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News 6/7/13

June 6, 2013 News 14 Comments

Top News

6-6-2013 10-40-50 PM

The former chief information security officer of the VA says the department’s networks and databases were hacked by at least eight foreign governments, including Russia and China. Jerry Davis, who was CISO from 2010 until February 2013, testified that the VA didn’t encrypt databases containing patient information, employed weak user authentication, and failed to address a backlog of 13,000 security-related corrective actions. A VA auditor says her group has identified 4,000 current security vulnerabilities, and when asked who was responsible, she blamed recently resigned former VA CIO Roger Baker.

Reader Comments

6-6-2013 7-58-13 PM

From Digital Bean Counter: “Re: Robert Wood Johnson / CMS data article on LinkedIn. I added a comment stating why I thought the CMS study is misleading and referenced Data Nerd’s recent Reader’s Write post on HIStalk. My comment was deleted. How are we to have a transparent industry if the organizations we work with are not willing to be transparent themselves?” RWJF issued a challenge for developing an app that would somehow make the useless CMS information valuable, to which I would issue a challenge of my own: explain exactly what a consumer would do with this information to save the healthcare system money.

6-6-2013 10-31-19 PM

From Another Epic Go-Live: ”Re: Plains Regional Medical Center, Clovis, NM. On June 1, the 106-bed hospital became the first of Presbyterian Healthcare Services’ (NM) eight hospitals to go live with Epic. The rest will be rolled out over the next year.”

From Sad Day in Madison: “Re: accused predator. Many are shaken since he is one of the ‘fast crowd’ of young Madison professionals who fly out every week, make a lot of money, and hit the bars on the weekend.” Brian Stowe, a 28-year-old Epic project manager, is charged with sexual assault after prosecutors say he drugged at least nine women and filmed himself with them. Police recovered videos and pictures as evidence. They also retrieved the Epic-issued laptop that was visible in them with the help of Epic’s HR people. The court commissioner set bail at $500,000 because Stowe has wealthy parents and access to savings from his job.

6-6-2013 9-25-26 PM 6-6-2013 9-26-19 PM

From Small World: “Re: Duncan James (above left) replacing Vern Davenport (above right) at MModal. Isn’t this the second time? Vern was CEO of Misys Healthcare when they owned what is now QCPR.” QuadraMed acquired Misys CPR in the fall of 2007, but Vern stayed with Misys until a few months later when Misys and Allscripts merged. He stayed with Allscripts for almost three years, then went to Quintiles for a short stay, and then to Medquist, which eventually acquired MModal.

6-6-2013 4-01-04 PM

inga_small From Ed Marx: “Re: European shoes. Saw these shoes and thought of you.” Ed is touring Europe and has been kind enough to send me a few photos to satisfy my shoe obsession. Always good to have options for next year’s HIStalkapalooza!

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small Some of this week’s highlights from HIStalk Practice include: eClinicalWorks, Allscripts, and NextGen are the dominant EHR providers for freestanding practices while Epic, Allscripts, and Cerner dominate hospital-owned practices, according to a HIMSS Analytics/CapSite report. CIMRO, the REC for Nebraska, sells off its HIT consulting division, ensuring the continuation of the consultant practice after CIMRO’s grant funding runs out. Athenahealth extends a guarantee that it will waive customer service fees if not ready for the ICD-10 transition by the October 2014 deadline. Children are more likely to be fully vaccinated for influenza when a popup alert is added to the EMR. A nasty storm could be brewing in Massachusetts as officials determine how to interpret and implement a state law requiring the meaningful use of EHR in order to obtain licensure. iPads and iPhones are physicians’ favorite devices for interacting with EHRs and staff. Dr. Gregg offers some clever humor for those rough HIT days. Join the fun and sign up for the e-mail updates when you checking out these stories. Thanks for reading.

6-6-2013 7-16-27 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor CliniComp. The company’s Essentris EMR suite lineup includes solutions for CPOE, critical care, perinatal and fetal, ED, acute care, data repository, and real-time clinical surveillance. CliniComp takes full contractual responsibility for their systems, eliminating the need for IT resources for configuration, testing, training, and servicing and allowing customers to focus on patient care. It’s a provider of EMRs for the Department of Defense. Thanks to ClinicComp for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a CliniComp video on the Essentris clinical workflow suite.

On the Job Board: Senior Product Manager, Compliance Program Manager, Systems Implementation Engineer, Dental Imaging Specialist. HIStalk sponsors get free job postings.

6-6-2013 7-35-40 PM

The new Webinar program is going gangbusters with a bunch of them upcoming. I recruit at least two experts to review a recorded practice session with me, and the Webinar doesn’t get the green light until we think it’s of suitable quality for the HIStalk audience. If you are a provider executive willing to help me as an occasional reviewer, let me know. It takes about an hour to watch the video and jot down your recommendations, and you can do it whenever it’s convenient. I’ll send you a nice Amazon gift certificate for your time. I can use IT executives (CIOs and IT directors) and CMIOs or other informatics clinicians. My most pressing need is for a couple of HIM and clinical documentation improvement experts for the next scheduled Webinar.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

6-6-2013 10-33-56 PM

Endo Health Solutions says it will consider options for its HealthTronics urology business, will eliminate 15 percent of positions, and reduce annual spending by $325 million. The company reduced earnings estimates by two-thirds.

Ascension Health Ventures makes a strategic investment in GetWellNework.

Xerox acquires Tallahassee, FL-based LearnSomething, whose employee e-learning solutions are used by 85 percent of US retail pharmacy chains to educate staff about new products.


Dignity Health, Legacy Health, and Catholic Health Initiatives will use Blackbaud CRM for fundraising.

6-6-2013 10-36-36 PM

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (PA) selects ICD-10 Intelligence and Compliance and Revenue and Integrity solutions from MedAnalytics.

Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center (KS) chooses Access to provide bar-coded wristbands and face sheets.

AMEOS Group will implement Cerner Millennium and Lighthouse at two of its German facilities.


6-6-2013 6-45-30 PM

QPID hires Janine Powell (Encore Health Resources) as VP of client services.

6-6-2013 6-46-11 PM

PatientsLikeMe names Marcia Nizzari (Good Start Genetics) VP of engineering.

6-6-2013 6-47-08 PM

Passport Health Chairman Jim Lackey joins NextGxDx’s board.

6-6-2013 6-47-40 PM

iHT2 CEO Waco Hoover is selected to co-chair the 2013 WEDI Report Initiative.

6-6-2013 8-20-07 PM 6-6-2013 8-20-40 PM 6-6-2013 8-21-14 PM

J. C. Lundquist, Jeff Nestor, and Linda Jackson join Lucca Consulting Group as regional VPs.

Announcements and Implementations

HealtheConnections, the RHIO for Central New York, goes live on eHealth Connect Image Exchange integrated with its Mirth HIE platform.

6-6-2013 10-38-10 PM

Cleveland Clinic announces that it will give patients access to physician notes, pathology reports, and health issues via its Epic MyChart patient portal.

The State of Georgia launches the first phase of GeorgiaDirect, a secure e-mail system based on the Medicity platform.

HealthBridge and the Ohio Information Partnership, which manages the CliniSync HIE, launch connectivity using Direct.

6-6-2013 8-16-19 PM

GE Healthcare kicks off its Centricity Imaging IT Tour 2013 with stops this week in Texas. The 60-hospital road show runs through early October.

Innovation and Research

More than 70 medical, research, and advocacy groups in 41 countries will create a research database of their genetic and clinical data. Among them are NIH, Dana-Farber, Harvard, MIT, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford. The organizations will develop ways to standardize the data and to implement privacy controls that respect patient choice.


6-6-2013 10-05-14 PM

Miami Children’s Hospital (FL) rolls out the Fit4Kids Care iPhone app that provides indoor campus way-finding, wait times, a physician directory, and the ability to purchase gift shop items and order room service.

6-6-2013 10-12-54 PM

All Facebook employees will by the end of 2013 use hGraph, an open source visual representation of health status. It can use EHR information to create many of its views.


Seattle Children’s Hospital reports that queries that took five minutes to run now finish in under four seconds after moving to IBM Big Data technology.

6-6-2013 3-44-34 PM

Greenway Medical Technologies opens its new corporate headquarters in Carrollton, GA.

6-6-2013 3-52-55 PM

Athenahealth scores highest in ambulatory EMR usability according to a new KLAS report. Success in achieving high usability in different EHRs ranged from 55 percent (McKesson) to 85 percent (athenahealth).

States are selling de-identified patient hospitalization information, but privacy expert Latanya Sweeney says the de-identification method isn’t hard to crack when you match the information against other databases. She paid $50 for records and was able to connect them to newspaper stories about accidents and crimes, thereby re-identifying the detailed medical records of 35 patients. An executive of a hospital performance data company says his employer immediately removes the ZIP codes provided by the states, saying they provide an easy link to other databases such that, “You might as well have the patient’s electronic medical record number.”

A Forbes opinion piece says electronic medical records are making doctors unhappy, saying (a) they turn doctors into box-checkers; (b) 75 percent of their capability does nothing except meet government mandates; (c) there’s no proof that government-mandated data collection improves care; and (d) conversion to ICD-10 will be expensive and will benefit mostly data miners.

The HIMSS EHR Association will announce creation of an EHR Developer Code of Conduct next week in Washington, DC.

The three doctors in Canada whose former employer refused to provide them with electronic copies of their patient files will get the information after all. Midway Walk-In Healthcare Centre followed the legal guidelines in sending paper medical records for a $35 fee, but pointed out that the law doesn’t require it to provide copies of electronic records even though a significant amount of  patient information is stored only in electronic form. The Ministry of Health intervened, convincing the owner of the walk-in clinic to obtain an electronic copy of the information from the clinic’s EMR vendor and send it to the departed doctors within 24 hours. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan couldn’t help negotiate because the owner of the walk-in clinic isn’t a doctor.

Weird News Andy observes that migraines suck, but so does the cure. A writer in England says her migraine headaches were cured by hirudotherapy, applying leeches to her skin to remove blood.

Sponsor Updates

6-6-2013 2-07-45 PM

  • Billian’s HealthDATA and Porter Research employees participated in the Women in Healthcare Luncheon sponsored by the Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives.
  • Caradigm announces that one million caregivers are now users of its Identity and Access Management solutions.
  • Emdeon will present a series of educational sessions during AHIP Institute 2013.
  • HIMSS Analytics publishes the 5th annual US Ambulatory Electronic Health Record and Practice Management Study (previously published by HIMSS acquisition CapSite) which includes information on HIStalk sponsors ADP AdvancedMD, Aprima, eClinicalWorks e-MDs, GE, Greenway, McKesson, MedPlus MED3OOO, NextGen, OptumInsight, and Vitera.
  • Research and advisory firm Aite Group names PatientPay as the only new online bill pay provider working through PM software for maximum workflow efficiency. 
  • eHealth Technologies enhances its eHealthViewer ZF viewer to include real-time medical imaging collaboration and interaction.
  • T-System offers tips for earning optimal reimbursement for observation status.
  • Financial Post profiles TELUS Health, which has grown to be Canada’s largest EMR provider.
  • CCHIT certifies NextGen Electronic Dental Record version 4.3 with ONC 2014 Edition criteria as a Complete EHR.
  • Orion Health will participate in next month’s HIC 2013, Australia’s longest-running and largest HIT event.
  • Informatica introduces Vibe, an embeddable virtual data machine that provides a single simple virtualized data infrastructure.
  • Allscripts and its recent acquisition dbMotion host over 200 attendees at its dbU population health forum, which included a discussion of how Allscripts is driving care coordination, population health management, and consumer engagement. 
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Acuo Technologies with the 2012 North American Award for Market Share Leadership for its vendor-neutral archiving and enterprise imaging technologies. 

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

Despite our voluminous coverage of Meaningful Use, CMS, and the ONC, HIStalk isn’t just about the US healthcare scene. Reports from across the pond note that an air ambulance had to abort its landing because off-duty “junior doctors” were hosting a BBQ near their lodging, which is close to the pad. For those of you who wonder where Oban is, it’s not far from Loch Lomond in Scotland.


Three physician Senators (Tom Coburn, John Barrasso, and Rand Paul) join Senator John Boozman in trying to block the implementation of ICD-10. The Cutting Costly Codes Act was introduced in the House in April. In addition to halting ICD-10, it calls for a study on preventing disruption during the migration from ICD-9.

The Senate has been busy in other ways, with Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden calling for increased transparency in Medicare claims data. They plan to reintroduce the Medicare Data Access for Transparency and Accountability Act. The aptly acronym-bearing Medicare DATA Act as initially introduced  would create a publicly searchable Medicare payment database as well as ensuring that data on payments to physicians do not fall under an exemption for Freedom of Information Act requests.

