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News 4/3/13

April 2, 2013 News 10 Comments

Top News

4-2-2013 10-52-51 PM

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

Reader Comments

4-2-2013 10-53-53 PM

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

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

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

4-2-2013 10-55-20 PM

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

4-2-2013 10-56-00 PM

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

4-2-2013 10-56-35 PM

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


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

4-2-2013 3-41-38 PM

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

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


4-2-2013 3-42-37 PM

NaviNet names Daniel Timblin (BCBS TN) CFO.

4-2-2013 8-19-38 AM

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

4-2-2013 1-24-01 PM

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

4-2-2013 1-28-18 PM

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

4-2-2013 2-50-14 PM

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

4-2-2013 3-02-04 PM

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

4-2-2013 7-08-18 PM

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

4-2-2013 7-38-19 PM

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

4-2-2013 8-45-45 PM

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

Announcements and Implementations

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

4-2-2013 3-46-35 PM

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

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

4-2-2013 10-58-34 PM

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

4-2-2013 6-08-42 PM

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

Government and Politics

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

4-2-2013 3-49-48 PM

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

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

4-2-2013 3-15-43 PM

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

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


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

4-2-2013 8-00-22 PM

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

4-2-2013 8-02-11 PM

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

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

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

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

Sponsor Updates

4-2-2013 7-11-31 PM

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

4-2-2013 7-17-18 PM

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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April 2, 2013 News 10 Comments

Monday Morning Update 4/1/13

March 30, 2013 Headlines 8 Comments

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

3-30-2013 4-57-38 PM

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

3-30-2013 2-43-19 PM

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

3-30-2013 2-22-11 PM

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

3-30-2013 3-43-31 PM

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

3-30-2013 4-23-01 PM

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

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

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

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

3-30-2013 4-55-00 PM

Keokuk Area Hospital (IA) goes live on CPSI.

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

3-30-2013 4-33-12 PM

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

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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March 30, 2013 Headlines 8 Comments

News 3/29/13

March 28, 2013 News 7 Comments

Top News

3-28-2013 10-09-06 PM

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

Reader Comments

3-28-2013 10-10-32 PM

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

3-28-2013 10-11-45 PM

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

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

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

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

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-28-2013 7-47-11 PM

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

3-28-2013 9-08-33 PM

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


3-28-2013 10-14-59 PM

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

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

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

3-28-2013 10-16-16 PM

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


3-28-2013 6-40-34 PM

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

3-28-2013 11-34-52 AM

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

3-28-2013 7-21-23 PM

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

Announcements and Implementations

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

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

3-28-2013 10-17-51 PM

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

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

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

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

Government and Politics

3-28-2013 12-17-15 PM

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

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


3-28-2013 10-19-06 PM

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

3-28-2013 10-20-04 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3-28-2013 8-28-32 PM

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

Sponsor Updates

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

EPtalk  by Dr. Jayne

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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March 28, 2013 News 7 Comments

HIStalk Reader Survey Results 2013

March 27, 2013 News 4 Comments

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

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

Key Responses

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

Sample “Say Anything You Want” Comments

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

Ideas I Will Try to Implement

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

Ideas That Require More Reader Feedback

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

Ideas I Probably Won’t Implement Immediately

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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March 27, 2013 News 4 Comments

News 3/27/13

March 26, 2013 News 6 Comments

Top News

3-26-2013 9-45-15 PM

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

Reader Comments

3-26-2013 6-55-16 PM

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

3-26-2013 6-57-46 PM

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

3-26-2013 6-53-16 PM

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

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

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

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

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

3-26-2013 6-26-43 PM

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

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

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

3-26-2013 7-02-09 PM

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-26-2013 7-38-24 PM

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

3-26-2013 9-07-04 PM

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

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


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

3-26-2013 4-59-37 PM

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

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

3-26-2013 5-05-00 PM

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


3-26-2013 3-25-04 PM

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

3-26-2013 6-51-39 PM

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

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

Announcements and Implementations

3-26-2013 5-13-15 PM

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

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

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

Government and Politics

3-26-2013 9-06-53 AM

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


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

Innovation and Research

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


3-26-2013 3-50-00 PM

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

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


3-26-2013 3-51-28 PM

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

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

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

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

3-26-2013 12-45-22 PM

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

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

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

3-26-2013 5-43-42 PM

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

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

Sponsor Updates

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 26, 2013 News 6 Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/25/13

