Bloomberg Business reports that of the 367 active ACOs in operation, more than half are practice-based and do not include a hospital. One ACO executive explained "Hospitals, they want to do your robotic surgeries, your heart catheterizations, your PET scans, your MRIs — all the expensive items. We actually felt that hospitals were part of the problem.”

Cerner Corporation (CERN) Hits New Lifetime High Today

Cerner stock hit a lifetime high of $61.43 today. Shares are up 6.3 percent year-to-date.

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February 18, 2014 Headlines 1 Comment

News 2/19/14

February 18, 2014 News 3 Comments

Top News


A SANS-Norse white paper investigating Internet traffic reports that 94 percent of healthcare organizations have been cyberattacked, with 72 percent of the compromised ports belonging to provider organizations. About a third of those compromised providers are practices with fewer than 10 doctors.The biggest target in healthcare is radiology imaging and teleradiology systems, often because nobody bothers to secure network-attached devices such as printers and cameras that are shipped as insecure and can be discovered by Internet search of IP addresses.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Listening: new from St. Paul & The Broken Bones, powerful Alabama Shakes-like soul music that would be equally at home at a Saturday night bar or a Sunday morning church.

Inga put together our guide to exhibitor giveaways, pointing out the sponsor swag that will be available.

HIStalk’s Booth #1995 at HIMSS

It’s a small starter home in a sketchy neighborhood, but it’s ours and it’s paid for. Drop by Booth #1995 and say hello to Lorre. Here’s what we’ll be doing there other than possibly regretting spending the money.


We will be giving away temporary HIStalk tattoos for folks who are somewhere on the continuum between “I sort of like reading HIStalk occasionally” and “I would disfigure my body permanently for HIStalk using actual needles and ink.” Take a photo of the creative anatomical feature on which you’ve applied it and I’ll run it.

image image

We’ll have our first HIMSS conference lapel/lanyard pin as well as our “10 Years of HIStalk 2003-2013” commemorative pin. You’ll be kicking yourself for not picking one up when these babies are selling for $500 on eBay in a few years. As Lorre says, “I know they aren’t iPads, but consider my budget and come and get them anyway. You will look cool and make me feel good. I may even have items left over from the sponsor event and will selectively dole those out to people who go out of their way to entertain me.”

dr gregg image image

Dignitaries will be on hand in the booth to say hello, including DOCtalk contributor Dr. Gregg Alexander (Monday, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.); CIO Unplugged’s Ed Marx (Tuesday 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.); and Memorial Hermann CMIO Bob Murphy, MD (Wednesday 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.) If your celebrity status warrants a spot on the HIStalk rental carpet with these supporters, contact Lorre. We appreciate it.

HIMSS Conference Social Events

Send us your event details if it’s a good one (i.e., free food and drinks at minimum) and you promise that all HIStalk readers are welcome to attend, even if they work for your most hated competitor as a given reader might well do.

Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Patientco, in partnership with , will host a reception in booth 4021 with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Presidio will offer light hors d’oeuvres and drinks at its reception in Booth 3129 on Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

inga_small Hopefully not a foreshadowing of things to come: I received an email from my HIMSS hotel confirming my stay. Unfortunately the reservation appears to be in the name of Chad Somebody. While I am sure Chad is a lovely person, spending a few nights in a hotel together is not my idea of an appropriate first date. The HIMSS reservation service told me to check directly with the hotel. The hotel tells me there is not a reservation in my name, just in my new friend’s name with my confirmation number. Really, who has time for figuring out such nonsense? Chad: if you are reading this, feel free to drop me a note so maybe we can have a Skype date before heading to Orlando.

2-18-2014 6-56-16 AM

inga_small On Monday we posted our rundown on the many free treasures you can collect while cruising the exhibit hall. I plan to schedule my day around the best offerings, starting with coffee at First Databank (1965); a cake pop from PerfectServe (5293); registration for a few high-tech goodies like an iPad from Santa Rosa Consulting (5689), a Fitbit from GetWellNetwork (2219) or one of several other vendors, or a tablet from Versus Technology (3673); freshly baked cookies from T-System (2071); bottled water from CTG Health Solutions (944); and afternoon cocktails at RelayHealth (1665) and Vital Images (1677). I am leaving out details on a couple of dozen other great giveaways but be assured I will do my best to sample all the hospitality the exhibit hall has to offer.

2-18-2014 9-01-52 AM

Mr. H (@HIStalk), Dr. Jayne (@JayneHIStalkMD), Lorre (@Lorre_HIStalk), and I (@IngaHIStalk) will be Tweeting throughout the conference to keep readers posted on the latest happenings, so be sure to give us a Twitter follow.


The band for the evening will be Party on the Moon. They sound good if you like cover bands more than I do, which Imprivata’s events people insisted is the case after hiring them without asking for my input. They’re probably right.

This year I’m feeling like those unheralded Woodstock organizers whose event was more popular than they could handle. I issued the invitations I was given as best I could, but huge demand left 1,000 or so folks — the majority of those who registered, in fact — without one. It feels like at least 500 of those have emailed me pleading for tickets I don’t have, except my own single ticket, which I’m considering just giving to someone else and hitting a bar instead. Next year I’ll either run the event my way or I won’t do it at all.  

Upcoming Webinars

February 19 (Wednesday), 1:00 p.m. ET. What is the Best Healthcare Data Warehouse Model for Your Organization? Choosing the right data model for your healthcare enterprise data warehouse (EDW) can be one of the most significant decisions you make in establishing your data warehousing and foundational analytics strategy for the future. The strengths and weaknesses of three primary data models will be discussed.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Cerner shares touched off an all-time high Tuesday, dropping a bit by the market’s close but still rising nearly 1 percent to $60.74. A $10,000 investment in 1990 would be worth $3.4 million today.


2-18-2014 1-48-56 PM

North Mississippi Medical Center selects Wellsoft’s EDIS.

ColumbiaDoctors (NY) will deploy Wellcentive’s population health management solutions.

2-18-2014 1-52-35 PM

Blessing Hospital (IL) adds Allscripts dbMotion population health management and Allscripts Sunrise Financial Manager to compliment its existing Sunrise Clinical implementation.

Greater New York Hospital Association contracts with Premier, Inc. for advisory services and for Premier’s Population Advisor suite, which includes population health analytics solutions from Verisk Health.

2-18-2014 1-54-49 PM

BJC HealthCare (MO) selects ZeOmega’s Jiva population health management software to enhance  care coordination and patient engagement for patients in the BHC ACO.


2-18-2014 8-33-35 AM

SA Ignite hires Jeff Galowich (Initiate Systems) as president.

2-18-2014 8-59-04 AM

Kindred Healthcare (KY) names C. Scott Blanchette (Vanguard Health Systems) CIO, replacing the recently retired Richard E. Chapman.

