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Monday Morning Update 4/22/13

April 20, 2013 News 6 Comments

4-20-2013 3-56-35 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: iPen rumors. As we approach the middle of 2013, the focus will be on the next innovation from Apple. iPen talk is not new since there’s been a Cregle iPen 1 that’s available today for writing and and drawing on the iPad. Apple wants to enhance their version by adding a small LED that can record writing and drawing for later viewing. The other possible features of the upcoming Apple pen are the ability to plug into an iPad docking station, adding a tiny SIM card for communications, and a camera device which would make it function as an iWatch, iPod and and iPhone – all in one device.”

4-20-2013 4-26-18 PM

From Bostonian: “Re: Boston. The main activity happened about two miles from my house, unfolding directly (and I mean directly) in front of athenahealth’s headquarters and main offices in Watertown. It was the long brick building with the big windows if you watched on TV.” Jonathan Bush of athenahealth posted this letter to the company’s website, saying that the company remained “wide open for business. WIDE open” as the company told its 1,000 Watertown employees to work from home. The letter added that athenahealth believes terrorism should not be able to generate widespread fear and panic that stops society from functioning.

From Marianne: “Re: Boston. This is such a good article by Atul Gawande. As we sit in our locked homes here in the Boston area waiting for this nightmare to end, it is nice to read about how our hospitals responded so well to this attack.” The New Yorker article gives credit to the hospital incident command system for allowing a quick and effective response to the treatment needs of the victims. Many of us have gone through the yearly drills of pretending to be logistics officer and making fun of wearing our yellow vests or writing down messages on paper to communicate with our pretend incident teams. The thing is, incident command systems work when they need to – it all comes back in the crisis.

From Blue: “Re: HIMSS scammer. A company solicited vendors to pay $5,000 to advertise in a publication that was to feature articles by Farzad Mostashari and Kathleen Sebelius and would be distributed at the HIMSS conference. Companies that paid got no further response, no printed version, and the online version has ‘lifted’ articles and ads from companies that never heard of the company. All was reported to HIMSS, which is looking into the false claim that the journal would be distributed at the conference. Vendors beware!” I notice that the welcome message from Kathleen Sebelius was stolen directly from the HHS site from comments she made at a public event, while Farzad’s alleged interview was lifted uncredited from Kaiser Health News. The companies appearing to have been ripped off in the issue I saw are Practice Fusion, iCharts MD, Availity, ChartLogic, and Accenture.  

4-20-2013 2-01-27 PM

When it comes to offering systems that are “open” in the eye of the beholder, the big winner is “none of the above,” followed by Allscripts, Epic, and basically nobody else. New poll to your right: should ONC assess an EHR vendor fee to help fund its certification programs? You can click the Comments link on the poll after voting to be more explanatory than your yes/no vote.

4-20-2013 3-51-17 PM

The first-ever HIStalk Webinar, Vendor Software Training: What Providers Should Demand, will be offered on Tuesday, May 14 from 1:00 to 1:45 PM EDT, presented by Health Technology Training Solutions. See my Webinars page for information on how HIStalk Webinars are moderated and pre-reviewed by CIOs (and me personally) for education value and presentation style. I hope to not only produce vendor Webinars that are a lot better than some of the clunkers I’ve sat through, but also to give folks who work for non-profits a way to offer their presentation to the HIStalk audience at no cost to themselves since I’m paying for the infrastructure and would like to see it used.

The Nashville business paper profiles Applied Health Analytics, a Vanderbilt partner that offers population health management tools, with special emphasis on hospitals that form relationships with big employers.

Cerner and Ciber will offer application management and hosting services to Infor’s healthcare customers.

Indiana’s HIE will spin off a for-profit company to market its HIE platform that was developed by Regenstrief.

UPMC files suit against Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, claiming that his challenge of the health system’s non-profit status is “a campaign to target and damage UPMC.” The city’s attorney replied, “It is unclear to me how asking a court to make a determination whether UPMC is or is not an institution of purely public charity is a violation of its constitutional rights. The painfully obvious bottom line is that the last thing UPMC wants is judicial scrutiny of its non-charitable agenda.”

4-20-2013 3-07-23 PM

Weird News Andy wonders how this hospital’s health marketing campaign was approved. A North Carolina hospital pulls the plug on its campaign intended to create community health awareness, purely because of its tag line, “Cheat Death.” The hospital said the phrase worked to generate discussion and awareness, but thinks it can do better in sending a message of community unity.

Vince covers the HIS-tory of GE Healthcare in Part 1 this week.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 20, 2013 News 6 Comments

News 4/19/13

April 18, 2013 News 7 Comments

Top News

4-18-2013 6-10-27 PM

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says his office has taken direct control of the DoD-VA EHR integration project as he acknowledges to a House subcommittee that “we’re way behind.” Hagel told the committee that he has personally blocked the DoD’s EHR request for proposal because “I didn’t think we knew what the hell we were doing.” He added, “Until I get some understanding of this and get some control over it, we’re not going to spend any money on it.” Hagel, whose experience includes tours as an infantry squad leader in Vietnam and serving as a VA deputy administrator as its VistA system was being developed, says the DoD will have its marching orders within a month.


Reader Comments

4-18-2013 6-44-17 PM

From Mr. Horizon: “Re: Bayhealth – Kent General Hospital, Dover, DE. Went live on McKesson Expert Orders whole house with physicians with minimal problems this week.”

By Anonymous: “Re: MyChart. I gave it another chance and ordered a prescription refill. This morning, I was thinking I never received order confirmation from Caremark. It was a busy morning, so I didn’t get around to calling my doctor to see what was up. This afternoon, I received my trusty Caremark communication that the week-old order was received today. Who knows when the physician practice checks messages or Rx refill requests coming through MyChart? A bigger question: why the heck are you promoting this to your patients if it essentially has no functionality due to no real implementation and weekly checking of messages and notifications, even if weekly? Score:  MyChart zip, Caremark slam dunk. And Mayo had 5 percent portal engagement with what was hopefully a functional portal.” Anonymous wrote the Readers Write article on her MyChart impressions a couple of weeks ago that generated quite a few comments.

4-18-2013 7-02-08 PM

From Poor Richard: “Re: patient portals. New York is allowing citizens to gauge ‘likeability’ of patient portals by voting. I didn’t recognize many of the vendors on the ballot. Some presentations were very professional while others appeared to have been completed in the basement of a programmer. Some of the presentations I considered unimpressive had massive vote appeal, so of course now I am wondering about voter fraud (especially considering I am not a New York resident and they let me vote!) Personally, I preferred ChARM EHR, not for their goofy upper case/lower case naming, but because they were the only vendor in this entire group who addressed maintaining membership through incentives. In ChARM’s (damn, I hate typing that) model, they included a rewards system for using the portal, which is a feature sorely lacking in every patient portal I have seen.“

4-18-2013 7-29-50 PM

From Dan: “Re: GNU Health. I’ve been involved with installing and supporting cumbersome and incredibly expensive EHRs like Horizon and Epic at hospitals and wondered what options are available for organizations with little funding. This one seems to have potential. I’m interested to hear your thoughts.” It’s free, seems to have several basic modules, and already supports ICD-10. No US customers are listed, which is typical of free EHRs that work well in countries that don’t care about billing and other non-patient related capabilities that are unfortunately very important here. Readers are welcome to jump in.

From Lance: “Re: $1 million ONC EHR vendor tax. I work for a vendor and think that ONC could have spent a lot less to achieve the same MU attestation results. Many of the RECs did not earn their M1 and M2 milestones, simply piggybacking on the EHR vendor’s installed base. Many of our clients that we introduced to RECs said they didn’t add anything and all they needed was the free MU resources we provided.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small Recent highlights from HIStalk Practice include: OIG publishes protocols for providers who wish to voluntarily self-disclose evidence of potential fraud. Jonathan Bush dishes with the Wall Street Journal. Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City offers Wichita allergy patients an option for telehealth visits. Professional organizations give tips for physicians participating in social media. NorthShore University Health System’s ambulatory clinics achieve Stage 7 on the HIMSS Ambulatory EMR Adoption Model. Culbert Healthcare Solutions’ Brad Boyd discusses patient access issues. Finally, 91 percent of readers participating in our recent HIStalk Practice Reader survey say that reading HIStalk Practice has helped them perform their jobs better over the last year. If you have room for self improvement, it’s likely worth your while to mosey over to HIStalk Practice. Thanks for reading.

4-18-2013 7-35-27 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Predixion Software. The San Juan Capistrano, CA-based company offers self-service predictive analytics that are fully integrated with the Microsoft stack, allowing modelers to work with Predixion’s workbench and modeling tools from within Microsoft Excel. The company’s predictable admissions module scores patients at admission and throughout their stay using a hospital-specific model to predict readmission risk with up to 86 percent accuracy. If you’re curious how that works, read up on Practical Predictive Analytics for Healthcare 101. The company won a Microsoft HUG award last month for the use by one of its major healthcare customers of Predixion Readmission Insight. Thanks to Predixion Software for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a video interview of Chad Eckes, CIO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Predixion advisory board member, talking about predictive analytics.

It’s time for that post-HIMSS planning of which conferences to attend this year. If you have suggestions, let me know. I had a nice invitation to attend TEDMED as the guest of a generous company, but couldn’t make it because of work conflicts at the hospital.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

4-18-2013 8-29-48 PM

Roper Industries, which acquired Sunquest Information Systems in August 2012, will buy New Jersey-based Managed Healthcare Associates for $1 billion in cash. MHA offers alternate site services, software, and analytics.


Sales

CareONE LTACH (NJ) long-term acute care hospital selects NTT DATA’s Optimum EHR.

4-18-2013 4-09-36 PM

University of Colorado Health will incorporate Medseek’s predictive analytics and hospital website solutions into its patient engagement initiatives.

4-18-2013 4-08-20 PM

Australia’s Ballarat Health Services deploys the Rhapsody Integration Engine from Orion Health as its connectivity program for message exchange.


People

4-18-2013 8-31-05 AM

Quest Diagnostics names Jim Davis (GE, InSightec) SVP of diagnostic solutions.

4-18-2013 8-05-01 PM

Long-time friend of HIStalk Justen Deal of Vieu Health is named BlackBerry Business Fan of the Month, dropping a much-appreciated plug by saying in his profile piece, “And in my field, HIStalk is where you go when you really want to know what’s really happening; it’s sometimes a bit irreverent, but it’s always smart, insightful, and to-the-point.”

Andy Flanagan (SAP) is appointed SVP, Health Services Sales & Business Management of Siemens Healthcare.

Beacon Partners appoints Michael Whalen (GE Healthcare)  VP of professional services and promotes Chris Kondrat to VP of business integration.


Announcements and Implementations

The Premier healthcare alliance will offer its members access to Phytel’s population health intelligence suite.

4-18-2013 4-12-04 PM

Massachusetts General Hospital joins the PathCentral Pathology Network, an online information exchange and digital consultation forum that enables physicians to upload digital images for pathologists to review and render diagnoses.

Indiana University Health implements Health Catalyst Late-Binding Data Warehouse in 90 days to create a centralized repository of clinical, financial, and patient satisfaction data.

Lumeris releases its Accountable Primary Care Model called the Nine Cs that addresses reducing costs, improving quality, and improving patient and physician satisfaction.


Government and Politics

A JAMIA article describes interviews with VA leadership on their vision for a next-generation EHR. Identified needs include designing better user interfaces to present decision support messages more effectively, creating smaller applications to allow fine tuning workflows, developing a recommendation engine to guide practice as it learns preferences and presents peer practices, using back-end documentation tools such as natural language processing, creating support for teamwork, developing interoperability with the DoD and other care settings, and improving data governance and stewardship.

4-18-2013 8-19-51 PM

HHS and the FCC name members of the new Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act (FDASIA) Workgroup, which will report to the HIT Policy Committee on improving patient safety and innovation in healthcare IT. The new members are from health systems, technology companies, healthcare software vendors, and venture capital firms. The group’s chair will be David Bates, MD, MsC (above), SVP for quality and safety and chief quality officer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


Technology

Experts say new WiFi standards 802.11ac and 802.11ad could drive improved hospital wireless connectivity, such as iPhones supporting EHR lookups at 450 Mbps. 802.11ac will replace 802.11n as the WiFi standard, while the short-range 802.11ad technology can support data rates of up to 7 Gbps in potentially replacing cables for connecting computer peripherals or medical equipment.


Other

EHR adoption in children’s hospitals grew from 21 percent in 2008 to 59 percent in 2011, which was significantly higher than adoption rates for adult hospitals.

The Health Technology Forum Innovation Conference: Platforms for the Underserved will be held Friday, April 19 at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, CA. Speakers include Gavin Newsom (lieutenant governor of California); Justin Graham, MD (CMIO, North Bay Healthcare); Kate Bennett, ND (CMIO, John Muir Health); and Darren Schulte, MD (president, Apixio).

Another health technology accelerator makes its debut as Dallas-based Health Wildcatters offers the usual package of mentoring services and seed money in return for equity.

In Canada, Nova Scotia’s largest health district says its computer systems experienced 1 million security threats in the past year, none of which led to lost data. Most were malware and spyware attacks.

4-18-2013 8-41-31 PM

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, speaking at the Stanford Graduate School of Business 2012 Healthcare Innovation Summit on Wednesday, says the insurance company is evolving into a health IT company through its acquisitions that include Medicity, iTriage, and Active Health.

In Canada, Regina General Hospital says 15 patients were mistakenly given clindamycin to treat clindamycin-resistant infections due to an unspecified computer error in creating sensitivity reports.

Former Roxy Music member and music producer Brian Eno designs light and sound installations to create healing environments in two British hospitals.

4-18-2013 8-57-38 PM

AlertWatch, which offers surgical patient monitoring software developed at the University of Michigan’s Venture Accelerator, is profiled in a technology publication. A real-time demo (above) is available online. The company’s patient safety advisor is former astronaut Jim Bagian, MD, who I’ve seen speak – he’s excellent.

4-18-2013 9-04-56 PM

A University of Vermont medical student and a partner are working on software that will allow pharmacies to communicate with patients via simple HIPAA-compliant text messages to help them understand their medications. Luke Neill and Sam Mayer were congratulated by actor Matthew Perry at Clinton Global Initiative University earlier this month.

Weird News Andy wonders how in the world this happens. Workers at a commercial laundry processing a load of linen from Regions Hospital St. Paul, MN are startled when a baby’s body falls out. The hospital apologized, explaining that the stillborn infant’s body had been wrapped in linens in the morgue and was mistaken for laundry.


Sponsor Updates

  • Surgical Information Systems CEO Ed Daihl explains the importance of perioperative analytics and the competitive edge it gives hospitals. The company also announces the winners of its SIS Perioperative Leadership Awards.
  • Awarepoint highlights its first quarter 2013 achievements, which include installation of 4.1 million net new square foot of RTLS coverage across 10 clinical sites, the addition of numerous new clients, and renewed commitments from five organizations.
  • Availity and Greenway Medical Technologies join insurer Florida Blue to enable the sharing of clinical data and patient summaries.
  • Trustwave offers an infographic highlighting the high cost of BYOD.
  • Optum opens a free emotional support line staffed with mental health specialists for those affected by the recent Boston explosions.
  • Lisa Bielamowicz, MD, SVP with The Advisory Board Company, reviews three key elements for successful population health management.
  • iHT2 hosts an April 24 Webinar on healthcare cyber first responders.
  • Medseek announces the winners of its eHealth Excellence Awards during this week’s 2013 Client Congress in Austin.
  • Imprivata hosts an April 23 Webinar on streamlining clinical communication with Imprivata Cortext.
  • Good Morning Texas profiles Key-Whitman Eye Center and how its implementation of RTLS technology from Versus is reducing wait times.
  • CAQH recognizes several organizations that have earned voluntary CAQH CORE Phase I or Phase II Operating Rules certification, including NextGen (NextGen PM), OptumInsight (Optum Netwerkes 2.2.0), and RelayHealth (RelayExchange.)

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

First of all, I want to send my thoughts and prayers to the people of Boston as well as the marathon participants, their families, and the first responders and health care teams who assisted. One of my shoe-shopping pals was running and I was tracking her as the horrifying event unfolded. This was her first Boston Marathon and she slowed down around mile 17, for which I am grateful. Her previous projected finish time would have put her in the thick of it. Hopefully she (and all the other runners who didn’t finish) can qualify again next year.

A recent study shows that physicians may benefit from seeing cost information when ordering laboratory tests. We see plenty of EHRs with medication formularies, but not too many with lab cost data. In my experience, the Advance Beneficiary Notice functionality of many EHRs is sorely lacking, so maybe this will spur vendors to spend some attention in that area. I’d be interested in not just seeing cost information but seeing data on whether tests are really helpful in diagnosing or confirming a particular condition. Of course order sets are helpful, but this would be a twist on the concept for docs who don’t think order sets apply to them.

Weird news: scientists are looking at how intestinal parasites attach to develop better ways to attach skin grafts. Here’s to the spiny-headed worm as the newest member of the healthcare team.

From Tom T: “Re: your piece about the ACP/FSMB online professionalism policy. You are right on the money again and again. The self-righteousness and patronizing tone of those guys is getting to be nauseating. The latest blow is the decision coming from Walgreens to get involved in chronic illness management. How sad that they have no idea of what we do and how bad that will be for healthcare. I for one will refuse to see patients who are going to Walgreens for anything.”

Thanks for writing. I’m interested to see the details on how Walgreens plans to pull this off, specifically how they plan to communicate with other members of the patient care team. When I’m wearing my PCP hat, I refuse to refer to other physicians that don’t communicate in an adequate or timely fashion, and I won’t hesitate to refer patients away from pharmacies or other businesses that don’t have the patients’ best interests at heart. The best service in my community (which is heavily saturated with all kinds of chain pharmacies) actually comes from a mom-and-pop shop and their prices are competitive.

