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News 3/15/13

March 14, 2013 News 6 Comments

Top News

3-14-2013 4-25-56 PM

Wells Fargo Securities slices and dices CMS Meaningful Use data to arrive at the 2012 year-end table for EPs above. It finds that 65 percent of physicians have registered and 25 percent have attested.

Reader Comments

inga_small From TechTalk: “HIStalkapalooza. Are there video or stills of HIStalkapalooza expected?” In case you missed this last week in the midst of HIMSS craziness, here is the link to the video. We also have a few pictures on our HIStalk Facebook page. We appreciate Medicomp Systems for sponsoring the event, with the help of a production team from Patrice Geraghty (bzzz productions), Cindy Wright and Shannon Snodgrass (Thomas Wright Partners), and Anthony Istrico (Istrico Productions).

From Close but Not Inside: “Re: Voalte. What happened to Rob Campbell, CEO and founder? Erased from the site.” Voalte just announced that Trey Lauderdale has been moved to president and four new VPs have been hired: Phil Fibiger, engineering (Canonical, Ltd.); Bob Porterfield, product and alliance management (Capsule Tech); Frank Watts, sales and marketing (F. Watts & Associates); and Don Fletcher, chief architect (Google). No word on Rob.

3-14-2013 6-32-09 PM

From Carly: “Re: Howard University Hospital. Brought its first unit live on Soarian CPOE earlier this month. Rollout to general medicine coming later in the month. Physician participation has been strong and enthusiastic.”

3-14-2013 6-33-52 PM

From Natalee: “Re: Nordic Consulting. We have not been sold. We’ve enjoyed a recent surge in growth, and continue to be focused on helping our clients successfully install and support their Epic system. Perhaps your readers are referencing an investment partnership Nordic made last October.” Natalee is from Nordic Consulting and responded to a reader’s rumor report from right before HIMSS. Here’s a statement from CEO Mark Bakken about the October investment:

We’re thrilled to have partnered with three IT investment groups who share our vision and commitment to excellent customer service. One of the most exciting things we’re doing with the help of their resources is developing new strategic lines of business, branded Nordic’s SUMMIT Series of Epic Solutions. These new services, focused on Optimization, Upgrades, Remote Services, and Reporting/Analytics, provide strategy and execution expertise to clients enabling them to achieve peak performance from their Epic system and realize the business value and patient care benefits that are now within reach.

From Moe Betta: “Re: New Orleans airport delays caused by TSA cutbacks. BS. After over a dozen visits to New Orleans, they can’t do anything efficiently. Aside from the sometimes intriguing and tasty cuisine, the city operates in a third-world atmosphere. It was that way long before Katrina and will be forever. Sunday in and Thursday out has always been a HIMSS disaster at the airport. Yet, that is part of its ‘charm,’ a trip outside – but inside – the US.” Most interesting to me was that the long security line was divided into two lines, but once you got around the corner, they merged back into one line. Queuing theory experts and Disney fans would have been horrified. Seth Frank, VP of investor relations for Allscripts, agreed in an investor presentation: “Last week at HIMSS conference, the big healthcare IT annual powwow, which was in New Orleans, hopefully, never to go back there again — I love New Orleans, great town, just not for 35,000 people.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small This week’s HIStalk Practice highlights include:  over 13,000 pharmacies now accept e-prescriptions for controlled substances. A survey of 2,600 primary care physicians reveals that 87 percent of doctors believe they receive too many EHR-based alerts. Emdeon begins working with CMS to map new HIPAA 6020 standards. HHS wants 50 percent of doctors online with EHRs by the end of the year. The average physician could lose over $43,000 over five years with EHR adoption. Culbert Healthcare Solutions’ Brad Boyd offers suggestions for the best ways for organizations to incorporate external data into their BI efforts. Dr. Gregg imagines the future of healthcare. It’s all good stuff so pop over and catch up on the latest ambulatory HIT news, check out a few of our sponsors’ offerings, and sign up for the e-mail updates. Thanks for reading.

On the Jobs Board: SCRUM Master, Healthcare Technology Project Manager, Practice Management/EMR Sales Executive, C-Level Healthcare Technology Sales Executive.


3-14-2013 6-37-09 PM

Integris Health (OK) will implement Phytel’s population health and care management tools at its physician practices.

South Jersey Healthcare (NJ) selects Surgical Information Systems Perioperative Management to work with its Soarian Clinicals.


3-14-2013 4-45-50 PM

Arcadia Solutions names Sean Carroll (Nuance) CEO.

Announcements and Implementations

3-14-2013 6-39-45 PM

The NHS invites Humetrix to present its iBlueButton platform at the NHS Innovations Expo 2013 in London.

iMDsoft releases MVpanorama for actionable cross-patient information and allocation of nursing resources.

Hawai’i Pacific Health goes live at its first of four locations with iSirona’s medical device integration solution.

NTT DATA is recognized by Canada’s Top 100 Employers program.

SuccessEHS goes live with a production connection to the South Carolina HIE (SCHIEx) as one of the first ambulatory EHR vendors to do so. 

3-14-2013 6-41-01 PM

Cerner will add symptom-specific patient questionnaires from Primetime Medical Software to its patient portal.

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (MI) implements the latest version of Voalte’s iPhone for clinical communication.


Fired Allscripts executives Glen Tullman and Lee Shapiro say they will be starting a mobile healthcare company.

WellStar Health System (GA) leases 21,000 square feet of an off-campus data center to handle its Epic implementation.

Strange: authorities say a homeless man was able to live in a Louisville hospital because he always wore scrubs, a lab coat, and a surgical mask. He was caught after using a restricted computer system, which a helpful doctor helped him access by logging in under his own password.

3-14-2013 6-09-03 PM

Weird News Andy christens this story “Fickle Finger of Fake.” Five doctors in a hospital in Brazil are suspended for using fabricated silicone fingers to clock in their colleagues on fingerprint-reading time clock readers. One TV network says the ringleader was the head of the ED, whose daughter was paid for three years despite never actually showing up. Authorities say up to 300 paid employees may exist only in silicon finger form.

Sponsor Updates

  • Alesco Medical becomes a channel distributor of e-MDs.
  • Thousand Oaks Radiology Group (CA) chooses McKesson Revenue Management Solutions.
  • KBQuest will showcase the Kony Solutions mobile platform at the Microsoft Tech Days conference in Hong Kong.
  • The British National Formulary offers direct access to the DynaMed evidence-based clinical information resource to its subscribers.
  • Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers (KY) selects SRS EHR/PM for its 17 physicians, 10 physician extenders and 2 PT locations.
  • Ping Identity is showcasing PingOne Single Sign-On at the Ultimate Connections Conference in Las Vegas this week.
  • Cancer Treatment Centers of America expands its MedAssets relationship to include Capital and Construction solutions to drive construction costs down.
  • GetWellNetwork CEO Michael O’Neil shared his personal experience as a cancer patient and how patient engagement improves outcomes and satisfaction at The Thirteenth Population Health and Care Coordination Colloquium in Philadelphia this week.
  • Aycan, GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, TeraRecon, and Vital Images participate in the European Society of Radiology’s Face-off.
  • Ingenious Med releases a white paper on the breakdowns in communication during patient handoffs and offers best practices.
  • Emdeon begins mapping HIPAA 6020 standards for CMS.
  • Informatica adds support services to its MySupport portal including eService apps Call Me, simple online escalation and online bug tracking.

EPtalk  by Dr. Jayne

The National Rural Health Resource Center offers an HIE tool kit that includes guide to Direct connectivity standards and an ROI calculator.


Through the retrospectoscope: CT scans on mummies from various parts of the world reveal evidence of heart disease. The presence of vascular disease was independent of the presumed diet consumed in the socioeconomic groups represented by the mummies. Several media outlets are using this to counter the theory that fatty diets and our modern lifestyle cause atherosclerosis. Bring on the curly fries!

Death by smart phone: researchers from West Virginia University are proposing that cell phones be rendered inoperable in moving cars. Drivers using cell phones cause more than 330,000 injuries per year including 2,600 deaths. Texting may account for more than 16,000 deaths between 2001 and 2007. I shudder every time I am cut off by a chatty driver who has no idea I’m in the lane. Of course blocking phone use in a moving car would also impact passengers. This may be responsible for a sharp uptick in teenagers forced to carry on a conversation with their parents which I definitely support.

A recent survey published in Health Affairs suggests that the majority of practices will lose money when adopting electronic health records. Major drivers of positive return on investment included the degree to which providers used the EHR to increase revenue and ceasing use of paper records. I continue to be amazed each time I step into a practice that professes to use EHR yet continues to either document on paper and scan, or document on paper and then key in the findings. Usually the providers are lamenting that they’re slower since they are on EHR and I wind up giving them a free informatics consult.

Speaking of EHR practices that still use paper, I had a patient appointment earlier this week at a rival academic medical center. Following the visit, I was given the opportunity to sign up for the patient portal. I was impressed by the ease of signing in using the combination of my Yahoo credentials and a token code given at the office. I was unimpressed that my chart has my name spelled wrong and a work phone number that I don’t recognize. Since my demographics were correct at the office, I sent a secure message to ask for a revision. The office again confirmed the accuracy of the outpatient chart and responded back that they had no idea who to contact or how to get it fixed. Since the Terms of Use included the vendor’s information, I know it’s a solid and highly regarded one. Just goes to show how a poor implementation can wreak havoc for patients.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 14, 2013 News 6 Comments

News 3/13/13

March 12, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

3-12-2013 7-37-49 PM

Healthcare data vendor IMS acquires six-year-old, 60-employee Seattle startup Appature, which sells software for tracking drug company marketing activities to physicians. Rumored price was more than $100 million.

Reader Comments

3-12-2013 5-47-53 PM

From IT Dad: “Re: porno nurse. The company was Onyx. I’m a 50-year-old male and I was shocked when I saw it and shocked that someone thought this would be a good idea. I just kept on walking. I was insulted that they would treat women that way and immediately though of my daughter and my female co-workers. I would not even consider stopping at their booth as I did not want to be seen there.” I e-mailed an Onyx contact for a comment and received no response. I was torn whether to run the reader-submitted photo above (taken by a real nurse, I might add) since that might seem equally chauvinistic, but decided readers need to see at least a small-scale version to understand what the fuss is about. The China-based Onyx sells medical displays, of which the scantily clad phony nurse appears to be one.

From Odla: “Re: Neal Patterson. Funny that Neal was seen at several booths at HIMSS. He was at the Optum booth for a bit until an exec recognized him and politely suggested he might want to return to the Cerner booth.”

3-12-2013 6-19-28 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: ECM. TPD will be posting interesting apps that address Big Data concerns in our path to enterprise content management (ECM). As a lover of what Hadoop can bring to healthcare, there’s an app that employs Hadoop called Platfora.”

From Captain Ron: “Re: HIMSS. I witnessed a classic moment at HIMSS last week that I had to share. I visited the QlikView booth to watch CHOP present on self-service analytics. Very impressive stuff and they’ve integrated QlikView in Radar. So the funny part … multiple folks there from Epic and one guy in particular decided he should interrupt and share how Epic can help solve this problem. I wonder how Epic would feel if QlikView came and interrupted their customer presentation? #BOUniversesarenottheanswer.”

From PartyReviews: “Re: HIMSS parties. Hit a few parties at HIMSS. Yours was the best of the bunch. Funny how a blog is out partying the big vendors. Consulting firms all had more of a reception format. Deloitte was kinda stiff as you’d expect, Impact Advisors and a few others were OK. Encore had their traditional and apparently popular Pub Night which I hit two times during the week. Each night there were over 300 people there. Guess people really like the free beer, wine, and mixed drinks. No vendors were over the top as has been normal in the past. I got into bed Mon-Wed at 2 a.m., 1 a.m., and 3 a.m. respectively. Only in New Orleans. And we wonder why HIMSS is a burn out?”

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-12-2013 8-04-12 PM

Athenahealth completes its acquisition of Epocrates.

3-12-2013 8-04-49 PM

TeleTracking Technologies reports a 42 percent increased in booked revenue in the 2012 fiscal year.

3-12-2013 8-05-27 PM

ISirona announces revenue growth of 172 percent for 2012.
A proxy advisor firm urges HP shareholders to give the boot to two of the company’s directors at its upcoming annual meeting for their role in the disastrous acquisition of Autonomy in 2011, one of them being McKesson Chairman, President, and CEO John Hammergren. A group of New York City pension funds also urges voting against the re-election of Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson for their involvement in acquisitions that caused HP to lose $17 billion in the past year and for the quick hiring of CEO Leo Apotheker, who was then fired less than a year later.

Ireland-based bedside computing vendor Lincor Solutions receives a $9.5 million investment from Edison Ventures, which it will use to relaunch the company in the US by moving its headquarters to Nashville, TN and creating 30 jobs. The MediVista platform offers access to clinical applications, bed status management, patient entertainment and education, and communications.

3-12-2013 7-20-48 PM

Medical supply vendor Becton Dickinson & Company acquires Austria-based Cato Software Solutions, which offers oncology planning, monitoring, and drug preparation software.

3-12-2013 8-06-14 PM

Lexmark acquires two companies that will be rolled into its Perceptive Software unit. AccessVia sells software that allows stores to print electronic shelf tags, while Twistage provides media management software that its CEO says could be used to distribute medical images and attach video to a patient’s EMR.


3-12-2013 3-54-49 PM

East Texas Regional Healthcare System selects Siemens MobileMD HIE to coordinate care among its 15 facilities.

The Salisbury, Wight and South Hampshire Domain NHS Trust  Consortium (UK) awards its VNA and data migration contract to Acuo Technologies.

Coastal Medical (RI) adds the eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record to advance its ACO-related objectives.

3-12-2013 8-07-48 PM

Iowa Health System will implement a suite of Infor applications, including Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management and Enterprise Financial Management.

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services selects Siemens Healthcare’s Soarian clinicals and financials and the MobileMD HIE platform.


3-12-2013 6-51-24 AM

Suzanne Cogan (Shareable Ink) joins Orion Health as VP of sales.

3-12-2013 5-56-49 PM

Conifer Health Solutions names Allen Hobbs (MedAssets) chief client officer.

3-12-2013 12-56-17 PM

The AAFP’s TransforMED subsidiary names Russell Kohl, MD (OU School of Community Medicine / Oklahoma College of Medicine) medical director.

3-12-2013 5-57-53 PM

Infor names Barry P. Chaiken, MD (DocsNetwork) CMIO.

3-12-2013 5-58-57 PM

Ping Identity hires Michael J. Sullivan (IHS) as CFO.

3-12-2013 5-59-45 PM 3-12-2013 6-01-28 PM

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius names new and continuing members to the US Technology Standards Committee including Jeremy Delinsky (athenahealth) and Eric Rose, MD (Intelligent Medical Objects).

Announcements and Implementations

CareCloud opens a Boston office, where it expects to house 35 to 40 employees by the end of the year.

Johnson County Healthcare (WY) goes live this week with CPSI.

PatientKeeper deployed its CPOE solution at 19 community hospitals during the first 60 days of 2013.

Eight vendors participated in the inaugural IHE 2013 North American Connectathon, which performed testing to specified requirements for the IHE USA Certification pilot conducted by ICSA Labs.

Final HIMSS conference stats: 34,696 total attendees, 13,985 professional attendees, 1,158 exhibiting companies.

3-12-2013 8-09-10 PM

The New Orleans airport warned travelers last Wednesday of expected delays on Thursday due to the conclusion of the HIMSS conference and sequester-driven TSA staffing reductions.

e-MDs launches a cloud-based EHR/PM solution and introduces Solution Series 7.2.2, an updated version of its client-server suite of EHR/PM products.

Government and Politics

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius fires up her Twitter.

Lt. Dan called this perfectly. Internal VA documents reveal that the agency is taking much longer than it reported to process service-related benefit claims by veterans, with delays averaging more than 1.5 years in major cities. The number of veterans waiting for more than a year for their benefits jumped from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 by the end of 2012. Despite spending $537 million on a new computer system, the VA still process 97 percent of claims on paper.


Billian’s HealthDATA finds that medical records-related costs of hospitals typically account for less than three percent of total general-service operating expenses and almost seven percent of total general-service salary expenses.

3-12-2013 4-08-18 PM

The University of Mississippi Medical Center will expand its telehealth program to improve access for smaller hospitals and clinics and will create 201 new jobs over the next three years.

Sponsor Updates

3-12-2013 12-29-44 PM

  • Divurgent’s Signature Drive at HIMSS raises $5,000 for the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans.
  • Aspen Valley Hospital (CO) increases front office payments and reduces payment processing administrative time by 65 percent after deploying InstaMed’s healthcare payment network.
  • Hyland Software and Merge Healthcare expand their partnership to include an integrated image viewing and storage solution.
  • CareTech Solutions introduces CareTech Solutions Pulse, an integrated IT monitoring service that integrates monitoring of hospital clinical, business, and ancillary applications, as well as the infrastructure on which they run.
  • The Virtual Influence Planning group, Medseek’s independent consulting firm, expands its services to include patient portal adoption and marketing plans for healthcare organizations. Medseek also introduces its Influence platform, which will provide hospitals with a comprehensive view of individual patients.
  • Orion Health and NexJ Systems will distribute joint capabilities and technologies, such as NexJ Connected Wellness and the Rhapsody Integration Engine.
  • CCHIT certifies NextGen Ambulatory EHR version 5.8 compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria and certified as a Complete EHR.
  • The Advisory Board Company announces the agenda and keynote speakers for its Crimson Clinical Advantage Summit May 20-22 in Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Picis announces that is annual Exchange conference will be consolidated with the Optum Provider Exchange Conference September 23 in Orlando, FL.
  • Philips Healthcare introduces its IntelliSpace eCareManager 3.9 patient management software, which includes the ability for staff to get a patient population level view of data.
  • The NCQA awards SuccessEHS client Scenic Bluffs Community Health Centers (WI) the highest level of recognition for its PCMH program
  • CAP Professional Services and the Lab Interoperability Collaborative look at the top 10 challenges facing hospitals seeking to report lab results electronically.
  • GetWellNetwork debuts myGetWellNetwork, a digital platform to help patients and providers manage recovery, chronic conditions, and preventative care online. 
  • Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center (KY) shares how Accent on Integration helped the organization integrate its Philips OBTraceVue platform with its Meditech HIS.
  • Surgical Information Systems announces the availability of SIS Com Version 3.3, which includes enhanced functionality and a more streamlined look.
  • Imprivata launches Cortext 2.0, its free HIPAA-compliant texting solution.
  • St. Barnabas Medical Center is using Access’s e-forms and wristband bar-coding solution alongside Cerner Millenium and Siemens Invision to enhance its EMAR process.
  • Visage Imaging will exhibit at the SIIM Philadelphia Regional Meeting on March 18 in Philadelphia, with Director of Solutions Architecture and Customer Experience Director Bobby Roe co-leading a roundtable session entitled “Cool Technologies in Imaging Informatics.”
  • Vitera Healthcare releases a hosted version of its Medical Manager practice management platform.
  • McKesson Canada’s RelayHealth aligns with QHR Technologies to integrate QHR’s Accuro EMR System with RelayHealth’s services.
  • SC Magazine names Trustwave the Best Network Access Control product.
  • The HealthLogix HIE platform from Certify Data Systems passes numerous Integrating the HIE profile tests at the 2013 IHE North America Connectathon.
  • Nuance launches Clintegrity 360, a computer-assisted system for clinical documentation improvement and coding.
  • RazorInsights integrates Patientco’s patient financial engagement billing software into its HIS system.
  • MetroHealth Medical Center, an affiliate of Case Western Reserve (OH), will deploy Wolters Kluwer Health’s ProVation Order Sets as its evidence-based order set solution.
  • Kareo lists the top six EHR features that small practices need.
  • Ingenious Med reports a 380 percent increase in the usage of its impower mobile applications in 2012. Twenty-one percent of its licensed impower clinicians now use mobile devices.
  • Deloitte interviews 12 CIOs in major health systems about the challenges of managing their IT departments.
  • InstaMed projects triple-digit growth in the wake of healthcare reform and reports having processed more than $60 billion in healthcare payments as of March 2013.
  • GE Healthcare is developing Guided Analytics and AutoBed applications for the Caradigm Intelligence Platform.
  • AT&T CMIO Geeta Nayyar discusses mobile health and how it can provide care where needed.
  • Cerner will integrate Nuance’s clinical documentation improvement technology into its Millennium EHR and RCM solutions.
  • Advanced Orthopedic Center (FL) selects SRS EHR for its nine physicians.
  • Access extends its relationship with Inpact LLC, a provider of online and social media communities for HIT, to include sponsorship of Siemens Healthcare Social.
  • As part of its $80 million healthcare integration contract, Harris Healthcare receives authorization to deploy a solution that enables the VA and DoD to share EHRs.
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital shares how LRS helped the organization simplify document management in a March 14 Webinar.
  • Capario announces a three-part Webinar series called Mastering the Art of Getting Paid starting March 20.
  • Covisint will feature Andras Cser with Forrester Research in a March 13 Webinar detailing the benefits of cloud-based identity and access management.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 12, 2013 News 2 Comments

HIMSS Wrap-up 3/8/13–Dr. Gregg’s Update

March 10, 2013 News 5 Comments

Walking Tale #HIMSS2013

You look upon a road, a long road down which you must travel. You can see the end, but it’s distant. You realize that you’d better get started because, even though it isn’t “a journey of a thousand miles,” it still will only be accomplished by taking the first step.

You begin, taking that first step, and then another, and then another. But before you’ve traveled even one thousandth of your beckoning road, you’re sidetracked by a road sign that calls to you. A way station along your path has already halted your progress and you spend the next twenty minutes partaking of the fare they offer.

Back out on the road and five more steps down the path before yet another beacon beckons your eye and begs you to stay and see. Another quarter hour passes before you rejoin your sojourn.

Each time you attempt to complete your travels, you find yourself halted after a mere few paces. Your goal of reaching the end of the road seems nearly unattainable. Still, each wayside stay brings interesting information that would be hard to otherwise glean. Each halting advance along the path adds something new to your mental arsenal.

Still, you have your goal. The end of the road seems as distant as when you started, yet on you travel.

Every few steps you notice a passerby who’s noticing your gleaming white tennis shoes. Some simply look, others grin, and more than a few pass with commentary which runs typically along the lines of, “You’re smart.”

“I’m not as slow as I look,” you reply (referring to your sagaciousness in choosing footwear suited to the trek you take, not to the speed with which you progress.)

You stride on, rarely feeling as if the snail’s pace of your excursion will ever bring the end within sight. Way station after way station, chit after chat…you always seem to be gaining something, but never seem to gaining ground.

Some of the way stations bring insights that you can use; others bring insights into things you know you’ll never use. Some show coolness and prescience; others show staleness and “catch-up-manship.” Some of the way station attendants are kind and courteous; others are neglectful and rude. (Most seem to wish they could have your footwear.)

Traveling on, you see mountains of the mundane. Many way station aides appear more interested in each other or in their digital social networks than in entertaining passersby. It worsens as the day drags on; their lassitude and languor grows driving your desire to try to disengage their disinterest down. Yet on you slog.

Occasionally, you see flashes of brilliance interspersed amongst the merely repetitive. This helps to keep you going, helps to keep you moving along toward your destination. It’s hard to know which way station will spark your imagination, but there are enough moments and methods of intrigue to keep you seeking the next. You look past the boastful, the bored, and the blatantly bland; you keep searching for the next truly bright idea or engaging way station assistant.

Finally, just when you think your feet can’t stand one more step, you realize you’ve reached the end! You’ve traveled the entire trail, meeting the brilliant and the meek-minded, seeing products superb and those barely-breathing, finding wise counsel and fulsome folly. You’ve seen it all and now you can rest…

…until, that is, you turn to walk down the next aisle.