2-18-2014 1-55-40 PM

Health Catalyst appoints Bryan Oshiro, MD (Loma Linda University School of Medicine) chief medical officer.

Announcements and Implementations


Carroll Hospital Center (MD) upgrades from McKesson Horizon to Paragon. According to the hospital’s interim CIO Jennifer Moore, Carroll stayed with McKesson because project costs were “significantly lower than if we had gone to find another vendor for a new product.’ Jed Rosen, MD, chief of surgery and CMIO, said Horizon is “a product that was a conglomeration of multiple database programs that were squished together … to add functionality on a piecemeal basis. We used to bounce around through several programs to access information, whereas now we can open one program and get everything at a glance.” He didn’t mention why they bought Horizon since that was pretty obviously the case.


Voalte will offer an Android-based version of its Voalte One mobile communications platform running on Motorola MC40-HC devices.

Caradigm and Microsoft will demo at the HIMSS conference a Windows 8.1 tablet-based platform that lets clinicians launch apps such as an EHR session from a clinical desktop and switch back and forth among them. It was developed with UPMC’s commercialization arm and includes Caradigm’s single sign-on and context management, the former Sentillion products.


Nordic Consulting moves into expanded space in Madison, WI. The four-year-old company reported $81 million in revenue in 2013 and has 400 employees, 350 of them Epic consultants and two-thirds of those being former Epic employees. Most of them live in areas other than Madison. It also took in $38 million of investment funds.

QPID Healthcare announces the release of Q-Guide, its procedure decision support application developed with Mass General Hospital and its physician organization.

Government and Politics

The FDA posts a final rule requiring medical device manufacturers to electronically submitting reports on adverse events beginning in August 2015.


Black Book Rankings names CPSI the top ranked inpatient EHR vendor for hospitals under 100 beds based on customer satisfaction

The HEALTHeLINK HIE (NY) estimates that use of the exchange contributed to $1.3 million in cost savings over a six-month period due to the reduction of unnecessary and duplicate CT scans.

Hospitals often underestimate the costs associated with EMR implementations, according to a study published in JAMIA.The most commonly underestimated line items are training, project planning, staff backfill, and system testing.


In Australia, opening of the new, paperless Fiona Stanley Hospital is delayed by six months due to an overly ambitious IT implementation schedule that will cost an extra $151 million. The government expects to spend another $25-50 million to get its systems ready. According to West Australia’s under-treasurer, “You never build stuff that you can buy off the shelf; you never build bespoke stuff that then has to be integrated with generic products; you change your business processes rather than changing the systems to suit the business processes. You never do big bang because big bang goes boom.”

In England, NHS postpones go-live date of a planned national medical records data sharing project after doctors and patients express concerns that it wasn’t made clear how patients could opt out or how their data might be used commercially without their knowledge.

A Bloomberg Businessweek article points out that more than half of ACOs don’t include hospital members. According to the CEO of Amarillo Legacy Medical ACO (TX), “Hospitals, they want to do your robotic surgeries, your heart catheterizations, your PET scans, your MRIs—all the expensive items. We actually felt that hospitals were part of the problem.” Another ACO CEO adds, “If we make people a whole lot healthier, they’re not going to go to the hospital. You’re going to need 20 percent or 25 percent less hospital beds, which means 20 percent are going to close. If we’re successful, the hospitals are going to get killed.”


US News lists its “100 Best Jobs of 2014” based on growth, salary, stress, and work-life balance. The The top 10:

  1. Software developer
  2. Computer systems analyst
  3. Dentist
  4. Nurse practitioner
  5. Pharmacist
  6. Registered nurse
  7. Physical therapist
  8. Physician
  9. Web developer
  10. Dental hygienist


The local newspaper interviews Paul Clark, MD, CMIO of Concord Hospital (NH). “I think this whole concept of population management is really where things are heading. In the past, it was all about the person in front of me at the moment. Now it’s about, ‘Am I providing the best care for all my diabetes patients? Are we making sure we’re preventing readmissions? Are we taking care of everyone’s hypertension?’ Systems need to be made to account for those population measurements.”

The New York Times highlights India’s launch of a spacecraft bound for Mars that cost only $75 million, less than the expense of making the Hollywood movie “Gravity.” NASA’s launch of a similar spacecraft a few days later cost $671 million. It points out GE Healthcare’s research there to develop low-cost medical innovations.

Sponsor Updates

  • The National Testing Program for ICD-10 readiness of HIPAA transactions extends certification Greenway SuccessEHS.
  • SimplifyMD version 14.0 achieves 2014 Edition Complete EHR Ambulatory ONC HIT Certification from ICSA Labs.
  • HIT Application Solutions will integrate its Notifi platform with Merge Healthcare’s Merge RIS and market the product under the name Merge Notifi.
  • Medhost launches YourCareCommunity, which incorporates features of and HIE and an enterprise MPI.
  • Coastal Healthcare Consulting introduces Catalyst to rapidly respond to healthcare organizations in urgent need of assistance.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Allscripts with the 2013 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for New Product Innovation Leadership for its open API.
  • NewCrop, an e-prescribing service provider, enables CoverMyMeds prior authorization capability.
  • Greenway is awarded three patents which work together to advance population health through automated medical research.
  • Porter Research publishes a case study highlighting its work with Covisint.

Sponsor Speaking Engagements at HIMSS

  • InterSystems highlights featured presentations in the InterSystems theater (2741).
  • Imprivata posts the Imprivata Theater schedule (2541).
  • CTG offers multiple in-booth sessions (944) featuring industry experts and discussions of hot HIT topics. Also, CTG and Erie County Medical Center (NY) co-present an educational session February 25  at 1:00 p.m. on “Improving Western NY’s Population Health Using Patient Centered Medical Home.”
  • HealthMEDX participates as the first LTPAC EMR in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase.
  • The HCI Group leads two CHIME CIO focus groups on the complexities of ICD-10 and on the total cost of ownership for enterprise systems.
  • Craneware’s Kathy Schwartz presents during the HIMSS Supply Chain pre-conference Symposium February 23 from 10:00-11:00 on costs, quality, and outcomes.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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February 18, 2014 News 3 Comments

Morning Headlines 2/18/14

February 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

The Reliability of Teledermatology to Triage Inpatient Dermatology Consultations

A study published in JAMA finds that practice-based dermatologists can effectively provide dermatology consults for inpatients at local hospitals via a remote connection. The study found that remote dermatologists concurred with in person dermatologists 95 percent of the time when recommending a biopsy. The study also found that remote dermatologists were generally the more conservative of the two groups when differences in opinion surfaced.