Since I’ve apparently got a DC vibe going on this week, I’m interested to see what readers think about the Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act. It’s aimed at creating a national system to make it easier to trace drugs from synthesis to market, which in theory should help fight drug counterfeiting. I’m counting on all of you because my knowledge of pharmacy IT systems is limited to calling retail chains in my area to see when they will be ready to accept electronic prescriptions for controlled substances and asking them not to send multiple refill requests before adequate time has elapsed for a physician response. What vendors do you think would jump into this space?


Here’s your opportunity to test your EHR’s ability to generate drug recall reports and your staff’s skill at documenting over-the-counter and herbal remedies. After years of us thinking Ginkgo Biloba was good to support memory, the National Institutes of Health releases a study indicating it might actually be a carcinogen.

One of my staff shared this piece about medical directors who search social media looking for “worrisome” issues during the hiring process. The article coaches would-be Facebook stalkers on what is appropriate to consider when determining if candidates match the office culture. It also reminds readers to steer clear of information that doesn’t belong in the hiring process including race and ethnicity, disability, religion, and pregnancy. It recommends considering using a third-party screening firm that is familiar with appropriate state laws.

I talked earlier this week about smart phones making us dumber. A regular reader sent me the link to this Northwestern University study on parenting on the digital age. Nearly 40 percent of families fell into the heaviest media use category with 11 hours of screen media per day. A New York Times blog notes that this time may have been double counted with parents using multiple screens, such using a computer while watching TV.

Researchers were surprised that parents were introducing their children to technology rather than simply responding to requests. Based on the behavior I see at the hospital (where the iPhone is the most popular childcare provider, at least in the ER) I’m not that surprised. There are ways to distract a hurt child that don’t involve Angry Birds. How about a book? Or telling them a story? I know my dad reads HIStalk regularly, so here’s a shout-out in thanks for all those retellings of Herkimer the Helicopter.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 6, 2013 News 14 Comments

News 6/5/13

June 4, 2013 News 3 Comments

Top News

6-4-2013 11-24-49 PM

inga_small Constellation Software acquires QuadraMed through its subsidiary, N. Harris Computer Corporation. According to Constellation, the purchase of QuadraMed “provides Harris with a platform to support its entry in the US healthcare information technology market.” Financial terms were not disclosed, though Francisco Partners has to be pleased to divest QuadraMed from its portfolio given QuadraMed’s fairly tired product line. FP sold off the company’s most valuable asset, the Quantim HIM product division, to Nuance in September 2012. We ran a reader rumor Sunday (in the Monday Morning Update) that something was going on with QuadraMed courtesy of Misys-Ex, who reported that managers were clearing out their offices and employees would be told how long they had left to work for the company. Meanwhile, President and CEO Duncan W. James leaves QuadraMed to serve as CEO of MModal.

Reader Comments

6-4-2013 11-23-21 PM

inga_small From Ritchie Valens: “Re:MModal. Shakeup at the top. One Equity Partners is calling the shots now that they are private. They are bringing in their own people since the company has been losing money.” MModal names Duncan W. James, former president and CEO of QuadraMed, as its new CEO, replacing Vern Davenport. The company also promotes David Woodworth from VP of finance to COO, replacing Amy Amick, and names Graham King (McKesson/HBOC) as chairman of the board. The official press release says Davenport and Amick have “chosen” to leave the company.

6-4-2013 7-56-50 PM

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From GreenJoy: “Re: font.  I wonder if you can make the HIStalk font darker? As my eyes age, the font seems to blend into the gray background.” Here’s good way to make it more contrasty and also printable: click the “View/Print Text Only” link at the bottom of the post.

From FDASIA Attendee: “Re: FDASIA. On Friday morning after @farzad_onc gave his rousing inspiring presentation to the workgroup and us attendees, the Chair asked for exemplars of HIT situations from the workgroup. Notably Dr. Paul Tang of Palo Alto Health Foundation spoke of three incidents, the third being most interesting. He reported a death due to a double dosing of potassium ordered by a doctor via CPOE.  The point was that the CDS (decision support) failed to warn of the excess.”

From FindingSanity: “Re: CompuGroup. CompuGroup Medical AG removed its last US CEO, Henrik Cruger, in May. The new CEO, Norbert Fischer, has replaced him, but not publicly. This is the sixth CEO change in the five years since the German company opened up US operations. Layoffs and office closures preceded the changeover. Poor sales, poor product performance, and a never-ending trail of unhappy customers has been unfixed with each sudden regime change. Germany continues to struggle not only with the US healthcare market, but with understanding how to run an American company with American customers who all quit believing the company years ago.” Unverified.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

6-4-2013 11-26-05 PM

SimplifyMD raises $1.3 million of a planned $1.8 million round of funding.

6-4-2013 11-26-58 PM

Patient engagement platform vendor Seamless Medical Systems closes $2 million in early stage funding.


Baptist Memorial Health Care will implement Omnicell’s G4 Unity medication management solutions across its 14 affiliated hospitals.

MedCentral Health System (OH) selects Wolters Kluwer Health’s ProVation Order Sets.

6-4-2013 11-30-10 PM

Boone Memorial Hospital (WV) selects Medhost’s EDIS.

Practice management service provider MyHealthNetwork (GA) will use Valence Health’s population health management and clinical integration solutions to identify customized patient populations.

Twenty-five bed Memorial Medical Center (WI) selects CPSI as its EMR vendor of choice after finding that NextGen, according to the local newspaper, “was not equipped to meet MMC’s needs as a facility.”

6-4-2013 11-31-36 PM

Ocean Beach Hospital (WA) chooses Healthland Centriq EHR.

The University of Arizona Health Network selects Capsule’s medical device integration solutions for its ED, OR, and ICU.

The DoD awards Philips Healthcare Informatics an $88.5 million medical imaging contract.


6-4-2013 7-10-05 PM

Vocera Communications promotes Brent D. Lang from president/COO to president/CEO, replacing Robert Zollars, who will remain as executive chairman of the board.

6-4-2013 7-12-14 PM

Rick Gilfillan, MD, head of CMS’s Innovation Center, will leave his post at the end of June.

6-4-2013 7-59-45 PM

Jeffrey Ferranti, MD, MS is promoted to CIO/VP of medical informatics at Duke Medicine (NC).

6-4-2013 8-24-39 PM

Diane Adams (Allscripts) is named chief people officer of QlikTech.

Announcements and Implementations

Cerner names Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (Saudi Arabia), and the UAE Ministry of Health winners of its Cerner Achievement & Innovation Awards 2013, which recognize excellence in adopting HIT in the Middle East.

The SSI Group and ICA will combine EHR and claims data to give payers and clinicians insight into patient populations.

Covenant Medical Group (TX) implements PerfectServe’s secure clinical communication platform.

Australia’s NSW and Queensland Public Hospitals will begin implementing Cerner Millennium late 2013.

Sanford Bemidji (MN) goes live on Epic.

Wolters Kluwer Health releases a Controlled Substances File for its Medi-Span drug database solution to help providers, pharmacies, payers, and EHR vendors adhere to controlled substance prescribing and reporting requirements.

PatientCo will integrate Streamline Health’s business analytics solution into its patient financial engagement platform.

Government and Politics

inga_small HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces the release of hospital outpatient charge data and details about which  EHRs are being used by EPs for MU attestation, saying that, “a more data driven and transparent healthcare market can help consumers and their families make important decisions about their care.” If that’s the case, why doesn’t Big Data CMS address possible concerns about privacy and security and then release much, much more data from its vast stores?

Innovation and Research

6-4-2013 11-34-53 PM

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launches a developer competition that will award $120,000 in prizes for creating technology components that turn the recently released CMS hospital pricing data into “intuitive, actionable tools.” Developers who can do this will earn their prize given that the CMS information is close to worthless, even to those few consumers who are willing and able to try to make sense of bizarre hospital Medicare and Medicaid pricing practices (from that same CMS, ironically enough) that probably don’t pertain to them.

Healthcare crowdfunding site Health Tech Hatch runs a Blue Button CoDesign Challenge to accept idea submissions that complete the sentence, “Build me a Blue Button-enabled tool that …” and then letting the community vote (through June 11) for the developers that will be chosen to build Blue Button prototypes for judging in August. Above is National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari describing the contest from Health Datapalooza on Monday.

The White House proposes patent troll legislation that would require companies threatening patent lawsuits to disclose who actually owns the patent, to initiate protection of end users of technology that is the subject of a patent claim, and to review policies and increase education. A commissioned study finds that patent trolls file 62 percent of infringement lawsuits vs. 29 percent just two years ago. The study specifically quoted health IT examples, including (a) the difficulty in separating function vs. means of delivering the function in medical imaging software, and (b) a healthcare technology vendor that had to cease research on a particular technology while being sued by a patent troll, causing its sales to drop by a third.

An NIH-funded study at Partners HealthCare finds that EHR information can complement evidence-based clinical decision support by identifying physician “group intelligence,” with the example being a better way to identify ordering of excessive lab tests by looking at patient subpopulations and concurrent medical situations instead of just lab data alone.

6-4-2013 10-20-58 PM

Kaiser Permanente announces the launch of its first application programming interface, which will allow developers to build apps using a database of Kaiser’s hospital and medical office locations. Hopefully their experience will encourage them to eventually open up access to something more useful. Travis has already played with the API and has thoughts on HIStalk Connect.


6-4-2013 11-38-02 PM

Palomar Medical Center blames declining reimbursements, state budget cuts, and sequestration for its decision to lay off 84 employees, or about two percent of its workforce, as of July 26. It opened a billion-dollar new hospital in August 2012.

Heritage Provider Network awards $500,000 to POWERDOT.HPN, whose team is leading in a challenge to create an algorithm that predicts how many days a patient will stay in the hospital.

6-4-2013 10-53-20 PM

Practice Fusion launches Insight, a real-time analytics service that sells the patient information stored in its free EHR database to drug companies, including “real-time data covering diagnoses, prescribing behaviors, patient demographics and more.”

6-4-2013 7-33-11 PM

inga_small The Annals of Internal Medicine publishes a report finding that less than 10 percent of physicians have EHRs that meet Meaningful Use criteria, leading the authors to remark that the results “should be of concern to policy makers.” What should be of concern to just about everyone reading the report (including the publisher) is that the findings are based on data collected from late 2011 to early 2012. Perhaps none of the Annals of Internal Medicine editors have noticed recent reports that more than 50 percent of EPs have demonstrated MU, and EHR adoption has grown dramatically in the last 18 months.

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority finds that using a hybrid mix of paper and electronic records for clinical documentation, either during an EHR transition or as a workaround, causes errors, mostly because of faulty handoff processes.

6-4-2013 7-41-35 PM

Boston Children’s Hospital (MA) is piloting MyPassport, an iPad app that helps patients identify their caregivers and understand their care better.

Three doctors in Canada change practices only to find that their former employer refuses to provide the electronic medical records of their patients, offering only the partial information kept on paper. The law requires only that paper records be made available.

Weird News Andy wants to know whether it’s cider or balsamic. A cheap vinegar test, serving as a replacement for unaffordable Pap smears in India, reduced cervical cancer deaths by one-third in a study of 150,000 women living in India’s slums. Minimally trained locals simply swab the cervix with diluted vinegar and check for a color change that indicates the presence of abnormal cells. Despite the benefits, the challenges in India are substantial: most women give birth at home having never visited a physician, the culture doesn’t allow them to make decisions for themselves without the approval of a man, and one health worker was beaten by a local mob when women found they had to take their clothes off for the screening.