From the trenches…

“The only exercise I take is walking behind the coffins of friends who took exercise.” – Peter O’Toole

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

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March 10, 2013 News 5 Comments

From HIMSS 3/6/13

March 6, 2013 News 22 Comments

3-6-2013 9-03-12 PM

3-6-2013 9-04-30 PM

From BD: “Re: finds from the show. Warm and fuzzies all around us.” Funny, I noticed those exact items too. I was picturing a criminal lifer in the back seat of a cab fingering his .45 nervously, but then being scared off upon learning the news that blasting the cab driver might lead to punishment. Apparently New Orleans has a target audience of literate and easily influenced would-be cabbie killers.

From IVANS to Tell You…: “Re: IVANS. ABILITY Network to acquire IVANS. Press release out tomorrow.” Unverified. Both companies are involved with Medicare/Medicaid connectivity.

From Tweeter and the Monkey Man: “Re: Jardogs acquisition by Allscripts. That effectively eliminates Jardogs from 80 percent of all deals as their portal is no longer agnostic. Will a Cerner community buy an Allscripts product? Doubtful. Watch for a rebrand.”  

3-6-2013 9-54-04 PM

Wednesday of HIMSS week is always kind of a letdown. Everybody’s tired, sluggish from too much food and drink, and many (or most) of them head out for home later in the day. You could feel the energy sucked out of the exhibit hall, which I left early because my feet were tired (I think I’m coming down with a cold) and I had pretty much seen everything (four trips back and forth the length of the hall today alone.) Above is a typical booth view, with everybody heads-down on their phones.

I attended an early ONC session that wasn’t interesting enough to hold my admittedly short attention span. At the end, some douchebag PHR vendor CEO charged the microphone in pretending to ask a question by orating endlessly at the ONC panel, then went off in a long, pedantic description of how wonderful his thumb drive PHR product is (including histrionics like waving it around in the air) and claiming it could replace HIEs. If there was one of those bank teller panic buttons, I’m sure one of the ONC people would have pressed it to have him forcibly removed, but without it they could only smile through gritted teeth hoping he would accidentally come up for air so they could interrupt his infomercial. I was afraid I’d get trampled as most of the theater joined me in fleeing for the exits. I wish I had noted the company’s name to award them the appropriate level of public ridicule.

I hate it when people ask their long-winded questions after a presentation. I’d much rather let them use index cards or tweets so I don’t have to listen to their life story instead of the speaker I came to hear. Why are they encouraged to introduce themselves since nobody cares? Why doesn’t someone hold the microphone and yank it away when they refuse to shut up? When I see the self-important folks sprint over top of each other to line up salivating for their turn at the microphone, I make an equally speedy beeline for the door knowing that the interesting part of the session is officially over.

I say it every year, but the best asset of any vendor is the Hyland magician outside their sports bar exhibit. Not only is his magician’s patter amazing (“Wanna see something cool?” which is probably equally good as a pickup line) but he then works the crowd and talks knowledgably about how the OnBase product connects to Epic or Cerner or whatever. There’s no way he could memorize all that, so he must be an employee who just happens to be a magician. Whatever they pay him isn’t enough.

People keep asking me whether Epic should join its competitors in CommonWell. My answer: I wouldn’t, at least not yet. My understanding is that the participants signed a non-binding letter of intent and kicked in up to $2 million each to perform vaguely described interoperability work on an undefined timeline. Set an Outlook reminder for a year from now and let’s see if these large publicly traded companies can actually accomplish anything that benefits patients in ways that existing interoperability and HIEs haven’t. By apparently not inviting Epic initially, at least part of their agenda is pretty clear. The HIMSS timing raises the possibility that it’s more of a marketing program than it seems, to the point that I heard that Allscripts didn’t even sign up until Sunday night (Paul Black wasn’t present at the announcement, maybe for that reason). If they can actually make progress quickly, then Epic can always join at that time since they claim membership will be open to everyone. Being in favor of patient-benefiting interoperability doesn’t necessarily mean signing up for CommonWell, and if the market demands such participation, more companies will get on board.

I heard many people today complaining about having eaten too much very rich food this week. Nobody even wanted the beignets vendors were handing out from their booths today. I was glad that I had a delightful river view tapas dinner with a new friend Tuesday night since I was overloaded with gumbo, etouffee, jambalaya, andouille sausage, fried oysters, and bread pudding. My serum Tabasco levels are off the chart.

A pet peeve: sales guys wearing white lab coats. I don’t think they realize how offensive it is to clinicians (me included) who worked hard to earn the right to wear them in appropriate situations. Maybe next HIMSS I’ll don priest vestments to listen to their pitch.

3-6-2013 8-13-55 PM

Bill Clinton drew the largest keynote crowd I’ve seen at a HIMSS conference, totally filling the main hall and darned near overwhelming the huge lobby that served as an overflow area (above). It was like Billstock. I heard that people were so packed inside the hall that they had to clear some of them out because all the blocked aisles were a fire code violation. I guess he was OK in a big picture kind of way, and it’s always fun to get a little bit of inside baseball knowledge from a former president. There were snickers when one of his stories involved “walking down the street with my young intern,” but he clarified that it’s a guy.

Live from the HIStalk Executive Lounge(that’s how Medicomp labeled it) at HIStalkapalooza – attendees issue their predictions for 2013.

3-6-2013 9-44-27 PM 

3-6-2013 9-46-49 PM

Impact Advisors sent over some pictures from their Monday night event at the Grand Isle Restaurant.

Exhibit Hall

3-6-2013 9-55-56 PM

Someone from Microsoft apologized here for their employees texting and ignoring booth attendees, so I figured I’d give them another chance. I walked up to the very same station, stood still and made eye contact, and a MSFT guy who was texting walked very slowly away from me, like he wasn’t in a hurry to get anywhere except away from me. I was then intercepted and engaged professionally and cordially by Sarah, but then again she’s the healthcare marketing executive and you would expect her to be excellent (and she was.) Still, it was a much better experience.

I assume the Microsofties and others who have minimal booth personality are technical people and you can forgive them for that. At the opposite end of the spectrum was the utterly delightful young lady at the Tellennium booth. I told her there’s no way she’s a real employee since she was just too upbeat and magnetic and she proudly said that she’s a “brand ambassador.” I liked her instantly.

Here’s a shout out to Chelsey from Radianse, who had the best engagement style I’ve seen so far this week. She wasn’t arrogant, forceful, or overly rehearsed, but she also wasn’t scared to go shoulder to shoulder into the details of their product. Nice job. She pulled me in off the aisle I was walking down and actually taught me a few things that were good to know.

Spectralink had a pretty cool “man down” phone that automatically opens a call to hospital security if the wearer either drops it or starts running. The call is initiated in speakerphone mode, so if there’s something going on or the wearer is unable to reach the phone, the person on the other end will hear it.

Salar’s booth was in a terrible location behind the menacing adjacent booth that loomed up into the rafters, but Greg Wilson did a nice job engaging me, probably just happy to see an actual person in the HIMSS no-man’s land the company assigned the company since it started over on HIMSS points after being acquired a couple of times. Our sign was out there, which is what caught my eye in the first place.

I saw our signs out at the booths of PDR Network, VitalWare, Divurgent, and SuccessEHS. Thanks to those sponsors.

3-6-2013 8-05-24 PM

Here’s a rare HIMSS sighting of Cerner’s Neal Patterson, who I noticed as he entered the Motion Computing booth this afternoon right after the Bill Clinton break.

Here’s a video of Dr. Jayne playing Quipstar in Medicomp Stadium.

3-6-2013 9-09-44 PM

Some of my favorite people are the ESD crew, who not only sported a fun and beautifully green booth that coordinated with our sign, but who were a blast at HIStalkapalooza this week, sponsored last year’s event in Las Vegas, and might reprise that role in the future. They dutifully posed for a picture. The company really is a great supporter of our work, going way beyond just mailing in a check.

3-6-2013 8-49-43 PM

This company always makes interesting shirts.

3-6-2013 9-19-12 PM

A reader sent this photo of the cool (but kind of creepy) Greenway smart-alecky avatar. The reader says its name is Christo.

3-6-2013 9-22-13 PM

I admire this ingenuity and dedication. Strata Decision Technology is a brand new sponsor and came on board too late for us to make them a booth sign. They e-mailed to say they took a picture of someone else’s, added in their own name, made their own sign, and proudly displayed it in their booth. That is just cool and it honestly moved me, like a lot of things our sponsors do to support our work. I dropped by and chatted anonymously with the folks there, who pleasantly explained what they do when I asked (a single financial platform for capital and operational budgeting, financial decision support, performance reporting, etc.) They didn’t mention it, but I see they announced a new StrataJazz customer today, St. Luke’s University Health Network (PA).

3-6-2013 9-47-46 PM

Charlie from Orchestrate Healthcare sent over this picture of our front-and-center sign. Nice.


  • Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center (NY) chooses Allscripts Financial Manager.
  • We already stated that the VA’s big $543 million RTLS project involves CenTrak and Intelligent InSites, but CenTrak makes it official.

Mr. H’s Ten Commandments for Booth People

  1. I will either turn my phone off and leave it off or, better still, put it away out of easy reach before commencing booth duty. If I can’t stay focused on doing the job I’m well paid to do for a handful of hours without screwing around with my phone, I should quit and let someone more motivated take my place.
  2. I will stand at all times, sitting only if accompanying a booth visitor.
  3. I will maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from the nearest fellow booth person to avoid the temptation of making co-worker small talk that will discourage visitors from initiating contact.
  4. I will not interrupt my fellow booth person who is speaking to a visitor, even though I might be tempted to help them complete a thought or help out with a demo. Trying to follow two people talking over each other is fatiguing.
  5. I will suggest that the most engaging of our people work the perimeter, with the assignment of quickly engaging passersby and then quickly handing them off to less-gregarious experts who can take it from there. Only the most personable people should serve in this prospect picket role.
  6. I will start conversations with pleasant chit-chat and not an overly rehearsed set of facts or questions no matter how many times I’ve delivered the spiel. Nobody likes to be bombarded immediately.
  7. I will approach every person who pauses, looks at anything in the booth, or appears lost. People of various personality types may signal their potential interest in a variety of ways.
  8. I will have a 10-second answer ready for the inevitable “what does your company do” question.
  9. I will not discriminate how I engage with visitors on the basis of job title or organization except perhaps in the case of a direct competitor. You never know who will be an influencer, either in their current role or down the road, and my time isn’t so valuable that I shouldn’t speak at least briefly to anyone who is interested.
  10. I will remember that visitors have walked miles and are probably carrying several pounds worth of vendor giveaways, so if I convince them to watch a demo, I will personally make sure they have a seat and a place to lay down their bag.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 6, 2013 News 22 Comments

From HIMSS 3/5/13

March 5, 2013 News 11 Comments

From Strange Bedfellows: “Re: Allscripts acquisition of Jardogs. Healthland is now effectively partnered with Allscripts to provide its Stage 2 MU patient portal. Must be the era of friendlier inpatient HIS vendors.”

From GE Going Gone: “Re: GE. I am sure you have your hands full at HIMSS but I didn’t see this news reported in your roundup. GE sold its EMR business (GE Strategic Sourcing) to Gores Group. Gores Group is a private equity firm known for buying assets in need of turnaround at low prices; they specialize in corporate carveouts.” GE has sold its strategic sourcing operation, which sounds from the announcement like outsourced EMR and revenue cycle management services.

Here’s the Medicomp video of HIStalkapalooza. Everybody looks good. Not to be repetitive, but thanks to everyone involved, especially Dave Lareau and Medicomp for making it happen. I met Medicomp founder and MEDCIN engine inventor Peter Goltra the other day and I was like a teenager meeting Justin Bieber.

3-6-2013 12-59-57 AM

Thanks to Judy and Carl for dropping by HIStalkaplooza. Judy even graciously posed with her trophy (I’ll list all the awards when I get time). Also among the folks I saw there were Farzad Mostashari, former National Coordinator Rob Kolodner MD, someone I haven’t met but need to Regina Holliday, and many other industry luminaries and really nice people, especially those who either already knew me by sight or who I shyly introduced myself to during the event who made me feel less nervous.

3-6-2013 1-14-58 AM

A nice moment captured by @Sphere3CEO.

3-6-2013 1-21-12 AM

Our reigning HIStalk Queen Sarah Van Dyke outside her palace.

Here’s a video of the CommonWell announcement. Inga and I spent some time with Jonathan Bush on the show floor Monday afternoon and he said he was surprised that John Hammergren and Neal Patterson were pretty funny on the stage, at least for billionaires.

Thanks to Rob Cronin at WCG, which performed a study of social media activity. HIStalk was the most popular healthcare IT source among health system CIOs, trailing only The New York Times and NPR. Very cool – thanks for doing this and for letting me know the result.

I was talking to a guy in the hall today who was in a Hampton Inn about 20 minutes out of town because it’s all he could get. He said the cab line was two hours long at 8:30 a.m. He jogged over to the adjoining highway and flagged down a cab, only to be chased by several line-waiters angry that he got a cab before them even though the cab wasn’t going to stop at the hotel anyway. It’s getting real Lord of the Flies out there.

In another example of New Orleans workforce motivation, nobody had bothered to remove the “do not drink” signs from the water fountains in the restroom even though the boil water alert had been lifted 24 hours previously.

No thanks to Allscripts, an HIStalk sponsor who took out two others today with their acquisition of dbMotion and Jardogs. Just kidding – acquisitions are a natural step as companies progress, as I’ve seen first hand by watching the remarkable number of sponsors who have been acquired, very often by other sponsors. We don’t lost many sponsors and acquisitions are by far the #1 reason. We enjoy the result of their accomplishments and like to think we had a tiny, tiny part in them.

Speaking of Allscripts, a Florida judge denies the company’s request to force a class action lawsuit brought against it by unhappy MyWay customers to arbitration, a ruling that allows the lawsuit to continue. The law firm representing the Florida medical practice that claims a forced switch from MyWay to the Allscripts Pro EHR will cost it a lot of money and that the company’s promise of Meaningful Use and ICD-10 capabilities were broken.

Epic says that despite the claims made by the co-opetition members of the CommonWell Health Alliance, nobody asked Epic to join the group that’s made up of the publicly traded companies losing business to the privately held Epic. Epic President Carl Dvorak says the group is attempting to make its members look like leaders instead of the followers they are and for that reason, he doubts Epic will join.

Exhibit Hall

3-6-2013 12-28-29 AM

I’ll make a small confession: when we cruise the exhibit hall finding interesting things to write about, we like to check in with our sponsors, especially those who displaying the autographed HIStalk sign that we offer them for free (we really, truly appreciate that level of support – thank you). Sunquest is among those who put theirs front and center in Booth #911 (congratulations to whoever wisely snagged that easily remembered number). They’ve had some fine speakers in their booth, and if you’re interested in Meaningful Use for the lab, they’ll be presenting in Booth 149, Meaningful Use Kiosk 85, at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday.

3-5-2013 6-33-56 PM

I’m like those Notre Dame football players that have to touch the overhead wall as they head out the tunnel onto the field – I can’t leave a HIMSS conference without caressing the cool carts from Enovate. This one sports a peds theme, but it still has the smooth, supple curves that I can’t keep my hands off of.

3-5-2013 6-36-44 PM

QlikView has a cool booth with a giant eye floating above it. Thanks for putting out the HIStalk sign. I’ve received a few raves from users of that product. They’re a new sponsor that I’ll talk more about later.

3-6-2013 12-14-10 AM

Good looking booth, Infor, and thanks for putting out your HIStalk sign.

3-6-2013 12-15-32 AM

I got only an over-the-shoulder look at GetWellNetwork’s platform, but I liked what I saw.

3-6-2013 12-20-15 AM

Partners Consulting, a Caradigm partner, gave me a good demo of a product they’ve built on top of what’s now called Caradigm Intelligence Platform (formerly Amalga).

3-5-2013 6-55-54 PM

Our own CIO Unplugged Ed Marx played Medicomp’s Quipstar on the show floor to benefit his charity of choice. I wasn’t able to stay to see if he won, but he was looking good up there. I met Ed in person for the first time last night at HIStalkapalooza and he’s the real deal.

3-6-2013 12-21-36 AM

Thanks, HealthMEDX, for putting our sign front and center. We appreciate it.

3-6-2013 2-21-13 AM

Do you suppose it was coincidence that this vendor person just happened to stroll down the main aisle wearing next to nothing? Do you care?

3-6-2013 12-29-23 AM

One of my favorite people to visit during the HIMSS conference is Mark Johnston of forms management software vendor Access. Once we’re finished talking healthcare IT, we move to a more serious topic: barbeque. Mark’s a on a prize-winning barbeque team, and every year we try to devise ways to work around policies prohibiting him from cranking out brisket and ribs from the smoker at or near the convention center. We branched out in a different direction today, discussing the variants of jambalaya, which his team also makes on the circuit. Green is my favorite color and his team’s shirts are a nice shade of it.

3-5-2013 6-42-39 PM

My third-favorite product of the day was the MioCARE Android-powered, semi-ruggedized tablet with a built-in 2D barcode reader. Not only was it very cool (bright green, highly ergonomic) it can run a wide range of apps using SAP’s EMR Unwired middleware (which I admit I know nothing about). They told me it costs $879, but given that you can wipe it down and drop it, it’s probably worth the difference for patient care use.

3-6-2013 1-34-14 AM 3-6-2013 1-37-20 AM

My second-favorite product of the day was ReadyDock’s tablet sterilizing system (it also charges and syncs). You’ll notice a hand on the device because everybody within arm’s reach was caressing it like an adorable child, including at one point when I was trying to slyly take a photo, THREE sets of hands, one of them belonging to a prospect and the other two attached to the loving company people. This bad boy will disinfect an iPad in 60 seconds. ReadyDock just released the CleanMe app (right) that reminds users to clean their iPad, includes a training video on cleaning, and keeps stats on the process.  I think this is brilliant.

My favorite product of the day, although I admit I saw only a 15-minute overview and demo, was BluePrint HealthCare IT’s Microsoft CRM-based Care Navigator tool that provides full visibility by both caregivers and family. It keeps all caregivers up to date with alerts, like “just registered in ED.” Users can do a lot of the patient management right from Outlook. I’ll take a second opinion if someone with more expertise than me wants to evaluate it.

Winner of the Most Fun Booth People is SynaptiCore, which does EHR implementation and support work. I heard their people hooting an hollering down the aisle and they are a ton of fun. They have a slot machine, beads, and a great sense of humor.

  • Microsoft people are usually jerks in the exhibit hall and today was no exception. I strode up in front of a couple of Windows 8 devices and patiently waited while one employee directly in front of me was texting madly. His adjacent co-worker looked up long enough to glare, then walked a few feet away and started texting himself. Vendors, I’m telling you to confiscate mobile devices because I swear at least 20 percent of reps in the hall were totally absorbed in their smartphones and ignoring passers-by. If your people are under 50, they can’t go more than 30 seconds without doing something pointless on your dime.
  • Hitach had a coffee bar and charging station.
  • One vendor gave me very cool booth swag, an Apple TV, but made me promise not to tell where I got it since it was supposed to be for elite customers. Very cool.
  • Philips Enterprise Imaging had a big crowd.
  • Streamline Health had our sign out – thanks.
  • I stopped by one booth that had five employees on duty, one of them an SVP. I stood looking at monitors for three minutes hinting that I was interested and none of them came up for air from their intra-company conversation to pay me the slightest attention. A sign said “Ask for a demo,” so I guess they took that as literal. HIMSS has the most expensive employee lounges anywhere out there on the show floor.
  • An imaging vendor had six employees in the booth and zero customers. Two were screwing around with their phones and the other four had set up shop at a table and were in deep conversation, oblivious to anyone who might intrude, like a prospect.
  • 3M’s booth has the deepest carpet I’ve ever seen. It was like walking on a very soft beach.
  • ICA – had our sign out. Thanks. I recommended them as being worth checking out to someone asking for potential HIE vendors, along with some other HIE sponsors.
  • Liberty Solutions is giving away USB-powered bladeless fans. Cool (no pun intended).
  • I asked someone at patient content vendor Healthwise to explain what they do, which he did quite nicely. They’re one of few non-profits on the floor and that’s reason enough to drop by and say hello (and an HIStalk sponsor at that).
  • CareCloud looked good on the monitor, but nobody took the cue that I’d like a look so I moved on.
  • Greenway had a big crowd looking at PrimeSUITE. They had a live avatar working the crowd that was kind of cool.
  • I saw Bob Lorsch from MMRGlobal in RelayHealth’s booth talking to one of their employees. Not sure what that was about.
  • Hannah from Halfpenny drew me in and gave a perfect answer to the “what do you do” question. They had our sign out, too.
  • Healthspot had an interesting looking consumer virtual visit portal, but I couldn’t get their attention.
  • Joshua from Ping Identity gave a nice overview of cloud-based security when I asked.
  • Infor had an interesting coffee machine and popcorn.
  • Meditech’s booth was well off the beaten track and nothing much was going on there.
  • Siemens had a blinding white booth and a big coffee bar.
  • Innovative Healthcare Solutions had our sign out and I chatted with Pat Stewart a bit.
  • API Healthcare gave an overview of Healthcare Workforce Information Exchange, which allows facilities to collect information about each employee on a single screen. It looked cool and customers are apparently saving money with it.
  • VersaSuite had our sign out and gave a good elevator pitch on their full, Microsoft-based hospital information system for smaller facilities. The guy said they’re doing well and picking up business from hospitals that regret their first EMR decision.
  • Virtelligence had a long list of available Epic expertise they offer.
  • Liaison Healthcare Informatics gave me an overview of their cloud-based data transformation and exchange tools.
  • Versus did a demo of their RFID-powered handwashing station that monitors compliance and allows following up with low-performing units or individuals.
  • Epic’s sign on the opposite side of the booth I saw yesterday says they have 80 million patients “covered on the Care Everywhere network” and that a third of the 3.4 million monthly exchange transactions it manages are with non-Epic systems. (in other words, they are already exchanging data outside Epic even though competitors claim otherwise).
  • Imprivata’s HIPAA compliant messaging tool  Cortext looked cool, but I couldn’t get anyone’s attention to show it to me.
  • Lifepoint Informatics had our sign out, gave a great elevator pitch, and handed me a $5 Starbucks gift card, which I may confer on someone else since I don’t drink coffee.
  • CHADIS, a questionnaire app that I’m too tired to look up at the moment but its something to do with special needs peds, was well presented by its MD founder in the booth.
  • MModal’s booth was super busy. They had our sign out.
  • SIS had our sign out as well, although I couldn’t steer the rep into showing me anything. He seemed puzzled why a non-surgery hospital employee should care, a point that is valid but that also kept them from letting me tell you about their product.
  • Vocera had a lot of people visiting.
  • I get the Aprima red vests now – there’s a poker table on the side of the booth I didn’t see.
  • e-MDs had our sign out – thanks.


  • Iowa Health System chooses Security Audit Manager from Iatric Systems.
  • Epic and other EHR vendors will use Nuance’s Clinical Language Understanding.
  • TeraRecon is demoing its iNtuition enterprise image management solution to support enterprise-wide vendor-neutral viewing of medical images at HIMSS this week. The company also announced that it will provide its expertise to Fujifilm.
  • Adventist Health will turn over its revenue management services to Cerner.
  • PatientPoint and Miami Children’s Hospital are named winners of the Microsoft Health Users Group 2013 Innovation Awards.
  • Orion Health announces Version 2.0 of its Direct Messaging product suite, also announcing mobile apps for remotely managing its Rhapsody integration engine.
  • DrFirst announces that e-prescribing of controlled substances rose over 400 percent in 2012.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 5, 2013 News 11 Comments

From HIMSS 3/4/13

March 5, 2013 News 3 Comments

There’s no way I can catch up on the whole day since I’m starting at nearly 11 p.m. post-HIStalkapalooza time and the hotel Internet isn’t exactly screaming, so I will follow up later. Thanks to Medicomp Systems and their crew for putting together a great event; to our hosts, judges, contestants, and other participants; to Ross and Kym Martin for a great musical opening; for Jonathan Bush for another memorable HISsies presentation; and to everyone who came out to Rock ‘n’ Bowl. Lots of people were involved in arranging transportation, running the registration and coat check areas, setting up for the band, and working together to make sure everyone had the best time possible. We had some interesting attire, amazing shoes, and some truly lovely ladies and gentlemen both on the stage and off.