Medical Device Reporting: Electronic Submission Requirements

The FDA posts a final rule to the Federal Register stating that all adverse events stemming from medical devices are to be reported in an electronic format moving forward rather than on paper.

Seven Leading Health Organizations Join Optum Labs Research Collaborative

Optum Labs, a big-data healthcare collaborative created by UnitedHealth Group and the Mayo Clinic, adds seven new partners to its program including: Tufts Medical Center, Boston University School of Public Health, and Pfizer Inc. The mission of the group is to uncover insights that result in improved outcomes and reduced costs.

HIMSS Analytics Honors 51 Clinics of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group with Stage 7 Ambulatory Awards

HIMSS recognizes 51 clinics within the Northeast Georgia Physicians Group with its Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. The clinics integrate with the Northeast Georgia Health System on a multi-vendor platform and perform data analytics that provides population health analytics, predictive alerting, and identifies care gaps to be addressed during each encounter.

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February 17, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 2/17/14

February 17, 2014 Dr. Jayne 2 Comments

Across medical specialties, there’s a little bit of an “us vs. them” mentality when you look at physicians who use their minds more than their hands. We refer to it as cognitive specialties vs. procedural specialties. 

If you guessed that the proceduralists make more money, you’re right. Those of us on the cognitive side of the equation, which includes primary care, worry about keeping our minds sharp as much as surgeons worry about their hands.

Like cognitive physicians, many of us in health IT make a living with our brains and are under a great deal of stress. Sometimes it feels like we’re losing our minds when we have to try to figure out how to accomplish everything that needs to be done on limited budgets.

In doing psychiatry and neurology rotations, I always wondered whether people who are having brain disorders know that something is going wrong or whether things seem OK to them. When I feel unfocused, can’t sleep, and can’t concentrate, I wonder if something sinister is going on or if it’s just stress. I wonder too how many people realize I’m not on my “A Game” when that happens.

I’m excited about the potential for genomics and personalized medicine to be able to predict future illness on an individual basis. The idea of being able to prevent disease at the molecular level or to design targeted treatments after it already occurs is appealing. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’d want to know about conditions that might not be curable. It’s a double-edged sword.

It turns out that Big Data might be able to provide some advance warning at least for those of us who are writers. NPR recently re-ran a story from 2010 about an English professor at the University of Toronto who came up with an interesting way to bring literature and medicine together.

Ian Lancashire has been gathering Big Data on authors, looking at the number of words in their texts and the volume of usage. He tries to identify patterns that help him understand the author’s thought process.

Recently, he took on the work of Agatha Christie. He used computer analysis to review 16 books written over half a decade. He found that in one of her later novels, her word usage changed. The number of unique words decreased by 20 percent. Certain types of words increased in number. His conclusion: Alzheimer’s may have been responsible for the change.

He worked with others (including linguists, pathologists, and statistical experts) to review the work before publication. Although she was never diagnosed, she may have exhibited signs and symptoms of dementia by report. Interestingly, the book where the changes were noted is called Elephants Can Remember and is about a novelist experiencing memory loss.

According to the NPR piece, other Alzheimer’s research also indicates that patterns in writing can help identify those that may develop the disease. A study done with the School Sisters of Notre Dame looked at memory and aging. The sisters also allowed pathology review of brain samples after death. Researcher David Snowdon found writing samples (the sisters’ essays written when they joined the community) and analyzed them.

Those samples with higher “idea density” seemed to be less predictive of dementia than those with lower idea density. It certainly doesn’t prove a cause and effect relationship, but only an association. I wonder what it would look like if we did an analysis of the writings of the HIStalk team? How concordant would our “day job” work be with that written by our HIStalk personas? Would researchers be able to pick out those weeks when our real-world IT departments were crashing and burning around us? Could they identify the pieces we secretly wrote from the beach or other points unknown?

Some of the discussion after the broadcast centered on the large volume of digital communications that we now create each day. Could our employers mine our emails and instant messages to determine whether we are exhibiting symptoms of mental instability? Are we more depressed by failed projects and untenable initiatives than we should be? Does the level of anxiety among analysts predict whether one go live will be more successful than another?

Looking at my Sent Items folder, I’d be scared to have my work analyzed. It’s likely to show symptoms of multiple personality disorder as I have to play games with various providers to get them to comply with organizational initiatives. Throw in some crisis of identity with all the different hats I have to wear (often at the same time) and it could get really interesting.

What do you think your writing says about you? Email me.

Email Dr. Jayne.

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February 17, 2014 Dr. Jayne 2 Comments

HIStalk Interviews Shane Adams, CEO, Sagacious Consultants

February 17, 2014 Interviews 14 Comments

Shane Adams is Founder and CEO of Sagacious Consultants of Lenexa, KS.


Tell me about yourself and the company.

I have to start by giving Epic a lot of credit. It is where I met my wife, but also was the catalyst for starting my company, Sagacious Consultants. They do a lot of things exceptionally well. I wanted to take that and apply it to the consulting industry. 

We focus on our culture and treating everyone like family. I don’t just say that because both of my brothers and my wife works with me, but we put our employees first and they put our clients first. In turn, both our employees and our clients are number one.


Epic has a strong reputation for its culture, which is geared around the demographic of employees they hire. Do you have to compete with that or can you take what you learned from Epic and extend it?

No, I don’t think we compete with that much. They obviously have a lot of great benefits. Some of the benefits we offer are extensions of what Epic offered. We took the things they did well and we tried to do even better. We took the things that maybe we didn’t think were the best for our culture and we flipped those and thought of some new things we could do.


What’s the secret to getting and keeping the best quality Epic certified and experienced people when everyone is looking for them?

We have a team of people that focuses on retention. I worked at Epic. My wife worked at Epic. Our first employees were friends of ours that worked at Epic. It’s really building a team of A players. 

When we recruit people, they know we’re number one in KLAS and they know we have an amazing culture. They want to be a part of that. They want that work-life balance that we’re able to offer. Frankly, a lot of the other firms out there are just after making the difference between their bill rate and the rate they pay their consultants.


What does the Epic consulting market look like and how is it changing?

We see a lot of the market moving from simple staff augmentation to more strategic consulting services. With all the federal stimulus money over the past several years … that was money that was being thrown at these organizations to implement Epic and other EMRs as quickly as possible. 

Now since some of that money is a little bit harder to obtain, organizations are using their own money. They need to see an ROI out of that. They’re now just trying to realize the benefits of an EMR system and squeeze out every dollar that they can. A lot more of our focus is moving from staff augmentation to realizing those benefits through efficiencies, through cost savings, and better use of the system.


Do you think Epic itself will run into a more mature market where the implementation work will taper off and optimization will be the most-demanded service?

