My third day at HIMSS started bright and early thanks to the paper-thin walls of my hotel room and the 4:45 am wake-up call for the room next door. Given that I was still on East Coast time, I gave in and got up. I cabbed over to HIMSS, thinking it would be quicker than using the shuttle. My hotel is not that far from the Sands Expo, and yet it still took about 20 minutes for my cabbie to navigate the traffic. He’s not a fan of the very narrow taxi drop-off area. I think I’ll try the shuttle tomorrow morning and see if that’s any quicker. At least it will be free.
After grabbing a quick coffee in the press room, I hunkered down at the HIMSS Spot to watch the passers by and catch up on email and tweets. The WiFi was surprisingly bearable today, which meant I was able to get work done on the go rather than attempting to cram it all in before bed. After watching the masses zip past, I headed over to our booth to relieve Lorre, who left to play hostess for a few hours at HIStalk’s CIO luncheon. The highlight of my morning was sashing Ross Martin, program director at CRISP; a member of the HIStalkapalooza alumni; and president, founder, and fellow of the American College of Medical Informatimusicology. After singing a few notes, I too became a member of ACMIMIMI. It was a very productive morning.
I also had the chance to chat with Robert Donnell, MD interim CMIO at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Shiv Rao, MD a cardiologist at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. My favorite game to play at HIMSS thus far has been to ask folks how they define population health management. It’s amusing because no two answers have thus far been the same. Rao believes PHM is a state of mind, not necessarily a solution, with domain experts making the difference. Donnell told me that, while PHM is talked about everywhere he goes, there’s no standard definition. He thinks of it as community health, a kind of “warranty service” that ideally will one day be fueled by IoT. We didn’t get into the security or privacy implications of that notion.
The very dapper Steve Whitehurst, CEO of Health Fidelity (above, top), stopped by to say hello; as did Nuance Director of Corporate Communications Ann Joyal and Director of Cloud and Mobile Marketing Jonathan Dreyer cruised by to tell me a bit about the company’s new Dragon Medical One platform. I wish I could remember the fun statistic they shared equating a tower of Bibles to physician notes.
The ARC Devices team also stopped by to demo their wireless smart thermometer, coming soon to a peds hospital near you in versions with your favorite comic book characters. It may be low-tech, but this is the kind of product that’s already helping to improve nursing workflows.
The Drchrono team also stopped by to give me a live demo of the company’s new medical billing app, which was pretty slick in that the physician doesn’t have to actually type anything in. No clicks, just taps and drags. I took a picture of the demo, but instead opted to run the one above of company co-founder and COO Daniel Kivatinos petting President Obama’s dogs while in town for the Precision Medicine Summit. Drchrono is one of a handful of vendors that have agreed to support the initiative via a commitment to deploying the applications required for consumers to donate their health data directly to the PMI cohort. Kivatinos tells me he had aspirations of having his picture taken with the president, but the dogs had less security.
HC1 CEO Brad Bostic and Chief Marketing Advisor Ali Roach stopped by to follow up on an after-hours invite they sent last week, and we ended up chatting about healthcare CRM. HC1, which offers healthcare relationship management software, seems like it might face some competition from Salesforce. Bostic assured me that it’s nearly the opposite – a rising tide lifts all boats, and Salesforce’s entry into the market actually validates what his company has been offering for some time.
After Lorre returned, I finally had the opportunity to take a turn around the exhibit floor. The CenterX booth caught my eye because of its vibrant pink and oddly angular shape.
The Leafsprout booth had a very welcoming alien, which made me think they must have had a balloon artist lurking around somewhere.
DSS Inc. promoted its EHR solutions via a full-on screen-printing press. I suppose the ceilings are so high that ventilation wasn’t an issue.
The folks at Hyland did their best to entice me with a beer. Their booth’s permanent bar was definitely hopping.
Dimension Insight’s booth compelled me to stop zipping around and stare at its digital fish. It’s the most relaxing booth display I’ve seen thus far. I might have to return tomorrow for a few minutes of Zen-like stillness in between appointments.
I finally had the chance to meet PerfectServe CEO Terry Edwards in person. This is the company’s third HIMSS – his tenth – and the best so far in terms of attendee interest in PerfectServe’s secure messaging (and much more) solution.
I’m not a car aficionado, so I can’t even tell you what this type of care is. I do know, however, that it’s cool (so does the guy stepping up to have his picture taken with it.) Maybe a Formula One model?
Thanks to the folks at Aventura who sent me off with these cute plush owls and a coloring book. They ran out of owls last year, and have already started rationing them. I may spend today with my eyes peeled for crayons or colored pencils. Coloring during the flight home may be good stress relief.
I ended the day at Xerox’s dinner at Envy Steakhouse, where I got to enjoy good food (my only real meal of the day, in fact), great conversation, and even better company. Xerox Healthcare CIO of Commercial Healthcare Tamara StClaire did a great job of keeping us talking about value-based care and population health management. My favorite tangent had to do with healthcare IT’s love of buzzwords, often used as a way to either jump on some sort of product-buzz bandwagon. Given that I read dozens of press releases every day, I can attest to the fact that today’s marketing teams tend to use buzzwords and acronyms as a crutch, enabling their messaging to limp along without putting full weight on the underlying end-user problem their solution solves. I mentioned a rising tide earlier, and there’s nothing like sitting amidst a group of brilliant people to make you want to really bring you’re A-game expertise. Thanks to Xerox for having me.
My last night in Vegas ended at a decent hour. A good night’s sleep will set me right to visit a few more booths and attend one or two more sessions tomorrow before heading home. The #HIMSSanity is almost over!
Today provided a full 16 hours of HIMSS-related fun, starting with a questionably planned breakfast meeting that was way too early for a post-HIStalkapalooza morning. As usual the party was tons of fun, with lots of celebrity sightings and more than my fair share of time on the dance floor. Party on the Moon never disappoints, and I was glad to share the night with some good friends, connect with last year’s Secret Crush, and meet some new people.
Props to Dr. Eric Rose of IMO for his blue suede shoes.
These boots were also fetching. After catching a late night snack and some must-needed rest, I hit the exhibit hall along with apparently everyone else. The crush of people moving through the expo center was unreal, with long lines for breakfast and coffee.
I started my day with a Greenway demo. I’m focusing on population health during this visit and give full credit to the product specialist, who asked a lot of good questions about what I was looking for and immediately recognized that I was more knowledgeable than the average bear, jettisoning her standard presentation to tailor it to my needs.
After hitting a few more booths, I headed over to Medicomp to play the new improved version of Quipstar. This year they are featuring their Quippe Clinical Lens product, which was easy to use. The Green Team was victorious, making this my first win at Quipstar. The team was made of audience members as well as the core group of Evan Frankel (4ealth Consulting Group), Maria Luoni (NextGen Healthcare), Bonny Roberts (Aventura), and Debbi Gillotti (nVoq) as well as several audience members. I was pleased to see quite a few HIStalk readers in attendance as well.
I was able to get a quick behind-the-scenes tour of the operation behind the Quipstar show and learned the answer to one of the biggest mysteries of our time.
Sunquest had the first sponsor sign I spotted.
Orchard had some cute stress-ball giveaways. I plan to surf the hall tomorrow with one of my favorite people, who has gathered up some of last year’s giveaways and plans to return them to their vendors. We’ll see how that goes.
I spotted my secret crush in the exhibit hall sporting his sash with his bright orange Aventura shoes. I’m just glad he got the sash back at the end of the night, since there were multiple people wearing it at different points at HIStalkapalooza.
I spent lunch catching up with a start-up vendor, who is not exhibiting but who is conducting meetings at HIMSS. Given the cost of booth space and other amenities, I’m not surprised by this approach. The hall hosted several happy hours this afternoon – Webair with their “Doctors, DR, and Drinks” event as well as Orion and Greenway. I participated in a vendor focus group which was very interesting, then headed for a quick shoe change and purse swap before the second night of events.
In the afternoon I hit the Intelligent Health Pavilion, located in the subterranean exhibit hall. I was surprised by how much buzz was going on there, and ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen since 2009. It was good to catch up in person. I also spotted these snazzy wing tips.
Dell hosted a client event at Bellagio’s Bank nightclub, which was hopping. Practice Insight had a subdued but classy event at the Platinum Hotel. We also hit the Imprivata event at Beer Park at Paris. The band was great and they had not only a photo booth, but someone hand-rolling cigars. Next it was off to the Bourbon Room at the Venetian to connect with friends old and new. Renewing relationships is the best part of HIMSS and I hope to connect Wednesday with someone I haven’t seen in almost six years. It’s been too long.
From Bonus Question: “Re: HIStalk. How big is your team? How many events people do you have? Where is your headquarters?” I always have to laugh when someone thinks I have an HIStalk team, like it’s a real business instead of just doing what I love doing. Jenn and I write, Lorre handles sponsor stuff and webinars. That’s the whole team. We don’t have events people – Lorre spends a lot of time arranging HIStalkapalooza. Our headquarters location is our computer screens.
From Cereal Killer: “Re: CMIO lunch. Why didn’t you have one this year?” I’ve only had one of those lunches, which was at least year’s conference since McCormick Place had a HIMSS Bistro setup near the show floor that’s not available in Las Vegas. I should have realized that the Venetian and Palazzo have lots of restaurants I could have booked, but I always forget that while HIMSS controls every hotel and conference room for miles during conference week, it doesn’t insist on managing restaurant space (yet).
From Sirius: “Re: HIMSS booth dress and food fest. One may be more appropriate versus appealing.” I’ve noticed that booth food is a lot less available than in years past, but Iron Mountain has put out some impressive spreads, including the chocolate-dipped fruit I saw today.
From Digital Probe: “Re: Hall G exhibitors. They could sponsor HIStalk for a year and get tons more exposure than a three-day booth setup that nobody sees.” I feel sorry for companies that paid dearly to exhibit in the downstairs Hall G without understanding how little traffic it gets and how crammed in the tiny booths of unknown companies are. As I overhead from one attendee, Hall G attracts companies whose business model avoids competing with Epic and Cerner (he claims there are 30 companies down there demonstrating instant messaging), but of which 40 percent will be defunct within a year.
From Cherry Pie: “Re: booth eye candy. Your news item had a photo of attractive dancers and you’re complaining about booth babe eye candy? Please!“ This comment made me angry. I had included a photo that Party on the Moon took from their stage that showed the male singer and four females that included singer Kelsey Chandler in costume, captured during one of their amazing numbers and posted by the band to their Facebook. Cherry Pie apparently is happy to insult Kelsey by suggesting that her primary contribution is her appearance, which is absurd if you had heard her singing Monday evening. CP’s smug opinion doesn’t help the cause of talented women who are free to look, dress, and behave however they like. I know CP probably fancies himself a progressive man, but he’s not doing women any favors by insinuating that attractive ones must have been chosen just for their looks – that’s just as maddeningly sexist as actually hiring subjectively attractive women over more qualified but subjectively less-attractive ones. You’re either gender blind or you aren’t and I doubt Kelsey needs your approval of her choice of dress, showmanship, or vocal talent.