3-4-2013 6-52-43 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold sponsor Strata Decision Technology. The company offers cloud-based financial analytics, business intelligence, and decision support, having integrated with EHRs (Cerner, Epic) and ERP (Lawson) systems. They do the integration and hosting, meaning the only IT time required is a couple of hours to coordinate. Customers get a single database and an integrated platform for operational budgeting, capital planning, financial forecasting, strategic planning, service line planning, cost accounting, contract analytics, and performance management. Provider organizations need to understand and manage true cost of care and margins that span episodes of care, service likes, and patient populations and Strata’s tools provide that capability. They’re not a recent addition to the analytics/BI landscape – they’ve been around 15 years. Customers include Cleveland Clinic, Hopkins, Yale, Allina, Duke, Legacy, Spectrum, and Intermountain. and they announced Mission Health (NC) as a new customer today from HIMSS. Thanks to Strata Decision Technology for supporting HIStalk.

I didn’t turn up any Strata videos on YouTube, but here’s one of CEO Dan Michelson (formerly of Allscripts) talking about a non-profit he started that hosts an annual benefit concert to send children who have been abused and neglected to overnight camp. The organization just received the “Innovation in Philanthropy Award” from the Make it Better Foundation.

Opening Session

There didn’t seem to be as much of the self-congratulatory HIMSS hoopla this time and I kind of missed that, to be honest. No looping slides listing committee members, fellows, etc. The brought in a high school marching band that seemed pretty good, but the airplane hangar acoustics make it hard to say for sure since all I heard were drums.

In an ironic moment, the teleprompter died while Willa Fields was speaking, forcing her to go back to paper.

The mayor gave a good speech. I don’t know what he’s like as mayor and he didn’t mention the fact that we were still under a boil water advisory (lifted soon after), but he was an engaging speaker and city cheerleader. He represented well. He mentioned that the city is investing $3 billion in a health complex for the VA, university hospitals, and some other players that I didn’t write down. It seemed confusing to be talking about spending all that money in the attempt to create healthcare jobs, but at the same time to be urging that we bend the cost curve (unless he meant up instead of down). Healthcare may create jobs, but it’s a drain on the economy, not a sustainable economic engine, and I found his message confusing. Healthcare can be maddening in that way as an odd mix of community pride, employment, comfort, and yet a crippling cost that someone has to pay.

The CEO of Ochsner was up next. He was pretty good, saying that only insurance companies have all the patient data from all locations, meaning we don’t really know our patients as well as they do. He pitched the idea that vendors need to not only cut their costs, but be on the hook to get paid only when their systems improve productivity. I think I would have put Bill Clinton in the opening keynote slot, but there’s a big HIMSS announcement coming Tuesday about their partnership with his foundation so they have him on Wednesday’s agenda.

Educational Sessions

Maybe it’s just me, but the educational component of the conference seems to be getting less and less interesting. I automatically don’t go to sessions that involve a vendor presenter, only because that always seems too much like a living white paper. Some sessions didn’t appeal to me, and one I attended didn’t appear to have any rigor at all behind it.  I’ve served on the Annual Conference Education Committee in years past and I have to assume that they just don’t get that many submissions, leaving them no choice but to accept some iffy ones. It doesn’t help that they’ll be soliciting presentations in just a few days for next year’s conference, with the ridiculous year-long lead time. No wonder there’s nothing innovative being discussed – everything is at least a year old by definition.

I went to a VA-DoD session on iEHR, but it was more of an overview than anything newsworthy. Theresa Cullen, MD, MS of the VA was an engaging and personable speaker and I found her really likeable. She talked about the VA’s informatics programs, their role as the government’s living lab, and mentioned some of their research work, including in human factors. She described the Janus legacy viewer that will straddle the VA and DoD systems, which sounds almost like an HIE. They are still working through identity management problems.

The ONC Town Hall was fun because the ONC folks introduced themselves and their backgrounds and showed a more human side than you might typically picture.

There were a lot of bow ties being worked everywhere. It’s Farzad’s brand and it’s catching on.


3-5-2013 12-14-57 AM

Liaison Technologies was distributing fun add-on badge ribbons, as demonstrated by a reader’s photo.

3-5-2013 12-17-14 AM

An de-identified Dr. Jayne playing Quipstar in the Medicomp booth with her security detail. She didn’t win, but she was sassy and fun and she answered some tough questions. Everybody loves Dr. Jayne. Medicomp donated money to the charities designated by the players.

Here’s the Kaiser Permanente press release announcing the HISsies win of George Halvorson for the HIStalk Healthcare IT Lifetime Achievement award and Kaiser’s repeat win as best provider user. George’s son Seth and daughter-in-law accepted the award at HIStalkapalooza on his behalf. It’s nice recognition of both George and KP.

3-5-2013 12-45-07 AM

The big news of the day and maybe the whole conference was the formation of the Commonwell Health Alliance trade association by EHR rivals Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Greenway, and McKesson (and its RelayHealth unit). They say they’ll promote data exchange among their systems and invite other vendors to join them. Notably missing from the list is Epic, whose commercial success surely had a role in bringing together its competitors.

3-5-2013 12-46-25 AM

Valence Health had a cool exhibit featuring a full-size school bus along with miniatures to give away. They had our booth sign out – thanks!

3-5-2013 12-48-22 AM

A very cool stuffed dragon giveaway by Workbeast. I got one, although I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with it.

3-5-2013 12-50-58 AM

The Aprima folks were sporting red vests. That’s our booth sign on the tabletop in green, signed by Inga, Dr. Jayne, and me.

3-5-2013 12-51-56 AM

Ladies from HITEKS giving out Mardi Gras beads. They were nice to pose for a picture.

3-5-2013 12-53-24 AM

Plantronics was giving out (and wearing) fun hats.

Booth observations:

  • Teletracking had our HIStalk sign out and gave me a bendy stress reliever thing.
  • Awarepoint was giving out cool water bottles. They had our sign out too, along with a decent crowd.
  • Ascendian was mixing real margaritas (or so they said, anyway) but you had to get a coupon from a rep.
  • iMDsoft had cookies and coffee. They gave me a demo of their anesthesia management system on an iPad and it was impressive. Best demo I’ve seen so far this week.
  • Health Catalyst had a brilliant idea in giving reps iPad Minis preloaded with slides explaining the company. That allowed them to do a personal overview from anywhere one on one. That was quite effective.
  • HyTrust had cookies.
  • CPSI’s magician was wickedly funny, giving some competition to his always excellent Hyland OnBase counterpart outside their sports bar exhibit.
  • Merge Healthcare had fresh fruit out, so I had an apple. That was a nice touch.
  • Vitera had our sign out – thanks. Friendly folks there.
  • MediQuant also had a good magician.
  • Ingenious Med gave me a good, quick overview of their charge capture system.
  • Greythorn had our sign out.
  • Cerner had a big crowd.
  • Beacon Partners had our sign out and the folks were deep in discussions with several groups.
  • McKesson employees had their “Commonwell – we’re in” right after the announcement.
  • First Databank had fancy coffee with flavorings. I don’t drink coffee, but it looked good.
  • QuadraMed’s booth was set up nicely, with a living room setup on one side.
  • A sign on Epic’s booth indicated that 66 percent of Stage 7 hospitals are on Epic, along with 100 percent of Stage 6 clinics. Judy was working the booth as usual.
  • Passport Health did a nice job engaging me as I passed by and I noticed they had our sign out.
  • The Allscripts boot was large and right across from Epic’s. Nice job. I like the green.
  • MMRGlobal had a reasonable sized booth in a good location. I saw Bob Lorsch there.
  • Healthagen had a two-story booth, one of not too many of those.
  • Novell had someone making a variety of those hot cinnamon nuts you see at ball games. If your booth is near theirs, you no doubt got tired of the smell.
  • SSI Group had their ladies dressed “Simply Irresistible” style, with pulled-back hair and bright red lipstick.
  • Sandlot Solutions had our sign out and was using a projector to shine images on a large piece of clear glass. It’s hard to explain, but it was interesting.
  • Rich Garcia from NextGate gave me a nice pitch when I feigned ignorance of their EMPI product. He played it perfectly based on my expressed interest.
  • Alert and their folks in red striped white pants were there again, which always surprises me since I assume their EHR isn’t doing much here despite its European presence.
  • Certify Data Systems had our sign out and was offering to donate $10 to the YMCA of New Orleans to each person who signed  runner’s bib.
  • Orchestrate Healthcare had our sign out. Lots of people were meeting in their booth.
  • Quest/Care360 was offering pretzels with cheese sauce. They had our sign out.
  • Wellsoft had our sign out – thanks.


  • API Healthcare announces The Healthcare Workforce Information Exchange, which allows health systems with multiple venues to share employee information across facilities.
  • Texas Children’s Hospital announces a 15 percent reduction in unnecessary x-rays for pediatric asthma patients following implementation of Health Catalyst.
  • Dell, Red Hat, Intel, and VMware announce the opening of the Wisconsin-based testing center for hospitals running Epic on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Epic and McKesson settle their patent litigation over MyChart, with McKesson granting Epic a license for its technology.
  • Allscripts announces the winners of its Open App Challenge.

Photos from HIStalkapalooza

3-5-2013 12-02-00 AM

Dr. Gregg’s bowling shirt.

3-5-2013 12-03-34 AM

Farzad accepting his “When ___ Talks, People Listen” HISsies award.

3-5-2013 12-04-44 AM

Medicomp CEO Dave Lareau and Software Testing Solutions CEO Jennifer Lyle interview Bonny Roberts of Aventura on the red carpet.

3-5-2013 12-06-26 AM

Bonny with her “Mr. H’s Secret Crush” sash.

3-5-2013 12-09-23 AM

James Harris sent this pic of the Orion bowling team: David Leach, Tanya Niemeyer, and Paul deBazio.

3-5-2013 12-10-58 AM

A James Harris shot of Tom Visotsky, winner of Inga’s Secret Crush.

3-5-2013 12-12-54 AM

Food. I liked the jambalaya and etoufee.

That’s it for now since I’m tired and it’s late.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 5, 2013 News 3 Comments

From HIMSS 3/3/13

March 3, 2013 News 9 Comments

3-3-2013 10-42-15 PM

3-3-2013 10-43-35 PM

3-3-2013 10-32-36 PM

The day started out very cold and windy, but it turned reasonably nice Sunday afternoon and will be much warmer on Monday. Thank goodness – many attendees (me being one) didn’t bring the heavy coats that were needed, both outside and in the exhibit hall today (I slipped by a security guard to roam around).

I’m beginning to be annoyed by the hotel that HIMSS foisted on me after they cancelled my reservation for the hotel I actually wanted. I nearly froze last night, and today I made sure the thermostat was set to heat and 70 degrees when I left for the convention center. Right now, it’s 56 degrees in the room and the air that’s blowing is cold. The hotel has no restaurant and needs maintenance – I’ve never until now seen a toilet whose bowl is actually peeling apart below the water line, and there’s rust on almost everything in the bathroom. For about the same money, I could have had a very nice hotel within a couple of blocks of the convention center with an actual restaurant, bar, and lobby.  I didn’t even get the swag bag that Inga mentioned in her post. I feel like a stepchild.

3-3-2013 10-29-20 PM

We’re on a boil water advisory in New Orleans supposedly until at least Monday morning, so the nice hotels dropped off bottles of water in each room, while mine left a note on the bed to traipse down to the front desk if I needed bottled water. Given that the note says you’re not supposed to even brush your teeth with water from the tap, exactly who isn’t going to need a bottle? Since that’s the case, why make every guest visit the front desk?

3-3-2013 10-39-03 PM
The water problem forced Starbucks to stop selling coffee early Sunday morning. It’s going to be an ugly scene if they don’t figure out a caffeine junkie workaround for Monday morning.

I guess you can’t blame HIMSS for the boil water advisory, but the same problem occurred here a few months ago due to the city’s crumbling infrastructure, which includes 100-year-old water processing plants and old pipes. As much as I like the restaurants and the local character, there’s no doubt in my mind that New Orleans is not capable of handling a major convention in a professional manner. The airport is small and outdated, there aren’t enough cabs to get people the long way to downtown, and I’m hearing that hotels are oversold and people are being assigned rooms out in the sticks. It feels like a backward country where nobody really cares about the small details. The only positive I can muster is that the convention center is OK and the restaurants are good.

3-3-2013 10-37-30 PM

I’ll assume this was the work of a prankster and not an inattentive convention center worker. Maybe the one sitting behind me near the food court, who was reminding everyone within earshot about the awful conditions and deaths that occurred inside the very same convention center during Katrina.

The HIMSS printed materials seem less well organized this year. I’ve overheard people who, like me, can’t find sessions they know are taking place. There is no mobile app – it’s all printed.

I haven’t heard much in the way of news and rumors so far. Most of what I’ve seen posted elsewhere appeared here last week. Monday should be the big day of announcements, including the much-awaited Cerner-McKesson interoperability one at 11 a.m. Central time. I’m not including the webcast link or physical location since the invitation was only for the press.

3-3-2013 10-35-41 PM

Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, and I had what Inga called our HIStalk board meeting this afternoon (meaning we had a drink at a bar). We headed over to the opening reception, which was OK as opening receptions go (a huge bare room, decent food, and some local options like Abita amber beer and jambalaya). The band was OK. We saw some folks we know either individually or collectively before I headed off to dinner with a friend at Red Fish Grill, which was as good as when I ate there at the previous New Orleans conference.

I feel like Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel, describing how conditions are changing as a storm moves close, the storm in this case being the rumored 35,000 people who are attending the conference. Monday morning will be the usual madhouse, with the added complication of being unable to use tap water. We’ll have more detailed reports and a quick HIStalkapalooza recap if I have the energy to stay up late to write it. We can’t see or know it all, so your contributions are welcome.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 3, 2013 News 9 Comments

From HIMSS 3/2/13

March 3, 2013 News 8 Comments

From AlohaSally: “Re: acquisition. Word on the Street is that Epic consulting company [company name omitted] just sold for $40M. Not shocking as I’ve heard stories owners were focused on building to cash in. Will they maintain culture under new identity?” We asked the company, which said they would provide a response but haven’t so far. The wording of their reply and the timing of the rumor give me the feeling that something is indeed afoot. A transaction in that price range would probably warrant a Monday morning announcement, especially assuming that companies with $40 million to spend know how to publicize themselves. As to your question, I don’t know if I’ve seen an example yet where an acquired company’s culture isn’t replaced almost immediately with that of the acquirer, sending some of the consultants and sometimes the clients themselves fleeing depending on the degree of change. It’s like a software vendor forcing clients to migrate from a retired product to another company offering – it may be perfectly fine, but it’s not what you signed up for.

Perhaps I should title this “From New Orleans” since the conference hasn’t started yet as I write this Saturday. In any case, I arrived with no problems. The airports were teeming with spring breakers headed to Mexico and other warm climes. The New Orleans airport, which seemed to me to be small and old, was already overwhelmed even though most of the ingress will be Sunday. Taxi lines were running 30-45 minutes, so who knows how bad it will get Sunday since the number of cabs is finite. 

The cab fare to downtown is a fixed $33 for 1-2 passengers, and don’t even be tempted to save a few dollars by taking the shared shuttle, which earns nearly universally negative reviews. Single travelers, which I would guess make up the majority, would be better off to self-organize the line into groups of two or three folks going to the same or close-by hotels, thus not only saving time and money, but freeing up a cab for someone else. Thank goodness a new law (which the taxi companies threatened to strike over) requires cabs to accept credit cards, which any city hoping to lure visitors should do.  

My impressions of the ride from the airport to my hotel, courtesy of the billboards lining the rather unattractive route: people come to New Orleans to eat, buy hot sauce, and visit strip clubs.

3-2-2013 4-54-13 PM

I mentioned that HIMSS dumped me off to a hotel I didn’t reserve when mine became oversold even though I made my reservation in September (how did that happen?) Note the fine craftsmanship on the bathroom door that $200 a night gets you (yes, that’s a half-inch of nothingness between the knob and the closest available wood). The “we care about the environment, so don’t make us wash your towels” sign is adjacent to a faucet that leaks in a constant stream and the full-length mirror threatens to fall off the door since two of its six holders have broken off. At least the Internet speed is good (until everybody else checks in Sunday), the bed and TV are huge, and the location is excellent.

Weather wise, it’s around 50 and mostly cloudy (downright gloomy at the moment) with a freeze warning in effect for tonight, with similar weather predicted for Sunday before a big warm-up Monday. It’s slightly springy with green grass and early leaves.

I’m patting myself on the back for my wise decision after suffering through too many HIMSS conferences trying to write voluminous HIStalk posts using the Chiclet-style keyboard of my intentionally small laptop. This time I prepared by buying a USB-powered trackball and full-size keyboard, having realized that the screen size isn’t the main challenge, it’s the input devices, and they take up almost no luggage room. 

Sunday is open for me since I didn’t sign up for any of the paid workshops, so I’ll just stroll around a bit, drop by the convention center to pick up by badge, and stop by the opening reception. It’s not only cheaper to fly in on Saturday, it makes Sunday a relaxing day.

I see on Twitter that bunches of HIMSS attendees are limbering up their fingers preparing to unleash a non-stop barrage of tweets about everything they see and hear all week. The online noise will be deafening, so I would guess that nobody’s going to read most of what’s being indiscriminately spewed.

Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I will be posting all week. Send us anything we should include – photos, rumors heard, and insightful observations. We never seem to get enough HIStalkapalooza pictures to satisfy everyone, so snap some shots there Monday evening. Help us figure out the prevalent themes of the conference since attendees often miss the forest for the trees (and the social distractions.) News and rumors will abound and we like hearing reader reactions.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 3, 2013 News 8 Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/4/13

March 1, 2013 News 3 Comments

From HyWay: “Re: Costco. They sent an e-mail to customers who purchased Allscripts MyWay through Costco’s program saying they are working with Allscripts to ‘offer solutions for members who do not feel the move to Pro is right for them.’ In the mean time, Costco has initiated arbitration proceedings against Allscripts to make sure its users get the service they expected when they bought MyWay.” Unverified, but the forwarded e-mail appears to be authentic. Its tone was amicable.

From The PACS Designer: “re: iWatch. While we wait for the anticipated Apple iTV later this year, there’s something else to look forward to and that’s an Apple iWatch. TPD posted about the Pebble watch, and speculation is that the so called iWatch will be much more innovative and unique in its style and features. Apple has a patent requesting pending on a Amoled flexible wristband device to consider as the possible final product launch, or it could still be a traditional watch similar to the Pebble.”

I’m actually writing this Friday night since I’ll be traveling to New Orleans on Saturday, so don’t be confused when I also post on Saturday and/or Sunday and the days look goofy. Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I will be writing profusely from the HIMSS conference, and to avoid giving you inbox fatigue, I’ll collect the individual links into a single e-mail blast each day.

3-1-2013 2-33-25 PM

Speaking of New Orleans, only Dallas saved the city from a last-place finish in the locations respondents would most like to see HIMSS conferences held. All the southern cities fared poorly in the poll except Orlando, which is about as southern as Ohio and New Jersey in every way except location. The three-city rotation should be Orlando, Las Vegas, and overwhelming winner San Diego if HIStalk readers rather than HIMSS were choosing. Not only is this year’s host city nearly bottom ranked, but so is the 2015 one, Chicago. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who misses San Diego, which HIMSS outgrew, but the convention center is planning a $500 million expansion that will place it back among the A-list. New poll to your right: is the industry experiencing an EHR backlash? You only get a yes/no choice, but the poll accepts comments in which you can further elucidate your position.

Lt. Dan had e-mailed me off the record about problems he’s having personally because of the lack of VA-DoD system integration. I suggested he write it up since he’s both a veteran and an HIT person, not to mention the author of HIStalk’s daily headlines and most of the posts on HIStalk Connect. I think his piece, Making the Transition: What the iEHR Failure Means for Veterans, paints a clearer picture of the problem than you’ll get from the agencies themselves.

3-1-2013 6-36-01 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Caristix, which offers HL7 software for interface lifecycle management. The company offers Cloak (HL7 de-identification), Pinpoint (interface troubleshooter), Conformance (interface specs development), and Test (complex interface validation and simulation). They will also help get you connected to the Mirth open source integration engine. You can download trials of everything from their site, and also the entirely free HL7 profile reader and an HL7 listener and router for recording and playing HL7 messages to validate connectivity. They have tools for providers and vendors alike. Interface folks will enjoy their HL7 Survival Guide, a no-nonsense guide to interface projects and technology. I featured the company in my Innovator Showcase just over a year ago, which included an interview with one of its customers and another with President Stéphane Vigot. Thanks to Caristix for supporting HIStalk.

My predictable YouTube cruise resulted in this Caristix video.

3-1-2013 7-08-30 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor eHealth Technologies. The company’s eHealth Imaging Solutions provide single-click access to diagnostic quality X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, ECG, etc. from an existing EHR or HIE solution. Clinicians gain the ability to view and collaborate using eHealthViewer ZF, a zero-footprint unified imaging platform that allows secure viewing of any image over the web. eHealth Imaging Solutions supports trauma and emergency access to images, allows transferring DICOM images between PACS locations so that radiologists can view outside exams, and provides cloud-based archival and disaster recovery solutions. Hospitals, IDNs, and HIEs can strength their referral networks, reduce the cost of physical media, meet MU Stage 2 image sharing requirements, reduce patient risk from unavailable images and radiation exposure from duplicate exams, and lower IT costs with the zero-footprint viewing platform that runs on all browsers and platforms (including iOS and Android). Thanks to eHealth Technologies for supporting my work.

Here’s a video I found featuring customers describing the benefits of eHealth Technologies for accessing images.

3-1-2013 3-12-21 PM

The Department of Defense chooses Health Language from Wolters Kluwer Health to provide terminology solutions to support enhanced documentation, population analytics, and business intelligence reporting across the Armed Forces Clinical Database.

3-1-2013 7-45-26 PM

TeleTracking will announce its Real-Time Capacity Management platform at HIMSS, with clients on hand in Booth #6619 to describe their experience with the company’s systems.

3-1-2013 7-46-23 PM

NextGen Healthcare will unveil NextGen Population Health at the HIMSS conference, which will help providers meet patient-centered medical home and ACO goals.

3-1-2013 7-48-09 PM

Vitera Healthcare Solutions releases Intergy v8.10, which includes enhancements for ICD-10, Meaningful Use, patient engagement, disease management, and performance-based reimbursement.

3-1-2013 7-53-04 PM

Covenant Health (TN) and Capital Region Health Care (NH) choose McKesson Paragon.

Hackensack Alliance ACO chooses Health Catalyst for care coordination, to be announced Monday. 

Patients whose hospitals or physician practices are customers of lifeIMAGE will be able to review their medical imaging results online using a free new service offered by the company, which also announces its support for Blue Button.

3-1-2013 7-53-51 PM

HIMSS Analytics will showcase the products and services of the recently acquired CapSite at the conference in Booth #4929, including the CapSite Database (pricing and contracts) and an expanded Consulting and Research & Advisory Services offering.

Optum will resell MModal’s Fluency Direct speech understanding solution as part of its documentation and coding systems.

Medical documentation vendor Command Health will use Clinithink’s CLiX natural language processing technology to turn physician narrative into indexed and tagged free text. Clinithink also announces that Health Evolutions Partners operating partner and former Microsoft Health Solutions Group VP Peter Neupert has joined its board.