I see two things happening. Domestically here within the US, I think the services for the clients already live on Epic will be more the maturing type of client for Epic. But there’s a big market for the smaller organizations, the ones where Epic is indirectly expending via their Connect model. We’ve been getting a lot of interest from smaller organizations who are looking to either partner with a bigger institution to obtain Epic or we’ve been working directly with an organization that has Epic to serve as a vendor themselves to extend to these smaller community hospitals their Epic solution. 

The second part is overseas. There’s still not much market penetration for EMRs. I believe that’s where Epic’s major focus is going to be in the coming decade.


What’s the market pressure been on consulting rates over the last year or two?

I would say they’ve been fairly stable. There is definitely an influx of consultants, so there’s more supply there. But there is also an uptick in demand over the past couple years. Overall, we’ve seen rates stabilize and we think they’ll probably be in this spot for at least the foreseeable future.


Epic limits the consultant supply by who it certifies and by its non-compete agreements. Can they turn out enough supply to meet the demand?

I think they can. There has been an uptick in supply. Epic is getting bigger, therefore there’s more certified people. But there’s also some people with a little bit lower of a skill set who may be credentialed or just have experience. We’ve been seeing a lot of those people turning into consultants. Initially, those are putting downward pressure on the rates. But I believe over the past year or two, clients are starting to realize what it means to have somebody who has that industry knowledge and that Epic certification, that Epic experience.

Over the past couple years, KLAS has noticed that clients are now more interested in engaging with consulting firms that have that direct Epic experience, not just generalists out there. The consultant’s experience really does make a difference.


What’s your reaction to Epic going into consulting?

That’s been something I’ve talked with Epic about over the past several months. They’ve done it on and off over the past few years. 

I believe Epic is most focused on the proliferation of their software. They’re most focused with getting Epic out in as many hands as possible. I like to think of it similar to the Google approach — getting the Android platform out to as many mobile phone users as possible. Because what they’re really interested in is their software and the licensing fees, just like Google is with their ad revenue. 

Epic’s interest and our interests are very aligned. All we do is Epic, so we want Epic to remain the best EMR out there and that’s Epic’s same interest. If Epic were to jump into the consulting, I think it would be more of a partnership with firms like us than a direct competition.


They haven’t said why they’re doing it, but it sounds like one motivation is that they are losing people who quit, sit out their non-compete, and then make more money by going to work for a consulting company. Do you think that will limit your supply of quality candidates?

No, I don’t, for the simple fact of, if we were to just recruit half a percent of the people that leave Epic, we would still be growing like crazy. There are just so many people that have that experience that I don’t think that will limit our growth. I think that the people that are looking to leave Epic, it’s for a number of reasons. The majority of people do not leave Epic to become a consultant.


What do they do after they leave?

I would say the majority of people who leave Epic get into another industry. As you know, Epic hires most of their people directly out of college. They hire without discrimination towards a certain degree. The people who join Epic have various backgrounds. 

Epic’s a great point to get your feet wet in the professional world and use it to launch a career into whatever you might decide to pursue, whether that’s going back to school to get your master’s degree or whether that’s going into another industry that might not be as highly paying. Now you’ve done some time at Epic and you were able to save up some money.


Consulting runs in cycles where the companies that rise to the top get bought. None of the Epic-only consulting companies that have sold to a big firm yet, right?

Not that I know of. The way that we’re trying to prepare ourselves is, we want to be agile, but we also have to be in the lean in the way we conduct business. Whether there’s pressure from competition, tightening up our budget and tightening up our processes, or there’s pressure from an industry level with rates going down or if Epic were to start losing some market shares. 

We’re just concerned about continuing to offer relevant services to our clients, broadening out besides just staff augmentation, and looking to the future what our clients are going to need from a consulting partner three, five and ten years down the road.


You’ve said that you want to create a brand and not just a consulting company. How do you see that happening?

It starts in-house with the culture, with the people we recruit. We recently won Best in KLAS, but prior to that, we also were listed as one of the best places to work in healthcare. We focus on our employees, and making Sagacious a long-term career option for them and by making sure that everybody shares the same vision as Sagacious, which is to become that brand. It’s lining up our interests with our employees’ interests and our clients’ interests. It’s establishing that long-term partnership with our clients, and ensuring no matter what their need is when it comes to Epic — whether it’s staff augmentation, clinical optimization, AR reduction — we are the first vendor they call for support.


How do you see an Epic ecosystem building?

Epic announced that they were going to open up some of their software to outside developers. We see that eventually third-party players that are more so integrated with Epic may start becoming prevalent. We also see a second area is the adoption of the smaller organizations, under 500 beds, adopting Epic via the Connect relationship. We see services such as working with these organizations to increase revenue and decrease AR days. That’s a mix of not just optimizing Epic, but also optimizing their business processes and their operational work flows.

The same thing on the clinical side. Big data is a term similar to what cloud was two or three years ago. Big data is really about, now we have this data within Epic and these organizations have this data at their disposal, how are you going to leverage that to better patient care, better patient outcomes, and to increase your revenue so that you can provide patient care to the community? Those are the areas that we think will be where the industry is moving in the coming years.


How do you see analytics playing out for Epic customers?

We’re going to start seeing a lot more of revenue spent on analytics. The first stage of this EMR life cycle is adoption. We’ve seen that in the US, a lot of big institutions now are on an EMR such as Epic. 

The second phase of that is leveraging the EMR to increase your bottom line and improve patient care. You can’t do that without analytics. We think as an industry that healthcare is far behind retail such as Amazon and Google. They are very far ahead when it comes to leveraging that data and using it for predictive ordering or predictive shipping, which Amazon might be getting into. 

We think that the industry as whole has a long ways to go. We think that will be a big market for Epic and the other EMRs in the coming years.


What do you want the company to be in the next two to five years?

I see Sagacious transforming to more than simply staff augmentation and taking on more of those strategic-level partnerships with our clients. Going into organizations and assessing them from top to the bottom and seeing where there are inefficiencies. These are things that they may know about themselves, but there’s a lot of inertia when it comes to these projects. They’ve been doing things the same way they’ve been doing them for years. They might have gone live on Epic 10 years ago and taken some upgrades, but have they really leveraged the most they can out of that system? 

We’re that outside driving force. We want to come in, provide them with an independent third-party assessment, and determine what are areas where they could strengthen themselves. What are those opportunities to drive patient care and drive their revenue metrics? That’s where I see Sagacious continuing to advance. I see our partners, our clients continuing to go down that path of optimization.


Do you have any concluding thoughts?

As an industry, a lot of people may think that we’re at the peak right now because so many organizations within the US have adopted an EMR and a lot of clients now are live on Epic. But the truth is, that’s just one piece of the overall business cycle. Adoption is just the beginning of it. Next is leveraging the data analytics to optimize. Then, finally, it’s using that data to predict patient outcomes and to make business decisions to drive revenue. 