Looks like from the preliminary HIMSS estimates that conference attendance down quite a bit from last year. I hope that’s true – I’d like to see HIMSS worry about it enough to eliminate some of the practices that might be turning people off. I’m happy to provide my own list.
Stop by our Booth # 5069 Thursday at 11, when we’ll have your HIStalkapalooza hosts Barry Wightman and Jennifer Lyle on hand to say hello. Barry is director of marketing at Forward Health Group, where he deals with software-assisted outcomes, but he’s also a published book author, voiceover talent, fiction editor, and rock musician. Jennifer is founder and CEO of Software Testing Solutions, which helps health IT software vendors accelerate end-user delivery (and therefore revenue recognition) via automated testing, whether it’s for interoperability interfaces, middleware, outreach software, or LIS applications, cutting testing time from weeks to days. They would be ecstatic to see some HIStalkapalooza attendees drop by.
I’d like to give a shout-out to the folks who are minding the store while the rest of us are screwing around at the HIMSS conference worrying about which party to attend. My conclusion is this: the folks here can’t be all that important if their organizations run seamlessly in their absence. People who don’t travel much think it’s glamorous and fun, so those here can score points by emailing back to work and thanking the people who stayed behind.
I really appreciate the vendors and CIOs who participated in my CIO lunch on Wednesday. Lorre reports that everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the food and Maggiano’s were great (I paid for lunch, just in case someone thinks it came out of the money donated), and Dana Moore says he’ll write a description of what each sponsor talked about for me to run later. I funded a lot of projects from the proceeds, with every dollar donated going directly to helping a lot of classrooms, teachers, and students that needed some financial assistance. A vendor executive who is setting up a family charitable foundation told me he had DonorsChoose vetted and they passed with flying colors, which isn’t surprising given their near-perfect Charity Navigator scores. The CEO, a former teacher, takes a very low salary.
Speaking of DonorsChoose, Epic QA donated $50, to which I applied matching funds as well as some personal money to purchase a library of 25 biographies for Mrs. Hale’s third grade class in Indianapolis, IN. She responded almost immediately, “From the bottom of my big, third grade teacher heart, THANK YOU! Thank you so much for taking the time to help get my students biographies that are kid friendly and engaging. They will be so excited to read about people from the present and past. I can’t wait to see their faces when I tell them we have so many new biographies to choose from.”
Ross Martin, MD, MHA was too busy changing jobs and houses to perform at HIStalkapalooza like we originally planned. However, I had a sash made for him, which he picked up in our booth today. He made a great Elvis here at our 2012 event.
Nordic’s Aaron Mann dispels the notion that HIStalkapalooza is just a party, explaining that a chance encounter is actually pretty likely when you have a room full of the industry’s coolest people.
DrFirst filmed Jonathan Bush doing his Donald Trump imitation at HIStalkapalooza.
Here’s an HIStalkapalooza flashback video from the 2012 Las Vegas event, hosted by the amazing ESD. I watch this every few months since I really like the music and the atmosphere it captured. For trivia buffs, we held this one at the since-closed First Food & Bar restaurant in the Palazzo. Let’s hear your memories and comparisons if you were there.
DrFirst captured John Halamka accepting his HIStalk Lifetime Achievement Award on stage. He won several awards Monday evening. I’m a big fan.
I will never like this product name, formed by leaving out the “t” in “quantum.”
Chris Miller of the DoD led a discussion about their EHR project. He said military users demanded an integrated system and that DoD is happy making configuration decisions instead of leading technical design sessions for self-development.
A CEO suggested that I take a look at Novarad’s VNA. That’s not my strongest area of expertise, but it was simple to understand and their services agreement covers maintenance and disaster recovery. The zero-footprint viewer running on Google Chrome was cool. Users can upload any document from a network-attached drive and store it in designated patient folders in the VNA.
Is it just me or is it bizarre that in this day and age, Las Vegas apparently doesn’t recycle? I didn’t see any blue trash cans.
I watched a kiosk demonstration at the Fujitsu booth and pondered this question about biometric security since they offer palm vein scanning ID systems. People have rightfully observed that if biometric credentials are stolen, there’s little recourse since users can change passwords but not their fingerprints or palm vein patterns. Here’s my idea. In both cases, all that’s stored by the scanning system is a set of mathematical inferences from the image, not the image itself. Why not allow each vendor to develop their own ID matrix from the hundreds of available data points? Maybe Vendor A takes the mathematical representation of the palm vein scan and uses 25 data points of their choosing to construct a verifiable user ID, while perhaps Vendor B uses a different 52 data points to string together their own ID characteristics. That form of “encryption” allows each vendor to positively ID patients using characteristics that are meaningless outside their own environment, making it pointless to steal the entire biometric database because it doesn’t work on other systems. Even if Vendor A gets breached, they can simply choose a new algorithm and convert existing profiles, immediately locking their own systems back down while preserving the ability to keep using biometrics without noticeable patient impact. Interoperability of biometric ID is unnecessary – it’s perfectly fine for individual IT systems to positively ID patients from their individual, proprietary subset of the entire biometric scan.
A reader told me about this 2013 TEDMED video by ZDoggMD on testicular self-examination, set to the crotch-grabbing music of Michael Jackson. It’s brilliant. “I’m checking out my nads in the mirror.” He was on stage at HIStalkapalooza with Jonathan Bush.
HIMSS Media was doing a live radio show from the exhibit hall. I can’t imagine that anyone was actually listening.
CareTech had their “mission control” display out. Pretty cool.
Allscripts had quite a few people in their booth today.
The coolest product I saw was from EchoPixel, which is exhibiting “blended reality” in the HP booth. It’s a fuzzy monitor image above because it’s 3D, but putting on the 3D glasses makes it shockingly real for clinicians to look at diagnostic images spatially, practice their procedures, and interactively pick up and move objects like implantables to plan surgeries. Not only was it super cool, the friendly lady showing it was Janet, who has a biomedical engineering PhD from Cal Berkeley (she was shyly embarrassed a little when I noticed the credentials on her business card and starting gushing like a star-struck fan). It was an outstanding product demonstrated by a really cool engineer. You should see it before the exhibit hall closes Thursday.
Epic’s booth sign claims that moving from Cerner or Allscripts increases profitability.
Cerner strikes back in pointing out that Banner bought University of Arizona Health Network and promptly announced plans to replace Epic with Banner’s Cerner systems. UA had made a bit of a mess of it, with project budget overruns being one of several reasons it had to sell out to Banner.
Hall G is a lot of tiny booths of mostly unknown companies. I’m sure there’s some good stuff down there, but it was sort of depressing down there in the basement, especially knowing that companies paid dearly for a low-traffic location.
Legacy Data Access made their point with a dinosaur. Pretty cool.
I asked NTT Data about Bob the amazing magician they have in their booth. Apparently he’s about to retire, but they’re hoping to lure him back next year. I commented that I saw him doing absolutely unreal things in talking about the deceased relatives of some HIMSS attendees watching his performance – they said that in the demonstration shows he did for their employees, several left the room crying after his apparent contact with their family members who have passed on. I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but I strongly recommend that you see him Thursday and decide for yourself. I thought I was going to have to physically support my fellow HIMSS attendee whose deceased grandmother Bob described in amazingly precise detail despite knowing nothing more than her name.
Thanks, LifeImage, for the cool backup battery for electronics.
Our booth neighbors Stericycle Communications have been tolerant of our never-ending parade of visitors. Stop by and have your picture made with Elvis – it will make their day. They’re nice people.
I don’t understand how either of these neighboring companies are still in business.
I heard the hall-filling sound of singing and found Anthelio’s Sinatra imitator cranking up his backing music to very high levels. You could hear him 20 rows over. I’m sure neighbors complained given the strict HIMSS rules on sounds or activities that detract from other exhibitors, so I’m certain they had to turn it down. He was OK.
I saw quite a few vendor people eating lunch in their booths out in the public areas. Bad idea. Attendees are either going to feel they’re intruding or they’re going to get hungry. You’re on stage when you’re in your booth on the time clock, so act like it.
Every year I’m amazed at how customer-indifferent the people working the Microsoft booth are. I stopped by today as the only person in front of four Microsoft employees standing in in front of some notebooks and Surface Pro devices. Two immediately walked away chatting together as I stood there trying to make eye contact, while the remaining two talked among themselves in studiously avoiding eye contact until I finally left. They really are self-important geeks who shouldn’t be allowed within 100 yards of prospects or customers, yet every year I experience the exact same treatment in their booth.
Medecision’s mentalist was sporting a cool suit.
I was happy not to see the distractions of previous HIMSS conferences like people pretending to be statues, dozens of booths baking cookies, and golf simulators. Here’s the odd thing, though: nearly every vendor was giving away pens, but I couldn’t find a single one offering anything to write on. I really needed a notepad.
I found myself pondering why low-level vendor employees have to wear company shirts while on HIMSS booth duty, while their richly compensated bosses don suits instead. Shouldn’t the company’s highest-paid person be proudest to work there?
The HIMSS “Ask Me” people are really friendly and helpful. Kudos to them.
Overheard: “Todd Park left Athenahealth with $40 million in shares to go to work as HHS CTO. Federal service requires liquidating such holdings, but since the government then recognizes the proceeds as tax free, Todd avoided paying the many millions of taxes that would have otherwise been due on the $40 million stock sale. I’m not saying he took the job for just that reason, but the man knows how to work a spreadsheet to his advantage.”
Cerner’s booth had an open feel, complete with a journey through various healthcare settings.
The DoD EHR project got some podium and booth time.
Epic claims to not have a marketing department, but someone there is doing a pretty good job of stating the company’s case.
ONC publishes a proposed rule granting it authority to regulate EHR certification testing bodies, as well as review certified health IT products for information blocking and potential risks to patient safety,
During a panel discussion on EHRs and interoperability, National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD and CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, MD offer contrasting views on the future of healthcare. Slavitt explains his pessimism, “She works with the technology community, which is making tons of progress. I’ve been spending the last few months hearing from physicians trying to use technology, I think they affect my mood just a little bit.”
Allscripts partners with Garmin to integrate real-time patient generated health data captured by Garmin’s fitness trackers into Allscripts’ population health manager solution. Berkshire Medical Center (MA) will pilot the technology.
Oh, how naïve I was to think that I could sleep past 4:30 am Vegas time … The early start was actually a good thing, giving me plenty of time to get my bearings, enjoy the eventually beautiful sunrise, and prepare for the day’s events.
My first stop was the HIMSS16 Media Breakfast, during which panelists from HIMSS, including HIMSS North America Executive Vice President Carla Smith, Divurgent Vice President of Clinical Information Dana Alexander, and Metro Health (OH) Vice President and CIO Don Reichert took members of the press through results of the association’s 27th annual leadership survey. The two big takeaways seem to be that more and more providers are including a clinical IT executive in their C-suites – a trend that is having a “notable impact on the organization’s orientation toward health IT.”