3-1-2013 7-57-49 PM

Baystate Health (MA) chooses Awarepoint’s RTLS solution for asset management and capacity management in its three hospitals.

3-1-2013 3-53-35 PM

Vonlay has posted a page that displays photo-containing tweets that use the #HIMSS13 hashtag, which they also did during Epic’s UGM. It has several photos already but will surely blow up with tons of them come Monday (you’ll see a gazillion pictures of a microscopic Bill Clinton later in the week).

Quest Diagnostics, which includes Care360 and MedPlus, will host several speakers in its HIMSS theater, including HIStalk Connect’s Travis Good, MD.

We reported that Practice Fusion has discontinued its billing system partnership with Kareo based on the wording of an e-mail sent to Practice Fusion users that referred to the relationship in the past tense while announcing enhancements to Practice Fusion’s own billing system. According to Kareo, the business relationship continues and users of the products will continue to benefit from the integration.

3-1-2013 6-29-03 PM

I said from the beginning that Groupon’s business model was unsound for several reasons (low barrier to entry, discounting rarely earns businesses loyal customers) but I’ll give its now-fired 32-year-old CEO Andrew Mason kudos for writing the best executive resignation letter in history. Snips from it:

People of Groupon, after four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention … As CEO, I am accountable. You are doing amazing things at Groupon, and you deserve the outside world to give you a second chance. I’m getting in the way of that. A fresh CEO earns you that chance … For those who are concerned about me, please don’t be – I love Groupon, and I’m terribly proud of what we’ve created. I’m OK with having failed at this part of the journey … If there’s one piece of wisdom that this simple pilgrim would like to impart upon you: have the courage to start with the customer. My biggest regrets are the moments that I let a lack of data override my intuition on what’s best for our customers. This leadership change gives you some breathing room to break bad habits and deliver sustainable customer happiness – don’t waste the opportunity! I will miss you terribly. Love, Andrew.

3-1-2013 6-33-58 PM

Secure Threads introduces bring-your-own hospital gowns intended to prevent medical errors by having the patient’s name, blood type, allergies, age, medical conditions, and emergency contacts embroidered into the fabric.

Safe travels and an enjoyable and productive week for all those traveling to New Orleans. For those who aren’t attending, feel free to goof off all week while your boss is away.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 1, 2013 News 3 Comments

News 3/1/13

February 28, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

2-28-2013 9-14-26 PM

A House panel, obviously fed up by the DoD’s cavalier attitude toward the VA’s VistA system compared to its own AHLTA EHR, demands to know why DoD won’t adopt the highly successful VistA. DoD says it’s looking at VistA yet again, but says it will evaluate it against commercial systems in attempting to “skate where the puck will be” and is concerned about multiple VistA versions and lack of conversion documentation. Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL), as puzzled as the rest of us about whether VA-DoD will adopt a single EHR or try to cobble their respective systems to merely look like one, summarized as, “It sounds to me like we’re doing a U-turn and going back to the exact same thing again.” Outgoing VA CIO Roger Baker says estimates to develop the integrated system had doubled to $12 billion. One might assume that given Epic’s previous rumored involvement, its Coast Guard EHR experience, and its track record in large and diverse organizations, it might enter the picture in some fashion as the words “commercial systems” are uttered in polite company.

Reader Comments

From Jardone: “Re: Jardogs. A sale to Allscripts is imminent. Layoffs began yesterday, which appear to be across the board. Since Jardogs is owned by Springfield Clinic, no severance will be paid. Today is the last day for many, including myself.” Unverified. I e-mailed our contact at Jardogs inviting a response, but haven’t heard back. Jardogs, which offers patient engagement and health management solutions, is an Allscripts partner.

From Looking Deeper: “Re: MU Stage 2 requirements. Do your readers have tips for getting clarification for questions that aren’t resolved in the documentation? We would like to contact CMS. It’s a shame they don’t have an e-mail address or form.” A reader reports having successfully used this form, selecting “EHR Incentive Program” as the topic. She got a response in three weeks.

2-28-2013 9-18-23 PM

From Festus: “Re: coding issues. Jail time?” A 63-year-old cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon is serving a 10-month sentence for Medicare fraud, convicted for upcoding his cases. The US Attorney says his case sends a message to doctors, while professional organizations say that message is that doctors shouldn’t accept Medicare payment because nobody can comply with its complex requirements and now they could be imprisoned for making mistakes. According to the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, “This precedent criminalizes false statements in a private setting without any proof of billing fraud and a greater interference with the day to day practice of medicine is difficult to imagine.” The doctor’s dictated reports from 10 years ago were found to have specified the wrong kind of graft in two of 2,400 operative reports. He says he was too busy to keep up with the reports and had been told to use a code that was similar if he couldn’t find the right one. AAPS says the irony is that he could have justifiably billed a lot more than he actually did even with the mistake. The charges say the surgeon did more than just choose the wrong CPT code – they say he also falsified his progress notes. It would be interesting to see if those were generated with computer assistance since that’s the only reasonable excuse.

From CEO: “Re: HIStalk. I start every day by catching up and reading HIStalk. It really is a wonderful source of content that helps me keep a good pulse on the industry. Thank you for serving so many of us!!!” Inga was happy to read this CEO’s e-mail in response to receiving his HIStalkapalooza invitation as one of few positive comments we’ve received lately, as most of our recent e-mails are from people complaining about not being invited to HIStalkapalooza because they didn’t register. I suppose I should be flattered that people care that much about attending.

2-28-2013 9-21-20 PM

From CatsEyes: “Re: three tidbits. Did you mention that Dr. Tonya Hongsermeier (above) left Partners CIRD to become CMIO of Lahey? Lovely and very smart person. And with Partners, Boston Medical Center, Lahey, and Lifespan all going to Epic. From New Haven to Mid coast Maine – Epic rules.” I left out Tidbit #1 since it involved a sales VP whose new job I couldn’t immediately confirm. I’m dating myself by admitting that when I hear Tonya’s name I still think of her being at Cerner, which she hasn’t been forever.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

2-28-2013 9-10-58 AM

inga_small I took an unplanned three-hour field trip to the ER on Wednesday. Of course I asked the staff all sorts of questions about what technology they had in place (and why they were using so much paper.) Turns out I am just fine and my stress over selecting the perfect pair of shoes for HIStalkapalooza does not seem to be a contributing factor. Mr. H, however, thinks all the e-mails begging for last-minute HIStalkapalooza invites may have put me over the edge.

inga_small Have you stayed current with HIStalk Practice? If not, some of this week’s highlights include: only 60 percent of physicians are interested in participating in ACOs. ISALUS Healthcare introduces a new version of its OfficeEMR. Memphis Obstetrics & Gynecology Association goes live on MED3OOO’s InteGreat EHR. Practices have an increased need for population patient health tools. I love new e-mail subscribers, so take a moment to register for updates when checking out these stories. Thanks for reading.

2-28-2013 5-29-58 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Forward Health Group, located on Capitol Square in Madison, WI. The orange above looks juicy and that’s no coincidence – the company’s PopulationManager tool serves up QI and outcomes data to health systems that’s fresh, never frozen, squeezing it from your current systems, claims data, or administrative data. It’s accurate, actionable, complete, and timely, not to mention physician accepted at the individual patient level. The founders started out working in public health reporting back in 2004, meaning they had to figure out early on how to extract and aggregate data from a veritable science fair of disparate IT systems to create apple-to-apples measurements (that’s my second fruit analogy if you’re scoring at home.) It’s a fruit punch (fruit reference #3) of advanced informatics, population health best practices, and elegant visual explanations. They’ll set up a meeting or come to you at HIMSS or at HIStalkapalooza to tell you more – just e-mail them. Thanks to Forward Health Group for their berry (#4) much appreciated support of HIStalk. I have a feeling they’re a lot of fun, so you might be on the lookout for CEO Michael Barbouche or docs John Studebaker, MD and Sean Thomas, MD Monday night at Rock ‘n’ Bowl.

I found this Forward Health Group video that talks more about Fresh Data.


Thanks to Levi, Ray & Shoup, which not only issued a press release calling out my recent interview with SVP John Howerter, but used most of it to say nice things about HIStalk. I enjoyed talking with John because I consider myself something of an expert on print spooling-related problems in hospitals (having gotten myself hopelessly stuck in the middle of those problems many times over the years, unfortunately) so I was asking questions from my own experience.

2-28-2013 6-36-30 PM

Verisk Health is supporting HIStalk as a Platinum Sponsor. The company builds solutions for every payer type, including medical cost management, government reporting, payment accuracy, and revenue compliance. They can help identify risk, save money, and improve care. Providers interested in accountable care programs need tools for cost control, quality improvement, and population health management, and that also means you would probably benefit from getting a free copy of Verisk’s provider toolkit. Edward Hospital (IL), for example, is using PopulationAdvisor (through Premier) to monitor its clinical and financial performance, combining Premier’s comparative provider database with Verisk Health’s risk-based payer analytics to gain a better understanding of outcomes and cost of care provided both inside and outside the hospital. Verisk Health President Joel Portice has been around the industry for a long time, holding executive roles with Intelimedix, HCI, Enclarity, and Fair Isaac (not to mention that he’s also a novelist). Thanks to Verisk Health for its support of HIStalk.

HIMSS Conference and Social Events

inga_small Wen Dombrowski, MD, who tweets under @healthcareWenF, forwarded me this list she compiled of socials, Tweetups, and physician exec events. She is doing a Segway tour Saturday afternoon that sounds particularly fun.

2-28-2013 6-24-02 PM

I’m posting this shoe porn for Inga and Dr. Jayne, sent in by the (male) president of a new sponsor who clearly understands their fixation. Very hot.

2-28-2013 12-46-25 PM

inga_small The weather forecast for New Orleans looks pretty darned good. The mild temperatures suggest open-toed shoes as a viable option. Heavy coats can remain at home, or at least in the hotel room.

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meet-Ups
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Exhibitor Giveaways

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Practice Fusion buys 100Plus, a startup co-founded by Practice Fusion CEO Ryan Howard that provides analytics-drive personalized health predictions.

Health Catalyst increases its Series B round by $8 million with participation from Kaiser Permanente Ventures and CHV Capital.

2-28-2013 7-49-14 PM

Revenue cycle solutions vendor Cymetrix Corp. acquires analytics vendor CareClarity.


2-28-2013 5-12-48 PM

Resolute Health (TX) selects Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager EHR and Allscripts Community Record for HIE and analytics.

Physician-hospital organization St. Vincent’s Health Partners (CT) chooses McKesson Population Manager and McKesson Risk Manager to manage the health of high-risk populations.

2-28-2013 3-21-03 PM

PeaceHealth will integrate Streamline Health’s AccessAnyWare enterprise content management solution with Epic ambulatory.

Evolution Health will deploy Greenway Medical’s PrimeSUITE across its national network of house call providers.

2-28-2013 9-24-44 PM

Northeast Georgia Health System (GA) will implement McKesson Paragon.

Daughters of Charity Health System will implement CliniComp’s Essentris Fetal mobile EMR in all of its hospitals. 


2-28-2013 5-14-12 PM

API Healthcare names Daryl Joslin (Defran Systems) chief marketing officer.

2-28-2013 5-15-29 PM

WorldOne, the parent company of Sermo, names Kerry Hicks (HealthGrades) chairman.

2-28-2013 5-16-25 PM

Press Ganey Associates adds Ralph Snyderman, MD (Duke University Health) to its board.

2-28-2013 8-11-21 PM

Beverly Bell (CSC) joins Health Care DataWorks as chief nursing officer and VP of implementation services and business performance management.

Announcements and Implementations

2-28-2013 3-30-39 PM

City of Hope (CA) implements Harris Corporation’s BI Practice Variation dashboards to identify opportunities for improving clinical outcomes, safety, and documentation.

Taylor Regional Hospital (GA) and Griffin Hospital (CT) complete activation of PerGen’s PeriCALM perinatal system in their labor and delivery departments.

Awarepoint makes its aware360 Suite for Workflow Automation services available on a cloud-based platform.

Wolters Kluwer Health introduces ProVation Care Plans powered by Lippincott’s Nursing Solutions, which provides tools for maintaining evidence-based interdisciplinary care plans.

First Databank announces new medication decision support tools that include interoperability mappings (linking RxNorm to FDB data, for example), enhanced AlertSpace functionality to reduce alert fatigue, and state and federal controlled substances information.

2-28-2013 9-26-16 PM

EHR vendor Practice Fusion announces that it has discontinued its relationship with billing system vendor Kareo due to “due to Kareo’s recent price hikes” while also acknowledging that “billing has not been our strongest feature.” The Practice Fusion announcement did not mention that Kareo announced its own free EHR last week. We invited both companies to respond and received this from Kareo:

Kareo is committed to delivering an open platform and supporting multiple EHR options driven by customer requirements, including partner-based solutions and Kareo EHR. Kareo will continue to work closely with our EHR partners to enhance and support our existing integrated solutions while adding new options over time. We believe this approach provides our current and future customers with the greatest flexibility to choose the best EHR for their specific needs. Kareo is proud of our reputation as a provider of intuitive and affordable solutions, and we are committed to delivering the highest value to our customers. The pricing plans for our customer base remain in place and have not changed in any way.

2-28-2013 9-27-22 PM

The iPad-powered Sparrow EDIS from Montrue Technologies becomes the first ED system to earn certification under the 2014 Meaningful Use criteria.

Allscripts will demonstrate award winners of its Allscripts Open App Challenge at the HIMSS conference, presenting $150,000 in prizes to 15 winners at Booth #3441 on Monday at 3:00 p.m. The company will also donate $5 to one of three charities (#AHA, #ACCS, or #JDRF) for tweets to @Allscripts answering the question, “What does Open mean to you” or “How have you benefitted by using Allscripts?”

Surescripts will announce Friday that electronic prescribing service NewCrop will connect to The Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability, which allows providers to securely share clinical information.

QuadraMed announces that Shands HealthCare (FL) will integrate the company’s AcuityPlus nurse resource management system with the Epic system that Shands is implementing.

VMware announces vCloud for Healthcare, which will allow healthcare IT customers to use a common cloud infrastructure inside and outside hospitals.

2-28-2013 8-27-39 PM

Sharp HealthCare (CA) and the Foundation for Health Coverage Education launch the for-profit PointCare Web-based eligibility software vendor, saying it will “change the tone of financial conversations with their uninsured patients.” Uninsured patients take a short quiz that identify the government programs that 80 percent of them are eligible for.


2-28-2013 12-04-01 PM

Athenahealth will invest up to $10 million and lease up to 60,000 square feet of office space in Midtown Atlanta for more than 700 employees.

A CHIME survey finds that the average base salary for healthcare CIOs in 2012 was $208,417, with respondents holding the EVP/CIO title averaging 50 percent more. More than half held a master’s degree, earning 10 percent more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Three-quarters of the CIOs reported receiving a raise of less than five percent in 2012.

2-28-2013 8-55-32 PM

The Nashville business paper profiles Shareable Ink President and CEO Stephen Hau. The 50-employee, 82-hospital software company relocated there from Boston in 2010.

Security researchers using CyberCity, a military-developed model city used to study cyberattacks, find that the city’s electronic medical records system is full of security holes. “OpenEMR from a security perspective is a disaster,” overlooking the fact that few if any US hospitals use that particular open source system.

I’ve gotten wind of an upcoming announcement from Michelle Obama’s Partnership for a Healthier America in which several EHR vendors that I won’t name (mostly the usual suspects, with some surprises) will pledge to add five anti-obesity features to their products at the March 6-8 PHA summit in Washington, DC. The features are BMI and weight classification percentiles, activity and dietary assessments, weight goal monitoring, referral to providers and community resources, and the ability to create a Healthy Weight Plan.

2-28-2013 9-32-23 PM

In Australia, Canberra Hospital will upgrade its ED system security after several employees were found to be altering patient data to make wait time statistics look more favorable. Most of the employees could not be identified because the EDIS was set up with generic user IDs like “nurse” and “doctor,” with managers claiming that the department could not function if users had to sign on and off individually. The upgrade will include quick logon/logoff. A server crash of the same EDIS caused the hospital to go on diversion Wednesday as the ED went back to paper.

In Canada, doctors in Nova Scotia complain of system crashes and response time problems with their $4 million Nightingale Informatix EMR, for which they were paid $10,000 each in government incentives to use. The company acknowledges software problems.

Cerner is among four dozen medical device and supply vendors that will pass along the new PPACA-mandated 2.3 percent medical device excise tax directly to their hospital customers.

Weird News Andy wonders if Meaningful Use statistics could be similarly fudged. The acting CEO of an English hospital resigns after an investigation finds that Royal Bolton Hospital coded its patient deaths due to septicemia at quadruple the expected rate, with interim findings indicating “cause for concern.” Hospitals get paid more for treating septicemia.

inga_small Researchers find that drinking red wine may protect against noise-induced hearing loss. When not drinking Hurricane Ingas, I will make a point of sticking to red wine when club hopping in the Big Easy.

Sponsor Updates

  • PatientKeeper will feature a number of hospital executives in Booth #2210 at HIMSS.
  • Wellcentive will join the Accountable Care Community of Practice.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting will feature The Honorable Tommy Thompson and Fred L. Brown at its customer and industry appreciation event at HIMSS next Tuesday.
  • Gates Hospitalists (MO) secures Medicare reimbursement using Ingenious Med’s PQRS Registry.
  • Nuance leases an additional 28,000 square fee of office space in Cambridge, MA to accommodate about 175 employees.
  • A local paper profiles Lyster Army Health Clinic (AL) and its use of RelayHealth’s secure messaging solution.
  • Iatric Systems adds CynergisTek as a reseller of its Security Audit Manager and Medical Records Release Manager solutions.
  • Lifepoint Informatics will sponsor the G2 Pathology Institute Conference February 28 – March 1 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • CSI Healthcare IT spotlights Evan Ritter, its top sales performer of 2012.
  • University Health System (TX) reports a cost savings of over $13 million within a year of contracting with MedAssets for consulting, analytics, and process improvement services.
  • Covisint will integrate Milliman’s opportunity-based population analytics capabilities into its healthcare platform.
  • AT&T lists six questions to ask healthcare cloud vendors to ensure data security.
  • eClinicalWorks  shares details of how Coastal Medical (RI) achieved a 200 percent return on its original investment and improved care coordination utilizing the company’s EHR.
  • A Nuance Communications’ survey finds that 80 percent of US doctors believe virtual assistants will change how they interact and use EHRs and will benefit patients by making them more engaged in their own healthcare.
  • McKesson names the Bread of Healing Clinic (WI) the company’s first recipient of its Practice Choice EHR software as part of the McKesson Give Back initiative.
  • Impact Advisors Principal Rob Faix is featured in a podcast discussing PHI data breaches.
  • St. Luke’s Cornwall Medical Group (NY) shares how it increased cash collections by 17 percent utilizing Greenway’s PrimeRCM.
  • Mitochon Systems will integrate drug safety information from PDR Network into its Electronic Medical Office platform.
  • Merge Healthcare will bundle MModal Fluency for Imaging and MModal Catalyst for Radiology with its Merge PACS portfolio.
  • Signature Sleep Services, dba Sleep360, will market and integrate ZirMed’s RCM solutions with its platform of sleep medicine tools.
  • Georgia-Pacific Professional introduces the SafeHaven monitoring system, which combines Versus RTLS technology with Georgia-Pacific’s dispensers and skin care products. 

EPtalk  by Dr. Jayne


Several readers have asked Inga and me for HIStalkapalooza fashion advice. DO wear sassy bowling shoes or a cool retro bowling shirt. DON’T wear anything from MSN’s list of ugliest shoes of all time.


With HIMSS starting in a few days, my inbox is really filling up. If you’re exhibiting, that means you are a technology company of some kind or at least peripherally in the technology sphere. Up your game (and the chances that your message will actually be read) by proofreading your content and removing tags like that in the e-mail above prior to sending.

Even with a relatively full inbox, it’s a slow news week as everyone saves up their big news to announce at the show. You don’t have to make a big splash at HIMSS to be a success. Vendors are quietly certifying their products for Meaningful Use 2014 and I salute them.

I’ve had a lot of questions about what I’ll be looking at during the show. Rest assured I’m making my list and checking it twice. I plan to spend plenty of time in the far reaches of the exhibit hall looking for the next big thing, so stay sharp because you never know when we might come by your booth.

I’m off to the Crescent City tomorrow and will bring you the news and happenings of HIMSS. For those of you unable to attend, thank you for keeping the availability high, the loads balanced, and the issue resolution times low. We’ll raise a glass in your honor at HIStalkapalooza. Laissez les bons temps rouler!


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 28, 2013 News 2 Comments

News 2/27/13

February 26, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

2-26-2013 9-07-23 PM

Telus Health will acquire MD Practice Software, which will make Telus the largest EMR vendor in Canada. The deal is scheduled to close Monday.

Reader Comments

2-26-2013 7-26-23 PM

From Spell Checkeroff: “Re: HIPAA. The Miami Herald did something you don’t see often – spelled out the law’s name correctly, then derived an incorrect acronym!” I’ve noticed that as newspapers continue their slow swirl down the toilet, they keep losing their better people who might be able to actually investigate a story, proof read, or write editorials that express original thoughts. About all they’re good for now is sports scores, Hollywood gossip, and funny stories with zero news value. On the other hand, that’s about all their declining audience wants to read anyway.

From NoPhone: “Re: Booth etiquette. Last year you ran an article about HIMSS booth etiquette and we would love to share it with our sales team.” The Readers Write by Rosemarie Nelson offers tips for vendors on the trade show floor.

2-26-2013 7-20-48 PM

From Moe Money: “Re: PQRS submissions. See forwarded e-mail.” Above.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

2-26-2013 6-28-53 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Ping Identity, also known as “The Identity Security Company.” Its identity and access management platform provides one-click access to any application from any device, with over 900 enterprise customers including 45 of the Fortune 100. The company’s health solutions make it easier to run cloud-based applications and to meet compliance requirements, offering single sign-on to improve user satisfaction. They also provide a seamless, secure platform for internal and external collaboration and customer engagement. Ping Identity’s solutions help protect PHI and allow users of federated applications to be quickly disabled in the event of a breach. A free trial of PingFederate is available for download. Pay them a visit at HIMSS Booth #2470 and tell them you read about them on HIStalk. Thanks to Ping Identity for supporting my work.

My YouTube hunt was successful, turning up this educational Ping Identity video on Identity Management 101. It’s a really good and easily understood overview.

HIMSS Conference and Social Events

inga_small I have been hunting for a HIMSS mobile app that includes the schedule and meeting rooms. Has anyone seen one?

inga_small If you signed up to attend HIStalkapalooza before registration closed on Monday, February 11 and did not receive an invitation by e-mail, drop me a note by Thursday and I’ll check your status. Otherwise, we are totally full even though Medicomp doubled capacity to 1,000 this year, which means we unfortunately can’t invite you even if you’re one of the folks who are pleading that your HIMSS experience might be a bust if you are unable to participate in the “Inga Loves My Shoes” contest, drink Hurricane IngaTinis and Typhoon Janes, and hobnob with the coolest folks in HIT.

2-26-2013 3-59-46 PM

inga_small For those who received HIStalkapalooza invitations, here is transportation information:

  • The good folks at Medicomp have put together a pocket-sized card with transportation details. You can pick it up from their Booth #3068 on Monday or get one from one of the human directionals that will be in the main hallway of the convention center starting at 5:30 PM on Monday. Look for the HIStalk/MEDCIN Engine tee shirts and signs.
  • Buses will leave convention center for HIStalkapalooza from 6:15 p.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • If you are driving, Rock ‘n’ Bowl is located at 3000 S. Carrollton Avenue and has plenty of free surface parking.
  • Return bus service to specific downtown hotels starts at 9:00 p.m.
  • Bus service is complimentary, as is coat and bag check at the venue.
  • A Transportation Concierge will be located at the front of Rock ‘n’ Bowl to answer any questions. They can help you get a taxi if you’re in a hurry to leave and don’t mind paying.

Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I (Mr. H) will be covering HIMSS in great detail starting this weekend. Let us know if there’s anything you would like is to report on beyond the obvious (booth snark, making fun of people who deserve it, spilling the dirt we overhear in coffee lines and restrooms, and our jaded assessment of what’s important and what clearly isn’t). We intentionally avoid one-on-one appointments and demos since those are usually a waste of time, preferring to do our reporting from the ground as regular, anonymous attendees. Contact us from there if you run across anything interesting.

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meet-Ups
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Exhibitor Giveaways

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

2-26-2013 9-50-22 PM

Shares in Accretive Health drop 20 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday after the company announces that it will delay reporting Q4 and FY2012 results while it evaluates its revenue recognition policies for its revenue cycle management agreements. Any change might require restating prior-period financial statements, management added.

Cerner announces that it will acquire PureWellness, which offers a health and wellness platform for corporate wellness programs and insurers, strengthening its position in the population management market.

2-26-2013 9-08-19 PM

Craneware reports half-year profit of $0.12/share compared to $0.10/share a year ago. Revenues were up seven percent.

2-26-2013 9-08-56 PM

OCHIN, which operates Oregon’s REC, acquires the Oregon Health Network, a non-profit focused on improving quality and access of healthcare through HIT and other initiatives.

Informatica acquires process automation company Active Endpoints.


Graham Hospital (IL) selects Merge Healthcare’s iConnect Enterprise Clinical Platform and Honeycomb Archive solution.

2-26-2013 9-10-14 PM

Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center (AZ) chooses Ingenious Med’s impower charge capture solution to improve documentation and communication.


2-26-2013 11-07-27 AM

Vocera Communications appoints Sandra Miley (Juniper Networks) VP of corporate marketing.

2-26-2013 6-18-13 PM

Elsevier names Jim Nolin, MD (Ascension Health) editor-in-chief of InOrder,  an Elsevier order set solution that’s scheduled to launch in March.

2-26-2013 6-57-58 PM

Beacon Partners promotes Kevin McKittrick (above) and Scott Freeman to principal.

2-26-2013 7-32-25 PM

Cornerstone Advisors Group names Kristi Lane (Stage 7 Consulting) VP of talent management.

Charles C. Corogenes (Toshiba) joins ChartWise Medical Systems as VP of sales and marketing.

Announcements and Implementations

Kansas HIN transmits immunization data from the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas to the Kansas Immunization Registry through the ICA CareAlign HIE platform.

Rockcastle Regional Hospital (KY) goes live as the first user of Patient Logic’s physician documentation system.

2-26-2013 8-01-23 PM

You might think managed services vendor ClientFit would spell the name of its new partner athenahealth correctly in its press release announcing that relationship. You would be wrong, although I might be inclined to side with them because their version is at least properly broken out into separate words and capitalized correctly. I grit my teeth and follow The Associated Press Stylebook, which says to use the company’s made-up lower case version except when athenahealth begins a sentence, in which case capitalize it even if they wish you wouldn’t.

Albany Medical Center will become the first healthcare provider in New York to utilize Direct Messaging through the Healthcare Xchange of NY.

2-26-2013 9-28-32 PM

QuadraMed announces that Avita Health System (OH) attested for Stage 1 Meaningful Use through its use of the company’s QCPR EHR that the health system implemented last year.

Winona Health (MN) says its implementation of Cerner’s revenue cycle solutions for acute and ambulatory services fueled a 25 percent decrease in clinic coding turnaround time and consolidation of hospital and clinic billing.

Legacy Data Access introduces LegacyCompleteClinicalView and LegacyRemitBank to enhance clinical and revenue cycle functionality for retired healthcare applications.

Jardogs releases version 1.5 of its FollowMyHealth universal health record.

CommVault launches Simpana 10, which offers an open, scalable platform and advances in data and information management.

LDM Group’s ConnectSys 3.0 achieves 2014 Edition Ambulatory and Inpatient EHR Module Certifications by ICSA Labs.

McKesson announces that more than 90 percent of physician users of its iKnowMed oncology EHR have successfully attested for Meaningful Use.

2-26-2013 7-00-56 PM

McKesson and Cerner will announce their unspecified collaboration (presumably related to cooperative interoperability in trying to derail the Epic juggernaut) from HIMSS on Monday, March 4 at 11 a.m. Central.

2-26-2013 9-16-01 PM

Microsoft-GE joint venture Caradigm will announce next week its selection by Continuum Health Partners (NY) to provide tools that will support the health system’s care coordination and population health strategy. Caradigm’s products include the Caradigm Intelligence Platform (the new version of Amalga), applications from both Caradigm and third parties for population health management, Caradigm Health Information Exchange, and identity and access management solutions.

MMRGlobal, featured in my interview with CEO Bob Lorsch, will launch a health and wellness app at the HIMSS conference that will work with its MyMedicalRecords PHR. The company also says it has started notifying mobile healthcare app vendors that their products appear to infringe on its patents.

MModal and 3M Health Information Systems collaborate to link MModal’s voice-enabled clinical documentation platform with the 3M 360 Encompass computer-assisted coding system.

VitalWare files a provisional patent for Sherpa, a physician documentation ontology engine that automatically presents physicians with clinical concepts and their related categories at the point of care.


2-26-2013 8-14-31 PM

An India-based startup announces Uchek, a urinalysis app for smartphones. You pee in a cup, not on the phone, and then take photos of dipped chemical strips to monitor diabetes, UTIs, and kidney and bladder problems. I might be concerned that its display shows “keytone” since I get nervous when medical software contains misspellings.

I mentioned the Android-only Swiftkey on-screen keyboard and medical dictionary ($3.99) that gets rave reviews for clinical documentation. The company announced Tuesday that it will launch a healthcare-focused typing app for the iPad. Apparently the new BlackBerry 10’s all-touch keyboard runs Swiftkey, although neither company will confirm.


inga_small Massachusetts General Hospitals offers its 22,000 employees a $250 bonus for watching an 11-minute video on customer service. About 98 percent of the employees thought it was worth $22 per minute to score some cash, meaning the hospital shelled out more than $5 million to teach them how to be nice. 

2-26-2013 9-23-26 PM

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards PatientsLikeMe a $1.9 million grant to create the first open-participation research platform for the development of patient-centered health outcome measures.

2-26-2013 7-48-02 PM

I mentioned in introducing new sponsor MediQuant in the Monday Morning Update that I was enjoying the Legacy System Blues song on its site. Apparently I caught it early — a new press release just announced it, also mentioning that the band is led by MediQuant Founder and President Tony Paparella, who has had the track pressed on vinyl 45 RPM records.

Security volunteers who find an unnamed hospital’s data exposed on the Web are perplexed when their phone calls, service desk ticket, and e-mail to the hospital’s CEO are all ignored and nobody has taken the data down. A technician at the hospital’s outsourced help desk told them he doesn’t have an e-mail address. The group suggests that hospitals include a dedicated, monitored e-mail address and telephone number on their home page so they can be notified quickly of security problems.

Weird News Andy says he bet the surgeon was heard to say, “Awww, nuts” in this story of a patient suing a British hospital after surgeons removed the wrong testicle. Surgeons performing the cancer surgery realized their mistake 40 minutes in and “tried to correct the mistake in an emergency procedure,” but it was too late.

Strange: police in India arrest the son of a hospital CEO after he threatens to post to the Internet a homemade sex video featuring himself and his wife unless she agrees to pay for the hospital’s new trauma center. Also in India, 35 specialty physicians protest their hospital salaries by threatening to kill themselves.

Sponsor Updates

2-26-2013 9-33-54 PM

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Levi, Ray & Shoup discuss the simplification of document management processing in Webinars March 12 and 14.
  • Hyland Software validates integration between its OnBase enterprise content management and Nuance Communications’ eCopy ShareScan scanning and workflow solutions.
  • The AMA and McKesson agree to a licensing arrangement that allows for the mapping of molecular diagnostic testing codes in McKesson’s Diagnostic Exchange software to the AMA’s CPT code set.
  • Greenway Medical Technologies achieves PCMH 2011 Prevalidation status from NCQA for its PrimeSUITE EHR platform.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health adds a Patient Safety Programs File to its Medi-Span solution.
  • MedAssets CEO and President John Bardis will ring the NASDAQ closing bell February 27.
  • Bottomline Technologies announces the GA of Logical Ink 4.6 and MedEx 4.0.
  • Marion McCall of Surgical Information Systems reviews considerations when selecting perioperative analytics solutions.
  • Santa Rosa Consulting adds Clearwater Compliance’s HIPAA-HITECH compliance tools to its portfolio of services.
  • Truven Health Analytics releases its annual list of 100 Top Hospitals based overall organizational performance.
  • CTG Health Solutions announces that it increased revenues 18 percent from 2011 to 2012 and expanded its IT consulting team.
  • Direct Recruiters, Inc. offers an interview called “Hiring Game Changers.”


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 26, 2013 News 2 Comments

Monday Morning Update 2/25/13

February 23, 2013 News 7 Comments

From Grizzled Veteran: “Re: Stark Act/Anti-Kickback Relief. It’s scheduled to expire on 12/31/13. What are the thoughts on it being extended or not? What happens to hospitals and practices if it isn’t?” The floor is now open. Feel free to leave a comment stating and perhaps defending your opinion.

From CPAhole: “Re: CMS. Has anyone raised the issue of the CMS PQRS site being down for days at a time just when everyone is trying to submit and there is a 72-hour turn on submissions? CMS is trying to come up with a Plan B to fix their system.” Unverified.

2-22-2013 10-56-38 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: mobile ECG Monitor. TPD is intrigued by AliveCor’s FDA-cleared Heart Monitor & AliveECG app for the iPhone. An iPhone app that can benefit both the patient and the physician brings health monitoring to a new level of care. This app will be added to TPD’s List of iPhone Apps with the next update.”

From Marrioutta Here: “Re: HIMSS hotel. Just got a call from Marriott. There was an error in their website and they are overbooked. Moving folks 35 miles away and paying for the rooms.” At least when HIMSS e-mailed this week to tell me I was bumped out of the hotel I had booked in September they put me in another one that’s a little bit closer, a little bit cheaper, and newly added to the shuttle route. I don’t like the rooms as much from the description, but it’s walkable to the convention center and closer to restaurants. Some hospitals force employee groups traveling together to share rooms or pay the different for a single room themselves, which would probably greatly reduce the number of rooms required since it’s like a commuter highway – single occupancy is the rule.

2-22-2013 8-55-48 PM

The majority of poll respondents say they’re getting too much HIMSS-related vendor contact, although a solid 36 percent are happy with the volume and a disappointed 12 folks wish they’d get more. New poll to your right: what city would be your choice for holding the HIMSS conference?

2-22-2013 9-02-59 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor MediQuant of Brecksville, OH. MediQuant offers Data Transition Management Solutions. Almost every healthcare organization keeps orphaned systems running just because someone might need access to the data they contain at some point. MediQuant’s DataArk active archiving solution allows those systems to be decommissioned with savings of up to 80 percent (using their data center or yours), providing ongoing easy access to clinical, financial, or ERP data. It’s always a pain to work down patient accounts after a system conversion and balance-forward conversions are notoriously risky (why junk up your new system with iffy data?), but DataArk customers can still bill those accounts, post payments, add notes, defend audits, and produce itemized statements with even easier access than the retired system offered. Clinical systems conversions are equally tricky with legacy data and chances are you’re not living in a “no lawsuits after discharge” bubble that allows walking away from years’ worth of patient data, so DataArk allows moving that historical information to its clinical repository module. Turn off the old system and the cash drain required for its upkeep. Other MediQuant products include FirstComply and AccuRules for medical necessity/ABN compliance. The company’s client base includes more than 700 facilities (examples: UPMC, Baptist Louisville, Dignity Health, Kettering Health Network, and West Virginia University Healthcare.) I’m rocking out to their Legacy System Blues by The DeCommissioners on their home page. Drop by Booth #5649 at HIMSS and say hello and thanks to MediQuant for supporting HIStalk.

On the Jobs Page: Demand Generation Specialist, Sales Effectiveness Consultant, Healthcare ECM Sales Executive, Account Manager – Government.

Listening: new from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, lush and powerful brooding from one of music’s most tortured geniuses. New live concert video here.

2-23-2013 1-36-36 PM

Want to win a $25 Amazon gift card and be sashed on stage at HIStalkapalooza? Tell us why you have a crush on Inga, Dr. Jayne, or Mr. H. We’ll pick the best entry for each crushee and recognize them on stage with an Inga’s Secret Crush, Dr. Jayne’s Secret Crush, or Mr. H’s Secret Crush beauty queen sash as a token of our mutual affection. Speaking of “crushed,” Inga is exactly that so far because all of the entries have been for me (Mr. H). I’m on standby to pledge my affection for her and Dr. Jayne if need be. Mrs. HIStalk assembled and packaged the sashes when they came in the mail last week and was less than thrilled when she got to the “Mr. H’s Secret Crush” one. I told her it was Inga’s idea.

Encore Health Resources will announce this week its Value-based Performance Improvement (VPI), an analytics software and services program developed with Catholic Health Initiatives that includes Meaningful Use reporting, population analysis, clinical analytics for care coordination, and financial analytics. The company says the program will transform EHR data to help organizations focus on quality and performance data at a low cost of entry. Components that can be implemented individually or fully include an analytics engine, an ETL tool, and dashboards.

2-23-2013 7-34-32 AM

Georgia Regents Medical Center (recently renamed from Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center) selects Besler Consulting’s BVerified – Transfer DRG tool to identify and recover transfer DRG underpayments. It automates the required review of the Medicare Common Working File and creates workflow tasks that guide the provider through follow-up steps.

Yavapai County, AZ admits that its printing of death certificates was delayed by more than a week due to computer problems following a software upgrade.

2-23-2013 1-39-44 PM

The longest article ever published in Time magazine is this week’s cover story on high healthcare prices, Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills are Killing Us. The basic conclusion is that the US needs to set healthcare rates in a Medicare-type national system instead of letting the so-called free market do so. Most of the criticism is aimed at hospitals, so it’s worth a read even for those of us who working in them even though we were numbed long ago to $2 Tylenol tablets and $300 chest x-rays. The fact that the author couldn’t come up with recommendations less invasive or more likely to succeed than simply letting the government run all healthcare as it does the wasteful, political, and fraud-riddled Medicare program is a bit of a letdown.

2-23-2013 2-19-19 PM

Medical practice plaintiffs who filed a class action lawsuit against Allscripts for its decision to not enable the MyWay EHR for future MU stages or ICD-10  will learn Tuesday whether they can continue with their suit or will instead be forced to accept binding arbitration. If the complaint is certified as a class action, Allscripts will be required to provide the names of all MyWay customers to the plaintiff’s attorneys, who say all 5,000 MyWay physician users would then be automatically included in the suit. Attorneys for Allscripts have filed a motion to block the suit, arguing that the doctors signed a contract requiring their differences to be settled by binding arbitration. Some of the specific complaints, remembering of course that they represent only one side of the argument:

  • ”Our EHR is a piece of crap,” said an anesthesiologist and “buggy” according to others involved with the lawsuit, each of which paid up to $40,000 per physician to implement what they claim is a defective system.
  • Anesthesiologists claim they were promised a pain management module that was never developed.
  • A client who bought MyWay in June 2012 was assured by their Allscripts sales rep that the product would be enhanced to meet MU Stage 2 and ICD-10 requirements, with the company announcing otherwise four months later.
  • Users say MyWay, originally developed by iMedica as a client-server product, was sold by Allscripts as a cloud-based offering that performed poorly.
  • The lawsuit says that a “free upgrade” to the Allscripts Professional EHR isn’t an upgrade at all since it’s a different product and requires a complicated and costly conversion.

Facebook apologizes to a 104-year-old woman who found that she could not enter her real date of birth on her page. The company changed its date edits to allow birth years before 1910.

Robert Lorsch, chairman and CEO of PHR vendor MMRGlobal, briefs members of a congressional subcommittee on HITECH payouts and what he says is its failure to ensure standardization, interoperability, and PHR access. He demonstrated his company’s PHR product, telling the audience that it could be made available to all Americans for less than the money one large hospital would spend on an EMR. MMRGlobal has sent infringement letters to healthcare IT vendors and hospitals in the US and elsewhere claiming that they are violating the company’s patents that cover a variety of online services.

2-23-2013 7-50-04 AM

Vermont’s smallest hospital will lay off 15 employees, 10 percent of its work force, blaming cost pressures created by the Affordable Care Act and its new ACO relationship with OneCare Vermont. Officials with the 19-bed Grace Cottage Hospital defended spending $2 million on an EMR, saying ARRA money paid for it and it needed the system to participate in the ACO.

MedSnap releases an iPhone app for medication reconciliation that allows the provider to place a patient’s pills on a tray and use the phone’s camera to take a photo, which the app then analyzes to display the name and strength of each drug along with drug-drug interactions, drug-disease contraindications, and allergies based on the patient’s medical records. I would characterize this as brilliant. Future offerings include medication reminders and caregiver monitoring. The company is looking for volunteers for its Pill Mapping Project, whose submissions will improve its recognition database. Co-founders Patrick Hymel, MD and Stephen Brossette, MD, PhD founded MedMined, the infection surveillance software company acquired by Cardinal Health in 2006.

MModal and Intermountain Healthcare will jointly develop a speech-powered CPOE app for iOS devices. The app’s vocabulary will recognize terms related to the ordering of meds, labs, imaging, and nursing. They say it will be completed by fall.

2-22-2013 9-31-14 PM  2-24-2013 3-52-11 PM

Supporting HIStalk at the Gold level is ReadyDock. Everybody’s walking around hospitals carrying tablets these days, which means they’re also giving a free ride to microorganisms to spread from one patient to another. ReadyDock:UV is the world’s first solution for one-step disinfecting, charging, and securing of tablet PCs and iPads. It’s UV powered, which means no messy wiping down with disinfectant (and no voiding the manufacturer’s warranty by fluid contact). Tablets are often part of normal workflows and charging and disinfecting them needs to be equally user friendly. The device takes up a lot less space than a standard docking station, frees up power outlets, and eliminates a tangle of wires. You can see it yourself at HIMSS in Booth #3879. Thanks to ReadyDock for supporting my work.

I found this brand new ReadyDock video on YouTube featuring Louise-Marie Dembry, MD, MS, MBA, infectious disease professor from Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Thanks to a rumor report from reader Smarty Marty, we reported on February 13 that Aetna was rebranding its health and technology unit (ActiveHealth Management, iTriage, and Medicity) as Healthagen. The official announcement went out Friday.

2-22-2013 10-01-51 PM 2-22-2013 10-02-31 PM

First Databank promotes Bob Katter and Charles Tuchinda, MD to EVP following the recent promotion of Gregory Dorn to EVP/deputy group head of Hearst Business Media.

Wired profiles stealth startup Smart Scheduling, which identifies patients who are likely to be no-shows for their appointments based on past behavior. The company went through Healthbox’s accelerator program and connected with athenahealth to fine tune its algorithms. The application is being piloted by Steward Health, which uses athenahealth’s scheduling system. The software suggests the optimal time slot for a given patient based on the likelihood they won’t show up. Steward says the program is 95 percent accurate, allowing them to schedule around possible no-shows to hit their overall patient targets.

A mini-study in a Letter to the Editor in NEJM finds that about 12 percent of US physicians have attested to Meaningful Use under the Medicare program, making it likely that many practices will face financial penalties starting in 2015. Specialists have about half the adoption rate of primary care providers. Physicians working with Regional Extension Centers have only a slightly higher attestation rate at 16 percent.

2-23-2013 2-22-33 PM

The e-mail system of Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center was down for 42 hours through Friday morning, with “replaced infrastructure” identified as the culprit.

UCLA’s medical school is the subject of a snarky Los Angeles Times article that criticizes its cozy relationship with nutritional supplement manufacturer (and accused scam multi-level marketer) Herbalife, which donates a lot of money to the school and drops the school’s name at every opportunity to give its products the scientific credibility that nutritionals sorely lack. UCLA’s cellular and molecular nutrition lab is named for the company’s founder, or as the article says, “The lab is named after Herbalife’s founder, who died in 2000 after a four-day drinking binge — not the greatest advertisement for healthful, active living.” Several medical school faculty members serve on the company’s board, with one of them being paid $17.8 million over 10 years through his consulting firm in return for product endorsements that include his signature on the label. Both he and the company can make almost any exaggerated claim they want since nutritional products escape FDA oversight. The article concludes, “When torrents of cash fall upon people like Heber and Ignarro — especially when the payments promote interests fundamentally in conflict with their responsibilities for thorough, objective research — it’s proper to ask whether the recipients should be viewed primarily as university professors with an income source on the side, or as agents of industry exploiting their academic titles for show.”

Vince wraps up NextGen’s HIStory this week. He starts the long history of Meditech next time and welcomes your contributions.

HIMSS Conference

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meet-Ups
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Exhibitor Giveaways

Sponsor Updates

2-22-2013 10-27-56 PM

  • At the HIMSS conference, HITPC member Gayle Harrell will present a session titled “Leading Change through Health Information Technology” on Monday, March 4 at 2:00 p.m. at Sunquest’s Booth # 911.
  • Edward Fotsch, MD (CEO, PDR Network) and Douglas Gentile, MD, MBA (CMO, Allscripts) will present “Turning Patient Portals into Major EHR Assets” on Wednesday, March 6 at 8:30 a.m. in Room 288 of convention center. The session will also be streamed live.
  • PatientPay is named by PYMNTS.com as a finalist for a 2013 Innovator Award in the Best Debit category.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 23, 2013 News 7 Comments

News 2/22/13

February 21, 2013 News 3 Comments

Top News

2-21-2013 10-18-36 PM

An article in The New York Times called “A Digital Shift on Health Data Swells Profits an an Industry” takes direct shots at the HITECH act, particularly emphasizing the “behind the scenes lobbying” that Allscripts, former CEO Glen Tullman, and other unnamed vendors employed to get it passed. It points out that Tullman was health technology advisor to the Obama campaign, a personal donor of $225,000 to Democratic political candidates, and a seven-time White House visitor after Obama took office. Cerner doubled its lobbying dollars to $400,000, with almost all of it going to Republicans.

Athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush weighed on “the Sunny von Bülow bill” that he says kept his stagnant competitors “alive for another few years.” In a seemingly random quote, the ED chair at UCSF Medical Center said Epic is “mediocre” on a good day but “lousy” most of the time, while a counterpoint from UCSF’s CMIO saying that most doctors there like it receives less-sensationalized coverage. The article also points out that Neal Patterson’s stake in Cerner is worth $1 billion and mentions that a letter from Steve Lieber of HIMSS urged President-elect Obama to set aside at least $25 billion to increase EHR adoption.