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I wonder if Inga has a pair of these in her closet? I can’t imagine they’d be comfortable, but they’re certainly unique.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 18, 2013 News 7 Comments

News 4/17/13

April 16, 2013 News 4 Comments

Top News

4-16-2013 9-28-53 PM

4-16-2013 9-34-13 PM

Six Republican senators release a report criticizing the HITECH EMR push, saying EMRs are increasing healthcare spending instead of reducing it and that Medicare doesn’t have a plan to ensure interoperability, increasing the chances that $35 billion in taxpayer money will be wasted. It accuses the administration of using money spent as a benchmark of success rather than specific goals, says that Meaningful Use self-attestation means providers may not be using technology as intended, and accuses CMS and ONC as having lax security policies and procedures that jeopardize the security of patient data. It also concludes that post-HITECH penalties will affect small providers disproportionately and that reporting requirements are creating provider compliance burdens.


Reader Comments

From Katherine the PCP: “Re: athenahealth. I’ve been live for two weeks now as part of a health system rollout and I am happy as a clam. The folks from athena were wonderful and worked very well with Clinovations, who were there for the extra help. Athenahealth is everything I expected and more. I did not have to make even one call to their call center. Happy to be paperless!” This was from long-time HIStalk physician reader who I know, so this was not a questionable anonymous comment.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

4-16-2013 6-51-38 PM

An international HIStalk sighting: an unidentified reader sent over this photo wearing an “I Could Be Mr. H” beauty queen sash taken in London. We’ll be getting more photos from other cities as the sash’s owner enjoys global travel, I’m told. If you’re heading to interesting places this summer, snap your own picture featuring a recognizable location and something HIStalk related (an iPad image of the web page, a printed logo, etc.) and I’ll run it here.

4-16-2013 8-15-22 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Care Team Connect. The Chicago-area company was launched in 2008 to help chronically ill patients receive better and less expensive care, offering a technology platform that coordinates care among hospitals, community providers, and patients and their families. CTC Gateway is a Web-based platform that makes it easier to distribute patient data to support shared risk payment models via payment reconciliation, file management, attribution list delivery, outcomes reporting, population stratification, and communication and transparent reporting among provider partners. CTC Navigator provides a rules-engine driven checklist process to ensure that target patient populations receive the right care with efficient use of resources. Clients include Integrated Health Partners, Vanguard Health Systems, Ellis Medicine, and MemorialCare Health System, along with its integration into the Michigan Health Information Network to provide real-time updates and alerts for 25,000 patients. Thanks to Care Team Connect for supporting HIStalk.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

4-16-2013 9-00-49 PM

Baltimore-based care coordination platform vendor Ankota raises $2 million to increase headcount. The CTO is a former GE Healthcare CIO and the chief medical office is a Hopkins population health specialist.

4-16-2013 9-24-32 PM

CrowdMed, which uses the wisdom of crowds (“Medical Detectives”) to help patients determine their diagnosis, raises $1.1 million in funding.


Sales

Fulton County Hospital (AR) selects Healthland Centriq EHR for its 25-bed critical access facility.

INTEGRIS Health (OK) signs with TeraMedica for its Evercore Clinical Enterprise Suite.

The iHealthTrust HIE (TX) selects iMedicor to provide secure communication services via the iMedicor SocialHIE platform.

Blue Shield of California hires Kony Solutions to develop mobile apps on the KonyOne platform. Meanwhile, Kony is considering an IPO later this year.


People

4-16-2013 3-50-19 PM

Amy Garcia (American Nurses Association) joins Cerner Clairvia as chief nursing officer for the company’s workforce and capacity management business unit.

4-16-2013 6-23-59 PM

Healthcare VC firm Aberdare Ventures hires Mohit Kaushal (West Health) as a partner.

4-16-2013 2-48-32 PM

AliveCor, the developer of a mobile-based ECG monitor for the iPhone, names Daniel J. Sullivan (SuperDimension, Inc.) president and CEO.

4-16-2013 8-32-21 PM

James Muir is promoted to VP of revenue cycle management sales at NextGen.

4-16-2013 7-59-29 PM

Harvard Vanguard internist Alan Brush, MD, who joined the organization in 1975 and has headed its internal medicine EMR design committee since 2000, wins the Harvard Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lester Wold, MD (Mayo Clinic) joins VitalHealth Software as CMO.

Health Evolution Partners appoints Kevin McNamara (McNamara Family Ventures) as an operating partner.

DataMotion, a health information service provider, hires Andrew Nieto (Allscripts) to oversee the company’s DataMotion Direct secure e-mail service.


Announcements and Implementations

Pioneer Community Hospital (GA) implements McKesson EMR as part of the $27 million EHR initiative of Pioneer Health Services.

Saint Joseph Hospital (IL) uses polling software and interactive keypads as part of its EMR training program, embedding questions for audience feedback into its PowerPoint presentations.

The Cherry County Hospital (NE) goes live this month on Meditech’s nursing and therapy documentation and will implement CPOE and eMAR in June.

Mount Sinai announces the go-live of Epic at Mount Sinai Queens, which marks the second major phase of the health system’s $120 million rollout.

4-16-2013 10-49-13 PM

Rogue Regional Medical Center (OR) went live on Epic last last week, while Providence Medical Center (OR) makes the switch April 27.

Home health services provider AccentCare begins a phased implementation of the Homecare Homebase solution.

GE Healthcare announces several new customer-focused initiatives including recognition of facilities using GE HIT products to boost productivity in significant ways; road shows featuring Centricity Imaging Solutions; and, an expanded channel partner program to support ambulatory practices.

Palomar Health (CA) pilots a clinical messaging infrastructure to enable secure HIE using the Direct Project’s secure messaging protocols and the HPDPlus specifications for online physician directories.

CajunCodeFest 2.0 will be held April 24-26 at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, with teams of self-organization participants building healthcare prototypes over a 27-hour period in competing for a $25,000 grand prize. Social activities include a crawfish boil, a Cajun band, and the concurrent Festival International de Louisiane.

GetWellNetwork’s GetConnected 2013 meeting is underway in San Diego, with more than 500 patient engagement leaders in attendance.


Government and Politics

4-16-2013 3-23-17 PM

Not surprisingly, the HIMSS EHR Association issues a statement indicating it does not support the EHR user fee included in the President’s proposed 2014 budget.


Innovation and Research

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that physicians ordered 8.6 percent fewer tests when shown test costs during order entry. Cost per patient day fell 9.6 percent.


Other

4-16-2013 10-52-40 PM

Life post-Allscripts for Glen Tullman includes building a $5 million glassblowing studio for his son, serving as executive chairman for a chain of tea cafes, running his solar panel business, operating a healthcare app venture capital fund, and starting a company that sells tablet PCs to Chicago schools. Some quotes about his Allscripts experience:

I would have moved faster in integrating Eclipsys. And I would have pushed more aggressively into interoperability, connectivity and care-coordination areas … I think it was the right time to go off and focus on what I do best, which is the innovation part of building great new companies. That’s my interest. It’s hard to do that in a multibillion-dollar, publicly traded company focused on quarter-to-quarter earnings.

4-16-2013 10-51-19 PM

Detroit Medical Center (MI) will lay off 300 employees, or 2 percent of its workforce, in response to the sequester-driven 2 percent Medicare payment reduction. It will also cut executive salaries.

4-16-2013 8-56-03 PM

Cerner gets a National Enquirer mention for providing key evidence in the prosecution of Charles Cullen, the Somerset Medical Center (NJ) who killed at least 40 and possibly as many as 400 patients by drug injection. A fellow nurse who was familiar with Cerner worked with investigators to determine that Cullen was looking up patients not under his care to target them for murder, leading to his arrest. Cullen’s story is described in a new book, The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder.

4-16-2013 9-10-46 PM

GigaOM profiles California-based MDRevolution, a cardiologist-founded technology-heavy medical practice that combines cardiology, nutrition, and genetics to create affordable, customized healthcare. Patients use fitness trackers, app-enabled monitoring devices, and genetic assessment tools. The practice accepts insurance and charges an extra $25-$75 per month for access. The founder says its self-developed patient engagement software will drive the discovery of new treatment insights. The practice uses physicians minimally as managers rather than clinicians and says new locations may eliminate physicians entirely and replace them with nurse practitioners.

4-16-2013 9-14-19 PM

In England, a hospital physician is profiled for running a series of NHS Hack Days where volunteers (“Geeks Who Love the NHS”) work on disruptive digital health projects.

Also in England, an IT trade group says NHS’s information architecture encourages siloing and urges it to move toward open standards and the approaches that worked for e-commerce providers. The Department of Health has asked the trade group to make recommendations for achieving a paperless NHS.

A New York Times article profiles tele-ICU systems such as the Philips eICU, concluding that vendor-support studies show dramatic benefits, but other studies find little difference in outcomes. Several hospitals that launched remote ICU monitoring services with extensive publicity have since pulled the plug, including New York-Presbyterian, Kaleida, and at least three other hospital systems that installed systems in 2004 and 2005. Kaleida said the tele-ICU was a nice marketing tool, but they saw no significant improvement in mortality and complication rates and decided to redeploy the personnel back to the bedside.


Sponsor Updates

  • Captain Stephen Harden, chairman and CEO of LifeWings Partners, shares how aviation uses technology to avoid fatal errors at this week’s Surgical Information Systems National Conference in Atlanta.
  • Illene Moore, MD of Dearborn Advisors lists the traps to avoid when optimizing EHR use.
  • SuccessEHS integrates its EHR/PM solution with four Welch Allyn medical diagnostic devices.
  • Sunquest Information Systems President Richard Atkin keynotes at the MedTech Nordic Investing & Partnering 2013 event September 3 in Helsinki, Finland. SIS CTO Eric Nilson posts the second of his three-part series on quality reporting for anesthesia.
  • Brian Hodges, Informatica’s SVP of worldwide professional services, discusses risk-sharing and its impact on buying decisions.
  • Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory includes Aspen Advisors, Beacon Partners, Cumberland Consulting, Deloitte, GE Healthcare, and Impact Advisors in a report on firms in the healthcare payer, provider, and government consulting sectors.
  • The Advisory Board Company, Heritage Provider Network, and the Bipartisan Policy Center launch the Care Transformation Prize Series, a national contest to encourage healthcare organizations to identify roadblocks to implementing new care models.
  • Truven Health Analytics announces its report on the 15 top health systems, which were selected based on highest survival rates and fewest complications.
  • QlikView offers a series of BI technology summits in several cities in coming months.
  • EDCO Health Information Solutions and HealthPort collaborate to provide improved and expedited management of PHI.
  • MedHOK’s 360Measures V 2.55 earns P4P software certification based on testing on the Integrated Healthcare Association’s California P4P measures, NCQA, and HEDIS.
  • The Indianapolis Star names First Databank as a Top Workplace in 2013 based on employee feedback.
  • GE Healthcare hosts its 2013 Centricity Live USER Conference this week in Washington, DC and announces GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt as one of the keynote speakers.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 16, 2013 News 4 Comments

Monday Morning Update 4/15/13

April 13, 2013 News 1 Comment

4-13-2013 1-42-24 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: iRing. As we wait for the Apple iTV later this year, it has been rumored that this new device will have an iRing as a control device. So while you munch your snacks and watch your favorite programs on an iTV, you’ll be able to flip channels, adjust the sound, or also switch to an Internet browser with this new innovation.“

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From Low Rider: “Re: barcoding. Saw this – looks pretty cool.“ A Hospira solution scans IV bags to verify them, scans the smart pump to check its settings, and then sends the settings and start time to the EHR.

4-13-2013 1-46-40 PM

Internal slides from Optum sent by an anonymous reader suggest that the company will sell its 60-consultant OptumInsight implementation and support business to Accenture effective May 9.

4-13-2013 1-19-55 PM

Half of respondents think that the CommonWell members that offer hospital systems haven’t integrated their own products very well. New poll to your right: which of the listed hospital system vendors offer “open” systems, based on how you interpret that word’s meaning? You can choose one, several, or “none of the above” and you can leave a comment as well.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Institute for Health Technology Transformation, or iHT2. The company offers events, research, Webinars, and resources, all described in its newsletter (sign up for a free subscription here.) Upcoming Health IT Summits are in Atlanta, Boston, Ford Lauderdale, Denver, Seattle, New York, Beverly Hills, and Austin. Speaker lineups are good enough that I may attend one myself. Research projects include healthcare analytics, big data, and process improvement. Their Webinar schedule is here. Thanks to iHT2 for supporting HIStalk.

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

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Ken Mackley (St. Joseph’s Area Health Services) joins Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (MN) as director of IT.

ED system downtime forced Memorial Hospital of South Bend (IN) to go on diversion for several hours on Thursday.

4-13-2013 2-32-40 PM

University of New Mexico Hospital (NM) will lay off 57 transcriptionists in outsourcing their work to Nuance.

4-13-2013 2-39-07 PM

In Australia, the government’s $1 billion eHealth system holds only 414 patient records nine months after its launch, with fewer than 1 percent of doctors being able to view records on it because they refuse to sign up for a new healthcare ID. The government is sending out teams to recruit patients to sign up, which requires patients to provide their insurance cards and driver’s license. Critics say the government is trying to boost the registration numbers to hide the project’s failure.

In England, an NHS trust admits that it not only accidentally overpaid 791 workers, but also hired debt collectors to try to get the money back from its own employees.


A class action lawsuit is filed against Florida-based Adventist Health System/Sunbelt alleging that the hospital operator’s failure to protect patient information allowed its ED employees to sell patient information to lawyers and chiropractors.

4-13-2013 2-12-05 PM

Google acquires Behavio, whose software harvests anonymous information from smart phone sensors such as location, speed, and the presence of nearby devices. Medical and disaster recovery applications are among its potential uses.

Weird News Andy suggests this weighty problem is waisting patients’ time. A survey finds that both patients and physicians trust the other less if they are overweight, with patients less likely to take advice from a fat doctor.

It’s more on the HIS-tory of Meditech this week from Vince.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 13, 2013 News 1 Comment

News 4/12/13

April 11, 2013 News 9 Comments

Top News

4-11-2013 7-09-59 PM

ONC’s proposed 2014 budget calls for $78 million in spending, up from $61 million in 2013. Staffing will increase from 89 to 109 FTEs. Also in the budget is $1 million in user fees that would be paid by EHR vendors.


Reader Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: MyChart. It’s nice to see that TPD’s post on MyChart signup generated a Readers Write from Anonymous along with a large number of reader comments. TPD’s view is MyChart is a good start for an online medical record, but much more needs to be done to add to maximum value for each patient using this option. For MyChart to be used, the patient must request a printed copy of the provider’s existing record. At the very end of the printed record you’ll find a unique starting code, which you will enter once you logon to MyChart. As for lab results, you’ll only get those on your record that the provider has interface installed for those other lab systems. What’s likeable is each medication listed on your record has a link to the National Institutes of Health’s NIH MedlinePlus site, which gives you access to the prescriptions purpose and side effects along with much more information you can’t find on your pharmacist’s prescription fact sheet.”



HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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Inga is taking the day off, so I’m sure we all wish her well in whatever interesting activities she has arranged. She mentioned earlier that her sixth anniversary with HIStalk is this week, so perhaps she is celebrating. Here’s to her.

We will be presenting some Webinars shortly and I need three hospital CIOs to provide presenter feedback for the first one. Real-time viewing isn’t required since we will have a recorded practice run of the Webinar to review. It will probably run around 40 minutes. Let me know if you can help. I’ll send an Amazon gift card as my thanks.

On the Jobs Board: Solution Sales Executive, Senior Program Manager, Senior Client Representative.

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Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor QPID Health Record Intelligence. QPID (Queriable Patient Inference Dossier) aggregates EHR data to support real-time clinician-directed queries, analytics, and reporting capabilities at the point of care. Fast queries are supported by caching and indexing the patient record, with structured and unstructured information parsed and tagged. Any number of rule sets (apps) can be used, with examples that include an EHR search portal, an ED patient summary dashboard, a GI conscious sedation intake system, coding optimization, bronchitis screening, OR diabetes alert, and automated determination of smoking status. I interviewed President and CEO Michael Doyle on the day of the company’s February 14 launch. Thanks to QPID for supporting HIStalk.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Cerner shares hit a 52-week high Thursday, closing at $95.54, up 30 percent in the past year. Above is the one-year share price chart of CERN (blue) vs. the Nasdaq (red).

Athenahealth files a patent infringement lawsuit against PM/EHR competitor CareCloud, claiming that the company violated athenahealth’s 2001 patent for claims processing rules. Several former employees of athenahealth now work for CareCloud. Athenahealth declined to comment on the lawsuit, but CareCloud CEO Albert Santalo provided us with this statement:“ To the best of our knowledge Carecloud is not infringing on Athenahealth’s 13-year-old outdated method and we won’t be making any additional comment at this time.”


Sales

Piedmont Healthcare (GA) will deploy Perceptive Software solutions to integrate data directly into its Epic EHR throughout five hospitals and 45 physician offices.

4-11-2013 9-30-25 PM

Hennepin County Medical Center (MN) continues its population health drive for HIV care with Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager.


People

4-11-2013 9-05-22 PM

Chris Coburn, executive director at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, will leave that organization to take an unnamed position with Partners HealthCare.

Michael Thompson (Mindray) joins Medstreaming as COO.


Announcements and Implementations

Vocera ships its 500,000th communication badge.

4-11-2013 7-57-27 PM

Tennessee-based Parental Health, which offers a care management platform for seniors, will raise $3 million via a Series B fundraising round, with the proceeds going toward the addition of up to 12 full-time employees in sales and marketing.