The other is the association’s long overdue focus on the gender-based wage gap, and the larger conversation that opens up about diversity. Survey findings indicate that women lag behind men by about $25,000 in compensation for C-suite roles. Kudos to Smith for taking the lead on bringing these statistics to light. She and her team are hopeful that the findings will lead to additional research that will in turn evolve into HIMSS resources and programs focused on engendering diversity in organizations that have historically been led by white males. Reichert held up Metro Health as an example of an organization that has made a conscientious effort to focus on diversity in its hiring practices via new programs. Perhaps that’s the kind of case-study session HIMSS needs to think about offering next year in Orlando.
I headed over to the HIMSS Spot shortly after the breakfast, where I caught up with ONC CNO Rebecca Freeman, RN University Hospitals Health System Interim CIO Sue Schade, and Encore Health CEO Dana Sellers at the #healthITchicks meetup. All three had great advice to share on balancing work and life, especially when caring for young children and aging parents; working in a male-dominated field; and encouraging young women to learn more about STEM.
My favorite session of the day by far was the lunchtime “View from the Top” featuring Beth Israel Deaconess CIO John Halamka and Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush. The duo tag teamed a talk about how far we’ve come in health IT, how far we have to go, and the opportunities that are staring us right in the face. Their talk was a bit toned down compared to their on-stage antics at HIStalkapalooza the night before. I had no idea Halamka was such a great speaker, or that he is the nation’s leading expert on poisonous mushrooms and plants. Apparently he does a brisk business in telemedicine visits with parents of children who’ve eaten mushrooms (the garden-variety kind and the psychedelic kind) , and adult nature lovers who are convinced the wild variety they find in the woods will go great in homemade stroganoff.
What was perhaps most interesting to me was the juxtaposition of Halamka’s humorous (the Chairman Mao-Meaningful Use analogy was hilarious) yet critical eye towards government regulations with Bush’s obvious ability to make money off of those burdensome, click-inducing regulations. Yes, the top vendors can get together at posh resorts and commit to sharing data with one another (as the picture above shows them doing at the recent KLAS summit.) Yes, they can publicize their pledge to HHS that they will help consumers access and share their health data, preclude information blocking, and implement government-friendly interoperability standards … but what will that look like in practical terms and how long will it take? As CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt mentioned during a media briefing later in the afternoon, we’ve really got to push vendors to do the things they say they’re going to do. There’s no letting up if the journey towards interoperability is ever going to progress.
Things lightened up once I headed over to the HIStalk booth. (If you’re looking to find us in the 5000 row, wind your way through or around Epic then head straight back. We’re near the fun folks at MedData and next to Stericycle, which has a fun array of gummy candies to nosh on. I had the chance to chat with “HIStalk Celebrity Lawyer” David Schoolcraft, who I hope will swing back by and keep me company at some point. I also got to pick the brain of passers by including Michael Paul Gimness, MD (above) of Family Medical Specialists of Florida and Mike Narumiya, director of data and information systems at North Central Texas Trauma.
Gimness, whose practice runs Allscripts and Caresync for CCM was roaming the aisles in search of additional population health tools to help him make the move towards value-based care. Given that I had just spent come out of a media briefing with Andy Slavitt, I asked Gimness about his thoughts as an independent doc on MACRA. “I feel MACRA’s coming, and it’s going to stay. They can say they’re getting away from MU, but they still have to have a carrot and a stick when moving towards population health and value-based care. I don’t like docs getting penalized, but it’s the government’s money and they can do what they want with it. I can’t opt out of Medicare or Medicaid. My staff is not going to take a pay cut.”
Narumiya, meanwhile, was on the hunt for security tools, which were easy to find given that, in his opinion, at least a third of the booths had products related to privacy and security. (Thus far both he and Dr. Paul have validated my initial predictions of cybersecurity and population health management being big items of interest at HIMSS. Validation feels good.) He has shied away from looking into products from the big vendors, opting instead to focus on smaller companies and startups. He also mentioned that his organization has been happy with encryption tools from DataLocker.
The fun folks at Mobile Heartbeat trekked across the aisle to introduce themselves to us. Their booth seemed to have consistently busy traffic. Providers must still have a strong interest in migrating from pagers to mobile clinical communications (or making a vendor switch).
I didn’t spend much time wandering around the exhibit hall today. I’m pretty sure Mr. H and Dr. Jayne will cover that part of the conference in their typically excellent fashion. I did make a point to stop by the Georgia HIMSS reception to say hi to friends. On the way I just had to snap a pic of the ScienceLogic trio above. I wonder if they’ll give me a shirt if I talk nerdy to them?
The reception was buzzing, as was the Intermountain Healthcare bus. I wonder if I could sneak on board and use what I’m sure is far more reliable WiFi than the tenuous exhibit hall connection provides. Intermountain CIO Marc Probst – who was coincidentally up for a HISsie – seemed very excited about the bus when I interviewed him a few weeks ago. He mentioned that he too will be looking for security solutions during the conference.
My last session of the day featured a fireside chat with National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo and Andy Slavitt. The two seemed completely at ease with each other – joking about their tendencies to be positive (DeSalvo) and negative (Slavitt). Slavitt humorously pointed out that of course DeSalvo’s positive – she spends her time with technology and vendors. He, on the other hand, has been spending a lot of time lately with grumpy physicians. The two took a good hour to cover the evolution of Meaningful Use and hopes for MACRA, highlighting the aforementioned pledge from healthcare stakeholders to make EHRs work better for patients and providers, and the just-announced “FHIR Cloud” – a new FHIR app ecosystem that will incorporate app challenges and resources to help providers and consumers take advantage of innovative tools based on open APIs.
My favorite part of the presentation came when Slavitt started getting into the nitty gritty of his recent physician focus groups. The comment above is just one of hundreds he’s been listening to throughout the course of eight meetings with providers. A telling comment: “To order aspirin takes eight clicks on the computer. To order full-strength aspirin, 16. That’s not patient care. It’s clicks.”
My evening ended at the HIMSS Women in Health IT Reception at Madame Tussaud’s – a unique venue if ever there was one. I spotted DeSalvo mixing and mingling. I wonder if she thought the figurines were slightly creepy like I did. I did end up taking a pic with Andre Agassi, just to show my tennis team. All in all, my second day at HIMSS proved to be fun – great sessions, tremendous networking, and beautiful weather. Now if I could just manage to sleep a little later …
From Organized Thyme: “Re: leap day. We were impacted by a large documentation management system vendor that would not allow us to scan in yesterday. Rumor has it that every one of their customers in the US were impacted. Can you believe that in 2016 a medical software vendor could not program to handle leap year day? Their workaround was to have us hold all documents from 2/29/16 and scan them on 3/1/16.” That is indeed hard to believe. Luckily (or not), we’ll all be dust by 2100, when the usual leap year logic is skipped on the “every 100 years” exception schedule.
From Thrill Me: “Re: HIMSS. One of my pet peeves is when companies hire female eye candy for booths.” The only way to pick them out is to engage them in product conversation since being attractive and talented certainly aren’t mutually exclusive, but I honestly saw only one person in the exhibit hall today who even looked as though they might be a booth babe. I think those days are happily gone. I’m also thrilled that companies aren’t even shy about putting obviously valuable geeks out on public display, like guys with long, gray ponytails or technologists who can’t look someone in the eye. However, I wish clueless vendors would stop putting non-clinicians in scrubs and white coats – that’s an insult to their target audience, obviously one of the stupidest things you could do in trying to move product.
From Pshaw Y’all: “Re: HIMSS. A gentleman with a HIMSS badge was walking through the Mirage lobby with a shuffled, stuttered walk. A woman stopped him, noticed his eyes, and realized he was having a stroke. She dropped her bags, ran to the front to get paramedic help, and returned to be with him. Several others had noticed, including myself, and from behind assumed it was a disability. It took a special person to stop, look at his eyes, and help.” It’s likely that few of the big-bucks people at the conference would have any idea what to do if faced with a patient in distress, or even if they did know, whether they would actually deign to render aid. Kudos to whomever that person was. You want a clinician and not a bureaucrat when you have a medical need. I had a funny HIStalkapalooza sash made for Jonathan Bush that read, “I CPR’ed some random guy,” but let’s face it – when that homeless guy went down on the San Francisco sidewalk, it was former Army medic and New Orleans paramedic JB who pushed the gawking suits out of the way and resuscitated the guy. Strokes are scary, so let’s hope our fellow conference-goer had a good outcome.
Lorre had at least 1,000 email exchanges with people wanting individual attention for HIStalkapalooza in the last few days – wanting to bring a guest, wanting to come even though they didn’t sign up, wanting to bring a colleague who wasn’t invited. She was literally sitting in the green room 15 minutes before the event started still furiously trying to keep up with event-related emails. Today started the in-person versions, of which this one was unfortunately typical in the “how exactly do I answer this?” manner:
(Some guy who ran up to Lorre in the hall): “You ruined my HIMSS conference. You didn’t invite me to HIStalkapalooza.”
(Lorre): “Did you sign up?”
(Guy): “I didn’t know I had to. I got all this crap from HIMSS and didn’t see an invitation.”
(Lorre): “Do you think we invite every HIMSS attendee? Do you even read HIStalk? The invitation process hasn’t changed in eight years and we explained it every day for weeks starting in early January.”
(Guy, indignantly): “I read every post carefully.”
The no-show rate was high as usual, but Eventbrite check-in allows us to give those folks lower priority if I decide to do an event next year.
Thanks once again to our HIStalkapalooza sponsors that made the event possible:
Athenahealth Clinical Path Consulting Elsevier Experian Health Forward Health Group Fujifilm Healthwise NEC NextGen Healthcare PatientSafe Solutions Sagacious Consultants Validic Wellcentive
Also deserving special recognition is Ashley Burkhead of Santa Rosa Consulting, who jumped energetically into the fray when our registration sponsor fell through. She and her team organized the entire process staffed the check-in area. We’ve had bad experiences with companies whose people weren’t well prepared or who couldn’t understand that nobody gets in without an invitation, causing long lines and an uncertain headcount, but the Santa Rosa people handled it perfectly. She earned Lorre’s seldom-won admiration. One guy who hadn’t signed up to attend actually emailed Lorre to praise the fact that Ashley’s team refused to let him in even though he tried to bribe them with $200 in cash.
I appreciate our hosts Barry Wightman of Forward Health Group and Jennifer Lyle of Software Testing Solutions. All the nerve-wracking details are easier to work through knowing that I have two experienced and skilled people running the stage show.
I’ll be getting more photos and videos through the week and will share them then.
Party on the Moon posted some photos on Facebook that they took from the stage. Dennis the band leader and guitarist says they love playing for the HIStalkapalooza crowd. They fill the dance floor with their first notes and never slow down until that final song where the big horn section kicks in one last time.
The super helpful and fun folks at PatientSafe Solutions not only provided an HIStalkapalooza photographer, they burned the midnight oil to turn them into this cool video.
Here’s a couple of band shots from Nordic.
Validic sent over this photo of the evening’s big HISsies winner, John Halamka, spending time in their HIStalkacabana. John said on stage that winning the Lifetime Achievement Award can only mean that he’s done and has nothing to look forward to.
A newsy item: Mayo Clinic’s financial report indicates that it plans to spend $1 billion over five years to implement Epic.