In other words, the article is all over the place. The only new material appears to be a handful of quotes that were allowed to run unchallenged, with everything else looking more like a set of Google search results than a thoughtful and balanced piece. Its conclusion is hardly startling: the federal government wastes enormous amounts of taxpayer dollars in scratching special interest backs and a few people get really rich as a result (fun fact: Glen Tullman is now running his solar energy company, reaping the benefit of another big federal spending program.) Far more interesting than the article itself are the reader comments:

  • My impressions of the vendors can be described in two words: Welfare Queens. The systems are glorified billing and scheduling systems. Vendors were "certified" before they actually created the upgrades that supposedly met MU criteria.
  • Regardless of how much customization you do to the form and how many drop-boxes there are for entering data, the result is medical records which look very similar from patient to patient, and omit nuances and details which are specific for individuals.
  • It is interesting that so many commenters complain about a lack of privacy (signing my life away on consent forms!!), while others complain because not all providers in the country have easy, fast access to their medical records.
    You must realize that these things are at odds, and affected more by HIPAA than limitations of technology.
  • EMR 1.0 = islands of information, designed for billing and documentation. EMR 2.0 = system of engagement – Key information summarized and shared. Saves time for the users. It’s coming!
  • Try telling countries like Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands and Japan that they should give up all of the EMR systems that are unusable despite the fact that the majority of their docs are using EMR systems today. Just because a few people in an article determined a system to be unusable doesn’t make it so.
  • The EHR has become the patient. It is sicker than you and more complicated, taking more time. You, the real patient, can just lay there waiting in a state of abject neglect.
  • There is a lot more to this movement than this article suggests — and it is good. "The clear winners are big companies" — yes, in some ways, but the even bigger winners are patients and the doctors who care for them. In my family, this record-keeping already has resulted in a life-saving developments.
  • In our office we have had three over 50 early retirements due to the EPIC system.
  • Think if America had as many electric outlet types as Europe (free markets!) This mishmash of EMR will take a generation to unravel and cries out for a centralized system & format.
  • I’m a primary care physician working at Kaiser Permanente. We’ve been using the Epic system for years. While it isn’t perfect, I’d never go back to paper … the real reason this system works for us is because we are an integrated system. If we weren’t, it wouldn’t work well at all. The real problem is lack of integration in US medicine.
  • Banks and many other industries already embrace efficient and effective computerized systems. Where your life is at stake, wouldn’t you want your doctor to have the same advantages as your bank?
  • This is a very one-sided article, and almost reads like a smear in some places.

For a counterpoint, see DrLyle’s post, The HIT Productivity Paradox — It’s Gonna Be OK.

Reader Comments

inga_small From Ms. HIM: “Re: X-Rays. Inga, did you report to someone at the facility that you were able to see the patient data in the hallway?” Ms. HIM is referring to my recent visit to a radiology practice that had patient data prominently displayed on several monitors in common areas. I did e-mail the CIO and included my stealthily-taken pictures. No response yet.

From Disappointed: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I want to give kudos to Shannon at Thomas Wright Partners. I am unable to attend HIMSS due to a family thing, but she promptly and cheerfully changed my confirmation to my boss who had neglected to sign up (what can I say?) She also said if things changed and I was able to attend, she personally would ensure I would get in and gave me her cell phone number. What great service!!!” Medicomp is working with the same team (Thomas Wright Partners, Bzzz Productions, Istrico Productions) that brought you HIStalkapalooza 2011 in Orlando. They are indeed efficient and responsive. I had no qualms about putting my name on the event and leaving the details to them.

2-21-2013 9-25-51 PM

From Letter of the Law: “Re: Allscripts Meaningful Use Guarantee. Doesn’t sound like MyWay will meet Stage 2 MU or get 2014 ONC certified as a Complete EHR. Does this mean MyWay clients get a 12-month support credit or refund? Seems like the guarantee was written to be purposefully vague and has now mysteriously disappeared from the Allscripts site (convenient) except in the Investor area.” Allscripts told us they would respond, but they haven’t so far.

2-21-2013 9-31-51 PM

From Tom: “Re: Epic. An electrophysiologist wrote a satirical post about Epic and used screenshots to convey the problems he experienced. He says Epic contacted his hospital administrators and asked him to take the screenshots down. He is now concerned about legal ramifications.” It should be noted that the doctor sells software on the side, although it costs only a few dollars and is specific to electrophysiology. Still, Epic has made it clear in the past that it won’t tolerate posting screen shots, documentation text, or almost anything else publicly. I’m thinking I remember (but could be wrong) that they warn UGM presenters not to post their slides publicly if they contain anything that Epic might deem proprietary. Says the doc (with some of his preachy indignation removed):

I’m just a physician who uses their software … No software is perfect however and I think the Epic bosses should be more interested in using feedback and criticism from health care professionals to improve the program rather than spending their time worrying that a screenshot of their user interface is available on the web … these massive companies who have benefited enormously from our tax dollars have the nerve to threaten those who criticize their software and publish a few bland screenshots. Unfortunately though, with their cash reserves and cadres of lawyers, there is little that EP Studios (cash reserves = $0) can do to stop their bullying.

2-21-2013 10-04-37 PM

From Say What?: "Re: HIMSS in Cleveland. Surely you jest. What is moving 345 miles from its Chicago base going to do for HIMSS? At least Nashville made sense from a different geographic, cultural, and transportation point of view, as would Phoenix, San Francisco, or Seattle.”

From Richard: “Re: HIStalk. Thanks for one of the most concise, relevant online healthcare IT publications out there. Your work is an excellent balance of current news, pertinent insight, and subtle (or sometimes hot so subtle) humor. Please pass on my compliments to the entire HIStalk crew for their excellent contributions. P.S. I admire your team’s ability to present a meaningful contribution and at the same time party like college freshman at HIMSS.” I did indeed pass along your much-appreciated comments to the crew, which got me trapped in the e-mail crossfire as Inga and Dr. Jayne tried to one-up each other with their claimed partying capacity beyond freshman level. I stopped reading once they escalated to grad school.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small This week on HIStalk Practice: MGMA introduces a Web-based tool that allows organizations to benchmark themselves against peers using national MGMA data. The RI REC offers EHR adoption assistance to specialists. Researchers devise an AI tool that may outperform physicians in making cost-effective clinical decisions. Michigan lawmakers consider legislation requiring a single universal prior authorization form for prescriptions. PCMHs deliver slightly better patient satisfaction and preventative care but may not result in cost savings. Dr. Gregg shares details of the meeting between Focus and Byproduct … heck, it’s a great story, so give it a read. Greenway Medical CEO Tee Green discusses the company and industry and makes some predictions for the future. Thanks for reading.

Maybe I’m the only one who didn’t know: Word, going back to the 2007 version apparently, has a “Save as PDF” option that’s easier than PDF print driver products like CutePDF or PDF995. And in another Andy Rooney meets Larry King kind of non sequitur, I heard programmers repeatedly pronounce two words oddly in a meeting today: DISplay and REfresh. I am monitoring further accent-switching occurrences.  

I got an e-mail today that HIMSS has kicked me out of my reserved hotel and put me in a lower-rated one because of “an oversold situation,” adding that they “wanted to inform you before you arrived in New Orleans.” How thoughtful, especially considering that I booked in September.

2-21-2013 8-54-49 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Greythorn, whose healthcare IT practice places candidates in the specific high-demand market segments of Epic, Cerner, and ICD-10. Greythorn has offered specialty IT staffing solutions for more than 30 years. Check out their LinkedIn Epic and EHR Professionals group, or seek their folks out at HIStalkapalooza since they told me they’re going and I sense they’re a fun bunch. For clients, expect nice people, a big pipeline of candidates including international ones, and a zeal for understanding your business and your needs. Job candidates should read their Resume and Interview Tips document (“Questions to Be Prepared For” contains just about all of the HR-mandated behavioral interviewing questions I’ve ever asked). Stop by Booth #5358 at the HIMSS conference and pass along my thanks to Greythorn for supporting my work.

Here’s a “Working at Greythorn” video I found on YouTube.

HIMSS Conference Social Events

2-21-2013 1-05-34 PM

inga_small If you registered in advance, your official HIStalkapalooza invite should have hit your inbox Wednesday (check those spam folders!) Make sure you’ve arranged your schedule to be there in time for the Inga Loves My Shoes contest and the crowning of the HIStalk King and Queen. The highly coveted beauty queen sashes and prizes will return.

inga_small Speaking of sashes, we decided to give readers a chance to win one, along with stage recognition and a $25 Amazon gift card. All you have to do is declare Inga, Dr. Jayne, or Mr. H as your secret crush and explain why. We’ll choose the most convincing entries, so feel to free to lay it on thick and shamelessly in an obvious appeal to our vanity. Winners (who must be at HIStalkapalooza) will be sashed on stage with "Inga’s Secret Crush," "Dr. Jayne’s Secret Crush," or "Mr. H’s Secret Crush" as a token of our reciprocation.

Aventura is participating in a booth block party at the conference on Tuesday from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m., with beer and margaritas.

2-21-2013 6-33-14 PM

Speaking of Aventura, they’ve sent the best e-mail promotion so far with their serious-sounding “HIT Survival Handbook” that includes some dry humor. I forwarded the e-mail home from work just to run it here.

I always scan down the HIStalkapalooza attendee list to see who’s coming and what titles they hold. Eyeballing it, it looks like over 100 presidents/CEOs, 200 VPs, 24 CIOs, 13 CMIOs, and eight financial and equities people. That’s a fraction of the total invitations, so obviously many other titles were represented.

Here’s a list of our HIMSS-related pages and their downloadable/printable PDF equivalents that will tell you what our sponsors are doing at the conference:

HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meet-Ups
HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Exhibitor Giveaways

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

2-21-2013 10-29-21 PM

Shareholders of PSS World Medical approve the company’s agreement to merge with McKesson, clearing the way for a Q1 closing.

2-21-2013 10-28-51 PM

GetWellNetwork reports 30 percent growth in revenues and a 90 percent increase in orders from 2011 to 2012.

2-21-2013 10-30-07 PM

MedAssets reports Q4 results: revenue up 4.5 percent, adjusted EPS $0.27 vs. $0.32.


The New Hampshire Health Information Organization selects the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative to provide executive director management services for the implementation of its statewide HIE, which will utilize Orion Health’s technology backbone.

2-21-2013 3-56-46 PM

NYU Langone Medical Center contracts with Accenture to support its ICD-10 implementation process.

Intelligent InSites wins a $543 million contract to implement to RTLS at 152 medical centers, as reported here previously. We interviewed President and CEO Margaret Laub last week.

2-21-2013 3-58-09 PM

Numera selects AT&T to be the wireless network and location services provider for Numera Libris, a mobile home health management and personal emergency response system.

2-21-2013 3-59-23 PM

Banner Health expands its portfolio of 3M products to include the 3M 360 Encompass System for computer-assisted coding and clinical documentation improvement.

2-21-2013 4-02-04 PM

Memorial Sloan-Kettering (NY) chooses Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine for communication and data sharing between the hospital’s different IT applications.

2-21-2013 4-03-30 PM

Phoenix Children’s Hospital (AZ) selects Allscripts Sunrise Financial Manager, Sunrise Ambulatory, and Allscripts Community Record.

Mid-Valley Hospital (WA) selects e-forms and electronic electronic patient signature solutions from Access to use with its Meditech Scanning and Archiving system.

2-21-2013 10-31-08 PM

Fairview Health Services (MN) will implement Strata Decision Technology’s StrataJazz for decision support, operating budgeting, strategic planning, and capital planning.


2-21-2013 6-04-10 PM

Avere Systems appoints Michael McMahon (CommVault) as VP of business development.

2-21-2013 6-05-43 PM

Tom Giannulli, MD (Epocrates) joins Kareo as CMIO.

2-21-2013 6-06-38 PM

VA CTO Peter Levin, who led the Blue Button initiative, announces his resignation.

2-21-2013 6-50-40 PM

As reported here last week. Health Catalyst names Brent Dover (Medicity/Aetna) as president.

Wolters Kluwer promotes Kevin Entricken from CFO of the Wolters Kluwer Health division to CFO of the parent company.

Harris Interactive names Matt Knoeck (TNS North America) SVP of healthcare and Sharon Albert (TJ Sacks) VP of marketing for its healthcare group.

Announcements and Implementations

The Rochester RHIO partners with area ambulance companies to allow physicians to see critical patient information gathered in the field during ambulance calls.

Medical equipment provider Skytron upgrades six of its customers to CenTrak’s clinical-grade RTLS technology.

SuccessEHS connects with MyHealth Access Network HIE (OK) to send clinical care documents from its EHR.

Aker Eye/Vision Source (FL) implements RTLS from Versus Technology.

The Joint Commission begins offering a PCMH certification for accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals.

2-21-2013 10-33-07 PM

SCI Solutions launches Readmission Minimizer to track and monitor post-discharge processes.

The Utah Health Information Network offers Direct secure messaging labeled as cHIE Direct, using technology from Secure Exchange Solutions.

2-21-2013 9-59-07 PM

Enovate announces two new products, the e5000 telemedicine cart and colorful peds-oriented Emagination Stations.

2-21-2013 10-34-16 PM

Humetrix introduces cross-platform capability for its iBlueButton app that allows consumers and patients to exchange clinical information at the point of care regardless of which smartphone they use.

2-21-2013 10-35-08 PM

Kareo launches a free cloud-based EHR that can be used as a standalone application or integrated with the company’s PM and billing services. It was developed using technology acquired from Epocrates, which exited the EHR business a year ago. Kareo notes that the EHR is “advertisement free” and says it will provide support and updates at no charge. The company hopes that the free EHR offering will attract more clients for its PM and billing service products.

Government and Politics

2-21-2013 10-36-08 PM

ONC is accepting applications from those interested in serving on a new workgroup, the HITPC Food and Drug Administration Safety Innovation Act Workgroup,  that will provide recommendations for a risk-based HIT and mobile device regulatory framework.

2-21-2013 10-37-00 PM

Worth a read: The Advisory Board Company publishes “How Stage 2 Raises the Bar on Stage 1 Organizations.” Like everything Advisory Board, it’s fluff-free and to the point.

Innovation and Research

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati find that physicians using an EMR are more likely to order routine screening tests for women.

Processing a prescription drug order through a CPOE system decreases the likelihood of error with that order by 48 percent according to a study supported by AHRQ. Researchers say the findings suggest CPOE can substantially reduce the frequency of medication errors in the inpatient setting, but it is unclear whether that translates into reduced harm for patients.

2-21-2013 9-46-43 PM

Christiana Care Health System is awarded a $10 million grant from CMS’s innovation grant program for its Bridging the Divides program that uses predictive analytics to target patients who would benefit from intervention. CMIO Terri Steinberg, MD, MBA (above) tells me that analytics can be run against the patient’s entire data set even if it originates from a different health system. I may follow up for more information.


2-21-2013 1-40-54 PM

Healthgrades says Dayton, OH, Phoenix, AZ, and Milwaukee, WI have the lowest risk-adjusted hospital mortality rates in its list of America’s Best Hospitals 2013.

Express Scripts sues Ernest & Young and one of its former partners for stealing trade secrets and corporate data to boost E&Y’s healthcare business. The lawsuit claims Donald Gravlin, who was working on the Express Scripts-Medco merger, entered an Express Scripts facility several times  to forward confidential company e-mails to his personal account.

Black Book Rankings releases the results of a survey to identify the top hospital EHR vendors based on client satisfaction. Winners include:

  • CPSI (under 100 beds)
  • Cerner (100-249 beds)
  • Epic (academic teaching hospitals and major medical centers)
  • Cerner (healthcare systems, hospital chains, integrated delivery networks)
  • Picis (ED)

UnitedHealth Group announces the creation of 1,000 new jobs in North Carolina by its UnitedHealthcare and Optum businesses.

2-21-2013 6-49-09 PM

Weird News Andy waxes poetic on the news that Cornell researchers have created a realistic 3-D printed human ear. WNA says, “Poems are make by this fool right here, but only Cornell can make an ear.”

WNA finds this item both odd and sad: a suspended Johns Hopkins gynecologist accused of secretly taking photos of hundreds of his patients using a pen camera commits suicide.

Sponsor Updates

  • Aspen Valley Hospital (CO) shares how it increased front office payments and cash on hand and reduced administrative time and costs by using InstaMed solutions in a case study.
  • Covisint extends its cloud identity services to include small and medium-sized organizations.
  • US Secret Service Special Agent Erik Rasmussen and Trustwave SVP Nicholas Percoco will lead a keynote address on cybercrime at next week’s RSA conference.
  • Halfpenny Technologies adds Altosoft’s BI dashboard to its ITF-Hub solution for clinical laboratories. 
  • API Healthcare offers a Webinar series focused on effective employee recruitment and retention.
  • HealthMEDX expands its support of LeadingAge, a non-profit committed to providing care and services to the aging.
  • eHealth Technologies releases a zero-footprint, Web-based image viewer that uses the eUnity platform of Client Outlook.
  • Informatica releases Cloud Spring 2013, the latest release of its integration and data management applications, and will hosts a February 25 Webinar to introduce its features.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne


Clinicians can now diagnose leprosy (Hansen’s disease) more than a year before patients are symptomatic. The new test uses a smart phone, a test strip reader, and a single drop of blood. Each determination will cost $1 or less.

This week President Obama announced an initiative to map the human brain, citing the Human Genome Project as a precedent. The brain is a fascinating thing and I’m excited about the role that information technology will play in making it a reality. Even better was the adrenaline rush I got since I read the announcement while I was hopped up on cold medicine watching “The Bourne Legacy.” Hopefully the CIA isn’t waiting in the wings to create neurologically engineered killers with the resulting data.

I’ve enjoyed the reader comments about travel arrangements for HIMSS. I apparently waited too long to book my hotel room (silly me for thinking three months in advance was enough) so I am arriving a day later and leaving a day earlier than I’d have liked. The idea of having to split between two different hotels to cover the entire stay was not very appealing. The comments about venues for future HIMSS meetings are spot on as well. I mentioned the HIMSS rotation to a dental colleague today and learned that there IS something worse than HIMSS returning to Chicago: The Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, which is held every February in the Windy City. The schedule of events lists a Fashion Show Luncheon. I wonder if they feature parkas, boots, and mittens?

Twitter served up an item from @ONC_HealthIT celebrating a physician who built his own EHR in response to budget cuts. A read of the actual article reveals that “eventually he turned to Cerner.” Unfortunately Meaningful Use has stifled grassroots innovation like building a custom EHR for your practice. I also like the line about practice administrators scanning paper test results into the EHR. If they actually have practice administrators feeding the scanner, I can recommend some additional overhead cost cutting for them.


In addition to the paper mail and tchotchkes enticing me to various booths at HIMSS, I’ve started receiving e-mail invitations to focus groups. Today’s gem promised to “present 4 innovative clinical strategies that leverage technology to reduce cost and improve all quality metrics.” Wow! They improve all quality metrics? That’s impressive. Even more impressive is the honorarium offered: a “Personalized tour of Walgreens Flagship Location – TBD.” Sheesh.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 21, 2013 News 3 Comments

News 2/20/13

February 19, 2013 News 16 Comments

Top News

2-19-2013 7-43-22 PM

Allscripts reports Q4 numbers: revenue down 10 percent, EPS –$0.14 vs. $0.14. The company’s reported revenue of $350.9 million fell short of expectations of $368 million on weaker sales and a deferred revenue provision, while the loss of $0.14 per share missed expectations of a positive $0.20 per share. President and CEO Paul Black says both the quarterly and annual results “did not meet our expectations.” Shares are up 6 percent in after-hours trading due to higher-than-expected bookings. From the conference call:

  • Reception to the MyWay to Professional program “has been strong.”
  • Two Sunrise acute care agreements have been signed so far this year, one of them with an existing client.
  • The four key areas of focus are client alignment, unlocking competitive advantage, reducing costs, and reporting consistent financial results.
  • Two-thirds of developers will be located in either Raleigh, NC or Boston after office consolidation.
  • The company plans to expand its hosting business.

Reader Comments

From UAHN Rocks: “Thanks for all the great work you to.  I am writing to share a video made by patients, clinicians, and executives from The University of Arizona Health Network’s Diamond Children’s hospital to celebrate the amazing work that they do to improve the lives of children in the community. UAHN is in the midst of an enterprise implementation of Epic, covering Diamond Children’s as well as all of our adult and outpatient facilities, with a go-live later this summer.” The video contains a medley of music, so keep playing, including a big finish with the magnificent Electric Light Orchestra at 3:00.

2-19-2013 8-26-57 PM

From HIMSS Bound and Gagged: “Re: flights to New Orleans. Costs are out of control, causing us to scale back our attendees. Have you heard anything?” According to Travelocity, the round-trip cheapest flights are $1,767 (Chicago), $1,142 (Atlanta), $1,582 (Los Angeles), and $1,687 (New York). Those include some really crappy connections as well, like going through Denver from New York. I seem to recall that the HIMSS post-Katrina booking of New Orleans in 2007 had similar problems, where flights were not sufficient to get people in and out. HIMSS was supposed to have narrowed down its conference cities to just three – Orlando, Atlanta, and Las Vegas – if I’m remembering right from a few years ago. All three are easy to get to, cheap, and have endlessly available hotels, restaurants, cabs, service workers, etc. Then came the charitable addition of New Orleans (whose infrastructure clearly wasn’t up to the challenge despite the HIMSS pitch) and the hometown reach-around to Chicago (where everything, especially union member surliness, cost twice what it would have in those other three cities and it was cold and snowy besides). Both were HIMSS low points in my opinion, yet here we are going back to New Orleans this year and Chicago in 2015. The best city (San Diego) and the cheapest (Dallas) were dropped from the rotation years ago. I’m pretty sure that if HIMSS actually listened to its members, or even asked them for that matter, they would not favor returning to New Orleans or Chicago even though those cities are perfectly fine for personal travel. I booked my flight on January 23 and was griping about paying $300 and now it’s over $1,300. If you don’t already have a flight, aren’t within driving distance, and aren’t a fan of Amtrak or Greyhound, you’re screwed.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small In case you missed it we published the HIStalk Guide to HIMSS13 over the weekend. More than 130 vendors (all of whom happen to be HIStalk sponsors) provide details on the products and services they will be featuring this year. We also created HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS13 Meetups, which includes contact information on about 30 vendors that are not exhibiting but happy to schedule meetings with interested folks. Finally we developed HIStalk’s Guide to Exhibitor Giveaways to help you find the best swag.  When you chat with these vendors, please tell them thanks for supporting HIStalk.

2-19-2013 3-15-25 PM  2-19-2013 3-14-20 PM

inga_small I accompanied a family member to get X-rays yesterday and stood outside in the hallway during the actual scan. While waiting, I was able to read all sorts of patient-specific information on two different monitors, as well as on the computed radiography reader (Mr. H tells me that’s the name of the thingy on the left.) Why worry about privacy, right?

2-19-2013 7-13-45 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum sponsor Legacy Data Access of Marietta, GA. It’s refreshing that the company’s mission is not only easy to describe, but is even contained in its name. Legacy Data Access provides customers with access to all of that data that’s locked away in their retired legacy applications. The company eliminates the hassle and cost of keeping the old app running solely for occasional lookups or reports. Clients don’t need to pay apps vendors for support, maintain aging servers, chew up big chunks of their disaster recovery plan, and tie up high-level talent keeping an abandoned system running after Legacy has moved data from that old system to a shiny new database and given users a slick Web-based front end and extemporaneous reporting tool for their inquiries. Think of LDA as a retirement home for apps, which might include revenue cycle systems (clients still get receivables functionality), PM/EHR, nursing documentation, and ancillaries. LDA can even provide a Legal Medical Record. Some of the company’s customers are UCSF, Parkland, Stanford, Trinity Health, and others that are so recognizable that it would be just name-dropping on my part to continue reciting them. If your IT stroll down memory lane includes Carecast, Invision, STAR, MedSeries4, Series 2000, ESI, Premis, EMstat, Midas, or others whether they’re on LDA’s list or not, they can help. Once an app is ready for full retirement, LDA will move everything to its LegacyVault, where information will be available indefinitely (like in the case of a lawsuit). Move on to your new-system life by letting LDA help you move gracefully away from the old one. Thanks to Legacy Data Access for supporting HIStalk.