Sponsor Updates

  • HealthMEDX announces the general availability of a bi-directional pharmacy interface between its Vision product and Omnicare.
  • Crain’s Chicago Business names Impact Advisors and Allscripts to its list of the 50 fastest-growing public and private companies in the Chicago area based on five-year revenue growth.
  • Craneware showcases its Pharmacy ChargeLink technology at this week’s American Society for Health-System Pharmacists 2013 Summer Meeting and Exposition in Minneapolis.
  • Lifepoint Informatics will serve as a gold sponsor at next week’s MDx NEXT conference on molecular diagnostic testing and genomic medicine. Also at the MDx NEXT Conference: Halfpenny Technology will demonstrate its clinical data exchange solution for molecular laboratories.
  • Besler Consulting and TeleTracking Technologies are awarded “Peer Reviewed by HFMA” designation.
  • John Fangman, MD and Michael Barbouche of Forward Health Group spoke at HealthDatapalooza IV this week in Washington DC, presenting with the Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin on managing high-risk HIV/AIDS populations.
  • ZirMed will launch a new brand and demonstrate its RCM, clinical communications, and analytics solutions at the HMFA 2013 Annual Institute conference June 16-18 in Orlando.
  • Info-Tech Research Group recognizes CommVault as an industry “champion” in virtual backup software, e-mail archiving, and backup software for heterogeneous environments in its “Vendor Landscape” report.
  • The Advisory Board Company launches the National Population Health Symposium September 13 in Washington, DC to give provider thought leaders the opportunity to collaborate on managing risk and migrating to a population health delivery system.
  • MediGain and ADP AdvancedMD post a video of their co-hosted Webinar on helping physicians prepare for healthcare reform.
  • Billians HealthDATA adds the latest AHRQ data to its online hospital database line-up.
  • Alere Analytics launches its clinical surveillance solution for infection control and medication management.
  • CareTech Solutions will participate in this month’s Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting and the Michigan Association Annual Meeting.
  • Ryan Tracy, MD of Diablo Valley Pediatrics and his staff discuss how their use of ADP AdvancedMD EHR eliminated manual process inefficiencies.
  • Care Team Connect hosts a July 10 Webinar on preventing readmissions.
  • Versus client Western Maryland Health System is featured in a June 20 AHA webinar on staff safety.
  • Informatica kicks off its Informatica World 2013 user conference and will make keynote sessions available via live Webcast.
  • EMDs highlights its support of the University of Texas Health IT program.
  • Hayes Management Consulting expands its clinical and revenue cycle optimization service lines to include increased focus on measuring outcomes and outcome-driven operational improvement services.
  • In a June 20 Imprivata-sponsored Webinar, Larry Ponemon reviews the findings of Ponemon Institute’s study entitled, “The Economic & Productivity Impact of IT Security on Healthcare.”
  • Beacon Partners hosts a June 7 Webinar with executive consultant Cindy Friend discussing how the PCMH model supports ACOs.
  • Nuesoft looks at the need of specialists for customized EHRs.
  • The Huntzinger Management Group launches Huntzinger Staffing Solutions, which will HIT implementation resources.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 4, 2013 News 3 Comments

Monday Morning Update 6/3/13

June 2, 2013 News 8 Comments

From Misys-Ex: “Re: QuadraMed. Something is taking place. Employees will learn Monday how much longer their employment will last. Some members of management have already packed their offices.” Unverified.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: absence. TPD will be taking a leave of absence from HIStalk to pursue a new development partnership in the healthcare area of expertise. While I will miss the interaction with my fellow HIStalk contributors, I will still read HIStalk regularly and contribute comments on postings when appropriate to do so for my fellow HIStalkers. In the mean time, you’ll be seeing guest bloggers contributing in my absence.”

6-1-2013 7-47-30 PM

Sixty percent of respondents think the Meaningful Use program should be ended after Stage 3. New poll to your right: would you choose a hospital for elective admission whose clinicians have complained publicly about the safety of its EHR?

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

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Weird News Andy says “Sick Ambulance Kills.” A Washington, DC ambulance transporting a gunshot patient breaks down in the middle of I-295 when its EPA-mandated emissions device shuts the engine down for mandatory cleaning. The patient died during the 5-7 minute delay required to dispatch a backup ambulance. The EPA says it offers an exemption for emergency vehicles.

6-2-2013 9-25-49 AM

Montefiore Medical Center (NY) will buy Sound Shore Health System (NY), which filed bankruptcy on May 14 due to indigent care costs, a drop in patient volume, and a 2011 attempt to install clinical and financial systems, apparently from Allscripts, that continue to cause billing problems even now.

6-2-2013 9-12-03 AM

An article in the magazine of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health describes the use of EMR information by care managers at Johns Hopkins HealthCare to identify women at risk for premature births and offer them specific interventions. Maryland’s Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene hopes to use the information to dig deeper into population health, saying, “If you have a map, you might say, ‘All these different doctors are seeing what looks to them like a one-on-one phenomenon.’ But you can see actually it’s a certain community where there are very high rates of asthma. And maybe there’s something going on here… If there’s an anti-smoking effort, maybe the goal today is to hit the whole county. But if you knew that there was a very high concentration of smokers in a particular area and they were having very poor health outcomes, you might target particular buildings.”

6-2-2013 6-34-30 AM

Maryland-based Parallax Enterprises begins development of a pilot-like heads-up display system for the OR that will display EMR information, a patient-individualized surgical checklist, and the patient’s health literacy score so that the OR team can communicate at the right level. I mentioned the company in February when it raised $1 million in funding, also noting the military pilot background of CEO Jeff Woolford, MD. Surgeons will use the  CHaRM heads-up display to interact with the system while remaining sterile. Surgeons can use the system by moving their hands above the sterile field thanks to gesture-sensitive cameras.

Interesting thoughts from Brandon Hull, co-founder of VC firm Capital Partners, at Internet Week New York: “Every other company presenting at Internet Week operates in a clearly defined market economy where we can easily identify buyers and sellers. Healthcare, by contrast, much more closely resembles a command economy full of price fixers and adjusters, oversight and bureaucracy. Stalin-era Soviet Union would be proud … [hospitals] have terrible business practice patterns, aren’t particularly well managed, and soak the federal government for vast subsidies to keep maintaining their existing behaviors. They’re going to be disintermediated.” He says the Affordable Care Act gives hospitals a cheap way to remake themselves into insurance companies in the form of ACOs, while insurance companies that fear being regulated like public utilities are rushing to become providers.

6-2-2013 6-53-04 AM

The New York Times looks at the $10 billion spent annually in the US on colonoscopies, observing, “Largely an office procedure when widespread screening was first recommended, colonoscopies have moved into surgery centers — which were created as a step down from costly hospital care but are now often a lucrative step up from doctors’ examining rooms — where they are billed like a quasi operation.” This is the first in a series of articles that will explain that US healthcare is disproportionally expensive compared to the rest of the world not because of heroic technical interventions, but rather the high prices charged for routine services in the only industrialized nation that allows providers to charge whatever they want without oversight except for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

It happened purely by accident that I was staying up late Thursday night as usual writing HIStalk when I ran across Farzad Mostashari’s just-published letter to the editor of The New York Times, earning the unwarranted but appreciated accolades of some of my favorite tweeple who must have been up late with me to read the new post so quickly.

An Atlanta-area newspaper profiles practice systems vendor Nuesoft, which says its partnership with Practice Fusion could double the company’s 140-employee headcount in the next two years and require  a $20 million capital infusion.

England’s Department of Health issues tenders worth up to almost $2 billion for physician office systems to replace the limited choices offered by the defunct NPfIT.

Vince finishes up the HIS-tory of Allscripts this week.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 2, 2013 News 8 Comments

News 5/31/13

May 30, 2013 News 5 Comments

Top News

5-30-2013 8-38-04 PM

A letter to the editor in The New York Times by National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari says public policy is making the healthcare system smarter, citing the recently announced figures that half of practicing physicians and 80 percent of hospitals are using EHRs.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small Some HIStalk Practice highlights from the last week or so: WNA makes a rare HIStalk Practice appearance to comment on a physician who has quit taking insurance. Physician satisfaction with their EHR vendors has declined over the last year. Almost one-third of physicians buying EHRs today are replacing legacy EHRs. Physicians fear that declining reimbursements, rising costs, and ACA-related requirements will threaten practice profitability. Athenahealth recognizes Midland Orthopaedics with its athenaVision award. Most nurse practitioners believe a practice led by an NP should be certified as a PCMH, but most physicians disagree. Dr. Gregg posts a letter to Allscripts. Thanks for reading.

We’ve had some interesting posts on HIStalk Connect lately, so you might want to sign up for e-mail updates if you follow mHealth, innovative technology, and startups. Lt. Dan also does a Friday weekly news recap there that provides a great summary. Some recent articles:

Tim Cook Discusses Wearables, Acquisitions, and Executive Changes at D11 Conference
The Third Screen Revolution in Healthcare Is Before Us
How Consumers Enter the System
EHRs Propagate “Best” Practices
Healthcare Q&A
VentureHealth Launches Equity Backed Crowd Funding Site
Texting for Health Revisited

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

5-30-2013 10-27-09 PM

Shareable Ink raises an additional $3 million, bringing its total funding in the last three years to over $14 million.


Bon Secours Health System Center for Clinical Excellence and Innovation selects Quantros to advise on performance improvements to advance ED quality and safety.

5-30-2013 3-59-37 PM

Southpoint Surgery Center (FL) selects Wolters Kluwer Health’s ProVation MD and ProVation MultiCaregiver.

5-30-2013 4-00-19 PM

The Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership Authority signs a five-year agreement with Truven Health Analytics for its HIE solution.

Clyo Internal Medicine (OH) selects simplifyMD as its EHR provider.

5-30-2013 4-01-48 PM

The University of Miami and the University of Miami Health System will deploy Hyland Software’s OnBase enterprise content management solution across 60 academic departments, 30 outpatient facilities, and three hospitals.

5-30-2013 4-03-04 PM

John C. Lincoln Health Network (AZ) selects Besler Consulting to assist in the identification of Medicare Transfer DRG underpayments.


5-30-2013 4-04-35 PM

AirStrip names OptumInsight CEO Bill Miller to its board.

5-30-2013 5-23-59 PM

Verisk Health EVP Brian Smith joins the advisory board for telemedicine provider SnapMD.

5-30-2013 2-19-16 PM

Explorys appoints Cleveland Clinic CFO Steve Glass to its board.

Announcements and Implementations

5-30-2013 5-31-21 AM

Advocate Physician Partners (IL), a care management collaboration with Advocate Health Care, implements its 500th independent physician on SynAPPs, Advocate’s cloud-based version of eClinicalWorks EHR.

Practice Fusion announces preferred billing partnerships with ADP AdvancedMD, CollaborateMD, and NueMD.

The Idaho Health Data Exchange and St. Luke’s Health System launch Image Exchange viewing capabilities by eHealth Technologies.

5-30-2013 10-29-54 PM

Malcom Randall VA Medical Center (FL) installs Welch Allyn’s Connex Electronics Vitals Documentation System.

Edward Hospital & Health Services (IL) deploys Levi, Ray & Shoup’s VPSX print management and document delivery system its Epic system.

5-30-2013 10-31-36 PM

PDR Network will distribute drug company patient support coupons from OPTIMIZERx via EHRs.

SCI Solutions releases Order Facilitator v10, which includes mobile ordering, expanded messaging, and enhanced capabilities for lab order requisitioning, collection, and labeling.

Nuance publicly confirms for the first time that its speech recognition technology powers Apple’s Siri, with CEO Paul Ricci stating at a conference, “We are the fundamental provider of voice recognition for Apple.”

In England,NHS chooses BJSS and Valtech as finalists to develop an electronic referrals service to replace Cerner’s system.

5-30-2013 8-17-36 PM

The MUSE conference is underway this week in National Harbor, MD, wrapping up Friday. The photo above of Farzad Mostashari delivering the keynote was posted to Twitter by Dan McQueen.

5-30-2013 9-03-02 PM

CureMD will demonstrate a new chemotherapy administration module of its oncology EHR that it says took five years to develop next week at the American Society of Clinical Oncologists conference in Chicago.

Government and Politics

CMS advises practices on the role of clearinghouses in the ICD-10 transition, noting that, “While clearinghouses can help, they cannot provide the same level of support for the ICD-10 transition as they did for the Version 5010 upgrade.”

The HHS Office of Inspector General finds that healthcare provider information maintained in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) and Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) was often inaccurate, occasionally incomplete, and generally inconsistent between the two databases. In NPPES, 48 percent of records contained inaccurate data; 58 percent of PECOS records contained inaccuracies. 

5-30-2013 8-03-47 PM

HHS launches the “Information is Powerful Medicine” campaign that targets HIV/AIDS sufferers.

A group of Senate Republicans calls for an independent investigation of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, claiming that her fundraising efforts for Enroll America, a non-profit that promotes the Affordable Care Act, is inappropriate and possibly illegal in appearing to solicit donations from industries she is responsible for regulating.


5-30-2013 2-41-02 PM

The Health Information Trust Alliance, which promotes data security among healthcare providers, experiences a cyber attack of a non-critical, standalone public Web server. HITRUST a test database with fictitious data was compromised.

Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System notifies 5,000 patients of a potential EHR security breach after discovering that two clinicians had accessed patients’ medical records “in a manner that was inconsistent with their job functions and hospital procedures.” The hospital has terminated the pair and is offering affected patients free credit monitoring services.