I compared Uber vs. a taxi covering the same Las Vegas route of a handful of miles. Uber was half the price, plus they don’t insult passengers by charging a flat $3 per credit card swipe. That’s almost as obnoxious as the mandatory Las Vegas resort fees that can almost double the cost of a cheap room. I also noticed that Uber is smart enough to give you a choice of which hotel entrance you’d like for pickup.
Walking through the convention center this morning was dangerous, as attendees got their HIMSS legs. People were stopping short to stare at their phones in wonderment, veering across people walking straight ahead, slowing everyone down in trying to drink coffee while afoot, and hitting the brakes in high-traffic areas to glad-hand suddenly spied old friends. If the halls were highways and attendees drove like they walk, the death toll would be massive.
Caradigm provided really nice backpacks this time around. A significant portion of them might actually be packed back home instead of filling up hotel trash cans. Nice job.
I feel like I’ve accidentally wandered into a restricted area when I go down to the lower level restrooms, which requires navigating uncarpeted, battleship gray stairs under harsh fluorescent lights.
The most brilliant conference giveaway in history: Lifepoint Informatics was handing out those little 5-Hour Energy bottles.
DrFirst is filming a HIMSS interview series. Above is one of the series of videos, to which more will be added in the coming days.
HIMSS Conference Random Observations and Photos
The first booth I checked out was Oneview Healthcare, which offers an interactive patient system. They’re booth is close to that of GetWellNetwork, oddly enough, so you can compare their systems easily.
Athenahealth’s escalator ad is clever.
MedData wasn’t allowed to bake scones in the hall this year, but they have retro candy and craft beer. I had a Lemonhead and an IPA, although not simultaneously.
How quickly imitative trends die: I saw maybe two Farzad-style bowties the entire day as his former legion of fawning fanboys apparently moved on to other forms of unoriginal behavior.
The YourCareUniverse people gave me an overview of their product, which offers a consumer health site, a patient portal, and a personal health record.
The VGo Robot people say they’re bringing out a stethoscope that can capture and send data.
I’m always surprised to see these guys coming back since I’ve still never heard of them selling anything in the US after years of trying.
Epic’s outside booth signs were based on fun song titles. Bravo to the Monty Python reference.
The most interesting product I saw today was West’s patient engagement platform that can provided outreach for routine care, transitional care, or chronic care. It’s a nice UI in which organizations can define pathways with timed actions such as sending a survey, doing medication reconciliation, or sending an appointment reminder. The provider can bulk review performance and exceptions. Patient contact can be by phone, mobile or IVR. It’s purely technical tool that should work great for automating ongoing patient contact to make it easier to identify outliers.
Jama Software has nothing to do with the medical journal, offering requirements tracking and collaboration for critical development projects such as working on FDA-regulated software.
Arcadia was showing a Data Quality Scorecard Analysis that plows through data looking for incorrect data assumptions, rule patterns, and database composition.
Summit Healthcare was showing its Enterprise Downtime Viewer.
My iPhone takes crappy pictures, especially if it’s steamed up in my sweaty pants pocket, but this sign indicates that Access was generous in offering to provide latte to its fellow exhibitors, with the only restriction being that its booth guests get served first. I really like these people – we always talk barbeque (some of their folks are on competition teams), they got where they are by self-bootstrapping and hard work, and they have fun. Check out their display case showing manual methods of document delivery vs. their electronic imaging – the crashed drone with (fake) human hair attached made me laugh out loud.
Merge Healthcare was demonstrating its cardiology system database analyzed by its new owner, IBM Watson. A cardboard sign attached under the monitor said “Work in Progress.” I imagine quite a few more of those signs could probably have been deployed throughout the exhibit hall.
Sunquest had its new logo in place. I sat through a session by Rob Atlas on Sunquest Diagnostic Communities and its precision medicine applicability. It connects to EHRs, collects all patient lab orders in a Clean Orders Hub, and checks for duplicates or other problems before filing them away in a repository.
It’s easy to miss the downstairs Hall G and its mishmash of small vendors, educational institutions, and special interest groups, but there’s a DeLorean down there in the CrossChx booth.
Hyland had a replacement magician, which crushed my HIMSS spirit until I saw the astonishing one at NTT Data’s booth. He was snarky in doing the usual eye-popping tricks, but then delved into telling people things there’s no way he should be able to know about their deceased relatives. He was amazing and NTT’s Larry Kaiser was the perfect deadpan foil. This is a must-see – email if you take the time to see him and aren’t impressed.
Park Place International features its new name, CloudWave.
Practice Fusion’s booth was dead. The reps were huddled in a circle, looking inward for strength as the out-of-runway company goes down in flames around them.
Meditech had more reps on the phone as a percentage than any booth I had seen by mid-morning, but the other vendors caught up quickly. I tweeted a joking observation that some booths looked like they were demoing cell phones rather than software.
The food both lines were long by mid-day, sending me fleeing downstairs to Hall G seeking sustenance. Which I found: there’s a food court type setup with no lines and plenty of seats. I scored three spicy chicken tacos, black beans, Spanish rice, and a great salsa bar with homemade pico gallo for $12. It was surprisingly good, although my first bite of chicken was so surprisingly zesty that I gulped down half of my $3.25 can of Diet Coke.
NantHealth’s booth was pretty dead. About all they had to show was a big-picture video about the cancer moonshot.
MedCPU’s booth was a lot bigger and the company is riding the wave of its fresh investment and implementation by UPMC. They’re one to watch since UPMC had tried to develop similar text-mining technology years ago (the MARS system) and should have expertise as well as cash to offer.
I watched an interesting presentation from a Mass General molecular pathologist on managing genomics data, presented by InterSystems. They’re using Cache to store 300 TB of genomics data collected from just a few thousand patients over three years. They’re planning to build decision support tools around the data since it’s too hard for an oncologist to digest at the point of care. InterSystems is one of the most quietly brilliant (and quietly but massively successful) healthcare IT companies.
Greenway’s booth was quiet, but they had a nice happy hour late in the afternoon.
The hot booth furnishing this year: carpet that looks exactly like a hardwood floor. I also noticed that the multi-year transition to light green as the favored branding color is apparently nearing completion.
Forward Health Group had HealthLinc CEO Beth Wrobel speaking in their booth. I interviewed her a few months back. She says her FQHC wants to “put a face on the denominator.” She says anyone can run FHG’s systems and the only decision to be made is how to integrate it into workflows. She says commercial insurers are their worst payer by far and hopes to use FHG’s data to convince them it’s in everybody’s best interest for them to provide more funding.
Also in the FHG booth was industry long-timer John Holton (Atwork, Scheduling.com, SCI Solutions). He’s doing some HIT investing and advising these days.
HCI Group was talking about their Securonix system, which offers security behavior profiling, a policy engine, and a risk engine.
I was about to joke to the lady pouring Black Box wine that its vintage must be Friday when I noticed that the company was more clever than I – its name is Black Box Network (no relation).
I was really surprised to not be overwhelmed by vendor buzzwords like analytics, big data, population health management, and patient engagement. Those concepts were mostly just worked into product value propositions instead of being shouted from the rooftops. That leaves me without an obvious HIMSS16 theme so fare.
“Of course former US CTO Aneesh Chopra is stumping for interoperability. He now works for vendor Hunch Analytics, which makes money ‘unleashing data sets’ that it can’t get unless other vendors share them.”
“No vendor does population health management well. Nobody even knows what it means yet.”
“Epic is killing the standalone lab system business.”
“EClinicalWorks is the least interoperable vendor. The rumor is that CMS is looking into its data-sharing practices.”
“Meditech is really as much of a real estate company as an HIT vendor. They are the second-largest commercial real estate owner in Massachusetts.”
“Karen DeSalvo doesn’t care about doctors or EHRs. She’s just using them as a steppingstone to being elected to Congress.”
“I only come to HIMSS because of HIStalkapalooza.” (Jonathan Bush)
Surescripts announces the launch of its National Patient Record Locator Service, a partnership that includes CVS, Express Scripts, Epic, and NextGen Healthcare, covering 140 million patients and 2 billion patient interactions.
The Supreme Court strikes down a 2005 Vermont law requiring large health plans to report “information relating to heath care costs, prices, quality, utilization or resources required” to a state database.
Oh Las Vegas …. Where else do I get the chance to see multiple Michael Jackson impersonators crossing the street, a cabbie (mine) get into a cursing match with a pedestrian, and Jonathan Bush pull out his best Donald Trump impersonation? I’ve been here less than 24 hours and my first day at HIMSS has already been memorable.
The day started off as many of my HIMSS seem to – catching up with the Patientco crew at the airport. Marketing Director Josh Byrd brought me up to speed on the impact the company’s new Payments Hub is having in the revenue cycle space. It’s already making waves in hospitals, and seems poised to have a big play with RCM vendors, too. The flight was full of the usual suspects. I recognized vendor shirts from Greenway and Modernizing Medicine, and overheard countless HIMSS-related conversations. (I wonder how much money HIMSS could make if they started chartering flights out of major hubs for vendors and attendees?)
I had the good fortune to sit next to Stuart Post, regional vice president at LogicStream Health, who gave me a rundown on the company’s quality improvement and revenue management tools. The four-year-old firm is exhibiting for the first time this year, and so I need to make a point to show ‘em some love and swing by their booth for a twitpic or two. Post, who’s been around the health IT block in various positions at McKesson, Harris, and Microsoft, is firmly convinced that smaller (and presumably more nimble) firms have greater influence than they once did. “The industry is really speeding up,” he explained. “It’s all about small companies with big ideas, whereas 10 years ago it was about a handful of big companies dominating the market.” I’ll have to keep that sentiment in mind as I stroll the exhibit hall over the coming days.
Post also asked me for my “HIMSS hot topics,” and, based on recent headlines, I predicted that cybersecurity, population health management, and chronic care management will be exhibit-hall buzzwords. (Population health made waves earlier this evening as a contender for the HISsie award for most overused HIT buzzword. It lost to big data, which I believe has won three years in a row.) My prediction was affirmed by chatter at the HIMSS #HITMC meetup, where the topic of choice was what defines an uncertain HIT marketplace. I’d cast my vote for the uncertainty vendors seem to feel around population health versus population health management. Some use the terms interchangeably; some have adopted the phrases in what seem like desperate moves to cash in on their buzz-worthiness. Marketers, messaging is important; so is clarity.
My time at the conference today was short – just shy of an hour spent getting my badge and attending the aforementioned meetup. I was surprised at the amount of people already roaming the halls, although I hear tomorrow will be the peak day, with 40,000-plus expected. I feel like I’ve spent most of the day in various modes of transportation, bouncing between the airport, my hotel, the Sands Expo, and the House of Blues. I don’t know that Uber would have been any better, especially since one HIStalk reader’s Uber got pulled over on their way to HIStalkapalooza. If that’s not a good reason for being late, I don’t know what is.