HIMSS Conference Social Events

2-19-2013 3-41-24 PM

inga_small At least in my mind THE social event of HIMSS is HIStalkapalooza. Here are a few vital details for those attending:

  • Invitations will go out starting Wednesday. Make sure to check your spam filters. We’re inviting twice the usual number of folks, so the odds of getting an invitation are favorable.
  • Medicomp is once again sponsoring HIStalkapalooza and they know how to throw a party, as those of you who attended the 2011 event at BB King’s in Orlando can attest. Guests will be greeted on the red carpet and handed a Hurricane Inga or Typhoon Jane. How’s that for hospitality?
  • The Inga Loves My Shoes contest is back by popular demand, so pack your best zapatos. Since HIStalkapalooza is at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl, we will have a category for Best Bowling Shoes, as well as Hottest Men’s and Women’s Shoes.
  • We will again crown a HIStalk King and Queen for the best-dressed guests, so bring your bling. We’ll also recognize the Best Bowling Attire for those opting for the ten pin look. If you haven’t figured out what to wear, here is a tip: nothing says sexy like a bowling shirt, except maybe sequins and a tux. I expect to see plenty of stilettos and Farzad-inspired bow ties. Feel free to leave your company-logoed shirt in the hotel room.
  • The party starts at 6:30 and the contests (followed by the HISsies) will begin about 7:30. Our esteemed judges will begin selecting contest finalists as soon as the doors open, so don’t be late.
  • After the HISsies, the Zydeco band and the fast-paced bowling tournament get going. Bowling teams currently include keglers from athenahealth, Bumrungrad International Hospital, CareCloud, Clinical Architecture, Northrop Grumman, Orion, SuccessEHS, and Vitera.
  • The party goes on until 11:30, so join us late after your fancy dinner at Emeril’s.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

2-19-2013 7-44-04 PM

Liaison Technologies acquires Ignis Systems, a provider of clinical data integration solutions for lab and radiology orders and results.

Allscripts discloses in a regulatory filing its plans to close 12 offices and implement other changes to reduce costs associated with product development. The company estimates that it will spend $10 million for employee severance, $16 million for relocation costs , and $3 million for lease exit costs.

2-19-2013 7-44-52 PM

Merge reports Q4 results: revenue up 1 percent, adjusted EPS –$0.13 vs. $0.04, missing consensus earnings estimates. The company also announced that its board has unanimously rejected the valuation placed on the company in strategic alternatives proposals and will instead continue to execute its own plan. In the conference call, the company pointed out strongly increased bookings, increasing subscription revenue, increased acceptance of its iConnect enterprise archive, and growth in specialty areas such as cardiology and orthopedics.

2-19-2013 7-04-07 PM

Social network platform vendor iMedicor acquires HITS Consulting Group (HITS CG) and the data mining firm ClarDIS. The company also appointed HITS CG CEO Henry Denis president and ClariDIS Founder and President Joshua Brimdyr as COO.

Clinical research services vendor Quintiles announces plans for a $600 million IPO. The company was taken private by Bain and TPG in 2008 for $3.8 billion and is $2.4 billion in debt. The founder, Bain, and TPG each own shares worth around $500 million.


Triad Healthcare Network (NC) will implement Alere Accountable Care Solutions for its HIE.

Cardiovascular Care Group selects McKesson’s Paragon HIS for use at its Bakersfield Heart Hospital (CA) facility.

2-19-2013 10-05-45 PM

Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (CA) will deploy Medseek’s self-service portal tools.


2-19-2013 1-56-31 PM

Kimberly Labow (NaviNet) joins ZirMed as VP of marketing.

2-19-2013 5-08-38 AM

Clinithink appoints Russ Anderson (Availity) VP of product management.

2-19-2013 5-11-27 AM

Roland L. Surprenant (Allscripts) joins Patient Safe as a regional VP.

2-19-2013 8-44-45 PM

Hal Andrews (Mainland Morgan & Co.) joins nTelagent as CEO, replacing founder Earl Winter, who remains on the board.

The SSI Group names Terry Pefanis (Healthtech Holdings) as CFO and promotes Mary Hyland to VP of regulatory affairs/chief privacy officer.

Brian Graves (Picis) joins Connance, Inc. as VP of marketing and communications.

HCA Gulf Coast Division (TX) names Carl Vartian, MD to the additional role of CMIO. He will continue as chief medical officer of Bayshore Medical Center (TX).

Alan Huffman (Healthcare Management Systems) joins Shareable Ink as VP of engineering.

Announcements and Implementations

2-19-2013 6-54-40 PM

Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children (AL) goes live on the Versus Advantages Asset Tracking solution, which includes two-way HL7 integration to Four Rivers Total Maintenance System.

2-19-2013 9-01-11 PM

Data analytics and natural language processing vendor Health Fidelity is awarded a National Science Foundation grant to develop technology to identify patient cohorts using EHR data. 

Government and Politics

2-19-2013 6-56-21 PM

HHS names Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation the winner of its Million Hearts Risk Check Challenge for its Heart Health Mobile app and awards the Foundation $100,000 for maintenance and updates.

2-19-2013 9-40-49 PM

CDC releases Solve the Outbreak, a free iPad game.


2-19-2013 7-50-22 PM

Palomar Health will announce this week that it’s the first customer of a new wireless vital signs monitor for tablets and smartphones. The phone-sized, wrist-attached ViSi Mobile by Sotera Wireless will send continuous information on heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels directly to the electronic medical record, allowing non-invasive monitoring from any hospital location.

2-19-2013 9-18-40 PM

Bayada Home Health Care issues 4,000 Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets to its professionals following a 20-person pilot project. They’re using SwiftKey Healthcare ($3.99), which speeds up documentation with an on-screen keyboard, terminology dictionary, and auto-fill capability. More than two-thirds of Bayada’s nurses who use SwiftKey said they would rather document on the tablet instead of on the laptop or on paper. It doesn’t work on iOS devices, though, since Apple doesn’t permit third-party keyboards.


HIMSS will lease 25,000 square feet in Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation (just renamed from Medical Mart at the request of its tenants) to be used for exhibition, education, and demonstration as well as the HIMSS Innovation Center, presumably replacing its planned presence at the defunct Nashville Medical Trade Center project.

2-19-2013 7-58-47 PM

I think I remember a reader’s earlier question about Epic’s Meaningful Use Stage 2 certification status (it involved a claim that they wouldn’t be ready, as I recall). Both EpicCare Inpatient and Ambulatory are now listed on CCHIT’s site as being certified for the 2014 criteria.

2-19-2013 10-10-14 PM

A bomb scare-triggered lockdown this week at Natividad Medical Center (CA) proves the value of its electronic medical record in an emergency. According to the hospital assistant administrator, “We have an electronic medical record, so we are able to see where the patients are and what kind of service they need.”

A Black Book Rankings provider poll finds that up to 17 percent of physician practices may be planning to change EHRs in the next year, which it blames on vendors who are too busy selling and implementing their products to address unmet client needs. Of those practices contemplating a change, more than half said they would prefer a hosted solution. Specialists expressed strong dissatisfaction with their current systems, with more than 70 percent of ENT, immunology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, urology, and nephrology practices saying their current EHR doesn’t meet their needs.

A trauma center in India implements a new system that eliminates readability issues with physician documentation and reduces the time required to document 30,000 accident cases per year. The self-developed, template-based new system is solely for “medico-legal cases,” i.e. it’s not for patient care, but rather to document cases that may eventually initiate a lawsuit.

Sponsor Updates

  • SCI Solutions adds 93 hospitals in 2012, achieves sequential sales growth of 37 percent, and maintains an attrition rate below two percent.
  • Ping Identity showcases its next-generation cloud and mobile identity management solution during next week’s RSA conference in San Francisco.
  • Greenway’s PrimeSUITE (V17.0) receives 2014 ONC HIT certification as a complete EHR. The company will also integrate the Physicians Interactive eCoupon voucher and coupon distribution system into  the system.
  • Covisint releases its Direct solution that provides secure, scalable point-to-point email-like messaging. 
  • ICA selects Health Language from Wolters Kluwer Health to support its HIE platform.
  • MedAptus VP of Client Services Rick Little shares details of MD Anderson Cancer Center’s use of MedAptus for charge capture.
  • NIH experts validate PeriGen’s fetal heart rate interpretation, which was presented this week at the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine in San Francisco.
  • Aspen Advisors becomes a Premier CHIME Foundation member.
  • iSirona will be featured in the Interoperability Showcase at the HIMSS conference after passing the interoperability requirements at IHE North America Connectathon.
  • Beacon Partners will offer a session entitled “Habits of Highly Meaningful Users” at the HIMSS conference on March 6.
  • Healthpac will embed PatientPay’s online bill management services into its practice management system.
  • ICA and Futurix Health partner to offer payers, ACOs, and providers enhanced data analytics and benchmarking tools coupled with ICA’s interoperability and informatics platform.
  • DynaMed and Isabel Healthcare partner to allow mutual customers linkage from Isabel’s differential diagnosis tool to DynaMed’s evidence-based clinical information resources.
  • An Iatric Systems video describes the company’s vision for comprehensive healthcare IT integration.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 19, 2013 News 16 Comments

News 2/15/13

February 14, 2013 News 12 Comments

Top News

2-14-2013 9-55-50 PM

Massachusetts General Hospital spinoff and EHR query platform vendor QPID chooses a timely Valentine’s Day launch. I interviewed President and CEO Mike Doyle earlier this week about the company.

Reader Comments

2-14-2013 10-12-54 AM

inga_small From DrLyle: “Re: LinkedIn. Looks like I have more stalkers than you.” DrLyle and a few other folks sent me notes saying they were among the millions in the top five or even one percent of LinkedIn users with the most viewed profiles in 2012. DrLyle, by the way, posed an interesting question: is there value in paying LinkedIn for one of the professional versions? I defer to readers since I have no interest in paying $20 to $75 a month for premium options.

inga_small From Geographically Challenged: “Re: HIMSS13. Will you be attending this year’s HIMSS13 Annual Conference in Las Vegas from March 3-7?” Note to vendors and PR firms pitching for media time: messaging is far more effective when you get the name of the city correct. Not to mention that we already suspected that HIMSS13 would be held this year. Maybe it was a trick question.

2-14-2013 7-49-34 PM

From Skunk Baxter: “Re: Stanford Hospital CIO. She is out.” Carolyn Byerly’s LinkedIn profile shows that she just started a new job as managing partner with Platinum Advisory Services, LLC.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small A few highlights from HIStalk Practice over the last week: CMS provides guidelines for EPs for avoiding the 1.5 percent PQRS penalty in 2015. CVS dominates the retail medical clinic market. Athenahealth earns a spot on FastCompany’s list of the World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare. SRS CEO Evan Steele discusses Thoma Bravo, EHR usability, and Meaningful Use. Thanks for reading.

inga_small Coming soon: HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS 2013, which includes essential details on over 100 vendors, all of which in a remarkable coincidence happen to be our lovely sponsors. You won’t want to miss it if you need the scoop on who to contact to schedule meetings or where to find the best booth giveaways.

2-14-2013 6-28-12 PM

The always-creative folks at Vonlay steered me to a humorous Dear Abby-type blog post they’re running in honor of Valentine’s Day, but I was more amused by the graphic on their main page.

I’ve been getting several calls at the hospital each day from vendors pitching their HIMSS presence, more than I remember in previous years. They’re easy to spot on Caller ID, so I just let them go to voicemail and delete them later. Today a company (I’ll be nice and not name them) left a lengthy voice mail, with the rep (badly) reading a canned script that ended with, “we’re scheduling meetings with people” (nothing like making a prospect feel special). Worst of all, she was reading it over her speakerphone. I pictured her as a bored phone sex operator.

2-14-2013 8-18-45 PM 2-14-2013 8-26-44 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Halfpenny Technologies. The Blue Bell, PA company specializes in data interoperability, such as laboratory information systems communicating with EHRs, health plans, or each other (reverse reference labs). Point-to-point interfaces push data around inefficiently and without normalization, making them a sitting duck for Halfpenny’s ITF-Hub, which serves as air traffic controller to manage the flow of orders and results among all participants (hospitals, independent labs, HIEs, health plans, practices, and public health). Everybody knows you can’t do much of anything for a patient without lab results. The company has been around since 2000, having worked with more than 200 EHR vendors since then and embedded its technology into some of their products as well. They offer portal and mobile access, which of course makes docs happy, especially the ones who aren’t using EHRs. Their CMIO will tell you how Meaningful Use Stage 2 affects the clinical lab. Drop by HIMSS Booth #5223, tell the folks you read about them here, and drop subtle hints about signing you up for some swell prizes. Thanks to Halfpenny Technologies for supporting HIStalk.

On the Jobs Board: Project Manager – Government, Business Intelligence Architect, Software Product Development Manager, Requirements Engineer.

HIMSS Conference Social Events

Send us your event details if it’s a good one (i.e, free food and drinks at minimum) and you promise that all HIStalk readers are welcome to attend, even if they work for your most hated competitor as a given reader might well do. Don’t blame us if throngs eat you out of cocktail weenies and tortilla roll-ups. I would be especially interested in companies serving really good beer as I ran across a couple of conferences ago.

2-14-2013 6-03-40 PM

Jardogs will host a happy hour on Monday, March 4 and Tuesday, March 5 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in Booth 4659. Dr. Jayne and Inga have noted this in their schedules.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Allscripts adopts a majority voting policy for directors and announces that its annual stockholder meeting is set for May 21. We’re not astute financial analysts who actually know what that accomplishes, so Ben Rooks of the Investor’s Chair has promised to render his opinion.


2-14-2013 11-50-52 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (TN) will implement TeraMedica’s Evercore Clinical Enterprise Suite for vendor neutral archiving. 

SCL Health System selects the technology platform of Lumeris for its accountable care initiatives.

Community Memorial Hospital (CA) contracts with Cymetrix for revenue cycle services.

2-14-2013 5-58-55 PM

DeKalb Health (IN) selects e-MDs Solution Series for its 19 providers.

2-14-2013 6-00-03 PM

Bali Royal Hospital in Indonesia selects Wolters Kluwer Health’s UpToDate as its evidence-based clinical decisions support system.

2-14-2013 6-01-29 PM

Mee Memorial Hospital (CA) will use Access-eforms on demand and e-Signature technology with its Meditech Magic Scanning & Archiving system .


2-14-2013 6-04-31 PM

PeriGen names Thomas J. Garite, MD (American Journal of OB/Gyn) chief clinical officer.

2-14-2013 8-04-55 PM

Nancy Ham (McKesson / MedVentive) is named CEO of Aetna’s Medicity subsidiary. She replaces Brent Dover.

2-14-2013 8-07-17 PM

Brent Dover (Aetna / Medicity) is named president of Health Catalyst, which will announce his hiring on February 19. Brent says the irony isn’t lost on him that he left an HIE company to lead an analytics vendor, while Nancy Ham left an analytics vendor to replace him at the HIE company.

Announcements and Implementations

2-14-2013 6-16-08 PM

Baylor University Medical Center (TX) goes live on Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager.

North Memorial Health Care (MN) reports a 75 percent reduction in unnecessary early-term deliveries using Health Catalyst’s Adaptive Data Warehouse technology.

2-14-2013 6-18-03 PM

Integration and data management services provider Liaison Technologies announces that its healthcare division grew 83 percent and its headcount more than doubled in 2012.

The CalHIPSO Regional Extension Center launches service offerings that include Meaningful Use tracking, EHR readiness, and eligibility registration attestation.

Cleveland Clinic (OH) signs up for the CliniSync HIE, joining the previously announced University Hospitals Health System.

Perceptive Software announces an upgrade to its Perceptive Search applications, the first since it acquired the technology last year. It searches documents, e-mail, websites, intranets, databases, social networking sites, and local computers.

Government and Politics

2-14-2013 10-09-38 PM

President Obama calls out patent trolls in a Thursday afternoon Google Hangout session dubbed Fireside Hangout. “They don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea and see if they can extort some money out of them.”

Innovation and Research

2-14-2013 6-24-26 PM

NeuroCare Tech launches BrainAttack, a $5.99 decision support app for evaluating ED stroke patients as candidates for tPA.

2-14-2013 7-47-20 PM

The free Qpid.me service allows potential romantic partners to share their sexually transmitted disease status directly from the medical records of their doctors. Concerns about the site are that practices won’t have the time to send patient records if it really takes off, not to mention that once those records arrive at the company’s servers, patients are no longer protected by HIPAA.


Four Rivers Total Maintenance Systems integrates Versus Technology’s RTLS within its asset management software.

A study’s questionable conclusion claims that Microsoft’s Kinect videogame controller could reduce healthcare expenses by $30 billion by replacing expensive telemedicine systems (which of course Skype and other video chat tools can do for free). Kinect’s advantage is that it can be used hands-free in a sterile field, but I haven’t seen a lot of telemedicine originating in the OR. One of the study’s two authors works for Microsoft.


Patient Privacy Rights provided links to its federal Form 990 for 2010 and 2011 in response to the inquiry from Alert Reader. They’ve been there all along on the “Why Donate” page. UPDATE: my mistake, they apparently were just added from the reader’s inquiry. I didn’t see any smoking guns if that was the expectation – the organization took in around $105K in donations in 2011 (half what it received in 2007-2009), spent a small amount on its one FTE, and the rest went to professional fees and office and travel expense. Deb Peel was paid nothing.

2-14-2013 10-12-25 PM

Froedtert Health (WI) warns that a virus that penetrated an employee’s computer may have exposed the information of 43,000 patients to unknown parties.

2-14-2013 9-46-05 PM

A San Diego publication profiles Chris Van Gorder of Scripps Health, a former beat cop turned hospital security guard and now CEO who is determined to reduce unnecessary variation to cut costs. According to the article, “Van Gorder trusts that sharing financial information, especially on costs, along with data on treatment and outcomes, will usually lead doctors to the best-outcome-at-lowest-cost decisions.”

People always send me funny stuff because they know I’m a sucker for it, and the video above from customer engagement and total cost of ownership services vendor PeerIntel is good one, with the smarmy doc playing it straight all the way. I notice the hospital name is actually that of the company’s R&D VP, described on its site as a “scruffy Armenian.” The other bios are pretty funny, too, with the marketing guy’s saying that he came to the company due to “a series of (now-broken) promises” by the top guys. The company used to be called Katalus Advisors. I interviewed Chairman Jeremy Bikman in October 2011.

A laid off MedQuist director shares her experience in “losing my job to technology” as speech recognition technology replaces transcriptionists.

2-14-2013 8-12-27 PM

The second spokesperson for Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas dies of, you guessed it, a heart attack. He weighed only 180 pounds, a wisp compared to his 575-pound predecessor. The restaurant fries in pure lard, sells beer and cigarettes, offers a 10,000 calorie burger, and  provides free meals to patrons weighing over 350 pounds. Their employees are scantily clad “nurses” that critics say places it in the Hooters-created category known in the trade as “breastaurants.”

I see that passengers on the Carnival Triumph are suffering bad food, long lines, and rude fellow passengers. Sounds about like our experience on a week-long cruise on Triumph a few years back, except ours was just a normal cruise. Everybody’s fretting about underfed passengers, but nobody seems worried about the 1,000 foreign crew members working around the clock in miserable conditions trying to keep passengers safe, comfortable, and norovirus-free for their princely wages of maybe $150 per week, not to mention that tips will be few this time. As the ambulance chasers and sensationalistic news reporters line up to prod the vacationers into a state of righteous indignation (even though they’re already receiving a nice package of reparations from Carnival), someone should raise some money to help the crew, who will probably get nothing for what they’ve been through.

Scotland’s NHS hospital employees, like ours, share passwords, post questionable information in Facebook, curse in e-mails, and install unauthorized software on their hospital devices, according to disciplinary records.

Weird News Andy says this woman really did have a HERnia, in the form of a baby girl. A 44-year-old woman complaining of bloating is X-rayed by hospital doctors, who are startled to find a full-term baby in her womb. They did a C-section and she’s now a first-time mom.

Sponsor Updates

  • NextGen Healthcare adds ITelagen as a VAR.
  • VersaSuite participates in this week’s Rural Health Care Leadership Conference in Phoenix.
  • TrustHCS representatives will speak on ICD-10 readiness during the April AHIMA ICD-10 CMS/PCS and CAC Summit in Baltimore.
  • SuccessEHS sponsors a February 28 Webinar on the patient-centered EHR and quality improvement.
  • CIC Advisory offers suggestions on implementing and adopting a health IT safety program.
  • CardioNet and AirStrip partner to develop and co-market an integrated solution for mobile patient monitoring.
  • Agilum Healthcare Intelligence publishes a case study on business intelligence strategies for small and mid-sized hospitals.
  • AdvancedMD offers a guide to improve patient experience with EHRs.
  • Intellect Resources posts a  Gotye parody video about recruiters.
  • Imprivata adds Aura Healthcare as a VAR to resell its single sign-on solution.
  • Best of Staffing recognizes CSI Healthcare for its outstanding reviews from clients and job-seekers.
  • Data Trade Solutions will offer nVoq’s SayIt speech recognition technology to its physician clients.
  • NorthWise Services (UK) partners with Merge to offer clinical trial services.
  • Wellcentive participated in the 2013 IHE North America Connectathon earlier this month.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange survey remains open through next Wednesday. Any individual associated with health care organizations (vendors, health plans, providers, etc.) may participate. I’m a little offended that they listed providers last and even after health plans, but I took the survey anyway.


Speaking of surveys, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis conducted one on hip replacement prices. As part of a research project on healthcare costs, Jaime Rosenthal called 100 hospitals (two in every state) and asked for cash prices for a hip replacement surgery for her fictional grandmother. Despite pushes for transparency, only half the hospitals could provide an estimate and those that did ranged from $11,000 to $125,000.

A related commentary discusses the disparities in “sticker price” of health care and tells the story of the automobile window sticker, stating, “A 2013 hip replacement looks a lot like a 1954 Buick.”

2-14-2013 6-35-00 PM

Just when I thought I had seen it all, Dr. Mostashari’s bow tie opened its own Twitter account yesterday. You can follow its exploits @FarzadsBowtie while “Putting the Bow-Tie in Health IT.” I’ve had crushes on some famous people, but never on one whose apparel had its own social life. What’s next: @IngaHistalksShoes?

Speaking of shoes, Inga beat me to the punch with the chocolate shoes, but they’re too good not to mention here as well. My favorite is the red stiletto with the dark chocolate filigree, although the pink with white polka dots is cute too. Maybe a certain someone will take the hint.


If not the shoes, I’m definitely liking this lovely ring from MF Jewelry, created from your own EKG tracing. 

2-14-2013 6-37-44 PM

Considering my recent piece on handwritten thank you notes at the hospital, Inga sent over this ER doctor’s note that’s been circling the Internet. Now this is meaningful use of a handwritten note. Kudos to New York Presbyterian’s fine and caring staff member.

I’m starting to put together my serious (i.e. “non-cocktail party”) agenda for HIMSS. I was a little bitter to see that Inga and I were not invited to the #HITchicks Tweetup event on Monday. I can’t think of more fun #HITchicks than us. I’m hoping to see some new and innovative things rather than more of the same. Have something that I shouldn’t miss? E-mail me.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 14, 2013 News 12 Comments

News 2/13/13

February 12, 2013 News 5 Comments

Top News

2-12-2013 7-01-56 PM

Greenway announces Q2 results: revenue up 12 percent, EPS $0.00, missing both revenue and earnings estimates substantially, guiding fiscal year earnings to the low end of the range on lower revenue. Shares were down eight percent in Tuesday’s after-hours trading. From the earnings call:

  • The company is moving rapidly to a recurring revenue model, with revenue recognition changes hurting short-term results
  • 750 providers were added in the quarter, up 30 percent year over year
  • Training and consulting revenue dropped 35 percent because large accounts pushed training out into January
  • The company’s new RCM platform is in its early stages, but has over 300 customers

Reader Comments

inga_small From Judy: “Re: our HIMSS promo.  I thought about you. We’ve secured 25 New Orleans merchants to offer discounts to HIMSS attendees wearing our Iatric Systems branded slap bands. Merchants range from restaurants to spas  to jewelry to clothing and to two stores specializing in shoes and boots. You can wine, dine, shop, tour, and spa in between all the HIMSS activities.” Judy had me at shoes and discount, but wine and spa, too?  Look for the bands in the LeSack hotel drop Sunday night or at the Iatric booth.

inga_small From Alberta Gator: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. I am assuming I did not make the cut for HIStalkapalooza since I didn’t get an invite. It’s OK. I’ll still bring sexy shoes in your honor.” Don’t fear: the invites have not yet been sent even though the registration has closed! The official HIStalkapalooza invitations will be e-mailed to several hundred of our BFFs around February 18. And I can’t wait to see all the sexy shoes. If you didn’t sign up, sorry, but we’re full.