In England, Royal Berkshire Hospital says its problem-plagued Cerner Millennium EPR forced it to write down $23 million. According to the hospital’s CEO, “Unfortunately, implementing the EPR system has at times been a difficult process and we acknowledge that we did not fully appreciate the challenges and resources required in a number of areas.”

Australian researchers review the use of CSC and Cerner CPOE systems in a small-scale study that suggests systems with more drop-down menus may increase error risk.

EMR reminders driven by a connection to New York City’s vaccine registry increased children’s flu vaccine rates by 9 percent, and when physicians chose not to order the vaccine, they documented the reason 98 percent of the time. The results were presented at a pediatrics conference earlier this month.

Despite performance challenges with Meditech 6.0, 95 percent of the company’s customers surveyed by KLAS say Meditech is part of their long-term plans, citing affordability and usability.

5-30-2013 10-34-42 PM

A New York Times article says Beth Israel Medical Center (NY) allowed an elderly heiress worth $300 million to occupy one of its rooms for the last 20 years of her life, but launched “an all-out fundraising campaign” in having executives hang around her room to hit her up for donations and drop hints about making a will. The CEO’s mother even watched a Smurfs video with her hoping to get on her good side.  

Weird News Andy titles this story Step 1: Insert Pencil. A German man complaining of headaches and a runny nose is found to have a four-inch pencil embedded in his head, lodged there 15 years previously in a childhood accident.

Sponsor Updates

  • SIIM and Brad Levin of Visage Imaging have developed a three-minute survey for IT imaging leaders to bring visibility to imaging challenges before next week’s SIIM13 conference in Dallas.
  • Dorland Health names Vocera subsidiary ExperiaHealth the winner of its Case in Point Platinum Award for Discharge Planning Program for its use at Cullman Regional Medical Center (AL).
  • RazorInsights exhibits its ONE Enterprise EHR at next week’s Alabama-Georgia Rural Health Clinic Conference in Opelika, AL.
  • SuccessEHS client ARCare (KY/AR) achieves Stage 6 on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model.
  • Imprivata announces that it has the highest market share of any SSO solution among US Meditech EHR hospitals (36 percent) and that the number of hospitals using Imprivata OneSign has increased about 57 percent in the last year.
  • e-MDs posts a Webinar that includes advice for physician practices on health information exchange and Stage 2 MU.
  • Impact Advisors principal Laura Kreofsky and senior advisor Jason Fortin discuss why achieving Stage 2 MU could be challenging.
  • Awarepoint is named a Red Herring Top 100 North America Tech Startup.

EPtalk – by Dr. Jayne


ICA achieves EHNAC Accreditation as a Direct Trusted Agent. Other vendors recognized include Cerner, Max.MD, and Surescripts. All four were accredited for Registration Authority, Certificate Authority, and Health Information Service Provider criteria.

The HIMSS14 Call for Proposals ends next week. It’s hard to submit timely topics nearly a year in advance, but if you’re like those of us in the nonprofit trenches, it may be the only way to have a trip to HIMSS approved. You wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to attend HIStalkapalooza, would you?

Speaking of educational opportunities, CMS offers a National Provider Call on June 5 to help providers get started with PQRS and the Value-Based Payment Modifier programs. CMS experts will also be available after the presentation to answer questions.


The University of Illinois at Chicago creates an ICD-9 to ICD-10 website. Maybe I have a warped sense of fun, but I enjoyed fiddling with it, and the results make for some frightening diagrams to spice up ICD-10 presentations.

A friend of mine e-mailed this blog by Reid Blackwelder MD, president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He tells the tale of a neighbor who fell and was taken to the ER where he was possibly misdiagnosed and discharged, then had to return for more extensive testing and a final diagnosis. Along the way, key clinical signs (like his inability to walk) were missed. Treating the numbers (test/lab/film) rather than the patient has become epidemic in the US. Is it defensive medicine, time pressure, the influence of Big Data, or simple lack of caring? I don’t know the answer, but we have to figure out a way to do better.

The article came at the same time that I was having a heated e-mail exchange with an IT colleague about whether we should push our vendor to incorporate genomics content in the EHR. I find it difficult to think that the average physician is going to be able to understand and act on genomic data when our healthcare delivery system so stressed that stories like Dr. Blackwelder’s exist. Of course that’s assuming we figure out a way to pay for gene sequencing and the subsequent treatments suggested by the data, which was the source of the original heated exchange.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 30, 2013 News 5 Comments

News 5/29/13

May 28, 2013 News No Comments

Top News

5-28-2013 6-57-33 PM

Iatric Systems will announce Wednesday that it has acquired the business assets of Accent on Integration. Iatric will continue to market the Accelero Connect integration platform, as well as AOI’s consulting and professional services. AOI President and CEO Mark C. Andiel will transition to Iatric as SVP of professional services and VP/CTO Jeff McGreath will serve as VP of patient care device integration.

Reader Comments

5-28-2013 10-05-57 PM

From Irene: “Re: Twitter. Did you see this?” MedCity News names 10 healthcare IT professionals to follow on Twitter. It’s actually nine since one of those listed is not a healthcare IT professional, but the rest of us are working CIOs, CMIOs, and clinical informatics professionals. HIStalk is described nicely as, “the pseudonym for a man who describes himself as ‘an informatics guy’ and is also the name of his long-running news and opinion blog on all things healthcare IT. It strikes a nice balance between health IT vendor news and perspectives from hospitals as well as industry trends.” I don’t really do a lot on Twitter since I don’t have much time, but I do appreciate the 5,600 people who follow me.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

5-28-2013 10-10-21 PM

Cerner announces a 2-for-1 stock split for shareholders of record as of June 17, 2013. Had you invested $10,000 in CERN shares at the beginning of 2000, they would be worth $191,000 today.


Bon Secours Health System (MD) renews its contract with MedAssets for revenue cycle technology and consulting services.

5-28-2013 10-14-17 PM

John Muir Health (CA) selects ZirMed’s RCM, clinical communications, and analytics tools.


5-28-2013 6-33-37 PM

Cumberland Consulting Group hires Taylor Ramsey (Surgical Information Systems) as director of business development.

5-28-2013 6-34-52 PM

Paul Uhrig, chief administrative and legal officer and chief privacy office of Surescripts, is named to the board of DirectTrust.

5-28-2013 6-35-47 PM

Explorys appoints Objective Health CEO Russell Richmond, MD to its board.

5-28-2013 6-37-12 PM

Valence Health names Scott J. Cullen, MD (Kaufman Hall) executive director of consulting services.

5-28-2013 6-56-17 PM

Leland Babitch, DO (University Pediatricians, Wayne State University School of Medicine) is named senior medical director of Clinovations.

5-28-2013 8-00-55 PM

Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota promotes Dave Overman from COO to president/COO. He joined the organization as CIO in 2005 and led its EMR implementation (Cerner, I believe.)

Announcements and Implementations

5-28-2013 3-54-51 PM

Alego Health becomes the first organization to join the HIMSS Innovation Center as Founding Collaborator, which requires a $100,000 “investment.”

5-28-2013 4-14-16 PM

ADP AdvancedMD launches MyICD-10, a Website to help practices prepare for the ICD-10 transition.

The Georgia Health Information Exchange changes its name to the Georgia Health Information Network to more accurately reflect its mission of creating network of existing health information networks.

Medhost begins marketing the Vanderbilt-developed perioperative management system its parent company bought with its acquisition of Acuitec, calling it Advanced Perioperative Information Management System.

Government and Politics

The ONC releases updated guidelines for Direct HIE implementations to enable the easy and secure exchange of patient health information under Stage 2 MU.

5-28-2013 7-11-25 PM

Canada’s Minister of Health announces that the government will fund 16 new eHealth projects with $100,000 grants, choosing potential innovations that empower patients, create a new generation of decision support tools, and monitor population health. Among the funded projects, all of which are led by an academically affiliated principal investigator: diabetes self-management, depression screening, self-management of cardiovascular disease risk factors, diabetes interventions, anticoagulation therapy management, mental health screening of pregnant women, depression telemetry, a rheumatoid arthritis decision aid, pediatric weight management, ICU discharge planning, and collaborative care for adolescent cancer.

Innovation and Research

Australian researchers find that using an electronic medication management system did not take time away from providers who were providing direct care.

Startups can apply for a one-minute showcase introduction and networking with a Madison, WI-area audience at Start Me Up in Madison on June 10.


The US Patent Office issues two patents to Greenway Medical Technologies that cover the receipt and transmission of data from multiple EHRs for the purpose of certifications, accreditations, and monetary incentives and for the tracking clinical events.


Sonoma Valley Hospital (CA) notifies 1,350 patients that their information was mistakenly uploaded to the hospital’s public website, making it accessible to Google searches.

A blog post by anesthesiologist Shirie Leng, MD laments the impending end of informal “curbside consults” between physicians due to malpractice concerns. “Lawyers have taken an intrinsic part of human decision-making and interaction and made it, well, dangerous … The minute your doctor thinks better of asking an expert informally what he thinks about my condition or if he thinks you need a formal consultation, the quality of your healthcare goes down.”

Weird News Andy is interested in research that concludes that “sitting is the new smoking” given that he has the equivalent of a three-packs-per-day sitting habit. Researchers say “the chair is out to kill us” in finding that one hour of seated TV-watching cuts lifespan by 22 minutes, while smoking one cigarette shaves off only 11 minutes. Bars must be the most dangerous place on the planet given that patrons are sitting, drinking, smoking (although usually outside) and eating lethal foods like wings and nachos.

Police arrest a man driving 80 miles per hour and using emergency lights and a siren after he initially tells them he’s rushing a friend to the hospital. He finally admits to  playing a police siren app from his Android phone through his car’s speakers.

Sponsor Updates

  • Orion Health will incorporate its Rhapsody Integration Engine into Novari’s Access to Care solution, which integrates physician offices with hospital IT systems for online appointment scheduling and automated reporting of wait times.
  • Impact Advisors principal Laura Kreofsky discusses the use of social media to drive patient engagement.
  • Beacon Partners is conducting a survey on ACO experience.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 28, 2013 News No Comments

Monday Morning Update 5/27/13

May 25, 2013 News 21 Comments

From HIPAA Faxing: “Re: HIPAA rules. Our esteemed EMR vendor wants $20,000 to connect each lab. The lab wants $19,990 to connect their side (funny how they charge the same). That’s $40,000 per lab connection and we use 17 labs and can’t afford that, so we use a fax server. What are the HIPAA rules around faxing? What do we need to do?” Experts, here’s your chance to contribute.

From Delta Don: “Re: Philips iSite. I’ve never seen anything like the disaster of the iSite 3.6 to Intellispace 4.4 upgrade. System and functional instability have pushed the go-live date back three times. It’s now six months late with new issues every day, but Philips personnel are enjoying their extra-long Memorial Day weekend. With vendor-neutral archives making migration among PACS vendors more feasible, you’d think there would be more effort. I won’t even start on the product name when we still have users calling it Stentor.”

5-25-2013 8-43-42 PM

Respondents weren’t overly impressed by the value to the public of the Medicare pricing information released by CMS. New poll to your right, as suggested by a reader: should Meaningful Use be ended after Stage 3 or continued? You’ll get a link to add your comments after voting, so you might as well expound on your position.

5-25-2013 9-20-46 PM
Photo: Pete Marovich/EPA

Monday is Memorial Day, set aside to honor those one million US Armed Forces members who died while serving. Their sacrifice allows you the luxury to decline to fly the flag, visit a military cemetery, or think about those who made the ultimate sacrifice on your behalf. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be nice to do it voluntarily. 

5-25-2013 9-56-11 PM

I impulsively bought Mrs. HIStalk a Google Nexus 7 tablet when I went to the office supply store to get several packs of the index cards I like to write on since she’s computer-averse and always gets my hand-me-down laptops. My initial assessment of the $199 device is that it’s very nice, in some ways better (sharper display) and some not as good (fewer apps) as the iPad mini, but at just 60 percent of the mini’s price, it’s a much better deal. Don’t buy it yet, though – an upgrade is imminent that will add greatly enhanced video.

From the Cerner shareholder/analyst call:

  • Neal Patterson was not only on the call, which is rare, but he actually chaired it and reminisced a bit with good humor about the company’s origins. Fellow founder Cliff Illig was on, which I don’t recall ever happening.
  • The company says the number of physicians using its ambulatory products doubled to 45,000 in the past two years.
  • EVP Zane Burke says Cerner’s competitors are no longer other EMR vendors, but rather companies involved in insurance and big data.
  • Responding to an shareholder’s question about Epic, Neal Patterson said, “They like to say they don’t have shareholders. I’d like to point out to the reality that they do actually have shareholders, it’s basically almost a single individual. And they also point out the fact that in this country, you can’t pass on an ongoing operation … our plans are to take away their advantages and make our strengths stronger and make their strengths weaker on a relative basis … we’re the most innovative company in this industry, we have always been.”