I’m ashamed to admit that I left HIStalkapalooza early. The East Coast time caught up with me and I headed back to my hotel room with enough energy left to write today’s recap and to review tomorrow’s jam-packed itinerary. (The 10 events I have on my schedule pale in comparison to the to-the-minute schedules of more seasoned HIMSS-goers.) I had a nice time entertaining our sponsors during our pre-party meet and greet, and a fantastic time listening to my secret crush – Eric Quinones, MD national director, healthcare, Slalom Consulting – recite poetry to me from the House of Blues stage. Never did I think healthcare IT buzzwords could sound so lyrical. Until tomorrow …
HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell announces during her HIMSS keynote speech that EHR vendors providing 90 percent of all systems used in the US along with the five largest private health systems have pledged to adopt federally recognized interoperability standards, avoid information blocking, and expand patient access to data.
I shouldn’t really title this post “From HIMSS” since I’ve done nothing conference-related today and have no plans to. Finally I’ve cracked the code that has eluded me so long on how to enjoy HIMSS – stay away from the fray as much as possible.
I mentioned that I rented a large, luxurious house for $200 per day and filled it with family and friends (all female) helping out with HIStalkapalooza tonight. Two of them are in their 20s and another is in her teens, so they’ve had a blast hanging out in the pool and hot tub, playing music and giggling. They weren’t impressed with the Strip, so last night we took them to the real Las Vegas – downtown around Fremont Street.
I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun. I chose for us the old-school $9.99 prime rib dinner at the California Hotel, which was just fine and even included a great salad bar. One of the girls decided to treat us to a bottle of wine and the barely English-speaking cocktail waitress brought back an alarming 1.5 liter bottle of Cabernet (equivalent to two normal bottles). I tactfully offered to pay since I was afraid it might be an unexpected $120 budget-buster for our young friend, but it was actually only $38.
Then we spent a couple of hours at the Fremont Street Experience enjoying the cover bands on stage (one Beatles, one rock), watching the zip line riders flying overhead, and drinking beer in the street. The girls had a ball posing for pictures with street performers. The neon alone is worth the trip. The top-rated Las Vegas restaurant on Tripadvisor is Andiamo Steakhouse in the the D hotel and Hugo’s Cellar in the Four Queens isn’t far behind – both are in that area. The Strip is like a sterile mall whose every feature is designed to extract cash elegantly from wallets, while downtown is a formerly decrepit but now quirky business district that has roared back to life.
Tonight the girls get to dress up in their Rent the Runway dresses and help out with HIStalkapalooza. They have been excited for days.
This morning everybody except me headed over to the convention center to pass out the booth signs I had made for sponsors who wanted to display them. Then they’ll head over to House of Blues to make sure they are ready for tonight’s HIStalkapalooza. I ate leftover pizza for breakfast and hit the hot tub. I just noticed that my cheap Timex watch didn’t recognize that it’s Leap Day, so I almost dated this post as 3/1/16.
I’ll catch up on a few news item to lighten my load tomorrow since I’ll be tired after being out late tonight.
Divurgent hires Bert Reese (Sentara) as VP of portfolio management and innovation.
Epic signs an agreement to give its users access to Tableau Software-powered analytics dashboards and workbooks.
Healthwise integrates its patient education content and tools with Salesforce Health Cloud.
UPMC takes a majority position in MedCPU, will lead a new $35 million funding round, and will become a MedCPU customer.
EClinicalWorks will implement inpatient software systems in up to 300 hospitals in India. I didn’t realize that its main business there is inpatient software, which might explain the company’s recently announced plans to develop inpatient software for the US market.
Health Catalyst raises another $70 million in a Series E funding round co-led by Norwest Venture Partners and UPMC, increasing its total to $222 million.
Usually the travel day to HIMSS is uneventful and this year didn’t start any different. I boarded my flight at O Dark Thirty and settled in to watch some software training videos that my client had created, since I knew there was a good chance they’d put me right to sleep. After a nice nap, it was time for email clean up.
I must have missed this before, but CMS has extended the Medicare EHR Incentive Program hardship deadline until July 1, 2016. If you haven’t submitted your application yet and want to avoid adjustments to your 2017 Medicare payments, you have plenty of time.
I touched down in Las Vegas right around the start time of the Hot Chocolate 15k run, which had multiple roads closed. Fortunately I had a taxi driver with a great personality, which made the delay tolerable. Although the roads were closed, I never saw any actual runners.
Speaking of runners, I mentioned previously that Edifecs has their #WhatIRun campaign live. I’m flattered to have my profile posted under the healthcare leaders section and appreciate their willingness to keep me anonymous.
For those of you who pop over to take a peek, yes, the comment about the refrigerator is true. Once I arrived at my hotel, I found out that my promised (and paid for) early check-in had been pushed back an hour. It was difficult to find somewhere to hang out that wasn’t completely smoke filled, which reminded me why I am not a huge fan of Las Vegas.
Once I finally received my room keys, I was quite surprised (as was he!) to find a naked guy who had apparently just stepped out of the shower. The front desk was apologetic and reversed my early check-in fee and also upgraded my room. It wasn’t their fault, though – the guest had checked out before he was actually ready to depart, so let that be a good lesson to only check out when you’re ready and also to use the privacy lock.
Once I was settled, I enjoyed the opportunity to get outside and actually see the sun since there is still snow on the ground in my world. I’m always saddened to see the panhandlers on the elevated walkways. Although it’s a complex problem, one man today was clearly having a psychotic episode outside the Palazzo. Hotel security were keeping an eye on things since he was accosting pedestrians. I hope he gets the help he needs.
The fountain at the Wynn was getting some maintenance and I imagine electricians who own dry suits are in demand across down. Registration was smooth, although there was a snafu with picking up bags and materials. At the registration area, they were telling people to come back in three hours to get everything. I decided to wander around the meeting areas and found the bag desk a few dozen yards away, fully stocked and ready to distribute. There were several people headed to the CHIME golf outing toting their clubs.
I stumbled across this Sunday session, featuring AMA president Steven Stack as well as Nancy Gagliano from CVS Minute Clinic and some others. From the time I saw it to when I returned to snap a photo, they had added the “free” to the signage. I registered and chatted with some of the staffers, who were very enthusiastic about their mission. I popped in for a bit and didn’t learn anything new, so headed back out for some more sun.
I connected later in the day with Dr. Lyle and some of his Healthfinch colleagues, who were on their way to a get-together at the Palazzo. My favorite part of HIMSS is catching up with people that I may only see once or twice a year. The rest of the evening was spent with friends old and new, as we christened the Southbound Greyhound as Dr. Jayne’s Official Drink of HIMSS16. (I personally like to muddle in a few blueberries, but there were none to be had.) Note to the bartenders at Treasure Island: you might want to stock in a few more bottles of Deep Eddy Ruby Red. You’re going to need them.
I was trying to unwind this morning in preparation for this evening’s big events, but despite the privacy sign on the door, the housekeeper opened the door without knocking. I always use the privacy lock, so she wasn’t able to get in, but it was annoying, especially since it was barely past 8 a.m. I know they’re in a hurry to turn over rooms, but I’m not checking out today and I did have the sign on the door.
I’m going to meet up with a good friend for lunch and lay out the battle plan for the week. Unfortunately I’ll miss the opening keynotes due to HIStalkapalooza prep, but I don’t think I’ll be missing anything earth-shaking.
For the rest of you prepping for the big night, may I suggest the liquor section at Walgreens, which has the Pedialyte thoughtfully displayed with the Ketel and Tito’s. I’m looking forward to the dance-floor stylings of Matthew Holt as we Party on the Moon. See you there!
The White House publishes the Presidents transcript from the Precision Medicine panel discussion, in which he calls out interoperability issues directly, saying, “Part of the problem with have right now is that every patient’s data is siloed — it’s in a hospital here, a hospital there, a doctor here, a lab there.”
Hello from Las Vegas. I always skip the usual HIStalk format during the HIMSS conference, focusing on what I see or hear directly for the most part. I’m holding off mentioning all but the most significant vendor announcements until next week because I don’t have the time or interest to wade through the glut of press releases that companies unwisely held until this week while everyone is too busy to care.
The weather continues to be great in Lost Wages, so folks coming to the conference from cooler climes are going to love it. The trees and grass are green, the sky is blue, and the restaurant patios are perfect for a leisurely lunch. Until Tuesday, that is, when the area is overrun with pasty-skinned, tote bag-slinging HIMSS attendees determined to glad-hand their way out of winter and get in your way at every opportunity.
Here’s a tip if you need to drive to the Sands Expo for exhibit setup or some other reason – use the Palazzo parking garage and self park (don’t valet unless you want to wait to retrieve your car), which has a very busy entrance on Las Vegas Blvd. and less-busy one off Sands. It’s the best parking garage in Las Vegas with 4,000 spots, it’s free, and the escalator will take you right to the casino, from which it’s a short walk to the hall. Also, Uber finally beat the Las Vegas taxi lobby, so there’s that.
Here’s another tip. Just a few hundred yards down the street from the convention center across from the Wynn is Fashion Show Mall, which doesn’t look big, but has 250 stores and restaurants. If you rip your pants or realize you forgot your socks, there’s a Macy’s as well as a lot of higher-end stores right there (even an Apple Store). Good chain restaurant choices there that I can vouch for are Maggiano’s, Kona Grill, and RA Sushi.
I snapped this photo in the conference center hall. It looks as though HIMSS has just over 60 corporate supporters, of which I note that at least 15 are also HIStalk sponsors (my iPhone picture isn’t quite clear enough to read every logo).
I’m impressed every year that HIMSS sells ads on nearly every square inch of available convention center real estate – walls, escalators, tabletops, and even on the floors. Here’s my business model for the only space they missed in the Sands (above): I propose to replace that ho-hum artwork above the urinals with vendor ads. In addition, I will hire someone just to stay in the restroom all day, and once a HIMSS attendee has settled in at his chosen spot, my lackey will sidle up behind him and announce in his ear, “Hi, I’d like to just say a couple of words about your restroom sponsor ABC Tech, which is in Booth #9999. Don’t stop what you’re doing – I’m just going to slip their business card into your pocket. Excuse me if we don’t shake hands.” When he’s not busy, my man will also slip printed collateral under the door of occupied stalls. Talk about your captive audience. It reminds me of the HIMSS conference a few years ago when a vendor brilliantly placed ad-imprinted drain screens in all the urinals, at least until they got busted by HIMSS.
I look forward to only two things about the HIMSS conference: the Hyland magician and MedData’s scones. I had heard previously that the latter might be threatened by Sands Expo rules prohibiting baking in booths (can you imagine?) I was horrified to see actual evidence of this – the MedData booth contains no scone-baking apparatus. If the magician is a no-show, I’m going home.
All of us exhibitors were doing setup today, with the exhibit hall acres covered with palletized equipment, plastic-covered carpet, yet-to-be installed signs and furniture, a few blue-jeaned vendor employees, and leisurely Freeman people with drills and ladders. We carted in our mighty HIStalk exhibit today, which involves two roll-up signs, a tablecloth, and a banner, weighing maybe 20 pounds total. It all fits into a single duffel bag. We have little to give away, nothing to sell, and no real reason to even be back in Booth #5069 by the freight door other than to give our fellow outcasts a place to call home among the multi-storied, fluorescent sterility.