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Health Innovation Initiative, Heritage Provider Network, and The Advisory Board company will hold an April 16 discussion on the the use of data by providers, health plans, and states to address healthcare challenges. A big data challenge will be announced. Speakers include Janet Marchibroda (BPC); Senator Bill Frist, MD; Aneesh Chopra (The Advisory Board Company); Karen Ignani (AHIP); and James Weinstein, MD (Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System). The event will be streamed live.

Intuit Health announces that the seven millionth patient has registered for its health portal.

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Practice Fusion launches Patient Fusion, which allows patients to schedule online appointments via the Web with any of the free EHR company’s 27,000 physician users and access their health records online. Mobile versions will follow.

Impact Advisors expands its mergers and acquisitions services for the healthcare IT market.

MMRGlobal files a patent infringement complaint against Quest Diagnostics and its Gazelle personal health records system.

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Western Maryland Health System expands its use of Versus RTLS to include a mobile, location-aware call button for caregivers.


Government and Politics

ONC announces internally the hiring of Joe Bormel, MD, MPH (QuadraMed) as Director of Health Outcomes. He will focus on usability, clinical decision, support, and Meaningful Use and certification policy. We reported his hiring as a rumor as ONC medical officer on Tuesday, but did not list his title (“medical officer” in ONC is any physician employee). Bormel will report to Chief Medical Officer Jacob Reider, MD.

The VA requests $3.7 billion for its 2014 IT budget, a 10 percent increase. It includes $252 million for projects related to the VA-DoD shared EHR.


Technology

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Athenahealth will provide third-party developer access to its physician network by rolling out an programmer API, allowing creation of an ecosystem of apps that can use its anonymized medical histories, appointments, and billing information through its More Disruption Please program. 


Other

In the UK, a hospital suspends its children’s heart surgery program because of high mortality rates, only to find that poorly produced data that had been fed to its new computer system had produced a false alarm.

Weird News Andy calls this “clear thinking for fatheads.” Stanford researchers develop a method of rendering harvested brain tissue transparent by removing the fat in its cells, allowing them to view structures down to the individual cell and molecule level.


Sponsor Updates

4-11-2013 7-46-51 PM

  • Good Samaritan Hospital chooses Access and Perceptive Software to create electronic forms on demand.
  • Vicki Lucas, RNC, PhD, chief nursing officer of PeriGen, covered strategies to increase OB revenue at the World Congress Leadership Summit on The Business of Women’s Health Washington, DC on April 10.
  • UMC Health System (TX) goes live on Cerner CPOE with the assistance of HCI Group.
  • GetWellNetwork will serve as a patient engagement sponsor for The Academy Huron Institute’s 2013 program “Developing Innovative Value-Based Delivery and Payment Models.”
  • T-System signs an exclusive agreement with X32 Healthcare to offer Lean methodology for analytics and services with the ED.
  • Hurley Medical Center (MI) selects Ciber to implement its Infor Healthcare Suite.
  • Michele Hilton, GM of medical billing services for ADP AdvancedMD shares the top five challenges for hospitals to get paid.
  • Merge adds endpoint and adjudication management to its eClinical OS platform for end-to-end study support in a single platform.
  • Aprima Medical Software partners with ClearDATA for cloud hosting of its EHR/PM/RCM software and services.
  • e-MDs announces the free Kansas City User Group roadshow on May 2.
  • MedAssets honors veterans and humanitarians during the 2013 MedAssets Healthcare Business Summit in Las Vegas.
  • DrFirst receives the Surescripts 2012 White Coat of Quality Award for the third consecutive year.
  • Ingenious Med reaches the milestone of 25,000 charge capture users.
  • Levi, Ray & Shoup hosts a webinar April 16 and 18 on improving performance in an SAP environment.
  • CTO Charles Halfpenny of Halfpenny Technologies will present a master level session at the 18th Annual Executive War College on the value of lab data to health plans.
  • Walsh College (MI) renews its IT outsourcing contract with CareTech Solutions.
  • Confirmit awards McKesson its third ACE Award.
  • Beacon Partners is hosting a webinar April 19 focusing on five key issues between Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.
  • HealthCare Anytime CEO Brady Klick served on a patient engagement panel at an April 11 program sponsored by the Northern California HIMSS chapter.
  • Orion Health celebrates its 20-year anniversary, having surpassed $100 million in annual revenue, raised headcount my three to more than 750, and implement its solutions in more than 30 countries.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

Red Raider Alert: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center notifies patients of an information breach as a result of a billing error. Apparently patient statements were mailed to the wrong addresses.

Mr. H posted a reader question about job recommendations for new graduates to better understand the HIT environment. Depending on your degree and experience, I’d consider looking for a position as an implementation specialist for a hospital, health system, or large medical group. It’s a great way to learn what the industry looks like outside of the vendor space and once you’ve done a couple tours of duty with complicated practices or hospital departments, you’ll be extremely valuable in the job market. At least in my area, teams are often composed of people that are new to healthcare – one is managed by an engineer and includes not only healthcare veterans, but also a minister and several former retirees.

A recent article in American Medical News notes that volume, not quality, still determines most doctor pay. I would love to see payment reform that rewards not only quality, but customer service, personality, and the time spent with patients. Despite the hard edge sometimes portrayed in my writing, when it comes to actual patient care I tend to be much more empathetic than my peers. When I was in community practice, my patients appreciated my listening skills as well as my ability to partner with them and negotiate long-term outcomes rather than simply lecture. Why shouldn’t I be paid more for that level of service? You want to see true physician engagement? Figure out a way to pay primary care physicians so that they can afford to see 20-25 patients a day rather than 30-35. And figure out a fair way to measure Meaningful Use that isn’t “all or nothing.”

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Physician social media site Doximity gets my jeer of the week for its unreadable e-mail. It was so bad that I almost outed myself trying to screen shot it – the white rectangle is covering the black-on-black “insert recipient name here” field that I didn’t see until I pasted it over to send to Mr. H. Seriously, folks, do you really think anyone can read black on black or dark gray on black?

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Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 11, 2013 News 9 Comments

News 4/10/13

April 9, 2013 News 14 Comments

Top News

4-9-2013 10-40-32 AM

The HHS inspector general and CMS propose rules that would update and extend existing safe harbor exceptions and allow hospitals to continue subsidizing EMRs for affiliated physicians.


Reader Comments

From Wildcat Well: “Re: HIE. ONC announces an interest in a nationwide interoperable HIE. Is this not the same initiative as the CommonWell Health Alliance pilot? CommonWell will be a 501(C)(6), but regardless. Looks like a race of private vs. the government. Thoughts?”  

4-9-2013 7-33-51 PM

From Shodan the Barbarian MD: "Re: Shodan search engine. Guess you could easily find the IP address of a monitor, anesthesia machine, ventilator, or IV pump and change the settings. Scary with the virtually non-existent security of these devices.” A CNN article covers the Shodan search engine, a Google-like service that finds any device connected to the Internet such printers, webcams, routers, servers, security cameras, and even medical equipment. Many of those devices have no security protection at all, and many more have the manufacturer’s original password or an easily guessed replacement like “password1” or “1234”. An independent security consultant was able to run a car wash, turn off the cooling system of a hockey rink in Denmark, and access the control system of a French hydroelectric plant.

4-9-2013 7-43-59 PM

From Bob Loblow: “Re: QuadraMed. CMIO Joe Bormel, MD has left after 10 years and is now with ONC.” His LinkedIn profile still shows him as an independent consultant, having left QuadraMed in January 2013. Update: readers confirmed that Joe started as ONC’s medical officer on Monday, April 8.

From JM: “Re: healthcare IT resources. What would you recommend a recent graduate do to better understand the HIT environment? Are there specific resources, entry-level positions, or education to seek out?” This question comes up every few months and I always invite readers to provide advice.

From Marie: “Re: at-risk contracts. I am doing research for a master’s program. We hear about at-risk contracts between payers and providers, but why haven’t we seen a similar movement between HIT vendors and providers? Why aren’t providers demanding that vendors go at risk for the cost and quality results they promise? Why aren’t vendors offering it to create competitive advantage?” I can only say that you’d be crazy as a vendor to make a hospital your partner knowing they don’t have the focus and capability to deliver the 80 percent of an HIT project’s value that comes from how a system is used rather than the system itself. That would be like a hammer manufacturer going at risk that you’ll build something nice with their product and pay them if so. I’ve had experience writing at-risk contracts as a customer and either party could get royally screwed just because some idealistic metric (readmissions, medication errors, cost per case, etc.) went up or down over several years because of factors entirely unrelated to the new system. Perhaps you could look at more specific measures such as orders originating from an order set, accepted clinical warnings, or decreased turnaround time, but it’s hard to assign a dollar value to those. But I’ll let readers chime in and help Marie with her project.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small This week marks my sixth anniversary at HIStalk. Happily I still think it’s the best job in HIT. In fact, every once in awhile I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming and that I am not about to wake up in the middle of the night to catch a 6:00 a.m. flight for an EHR demo to a bunch of doctors and their transcriptionists(!) Thanks Mr. H for keeping it fun.

4-9-2013 7-45-43 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Xerox, and specifically its Healthcare Solutions business. The company’s provider offerings include system selection and implementation (Meaningful Use, EHR, ERP, revenue cycle, ICD-10), optimization (technology and infrastructure, extended business office, collections, compliance), and analytics (clinical surveillance, decision support, care management, case management, and benchmarking). The company has been serving providers for 25 years, has 1,500 hospital clients, works in 31 states, and does work for 19 of the top 20 health plans. Some of the major vendors supported are Epic, Cerner, GEHC, Siemens, Meditech, McKesson, Allscripts, Infor Lawson, and Kronos. Thanks to Xerox for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a video I found on YouTube that provides an overview of Xerox in healthcare.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

A Wisconsin newspaper’s article called “Life After Epic: From Epic ‘Grad’ to Entrepreneur” covers companies started by still-young former Epic employees, some of them working from a railroad car converted to co-working space. A local entrepreneur networking group estimates that 50 former Epic employees are working startups in the Madison area, most of them not healthcare related. A new entrepreneur says Epic’s one-year non-compete clause provides a good time to start a company.

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Allscripts CEO Paul Black was paid $9 million in his first 12 days on the job, according to the Chicago business paper. Most of that was in stock and bonuses. Glen Tullman, his fired predecessor, made $7.1 million in 2012.

4-9-2013 10-33-14 PM

iMDsoft opens a new office in Dusseldorf, Germany that will provide around-the-clock support to its customers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.


Sales

Presence Health (IL) will deploy the Medseek Predict CRM solution.

Mississippi Medicaid selects the MedeAnalytics Accountable Care Solution to warehouse claims and clinical data collected from various HIEs.

4-9-2013 10-34-01 PM

The Ocean Beach Hospital (WA) board of commissions approves the purchase of Healthland’s EHR.

Planned Systems International and its partner Mediware win a $5 million DoD contract to provide validation services for the Enterprise Blood Management System.


People

4-9-2013 6-04-33 PM

Versus promotes Kevin Jackson to VP of technology.

4-9-2013 6-11-33 PM

Terry McGeeney, MD (TransforMED) joins healthcare consulting firm BDC Advisors.

4-9-2013 6-10-41 PM

MedeAnalytics hires Ping Zhang (Epocrates) SVP of product innovation and CTO.

4-9-2013 9-39-25 PM

Paula Sanders is promoted to chair of Post & Schell’s national Health Care Practice Group of 30 attorneys, representing clients on health facility regulation including RAC audits, HIPAA, and fraud and abuse.


Announcements and Implementations

The Joint Commission issues a Sentinel Event Alert after 80 deaths between 2009-2012 are found to be related to medical device alarm fatigue.

Massachusetts General Hospital and American Well announce a telehealth pilot program that will initially focus on child and adolescent psychiatry, heart failure, and neurology.

Christus Health Systems and Legacy Community become the first providers in Houston to share patient data via the Medicity-powered Greater Houston Healthconnect HIE.

4-9-2013 1-50-38 PM

Western Maryland Health System implements the Visibility Staff Assist solution from Versus Technology.

The local paper profiles St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center (IA) and its recent transition to EHR. The paper notes that, “The Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, requires health care providers to move to electronic medical records by 2014” and that, “Epic is not interoperable with hospitals and clinics that use other forms of electronic medical record.”

CIC Advisory announces a Meaningful Use Stage 2 benchmarking tool that includes on-site interviews and reviews followed by a detailed scorecard for a flat fee of $2,500.

4-9-2013 6-53-07 PM

Technology recruiter Greythorn offers its first Healthcare IT Market Report. It covers salaries, benefits, consulting , bonuses, and part-time employment.

Spain’s first telemedicine service launches as La Palma and Tenerife Islands offer virtual consultations via Cisco HealthPresence.

MMRGlobal launches a service that will allow providers to offer and bill for telemedicine services via its personal health records system. It has also adding a genomics module. Both will integrate with the 4medica EHR beginning April 15.


Government and Politics

4-9-2013 10-38-15 PM

Nextgov reports a rumor that the DoD may be ditching its plans to upgrade its AHLTA EHR system and instead reconsider using the VA’s VistA, with two potential reasons cited by sources: (a) the rise of former VA deputy director Chuck Hagel to Secretary of Defense; and (b) the satirical comments on incompatible DoD-VA EHRs by Jon Stewart in his March 27 “Daily Show,” in which he blamed the DoD for stubbornly following its expensive AHTLA agenda to avoid giving up ground to the VA.


Technology

4-9-2013 10-39-35 PM

Johns Hopkins surgeon and patient safety expert Martin Makary, MD, MPH says in a JAMA editorial that hospitals should use the video equipment they already have in the OR to record every procedure to support quality improvement efforts. Patients overwhelmingly support having their procedures recorded, surveys have found, and the recordings could be used for training and for inclusion in the EHR to support less-detailed operative notes.

4-9-2013 7-18-09 PM

The Apache Software Foundation moves the Apache cTAKES  project to a Top-Level Project. The open source NLP system, originally developed by a Mayo Clinic team, extracts information from free-text EMR documentation.

Google announces that its Google Fiber gigabit-speed Internet service, originally rolled out in Kansas City with 100 times normal broadband speed, will be live in Austin, TX by the middle of next year.


Other

4-9-2013 11-22-30 AM

The big data revolution could reduce healthcare spending by an estimated $300 to $450 billion according to a McKinsey & Company report.

Paul Black blogs about his first 100 days as CEO of Allscripts and reflects on emerging themes, including the need to work closely with customers and patients to transform the industry; the need for population health management across venues for care; and the importance of coordination care tools.

The Wall Street Journal looks at the use of cloud-based storage for medical images, noting that more than half of the country’s health systems are expected to embrace cloud-based image storage over the next three years.

GE Healthcare, which cut 10 percent of its South Burlington, VT staff last year, lists 120,000 square feet of its office building there for lease. The company has 436 employees occupying 142,000 square feet.

4-9-2013 6-24-06 PM

Here’s the latest cartoon from Imprivata.

4-9-2013 8-20-57 PM

The New York Times covers “a parallel world of pseudo-academia” in which conferences and journals with prestigious-sounding names offer presenters and authors resume-padding exposure in return for cash. It says that universities need to be careful in reviewing resumes and predicts that people will be misled by poorly research publications that appear in credible-sounding online-only journals. A research librarian estimates that 4,000 “predatory open-access journals” are being published because it is “easy money, very little work, a low barrier to start-up.” One physician sent two articles in response to an e-mail from The Journal of Clinical Case Reports and was billed $2,900, with the journal running his articles even after he requested they be withdrawn. A Duke University School of Medicine professor agreed to serve on the board of one such publication and was surprised it solicited him to recruit authors and publish his own papers; when he asked to be removed from the board, the journal just left his name on its masthead anyway.

4-9-2013 8-25-10 PM

Jamie Stockton of Wells Fargo Securities provides updated MU attestation information for hospitals. Leading in EP attestations were Epic, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks, NextGen, GE Healthcare, McKesson, Cerner, Practice Fusion, Greenway, and athenahealth, which
as the top 10 vendors accounted for two-thirds of all attesting EPs.

4-9-2013 7-40-24 PM

Weird News Andy uncovers this case of texting while flying: the National Transportation Safety Board finds that a contributing factor in a 2011 medical helicopter accident was the pilot’s texting before and during the flight. The helicopter crashed into a field after running out of fuel, with NTSB’s conclusion being that the distracted pilot thought he had more fuel than was actually available. The pilot, a flight nurse, a paramedic, and a patient were killed in the crash. The pilot had sent or received 240 text messages during his shift the day the helicopter crashed, including seven during the flight itself as he made arrangements to have dinner with a co-worker.


Sponsor Updates

  • Billian’s HealthDATA offers a white paper on the top integrated marketing priorities in the age of healthcare reform.
  • AT&T generated $5.6 billion in revenue in 2012 from healthcare industry businesses implementing one of the company’s cloud and mobility-based solutions.
  • AirStrip ONE beats 15 competitors in a mobile health app contest. 
  • Brad Levin, GM of Visage Imaging, will participate in a SIIM 2013 session titled “Who do you turn to for help in developing solutions?” in the Dallas area June 6-9.
  • Wellsoft will participate in the 2013 Emergency Medicine Update and the e-Health 2013 conferences in Canada during the month of May.
  • Emdeon highlights the benefits of e-prescribing and discusses why providers need to embrace the technology.
  • Merge Healthcare and Integrated Data Storage will create a hosted private cloud offering for the Merge Honeycomb platform.
  • Cassie Sturdevant, a senior recruiter with Impact Advisors, joins a panel of other healthcare recruiting experts to discuss the healthcare job market.
  • Surgical Information Systems CTO Eric Nilsson shares his impressions on interoperability and the Intelligent Hospital Pavilion at last month’s HIMSS conference.
  • HealthEdge partners with CTG Health Solutions to deliver integration services for customers using the HealthRules Answers BI suite.
  • Cornerstone Advisors Group launches its new website.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 9, 2013 News 14 Comments

Monday Morning Update 4/8/13

April 6, 2013 News 11 Comments

From Antares: “Re: HIStalk. Ever since my very first week at Epic, HIStalk has been part of my morning information breakfast :)  I think you guys provide a forum that is critical to identifying cutting edge news, trends, and opinions.” Antares is the the co-founder and president of a new consulting firm. Nice comment — thanks.