Jamie Stockton with Wells Fargo Securities sliced and diced CMS’s hospital EHR attestation database to find that 7 percent of hospitals that qualified for Year 1 incentives didn’t attest with the same vendor in Year 2. The interpretation was that the Year 2 incentives, which required participation for a full year, were too difficult for some hospitals to meet. The worst-performing vendor was McKesson, which saw its attestations drop off from 10.5 in Year 1 to 6.5 in Year 2, a 38 percent washout rate of an awfully low starting number.

5-25-2013 8-15-52 PM

Allscripts adds two board members that include former Epic CFO Anita Pramoda, who left Epic in 2012 and founded senior PHR vendor TangramCare.

5-25-2013 9-08-46 PM

Allscripts files a lawsuit against its landlord, Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, claiming its lease was violated by allowing excessive noise in renovating five floors just below the Allscripts offices for new (and largest) tenant Google. Allscripts is demanding that the Merchandise Mart stop using nail guns and pneumatic hammers during business hours.

Ed Marx posted an update to his most recent CIO Unplugged about a salesperson who hijacked Ed’s presentation with an overwrought sales pitch disguised as a post-presentation question. I’ll side with Ed. As much as salespeople have been educated (or brainwashed) to believe that their particular hammer is appropriate for any nail, I don’t think it’s acceptable to harass a speaker and audience just because they perceive that nobody’s returning their cold calls. Whatever happened to respecting the prospect enough to let them decide what products and services they want to consider and how they would like to evaluate them?

A New York Times piece by Tom Friedman says that Obamacare, the HITECH program, and HHS’s release of its databases has created a healthcare Silicone Valley that may improve care and lower costs because of the availability of information. Friedman spoke to a family doctor who thought she was giving appropriate colorectal cancer screening recommendations until her EHR showed only 43 percent of her patients had actually received the screening. Adding EHR alerts raised the number to 90 percent, leading to early cancer detection in three patients, which was obviously good for the patients but also for healthcare spending since early-stage treatment costs less. White House CTO Todd Park bragged on entrepreneurs who developed apps around HHS’s databases and kicked off a health data industry. Friedman met with Eviti, Teladoc, Humedica, and Lumeris.

5-25-2013 10-28-11 PM

The White House Blog brags on EHR adoption, crediting the President who spent the money rather than the taxpayers who provided it.

Two people with no transportation experience are named finalists for the position of interim director of the Capital Area Transit System (LA.) One of them is Bob Mirabito, former CIO of Baton Rouge Radiology Group, who says his position was eliminated last year and he needs a job.

The Canadian government revokes the passport of a Quebec doctor who is of defrauding US Medicare of $375 million by submitting phony claims for homeless patients when he was practicing in Texas.

Weird News Andy says he has printing on the brain after reading that 3D printing allows replacing 75 percent of a person’s missing skull.

Vince continues with the very interesting HIS-tory of Allscripts.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 25, 2013 News 21 Comments

News 5/24/13

May 23, 2013 News 18 Comments

Top News

5-23-2013 6-21-30 PM

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel tells the DoD that he supports the use of commercial software to replace the department’s AHLTA EHR rather than switching to the VA’s VistA platform as he previously hinted was his preference. The DoD says it has identified 20 commercial software vendors capable of meeting its EHR needs. You’d have to bet on Epic given that it’s outselling everybody in big hospitals, they were allegedly the DoD frontrunner in 2010, and the Wisconsin Congressional delegation was squeezing the federal government to choose Epic awhile back (and not to mention that there are nowhere near 20 serious players to choose from.) On the other hand, DoD loves throwing billions at the fat cat contractors and Epic might not want to work through them.

Reader Comments

From Lil Wayne: “Re: Practice Fusion. Does anyone buy into their claim of having 30 percent of the primary care market? Seems beyond ludicrous.” I’m always curious about their methodology for counting actual users vs. someone who signs up with minimal usage. I would also be interested in seeing audited user statistics. Practice Fusion isn’t in the top five vendors by Meaningful Use attestation as I recall, in the low single digit percentages of all attesting providers.

From Stephanie: “Re: certification. If I already have a certified completed EHR and use another vendor’s patient portal within the HIE, does my patient portal also need to be certified? I’m just placing patient documents out in the portal for patients to view.” I know Frank Poggio will answer if nobody else does.

From Sleepless Fax Server Administrator: “Re: HITECH modifications to HIPAA. Will add risk to faxing or mailing results. There is a 100 percent chance of a violation when a provider changes practices since no healthcare IT system can determine the right address or fax number based on the date the patient was seen – they always use the current information. Even if you solved that problem, how would any system know if the patient followed the provider to the new practice? Also, critical radiology results are required by regulation to be faxed within 24 hours.”

5-23-2013 7-29-45 PM

From Major Tom: “Re: conference. Thought you would enjoy this e-mail.” A promoter pitches their conference as offering “peer-to-beer” knowledge exchange, creating mental images of sullen, bar-perched attendees mumbling into their mugs.

From Non-Sequitur: “Re: RAC recoveries hit $1.37 billion. Forwarding a synopsis from Wolters Kluwer. You are still the brightest spot in many of my mornings!” Thanks, milady, that’s sweet of you to say. The article says RACs collected $1.371 billion in Medicare overpayments and returned $65.4 million in underpayments in the first six months of FY2013 (obviously like with the IRS, your odds of an unexpected refund aren’t so good when the RACs come knocking). The current major issue is documentation for cardiovascular procedures.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Listening: Superchunk, possibly the best and most prolific indie band in history. I’ve played all 15 of their albums on Spotify and it’s a stunning body of influential work spanning almost 25 years. A new album will be out in August and a tour follows.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

5-23-2013 11-07-30 AM

Online medical consult provider ConsultingMD secures $10 million in funding from Venrock.

5-23-2013 11-20-36 PM

Quality Systems reports Q4 results: revenue up 2 percent, EPS –$0.07 vs. $0.25, missing on both.

From the Quality Systems earnings call:

  • Poor performance in the company’s Hospital Solutions Division (a $4.2 million loss on $4.5 million revenue) will require investments in development, implementation,and support.
  • Steve Puckett will be moved from Hospital Solutions to CTO and COO/EVP Daniel J. Morefield will take over Hospital Solutions.
  • In a “what were they doing before?” moment, the company said it has “aligned our marketing team with our overall revenue objectives and shift and focus to increasing product demand and lead creation,”
  • To an analyst’s question about implementation margins of zero percent, the CFO’s response was, “There’s a number of factors, but I think hospital certainly is. I think we’ve already been talking about the — some of the challenges that we’ve been — that we’ve had there and that certainly impacted the profitability on that particular revenue category. I think — so it gets a little hard to generalize. On the ambulatory side, we’ve got — but I’ll let you — you ought to know, though, that certainly it’s not something — we are paying attention to it and we do intend to drive higher margin there in that space. We have — we are in some — having some transition in the ambulatory world … the full expectation is, for us, it’s going — going forward is to drive a higher level of profitability on that revenue category.”
  • The company declined to give dates for a SaaS product, saying it will focus on the current product.
  • The company expects a move back to larger EMR vendors as the small ones fail trying to keep up with Meaningful Use and ICD-10.
  • They expect more government programs to follow the DoD’s apparent lead in moving to commercial software, with vendors scrambling to get their GSA status.


East Lansing Orthopedic Association (MI) selects SRS EHR.

5-23-2013 11-21-55 PM

Conway Medical Center (SC) chooses StrataJazz from Strata Decision Technology for decision support, budgeting, and capital planning.


5-23-2013 6-14-27 PM

The New Jersey chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Star-Ledger/NJ.com name SRS CEO Evan Steele the winner of the Garden State Entrepreneur Excellence Award in the $10M+ category.

5-23-2013 12-26-07 PM

TeleTracking Technologies hires Nanne Finis (Joint Commission Resources) as VP of consulting services.

5-23-2013 10-16-53 PM

Yousuf Ahmad, who will take over as CEO of Mercy Hospital (OH), is profiled in the local business paper because of an earlier position as CIO of Mercy Health Partners. Interestingly, he attended University of London on a cricket scholarship, graduated at 19, and is ranked among the world’s 400 best Scrabble players.

Announcements and Implementations

Cerner’s PowerChart Touch mobile solution earns a bronze award for Best Clinical Health Care Experience at the 2013 International User Experience Awards.

All of Maine’s 38 acute-care hospitals and 376 ambulatory provider sites have agreed to participate in the state’s HIE, operated by HealthInfoNet.

Holy Family Memorial Health Network (WI), Johnson Memorial Hospital (IN), and United General Hospital (WA) implement Hyland Software’s OnBase enterprise content management platform integrated with their Meditech systems.

Government and Politics

Idaho State University will pay $400,000 to settle alleged HIPAA violations stemming from a breach of unsecured data on 17,500 patients from an ISU family medicine clinic. The university notified HHS of the breach upon realizing that a disabled firewall had left patient data unsecured for at least 10 months.

5-23-2013 10-54-10 AM

HHS reports that 55 percent of all EPs and and 80 percent of eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals have been paid MU incentives through the end of April. HHS had established a goal for 50 percent of EPs and 80 percent of hospitals to have EHRs by the end of 2013.

North Carolina’s state auditor finds that the state’s DHHS hasn’t overseen the implementation of its new $484 million Medicaid claims system properly, making it likely it will not be ready by the scheduled go-live in 40 days. CSC developed the system, which was written in COBOL by programmers from India copying code the company developed for a similar system in New York, and previous audits found poor documentation and unauthorized changes. DHHS allowed CSC to develop the acceptance criteria for its own project. The system was supposed to go live in August 2011 at a cost of $265 million. The state had already cancelled a 2003 contract with ACS saying their system wasn’t working before hiring CSC. Residents of other states are on the hook since the federal government is covering  90 percent of the development costs and at least 50 percent of the ongoing operational costs. Nothing good has ever come from combining state and federal governments, taxpayer money, contractors, and ambitious computer system plans.

Innovation and Research

Intermountain Healthcare announces a system that will track cumulative radiation exposure from higher-dose imaging exams and report it via the EMR.


The County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (NY) approves $369,359 in tax exemptions for eHealth Technologies, which is building a $4 million, 36,000 square-foot facility and is planning to add 60 jobs over the next three years.

5-23-2013 11-25-09 PM

Via Christi Health (KS) blames lower than anticipated revenues for its decision to lay off up to 400 staff members — about four percent of its workforce — across the state by the end of June.

5-23-2013 11-31-20 PM

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, known for writing screamingly partisan books such as Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies sets her sights for the second time on Epic’s Judy Faulkner in an article titled “The Obama crony in charge of your medical records.” She also weighs in that HITECH is “government malpractice at work;” calls out Epic and not its competitors for having “enhanced power to consolidate and control Americans’ private health information” (missing the point that only Cerner runs a profitable business unit that sells de-identified data from the hospital systems it hosts); and accuses the President of choosing Faulkner as the vendor representative on the HIT Policy Committee because of partisan politics (“the foxes are guarding the Obamacare henhouse.”) It’s a safe bet due to partisanship on both ends of the political spectrum that anyone who follows her faithfully believes every word, and anyone who doesn’t wouldn’t believe even one.

In Detroit, Henry Ford and Beaumont call off their merger plans, with the unstated sticking points apparently being cultural differences, disagreements over keeping both academic medical centers, and the unwillingness of Beaumont’s independent physicians to work with Henry Ford’s management.  

All you need to know about the inevitable demise of most HIEs once the government grant trough has been lapped dry is contained in this story. The squabbling CEOs of two Kansas HIEs  force the state’s lame duck HIE regulatory body to pass a resolution preventing them from trying to charge each other connection fees. KHIN and LACIE are required to connect their networks by July, but KHIN demanded that LACIE pay it a fee. The date has been moved back to December, and meanwhile the regulatory board – KHIE – will turn over its responsibilities to the state’s Department of Health and Environment on July 1 in a cost-cutting move. The dialog from the May 9 meeting:

[KHIN CEO] "If we give that data to another (network) they will have a competitive advantage, if we give it to them for free. We know that LACIE knows this — they’ve been out talking to providers all across the state of Kansas saying ‘If you join LACIE you can join at a lower fee, and you’ll get all of KHIN’s data for free.”