That’s what I’m most excited about. That’s what we’re most excited about at Sagacious — continuing to partner with our clients and figure out where the future is and help them set some long-term goals to take it to the next stage.

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February 17, 2014 Interviews 14 Comments

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS14 Exhibitor Giveaways

February 17, 2014 News No Comments



Booth 5175

To enter a drawing for an Apple TV, visit the Access booth and ask “What is the Green Paper Monster?” We’ll do the drawing on the last of the show and e-mail the winner to come pick up their prize. If you can’t make it before the close of the show, we will mail you the Apple TV.

Accreon, Inc  


Mention you were referred to Accreon through HIStalk and receive 15 percent off any resulting business established at HIMSS.



Booth 6144

While at HIMSS, come by AirStrip booth 6144 to register to win an UP wristband. We’ll be giving away one wristband each afternoon to a lucky winner.

Aprima Medical Software


Booth 2621

We will hold a raffle each day at HIMSS for a $250 gift card.



Booth 1831

Experience the magic of Brandon K. Parker throughout exhibit hours. Join Aventura for food, drinks, magic, and fun at the 1800 row block party from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at booth 1831.

Beacon Partners, Inc. 


Booth 4165

Stop by our booth on Monday and Tuesday afternoons for food and beverages and to speak with our team of experts.

Bottomline Technologies   


Booth 1545

Don’t forget to enter to win our daily grand prize, a $500 Delta Airlines eGift certificate. Just ask about the HIMSS14 #Captureit contest.

Capsule Tech., Inc.   


Booth 2329

Visit Capsule’s booth 2329 and enter to win a GoPro Hero 3.



Booth 7293 (Startup Showcase)

We will be offering product demonstrations and holding numerous giveaways throughout the show, including CareSync Plus subscriptions and an iPad Mini.

Certify Data Systems, Inc.


Booth 3729

Stop by booth 3729 for a healthy smoothie.



Booth 3482

Stop by booth 3482 and you’ll receive a complementary set of ear buds and hear how Simpana is much more than a backup and restore recovery solution.

CTG Health Solutions


Booth 944

Visit us at booth 944 for the HIMSS Survival Kit from your friends at CTG Health Solutions. We will also have coffee and bottled water in the booth.



Booth 4372

Visit booth 4372 and help Divurgent raise $5,000 towards the Florida Children’s Hospital. Simply “Spin to Win” and Divurgent will donate the amount you select.



Booth 5151

Come by booth 5151 to discover how Emdeon can help you achieve your business goals and also learn how you can win one of 13 Nike FuelBands that will be given out during the show.

Extension Healthcare  


Booth 1441

Enter to Win a Kindle Fire HD. Extension Healthcare will be raffling three Kindle Fire HD during the HIMSS conference. Stop by our booth to enter to win.



Booth 2128

This year, we featuring a giveaway for a free two-week assessment of our Automated Testing Solutions.



Booth 2219

Giveaways: Samsung Galaxy Gear and Fitbit.



Booth 2503

You can enter to win your choice of unique adventures, including spa getaways, vacations, all-inclusive flights, and more.



Booth 4379

At our booth, we will have a scratch and win prize giveaway, including USB drives pre-loaded with great industry insight, collapsible water bottles (perfect for traveling), and a TV.

Health Care Software, Inc. (HCS)   


Booth 4464

Visit HCS booth 4464 to register to win a $250 AMEX gift card. Get social with HCS by mentioning HCS in a photo and posting it to LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram with #HCSatHIMSS14  and you cold win a $100 AMEX gift card.

Health Catalyst  


Booth 6076

Come checkout our double-decker booth and learn how to win one of several FitBits and the grand prize, an iPad Mini.



Booth 3493

Visit us to learn how we save physicians 30 minutes daily and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare, edited by healthfinch Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lyle Berkowitz.

Iatric Systems, Inc. 


Booth 3217

Booth 3217 is going to be entertaining as well as educational, with Chef Anton providing his amazing magic tricks and giving out great prizes like Visa gift cards and Apple iPod shuffles after each show.

Infor (formerly Lawson)


Booth 3049

Visit us at HIMSS and enjoy free beverages and popcorn in our Relaxation Zone. Take a survey and be registered to win a $2,500 American Express card.

Ingenious Med, Inc.   


Booth 471

Stop by booth 471 to learn more about the new patient encounter platform and enter for a chance to win an Apple TV.

Innovative Healthcare Solutions   


Booth 1729

IHS, along with several of our exhibiting neighbors, will be hosting a block party on Tuesday, February 25th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Please stop by to enjoy a variety of catered food and drinks.

InterSystems Corporation  


Booth 2741

Step into InterSystems’ must-see presentations at HIMSS to win a Fitbit Flex. Each time you step into an InterSystems-sponsored presentation at HIMSS14 you gain another chance to win one of 30 Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristbands we’re giving away.

Legacy Data Access, LLC   


Booth 3130   

This year Legacy Data Access has partnered with Zoo Atlanta on a “Protector” level sponsorship for the elephant exhibit. Legacy Data Access will be handing out “I Love Elephants” buttons. For each person that comes by and agrees to wear the button all day, we will donate a dollar to the sponsorship.

Leidos Health


Booth 3753

What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing today? Let us know at booth 3753 and you’ll have an opportunity to win a free Health Check to help with your biggest healthcare challenge. We’ll also make a donation in your name to the Tour de Cure Leidos team which supports the American Diabetes Association.

Lifepoint Informatics 


Booth 6069

Visit our booth for a chance to win a Google Chromecast. Hourly drawings during exhibit hours will be made.



Booth 7867

We will be giving away an ipad. Also, we are offering Starbucks gift cards for attendees interested in viewing a WebEx demo after convention.



Booth 513

HIMSS giveaways: $1,000 Amazon gift card, three $100 American Express gift cards, fresh baked scones every day.



Booth 8354

Come see us at booth 8354 as well as the interoperability showcase and meet our team and pick up an infuser water bottle.

Medicomp Systems  


Booth 2703   

Everyone receiving Quippe training and seated in Quipstar’s live studio audience will have a chance to win one of the latest tablets and an opportunity to become a Quipstar contestant and compete for cash prizes. Maybe you will be chosen to compete against Inga or another HIT heavy hitter!

MediQuant Inc.   


Booth 1929

Stop by our booth 1929 for a chance to win a gift card.



Booth 2130

Enter for a chance to win an Optimization Assessment or Affiliate/Connect Planning Visit. The Optimization assessment is a $7,500 value and includes trip to an Epic customer site with shadowing of users and a system evaluation, followed by a written report listing workflow and system optimization opportunities. The Affiliate/Connect planning visit is a value of $5,000 and includes a one- to two-day visit to an Epic customer site to assist in the development of a written strategy to extend an Epic system to the organization’s affiliated or acquired practices and hospitals. We will contact the winners the week after HIMSS.