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

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

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

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

3-22-2013 7-09-43 PM

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

3-22-2013 8-53-54 PM

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

3-22-2013 6-39-09 PM

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

3-22-2013 6-55-54 PM

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

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

3-22-2013 8-48-26 PM

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

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

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

3-23-2013 8-37-00 AM

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

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

3-23-2013 8-58-35 AM

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

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

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

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

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

3-23-2013 9-36-04 AM

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

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

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 23, 2013 News 1 Comment

News 3/22/13

March 21, 2013 News 5 Comments

Top News

3-21-2013 8-44-57 PM

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

Reader Comments

3-21-2013 8-49-22 PM

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

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

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

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

3-21-2013 7-09-09 PM

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

HIStalk Announcements

3-21-2013 4-00-21 PM

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

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

Here are the last of the HIStalkapalooza photos from Medicomp.

3-21-2013 6-58-21 PM

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

3-21-2013 6-59-57 PM

CIO Unplugged Ed Marx and friends.

3-21-2013 7-01-03 PM

Team Orion.

3-21-2013 7-03-49 PM

Team Vitera.

3-21-2013 7-05-39 PM

Bowling tournament winners.

3-21-2013 7-01-46 PM

Jonathan Bush of athenahealth and James Aita of Medicomp.

3-21-2013 7-02-57 PM

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

3-21-2013 7-04-43 PM

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-21-2013 8-07-03 PM

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

3-21-2013 8-08-06 PM

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


3-21-2013 8-51-12 PM

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

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


3-21-2013 6-17-14 PM

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

3-21-2013 6-19-07 PM

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

3-21-2013 7-15-53 PM

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

3-21-2013 7-18-25 PM

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

Announcements and Implementations

3-21-2013 3-11-01 PM

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

3-21-2013 3-31-25 PM

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

3-21-2013 3-32-50 PM

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

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

Meditech certifies NetApp FAS storage for its systems.

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

Xerox announces a cloud-based Mobile Device Management service.

Government and Politics

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

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


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


3-21-2013 8-52-56 PM

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

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

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

3-21-2013 8-54-48 PM

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

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

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

3-21-2013 9-00-01 PM

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

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

Sponsor Updates

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

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 21, 2013 News 5 Comments

News 3/20/13

March 19, 2013 News 8 Comments

Top News

3-19-2013 7-54-09 PM

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

Reader Comments

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

3-19-2013 6-56-19 PM

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

EHR Incentive Payments are Taxable Income

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

3-19-2013 6-53-55 PM

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

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

3-19-2013 7-55-29 PM

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

3-19-2013 7-56-15 PM

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

3-19-2013 7-57-08 PM

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


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

3-19-2013 7-58-42 PM

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

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


3-19-2013 6-02-02 PM

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

3-19-2013 6-03-15 PM

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

3-19-2013 7-21-03 PM

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

Announcements and Implementations

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

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

3-19-2013 6-05-33 PM

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

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

3-19-2013 6-29-49 PM

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

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

Government and Politics

3-19-2013 3-10-14 PM

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


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

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


3-19-2013 3-26-11 PM

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

3-19-2013 3-31-57 PM

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

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

3-19-2013 3-51-36 PM

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

3-19-2013 6-19-47 PM

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

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

Sponsor Updates

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 19, 2013 News 8 Comments

Monday Morning Update 3/18/13

March 16, 2013 News 9 Comments

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

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

3-16-2013 3-57-24 PM

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

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

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

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3-15-2013 7-33-48 PM

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

3-15-2013 8-21-16 PM

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

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

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

3-15-2013 8-09-13 PM

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

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

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

3-15-2013 9-04-19 PM

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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March 16, 2013 News 9 Comments

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

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