[LACIE CEO] That’s untrue, Laura. That’s absolutely untrue and we’ve told you it’s untrue. I’m sorry, Mr. Chair but that is an absolute lie.”

A University of Florida study finds that ED employees spend 12 minutes per hour on Facebook, and strangely enough their usage increases with ED patient volume and severity. On the other hand, it was a one-hospital study covering a 15-day period in late 2009 covering mostly the time between Christmas and New Year’s, so the method isn’t convincing.

A Pennsylvania judge orders the hiring of a forensic examiner to review the Facebook page of a woman who claims she slipped and fell due to a puddle of liquid on the floor of Lancaster Regional Medical Center. The woman claims she suffered serious injuries and can’t afford the surgery; the hospital found Facebook pictures and videos from up to 17 days after the accident after showing her frolicking in the snow.

Sponsor Updates

  • Greenway Medical announces the availability of its PrimeMOBILE mobile access solution for Windows 8.
  • Biilian’s HealthDATA posts a list of the 10 hospitals claiming the most in outpatient charges, according to expense report data published by CMS.
  • Liaison Healthcare launches Healthcare Terminology Manager and Healthcare Terminology Translation to facilitate the management of diverse controlled medical vocabularies for simplified data exchange.
  • Park Place International will market Interbit Data’s disaster recovery and business continuance software solutions to its customers implementing Meditech.
  • Levi, Ray & Shoup introduces MFPsecure, a line of hardware and software aimed at the pull printing and secure document delivery markets.
  • Ping Identity announces details of the workshops at its Cloud Identity Summit 2013, which takes place July 8-12 in Napa, CA.
  • The Boston Globe names Keane, Inc., now part of NTT Data, to its Globe 100 Hall of Fame in recognition of the company’s 25 years as a top-performing company in Massachusetts.
  • Visage Imaging releases Visage Ease version 1.3.0, which gives authorized healthcare providers mobile access to imaging results on iOS devices.
  • Care Team Connect hosts a July 10 Webinar on readmission prevention.
  • EClinicalWorks CEO Girish Kumar Navani discusses the company’s latest projects and offers his perspective on where healthcare is headed and IT’s role in healthcare transformation.  
  • Greenway Medical customer Texas Orthopedics shares how its use of PrimeMOBILE has improved patient care and increased efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
  • INHS highlights the SHMC Pediatric Oncology clinic and its use of online status boards to cut patient wait times.
  • Encore Health Resources posts a YouTube video featuring CEO Dana Sellers participating in a discussion on EHRs and analytics.
  • Emdeon CEO George Lazenby shares his secrets to innovation and growth.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

clip_image004  5-23-2013 6-46-11 PM

From Anotherdrgregg: “Re: your recent piece on gimmicks. Preparing for our EMR, we looked at all our diets, some 30 in all, including the oddly named ‘anti-atherogenic diet.’ We reduced the number of diets to four, not including bariatric diets. The reasoning was that if you could hold it down, you were probably going to be discharged home. Administration nodded sagely, then went ahead with diet on demand complete with special breakfasts and a chef in a toque. Now they want to know why utilization is not high.” Any reader who can use the word “toque” gets my vote. He went on to list other frivolous hospital expenditures: flat screen TVs, real oak moldings on the doors, and carpets so thick that you can’t roll a gurney on them. He closed with this thought: “The finest hospital I ever worked at had painted cinderblock walls. it was a forward operating base.”


Hard to believe it’s almost June. In CMS terms, that means barely more than a month before Eligible Hospitals in the first year of Meaningful Use run out of time to begin the reporting period for Fiscal Year 2013. If you don’t start your reporting period by July 3, you’re out of luck as the federal fiscal year ends September 30.

Reuters Health reports that many health Web sites are too complicated and full of jargon, leading to confusion for patients. Instead of the fourth to sixth grade reading level recommended by the American Medical Association and the Department of Health and Human Services, the average reading level of online materials studied ranged from high school to college. Reviewers also found information that was oversimplified to the point of inaccuracy and large numbers of clichés at some specialty sites.


Scientists have often debated whether white coats and neckties spread germs. Unfortunately for fashionistas like Inga, handbags are now under scrutiny. Twenty percent of handbags studied had levels of bacteria high enough to cross-contaminate other surfaces. I wonder if the findings would also apply to brief cases or laptop bags?


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 23, 2013 News 18 Comments

News 5/22/13

May 21, 2013 News 4 Comments

Top News

5-21-2013 7-35-19 PM

Healthland acquires post-acute care software vendor American HealthTech of Jackson, MS.

Reader Comments

5-21-2013 7-49-08 PM

From Dortlund: “Re: GE Healthcare. Charging a premium on top of annual maintenance for MU Stage 2 and ICD-10.” Not to mention spelling “after hours” as “afterhours” for some reason.

5-21-2013 7-56-24 PM

From CMIO: “Re: clinical informatics exam. I applied, paid, and took a board prep course and plan to take the practice test this summer. I did not do a fellowship, but I want to be on the inaugural class of the new board based on three years as CMIO. It is worth it for me, as this is my career and this is my credential.”

5-21-2013 10-12-35 PM

From NoLongerPhamis: “I LOVED the last Slideshare about GEHC/IDX. Almost fell out of my chair laughing. The part about seamless integration of marketing materials was spot on. I was there.” This was in a recent episode of Vince Ciotti’s HIS-tory.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Healthcare consulting firm Information Resources Associates, Inc. merges with ESD.

5-21-2013 9-03-24 PM

Virtual visit technology vendor ConsultingMD raises $10 million in funding from Venrock.

5-21-2013 9-35-25 PM

Pittsburgh-based wound care EHR vendor Net Health acquires Integritas, which offers EMR/PM solutions for urgent care, occupational health, and hospital employee health. 

Quality Systems, Inc. investor and board member Ahmed Hussein, mostly known for criticizing his fellow board members and launching proxy fights in an attempt to take control of the company, resigns. He owns more than $100 million in QSII shares.


Orange Accountable Care, a subsidiary of Orange Health Solutions, will deploy Sandlot Care Manager, Sandlot Dimensions, and Sandlot Metrix.

5-21-2013 12-47-20 PM

Wellmont Health System (TN) expands its relationship with MModal to include MModal Fluency Direct and Fluency for Imaging as its clinical documentation platforms.

St. Joseph’s Imaging (NY) selects Merge Healthcare’s Outpatient Radiology Suite.

The ERx Group, a staffing provider for rural acute care and critical access facilities, will use T-System’s clinical, financial, and operational technology and services.

Southeast Alabama Medical Center selects Besler Consulting to assist in the identification of Medicare Transfer DRG underpayments.

5-21-2013 10-17-52 PM

Western Maryland Health System (MD) will use Dimensional Insight’s business intelligence solution, The Diver Solution.


5-21-2013 3-43-25 PM

Long-term care EHR provider MatrixCare names Denise Wassenaar (Alliance Pharmacy Services) chief clinical officer.

5-21-2013 3-47-11 PM  5-21-2013 3-45-12 PM

Imprivata, expecting to go public within two years according to its CEO, names John Halamka, MD (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) and former Phase Forward CFO Rodger Weismann to its board.

5-21-2013 3-50-02 PM

Stoltenberg Consulting appoints Douglas Herr (maxIT Healthcare) VP of Epic practice and client relations.

Announcements and Implementations

Peak Health Solutions partners with ChartWise to offer a solution that includes Peak’s clinical document improvement consulting and education program and ChartWise’s CDI software.

5-21-2013 11-17-00 AM

Stillwater Medical Center (OK) integrates its Philips IntelliVue patient monitors and Meditech ED management solution using the Accelero Connect healthcare integration platform from Accent on Integration.

North Shore-LIJ Health System adds cameras in operating rooms at its Forest Hills Hospital (NY) to remotely audit surgical teams for performing timeouts prior to procedures and to alert hospital cleaning crews when a surgery is nearing completion.

5-21-2013 7-44-22 PM

Fox Business News is running a week-long series called “How Private are Your Medical Records?” on “The Willis Report.” Monday’s episode featured Deborah Peel, MD of Patient Privacy Rights and Mark Rotenberg of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Covenant Health (TX) and MemorialCare Health System (CA) are named winners of the 2013 Crimson Physician Partnership Awards presented by The Advisory Board Company, saving a combined $20 million by presenting comparative performance information to their physicians.

5-21-2013 9-11-45 PM

CampDoc.com releases an electronic medication administration record module for its summer camp EHR.

Government and Politics

5-21-2013 11-45-17 AM

The Consumer Partnership for eHealth and the Campaign for Better Care submit a letter to the six Republican senators who last month questioned whether the implementation of the HITECH Act was money well spent. The consumer groups argue that MU is working and that delaying Stage 2 implementation and Stage 3 rulemaking will be detrimental to patients, will stifle innovation, and will delay progress towards interoperability.

CMS posts the 2014 ICD-10-PCS files, including code tables, index, and coding guidelines. CMS notes that the FY 2014 ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes will not be updated.

ONC posts positions (1, 2) for medical officer reporting to the Office of the Chief Medical Officer.

5-21-2013 9-28-21 PM

Twila Brase, RN, president and co-founder of Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom, says EHRs are burdensome and inaccurate, adding that they are turning doctors into data clerks. She adds, “Documenting a full clinical encounter in an EHR from scratch can be pure torment. The full chart doesn’t fit on the computer screen. Each element is selected by a series of clicks, double-clicks, or even triple-clicks of a mouse button. Hunting, clicking, and scrolling just to complete a simple history and physical exam is a tedious and time-wasting experience."

A Health Innovation Council commentary article says HITECH is causing, “A massive disruption of providers’ patient care focus as they chase Meaningful Use dollars; increased burdens on physicians, nurses and clinicians since EHRs as currently designed require more, not less, of their time and effort; and an unprecedentedly huge expenditure by providers on EHR hardware and software at a time when providers are under severe financial pressures.” The group recommends that the HITECH program either be redesigned to emphasize patient care, safety, and efficiency or be shut down completely and spend what’s left of the money on rewarding provider care improvement by whatever means they choose.  What is minimally noted in the press release is that the Health Innovation Council was formed and is run by Anthelio Healthcare, the former PHNS, a healthcare IT consulting services vendor.

In the UK, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announces creation of a $400 million fund to help hospitals with the cost of replacing paper-based clinical documentation and prescribing with electronic systems.


MyMedicalRecords.com files another patent lawsuit, this time against the recent Allscripts acquisition Jardogs. The complaint states that the FollowMyHealth Universal Health Record infringes on MMR’s personal health record patents.

5-21-2013 12-09-06 PM

LSU Health Shreveport (LA) and Siemens Healthcare inform 8,330 patients of an unintentional disclosure of PHI  stemming from an error in a computer data entry field. LSU and Siemens, which prints and mails bills on behalf of LSU Health physicians, have now identified and corrected the error that caused the names and treatment information for one patient to incorrectly align with another patient’s mailing address.

Palomar Pomerado Health CMIO Ben Kanter, MD presented A Darwinian View of the Electronic Medical Record at a HIMSS SoCal meeting.

UPMC will outsource its transcription services to its development partner Nuance at the end of June, laying off 100 transcriptionists who have been offered jobs by Nuance.

Moore Medical Center (OK) is destroyed by a 200 mph tornado, but the 30 patients housed in the 46-bed hospital all survived, as did all of the hospital’s employees.

5-21-2013 10-19-35 PM

A Silicon Valley newspaper editorial lauds the $220 million Epic implementation at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (CA), saying it will improve billing efficiency and quality of care, also avoiding the 1 percent Medicare penalty and instead reaping $11 million in HITECH funds.  

Weird News Andy says he’ll take one today if it can help find his car keys. A New York Times article says helper robots will be used to help care for the elderly.