Park Place International


Booth: 2186

Stop by booth 2186 to learn more about Park Place International and enter our raffle for a chance to win an gift card.

Passport Health Communications


Booth 2134

Come by for a demo and you will be entered to win an American Express gift card.

PatientSafe Solutions   


Booth 3983

PatientSafe will be raffling a GoPro Hero3+ each day. Come by booth 3983 to visit.



Booth 5293

Grab a yummy cake pop – they’re sure to be a crowd favorite and will give you that needed spurt of energy to get you through the rest of the day.



Booth 3111

Join Qlik at booth 3111 to hear customer testimonials, experience a live demonstration, receive a massage, and more.

Quest Diagnostics  


Booth 3064

Stop by our booth on Tuesday, February 25 to meet New York Giants Super Bowl Champion Stephen Baker “The Touchdown Maker” and get an autographed mini-football. Steve will speak on the value of wellness programs in improving health and outcomes through diagnostic insights.

The first 100 attendees to stop by the Quest Diagnostics booth will be eligible for a special Blueprint for Wellness screening voucher. This screening offers a current snapshot of your health featuring simply-stated insights and highly personalized content that provides an understanding of your health.

ReadyDock Inc.


Booth 8056

Free disinfection during exhibit hours: come by our booth and bring your dirty device with you … we’ll take care of it.



Booth 1665

Please join us for a cocktail reception and presentation with Jersey Health Connect in the RelayHealth booth on Monday during HIMSS.

Shareable Ink   


Booth 2117

Shareable Ink has two special special promotions and one giveaway:

1) Special giveaway – ask for a demo and enter for a chance to win an iPad mini.
2) Special promotions – patient intake starter kit. Includes three patient intake forms: general consent; HIPAA consent; patient history intake, MU structured data. And, 15 percent discount off Anesthesia Cloud for iPad with ShareMU sign-ups before March 31, 2014.

Siemens Healthcare


Booth 3165

Let us swipe your badge for a donation to StandUp 2 Cancer.

The SSI Group, Inc. 


Booth 1745

Stop by our booth to refuel at the beverage station while you charge your mobile devices at the “Power Tower.” The SSI Group, Inc. is “Powering the Business of Healthcare” but we are also powering YOU at HIMSS14.

Streamline Health 


Booth 2829, Knowledge Center Booth 883

Stop by and play our interactive memory game. Daily $100 winner for fastest time.

Summit Healthcare   


Booth 1021

Enter our drawing to win a free iPad. Stop by our booth for a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

Sunquest Information Systems, Inc.  


Booth 4447

We will be giving away Labrador puppy plush toys (“Sunquest Lab”),  Sunquest tote bags, ChapStick, and pens.

Surgical Information Systems 


Booth 6465 and the Intelligent Hospital

Schedule a meeting to see SIS Analytics at HIMSS and be entered to win a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speaker. Register to see your perioperative data in SIS Analytics



Booth 1041   

Mingle with the experts! Join us Monday, February 24 and Tuesday, February 25 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and great conversation with leading healthcare industry experts.

Enter to win! Stop by Symantec booth 1041 and enter to win a home theatre system complete with a 70” 3D Flat-Panel TV, 3D Blu-ray Player, home theater sound bar, and installation.

Talksoft Corporation   


Booth 4466

Visit our booth 4466 to utilize our free charging station for your phone or computer and to pick up your luggage tag.



Booth 2071

Stop by our booth every day starting at noon for freshly baked cookies and more information on our end-to-end solutions for emergency care.

Versus Technology   


Booth 3673

To reduce HAIs (HIMSS-acquired infections), look for the SafeHaven hand hygiene dispensers throughout the convention center. Tear off an entry card from the display to win one of five tablet computers. Or, visit booth 3673 to enter.

Vital Images, Inc. 


Booth 1677

The company will be hosting receptions at  booth1677 on Monday starting at 4 p.m. and Tuesday starting at 5 p.m



Booth 735

Visit VitalWare in booth 735 to view a demo, receive a daily prize, and be entered to win a full one-year license to iDocuMint.

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February 17, 2014 News No Comments

Morning Headlines 2/17/14

February 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

How VA is driving telemedicine

In 2013, the VA used its increasingly popular telehealth platform to deliver care for 600,000 veterans, accounting for a total of 1.7 million episodes of care.

Researchers develop smartglasses that help surgeons see cancerous cells

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are testing smartglasses that help surgeons as they remove cancer tumors by highlighting the affected cells with a glowing blue pigment. Researchers hope the glasses will help surgeons remove all cancer cells during the first surgery, reducing the need for secondary procedures.

New hospital to open without state-of-the-art medical record system

In Vermont, state legislators are disappointed its new 25-bed state-run psychiatric hospital will open without a modern EHR in place after project planners were unable to come to a deal to enhance its incumbent EHR system. Planners also tried but were unable to reach an agreement with Fletcher Allen Health System which offered a hosted Epic system at an upfront cost of $3 million and $600,000 annual maintenance. The state will issue an RFP for a new system which is not expected to go live until at least a year after the hospital opens.

The Valley Hospital Moves Forward with MEDITECH’s 6.1 EHR

The Valley Hospital (NJ) decides to upgrade from Meditech Magic to 6.1 instead of choosing other finalist Epic, giving the company a win in a bed size (450) that usually goes to Epic or Cerner.

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February 16, 2014 Headlines No Comments

Monday Morning Update 2/17/14

February 15, 2014 News 1 Comment

2-15-2014 6-39-12 AM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Another smart glasses solution. Researchers at Washington University it St. Louis have developed a solution that can help surgeons find all cancer cells. The technique uses custom software that makes cancerous cells glow blue by using a molecular imaging agent to give the cancer a unique color that can be viewed with special glasses.”