4-6-2013 6-52-41 AM

A somewhat surprising one-third of respondents expect to leave their employer within the next year. New poll to your right, inspired by a reader’s comment: CommonWell Health Alliance is touting interoperability among its members. What grade would you give those members that offer hospital systems (McKesson, Cerner, and Allscripts) for the level of integration among their own hospital modules?

On the Jobs Board: Senior Program Manager – Caradigm Intelligence Platform, Solution Sales Executive, Senior Director Clinical Product Management.

4-6-2013 8-50-58 AM

McKesson Chairman, President, and CEO John Hammergren, along with the other longest-serving member of HP’s board, will resign after being pushed out by shareholders angry over a series of  botched HP acquisitions approved under their watch. Hammergren’s re-election was opposed by 46 percent of shareholder votes. HP Chairman Ray Lane will also step down, although he will remain on the board.

4-6-2013 9-30-51 AM

In the UK, the Cambridge University and Papworth NHS trust hospitals sign a contract to implement Epic and become the company’s first UK reference sites. The 10-year, $250 million contract goes to HP Enterprise Services to manage the eHospital project. Go-live is planned for October 2014. Epic beat Allscripts and Cerner last year because of Epic’s standardized and successful implementation methodology, although the trusts acknowledge that the always-tricky localization of the US product is something they will be watching closely.

Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health (IN) goes live over the weekend with Epic in its three hospitals, part of Franciscan Alliance’s $100 million project.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (NC) admits that some of the $50 million it lost in the half of its fiscal year was caused by its implementation of Epic. The hospital spent $13.3 million on Epic of an unannounced total project cost, but also cited an additional $8 million of expense due to “greater-than-anticipated impact on volumes and productivity” and another $27 million in lost margin because of productivity losses during implementation. OR cases were reduced 4.1 percent, with the time required for Epic training being one of the factors listed. Moody’s, the hospital’s bond rating agency, downgraded the hospital’s debt to A1 in March because of “the unexpected decline in financial performance through the first half of fiscal 2013, largely due to the installation of a new information technology platform (Epic).” The hospital’s CFO issued a statement to the ratings downgrade saying that Moody’s has an overall negative outlook for non-for-profit health systems, but acknowledged the financial hit that its Epic implementation has caused.

In Canada, a high-profile doctor decides to leave the province because quality is declining, wait times are increasing, and Newfoundland and Labrador are among few provinces that does not provide an EMR, which she says is “vitally important.” The doctor has taken a hospital job.

Axial Exchange launches the Patient Engagement Index, which grades hospitals on their deployment of personal health technologies, social media usage, and patient satisfaction results from CMS’s HCAHPS survey.

CEOs surveyed by Gartner name 21 organizations as the most admired for using IT as a competitive advantage, among them Cleveland Clinic, HCA, Intermountain Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and Mayo Clinic. The most important indicator, the CEOs said, is providing customer-facing IT.

Philadelphia-based healthcare accelerator DreamIt Health announces its inaugural class of 10 companies that will start four-month boot camp on Monday. They are:

  • AirCare (telenursing and readmission prevention)
  • Biomeme (infectious disease diagnosis and tracking)
  • Fitly (game-based child obesity motivation)
  • Grand Round Table (matching EMR information against other cases for diagnosis)
  • Medlio (virtual health insurance card)
  • OnShift (clinician communication)
  • Osmosis (mobile clinician learning)
  • MemberRx (drug selection based on EMR information)
  • SpeSo Health (online second opinions for diagnosis)
  • Stat (patient transport)

4-6-2013 10-23-18 AM

Another health accelerator launches, with Louisville, KY-based XLerateHealth opening for business and offering a 10-week mentoring program. Applications for the August class will be accepted through May 17.

PDR Network will present the third annual PharmEHR Summit on Wednesday, April 17 in Philadelphia. The invitation-only meeting of leaders from pharma and EHR vendors will feature panels on EHR leadership, patient engagement, the Wall Street view of the EHR industry, an FDA presentation on EHRs, and several other sessions.

A New Jersey court rules that Warren Hospital can subpoena the records of Internet service providers in trying to identify unknown hackers who accessed the hospital’s e-mail system and sent defamatory messages to all employees in 2010.

4-6-2013 10-34-46 AM

Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission will decide this week whether to allow the CRISP HIE  to use its confidential patient-level data to support CRISP’s population health management functions.

In Tanzania, the text messaging service of Parents Love Me, a national healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood program, reaches 100,000 subscribers in 15 weeks, with 4 million text messages delivered since it was launched in late November 2012.

An editorial by the CIO of a hospital in Spain urges NHS to continue its quest to go paperless. He says his own all-digital Cerner hospital viewed technology as the essential tool for improving quality and affordability of care. His tips: create the culture for change, get clinicians involved so they can understand the patient benefits, keep it simple, and focus on how training is delivered. His hospital freed up 8,000 physician and nurse hours annually and reduced length of stay by 10 percent.

This story amused Inga, who added a WNA-like title of, “Maybe she was planning to claim a charitable donation.” An Oregon woman is indicted for dumping the clothes of her deceased 89-year-old mother in a Goodwill store dumpster and also including her mother’s body.

More from Vince this week on the HIS-tory of Meditech.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 6, 2013 News 11 Comments

News 4/5/13

April 4, 2013 News 16 Comments

Top News

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At this week’s HIT Policy Committee meeting, members discussed the CommonWell Health Alliance and its implications for the industry. Committee member Paul Egerman outlined the Alliance’s goals, which focus on providing a nationwide data exchange program that is paid for by participating vendors. Judy Faulkner, who also serves on the committee, reiterated that Epic was not initially invited to participate in the Alliance and questioned whether the group would favor the founding companies and if it planned to sell de-identified data. Other members expressed concerns that Alliance efforts may inhibit other regional and national HIE initiatives.


Reader Comments

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From The PACS Designer: “Re: patient engagement. TPD and spouse had our first experience this week with Epic’s MyChart as we were encouraged by our provider, Yale New Haven Health System, to create our online medical record. As more of us seek treatment, you can expect to be coaxed into having an online medical record so other future providers can verify your past medical history so as to provide high quality services to their patients. MyChart is on TPD’s List of iPhone Apps.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

A few highlights from HIStalk Practice  from the last week: Vitera launches an iPad app for Intergy EHR. The AAP recommends pediatricians adopt e-prescribing systems with pediatric functionality. Forty percent of physicians say they are burned-out. Legal experts recommend that physicians pay closer attention to ADA requirements when adopting computerized tools. More physicians are suing former patients and their families over negative ratings and reviews posted on the Internet. Dr. Gregg explains the correlation between scrambled eggs and MU, HIT, and HITECH. NextGen Healthcare’s SVP and Ambulatory Division Manager Michael Lovett discusses his company, the industry, the competition, and the future. And, one last plea: please take a moment to complete our annual HIStalk Practice reader survey. Thanks for reading.


Sales

Texas Health Services Authority selects InterSystems to develop and implement its HIE infrastructure based on the HealthShare platform.

Inland Empire Health Plan will deploy MedHOK’s platform for managing patient populations.

The NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute awards SAIC a prime position on an IT support services contract worth up to $184 million over five years.


People

4-4-2013 11-35-46 AM

Healthcare consulting firm Qualidigm names Timothy M. Elwell (Misys Open Source Solutions) as CEO, replacing the retiring Marcia Petrillo.

SAIC promotes Robert Logan from director of engineering for IT services to CIO. Logan will also serve as CIO for Leidos, SAIC’s planned spinoff company that will provide national security, health, and engineering solutions

Agilex hires former VA CIO Roger W. Baker as its chief strategy officer.

4-4-2013 1-50-57 PM  image

Besler Consulting hires Maria Miranda (Multiplan) as director of reimbursement services and Arthur Baxter (Hayes Management Consulting) as RVP of sales..


Announcements and Implementations

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Summerville Medical Center (SC) completes a one-year pilot program with GE Healthcare for its hand-washing monitoring technology. The program monitors data from employee badges and soap and hand sanitizer stations and has been recording several thousand hand-washing events per day.

Austria’s Landeskrankenhaus Feldkirch goes live with iMDsoft’s MetaVision in its ICU.


Government and Politics

ONC awards the NY eHealth Collaborative a cooperative agreement to participate in the Exemplar HIE Governance Program on behalf of the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup.

ONC launches the State Meaningful Use Acceleration Challenge 2.0, which will encourage states to set aggressive goals on EHR adoption and meeting MU criteria.


Other

Intermountain Health (UT) will pay the federal government $25.5 million after admitting it illegally compensated more than 200 of its referring physicians for more than 10 years. The health system reported the violations in 2009 following a review of employment contracts and lease agreements among its hospitals and doctors.

Bay County (FL) commissioners vote to approve $360,000 in incentives to to keep iSirona’s operations in Panama City. The company will consolidate its operations, which will either created 300 full-time jobs to Panama City or lose 117 jobs if it chooses another of te three locations it is considering.


Sponsor Updates

  • PeriGen highlights some of its Q1 2013 achievements, which included $6.4 million in funding, the addition of Thomas J. Garite, MD as chief clinical officer, NIH validation of its PeriCALM Patterns software, and a record number of bookings.
  • Holon Solutions participates in the TORCH Annual Conference in Dallas April 17-19.
  • Orion Health offers a white paper on demystifying direct messaging.
  • Lifepoint Informatics participates in the Clinical Laboratory Management Association’s annual KnowledgeLab conference April 7-10 in Orlando.
  • MedAssets recognizes University Health System with its 2012 MedAssets President’s Award for saving more than $13 million and realizing $14 million in cash flow improvement.
  • McKesson executives will share perspectives on technology innovation and strategic network design and management at next week’s World Health Care Congress in National Harbor, MD.
  • Medseek continues its discussion of why mobile is a must for healthcare organizations.
  • A Ping Identity survey of security professionals finds that organizations are embracing BYOD and the culture of work anywhere/anytime.
  • Ben Marrone, principal advisor with Impact Advisors, offers insights into balancing improved access with patient privacy concerns.


EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

CMS is hosting calls for groups considering participation in Medicare’s 2014 Accountable Care Organization program. Calls will be held on April 9 and April 23 and registration will close when space is full.

Practices using web tools, tablets, and kiosks for patient data entry, online bill pay, and other functions may want to consider whether those media are accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department of Justice is working on regulations for accessibility of Web-based content, which should be out later this year.

A Cochrane Library review shows that computer-based tools to help diabetes patients manage their condition have a small impact on blood glucose control. There was no documented impact on weight loss, depression, or other quality of life metrics. Those using mobile phones did slightly better than other devices.

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My Twitter-induced laugh of the day was “How People Sit in Meetings and What it Really Means.” Which style are you?

From Easter Bunny: “Re: EMR pimp. Did you hear Dan Marino is now pimping an EMR because IF ONLY his orthopedists had access to his complete medical records, he wouldn’t have been the greatest quarterback to never win a championship. Or, is he just repeating his old Isotoner gloves experience of being a shill for an underwhelming product or industry?” I do love some of the comments in the press release:

  • “Surgeons often see injuries they haven’t seen before…” Not according to my orthopods, who claim they see the same thing over and over and therefore should be able to document any visit in one click or less.
  • “Since no two orthopedic surgeons practice the same way…” Have they never heard of evidence-based care?

Not surprisingly, Marino is not only a spokesperson, but also an investor.

March 30 was Doctors’ Day. Although the AMA sent me an e-mail as did a locum tenens agency I worked for three years ago, there were no happy words from my hospital. Happy belated Doctors’ Day to all.

drjayne


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 4, 2013 News 16 Comments

News 4/3/13

April 2, 2013 News 10 Comments

Top News

4-2-2013 10-52-51 PM

Nuance shares jumped 8 percent Tuesday after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed that he holds a 9.3 percent stake in the company, with speculation that Icahn’s history of forcing underperforming companies to change may mean that he will seek to break Nuance into separate businesses. Above is the one-year share price (blue) compared to the Nasdaq (red).


Reader Comments

4-2-2013 10-53-53 PM

From Sequester: “Re: Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Sequester and Medicaid expansion hits the budget.” VUMC implements a hiring freeze for non-patient care positions, urges employees to control food and travel costs, stops vacation accruals through June 30, cancels the scheduled July 1 merit increases, and eliminate this year’s incentive bonuses. They need to make up a $20 million shortfall by June 30  and then find $50 million in ongoing annual savings.

From Hodor: “Re: HIMSS Analytics. We received an open records request stating we have to supply a copy of the contract with our EHR vendor as well as proposals from all bidders. This just seems wrong to me. A contract negotiated in good faith is now part of open records. Once we pick a vendor, we work at making it a partnership and this goes against all of that. I am seriously considering dropping my HIMSS membership.” Sunshine laws require that public organizations make their agreements available and I think hospitals are treated no differently than any other public agency or charity even though they often don’t think of themselves that way.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

March easily set the record for one-month HIStalk readership with 156,337 visits, 266,440 page views, and 30, 824 unique readers. The needle pegged during HIMSS week with around 11,000 visits each day on Monday and Tuesday of that week.



Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

4-2-2013 10-55-20 PM

Emdeon announces its intention to re-price its existing senior secured credit facilities to benefit from current market interest rates.

4-2-2013 10-56-00 PM

Merge Healthcare announces a tender offer for all of the $252 million in 11.75 percent Senior Secured Notes that are due in 2015, hoping to refinance at a lower rate.

4-2-2013 10-56-35 PM

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper joins TriZetto Chairman and CEO Trace Devanny in the cutting the ribbon for the company’s new headquarter in Douglas County, CO.


Sales

The Delaware Health Information Network will implement Audacious Inquiry’s Encounter Notification Service to alert physicians of patient admissions and discharges.

4-2-2013 3-41-38 PM

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center (CT) signs a five-year contract extension for Streamline Health’s AccessAnyWare and FolderView suites and adds integration with Epic.

Rocky Mountain Health Plans (CO) contracts with HealthSparq for self-service websites for its insurance members.


People

4-2-2013 3-42-37 PM

NaviNet names Daniel Timblin (BCBS TN) CFO.

4-2-2013 8-19-38 AM

Health Evolution Partners promotes David A. Smith (PSS World Medical) from senior operating partner to general partner of the firm’s Growth Buyout Fund.

4-2-2013 1-24-01 PM

RazorInsights hires Karl Kiss (Siemens) as VP of sales and marketing.

4-2-2013 1-28-18 PM

Carol Zierhoffer (Xerox) joins the MedAssets board of directors as head of the IT committee.

4-2-2013 2-50-14 PM

MedHOK appoints Lisa Slattery (Health First) chief quality and compliance officer.

4-2-2013 3-02-04 PM

Availity names Karin J. Lindgren (Reed Group Ltd.) SVP of legal and regulatory affairs and general counsel.

4-2-2013 7-08-18 PM

Edifecs hires Sam Muppalla (McKesson Health Solutions – above) as SVP of products and strategy, Vik Anantha (McKesson Health Solutions) as VP of financial management solutions, and Prabhu Ram (GE Healthcare) as VP of clinical solutions.

4-2-2013 7-38-19 PM

Mark Snow (RevSpring) is named SVP of business development and marketing of revenue cycle outsourcing vendor GeBBS Healthcare Solutions.

4-2-2013 8-45-45 PM

Stephen Schuckenbrock (Dell) is named president and CEO of Accretive Health, replacing Mary Tolan, who will move to board chair.


Announcements and Implementations

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institutes names 84 appointees to its first four advisory panels.

4-2-2013 3-46-35 PM

Weirton Medical Center (WV) goes live on its $30 million Siemens Soarian EHR and Siemens MobileMD HIE platform.

HL7 makes its standards and select intellectual property available at no charge under licensing terms. The organization is also revising its membership model to include an expansion of free or discounted education programs and training, a help desk, and enhanced testing of individual expertise in HL7 development, training, and implementation.

4-2-2013 10-58-34 PM

Patient Privacy Rights publishes its Privacy Trust Framework, a set of 75 criteria for measuring how well IT systems protect data privacy and patient control.

4-2-2013 6-08-42 PM

ZirMed launches Patient Estimation, a Web-based solution to determine a patient’s financial responsibility prior to providing care or service.


Government and Politics

The Missouri Senate approves legislation requiring insurance companies to cover telemedicine services if the same services are covered for face-to-face doctor visits.

4-2-2013 3-49-48 PM

Rep. Jim Dermott (D-WA) asks HHS to consider renewing its safe harbor provision that allows hospitals to subsidize EHR technology for its affiliated physicians under the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. The provision is set to expire at the end of 2013.

Rep. Diane Lynn Black (R-TN) proposes legislation that would exempt solo physicians from MU penalties based on lack of capital and resources, as well as exempt physicians nearing retirement age. Other provisions would expand the definition of an Eligible Provider to include rural health providers and to allow certain providers to participate in specialty registries in lieu of reporting on quality measures.

4-2-2013 3-15-43 PM

CMS has paid $12.7 billion in MU payments through the end of February.

A petition urges the White House to force the Department of Defense to use the VA’s VistA system to save taxpayer dollars and ensure continuity of care of veterans.