I always ponder as I walk through the Las Vegas hotel equivalent of a mall food court littered with cookie-cutter restaurants bearing celebrity chef names: have those big-name cooks ever actually set foot in the place? My suspicion is that they just license their name out to some dull restaurant chain operator, take their cash, and move on to their next venture. I picture the Venetian having one giant commissary kitchen that makes all the food for every individually branded restaurant using corporate-approved formulas and quality control, with the “chefs” given about as much creative freedom as they would have packaging airline meals or prison food. That’s one more way Las Vegas seems like Orlando to me other than they’re the only two cities hosting HIMSS conferences in the future – unsophisticated visitors can’t wait to try all the chain restaurants they don’t have back home.
Bands coming to town this week that I wouldn’t mind seeing are Iron Maiden, Metric, and Gin Blossoms.
We’re giving away these first aid kits from Arcadia Healthcare Solutions in our booth. If the HIMSS conference gives you a headache, heartburn, foot blisters, or sticky hands (how could it not?), you’ll want one. Arcadia will have them in their booth, too. I snagged a couple of them last year and they’re very handy both during and after the conference.
From Former Bruin: “Re: City of Hope Medical Center (CA). Specializing in oncology treatment. Switching from Allscripts to Epic.” Unverified.
From The Oracle of Alpharetta: “Re: McKesson. All signs point to McKesson EIS to be in Stage 1 Shutdown Mode. Customers continue to leave for other vendors. Horizon conversions to Paragon are at a trickle. InSight users group attendance was abysmal. Customers are angry. EIS senior management have no healthcare experience, but they do have expertise in valuation and slimming down businesses prior to dissolving them. Large RIF likely coming in March. Development and QA rapidly shifting to third-party, offshore workers to reduce headcount and severance and bonus liabilities. Constant reorgs in Alpharetta, Charlotte, and Westminster. MCK will focus on its roots: pharma and med/surg distribution. HIT was fun while it lasted.” Unverified.
Ireland-based Oneview Health plans to go public on the Australian stock market, valuing the company at $200 million.
Next up: HIStalkapalooza. I’ll probably post a brief recap and some pictures Monday night. Safe travels.
From the transcript of President Obama’s remarks Thursday about the White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative:
Part of the problem with have right now is that every patient’s data is siloed — it’s in a hospital here, a hospital there, a doctor here, a lab there. The goal here is if we can pool and create a common database of ultimately a million people that’s diverse so that they have a lot of genetic variation, we can now take a disease that may be relatively rare, but because we have a pretty large sample size and start seeing patterns that we might not have seen before. But a couple things that requires — it requires, first of all, us understanding who owns the data. I would like to think that if somebody does a test on me or my genes, that that’s mine, but that’s not always how we define these issues …
In terms of the model that we use for health records that hopefully will be digitized more and more, companies help hospitals keep and collect that data. They should get paid for that. They’re building software. They’re building an infrastructure. On the other hand, we don’t want that data just trapped. So if I am sick and voluntarily I want to join with other people who have a similar disease to mine and donate our data to help accelerate cures, I’ve got to be able to work with the electronic health record companies to make sure that I can do that easily. There may be some commercial resistance to that that we have to talk about — although we’re seeing some terrific participation now, and that’s part of what we’re announcing, of those companies in terms of helping that happen.
There’s privacy issues. We’ve got to figure out how do we make sure that if I donate my data to this big pool that it’s not going to be misused, that it’s not going to be commercialized in some way that I don’t know about. We’ve got to set up a series of structures that make me confident that if I’m making that contribution to science that I’m not going to end up getting a bunch of spam targeting people who have a particular disease I may have.
From Sitz Bath: “Re: your Epic report. How many people downloaded it?” About 1,200 that I know of, but the Politico people messed me up by publishing a direct link that avoided the sign-up page I had created to keep count. You can download it here.
From CMIOmaha: “Re: your Epic report. Much appreciate the amazing summary on Epic. The most objective and down to earth summary I’ve ever seen. I downloaded it this morning and shared with all our C-level with an immediate and incredible feedback! I wish you’d do the same with Cerner.” Maybe it would be interesting to ask the same questions to the executives of Cerner users. Peer60 did all the heavy lifting via their market feedback platform, so it wouldn’t take much of my time.
From HIMSS PR: “Re: Greenway Health. Second staff reduction in the past six weeks. Sales leadership and enterprise sales team taken out. Not the best PR heading into HIMSS.” Unverified.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
I’m writing this Saturday from Las Vegas, where it’s sunny and warm. I rented a huge, luxurious house five minutes off the Strip for $200 per night and it’s filled with friends and family (all female, I just realized) who are helping with HIStalkapalooza. We have a heated pool and hot tub in our outdoor oasis, so last night it was pizza and this afternoon I’m grilling hamburgers and hot dogs poolside. I fell asleep last night to the gurgling of the hot tub’s waterfall outside after catching up on emails on the 25-megabit Wi-Fi (take that, crappy hotel Internet made worse by guests streaming Netflix and porn). It’s nice to be able to relax before the madness starts Monday, not to mention that I’m saving a fortune in hotel and restaurant bills. I should hang the HIStalk booth banner over the garage door.
I’m not sure when I’ll post over the next couple of days. Certainly Monday night after HIStalkapalooza (which means I won’t sleep much before a long Tuesday), but maybe Sunday if anything interesting happens.
Here’s your Las Vegas weather forecast. Trust me, it’s probably nicer here than wherever you’re coming from.
I was amused that the marketing manager of a vendor I highlighted as misspelling HIMSS on their site emailed me to accuse me of Photoshopping the screen shot, saying they had spelled it correctly. However, the sneaky alterations were on their end – they took down the page with the misspelling and posted a new one, perhaps not realizing that I could simply email them a link to Google’s cached image of the original page to prove my point. Doh!
The results of the reader-requested poll of health systems allowing the use of test patients in production systems are as follows:
15 percent say they never allow it
46 percent they allow it under strict conditions
30 percent they allow it as needed within reason
9 percent say they allow it without restriction
Concerns listed by respondents include the possibility of dropping real charges, the downstream effects on interfaced systems, and inadvertent printing of documents (I’ve seen all of these).
Two-thirds of poll respondents say IBM Watson Health is just hype. MEHIS Expert says it’s just an IBM ploy to increase consulting revenue, while HackerDoc questions whether IBM has the right medical informatics physicians with computer science backgrounds involved. Hype provided thoughtful analysis:
It’s beyond hype. They have now officially taken what was a brilliant branding strategy (personifying the intangible and making it both relatable and revolutionary sounding) and turned it into pure silliness. The Phytel acquisition last year was when my red flags were raised being that pop health is still just a buzzword, vapor and yet to be proven, but this addition just confirms that IBM is just trying to over-PR their revenue shell game. What is funny is that Truven began as the mixed bag business unit of Thomson Reuters after they went on a silly publishing buying binge while the publishing world was crashing (PDR, Micromedex, etc.). Thomson couldn’t find a way to blend those brands well into their financial and media strategies and spun them off, which resulted in Truven. How IBM is going to find a better fit for these brands that were too out-of-date for an old publishing co company is beyond my logical understanding. It makes me speculate that IBM may want to closely observe what is currently happening to Xerox. Bottom line, I no longer view Watson with the shock-and- awe wonderment that I once did.
New poll to your right or here: will EClinicalWorks and Athenahealth become major inpatient system vendors?
Here’s where Lorre will be spending the week – Booth #5069, with those other companies around us hopefully being OK with the significant traffic of interesting people we bring to an otherwise undistinguished location right next to an area labeled “Chain Link Fence – Storage.” I’m not sure I really get $5,000 worth of value from a 10×10 booth, but I’ll feel better about spending the money if everybody at least drops by to say hello.
Welcome to new HIStalk Gold sponsor Ellis & Adams. The Austin-based research and consulting firm offers IT strategic planning, project management, Lean workflow design, cost analysis, and data science services. Co-founder Don Ellis, MBA, MPH has a long industry history working for both providers and vendors; co-founder Jeff Adams, MBA spent a lot of time as a healthcare CTO; and partner Bill Blewitt has spent his whole career in healthcare IT. The company just published a description of its EHR optimization work with Dameron Hospital (CA). Thanks to Ellis & Adams for supporting HIStalk.
Healthcare IT Leaders donated $1,000 to DonorsChoose to attend my CIO lunch this week, which I used (along with third-party matching money) to fully fund these teacher grant requests while sitting by the pool:
Programmable robots for the media center of Ms. Becote’s elementary school in Florence, SC.
Physics learning kits for Ms. Stuckeman’s middle school science and math club in Fort Worth, TX.
Math games for Mrs. Wolfe’s fifth grade class in Little River, SC.
Programmable robots for Mrs. Marinin’s elementary school classes in Green Bay, WI (she is targeting females, hoping to expose them to careers in to computer science).
A maker space (programmable robots, invention kits, kinetic sand, and a duct tape creation kit) for the library of Ms. Harrison’s elementary school in San Juan, TX.
Six Amazon Fire tablets for the gifted elementary school classes of Mrs. Evans in Orlando, FL.
Mrs. Newman reports on the STEM activity kits we gave her Indiana second graders by funding her DonorsChoose grant request: “Thanks to you, my students are benefiting more from discovery learning as opposed to teacher led instruction. With team work, they are working collaboratively building roller coasters to learn more about gravity. They are also reading instructions on how to incorporate levers and pulleys into their creations. It is so exciting to watch them in action! Your help in providing these amazing STEM materials has been appreciated by my students, parents, and myself. Thank you very much!”
Also checking in is special education teacher Mrs. Allen from South Carolina, who reports, “My students were so excited when they came back from Christmas break to new headphones! They actually want to use the computers now … They have begun taking pride in our computer center and want the computers to look neat … I had no idea that something as simple as headphones could make such a difference in the attitudes of my students.”
Last Week’s Most Interesting News
The White House announces commitments from vendors and providers to support its Precision Medicine Initiative, most of them involving patient-contributed research data, patient access to their own data, and interoperability.
HIMSS announces the retirement of two EVPs, John Hoyt and Norris Orms.
ResMed announces that it will acquire Brightree for $800 million.
EClinical Works announces plans to develop an inpatient EHR.
England’s Royal Berkshire Hospital cancels surgeries when its Windows XP pathology systems are taken down by malware.
None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.
We’re running a HIMSS special on webinars. Contact Lorre or see her at our booth #5069 (don’t blink or you’ll miss it).
Here’s the recording of Thursday’s webinar, “Analytics For Population Health: Straddling Two Worlds.”
XG Health Solutions promotes Mike Bertrand to CTO.
Cerner reassigns John Glaser to SVP of population health. I’m not a fan of the title since “population health” is not at all the same as “population health management,” which in turn is not at all the same as “population health management software.” Despite his new title, John isn’t responsible for the health of any population other than his own.
Whirl Magazine features TeleTracking’s volunteer activities in its March issue.
Validic publishes a new white paper, “The Unprecedented Convergence of Healthcare and Technology.”
The local news covers the opening of Versus Technology client University of Minnesota’s Health Clinic and Surgery Center.