2-15-2014 4-45-37 PM

From Mark in Marketing: “Re: HIStalk interview tips. Refreshing! I work in marketing and even I hate marketing people.” I send people I’m going to an interview (or their handler) a tips sheet so they don’t waste my time, so Mark was complimenting me on that as he prepped his client. I’m really lucky because people want to be interviewed on HIStalk, so I get to make the rules in favor of readers. The bad interviews I’ve done weren’t for lack of trying. Some of my guidelines are:

  • I only interview CEOs because readers want to hear from the top person in a company who can talk about the broad strategic landscape, not a VP of sales pitching product.
  • Get on a landline, not a cell phone, and on a handset rather than a speakerphone. People never know how crappy they sound on a cell phone. It takes me an extra 1-2 hours to finish an interview transcription when the person ignores this advice, so now I just stop the interview and tell them to get on a landline or we’re done.
  • I use the CEO’s background to decide whether I’ll do an interview because if the person seems boring, it doesn’t matter how non-boring their company is.
  • Marketing and PR people can join the call, but can’t speak. I also don’t want to hear long pauses as the marketing people thrust boilerplate under the interviewee’s nose trying to get them to read it verbatim.
  • I don’t provide questions in advance and I don’t allow review after the fact. CEOs earn should be able to earn their paycheck without having someone else reviewing their every word for accuracy or intent.
  • I’m an industry person, so I won’t be asking the usual dumb reporter softball questions. It will be a conversation and I’ll ask whatever I think is interesting.
  • My first question is always an invitation to tell readers a little bit about the interviewee and the subject, the emphasis being “little bit.” I emphasize this strongly because in one interview, the executive spent literally 10 minutes answering that question, leaving me little time to ask anything else.
  • Nobody wants to read a company pitch, so put a lid on that and speak honestly about the industry as a whole.

2-15-2014 5-46-14 AM

Two-thirds of poll respondents say “Best in KLAS” products aren’t really the best ones. New poll to your right: does your business card list any certification credentials after your name? That means CPHIMS, CHCIO, PMP, etc. rather than educational credentials or professional licensure. 

My language pet peeve du jour: companies whose announcements say they have “more than 500 customers” or “more than 200 employees.” Either give us an exact number (“we have 502 customers”) or, better yet, just round down and skip the “more” part (“we have 500 customers”) and trust us not to think less of you because you have two fewer customers. Inga’s example was a company whose press release said its product is installed in “more than 87 hospitals.” Others: using the almost never necessary word “currently”; saying “utilize” instead of the simpler and equivalent “use”; using “leverage” for anything other than physics or finance topics; and using the non-word “anymore.”

2-15-2014 10-12-05 AM

Here’s something you need even if you don’t know it, especially with the HIMSS conference coming up when your phone’s battery will drain quickly trying to lock onto a cell signal. This little $30 gadget is an external charger for your smartphone. Charge it up and you can then recharge your iPhone 2-3 times, even while on the go (like on the exhibit hall floor). I used mine this week to recharge my phone when I lost electricity. Many choices exist, ranging from lipstick-sized models to big boys.

2-15-2014 4-07-20 PM

Here’s another thank you note from a teacher who HIStalk readers helped with a grant. I confess this was my favorite project of the several I funded – buying a lectern and supplies for the very poor school’s first National Junior Honor Society ceremony.

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

2-15-2014 9-37-43 AM
2-15-2014 9-38-53 AM

Upcoming Webinars

February 18 (Tuesday), 1:00 p.m. ET. Epic 2012 Training and Support: Building Your Team. Sponsored by MBA HealthGroup. The webinar will present a case study of creative staffing solutions for an Epic 2012 upgrade at an academic medical center, describing the institution’s challenge, its out-of-the-box solution, and the results it obtained working with a consulting firm.

February 19 (Wednesday), 1:00 p.m. ET. What is the Best Healthcare Data Warehouse Model for Your Organization? Choosing the right data model for your healthcare enterprise data warehouse (EDW) can be one of the most significant decisions you make in establishing your data warehousing and foundational analytics strategy for the future. The strengths and weaknesses of three primary data models will be discussed:

HIMSS Rundown

  • Our sponsor social event will be Sunday evening.
  • Lorre will be in our tiny HIStalk Booth #1995 all week saying hello and giving away fun trinkets. Stop by on your way to (or preferably from) the restroom, which is conveniently co-located.
  • HIStalkapalooza will be Monday evening.
  • We will use Lorre’s Twitter to tell you about cool stuff Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I find in roaming the exhibit hall, such as interesting giveaways or fun comestibles (the cake pops and freshly baked scones sound good).
  • Our HIMSS Guide describes what our sponsors will be featuring (and giving away).

For overachievers already plotting your candidacy for HIStalk King or Queen at HIStalkapalooza next Monday evening, our judges (Bonny Roberts, Dave Lareau, and Jennifer Dennard) have put together some tips for you. Bonny provides an overview:

Since the secret is out, I can hardly be “Mr. H’s Secret Crush” two years in a row. Fortunately, I will be hitting HIStalkapalooza with another goal in mind:  crowning this year’s King and Queen! Many of you may be wondering, “How do I win?” Granted winning may be tough, but being in the running is EASY. 

  1. Arrive at the House of Blues on Monday night dressed to the nines. 
  2. Be sure to catch the eye of one of three esteemed judges. Don’t worry, we will be sashed and easy to locate. 
  3. Strut, preen and smile!

Speaking of HIStalkapalooza, these are the folks bringing it to you.

2-15-2014 7-09-31 AM

Imprivata is the primary sponsor, meaning they are writing a check with lots of zeroes and doing all the planning. Make sure to thank them. It’s a huge financial and logistical commitment given the visibility and size of HIStalkapalooza.

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The support of HIStalkapalooza’s co-sponsors (Greenway, Hill-Rom, Nordic, RFIDeas, and VMware) allows us to provide some really nice extras that you’ll appreciate at the event. Three of these five, like Imprivata, are also HIStalk Platinum sponsors and I appreciate them even more (Greenway, Nordic, and VMware.)

2-15-2014 6-44-46 AM

The Valley Hospital (NJ) decides to upgrade from Meditech Magic to 6.1 instead of choosing other finalist Epic, giving the company a win in a bed size (450) that usually goes to Epic or Cerner.

I told ReadyDock Founder Dave Engelhardt last year that he should create a video showing how the company’s mobile device disinfection system works. He’s doing that, but in the mean time, he whipped up a little HIMSS promo video that’s fun. They will also disinfect your device in your booth at the conference, which would be even more fun if there was a way to show what’s growing on it beforehand since I see them used in the bathroom all the time.

The US Patient Office grants a cloning patent to a Korean researcher whose work was found to be criminally fraudulent 10 years ago, in essence granting him a  broad patent for something that doesn’t exist. The Patent Office says its system operates on an honor code and its examiners can’t verify patent claims, adding that while it was aware of the researcher’s history, the patent application complied with all laws.

2-15-2014 7-42-58 AM

Vermont lawmakers are upset that the state’s new 25-bed psychiatric will open this summer using a combination of paper and electronic medical records. The state couldn’t reach an agreement with the incumbent EHR vendor and also noted that the product didn’t have an integrated pharmacy module. It then tried to piggyback the hospital on Fletcher Allen Health Care’s Epic system, but decided it wasn’t worth the $3 million upfront cost and $600,000 in annual maintenance. The state is preparing an RFP and will use its old systems in the mean time. Legislators are also unhappy that the hospital will cost $20 million per year to operate.