Other

An article in The Wall Street Journal covers saving the cost of repeated image scans by sharing them. Mentioned is lifeIMAGE, which offers radiology practice connections to the federal funded Image Share platform

4-2-2013 8-00-22 PM

A fun April 1 phony EHR demo from pedatrics EMR vendor PCC includes the often-requested One-Click Charting enhancement as well as exporting patient information directly to Facebook and Twitter.

4-2-2013 8-02-11 PM

Epic sets the standard for self-parody in its April Fool’s home page makeover. The lead story claims the company will release its secret Kool-Aid formula to meet ONC transparency guidelines  and also apparently pokes fun at CommonWell in saying that other vendors are working on their own versions that promise to be more interoperable. It also announces Pair Everywhere, which will use shared personal information (entered by SmartText, of course) and ICD-10 codes to identify “that perfect someone who also likes long walks on the beach, dancing in the rain, and monitoring readmission rates for at-risk heart attack patients.” The short blurb says MU3 will require providers to wear bow ties instead of traditional ones as an infection control standard, while my favorite says the company will change its name from Epic to EPIC since “no one gets it right anyway.”

Speaking of Epic, a local article highlights the companies being launched in the area by former Epic employees, which have created 400 jobs in the Madison area. Profiled are Nordic Consulting, Vonlay, BlueTree Network, CenterX, and Moxe Health. Epic’s headcount is now at 6,400, the article says, up 1,000 from a year ago.

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark weighs in on the VA’s disability claims backlog in a Huffington Post blog post. He seems sincere, but not particularly insightful.

A Medical College of Wisconsin cancer researcher is charged with stealing another doctor’s drug research, sending it off to China, and then trying to delete data from the college’s computer system to avoid detection. The researcher had been disciplined previously for storing lab data on his own computer. He’s been charged with economic espionage.


Sponsor Updates

4-2-2013 7-11-31 PM

  • Carl Fleming of Impact Advisors will shave off his hair and beard at the company’s annual meeting on May 1, hoping to raise $3,000 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. He’s at $1,290 in donations so far.

4-2-2013 7-17-18 PM

  • ESD celebrates its 23rd year in business this week with photos and a company history.
  • MedAptus suggests ways to survive Medicare cuts from the sequester.
  • Accent on Integration will participate in the International MUSE Conference May 28 in National Harbor, MD.
  • Rebecca Saffert, product manager with Optum Health, hosts an April 25 Webinar on reducing readmissions through transitional case management.
  • Iatric Systems offers a two-part guide on how to use technology to prepare and meet the deadlines for MU 2014.
  • Gates Hospitalists (MO) secures PQRS incentive funds using Ingenious Med’s claim-based submission registry.
  • Levi, Ray & Shoup is sponsoring the CIO Summit in Newport Beach, CA April 8-10.
  • Crain’s Chicago Business names Deloitte the 12th best place to work in Chicago.
  • Kareo answers the top five questions from a recent Webinar on practice marketing.
  • SIS offers four tips to improving coordinated care in the OR.
  • First Databank announces its 2013 FDB Customer Seminar November 6-8 in North Miami Beach.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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April 2, 2013 News 10 Comments

Monday Morning Update 4/1/13

March 30, 2013 Headlines 8 Comments

From DailyShowFan: “Re: Daily Show. Did anyone see the 3/27 segment where Jon Stewart, a steady advocate for veterans’ rights, takes on the interoperability challenge with AHLTA (DoD) and VistA (VA)? Sad reality, but it’s good to see him bringing this specific healthcare IT issue to wider attention.”

3-30-2013 4-57-38 PM

From KB: “Re: St. Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT. Finally pulled the trigger to put down their awful, botched [vendor name omitted] LIS after being live only eight months. They just signed a $1million+ contract for Sunquest.” Unverified.

3-30-2013 2-43-19 PM

From The PACS Designer “Re: Qubole. A next-generation cloud service focusing on building a new cloud data platform is Qubole. Their solutions use Hadoop, Hive, and Pig software to solve Big Data issues for cloud services.”

3-30-2013 2-22-11 PM

Half of readers have contacted their primary care provider via e-mail or secure messaging. New poll to your right: do you expect to stop working for your current employer in the next 12 months?

3-30-2013 3-43-31 PM

Meditech specialist Park Place International leases space in Worcester, MA for what will apparently become the company’s US headquarters, logically positioned near Meditech.

3-30-2013 4-23-01 PM

ONC seeks public input as it updates the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, allowing reading and adding comments for 10 topics related to consumer e-Health

In the UK, Royal Derby Hospital implements an electronic MAR after an inquest determines that a contributing factor to the fall-related death of an 89-year-old patient was three missed doses of enoxaparin.

A Mayo Clinic study finds that tablet computers can be used to analyze EEG results outside the hospital or clinic.

A New York Times article questions whether hospitals should be held financially responsible for managing readmissions by, as it says, “managing the personal lives of patients once they are released” instead of focusing on other ways to improve care. Experts drily note hospitals with high mortality rates would appear to be more successful in managing health since dead patients can’t be readmitted. A health policy expert says readmission metrics are convenient, but not accurate.

3-30-2013 4-55-00 PM

Keokuk Area Hospital (IA) goes live on CPSI.

Medseek’s Client Congress will be held in Austin, TX April 15-17.

3-30-2013 4-33-12 PM

A former Apple employee recounts in a story called “2 Letters from Steve” the touching story of e-mailing Steve Jobs in 2010 to ask if he could take an iPad, which had not yet been released and thus was highly secured, to show a terminally ill friend who was not expected to live out the week. He received the above response three minutes later.

Vince continues with the HIS-tory of Meditech this week.



Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 30, 2013 Headlines 8 Comments

News 3/29/13

March 28, 2013 News 7 Comments

Top News

3-28-2013 10-09-06 PM

Caradigm will integrate Orion’s HIE solution with its Caradigm Intelligence Platform (CIP, formerly Amalga) and resell the Orion product. Orion will resell and provide services for CIP and Caradigm’s identity and access management solutions in New Zealand, Australia, and certain Asian countries. Orion will also develop decision support, population health, and quality improvement for CIP and promote CIP to its HIE prospects and customers. Caradigm has also decided not to commercialize the Qualibria knowledge solution product and will instead incorporate it into CIP, which will result in elimination and reassignment of an unspecified number of employee positions in product planning and engineering operations. The Salt Lake City newspaper says 70 percent of the company’s Utah employees, about 40 to 50 people, were laid off Wednesday.


Reader Comments

3-28-2013 10-10-32 PM

From Jasmine Gee: “Re: athenahealth’s attestation numbers. To answer readers’ doubts about how many of our Medicare Part B physicians using athenaClinicals are participating in MU, the answer is about 70 percent. That’s over 5,000 total Medicare Part B physicians. The remaining 30 percent are Medicare Part B physicians who bill so few Medicare claims that their incentive check would be tiny, so they’ve declined to pursue Medicare MU. Remember: the maximum Medicare MU incentive payment is 75 percent of billed Part B charges for the program year, with a cap based on when you start.” Jasmine is the product marketing director for athenaclinicals and was responding to recent comments from readers questioning the legitimacy of athenahealth’s claim that 96 percent of its participating providers have successfully attested for MU.

3-28-2013 10-11-45 PM

From ForEclipsii: “Re: delayed go-live at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. I believe that the application in question is actually the brand-new Sunrise Financial Manager which rolled out a few months ago. People working on it were told to drop everything and work on a version for Australia.” Unverified, but that makes sense based on the newspaper article, the mention of billing issues, and the earlier Allscripts contract.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small We opened a HIStalk Practice reader survey, which is different than the HIStalk survey we ran a couple of weeks ago. If you are a HIStalk Practice reader (and you should be!) please take 60 seconds to give us your input. Thanks.

inga_small Some of the HIStalk Practice goodies from the last week include: hospital-owned physician practices in Kentucky are losing as much as $100,000 per year per doctor. The Wall Street Journal examines patient-physician e-mail communications. The NCQA extends its PCMH recognition program to specialty physicians. The average turnover for physicians in 2012 was 6.8 percent, compared to 11.5 percent for PAs and NPs. Michael Brozino, CEO of simplifyMD, discusses his company, its technology, and the state of the EMR industry. DrFirst President G. Cameron Deemer shares insights on e-prescribing, EMR vendor consolidation, and the impact of government incentive programs. Take a moment and click on an ad or two – one of our sponsors may have a product or service that makes your life better. Thanks for reading.

On the Jobs Board: Senior Director Clinical Project Management, Product Manager, VP of Sales and Channel Development.

I’m looking for someone who can help produce Webinars and perhaps do some other paid part-time work. Industry experience would be nice but probably isn’t essential, although excellent writing, speaking, marketing, and organizational skills are. E-mail me.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-28-2013 7-47-11 PM

ReadyDock will receive $150,000 in pre-seed funding from Connecticut Innovations to continue development and marketing of its devices for disinfecting, charging,and storing computer tablets.

3-28-2013 9-08-33 PM

Bankrupt Raleigh, NC-based EMR vendor E-Cast, which had annual revenue of $4 million as late as 2006, is winding down after the business is sold to Global Record Systems LLC for $100,000.


Sales

3-28-2013 10-14-59 PM

Safeway will roll out the SoloHealth Station kiosk to 700 of its stores, giving customers access to free health screenings and personalized assessments.

Kettering Health Network extends its relationship with MedAssets for its revenue cycle management and workflow services.

Philips earns a fourth-year option worth $77 million to provide patient monitoring systems and training to the Department of Defense.

3-28-2013 10-16-16 PM

Lahey Health (NH) announces officially that it has signed with Epic, which will apparently replace Allscripts in both its hospitals and practices.


People

3-28-2013 6-40-34 PM

MEDHOST hires Barbara Bryan (Bryan Advisory Group/Eclipsys) as VP of consulting.

3-28-2013 11-34-52 AM

David Joyner (Blue Shield of California) joins Hill Physicians Group (CA) as COO, replacing the recently promoted CEO Darryl Cardoza.

3-28-2013 7-21-23 PM

Mobile Heartbeat names Jamie Brasseal (Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences) as VP of its western region.


Announcements and Implementations

Drchrono will incorporate digitized patient education material developed by Mayo Clinic into its EHR.

Five healthcare organizations will participate in the pilot phase of Tennessee’s Health eShare Direct Project, spearheaded by the Tennessee REC.

3-28-2013 10-17-51 PM

Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario implements Upopolis, a social networking tool for children receiving care in hospitals that is powered by TELUS Health.

Vibra Healthcare completes the first phase of deployment of PatientKeeper NoteWriter electronic documentation software across four of its long term acute care hospitals.

Cerner will integrate print spooling software from Plus Technologies into Millennium to streamline print operations.

ACS MediHealth will work with Troy Group to develop prescription printing solutions for Meditech.


Government and Politics

3-28-2013 12-17-15 PM

ONC announces Planning Room, a Website launched in collaboration with Cornell University to allow public input on the federal HIT strategic plan.

Two North Carolina state senators introduce a bill that would require hospitals to post on the state’s HIE their pricing for common procedures and their typical reimbursements from health plans.


Other

3-28-2013 10-19-06 PM

An NPR article covers the massive increase in the number of Americans who are receiving government disability payments for often questionable reasons such as unverifiable back pain or mental illness, with 14 million citizens now being mailed a monthly federal check without even being counted among the unemployed. The article concludes that disability “has become a de facto welfare program for people without a lot of education or job skills,” with fewer than 1 percent of recipients from early 2011 having returned to the workforce.

3-28-2013 10-20-04 PM

CNN profiles St. Louis-based Advanced ICU Care, which offers tele-ICU services.

A Reuters article finds that Wolters Kluwer is able to make good profits in healthcare because its medical references are moving from printed to electronic form, with 100 medical journals offered as iPad apps. The company says demand is increasing because apps allow teaching procedures by video, which also allows the company to sell more targeted advertising.

Studies published in JAMA find that not only has a mandatory reduction in medical resident working hours failed to improve their depression rates or sleep patterns, it has also been associated with an increase of medical errors of up to 20 percent. One possible explanation is the unintended consequence of hospitals expecting their residents get the same work done in less time.

In Canada, an Alberta ED doctor is suspended for looking up the electronic medical records of patients she wasn’t treating. She was caught when a patient asked for a copy of his access log and found that nine doctors, none of whom were treating him, had looked at his files. The hospital determined that the ED doctor was using workstations that her colleagues had left logged on.

The New York Times says radiology residents are beginning to realize that the heyday of big money for minimal work is over due to Medicare cuts, technology-driven competition, teleradiology, and demands to move public money from specialties to primary care. Financially motivated medical students pursing the high-paying, procedure-based ROAD specialties (radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, and dermatology) are all seeing average incomes dropping steeply with the exception of the less Medicare-dependent dermatology.

inga_small The NHS pays for a woman’s $7,260 breast implant operation after convincing doctors that her 32A chest size had put her in a state of emotional distress that could be alleviated only by an upgrade to 36DDs. The mother of two now intends to leave her children with her parents, move to London, and pursue a modeling career. She referred to TV star Katie Price in her statement: “I want the world to see the new me and want money and fame just like Katie. I can’t thank the NHS enough for giving them to me.” I can’t claim emotional distress, but perhaps I should consider moving to the UK so I could be a more successful anonymous blogger.

Weird News Andy says “some might call it murder.” A doctor in Brazil is charged with seven murders and is suspected of hundreds more as a hospital’s ICU team routinely freed up beds by administering muscle relaxants to patients and then turning off their oxygen supply. Prosecutors released the doctor’s wiretapped telephone conversations that included, “"I want to clear the intensive care unit. It’s making me itch. Unfortunately, our mission is to be go-betweens on the springboard to the next life.” WNA is also curious who approved a patient’s breast enlargement procedure when 1,200 people have starved to death in NHS hospitals “because nurses are to busy to feed patients.”

3-28-2013 8-28-32 PM

It’s like the postmortem version of fake Facebook friends: a UK company offers rent-a-mourners to families who want the funerals of their loved ones to be better attended or to “increase perceived popularity.” Actors, who are billed at $68 for a two-hour funeral or wake, are briefed about the deceased and trained to chat convincingly with real family and friends.


Sponsor Updates

  • Minnesota Public Radio profiles Intelligent Insites and how its real-time operational intelligence software will be used in 152 VA hospitals.
  • Regions Hospital (MN) reports that its use of Besler Consulting’s BVerified Transfer DRG and IME tools have resulted in significant revenue recoveries.
  • The LDM Group discusses the rapid growth rate of e-prescribing across healthcare.
  • API Healthcare’s President and CEO J.P. Fingado shares tips on increasing operational effectiveness with the healthcare workforce information exchange in an April 2 Webinar. 
  • The Albuquerque Journal spotlights Seamless Medical Systems and its SNAP iPad app for capturing patient data.
  • Eric Venn-Watson MD, AirStrip’s VP of clinical transformation, discusses how private healthcare could benefit from the US military’s cutting-edge health technologies.
  • Gary Palgon, VP of healthcare solutions for Liaison Healthcare Informatics, discusses how data integration can help organizations reduce readmission rates.
  • eClinicalWorks opens a website for its 2013 National Users Conference in San Antonio October 11-14.
  • Frost & Sullivan publishes a white paper on the impact of ClinicalKey, Elsevier’s clinical insight engine.
  • Impact Advisors Principal Laura Kreofsky discusses the privacy and security risks of social medicine and Senior Advisor Ryan Ulteg offers insight into the financial implications of ICD-10 implementations for physicians.
  • ADP AdvancedMD launches a website that provides a timeline for practices as they prepare for the ICD-10 transition.
  • Access chooses CoSentry as its cloud and data center services provider.

EPtalk  by Dr. Jayne

I didn’t have a lot of time to search for newsy tidbits this week because I was heads-down in CMS FAQs. As usual with government programs, now that money is flowing, audits have been introduced to try to recoup any inappropriate payments. My hospital is very concerned by the answers to the “Will there be audits” question, so I thought I’d share the highlights:

  • Yes, there will be audits.
  • You will need to have scads of documentation and it needs to be retained for six years.
  • Contractors will be involved in auditing. If you already have post-traumatic stress disorder from heavy-handed RAC audits, I feel for you. They’re leaving the door wide open for abuse: “The level of the audit review may depend on a number of factors, and it is not possible to include an all-inclusive list of supporting documents.”
  • Audit requests will come via e-mail from a CMS address. The e-mail used when registering for the EHR Incentive Program will be used for the initial request. If you put your physician’s e-mail address in the box, make sure she or he knows to be on the lookout for this and check your spam filters. Further communication will be through a secure communication process.
  • You need to maintain documentation that supports the values you used for CQMs and payment calculations.
  • Individual patient records may be requested for review.
  • On-site reviews at the practice or hospital, including a demonstration of the EHR system, may be requested. For those of you gaming the system by turning on features just for your attestation period, this could come back at you unless you can re-create exactly the way you were configured at the time of attestation.
  • Separate audit processes apply for Medicaid.

One of my CMIO colleagues received a hospital request in the fall. It was a spreadsheet that seemed pretty simple, but ended up requiring a ridiculous amount of data. She shared it with me confidentially. I loved the request that the reports include the EHR vendor’s logo to “prove” that it came from the EHR. If people are going to be fraudulent, I think they would be smart enough to dummy that up.

Despite clearly worded responses, the auditors didn’t understand the hospital’s answers or the math behind the calculations. They rejected spreadsheet data and insisted on screenshots from the application, or alternatively screenshots that showed a user exporting the data to spreadsheet. Again, do they not think screenshots are easy to fake? Maybe the hospital needs to film the user running the report and post it on YouTube for the auditor’s viewing pleasure.

From her recount, the auditors had all the power, and even having the vendor step in to provide supporting documentation didn’t help. MU is all or none – if there is a single discrepancy, you have to return all the money. It’s the equivalent taking a class and being expected to score 100 percent on every quiz, paper, and exam, including the final.