Sponsor Updates

5-21-2013 12-42-24 PM

  • ISirona employees participate in the Emerald Coast Mud Run benefiting Heart of the Bride, which supports orphans around the world.
  • Valence Health offers a May 29 Webinar in its monthly series called Care Coordination and Patient Outcomes: Utilize Innovative Automated Population Health Solutions.
  • DocuTrac, a provider of EMR technology for behavioral health, will add DrFirst’s e-prescribing technology into its QuicDoc EMR Professional and Enterprise edition software.
  • An Imprivata-commissioned survey of Canadian HIT executives reveals key barriers for clinicians when accessing patient data, including a lack of systems integration, privacy and security concerns, and slow access.
  • McKesson’s Horizon Lab 13.5 becomes for the first LIS to receive EHR Module certification for MU Stage 2.
  • Ingenious Med updates its impowermobile charge capture software to include the ability to create a virtual superbill at the point of care.
  • Greenway Medical adds ClientTell’s ReminderManager patient communications solution to its Online Marketplace as a certified API solution for the PrimeSUITE platform.
  • DirectTrust.org and EHNAC extend accreditation to ICA under its Direct Trusted Agent Accreditation Program.
  • IHT2 hosts Health IT Summit Denver July 24-25.
  • In a GetWellNetwork-sponsored Webinar May 29, administrators from Hasbro Children’s Hospital (RI) share details of how it improved patient satisfaction and workflow by joining patient-centered care technology with a meal ordering system at the bedside.
  • Kareo posts a Webinar that answers the top six Stage 2 MU questions and offers three reasons to check out CMS eHealth.
  • Several HIStalk sponsors earn a spot on the Informatics 2013 Top HCI 100 list, including 3M, ADP AdvancedMD, Allscripts, API Healthcare, Beacon Partners, Capario, CareTech Solutions, Covisint, Craneware, CTG, Cumberland Consulting Group, eClinicalWorks, Elsevier, Emdeon, ESD, GE Healthcare, Greenway, Iatric Systems, Impact Advisors, Infor, Intellect Resources, MModal, McKesson, MedAssets, Medseek, Merge, NextGen, NTT DATA, Nuance, Optum, Orion, Passport Health, Philips Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, Sunquest Information Systems, Surgical Information Systems, T-System, TeleTracking Technologies, TELUS Health Solutions, The Advisory Board Company, The SSI Group, Vitera Healthcare Solutions, Vocera Communications, Wolters Kluwer Health, and ZirMed. Porter Research submitted, compiled, and reviewed sales figures to create the list.
  • The Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies recognizes InstaMed  as its Technology Growth Company winner and Halfpenny Technologies a Life Science Growth Company finalist at the Alliance’s 2013 Enterprise Awards.
  • Imprivata launches a migration program that enables customers using the Citrix SSO feature to migrate to Imprivata OneSign SSO. Also, Imprivata participates in a breakout session on desktop virtualization and SSO at this week’s Citrix Synergy conference in California.
  • Emdat profiles Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, which realized a 50 percent year-over-year cost savings in documentation and correspondence costs using Emdat alongside its EMR.
  • Beacon Partners hosts a May 31 Webinar integrating business intelligence and analytics through the healthcare enterprise and offers a white paper on why risk assessments help reduce an organization’s risk of a data breach.
  • Awarepoint’s RTLS platform will be featured in an industry-wide interoperability demonstration at the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation 2013 Conference and Expo June 1-3 in Long Beach, CA.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 21, 2013 News 4 Comments

Monday Morning Update 5/20/13

May 18, 2013 News 5 Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Microsoft’s updated BAA. Microsoft has released an update for its Business Associate Agreement to encompass more secure communications tools for HIPAA compliance. The changes provide for healthcare organizations to leverage cloud solutions to improve clinician productivity, care team communication, and care transition coordination while maintaining compliance with the recently updated Omnibus HIPAA Final Rules.”

From Laboratorian: “Re: University of Michigan. Goes live June 1 with a massive IT rollout. This includes a new Epic (Denali) implementation and a completely new LIS, an experimental version of SCC-Soft being used at U-M for the first time. The LIS rollout, in particular, is particularly audacious in scope, being the culmination of a seven-year implementation cycle. Barcode-based tracking of both tubes and surgical pathology specimens will be on par with the level of automation seen at BML labs in Japan. The spatial location of every asset in lab space will be tracked in real time. The project benefitted from co-development of code with support from U-M’s own software engineering teams. Nearly 2.5 million lines of new code above base SCC product will drive this new version.” SCC is often forgotten as maybe the leading LIS vendor for big health systems, and writing 2.5 million lines of new code is just crazy. Obviously Beaker wasn’t going to do the job for UM, although it’s improving to the point that some larger Epic customers are cautiously committing to it.

5-17-2013 7-56-46 PM

More than two-thirds of respondents think that Meaningful Use Stage 2 should be extended for a year before starting Stage 3. New poll to your right: CMS released hospital Medicare pricing information for the top 100 DRGs. How valuable is that information to the public?

5-17-2013 8-31-04 PM

Jamie Stockton of Wells Fargo Advisors sent over his monthly summary of hospital EHR attestations by vendor. Customers of the big multi-national corporations whose business is mostly not healthcare IT (McKesson, Siemens, and GE) are the clear laggards.

Just in case you are wondering what it would be like to have HIMSS darling and cardiologist Eric Topol, MD as your doctor, ponder this quote from an NBC fluff piece from January that I just ran across: “These days I’m actually prescribing a lot more apps than I am medications.” He claims that up to 80 percent of the 20 million echocardiograms performed each year could be replaced by in-office smart phone tests, saving the healthcare system $13 billion per year. In a stunning piece of investigative journalism, the on-camera talking head (also a doctor) who has clearly performed her research convinces him to eat tortilla chips and goads him into saying positive things about his own books and devices.

5-17-2013 8-48-52 PM

EHR vendor Mitochon Systems notifies its customers that it will shut down its free cloud-based EHR service in mid-June. The company isn’t sure how doctors will retrieve the data they’ve entered on patients before the system is turned off, but says it will come up with something.

5-18-2013 8-25-07 AM

Data visualization software vendor Tableau Software, whose product is popular in healthcare, raised $254 million in its Friday IPO as shares soared 64 percent. I’ve played around with it a couple of times and it’s pretty cool – there’s a free trial download on the site.

5-17-2013 8-08-06 PM

Sheila Sanders, VP/CIO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (NC), will step down effective May 31. The hospital says she’s leaving the $465K job for personal reasons that are unrelated to its struggles with Epic.

5-17-2013 8-17-23 PM 5-17-2013 8-19-13 PM

CareWire names advisors Ken Saitow and Phil Hotchkiss as president/CEO and EVP/chief product officer, respectively.

5-17-2013 8-27-28 PM

Encore Health Resources CEO Dana Sellers was recognized Friday, May 17 as a Distinguished Engineering Alumna by the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. She was also named Friday as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the second consecutive year.

5-17-2013 8-34-27 PM

James Holtzman is promoted from CFO to CEO of Prognosis Health Information Systems.

5-18-2013 8-13-52 AM

Terry Boch (JET Health Solutions) joins Wellcentive as SVP of sales and marketing.

5-18-2013 2-59-11 PM

Susan K. Newbold PhD, RN-BC, director of Nursing Informatics Boot Camp, is selected as one of the 2013 “Women to Watch” by the Nashville Medical News.

5-18-2013 8-26-41 AM

MD Anderson, which just announced Epic as vendor of choice, will freeze wages, cut back on hiring, and postpone construction projects, hoping to offset an anticipated 2014 financial shortfall that it blames on the federal government (the Affordable Care Act, the budget sequester, and federal deficits) even though its rapidly increasing operating expenses seem to be its primary problem.

5-18-2013 8-01-21 AM

A controversial decision by Britain’s NHS allows life sciences and insurance companies to buy access NHS’s patient-identifiable data (“bespoke patient-level abstracts), even providing companies with an Excel worksheet to calculate their cost.

Partners HealthCare System (MA) made a $133 million profit in the latest quarter even after it took a $110 million accounting charge to write off computer systems slated for replacement. Most of that came from investment income, as operating income dropped from $41 million last year to $5 million.

Vince covers Part 1 of the HIS-tory of Allscripts this week (more specifically, TDS, which passed through many hands before landing in the Allscripts lap via its acquisition of Eclipsys.) Vince also scored a major coup for upcoming episodes – he e-mailed Judy Faulkner at Epic and asked if could talk with her about the company and she invited him to meet with her in Verona, which he did last week and is still gushing about. Those are going to be some great HIS-tory installments.

Sponsor Updates

  • Carl Fleming of Impact Advisors raised $6,000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation by having his head shaved at Impact Palooza 2013.
  • Sunquest Laboratory v 7.0.1003 is certified as an EHR module by CCHIT.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 18, 2013 News 5 Comments

News 5/17/13

May 16, 2013 News 12 Comments

Top News

The House Appropriations Committee approves $344 million in development funds for an integrated EHR for the VA and DoD, but mandates that no funds be expended on any EHR unless it is an open architecture system that serves both agencies.

Reader Comments

5-16-2013 8-31-28 PM

From Stifler’s Mom: “Re: Marin General Hospital. Nurses warn that the new computer system is causing errors.” A dozen unionized Marin General nurses attend the healthcare district’s board meeting to ask hospital administration to put the McKesson Paragon implementation on hold, claiming orders are being entered on the wrong patients, patients have been given meds to which they are allergic, and discharges and surgical prep are taking two hours.

From Carolyn: “Re: first HIStalk Webinar with HTTS. Will the recording be made available for those of us who could not attend the live session?” The recorded Webinar, “Vendor Software Training: What Providers Should Demand” is available for anyone to view here and a PDF of the slides is here. Everyone who registered will get an e-mail with these links, along with those to the HTTS-developed forms mentioned in the presentation (the Software Vendor Training Checklist and Sample Evaluation Form.)

5-16-2013 7-50-36 PM

From Horizon Consultant: “Re: Bayhealth – Milford Memorial Hospital. Went live on Horizon Expert Orders full house with physicians this week, with few problems.”

From Acorn: “Re: Maine Medical problems. Their Epic project is over budget by some unidentified amount, but will be high 8-9 digits, more than member hospital boards signed up for. Rollouts that were expected to conclude in 2013 are on hold until Maine Medical Center is stabilized – 2015 maybe? MaineHealth’s mouthpiece said training was not an issue, but I respectfully disagree. Insufficient engagement at all levels and all phases has been at the root of problems.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small This week’s highlights from HIStalk Practice include: the AMA looks at how patient-physician communication is affected by the use of computers in the exam room. INTEGRIS Health (OK) contracts with athenahealth for athenacollector and other products. Doctor office visits fell in 2012 while patients’ out-of-pocket costs jumped 30 percent. Primary care providers beat specialists in generating money for hospitals. The AMA does not recommend jumping directly from ICD-9 to ICD-11.  Make the world a happier place (at least my world) and sign up for e-mail updates when you check out the HIStalk Practice news. Thanks for reading.

5-16-2013 7-24-53 PM

Nuance CMIO Nick Terheyden tweets out another fun photo as he carries the HIStalk logo on his travels, this time with HIMSS President and CEO Steve Lieber from the stage of the Arkansas HIMSS Chapter meeting. Take along a printed logo or your iPad and snap and e-mail a photo from somewhere fun and I’ll run it here. We’ve seen photos from London and Dubai previously, so it’s your turn.

I’m behind on almost everything, so be patient if you are expecting something from me. I was so exhausted Wednesday night after work that I literally fell asleep in the middle of typing HIStalk, so I’m struggling to keep up.

On the Jobs Board: Clinical Analyst, Marketing Communication Specialist. Sponsors post their jobs for free.

5-16-2013 8-04-07 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor, HCS (Health Care Software, Inc.) of Wall, NJ. Everybody likes stable vendors who aren’t just dabbling temporarily in healthcare, and HCS has been doing provider-only healthcare IT since 1969 (!!) The company’s INTERACTANT platform, an integrated suite of clinical and financial applications (revenue cycle, financials, EMR, mobile, and analysis) is meeting and exceeding the needs of all kinds of provider organizations (inpatient, outpatient, long term acute care, behavioral, and rehab). Check out their white papers (the best title: “Meaningful Use: Why Should Ineligible Providers Still Care?”) and case studies.  Thanks to HCS for supporting HIStalk.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

The AMA reports a four percent decline in 2012 revenues from 2011, largely due to an 86 percent drop in advertising revenues and lower sales for printed coding books.  Membership was up over three percent, but net  operating profit fell 33 percent.


Port Huron Hospital (MI) signs a three-year contract with CareTech Solutions to use the iDoc Archive solution for storage of patient data as the hospital transitions to a new EHR.

Wilson Memorial Hospital (OH) chooses Access to integrate electronic patient signatures into Meditech and register patients electronically during downtime.

5-16-2013 10-13-57 PM

Trinitas Regional Medical Center (NJ) selects Dell’s Unified Clinical Archive solution to manage its clinical image archive.

The VA extends its contract with Authentidate for its Electronic House Call vital signs monitoring device and service and for the Interactive Voice Response System for remote patient monitoring.


5-16-2013 12-40-55 PM

MedeAnalytics names Andrew Hurd (Epocrates/Carefx) CEO, taking over for Mike Gallagher who will serve as executive chairman.

5-16-2013 6-17-47 PM

Jerry Baker (Halfpenny Technologies) joins HIT Application Solutions as president and CEO.