2-15-2014 7-45-25 AM

Federal technology magazine FCW profiles the VA’s telemedicine program, which delivered 1.7 million episodes of care in 2013 and is growing 22 percent per year. According to a VA executive, “It’s not just a question of saying, have we got the telecommunications and have we got the clinical model? We then have to think about how we have to train the clinicians to be able to do it. We have to think about how we have to put help desk support for both patients and clinicians in place. The volume of care we’re providing is such that we’re providing care that’s mission critical, and we roll it out with that in mind.” The article also mentions that Alaska’s tribal health system is a big telemedicine user and its CIO expects the EHR to run telemedicine services directly at some point, but for now the system’s 28 EHRs don’t communicate with each other. According to the CIO, “Our goal is to make telemedicine and EHRs look like one system to the clinician.” Another issue with the VA’s national rollout is that broadband service isn’t available everywhere and 45 percent of the VA’s patients live in rural areas.

2-15-2014 8-12-12 AM

2-15-2014 8-15-23 AM

The local New Hampshire newspaper profiles two acclaimed doctors who are retiring in their mid-60s. Peter Mason, MD isn’t a fan of professional communication via email and says the electronic chart is full of unnecessary insurance-mandated information and boilerplate notes, concluding, “We’ve lost the narrative of the medical record.”Mark Nunlist, MD of White River Family Practice (above) saw the value of the team approach and technology when he realized he wasn’t reminding patients to get tetanus shots. Now the practice is looking for population health management software and trying to find $25,000 to improve its EHR interface with Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s systems. The practice, an eClinicalWorks user, won the 2013 Ambulatory HIMSS Davies Award and will be recognized at the HIMSS conference.

2-15-2014 8-51-01 AM

In Canada, Alberta Health Services blocks Web streaming video after employees watching the Olympics slow down its network. Interim CIO Penny Rae’s email to AHS’s 95,000 employees says, “We do not have unlimited Internet bandwidth capacity. Since we have a limited ability to prioritize the Internet traffic, video streaming competes for the same resources as a clinical or business system would. When large amounts of video are streaming through the Internet gateway, all applications that depend on that are at risk of slowdown. Patient care is our priority and we need to ensure that our core services have the capacity they need to run as expected. You can help by catching up on the Olympic coverage from home and refraining from using the Internet for personal use … Thanks for your understanding of this and in the meantime, we join you in cheering on our Olympians! GO CANADA GO!”

A Greek news portal reports that Papageorgiou General Hospital will install a cell phone blocking system in its OR to prevent surgeons from talking on their phones while operating.

In Ireland, at least five hospitals may lose 20 percent of their funding for failing to comply with requirements that limit lavish executive salaries.

Not healthcare related, but bizarre: a former state judge in Alaska sues the state’s bar association, saying its members hazed him mercilessly after noticing that his 2007 appointment letter from Governor Sarah Palin thanked him for his “pubic service” and suggested that his appointment was sexually motivated. He says the typo caused him to experience stress and medical problems and caused him to lose his re-election bid the next year. The bar association has asked the Supreme Court to order the former judge to submit to a psychological exam to determine if he’s fit to practice law.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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February 15, 2014 News 1 Comment

Time Capsule: Certification: Third-Party Validation for People Who Are Lazy, Insecure, or Stupid

February 14, 2014 Time Capsule 3 Comments

I wrote weekly editorials for a boutique industry newsletter for several years, anxious for both audience and income. I learned a lot about coming up with ideas for the weekly grind, trying to be simultaneously opinionated and entertaining in a few hundred words, and not sleeping much because I was working all the time. They’re fun to read as a look back at what was important then (and often still important now).

I wrote this piece in March 2010.

Certification: Third-Party Validation for People Who Are Lazy, Insecure, or Stupid
By Mr. HIStalk


I admit that I don’t understand why everything and everybody has to be certified these days. EMRs, CIOs, healthcare IT professionals, and nurses all can – for the right price – earn a third party’s validation of their existence (CCHIT, CHCIO, CPHIMS, and RN-BC, respectively).

Even the word itself is comforting. Your new software, IT leader, project manager, or informatics nurse must clearly be less of a risk because they paid someone else to say so. They have become “certified,” and therefore those lesser unwashed options with fewer letters after their name suddenly seem like a fool’s gamble just because they passed a cookie cutter test.

I don’t get it. Who would turf that suitability decision off on someone else, especially when it’s the incumbent themselves who paid for their seal of approval? Does it really help make a better choice?

(Someone told me once that a prospective CIO employer asked them to leave their CPHIMS credential off their application. The reason: HR’s policy was to validate every claimed credential, which would take time and therefore money, but IT didn’t care a bit whether candidates had CPHIMS or not.)

CCHIT certification hasn’t seemed to reduce the risk of adopting EMRs. Or, for that matter, the adoption rate itself. The government likes the comfort of having a third party preventing dangerously rogue EMRs from finding a home in the hands of willing provider customers. CCHIT is from the government and they are here to help. Theoretical benefits aside, nothing seems to have improved from letting prospects themselves evaluate products they might want to buy, other than costs have increased, a new bureaucracy has been introduced, and vendors now develop what CCHIT requires instead of what customers want.

I really don’t get the certified CIO credential. CHIME says an individual so anointed “demonstrates the commitment, knowledge, and experience required to master the core skills inherent to successful CIOs and IT executives.” In other words, the certificate holder has passed some test of theoretical knowledge. The kicker is this: candidates must have already been working as a CIO for three years. Was there a widespread problem where hospitals were hiring dangerously unqualified CIOs, keeping them on the payroll for years, but then suddenly finding that they suffer from incompetence that a simple test would have detected upfront?

My conclusion: certification makes no sense at all unless the decision-maker is too lazy, too insecure, or too stupid to evaluate for themselves.

In fact, I might be skeptical of choosing something “certified.” Is someone trying to hide their unsuitability by waving a rubber stamp seal of approval around instead of standing on their own merits? Aren’t by definition those certified products or job candidates insecure about their track record? I’m thinking those “certified pre-owned cars” at the local buy here, pay here lot. Why not just have your own mechanic check it over?

The main beneficiary of certification is whoever is doing the certifying. In the case of CCHIT, they got to build up a nice grant-fueled bureaucracy doing government work, but still attached to the HIMSS apron strings. For CHIME and HIMSS, their carefully constructed continuing education renewal requirements for certificate holders create a recurring revenue stream of conference and workshop attendance.

I like the business model. Certification thrives on insecurity and everybody is loaded with that. Insecure candidates earn certifications to impress insecure decision-makers. It’s a certified hit.

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February 14, 2014 Time Capsule 3 Comments

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