2-12-2013 7-56-26 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Selective Disturbance App. Our fellow HIStalker Inga has helped a developer name a new mobile app by calling it ‘Selective Disturbance.’ It will be on TPD’s List of iPhone Apps with the next update.” I asked Inga what this was about and it turns out she helped choose the rather brilliant name attached to the app, which lets you selectively set a “Do Not Disturb” status by groups of individual contacts, so maybe you let your child get through 24×7 but block casual acquaintances during work hours.

From Ralph Samuelson: “Re: Allscripts. I am not sure how it is for everyone, but the company is allowing everyone in my group (programming for one of the legacy products) to stay on until August 1. We have until then to relocate or find another job outside the company. I probably can’t move, but I am grateful I have some time to consider my options.”

From Alert Reader: “Re: revisiting old announcements. How about Deborah Peel saying they would post Form 990 on the Patient Privacy Rights website, which was in HIStalk on January 3, 2011?” I’ve invited her to respond.

From Code Monkey: “Re: old systems vs. new. The experience haven’t changed since the early 2000s. Example: our hospital got reports that several patients weren’t seen within several hours after admission. That’s the responsibility of residents, who are entered as consulting physicians. The chief resident opened 10 tickets with no response from the application team saying that patients were disappearing from our portal lists. We had just applied a McKesson Horizon patch, so we checked the new Perl audit feature, which showed a new routine called ChopConsult, which started with: ‘Temp fix to remove [root@hcilink perl]# cat ChopConsult #Temp fix to remove consulting physicians beyond 8 from ADT.’ If you have more than eight consulting physicians, sorry, you now have zero. I use this as an example that many of these systems are hacked together and stability is an issue, without even looking into the database design. Pay no attention to what’s behind the curtain (or cloud).”

2-12-2013 7-24-10 PM

From Smarty Marty: “Re: Aetna. Will brand its Accountable Care Solutions assets (Medicity, iTriage, ActiveHealth, PracticeiQ) under the Healthagen name, possibly to separate these solutions from their core commercial insurance business. I found this when I went looking for the Medicity booth on the HIMSS website and could not find anything. Medicity’s website has brief information about it in the Events section.” Aetna quietly acquired Healthagen, which developed the iTriage consumer health app, in December 2011. Above is what is apparently the placeholder web page for the new Healthagen organization, with the four company names listed at the bottom. The Healthagen HIMSS exhibitor listing has three of the company names, omitting PracticeiQ.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

2-12-2013 9-09-55 AM

inga_small I wonder how many other people got this same e-mail from LinkedIn? I felt incredibly special for about 30 seconds until Mr. H told me he got the same notification. I knew it had to be bogus / a marketing ploy / a waste of my time when LinkedIn sent me the same notice for my personal LinkedIn account.

2-12-2013 6-11-16 PM

We acknowledge and appreciate the support of Deloitte, a brand new Platinum sponsor of HIStalk. The company is, of course, a premiere, worldwide professional services firm headquartered right here in the USA (New York) with a strong healthcare IT presence and a list of awards to prove it. Deloitte’s provider practice supports organizations working on tough problems:  quality improvement, ICD-10, business intelligence and analytics, system implementation and optimization, disease management, and HIEs. You can keep up with big-picture developments by reading updates from Paul Keckley, PhD, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. A bunch of us who’ve been around awhile know Mitch Morris, MD, who leads the company’s health IT practice, and I’ll be talking to him soon about industry trends. Thanks to Deloitte for supporting HIStalk.

I always hit YouTube to see what I can find out about a new sponsor and my search for Deloitte turned up a winner: a brand new report on the 2013 health outlook.

HIMSS Conference Social Events

Going to HIMSS? We’ll post social events that are (a) interesting, and (b) open to all HIStalk readers who care to attend. Send yours to be listed.

Alego Health will host a cocktail reception on Tuesday, March 5 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at their booth (#141). They’ll have hurricanes, beer, wine, an infused hydration station (what the heck is that? sounds like an IV), and some nice food that includes mini po’ boys.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

2-12-2013 9-35-06 PM

Enterprise HIS vendor RazorInsights announces $11 million in Series A funding from Bluff Point Associates. One of its customers was announced in the press release – Alliance HealthCare System (MS). CEO Reed Liggin mentioned the upcoming investment in my February 8 interview.

Teleheath company INRange Systems raises $1.6 million for its remote medication management device that administers single doses of meds to patients and transmits adherence data to physicians and pharmacists.

2-12-2013 7-11-25 PM

Employees of the Barcelona, Spain office of Picis (Optum / UnitedHealth Group) say they will go on strike beginning Thursday to protest the amount of severance they’ll receive as the company moves most of their jobs to India. According to the employee spokesperson who contacted us, “First, the UHG negotiators don’t have a firm plan to transition Picis development and support to India and we’ve asked them to let us help sort out how to successfully do it. Second, the compensation package is drastically lower than what we could win in court.” Spain’s legally-mandated employee benefits are extensive, but the employees say most companies that move jobs to India provide more than the minimum separation benefits. UPDATE: the response from Optum: “Picis Spain is engaged in good faith negotiations with employees at its Barcelona office, as it evolves its local workforce to better align with changing customer needs. We don’t anticipate any business disruption and hope this issue can be resolved fairly and quickly.”


2-12-2013 9-38-52 PM

Greater Baltimore Medical (MD) will implement Amcom Software’s Mobile Connect smartphone texting solution with their existing Amcom communications system.

The Michigan Department of Community Health Medical Services Administration awards Cognosante the Medicaid IT Architecture State Self-Assessment contract.

Tanner Health System (GA) selects Besler Consulting to conduct a transfer DRG underpayment recovery audit.

2-12-2013 9-39-49 PM

Arnot Ogden Medical Center (NY) will implement Merge Healthcare’s cardiology solution suite to capture, manage, and display multi-modality cardiac images, along with hemodynamics and ECG data.

Southeastern Health (NC) expands its relationship with eClinicalWorks to include the company’s Care Coordination Medical Record.

Dignity Health Medical Foundation (CA) chooses MediRevv for A/R management services.


2-12-2013 8-08-15 PM

Trinity Health CEO Joseph Swedish is named CEO of WellPoint, the country’s second-largest insurer, replacing former CEO Angela Braly.

2-12-2013 8-11-43 PM

Russell Branzell (Colorado Health Medical Group) is named president and CEO of CHIME.

2-12-2013 5-53-01 PM

Athenahealth COO Ed Park joins the board of directors of analytics vendor Kyruus.

2-12-2013 5-54-35 PM

Vitera Healthcare Solutions hires Kermit Randa (Surgical Information Systems) as EVP of sales and marketing.

2-11-2013 4-01-26 PM

TransforMED, the AAFP subsidiary that supports practices transitioning to PCMHs, announces the retirement of president and CEO Terry McGeeney, MD.

2-12-2013 10-51-04 AM  2-12-2013 10-45-44 AM  2-12-2013 10-53-16 AM

MedeAnalytics promotes Steve Lerch to SVP/GM of the provider business unit, Scott Paddock to SVP/GM of the payer business unit, and Sal DeTrane to CFO.

2-12-2013 11-07-47 AM

Hello Health names Barry Holleman (Cardinal Health) COO and VP.

2-12-2013 2-08-59 PM

Aspen Advisors promotes Jody Cervenak to principal.

2-12-2013 3-42-20 PM

CVS Caremark appoints Brian Tilzer (Staples) SVP/chief digital officer.

2-12-2013 8-38-27 PM 2-12-2013 8-39-39 PM

Health Care DataWorks promotes CFO Jeffrey Wilkins (left) to CEO, replacing founder Herb Smaltz (right), who will continue to serve as board chair.

Announcements and Implementations

2-12-2013 3-59-04 PM

Over 60 ACOs from 15 states form the National Association of ACOs, which will focus on helping organizations to increase the quality of care and improve health in their communities.

2-12-2013 3-57-34 PM 

The Mount Sinai Medical Center (NY) reports that its Epic EMR has resulted in improved quality of care for patients, including a 56 percent reduction in Medicare readmissions and improvements in quality measures such as discharge instructions for patients and antibiotic administration prior to surgery.

The Huntzinger Management Group assists Hanover Hospital (PA) in its successful Stage 1 MU attestation.

API Healthcare introduces its Talent Management Solution to improve employee engagement while addressing the industry challenges of healthcare reform and an aging workforce.

SimplifyMD launches its simpleStart program that will allow practices to move from EHR demo to live clinical use on the same day.

Mobile platform application development provider Kony Solutions announces support for the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 smartphones.

Stilwell Memorial Hospital (OK) goes live on Medsphere OpenVista.

Government and Politics

The government’s healthcare fraud prevention and enforcement efforts recovered $4.2 billion in FY2012, up from last year’s $4.1 billion. Over the last three years, fraud and abuse investigations recovered $7.90 for every dollar spent.

2-12-2013 3-44-50 PM

President Obama re-nominates Marilyn Tavenner as permanent administrator for CMS.

Anybody who follows the VA/DoD EHR saga knows that the story changes weekly, flip-flopping on whether they’ll write new separate systems, write one new system, buy off-the-shelf applications, or just patch together what they have. Sometimes DoD has one story and the VA another, illustrative of just how vast the gulf is that separates their philosophies. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta spoke of the “one EHR" project in the past tense a week ago, saying definitively that the departments were giving up on that idea in favor of just getting their respective systems to talk to each other. Not so fast, says VA CIO Roger Baker, now clarifying that the integration project is a stopgap toward the original goal that will continue. All I know is that whatever they do will be horrifically expensive and behind schedule, especially on the DoD side that has paid contractors billions to develop AHLTA,  and all the conflicting announcements have made me lose interest yet again. The OSEHRA community is talking if you can understand what they’re saying, meaning you’d better speak VA geek talk and appreciate decades-old VistA history, which I do on occasion. Some of those pontificating speculate that DoD will end up buying Epic, looking back to 2011 when five Wisconsin Congressmen (including eventual Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan) lobbied for the home team.

ONC’s Doug Fridsma participates in a Google + Hangout.

2-12-2013 8-03-54 PM

Federal Health Architecture releases version 4.0 of its open source Connect HIE-enabling platform. It supports higher message throughput, larger files, newly support server environments, and improved logging.

2-12-2013 8-18-44 PM

HIMSS urges HHS to stick to the October 1, 2014 implementation date of ICD-10, saying it will reduce the cost of prior authorization, enable Meaningful use, improve population health, reduce waste, and save money.


2-12-2013 8-44-05 PM

UC Irvine says medical students given free iPads with digital textbooks are scoring 23 percent higher on exams than students in previous classes, also noting that the students have formed their own technology group and developed 19 healthcare-related iPad apps in a 10-day Med App Jam. The iMedEd program was named a 2012-2013 Apple Distinguished Program this week.


2-12-2013 3-34-32 PM

Cerner, Epic, and Siemens earn the highest ratings in ICD-10 preparedness according to KLAS, while Allscripts and Meditech score lowest. Among firms providing ICD-10 consulting, The Advisory Board earns top marks for high-quality roadmaps and best-practice sharing among firms providing ICD-10 consulting, while Deloitte has the most engagements. The majority of the market is looking to 3M and computer-assisted coding technology to aid in the transition.

2-12-2013 6-46-02 PM

Here’s the latest cartoon from Imprivata. 

A local medical center in Rhode Island pitches a move to the Amazing Charts EMR to earn Meaningful Use money, adding that health services board members with medical backgrounds could help with the conversion. Several audience members objected, saying they don’t want board members seeing their medical information. The board deferred the EMR decision until its next meeting.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority approves creation of a life sciences and healthcare IT accelerator that will offer the usual seed money, boot camp, mentorship, and pitch showcase.

In Canada, Saskatchewan’s privacy commissioner is investigating three cases in which health authority employees inappropriately accessed the electronic medical records of their co-workers, including one where an employee found that her name had been replaced with a vulgarity and “RIP” at the end.

A Houston medical student files suit against his school, claiming it illegally viewed his hospital medical records and expelled him based on a physician’s speculation that he had tried to commit suicide.

Weird News Andy speculates that perhaps not all things go better with Coke. Like cardiac arrhythmia, for example, in a 30-year-old mother of eight in New Zealand whose death was ruled by the coroner as being partially caused by her 2.2 gallon per day Coca-Cola habit. The sugar water liver had damaged her liver, caused all her teeth to rot out, and addicted her to the point that she experienced withdrawal symptoms when her supply ran out. Her family says they thought Coke was OK because the bottle carries no warnings, while the company complains that the coroner himself wasn’t really sure that Coke killed her.

Sponsor Updates

  • Emdat posts its spring trade show and conference schedule.
  • Hayes Management Consulting posts case studies of some of its projects.
  • HealthCare Anytime and ICA partner to leverage ICA’s interoperability technology with HealthCare Anytime’s patient portal.
  • Informatica’s Chief Product Officer Girish Pancha participates in this week’s Pacific Crest Emerging Technology Summit in San Francisco.
  • Truven Health Analytics adds enhanced reporting functionality and flexibility to the latest versions of its pharmacy intervention and infection prevention products.
  • Unity Health System (NY) executives will share details of how they leveraged public and private HIEs to enable a community diabetes collaborative during a March 21 Webinar hosted by dbMotion. 
  • Capario realizes double-digit revenue growth from its provider base in 2012 and increased adoption of its portal application.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 12, 2013 News 5 Comments

Monday Morning Update 2/11/13

February 9, 2013 News 15 Comments

2-8-2013 9-24-20 PM 2-8-2013 9-25-14 PM

2-8-2013 9-22-56 PM

From Potsie: “Re: McKesson reorg. The customer announcement is attached. They’ve said they won’t force Horizon customers to convert to Paragon, but now with Pesce over both Paragon and Horizon, the writing is on the wall. I’ve also heard they’re encouraging Horizon employees to take jobs at Relay, which would seem to be scaling back by attrition rather than by layoff.” The customer e-mail from McKesson Technology Solutions EVP/Group President Pat Blake says RelayHealth will expand to over 1,000 employees, but more germane to Potsie’s comment, Paragon, Horizon Clinicals, Revenue Cycle, and Managed Services will be combined in a new organization called Enterprise Information Services, with Jim Pesce from the Paragon business (above left) serving as president. Rod O’Reilly (above right) will become SVP of strategy for MTS.  

From Ellingham: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. How can readers have missed the announcements? Presbyopia?” Beats me, but Inga and I get e-mails every day from people who swear they’ve study HIStalk intently each day without seeing the large HIStalkapalooza announcements I’ve run three times now. Maybe they’re not really HIStalk readers and just want an invitation, but I think they’re conditioned by the rags and other sites that trumpet non-newsworthy stories with a come-on headline and 10 paragraphs of padded prose that I would have summarized in one sentence without missing anything important. Skim HIStalk and you’ll miss stuff for sure. It takes me a lot of time to write in a way that wastes a lot less of yours. That’s why I guarantee that if you’ll give me 5-10 minutes of attentive reading each day, you’ll know more than almost everybody in the industry. 

An HIStalkapalooza menu update for readers who asked: Chef Brad confirms that he will have vegetarian and gluten-free items available.

2-9-2013 7-55-47 AM

The HIMSS conference will enjoy a net attendee gain this year compared to last if you believe that my poll is statistically reliable. Doing the math suggests an attendance of 33,450 based on last year’s count, but of course New Orleans can’t match Las Vegas as a draw. New poll to your right, from CHIME’s comments about ONC’s patient safety plan: should the federal government issue a national patient identifier?

2-9-2013 3-56-52 PM

Nuggets from the athenahealth earnings call Friday:

  • Jonathan Bush says the company reduced physician documentation per encounter to less than five minutes.
  • He acknowledges that athenahealth has low physician visibility and the Epocrates acquisition will be a way of promoting the company’s other businesses given its 90 percent awareness.
  • He said “athenaCoordinator had a rough year,” referring to the care coordination platform developed from the July 2011 Proxsys acquisition. He did not specifically reference the announced March 6 layoff of 36 employees from that group, but said the Proxsys system had to be rewritten from scratch, which hurt sales, and getting pre-certifications from payers is hard because each has different rules.
  • The company has integrated six products into athenaNet through its “More Disruption Please” program and plans to add another 25 in 2013, but is collecting no fees from those vendors.
  • They will launch athenaResearch next month to use the company’s database to provide insight back to clients.
  • While the company has developed turnkey rip-and-replace programs, they don’t push them because the data in the EMRs of clients isn’t reusable, or as Jonathan Bush said, “We’re going to get better at delivering it and develop the confidence to make promises that we’re good at delivering it more convincingly where we’re just going to have to get better at explaining to people why their Flock of Seagulls EMR is going to go to the same place that their Flock of Seagulls vinyl albums went.”
  • The company says they may dabble in the inpatient EMR business after reviewing a vendor’s implementation manuals and concluding, “That’s it? That’s what all the fuss is about?” and raised the possibility that athenahealth could replace the EpicCare ambulatory part of an Epic implementation and interface to Epic’s inpatient systems.

2-9-2013 2-09-27 PM

Medical facilities are necessarily extensive at Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage held every 12 years in India that is drawing 30 million people as the largest human gathering in history. The military-like clinics were set up in two months and will be gone by the end of March. Medical records are basic and scrawled on paper. A team from Harvard School of Public Health created an iPad-based system for documenting the chief complaints and medications of the thousands of emergency patients seen each day. It also transfers data to a server to help detect public health outbreaks such as diarrhea. As stated by Logan Plaster, managing editor of Emergency Physicians Monthly:

So far the Harvard team has gathered more than 15,000 patient records, an impressive number by any research standards, and arguably the largest public health dataset ever gathered on a transient population. Their findings have been stable and predictable; most complaints are of cough and cold, and most prescriptions are for anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen. That’s good news to everyone’s ears as millions of new pilgrims enter Allahabad in preparation for February 10, the holiest bathing day on the calendar.

In China, a doctor’s social network warnings about a particular medication used in children causes shares of the drug’s manufacturer to drop 10 percent in a week, losing $160 million in value. It turned out that the doctor was wrong, having incorrectly recalled government literature. He has only 2,000 followers, but his message was reposted by a Chinese celebrity to his 26 million followers. The doctor apologized and clarified several times, but his original message continued to spread. Public relations analysis determined that a company’s response to publicly disseminated incorrect information must be issued within eight hours to be effective and must be distributed online rather than via traditional media.

The State of California fires SAP Public Services from its state employee payroll and medical benefits computer project after the new system was found to be making errors at 100 times the rate of the 1970s-era system it was supposed to replace. The project is years behind schedule and costs have piled up at triple the original estimate, with $371 million spent so far. SAP Public Services has been paid more than $50 million after the state fired BearingPoint three years ago.

An employee of Xerox/Affiliated Computer Services and an accomplice are indicted in Kentucky for using patient information collected in managing CVS’s Medicare Part D prescription plan to file fraudulent tax returns.

2-9-2013 4-17-39 PM

In England, the CEO of Royal Berkshire Hospital reports to the hospital’s board that implementation of its $47 million Cerner Millennium system need an extra $6 million to cover staff time required to navigate through patient scheduling screens that take up to 15 minutes per appointment. He warns that Millennium-related expenses will cause the hospital to move from a financial surplus to a loss for the year. According to the executive, Millennium crashes regularly, including this past Tuesday when it was down all day and the hospital had to revert to paper. The hospital’s 2013 implementation costs are projected at $10 million vs. its budget of $4 million due to unplanned manual data correction and extra staff time. The CEO said in a prepared statement to the Council of Governors, “The level of issues the trust faces having implemented Cerner Millennium is a significant drain on management capacity, despite robust risk mitigation plans. This has a significant impact on the trust’s financial performance and cash position, being the key driver between a surplus and forecasted deficit.”

Tennessee health department officials trying to manage a September meningitis outbreak were forced to develop an electronic workaround to their usual manual hospital data collection process due to the urgency of the situation. The agency had to convince hospitals to give it electronic access to their systems given restrictive federal privacy laws. Vanderbilt University Medical Center was identified as “becoming a substantial hindrance to our investigation” because its permission lagged that of all other area hospitals. The health department is considering proposing legislation to give it easier access in an emergency.

2-9-2013 3-07-00 PM

ORNGE, the air ambulance service of Ontario, is under fire for paying its physician CEO $4.6 million over two years. Taxpayers also paid questionable expenses that included European travel with $2,400 per night hotel rooms, a $1,200 dinner, limousines, minibar champagne, in-room movies, and trips with his girlfriend, who he had promoted to VP of the organization.

The CEO of the public healthcare system in Maricopa County, AZ defends her $125,000 salary increase, saying her $500,000 salary is “always the lowest of any hospital CEO in the entire state, even the little-bitty hospitals.” The board chair voted against the increase, saying the CEO has done a great job, but, “A $125,000 raise in a year when we give our janitors maybe a 1 percent raise or lay off people? It just doesn’t make sense.”

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (MA) pays its former chief of anesthesia $7 million and will name its pain clinic after her to settle her charges of gender discrimination. Carol Warfield, MD says the former surgery chief, along with former hospital CEO Paul Levy, forced her out when she complained about being ignored in meetings. The Boston Globe says the hospital probably wanted to avoid reopening anything related to Levy since the woman’s attorneys had already claimed that the inappropriate relationship Levy had with a hospital employee was evidence that he ignored workplace rules.

A Truthout article says EMR adoption poses new challenges to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations who will have to decide whether to share their status without knowing how that information will be handled digitally. One advocate says she doesn’t want to have to bring up her status in every medical encounter, saying, “I’m out to everyone, but I don’t want to have to come out to doctors over and over again.” Ares of EMR concern: (a) questions ask status like “gay” or “bisexual” instead of specifically identifying a patient’s relationships, since “sexual orientation is not useful medical information”; (b) EMRs should be able to identify same-sex partnerships instead of just checking “married”; (c) a label of “transgender” is not sufficient without more details; and (d) equal protection is not guaranteed in all states and an EMR-related outing can create problems. In an interesting twist on the tired HIE argument of “unconscious patient in the ED while on vacation” example, LGBTs say that their shared information could be a disaster in LGBT-hostile areas or facilities. An IOM study was mentioned whose conclusion was that the best course of action is to allow LGBTs to self-identify and opt out of answering related questions.

2-9-2013 2-15-19 PM

A hospital in Australia will discipline five employees, one of them a nurse, for posting in information to Facebook that it says violated patient confidentiality. The nurse posted the nursing home photo above, which she labeled as, “Randomly stripping for the oldies at work.” She also posted a patient’s pelvic x-ray showing an embedded object with the caption, “Take a guess what this is kids!”

2-9-2013 4-48-44 PM

Weird News Andy summarizes this story thusly: “I’ve heard of butt-dialing, but not answering.” A Sri Lankan prisoner who is startled by guards demanding to search his cell shoves a cell phone and two hands-free accessories into his rectum. The guards are surprised to hear a cell phone ring during the search, followed by the prisoner’s complaints of back pain. They take him to the prison hospital, where he tells doctors that his pain was caused by guards beating him. When the doctors reviewed x-rays and announced plans for surgery, he produced the contraband voluntarily.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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February 9, 2013 News 15 Comments

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