I hope CMS understands a simple principle about perfection that we learned in medical school — it doesn’t matter if all the lab numbers look great but the patient is dead.

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Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 28, 2013 News 7 Comments

HIStalk Reader Survey Results 2013

March 27, 2013 News 4 Comments

I survey readers every year right after the HIMSS conference. I use the information I receive to plan what I want to do with HIStalk for the next year. I always share those results and indicate which ideas I will implement. I should mention that the most common suggestion by far was “don’t change anything.”

I appreciate all the responses and the nice comments left along with them.


Key Responses

  • The most important elements of HIStalk, in order on a 5.0 scale, are news (4.8), headlines (4.5), rumors (4.4), humor (4.3), and reader comments (4.0). Nice job by Lt. Dan in having his newly added headlines identified as the #2 most important feature.
  • “I have a higher interest or appreciation for companies when I read about them in HIStalk.” 87 percent said yes.
  • “Over the past year, reading HIStalk helped me perform my job better.” 86 percent said yes.

Sample “Say Anything You Want” Comments

  • It’s just about impossible to put a price on honest, informed, and unbiased news and opinion no matter the industry. HIStalk has a sincerity, a sense of humor, and an earnestness that genuinely sets it apart from the glossy, imperious press release distribution "news" publications that you can find in just about any industry (including ours). All that to say, please don’t ever lose that pluck and spirit that sets you (way) apart from the ample blather found elsewhere… (But I know you won’t!)
  • I have only been CIO of a large academic hospital for less than five years following a career as a physician leader. I love HIStalk. I read it first thing in the morning before the NYT and WSJ (and the unmentionable local paper) even on vacation. My directors read it as well. You are the most comprehensive and unbiased source of all kind of IT information. It helped me tremendously when I transitioned. Keep up the great work! I don’t know how you do it along with your regular job! Kudos!
  • Been reading since the very beginning when you started, and every single day it makes me happy to see someone having success at doing what they love.
  • Thanks for offering a chance to learn about events before they might become public, to learn about Federal initiatives in plain English, to hear generally unfiltered commentary and reaction to rumors, current events etc. Great forum with no bias – I appreciate your position and hope you can maintain it as such!
  • I absolutely love the work you guys do. I know being in the industry for only a year, reading HIStalk every day has brought me up to speed to where I understand what is going on in the marketplace. I actually have senior members my team and management come to me to see what is happening in the world.
  • HIStalk helps me feel connected with healthcare IT in a way that publications, webinars, conferences, and industry white papers do not. It provides insight that helps me understand the drivers behind vendor behavior when I interact or negotiate with them. As Dr. Jayne or a clinical user expresses their wisdom, I get insight as to how clinical adoption of technology might be improved. It is those “ahah” moments that I have reading the comments, opinions, and reactions that help me understand my own organization better, which in turn help to drive better decisions around our technology solutions. Sometimes the solutions I deliver have nothing to do with technology, they are simply a dose of HIStalk insight that I can dispense as needed.
  • HIStalk is basically my source of healthcare IT info. You never miss anything important and you’re usually ahead of the game, so I don’t feel a need to look anywhere else. HIStalk is the first site in my Favorites list and part of my morning work ritual is: check calendar, check e-mail for urgent stuff, HIStalk. Thanks for providing a much-needed, balanced view!

Ideas I Will Try to Implement

  • Create a weekly roundup of major stories on Friday or Saturday with its own e-mail list for those weeks where I don’t have time to read daily. This is a great idea and it won’t take too much extra work. I will do it.
  • Be more opinionated. It feels like you had stronger and more frequent opinions years ago. Right now Dr. Jayne has the strongest opinions, even though you are the thought leader. This is always a point of reader contention – some are incensed when I stray from straight news reporting and demand impartiality, while others want more personal and opinionated commentary. Inga and I will interject more of our opinions when we think we can add value.
  • Make it possible to click on a link to reader comments at the end of the section. Already done as a result of this suggestion.
  • Get an Android app. I will look at what’s involved with creating a custom app with push notifications. Right now there’s an automatically detected iOS-friendly layout, but it’s not all that hard to create a custom app that can be distributed through the various app stores.
  • Increase the price of Platinum sponsorships and reduce the number of ads. Other suggestions were to eliminate graphical ads and go with text links only, but then feature each sponsor once per year. I haven’t changed the sponsorship fees in the 10 years I’ve been writing HIStalk, so supply-and-demand wisdom would suggest raising the price to reduce the number of sponsors. I’m not a huge fan of the idea, but I will consider it in some form. Most of the “too many ads” concerns went away with the site redesign and the recent changes I did to the ad serving system, which loads the ads faster and in the background after the post itself displays.
  • Bring back the smoking doc logo. It IS the original logo and also subliminally communicates how many of us feel about this site. The site gives us the real information we want without the overly controlling censorship that other sites employ. Dare to return to the past logo and display it with pride – you earned it! The old logo had some serious size, color, and layout issues since it wasn’t really designed as a logo. I may, however, start putting the smoking doc back at the beginning of each post or something like that. Like you, I enjoy that it annoys some people.
  • Engage the advisory panel more, if possible. I don’t want to burn them out, but I will try to stick to a monthly schedule. I could also use ideas of what issues I should ask them about.
  • I love physician workflow discussions (Dr. Jayne or Dr. Rick). Gimme more! I’m open to new contributors since practicing docs can write only occasionally.
  • If you could, devote full time effort to this and provide more depth and analysis. It’s amazing what you’ve accomplished on a part-time basis. I’m still waffling since I like working at the hospital, but the ability to dig deeper with more available time is appealing, although I would lose some of my credibility as a trench warrior. I’ll think about it.
  • I would love it if the e-mails give a hint about the topics, particularly News. That’s possible. I would need some extra time to summarize the important items in the e-mail update, maybe the top five stories or something like that. I’m not ruling it out.
  • I would like someone with an academic bent to do a literature overview on a weekly basis. It would highlight the good, bad, and ugly of informatics articles. I can see hiring someone to do this, perhaps a grad student or researcher, if anyone wants to declare their candidacy. I’ve thought of this before and agree that it needs done since so little of what passes for news is supported by clinical evidence.
  • Get more practicing physician input like Dr. Gregg, Dr. Jayne, and Dr. Travis. HIStalk can help bridge that gap between clinicians and informaticists. I’m happy to do that if I can get contributors. 
  • I always feel slightly guilty when I read your comments about how overworked you are. How can we help change that? I mention when I’m a bit overwhelmed only to set reasonable expectations, but I’m not complaining since I enjoy every minute. I’m my own worst enemy in some ways because I have a need to be directly involved in everything, right down to editing every word. It’s also hard to find people with the right skills who can help me without my direct supervision.
  • Add links to the other HIStalk sites at top. Done just now as I was reading this. Good idea.
  • Can you "fix" Vince Ciotti’s slides? Half the time they seem to cut off on the bottom mid sentence. Vince crams a lot of information into his PowerPoints and sometimes the conversion to SlideShare isn’t perfect. I will suggest he spread the information over more slides. You can also try click the “expand” at the lower right to see if the full screen view fixes the problem.
  • Too many spinoffs will dilute your brand, impact, and reader interest. I think I’m set in that regard, although readers keep suggesting new offshoots of HIStalk that I probably won’t do.
  • What about a patient advocate as a regular contributor? I’ve been knocking this idea around, but as always the challenge is finding someone with the knowledge, time, and writing ability to do it.

Ideas That Require More Reader Feedback

  • Name a “Top Five Areas of HIT Concern” and keep it in the industry’s eye for the year. Use your influence to create change. I don’t know how effective this would be or how I would create the list. Possibly via reader survey.
  • Establish a vendor scorecard that only hospital CIOs and practice physicians could anonymously complete so that vendors would understand exactly where they needed to improve after losing deals. I like the idea, but I don’t know if I would get enough responses for the results to be meaningful.
  • Eliminate Readers Write. Many of the posts are self-serving vendor pieces, but some gems do get posted. I don’t get many submissions from providers or others on the front line, unfortunately. I could enlist a panel to approve the usefulness of the submissions in advance, I suppose.
  • Get more health system CIOs to make high quality contributions like Ed Marx. I’ve tried, but it’s hard to find willing and capable contributors.
  • You should adopt another alter ego and write a separate, less frequent, more critical blog. I’ve actually considered doing this, perhaps modeling it after The Onion or Fake Steve Jobs. If I get more time, I might. I have a lot of snark to share.
  • Allow searching posts by company in newest to oldest order. I have investigated this many times and there’s just no technical way to do it automatically. The only option would be to pay someone to manually index each post into searchable database. I’m happy to do that if the interest is sufficient.
  • Put together something that could be used for learning and understanding for the next generation of individuals that will need to step up and push for change within the healthcare industry. I get quite a few e-mails from industry newbies who appreciate what they learn from reading HIStalk, so I like this idea. I would need help from someone in that target audience, probably.
  • Offer a forum for CIOs and salespeople to communicate based on CIO needs and priorities. I’m not getting a good mental picture of how this would work.
  • Please be tougher on things that need to held accountable. Healthcare is 18% of GDP with no signs of slowing. Call out the waste and abuse. I run interesting items I see along those lines, but it’s a bit outside my core competency.
  • Continue your HIStalkapalooza. It’s becoming a non-HIMSS-sponsored annual tradition. Apparently your sponsor companies are willing to pay for the privilege of doing it. I would press (ever so gently) for greater HIStalk exposure in their booths. I’d be interested in how far you can go before HIMSS gets pissed and says something. Sponsors have volunteered to underwrite the event for the next two years, at least, so it will apparently continue. It’s very cool that nearly 100 of our sponsors put our signs in their booths.

Ideas I Probably Won’t Implement Immediately

  • Reduce the frequency of regular contributors. Some also suggested enlisting more contributors. Each contributor has their own followers and the posts are easily ignored by those who aren’t interested, so I probably will not do this. I try regularly to get other folks who have an interesting voice to contribute, but I am rarely successful since they are by definition busy.
  • Reduce the “People” section and eliminate the photos. I like that section and I think readers like seeing occasionally familiar faces in a post.
  • Add more coverage of (revenue cycle, analytics, payor, etc.) I appreciate the confidence, but I don’t really have the knowledge or time to do a good job covering these topics in detail.
  • Do news daily. I think the headlines do a good job of keeping readers current on the non-news days (Tuesdays and Thursdays).
  • Maybe link out to education sessions or industry rags? But they troll your information, so why do it? My policy is that I don’t link to other industry publications with few exceptions (Government Health IT and E-Health Insider are two of few). I can easily get any information they have by simply going to the same original source they used.
  • The number of interviews is too much and too often appears catering to sponsors. I often interview interesting people who make themselves available, which often means vendors in general and sponsors in particular. I never know which ones will be interesting until they are done.
  • Add a recruiter’s corner. Providers are looking for good talent, and some of the readers might just be interested in positions open with providers. I’m not sure HIStalk is the right place for that.
  • I would write less often. How the heck you keep up is beyond me. I could write less often, but readership has gone constantly up doing what I’m doing, so I’m hesitant to change.
  • Start being a little more careful about the rumor reports and getting some more verification either way before publishing stuff. I usually try to get confirmation, but many times companies ignore my inquiries, which makes me then assume there’s a pretty good chance the rumor is true. I try to be responsible based on what I know about the rumor reporter and the company, but it will never be perfect unless I stop running rumors entirely, which would then eliminate the third most popular feature of HIStalk.
  • If there is any way you can get more info about go-live activity, that would be great. I report everything I can find, which is a tiny fraction since companies and customers don’t usually issue public announcements of go-lives.
  • Add international perspective – who’s doing what overseas on a routine basis. I run interesting items occasionally, but I don’t have good sources for a regular feature.
  • I like Dr. Travis a lot and am surprised he was not on the list above. He writes thoughtful pieces and he is on the money with a lot of his comments. Travis writes for HIStalk Connect, so I didn’t include him on the survey.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 27, 2013 News 4 Comments

News 3/27/13

March 26, 2013 News 6 Comments

Top News

3-26-2013 9-45-15 PM

An Institute of Medicine review finds that the military’s assistance programs for veterans are not meeting the needs of service members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, with half of the 2.2 million former troops struggling to adjust to civilian life because of the stigma associated with mental health and substance abuse issues, use of an unproven tool to assess post-injury brain function, lack of proven efficacy of the VA’s depression treatment protocols, lack of policies that would prohibit veterans exhibiting suicide risk from owning weapons, and poor integration between the EHRs used by the VA and DoD.


Reader Comments

3-26-2013 6-55-16 PM

From Emmie Yoo: “Re: MU2 attestation timing. I’m curious whether you have a feel for when in 2014 hospitals will likely begin attesting for Stage 2 MU. I know it opens on October 1, 2013, but do we really think many hospitals will try to meet MU2 in the first half of federal fiscal year 2014?” Hospitals and consultants, please leave a comment with your thoughts.

3-26-2013 6-57-46 PM

From Raptor: “Re: athenahealth. Has anyone questioned the legitimacy of their claimed 96 percent MU rates? I think the key word is ‘participating,’ which is only a fraction of their usership. It’s not hard to reach 96 percent when you don’t think a majority of your physician users are even trying to make MU.”

3-26-2013 6-53-16 PM

From Non-Sequitur: “Re: help me find a sponsor! I scoured the Resource Center this morning but have not been able to locate one of your new sponsors that was profiled in the past six weeks. They had developed a niche solution for licensing and access challenges with legacy systems when moving to next-generation applications, allowing legacy data to be accessible without paying extending licensing for the replaced systems. MANY thanks for your amazing site. I am enjoying having introduced a relative healthcare novice to your site. He shows up at my cubie every few mornings to discuss one (or more) of your postings. You guys absolutely rock!” Two new HIStalk sponsors offer data archiving options: Legacy Data Access and MediQuant. You’ve also motivated Inga and me to reach out to sponsors to make sure they’ve sent us their Resource Center listing since that’s the easiest way to find them. Thanks for the nice comments.

From Amish Avenger: “Re: hacker article. This is a great Onion-like article title.” It sure is – World’s Health Data Patiently Awaits Inevitable Hack says the high-profile hacks of major sites like Twitter and Evernote make it obvious that healthcare’s turn is coming, especially since small companies don’t have the expertise to properly secure their niche systems. The security researcher quoted might have overstepped his expertise in declaring that Google Health was shut down due to liability concerns. “What the hell happened to Google Health? Gone! They didn’t want the liability. The complexity of this is mind-boggling. Heath care is really in for a beating from the security side… if Google can’t stop this, how is a hospital going to stop this?”

From Primary Care Doc: “Re: Eric Topol’s highly publicized use of an iPhone app on the way home from his HIMSS keynote.” I’m running the comments below because I had the same reaction to the Twittersphere’s instant arousal by Dr. Topol’s use of an iPhone EKG app to diagnose a fellow airline passenger on his way home. First, the cynic in me found it to be an awfully strange coincidence and an opportune PR moment. Second, diagnosing fib is not hard since the signs are straightforward and patients usually have a history of it. Third, diagnosis is a snap compared to treating it, and treatment isn’t even usually necessary in an acute situation. The value added by EKG apps is to save the cost and inconvenience of having a technician run the test, which isn’t relevant in this case. But I’m usurping Dr. PCD’s forum:

He was keen on sharing with us how he saved a patient’s life while on the plane by using technology. He diagnosed a man’s heart condition as a rhythm problem, atrial fibrillation, by using his phone. He was short on details in saying exactly what he did with the diagnosis. Did he have his paddles with him and shock the man’s heart into normal rhythm or did he have a syringe loaded with a beta blocker in his pocket and gave the man a shot right then and there? To those technology fans out there who feel that they can replace the stethoscope with an app or iPhone, I can also tell you that just pressing one’s ear to the patient’s chest or feeling the pulse should suffice. It is what one does with the information that matters, not merely obtaining it. Last week one of my patients was upset because his ophthalmologist cancelled his cataract surgery because of an EKG read by machine showing atrial fibrillation. I looked at the EKG and it was completely normal even when repeated. The machine had read it wrong. This is the difference that Ed Park was talking about between the "promise and the reality.”


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

3-26-2013 6-26-43 PM

I’ll be sharing the results of my latest reader survey shortly, but I’ve already acted on one suggestion from it. I added a “comments” link at the bottom of each post, so you won’t need to scroll up to click it.

Another reader survey response asked about comments that are submitted but that I don’t run. Those are few in number, but they include comments that:

  • Disparage an individual by name or recognizable position in a way that could be considered libelous
  • Seem to have been posted primarily promote the commenter or their company
  • Make unverified statements about the financial performance or business prospects of a public traded company

3-26-2013 7-02-09 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor The SSI Group. The 25-year-old Mobile, AL-based revenue cycle company offers industry-leading claims management, EDI technology, document management, revenue cycle analytics, attachment processing, RAC tracking and defense tools, and business process outsourcing  to its 2,400 customers. Its ClickON technology has more than 200,000 built-in edits that deliver Claredi-certified transactions. SSI’s EHNAC-certified clearinghouse has 800 payer connections and processes over 350 million transactions per year valued at more than $700 billion in claims revenue. See the customer testimonials and case studies from Adventist Health, Baystate, Carilion, Lee Memorial, and others. Thanks to The SSI Group for supporting HIStalk.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-26-2013 7-38-24 PM

Technology-driven concierge medical practice One Medical Group raises $30 million in funding, increasing its total to $77 million. The company accepts insurance with an annual membership of around $200.

3-26-2013 9-07-04 PM

Hospital physician scheduling technology startup QGenda will move its headquarters and 30 employees from the Perimeter area of Atlanta to Buckhead. The company’s revenue has doubled every year since its founding in 2008

SAIC announces Q4 results: revenue up 8 percent, EPS $0.54 vs. –$0.49, beating on earnings.