Voalte publishes a case study featuring Frisbie Memorial Hospital (NH).
Leadership Excellence recognizes PerfectServe Vice President of Human Capital as a Top Corporate Leader in the over 35 category.
PeriGen releases a new eBook, “A Vision of the Future of Obstetrics.”
The White House releases an update on its Precision Medicine Initiative, detailing commitments from 40 private organizations that will work on the project, largely on efforts to improve cybersecurity and data sharing as researchers work to build a one million participant research cohort.
As part of the Precision Medicine Initiative, the NIH will issue a grant to Vanderbilt University and Google’s life science business Verily to fund a pilot project to learn how best to recruit cohort participants and collecting their data.
A video of Army veteran Dennis Magnasco trying to schedule an appointment at his local VA clinic, but being unable to get through to an actual human, goes viral after his employer, Rep. Seth Moulton (D- Mass) shares the story on social media. The attention garnered Moulton several additional co-sponsors to his Faster Care for Veterans bill, which would allow veterans to self-schedule appointments using an app.
The White House announces several commitments to its Precision Medicine Initiative call to action, including:
The Advisory Board Company will create APIs for up to five pilot sites interested in building FHIR-based applications.
Allscripts, Athenahealth, Drchrono, Epic, and McKesson will pilot open APIs that will allow patients to contribute their EHR data to research in “Sync for Science” pilot projects.
The CRISP HIE will enable consumer “data donation” to support research.
Get My Data will initiate a “virtual march” of consumers via pop culture events, social media, and media campaigns.
Hackensack University Medical Center will adopt FHIR and open APIs for patient access.
Intermountain Healthcare will create a patient portal for cancer genomic data.
Ochsner Health System will expand its wearables data pilots.
PicnicHealth will publish a guide explaining how consumers can get access to their data and will create a Web-based portal for requesting data from the country’s 500 largest health systems.
PCORnet will help patients get access to their EHR data and contribute it for research.
Sage Bionetworks will create a way for study patients to contribute data for research.
St. Joseph Health will make data from Allscripts and Meditech available through an API and allow patients to see, edit, and contribute their own data.
Surescripts will give patients participating in the first precision medicine cohort the ability to contribute their medication and health information.
University of California Health System will give patients tools to download their information from all five of its medical centers and to share the information with providers and researchers. It will also develop a Blue and Gold Button, working with Cisco on a standards-based interoperability platform.
Validic will give users an opt-in form that will allow them to donate their patient-generated data to researchers.
Yale New Haven health will give patients access to their full medical record and allow them to share or donate their information.
New York Genome Center will use IBM Watson to generate cancer insights.
Inova Health System will create a $100 million precision medicine venture fund.
UPMC will make its legacy EHR data available to applications and services via a FHIR API.
University of Arizona Health Sciences will spend $22 million to expand its open-source analytic methods for disease-associated gene expression changes.
From Sage on the Stage: “Re: same old HIT problems. Usability, interoperability, and security require addressing socio-technical challenges that start-ups and politicians are reluctant to admit, much less address. For those going to the HIMSS conference, ask vendors the hard questions.” Here’s the list from SOTS:
Do your system designers observe real clinician users in their busy clinical setting, recording how many errors they make, the problems they have finding data, or workarounds used in providing care to someone’s mother? If you have conducted those observations, what are you doing to correct the problems? If not, do you have any free tee shirts?
How does your EHR identify patients from disparate organizations, reconcile clinical terminologies, and normalize the clinical and administrative data before importing it and integrating it into your EHR and displaying it to clinicians? If so, can you connect me with a customer using those features? If not, do you have any free golf balls?
Does your product use two-factor authentication for remote access? How do you ensure that clients have implemented all the appropriate security precautions and most recent application and OS updates? Do you perform announced penetration tests on your clients’ networks and databases?
From Boy Wonder: “Re: HIMSS conference. Today in our company-wide prep meeting we reviewed your ‘booth rules for vendors’ rant from a few years ago … such good content. Hopefully our team members will learn from it and not screw up!” It was a culmination of my life’s work a couple of years ago to capture the fleeting image of every single employee in one vendor’s booth simultaneously tuning out passers-by while obsessing over their phones. I can’t top that, but I will be on the prowl for inhospitable booth behavior that disrespects attendees and robs employers. I would offer to mystery shop for companies interested in my blunt, objective opinion, but I fear I would be overwhelmed with requests.
From Blown Cover: “Re: HIMSS spelling. It’s crazy after decades that people in the industry don’t know the difference between HIMSS and HIMMS. Come on, people – get it together!” Googling “HIMSS16” gives 5,410 results, while searching for just “HIMMS” returns 577,000 results. Even hashtag “#HIMMS16# “ turns up usage by tweeters like CHCF Innovations, Carestream, GetMyHealthData, CSC Health, and Cylance. You might find this startling lack of attention to detail is concerning given that, by definition, it involves companies offering patient-impacting technology products.
From Gone Guy: “Re: HIMSS and SIIM. Last time I checked they dealt in the digital world.” The stock photography doctor not only is peering intently at a now-antiquated film, she’s got a giant, turquoise syringe handy should she feel the need to inject something unsterile into someone. I can only imagine how often the HIMSS-SIIM Enterprise Imaging Workgroup’s name will be mangled into HIMMS-SIMM.
HIStalk Announcements and Requests
We provided an Osmo learning system in funding the DonorsChoose grant request from Ms. Murphy in Wisconsin, who emailed, “As you look around the room when students are using these materials, you can see the excitement on their faces, how highly engaged they are in the math, and the social skills that are being developed. You can hear mathematics vocabulary being used in their discussions and how they work together to solve problems, whether they are academic or social.”
We also provided math picture books for Ms. Schmidt’s Indiana kindergarten class, which she says are so popular that the kids are reading them outside of their math workshop sessions.
This week on HIStalk Practice: The US Oncology Network and McKesson Specialty Health help oncologists move to value-based payment models. Family Health Care of Siouxland sees success in depression screening with new check-in tablets. : Andy Slavitt addresses physician burden, MACRA next steps at AMA conference. MBS/Net merges with Medsphere. KP Northwest enters the standalone – and telemedicine-friendly – clinic market in Portland. Georgia rolls out HIV telemedicine program at its public health clinics.
This week on HIStalk Connect: Fitbit shares fall 20 percent on low Q1 earnings and revenue guidance. Insurance startup Oscar Health raises a $400 million private equity round to expand its geographical footprint. Crisis Text Line releases a dataset containing more than 13 million de-identified text messages between its crisis counselors and teens that use the service. Opternative raises $6 million to ramp up its online eye exam business.
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Ability Network. The Minneapolis-based company has for 20 years been helping providers and payers simplify the administrative and clinical complexities of healthcare through innovative applications and data analytics. It has helped hundreds of health IT vendors connect to Medicare and commercial payers, giving easy EDI payer access and embedding eligibility and claims management directly into the vendor’s software. Hospitals can take advantage of platforms for Medicare billing management, FISS/DDE connectivity, all-payer eligibility and claims, and Medicare claims submission and remittance advice. The company has grown tremendously, fueled by over $500 million in capital investment and several notable acquisitions, the most recent being Thursday’s acquisition of RCM and analytics services vendor G4 Health Systems. Industry long-timer, pharmacist, and former McKesson President and CEO Mark Pulido is Ability’s CEO and board chair. Thanks to Ability Network for supporting HIStalk.
The folks at Peer60 helped me survey C-level executives from Epic-using organizations to create a free report, “Epic: the cold hard facts.” I came up with questions I always wanted to ask Epic sites. Are provider executives willing to speak up if they find Epic-related issues that could impact patient safety? Does Epic provide competitive advantage? Do Epic-using CIOs prefer Epic sites when looking for a new job? Did Epic go in on budget and do CFOs think it’s worth the cost? Are customers happy with Epic’s interoperability? It’s a free download – the form asks for basic information just for my use in understanding who is reading it, but you can enter dummy data if you aren’t comfortable sharing with me. It’s been crazy trying to get this finished during all the HIMSS hoopla and I’ve already noticed that I made a couple of aggravating minor typos, so forgive me for those. Free really is free: there’s no advertising, no charging vendors for copies, and no behind-the-scenes selling of data. Thanks to the provider executives who participated.
I’m heading to Las Vegas early this weekend, just to get settled in before the wave of HIT immigrants overwhelms the baggage carousels, taxi lines, and check-in desks. Nothing really happens until Monday, so I’m hoping to finally take a breath and get into HIMSS mode after a way too busy February.
None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.
We’re running a HIMSS special on webinars – 25 percent off produced and two-for-one on promoted. Contact Lorre or see her at our booth next week.
Here’s this week’s webinar, sponsored by LifeImage, titled, “Completing Your EMR with a Medical Image Sharing Strategy.”
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
Google’s DeepMind Technologies forms DeepMind Health, offering two apps it acquired. Streams, for acute kidney injury detection, was developed by Royal Free Hospital London, while clinical task management and communication app Hark was created by an Imperial College London team. Neither app uses DeepMind’s machine learning or artificial intelligence capabilities – these are apparently simple, hospital-built apps that don’t do a whole lot despite the Tweeters wetting their pants in anticipation of Google mounting an undeclared challenge to IBM Watson.
E-prescribing and electronic prior authorization network vendor CenterX raises $3.3 million in funding.
UPMC makes an unspecified investment in Vivify Health and will implement its care management and patient engagement technology. UPMC’s investment completes a round that was started in November 2014, increasing the company’s total to $23.4 million.
Meditech solutions provider Park Place International will rename itself CloudWave.
Minneapolis-based employee health benefits management technology startup Gravie lays off 21 employees – 25 percent of its workforce, with CEO Abir Sen explaining, “It’s a bad market out there and we need to invest in growth.” Crunchbase reports that the company has raised $25.6 million, with its last round of $12.5 million being completed in April 2015.
VitalWare receives an unspecified growth investment from F-Prime Capital Partners, which gets two board seats.
Medsphere merges with EHR implementation consulting firm MBS/Net.
The State of Oklahoma chooses Orion Health’s Healthier Populations Solutions Suite for Health-e Oklahoma.
Mission Health (NC) selects PeraHealth’s clinical surveillance solution.
Maine Medical Center (ME) chooses Lexmark’s accounts payable automation, which includes Perceptive Intelligent Capture and Perceptive Content.
University of Kansas Hospital (KS) selects Cerner’s HealthIntent population health management system. I was distracted by the press release’s use of two pompous substitutions (“leverage” and “utilize”) for the perfectly serviceable “use,” but I’ll give them a bye for whipping out “proactive” a couple of times, which is two too many.
Intermountain Healthcare will use Ayasdi’s clinical variation management software.
Orion Health prometes Wayne Oxenham to president of its North America operations.
Huron Consulting Group hires LaDonna Sweeten (Leidos Health) as managing director.
PatientSafe Solutions promotes co-founder Si Luo to president and CEO.
HIMSS announces pre-conference organizational changes: HIMSS Analytics EVP John Hoyt retires, Blain Newton is promoted to replace Hoyt, and HIMSS EVP/COO R. Norris Orms announces his retirement.