Sales

Presbyterian Homes of Georgia selects Health Care Software’s Interactant suite of EMR and financial solutions.

3-26-2013 4-59-37 PM

Medical University of South Carolina Health System chooses Elsevier’s CPM CarePoints care planning and documentation solution.

Molina Healthcare (CA) will implement Elsevier’s MEDai Navigator analytics solution to manage its Medicaid population.

3-26-2013 5-05-00 PM

Centegra Health System (IL) signs a multi-year contract with MedAssets for group purchasing, supply chain optimization, and construction services.


People

3-26-2013 3-25-04 PM

Mount Sinai Medical Center (NY) promotes Bruce Darrow, MD from interim CMIO to CMIO.

3-26-2013 6-51-39 PM

Cornerstone Advisors names Patty Guinn, RN (Dearborn Advisors) as director and practice leader of clinical informatics.

ONC promotes Chief Grants Management Officer Lisa Lewis to deputy national coordinator for operations.


Announcements and Implementations

3-26-2013 5-13-15 PM

Edward Hospital & Health Services (IL) implements several Infor Lawson applications to accompany its existing Infor Human Capital Management solution.

New York’s State Health Information Network (SHIN-NY) goes live with its first electronic transmission of secure EHRs information using Etransmedia Technology’s Direct Care Coordinator solution.

Allscripts and Integrated Health Information Systems will jointly develop a Singapore-based technology laboratory to accelerate IT solutions for public hospitals in Southeast Asia.


Government and Politics

3-26-2013 9-06-53 AM

VA Secretary Eric Shinseki says his organization will clear a backlog of veterans’ disability claims by the end of 2015. Seventy percent of the VA’s  895,000 pending claims are older than 125 days. Shinseki blames the backlog in part on the large amounts of paper-based claims and records that require conversion to an electronic format and the lack of synchronization between the VA and DoD.

 

Several new rules that expand and update HIPAA’s security provisions will go into effect this week, though compliance for most of them will not be required until September 23.


Innovation and Research

Rock Health creates FDA 101, a timely and very nicely done overview of FDA regulations for digital health entrepreneurs.


Technology

3-26-2013 3-50-00 PM

McKesson launches ANSOS2Go, an Android-based mobile app for its ANSOS One-Staff workforce management suite.

Ingenious Med will combine inpatient and outpatient functionality into its impower charge capture platform.


Other

3-26-2013 3-51-28 PM

Boulder Community Hospital (CO) reports that its Meditech system is back online following a two-week downtime caused by an unspecified malfunction of both its primary and offsite secondary servers. The hospital was able to recover all of its data except that entered during the eight hours after the last good backup and has now moved to creating hourly incremental backups.

Granger Medical Clinic (UT) suffers a possible data breach when 2,600 paper appointment records awaiting shredding disappear.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently offered a free eight-week data analysis course via Coursera that covered using big data to find the answer to a given question. The first session just concluded and further sessions haven’t been announced, but Coursera has other statistics courses available. You’ve seen all the articles and companies about analytics and business intelligence, so if you want some career insurance at no charge and with minimal inconvenience, Coursera might be the way to go.

In England, an NHS study finds that physicians ignore 98 percent of drug safety alerts, which it concludes is because prescribing systems don’t issue the warnings until the end of the prescribing process and starting over is too much trouble.

3-26-2013 12-45-22 PM

Only about 11 percent of healthcare dollars paid to providers are tied to performance instead of fee-for-service, according to analysis by the non-profit Catalyst for Payment Reform.

In Australia, Victoria University’s Centre for Applied Informatics develops software that processes incoming streams of physiologic data and predicts vital signs 20 seconds into the future, also providing real-time warnings and retrospective reviews of patient condition in surgical cases.

Also in Australia, EMR go-live at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital is delayed due to difficulties in modifying the unnamed $427 million US system to handle complex South Australia billing requirements. I believe the system is Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager judging from previous announcements.

3-26-2013 5-43-42 PM

I’m fascinated by Andy Enfield, the 43-year-old coach of NCAA Sweet 16 overachieving underdog Florida Gulf Coast University. He was high school valedictorian, played college ball at Johns Hopkins, took an MBA from Maryland, coached in the NBA, and co-founded TractManager, a Chattanooga, TN-based healthcare contract management company that’s worth $100 million. He’s also married to a former Maxim magazine cover girl.

The University of Pennsylvania seeks a declaratory judgment against St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which sued Penn last year claiming that the university violated its patent for genetically modifying immune cells to treat cancer. Penn turned the process over to a drug company in a $20 million deal, but St. Jude’s says it holds the patent.


Sponsor Updates

  • Michael Elley, CIO of Cox Medical Center (MO), describes his hospital’s use of T-System to redirect patients from the ER to primary care.
  • Allscripts offers a sneak peek at the education session planning for its 2013 Allscripts Client Experience.
  • GetWellNetwork previews agenda items, speakers, and panel participants for its GetConnected 2013 user conference April 15-17 in San Diego.
  • The CRN Partner Program Guide awards Trustwave’s channel program a 5-star rating.
  • Loren Russon, senior director of product management with Ping Identity, evaluates the 3Scale API conference.
  • InstaMed releases its 2012 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report.
  • HealthMEDX CEO Pamela Pure relates how her personal experiences with post-acute care facilities led her to HealthMEDX.
  • eClinicalWorks introduces private payer incentive consulting services to advise providers on incentive revenue opportunities.
  • Beacon Partners hosts a March 29 Webinar on the risks business associates pose to healthcare organizations.
  • Ingenious Med opens a customer support office in Nashville, TN.
  • Huntzinger Management Group hosted Palo Alto Medical Center’s Paul Tang, MD, MS at its event during the HIMSS conference.
  • MED3OOO names Judy Stovall from PriMed the winner of its video case study contest.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 26, 2013 News 6 Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/25/13

March 23, 2013 News 1 Comment
3-22-2013 8-32-30 PM

From Someone: “Re: Allscripts. Looks like they dropped their lawsuit against HHS and Epic. No one has broken the story yet – I’d like to hear more details.” Our Allscripts press contact provided this statement about the legal action, which had earned Allscripts the “Stupidest Vendor Move” in the 2013 HISsies:

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., has discontinued its legal action against the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation regarding the award of the Integrated Clinical Information System contract and looks forward to having the opportunity to work with HHC on other matters in the future. The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation is pleased that Allscripts has withdrawn the lawsuit.

From McLayoffs: “Re: McKesson. Big layoffs coming 3/28, so big that corporate communications is driving the talking points.” Unverified.

3-22-2013 7-09-43 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: GSMA Mobile Awards 2013. A mobile app that just won the Judge’s Choice – 2013 Best Overall Mobile App from the GSM Association is Waze. The app helps the commuting effort each day through sharing real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute. Also of note is that HIStalk sponsor AT&T won in the category of Smartphone Application Challenge with its app called Application Resource Optimizer (ARO).”

3-22-2013 8-53-54 PM

From TickedOffBassets: “Re: Basset EMR icons for suicide risk from Dr. Jayne. As the proud owner of two very happy, albeit sad-looking Basset hounds, I have to stand in protest to associating their images with suicidal risk. When my two wake up from their fifth nap of the day,  they will be planning their official protest before their sixth nap of the day.” Mrs. HIStalk’s brother has a pair of Bassets, which means that when we visit, each of us has 80 pounds of licking, squirming, moaning dog draped across our legs. I wouldn’t say they are particularly fun, but they are affectionate, and neither seems to be a candidate for self destruction given the amount of energy that would be required.

3-22-2013 6-39-09 PM

Around 40 percent of poll respondents gained a better perception of Allscripts since Paul Black took over three months ago. New poll to your right: have you ever contacted your primary care provider via e-mail or secure private message?

3-22-2013 6-55-54 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Patientco. The Atlanta-based company’s solutions make it easy for patients to manage and pay their healthcare bills online just like they do for consumer products and services. They access their easy-to-read statements using their personal SecureHealthCode that is printed on every statement and choose from several payment options via PatientWallet – online, telephone, interactive voice response, or mail. They can track all of their healthcare expenses in one place and question the provider about their bill using secure messaging. Providers enjoy submission of bills electronically or on paper, faster payments, iCash credit card processing, daily funds deposit, automated assignment of payment plans to patients who need them, and reduced time required for manual processing. Thanks to Patientco for supporting HIStalk.

Listening: The Letter Black, Flyleaf-style sexy hard rock is actually a Christian band fronted by a husband and wife from Uniontown, PA.

3-22-2013 8-48-26 PM

Nathan Lenyszyn joins Billian’s HealthDATA as director of new business development.

Aprima says it has converted nearly 200 former MyWay customers to its EHR in the six months since Allscripts announced that it would not be enhancing MyWay to meet MU and ICD-10 requirements. Aprima CEO Michael Nissenbaum says he expects the company to gain up to 1,500 provider users, nearly half of those who had implemented the Allscripts product.

An ONC brief on healthcare IT in long term post acute care emphasizes partnering with companies that offer ATCB and CCHIT LTPAC-certified EMR solutions. According to CCHIT’s site, there are four of those: HealthMEDX, AOD Software, Optimus EMR, and American Data.

3-23-2013 8-37-00 AM

Allscripts shares are up 50 percent vs. a relatively flat Nasdaq in the three months since the company replaced Glen Tullman with Paul Black.

The UK’s largest NHS Trust will deploy Microsoft’s Windows to Go on USB sticks rather than buying laptops for remote employees. Employees plug in the encrypted USB stick to start a secure Windows 8 desktop session from any compatible device. Local data storage is on the stick.

3-23-2013 8-58-35 AM

Healthcare payment exchange platform vendor PaySpan relocates its headquarters from Jacksonville, FL to Atlanta, GA.

A nurse supervisor at a New York jail resigns after an investigation of jail employees viewing the hospital electronic medical records of corrections officers and their families. The jail’s system provides access to the systems of Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY. The nurse’s attorney says she didn’t perform the searches herself, but inadvertently allowed others to do so by taping her password to her desk.

A former medical resident at University of Michigan Hospital is sentenced to at least three years in federal prison for possession of child pornography, discovered when he left his USB drive plugged in to a hospital computer. The hospital didn’t report the incident to police until six months later.

Doctors in Ontario, Canada complain about their move to electronic medical records, citing response time problems and system lockups as 1,000 users who were added to their Nightingale Informatix EMR over the past year overwhelmed the system. 

A British Columbia doctor complains about lack of interoperability among the province’s network that connects the disparate and often outdated systems managed by individual local health authorities. A previous auditor’s review found that implementation of the $252 million system was poorly managed.

3-23-2013 9-36-04 AM

The board of Olympic Medical Center (WA) approves spending $850,000 to bring in three dozen traveler nurses to cover staff training on its Epic system, scheduled to go live in both the hospital and clinics on May 4. The hospital budgeted $1.8 million for the conversion to Epic, which is used by its affiliate Swedish Medical Center, and expects to earn $7.6 million in Meaningful Use payments.

Weird News Andy says, “I got your back.” A Canadian man is stabbed five times in a fight and is sewed up in the ED with no X-rays taken. Three years later as he scratches an itchy spot on his back, his finger catches the tip of an embedded three-inch knife blade.

Vince’s HIS-tory installments always hold my rapt attention and this is one of his best – some background you probably didn’t know about the pioneers who started Meditech.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 23, 2013 News 1 Comment

News 3/22/13

March 21, 2013 News 5 Comments

Top News

3-21-2013 8-44-57 PM

Athenahealth announces a partnership with mHealth app vendor iTriage to connect the app’s consumer users with providers in athenahealth’s network.


Reader Comments

3-21-2013 8-49-22 PM

From HITcontractor: “Re: ProMedica Health. Halts install of McKesson Horizon Emergency care in its facilities, reverts to its previous vendor Picis due to failed adoption and hesitation by providers.” Unverified.  

From Interested: “Re: Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, IL. Chatter is they’re going up on Epic, although the chatter doesn’t include which consulting firm has been awarded the contract.” Unverified.

From FormerMCKIC: “Re: McKesson. Ending contracts with all non-essential Horizon Clinicals contractors including IC and project managers, CPM. Their contracts will end 3/31/13.” Unverified, but reported by multiple readers.

inga_small From Proudly Pink: “Re: Voalte pink pants. What’s with people hatin’ on our pink pants? Here’s our response to the pink pants bashing.”  Dodge Communications awarded Voalte the winners of the Most Unfortunate Booth Attire award in its annual list of the HIMSS exhibit hall’s best and worst. Apparently the Voalte crowd love their pink pants, which employees must earn the right to wear.

3-21-2013 7-09-09 PM

From Boutros Ghali: “Re:  HIMMS. It’s just embarrassing.” Indeed it is. This e-mail blast from a healthcare marketing company VP is filled with misspellings, punctuation errors, and odd wording. I can’t imagine recipients rushing to turn their brand identity over to this company. I’ll be charitable in omitting the individual and company names, but I’ll hold on to this e-mail in case they annoy me in the future.


HIStalk Announcements

3-21-2013 4-00-21 PM

inga_small Some highlights from HIStalk Practice this week include: Practice Wise CEO Julie McGovern offers some thoughts on electronic file management and protecting PHI. CMS says that between five and 10 percent of EPs attesting for MU will be selected for prepayment audits. Hospitals continue to consider practice acquisitions. Physicians with e-prescribing tools are more likely to prescribe less expensive drugs. Thanks for reading!

On the Jobs Page: VP of Sales and Channel Development, Healthcare Technology Project Manager, C-Level Healthcare Technology Sales Executive.


Here are the last of the HIStalkapalooza photos from Medicomp.

3-21-2013 6-58-21 PM

Seth Halvorson accepting the HIStalk Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his father, George C. Halvorson of Kaiser Permanente.

3-21-2013 6-59-57 PM

CIO Unplugged Ed Marx and friends.

3-21-2013 7-01-03 PM

Team Orion.

3-21-2013 7-03-49 PM

Team Vitera.

3-21-2013 7-05-39 PM

Bowling tournament winners.

3-21-2013 7-01-46 PM

Jonathan Bush of athenahealth and James Aita of Medicomp.

3-21-2013 7-02-57 PM

Medicomp calls this the “Where is Mr. H?” picture.

3-21-2013 7-04-43 PM

Medicomp CEO Dave Lareau (in the “I Could be Mr. H” sash) and friends.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-21-2013 8-07-03 PM

EHR data search technology startup QPID raises $4 million in its initial financing round from investors Matrix Partners, Partners Innovation Fund, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, and Cardinal Partners.

3-21-2013 8-08-06 PM

South Carolina-based Benefitfocus, which offers employee self-service benefits enrollment systems, plans to file an IPO later this year.


Sales

3-21-2013 8-51-12 PM

New York-Presbyterian Hospital selects the PatientTouch point-of-care mobile platform from PatientSafe Solutions.

India-based outsourcer Wipro wins a $200 million infrastructure maintenance outsourcing contract from Catholic Health Initiatives.


People

3-21-2013 6-17-14 PM

Sara Teppema (Society of Actuaries) joins Valence Health as director of actuarial services.

3-21-2013 6-19-07 PM

Virginia Hospital Center appoints Russell McWey, MD, the hospital’s chief of medical imaging, to VP/CIO.

3-21-2013 7-15-53 PM

Peter Henderson (PatientKeeper) is named COO of social wellness platform ShapeUp.

3-21-2013 7-18-25 PM

Steve Everest (Prognosis HIS) is named CIO of Oklahoma Surgical Hospital (OK).


Announcements and Implementations

3-21-2013 3-11-01 PM

Overlake Medical Center (WA) migrates various HIS systems to Epic with integration assistance from Summit Healthcare.

3-21-2013 3-31-25 PM

Baptist Health Richmond (KY) says that the Accelero Connect integration platform from Accent on Integration has allowed the hospital to integrate its Philips IntelliVue patient monitors and Meditech HIS, resulting in streamlined clinician workflow and a reduced risk of documentation errors.

3-21-2013 3-32-50 PM

Lehigh Valley Health Network (PA) goes live with iMDsoft’s MetaVision in its PICU.

McKesson launches two free mobile apps for the iPad and iPhone. Lytec Mobile is for use with the Lytec 2013 practice management system, while Medisoft Mobile is available for Medisoft V18.

Meditech certifies NetApp FAS storage for its systems.

PatientKeeper adds infusion billing workflow co-developed with Partners HealthCare to its charge capture solution.

Xerox announces a cloud-based Mobile Device Management service.


Government and Politics

Representatives Sam Graves (R-MO) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) reintroduce the Medicare Audit Improvement Act, which would limit the number of document requests during Medicare audits to two percent of a hospital’s claims, with a maximum of 500 per 45 days.

I wouldn’t want his job. National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, facing Congressional hearings on mHealth, is asked by Congressman Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), “Hospital systems in the same city that have the same operating system aren’t talking to each other. You’re the head, why don’t you fix that? Why don’t you just make that happen?”


Technology

The US Patent Office issues EarlySense a patent for the respiratory trend analysis component of its patient safety monitoring system.


Other

3-21-2013 8-52-56 PM

The cash-strapped city of Pittsburgh files suit against the $10 billion in revenue UPMC, demanding payment of six years of payroll taxes and elimination of UPMC’s tax-exempt status. The mayor says UPMC donates less than 2 percent of its revenue to charity care, pays several executives annual salaries of more than $1 million, and has closed hospitals in poor areas while opening them in more affluent ones, all while avoiding $20 million in annual tax payments that it would otherwise owe the city.

The Institute for Health Technology Transformation outlines strategies for health organizations that are implementing big data solutions, including ways to use data to improve patient care and the types of data that can be analyzed for healthcare purposes.

Improved medical device interoperability could save the healthcare industry $30 billion a year and improve patient care and safety, according to analysis presented to a House subcommittee by West Health Institute.

3-21-2013 8-54-48 PM

In the UK, Leeds Hospital halts its $2.5 million speech recognition and digital dictation rollout due to “performance problems” that one official says was “very much affecting patient care and safety and putting patients at risk.”

Also in the UK, two NHS trusts, one of them a Cerner Millennium user, issue a tender worth up to $53 million for a shared inpatient EHR system.

Patient Privacy Rights Founder Deborah Peel, MD calls a new CVS employee policy that charges employees who decline obesity checks $50 per month “incredibly coercive and invasive.” CVS covers the cost of an assessment of height, weight, body fat, blood pressure, and serum glucose and lipid levels, but also reserves the right to send the results to a health management firm even though CVS management won’t have access to the results directly. Peel says a lack of chain of custody requirements means that CVS could review the information and use it to make personnel decisions.

3-21-2013 9-00-01 PM

A Russian gynecologist and former City of Moscow chief obstetrician who declares, “I am a doctor first” becomes a billionaire after shares in his Cyprus-based women and children’s healthcare services company rise more than 40 percent in five months. His company, which offers the only alternative to state-run maternity hospitals,  charges $10,000 per delivery, more than the annual salary of the average Russian.

inga_small Eye yi yi. A Texas woman uses her fingers to dig the eyeball out of another woman’s eye socket. The two were fighting when one of the women grabbed the other’s eye and “dug her fingers up there.” The victim was taken to the hospital and the eyeball was re-inserted. The gouger, who suffered a couple of broken fingernails, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.



Sponsor Updates

  • Health Catalyst Chairman David Burton, MD discusses how value-based purchasing is driving demand for data warehousing solutions.
  • The Institute of Customer Service names Bottomline Technologies the winner of its Customer Service Leadership award. 
  • CareTech Solutions donates $550 to The American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and The American Cancer Society as part of its HIMSS booth activity.
  • CSI Healthcare IT spotlights Jan Turner, VP of professional services.
  • Aprima releases a case study on the practice of Lauranne Harris, MD, which converted from Allscripts MyWay to Aprima in four days.
  • Harris VP of Government Health Solutions Don Mestas discusses the federal procurement process and how his company supports the government with its healthcare offerings.
  • iSirona names UC Irvine Health (CA) the winner of its 2012 Innovator of the Year Award for leveraging connectivity technology to improve hospital processes and patient care.
  • Surgical Information Systems CEO Ed Daihl recaps the HIMSS conference and discusses how intelligent integration can drive financial results.
  • Michael Nutter, director of firm culture and associate satisfaction for Impact Advisors, offers advice on how to tell if employees are really happy.


EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

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Glassdoor names its highest-rated CEOs, quite a few of them running companies many of us interact with regularly.

The AMA sounds the alert on a “demoralized health care work force” citing a “toxic blend” of forces including verbal abuse, physical assault, and a drive to provide more care in less time with fewer resources.

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From Iconic Reader: “Re: icons. Our ED recently deployed visual indicators for suicide risk based on our screening questions. Is it me, or is that a sad-appearing basset hound? It reminds me of something I’ve seen in my kids’ Webkinz account.” Personally I find those icons a little bit disturbing, but I’m sure coming up with an icon that’s politically correct was a challenge.

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CMS launches a new eHealth website. Hot topics on the site’s blog include Administrative Simplification, Privacy and Security, and Aligning Quality Measurement at CMS.

Millions of Americans admit to reading or sending texts while driving in percentages higher than those found in European countries. Cell phone use while driving was also significantly higher in the US. As someone who has almost met her maker several times recently due to distracted drivers, I implore you to hang up and drive.

Physicians with e-prescribing systems have a greater awareness of prescription costs, according to a recent survey. This led to drug choices with lower costs or better insurance coverage among the endocrinologists and primary care physicians who participated.

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From History Fan: “Re: shoes. I was on spring break in Chicago and saw these shoes on display. Of course, I thought immediately of Jayne and Inga! Be grateful you don’t have bound feet.” I definitely enjoyed the pictures. My personal favorite is the classic red pump.

From Heavyweight: “Re: wheelchairs. With all the attention on high-tech doctor’s offices, it’s remarkable that some are missing some low-tech solutions.” The Boston Globe reports on practices that turned away wheelchair-using patients due to lack of powered exam tables or other strategies to transfer and position patients.

Print


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 21, 2013 News 5 Comments

News 3/20/13

March 19, 2013 News 8 Comments

Top News

3-19-2013 7-54-09 PM

Cerner acquires Labotix Automation Inc., which offers specimen handling and transport systems for clinical labs.


Reader Comments

From Katie: “Re: market research companies. We as a vendor are interested in gathering information from our target audience of hospital CIOs and HIM leadership. Do you have any suggestions of anyone with market research expertise and connections in these areas?” I always prefer to open these questions up to readers so I don’t miss anybody. Leave a comment or e-mail me and I will forward to Katie.

3-19-2013 6-56-19 PM

From Shannon Vogel: “Re: EHR incentive payments as taxable income. I thought the IRS guidance may be of interest to your readers.” Thanks to Shannon, who is HIT director of the Texas Medical Association, for providing this information for those docs who are probably less than elated to see 1099s in the mail for their Meaningful Use payouts:

EHR Incentive Payments are Taxable Income

Physicians should have received an IRS Form 1099 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the incentive payments. The forms had to be postmarked by Jan. 31 and were mailed to  addresses on file with Medicare. If you did not receive your Form 1099, you may request a duplicate copy by calling (888) 734-6433, which will take you through a series of prompts (1-1-1-1-2). You will be asked for your National Provider Identifier.   Physicians in the Medicaid EHR incentive program should have received a Form 1099 from their state Medicaid office.  The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on the EHR incentive payments that may help in tax preparation, especially if payments were assigned to your group or hospital. 

3-19-2013 6-53-55 PM

From Don: “Re: San Diego. Here’s hoping we can bring HIMSS back to San Diego where it belongs! Once the pompous mayor here concedes defeat of his push to renegotiate the hotel room tax, construction can begin. Maybe see you all back in The Gaslamp District in 2016 or 2017. Bring your finest shoe-wear and cut some rug at the grand ball room at The Hotel del Coronado.” San Diego gets the green light for a $520 million expansion of its convention center, which will take about three years. Now it’s up to HIMSS. San Diego, Seattle, and San Francisco are my favorite cities of those I’ve visited because they are on the water, have interesting terrain, enjoy mostly pleasant weather, and are walkable.


HIStalk Announcements and Requests

It’s last call to fill out my quick reader survey. I do it just once a year right after the HIMSS conference. Pretty much every change you’ve seen over my 10 years (hopefully more good than bad) came from survey comments. Inga gets nervous this time of year because after I’ve digested the hundreds of responses, I make our to-do list.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-19-2013 7-55-29 PM

Sutherland Global Services completes its acquisition of Apollo Health Street, the technology subsidiary of India-based hospital operator Apollo Hospitals Group.

3-19-2013 7-56-15 PM

Emdeon reports Q4 revenues of $300.7 million, up six percent from a year ago, and a net loss of $10 million vs. $70 million.

3-19-2013 7-57-08 PM

Tenet subsidiary Conifer Health Solutions, which offers revenue cycle solutions, breaks ground on its new headquarters construction in Frisco, TX. The company acquired Dell’s revenue cycle business in November 2012, increasing the annual patient revenue it manages to $21 billion.


Sales

Maricopa Integrated Health System (AZ) selects HP Data Protector and HP StoreOnce for data protection and disaster recovery.

3-19-2013 7-58-42 PM

Providence Health & Service will deploy Health Catalyst’s data warehouse and analytic accelerators across its 32-hospital system.

Canopy Partners (NC) chooses the MModal Catalyst for Radiology platform for reporting and analytics.


People

3-19-2013 6-02-02 PM

PatientSafe Solutions names Tim Needham (Rubbermaid Health) VP of its western region.

3-19-2013 6-03-15 PM

Long-term care provider CenterLight Health System (NY) hires William C. Pelzar (Health Dialog) as its first CIO.

3-19-2013 7-21-03 PM

Anita Samarth, Clinovations president and co-founder, is named by the Washington Business Journals as one of the top 25 Minority Business Leaders of 2013.


Announcements and Implementations

Delaware HIN and Kansas HIN validate interoperability by exchange of patient records via Direct messaging using solutions from the Allied HIE Company and ICA’s Direct Messaging and Exchange products.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA) deploys CommVault Simpana for data backup and security.

3-19-2013 6-05-33 PM

Beloit Health System (WI) goes live this week on Cerner.

Clinithink releases an online version of CliX, its natural language processing engine.

3-19-2013 6-29-49 PM

Lifespan (RI) announces its plans to redesign its delivery model that includes implementing Epic at a cost of $90 million.

AHIMA calls for nominations for its Grace Award that recognizes outstanding achievement in health information management. Evaluation criteria include how organizations contribute to a patient-centered model of care, advance the use of electronic health records, and integrate HIM throughout the workplace.


Government and Politics

3-19-2013 3-10-14 PM

ONC launches Web pages to support its goal of having 1,000 critical access and rural hospitals achieve MU by the end of 2014.


Technology

Healthcare IT research funded by AHRQ has helped Partners in Health and the Regenstrief Institute develop an open EMR that supports healthcare initiatives in developing countries.

Seven Tennessee school systems receive $3 million in HRSA grants to implement telemedicine programs so that school nurses can connect with doctors to diagnose student problems, but the Franklin County school board delays its approval to start the program, citing liability concerns.


Other

3-19-2013 3-26-11 PM

Boulder Community Hospital (CO) reports that its Meditech system has been down since last week and is not expected to be operational until the end of this week. Officials say the hospital has “detailed plans” for going back to manual operations. The outage has caused delays in scheduling non-critical diagnostic tests and distributing routine test results, but essential services are still being provided. The hospital offered no explanation of the problem. An anonymous physician said the backup response is “not an organized plan,” while a patient told the local newspaper, “If they can’t keep their computer system running, how can we trust them to perform surgery?”

3-19-2013 3-31-57 PM

A KLAS report finds that no acute care EMR vendor excels at usability, though Epic and Cerner are best poised to support deep clinical usage. Providers assume the bulk of responsibility for making EMRs usable and 86 percent say that configuring their EMR solution required moderate to extensive effort. Stage 2 MU, with its increased requirements for physician documentation, medication reconciliation, and problem lists, will magnify current EMR challenges.

EMR vendor Lawrence Melrose Medical Record, Inc. notifies the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office of a data breach that has potentially compromised the PHI of two state residents.

3-19-2013 3-51-36 PM

A small study of healthcare professionals finds that 75 percent of organizations are 25 percent or less complete with the ICD-10 transition process. Coding education and implementation are the biggest conversion gaps. Almost half the respondents express some concern about being ready in time to meet the October 1, 2014 deadline.

3-19-2013 6-19-47 PM

Weird News Andy finds this “more than an inkling.” Electronic sensors printed directly on the skin, aka “electronic tattoos,” can monitor health signs such as temperature and hydration status. One potential medical use would be to stream surgical wound information wirelessly to providers.

Strange: a nurse from India working in an Australian hospital just a month after finishing nursing school is fired and banned from practice after giving a 79-year-old patient the contents of a bottle marked as containing heart pills that actually held liquid detergent the patient had been using to clean his dentures. The nurse, who argued that he followed four of five medication administration rules, was ordered by the nursing board to take an English competency test, which he failed in six attempts.


Sponsor Updates

  • Glenn Focht, MD of Boston Children’s Hospital spoke at a private reception during the AMGA conference in Orlando hosted by Ingenious Med.
  • An EDCO Health Information Solutions Webinar profiles two McKesson Patient Folder facilities that enhanced their scanning processes using EDCO technology.
  • Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services signs an agreement with TELUS Health to allow certain healthcare providers to use TELUS Health’s eClaims Web portal service.
  • ThedaCare (WI) selects Wolters Kluwer ProVation MD Cardiology for its catheterization labs at Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center.
  • Ping Identity opens registration for its Cloud Identity Summit 2013 July 8-12 in Napa, CA.
  • Emdeon releases details on its upcoming Webinars.
  • Prognosis offers a four-part series on strategies for MU success.
  • Hayes Management Consulting commemorates its 20th anniversary with an updated website.
  • Nuesoft hosts a March 27 Webinar on best practices for medical billing.
  • Jason Fortin, a senior advisor with Impact Advisors, discusses the need for smaller practices to select an EHR vendor that is capable of achieving Stage 2 MU certification.
  • The Tampa Bay Business Journal names MedHOK the winner of its 2013 BizTech Innovation of the Year Award.
  • Surgical Information Systems CTO Eric Nilsson offers a primer on how to set up a clinical quality reporting program.  
  • Merge Healthcare announces that more than 650 orthopedic surgeons at over 50 practices already have or are in the process of implementing Merge OrthoPACS.
  • ChartWise:CDI posts its 2013 conference schedule.
  • SiliconMesa partners with DrFirst to provide Rcopia e-prescribing functionality to customers running the SiliconMesa EHR and PM system.
  • Craneware announces its support of the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer Scotland as part of its 2013 Craneware Cares corporate responsibility program.

Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 19, 2013 News 8 Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/18/13

March 16, 2013 News 9 Comments

From E2M: “Re: enterprise to mobile. To make CPOE, portal, or other EHR component mobile, you either build it from scratch or build a new set of apps on top of the existing infrastructure. Capriza allows anyone without any programming skill to transfer an existing Web-based enterprise app to mobile in minutes.” Maybe someone will give it a try and report back. It seems pretty cool – you create what looks like a screen scrape type mobile front end to an existing web app by just dragging and adjusting.

From Spinnaker: “Re: Epic. I heard a rumor at HIMSS that they’ve signed some international deals, two more hospitals in the UK and one in Australia. Heard anything?” I haven’t heard anything recently, but someone can probably confirm. Usually someone attending an Epic class in Verona can verify that the new customers had people there.

3-16-2013 3-57-24 PM

From Pointy Ears: “Re: another athenahealth executive headed to CareCloud? Tom Cady, VP of professional services, has left.” Unverified, but reported by a couple of readers.

It’s time for my annual reader survey. I use it to plan the next year of HIStalk, so it would help me a lot if you could answer 10 questions.  

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

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3-15-2013 7-33-48 PM

Fewer than one in five poll respondents think CommonWell was formed with the primary purpose of benefiting patients. New poll to your right: how has your perception of Allscripts changed since Paul Black took over?

3-15-2013 8-21-16 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum sponsor Quantros. The company offers SaaS-based healthcare quality and safety performance improvement systems with over 2,000 healthcare facilities as customers (Kaiser, NYU Langone, Ochsner, Scott & White, Exempla, etc.)Products include SRM safety and risk management (safety events, feedback, disruptive events, claims, MEDMARX ADE date repository, PSO submission); IRIS Executive (enterprise-wide patient safety system); ACE (continuous compliance readiness); and RRM regulatory reporting (Meaningful Use reporting, core measures, CM reporting). Quantros helps providers improve quality and safety by empowering all levels with actionable intelligence to improve outcomes and reduce risk. Thanks to Quantros for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a new Quantros video featuring CEO Keith Hagen honoring National Patient Safety Week, which ironically was overshadowed by the overlapping HIMSS conference.

3-15-2013 8-06-48 PM 3-15-2013 8-06-16 PM

Suzanne Bledsoe and Wes Scruggs purchase oncology IT consulting firm Aptium Oncology from AstraZeneca PLC.

3-15-2013 8-09-13 PM

Here’s a nice shot of Dr. Gregg playing Quipstar at the Medicomp booth at the HIMSS conference.

Dodge Communications posts its much-awaited snarky review of the HIMSS exhibit hall and surrounding areas (like why so many of you were buying sushi from that sketchy kiosk out in the hall).

I like the Meaningful Use attestation reports created by Wells Fargo Securities. Jamie Stockton, who is in Wells Fargo’s HIT equity research group and creates the report,  e-mailed to say he’ll add any interested provider or vendor to his distribution list if you send him an e-mail.

3-15-2013 9-04-19 PM

Speaking of attestation data, Social Health Insights, which did the MappyHealth Twitter health term trend monitoring system,  did a visualization of Medicare hospitals that have attested to Meaningful Use that also includes their HCAHPS scores. Make sure to scroll down since a lot of information about individual hospitals has been mashed up.

A House committee will ask the FDA in hearings this week about any plans it has to regulate  or tax mobile health apps.

Microsoft lists software products supporting Windows 8 that were shown at the HIMSS conference.

Epocrates shareholder Goldman Sachs sells its remaining stake in the company for $32.5 million following its acquisition by athenahealth. Goldman bought $40 million worth of shares in 2007 and sold them for a total of $36.5 million after its plan to create an institutional investor research firm failed.

Weird News Andy has a solution for this problem: move to Australia. A Serbian woman sees images upside down due to a rare brain condition.

Vince’s HIS-tory this week begins the tale of Meditech. He would appreciate your nuggets and ephemera if you lived the company’s history.


Contacts

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 16, 2013 News 9 Comments

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Reader Comments

  • Whimps: It's not a courageous article. It's a biased article in the "Open Health News". That's like taking a comparison docu...
  • Keith McItkin, PhD.: Are not the scribes defeating the original purpose of CPOE and EHR, which was to avoid non physicians from performing th...
  • David: Doesn't this go to show that Meaningful Use was needed to cause change in the EHR world? I'm not an expert, but this so...
  • Mobile Man: Very, very interesting! Thank you both. And, I must say - I love the "final thoughts". Many/Most don't end with an ...
  • IntriguedByVistA: the link ... http://www.openhealthnews.com/hotnews/vista-rivals-epic-and-cerner-major-deployments-ehr-systems...

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