Announcements and Implementations
Catalyze announces Stratum, a compliance layer for healthcare infrastructure.
Aprima adds Chronic Care Management functionality to its EHR.
American Well releases a software development kit that allows providers to embed the company’s online doctor visit technology into their mobile apps.
LogicStream Health adds an executive overview area to its clinical process measurement platform, allowing leaders to monitor care activity at levels ranging from specific conditions (such as CAUTI or VTE) to overall quality.
CHIME announces a “unique partnership” with OpenNotes, with the press release babbling endlessly without actually saying what the partnership involves until Paragraph 7, which finally gets to the point in explaining that CHIME’s task is to “bring greater awareness.”
First Databank announces its OrderSpace CPOE medication ordering content system, with McKesson Paragon being the first inpatient system to make it available to users.
Geisinger spinoff xG Health Solutions will use Cerner’s HealtheIntent population health management platform, while Cerner will use xG’s clinical content in its HealtheCare and HealtheAnalytics solutions.
The Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety releases Toolkit for the Safe Use of Copy and Paste.
Elsevier lists its activities at the HIMSS conference, including serving as the red carpet sponsor of HIStalkapalooza. I’ve worn the sunglasses they provided last year in Chicago countless times while running, sunning, or doing yard work — I call them my Elsevier safety glasses.
Government and Politics
ONC announces its Interoperability Proving Ground, a community for sharing information about interoperability projects.
The National Institutes of Health says during Thursday’s White House summit on precision medicine that it hopes to be gathering data on 1 million people by 2019, also announcing that it will fund a Vanderbilt University study involving Verily (the former Google Life Sciences) to determine how to attract those volunteers.
Army veteran Dennis Magnasco spent two days trying to schedule an appointment with the VA clinic in Bedford, MA, but could never get through the phone tree to reach an actual human. He works for Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), who filmed Magnasco’s attempt and posted it to Facebook, where it received more than 2 million views. The outcry motivated the Bedford clinic to fix its PBX and earned Moulton several new sponsors for his Faster Care for Veterans bill that would require the VA to run an 18-month pilot project in which veterans can self-schedule using a smartphone app. Moulton criticized the VA’s plan: “They were planning to spend $623 million developing their own app. This is available today. God knows how long it would take them to spend that.” He says the VA just likes building its own proprietary systems, adding, “They gave a variety of silly excuses.”
Privacy and Security
A law professor’s USA Today op-ed piece that appears to be satirical proposes going back to paper to thwart hackers, explaining:
The truth is, paper records are inherently more secure. To steal 10 million electronic user records from a government agency, all you might need is a cracked password and a thumb drive. To steal that many records on paper, you’d need a fleet of trucks and an uninterrupted month. And ransomware wouldn’t work on paper records. What would you do – put a padlock on the file cabinets and demand ransom for the key? And often, putting things on computers is a crock anyway. Electronic medical records, touted as saving money and streamlining care, are a major cause of physician burnout. It’s gotten so bad that some hospitals actually advertise the lack of electronic medical record systems as a selling point in recruiting doctors. If I were running an intelligence agency, I’d have all my important stuff done in handwriting or on mechanical typewriters and distributed in sealed envelopes. If I were setting up a voting system, I’d use paper ballots. And if I were running a hospital, I’d seriously consider doing everything on paper. There’s a place for computer records, of course. But for things that really matter and that need to be genuinely secure, we should try a more advanced technology: Paper and ink. Take that, hackers.
A Venafi survey finds that CIOs are not properly managing security keys and certificates. You will no doubt be shocked to learn that Venafi sells tools to secure keys and certificates. The survey suggests that more hackers are attacking using untrusted keys and certificates that can be bought on the black market for around $1,000 to encrypt their evil-doing traffic.
Pro football player Jason Pierre-Paul sues ESPN and one of its reporters for violating his privacy in running a photo of a surgery schedule proving that he had blown off a finger playing with fireworks on July 4, 2015. Jackson Memorial Hospital (FL) fired a nurse and a secretary earlier this month for sending the information to ESPN. JPP is suing under a Florida health professions regulation, which seems to hold little chance for legal victory since, like HIPAA, it covers providers but not sports networks running celebrity news.
Apple sold 11.6 million Watches in 2015, placing it in wearables third place behind Fitbit and Xiaomi. I knew little about China-based Xiaomi, but learned that its $15 Band Plus Pulse (pictured above) added a heart monitor to its existing step counting, sleep analysis, incoming call alert, and integration with the iOS Health app.
NHS England Nursing Technology Fund provides Princess Alexandra Hospital with $1.4 million to purchase Nervecentre’s mobile clinical platform software for iPad-based documentation.
An analysis of LinkedIn’s share free-fall says the company’s problems are fundamental to its business model as somewhere between business card holder and spam delivery service: its only content is generated by self-promoting but sporadic users (often only when they’re looking for work) who are then pestered endlessly by recruiters. The article says LinkedIn should stop rewarding bad user behavior, allow users to block unwanted communications, and integrate better with email.
A Pennsylvania VA nurse is charged with assisting in an emergency surgery while drunk. The nurse, who says he forgot he was on call, drove recklessly from a casino bar and was caught on hospital security video stumbling into the facility. He then had problems logging in to the OR computer and documenting the procedure.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle interviews Liaison Technologies President and CEO Bob Renner.
Allscripts announces that its APIs have been used to exchange data one billion times in three years.
HCI Group partners with Securonix to enhance its security offerings.
Extension Healthcare will add AirStrip’s mobility platform to its Engage Mobile, providing event notifications and waveforms
This week has been completely off the rails, with all my best-laid HIMSS preparation plans left undone. There’s nothing like five inches of mucky wet snow, flight delays, and a case of pinkeye to throw a girl off her game. Luckily I made it home, saw one of my partners for some eye drops, and am now playing a frantic game of catch up.
The pre-HIMSS news cycle is pretty slow. There was a flurry of mailings earlier in the week, most of which were nondescript post cards that wouldn’t lure me to a booth. Today there was nothing, but there will always be those post-HIMSS straggler mailings to look forward to.
Several readers have been sending me their shoe pics, wondering if they’ll give them a proverbial leg-up on the competition. There’s even a HIMSS Style 2016 board on Pinterest, with suggestions for both ladies and gents. I do like the pink socks and fetching wing tips pinned from www.dapperclassics.com.
Another sent me a pic of this two-heeled number from Christopher Dixon, which are supposed to be extremely comfortable. They’re also tech savvy, using Silicon Valley partner Chronicled to ensure authenticity. Shoes are tagged using a microchip and registered from a mobile app, allowing a future secondary market for non-knockoffs. Accessing the shoe’s chip via the app also displays a story about the inspiration behind the shoe and the sourcing of its materials. I doubt we’ll see any on the show floor, but a girl can dream.
I’m putting together my final social schedule for next week. Unfortunately, there are way too many events on Wednesday night and too few on Tuesday night. Most of the vendors who are hosting events are either gracious enough to allow public registration or are swayed by the MD accompanying my generic-sounding practice name.
I did have one of them question exactly how I received their invitation since it didn’t match their list. I had to just ignore it because I couldn’t exactly say, “Well, someone on your marketing team thought it was worth inviting Dr. Jayne.” One vendor offered to add me to its attendee list if I would send my real name – nope, not happening.
If you have an event on Tuesday that’s open to all readers, let us know. We’d be happy to have a member of the HIStalk team cruise by if time permits.
I tried to attend a Google Hangout this week, where NCQA was going to talk about the pilots for their redesigned Patient-Centered Medical Home program. The audio from the moderator’s PC was so bad that people couldn’t hear, which turned some attendees away. There were also a lot of people who weren’t muting their own microphones, adding to the problem.
Once the featured speakers started their talks, things got better, but it goes to show that Web conferences still can be tricky for a lot of people. At least the comments were fun to read.
I followed up after with one of my friends who does a lot of PCMH consulting work. She’s personally steering people away from NCQA, not only due to the complexity of their process, but also the growing fees. I haven’t had a chance to look at their new measures in depth, but she has seen them and thinks there are a few in there that are nonsensical. Looks like I have some reading to do.
CMS shut down the Medicare/Medicaid EHR Incentive Program attestation website over the weekend to correct an error preventing Eligible Professionals from claiming an exclusion for one of the measures in the Patient Electronic Access Objective. Those whose attestations were rejected previously must resubmit their information.
ONC has released a new Health IT Buzz post about “The Real HIPAA,” giving examples from care coordination and case management. This should be required reading for all the people who continually try to use HIPAA as an excuse not to share patient information when it is clearly permissible. The next installment is slated to cover Quality and Population-Based Activities and I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to say.
If you’ll be in Las Vegas next week and are interested in giving feedback to CMS, they will be hosting three Design Lean Planning Sessions during HIMSS. The goal is to receive feedback on the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Sessions are one hour long and will be held March 1 at 2:30, March 2 at 2:30, and March 3 at 11:30 in the CMS Meeting Room, Venetian Level 4, Zeno 4603. Space is limited and you must email with your session choice, name, title, role, and organization to register.
Another reader recommended I not spend too much time at HIMSS job hunting, suggesting that I consider a position in New Zealand. They’ve been trying to recruit a primary care physician for more than two years with no takers. The position has good compensation, no nights or weekends, and 12 weeks of holidays. I’m not ready to live in the southern hemisphere, but a nice locum tenens gig might hit the spot. Unfortunately, he’s been inundated with applications of dubious merit, so he probably won’t see mine.
My week also went askew thanks to the usability efforts (or non-efforts) of Microsoft, who decided in their infinite wisdom to “update” Office 365 with a feature that completely broke my workflow. I have been enjoying my Surface tablet, especially the Surface Pen, which I use in lieu of a mouse or the touchpad on the keyboard. I have been working on a huge editing project (textbook chapter, anyone?) and two days ago the pen stopped working as a selection device and only worked for annotation. Using classic user psychology, I assumed I had done something wrong or activated something unknowingly. I immediately knew better when I did a Google search and typed “Microsoft Surface Pen” and it automatically suggested adding “stopped working” to the search.
Apparently Microsoft engineers decided we no longer want to use a pen or stylus for anything but annotation — the pen is now locked in Ink mode while using Office products. Although there appears to be a button to return it to selection mode, it doesn’t work. Multiple users have already weighed in on a Word suggestion forum that there needs to be an option to go back, with several comments from people who used the pen as an accessibility and adaptation tool to help with physical limitations. I use mine with the keyboard, so I can use the touchpad even though I don’t like it, but I truly feel for those actually using it as a tablet. Having to use the touchpad reduced my editing productivity by more than 50 percent.
Even worse, the on-board Microsoft Help seems to brag that the “select objects” button (which should turn inking off) no longer works. The Microsoft Answer Tech gave me an escalation link that wasn’t customer facing and the escalation site shows they don’t know the difference between a country and a language (featured above).
Help a girl out by sharing the link and helping us tell Microsoft they’re offending their users. If I scurry home from HIMSS, I’ll still have two days left in my return window to offload it.
I won’t post again until I get to HIMSS, If I have to ditch the Surface, what’s your advice on a tablet? Email me.
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