5-16-2013 6-18-54 PM

URAC appoints Kylanne Green (Inova Health System) president and CEO.

Streamline Health Solutions promotes Nicholas Meeks from VP of financial planning to SVP/CFO, taking over for the resigning Steve Murdock. Carolyn Zelnio (Aderant) also joins the company as VP/chief accounting officer.

Announcements and Implementations

5-16-2013 7-17-41 PM

HealthTech, parent company of HMS, MEDHOST, and Patient Logic, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Wednesday to celebrate the opening of its new, larger headquarters in Franklin, TN. Participating were Allen Borden (assistant commissioner, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development); Rogers Anderson (Williamson County mayor); Ken Moore, MD (City of Franklin mayor); Matt Largen (president and CEO, Williamson County Chamber of Commerce); Bill Anderson (president and CEO, HealthTech); Steve Starkey (president, HMS); and Craig Herrod (president, MEDHOST).

Encore Health Resources launches its health analytics consulting practice, which follows the company’s preference of "Smart Skinny Data” (using information from specific sources to focus on specific analysis needed) over “Big Data.” The practice will offer analytics strategy, tools selection, implementation, performance improvement, and data governance help.

5-16-2013 10-16-04 PM

New York eHealth Collaborative issues an RFP to develop a statewide health portal, just after declaring Mana Health’s design to be the winner earlier this week.

5-16-2013 8-52-13 PM

Patient Updater releases a new version of its HIPAA-compliant messaging platform that allows hospitals to keep the families of surgery patients informed.

Government and Politics

The Senate confirms Marilyn Tavenner as CMS administrator, making her the first CMS leader to be confirmed in over nine years.

CMS will spend up to $1 billion for the second round of the Health Care Innovation Awards to promote projects that test new payment models in support of better care and lower costs.

5-16-2013 8-21-37 PM

Eleven top government officials will speak at the 2013 Health Privacy Summit, June 5-6 in Washington, DC, including Todd Park (White House), Joy Pritts (ONC), Leon Rodriguez (OCR/HHS), and David Muntz (ONC).

Innovation and Research

5-16-2013 9-07-42 PM

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visits a digital health summit in Ireland to discuss collaboration between startup companies in their respective areas.

5-16-2013 9-11-20 PM

The wireless pill reminder bottle from AdhereTech wins the Healthcare Innovation World Cup.


5-16-2013 11-23-15 AM

CareTech Solutions takes the top spot in a KLAS survey on IT outsourcing. Though many providers are pulling back on extensive IT outsourcing (EITO) in favor of partial IT outsourcing (PITO), EITO remains the most popular option for smaller hospitals.

5-16-2013 8-42-58 PM

The city government of Juneau, AK, which owns 57-bed Bartlett Regional Hospital, votes down an $8.5 million appropriation for a Cerner implementation the hospital has already signed for. The hospital CEO says the contract was signed before Quorum Health Resources left as facility managers and he’s not comfortable with the $1.155 million in annual maintenance costs on the $7.37 million capital purchase (15.7 percent per year). The hospital is hoping its contract has enough out clauses to convince Cerner to allow it to walk away as it seeks a less expensive system.

5-16-2013 12-09-29 PM

The deadline to submit proposals for educational content for HIMSS14 is June 3, or about 7 1/2 months before the actual conference. Interestingly, HIMSS suggests that proposed topics be “timely.” Interested speakers should consult their crystal balls before applying.

The federal government charges 89 people — including about 22 doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in eight cities — with Medicare fraud schemes that totaled $223 million in false billings.

5-16-2013 9-30-15 PM

A New York medical practice exposes the personal information of thousands of its patients when a clerk mistakenly attaches an Excel worksheet to an e-mail being sent to 200 patients.

Weird News Andy offers a pithy headline for this story, “Time to eat cookies whilst on the rack,” but you’ll have to think to get it. British researchers find that body mass index (BMI) is a poorer predictor of life expectancy than the ratio of waist size to height. People with a ratio of 0.8, which would be 56-inch waist for a 5’10” man or woman, lived 17 years less on average, while keeping the ratio at 0.5 or less (a 35-inch waist in this example) was associated with reduced incidence of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. The ratio works on children as young as five, the researchers say.

Sponsor Updates


  • OB leaders at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (MD) describe PeriGen’s EHR, surveillance, and decision support system that supports healthier babies and mothers on “Today in America.”
  • T-System posts a video explaining how its system benefits ED patients and clinicians.
  • e-MDs will offer analytics and dashboards to its customers via an agreement with dashboardMD.
  • ReadyDock adds Complete Tablet Solutions as a reseller of its tablet management products.
  • This week’s 2013 Truven Health Advantage Conference in Scottsdale, AZ featured keynote addresses by Gov. Howard Dean, MD; Sen. Bill Frist, MD; and David Newman, MD.
  • Prognosis Health Information Systems discusses key considerations when changing EHRs. 
  • SuccessEHS hosts a CEU-approved Webinar May 29 on ICD-10 changeover planning.
  • The Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce recognizes Heathwise with its Healthcare Industry Excellence Award.
  • Kareo posts a Webinar on the ins and outs of Stage 2 MU.
  • Verisk Health hosts a May 29 Webinar featuring Bob Kay, senior data analyst with New Hampshire’s Granite Healthcare Network, who will discuss analytics for ACOs.
  • Craneware offers Webinars May 22 and May 30 on best practices for improving financial performance.
  • ChartWise Medical Systems CEO Jon Elion, MD discusses ethical practices in clinical documentation improvement on May 21 during the ACDIS Conference in Nashville.
  • MedAssets customer Oconee Medical Center will share how it used the company’s technology and services to improve point-of-service collections at this week’s NAHAM conference in Atlanta.
  • Finalists for Impact awards from the Technology Association of Georgia Southeastern Software Association include Billian’s HealthDATA (emerging mega trend and technology solutions provider) , McKesson (technology solutions provider), and NextGen (independent software vendor).

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

From Big G: “Re: sick or not sick. I have a story to mirror yours. There I was, a medical student rotating at a large, urban children’s hospital’s ER. I was getting my duties from the charge nurse (‘Don’t touch anything.’) Without breaking stride, looking out at the vast, screaming waiting room, surely my vision of Hell, she pointed to one kid, and said, ‘He’s next.’ 30 years on, that display of sick/not sick sticks with me. Meningitis. Thanks for sharing. We’ve all had those semi-scary moments where we’re amazed by someone’s psychic abilities. Thank goodness for seasoned warriors in the trenches.”

During a recent “listening session” with CMS officials, the AMA offered testimony on the issue of cloned documentation. Comments on usability and reconsideration of Stage 2 MU were also hot topics in the discussion.


What is it with endorsements on LinkedIn lately? In recent weeks I’ve been “endorsed” for skill sets that I don’t remotely possess. If nothing else, it’s good for some entertainment, and some of it makes me sound just the slightest bit cool.


The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) publishes the names of 112 people newly certified as Patient Centered Medical Home experts. Those certification is aimed to help providers assess the quality of those offering to assist practices through the PCMH process. I hope they were all aware that their e-mail and snail mail addresses were going to be published to the world.

Speaking of certifications, I’m interested to hear who plans to sit for the American Board of Preventive Medicine subspecialty board exam in clinical informatics. The online application for initial certification is live and late fees apply to any application submitted after June 1. The exam is already fairly pricey and the Board will offer a non-fellowship pathway for the first few years. It will be interesting to see how presence or absence of certification impacts the job market for physician informaticists. Have you registered? What did you think? E-mail me.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 16, 2013 News 12 Comments

News 5/15/13

May 14, 2013 News 1 Comment

Top News

5-14-2013 10-26-43 PM

Compuware subsidiary Covisint, whose healthcare business offers an HIE platform, files for a $100 million IPO.

Reader Comments

From Olga: “Re: identifying patients by driver’s in Texas. I think it’s a bit naïve to think that one can simply attach a card swipe solution to a provider’s registration system and everything will be good to go. Card swiping is only the first step of the registration process. The data captured from the card still need to be bounced up against the provider’s EMPI so that this service can determine if this is a new registration or if that individual already exists within the patient index that matches the demographic details on the ID card. The card swipe is really only part of the solution. It doesn’t solve issues around identity theft. That can be addressed only through two-factor authentication, maybe through the use of biometric devices like fingerprint or palm vein scans. I commend Texas with a step in the right direction, but this shouldn’t be classified as, ‘Whew! Solved that problem!’” I agree – lots of people get services under false pretenses by presenting someone else’s insurance card, and the link needs to be made to the hospital’s records in the absence of a national patient identifier. The only sensible solution would be that identifier plus biometrics, but you couldn’t get elected dogcatcher having your political opponent pounce on that perfectly sensible and fraud-detecting idea as government meddling.
5-14-2013 10-28-27 PM

From Passionate Radiologist: “Re: American College of Radiology. Launches Imaging 3.0 – Beyond Image Interpretation to keep rads in the forefront of patient care.” Imagine 3.0 is described as, “It includes a set of technology tools that equip 21st-century radiologists to ensure their key role in evolving health care delivery and payment models—and quality patient care. Imaging 3.0 is a call to action to all radiologists to take a leadership role in shaping America’s future health care system.” I would be interested in the opinions of radiologists about this initiative.

5-14-2013 10-30-31 PM

From KJ!: “Re: eHealth in Canada. Interesting article about funding cuts.” The federal government says Canada Health Infoway won’t be shut down despite the surprise decision not to give it new funding in 2013. The organization has already earmarked the $900 million it has received, the last of which was in 2010. The government says it needs to cut back on spending.

5-14-2013 9-49-11 PM

From Dr. Gregg: “Re: athenahealth. Have you guys seen CodeView?” I hadn’t seen it. Athenahealth’s CodeView is a billing code lookup that shows average reimbursement per per procedure for all insurance types as pulled from the company’s network.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

5-14-2013 10-32-23 PM

Thanks to everyone involved in today’s first-ever HIStalk Webinar. We had good attendance and a nicely done presentation by Lorre and Shauna from Health Technology Training Solutions. Thanks to our moderator Jim and the CIOs who pre-screened the run-through with me and provided feedback that the presenters then incorporated into the final version. That’s how we’ll run Webinars going forward.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Printing management system vendor Levi Ray & Shoup will acquire Capella Technologies, which offers products for HP printers.


5-14-2013 1-29-05 PM

Ephraim McDowell Health (KY) expands its contract with HealthCare Anytime to include its entire patient portal suite.

5-14-2013 2-48-59 PM

Northeast Georgia Health System selects Isabel Healthcare to provide diagnosis decision support and patient engagement tools.

The Department of Defense will implement Mediware’s blood donor and transfusion software validation services in partnership with Planned Systems International.

5-14-2013 2-55-21 PM

Continuum HealthPartners (NY) selects Wellsoft’s EDIS for its four NYC-area EDs.

5-14-2013 2-58-47 PM

Griffin Hospital (CT) will implement Vree Health’s TransitionAdvantage service to help patients adhere to the hospital’s recommended post-discharge care plans and reduce preventable 30-day patient readmissions.

5-13-2013 4-42-17 PM

Texas State University selects eClinicalWorks EHR and Patient Portal and the Health & Online Wellness PHR smartphone app for its student health service.

5-14-2013 3-02-15 PM

Hartford HealthCare Corporation (CT) will implement the AccessAnyWay content management enterprise solution from Streamline Health Solutions.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (PA), White Plains Hospital (NY), and Laurens County Health Care System (SC) select the Good to Go discharge communication solution from ExperiaHealth, a subsidiary of Vocera Communications.

5-14-2013 3-03-31 PM

Bay Area Hospital (OR) will use Besler Consulting’s BVerified Screening and Verification solution to address CMS sanctions screening requirements.

Hanover Hospital (PA) choose Capsule’s DataCaptor for medical device integration with Meditech.


5-14-2013 3-14-41 PM

nTelagent names Lloyd Baker (Passport Health) regional VP of sales.

5-14-2013 6-34-58 PM

BizTimes Milwaukee names API Healthcare President and CEO J. P. Fingado winner of its 2013 Bravo! Entrepreneur Award.

5-14-2013 3-18-59 PM

Polycom CEO Andrew M. Miller joins Informatica’s board.

5-14-2013 6-36-08 PM

Telehealth provider Teladoc names Henry DePhillips, MD (Audax Health) CMO.

5-14-2013 3-28-01 PM

Convergent Revenue Cycle Management, Inc. appoints Greg Rassier (Rassier Consulting/Conifer Health Solutions) COO.

5-14-2013 8-56-50 PM

Intellect Resources names Dan Stoke (Allscripts) VP of client sales and service.

SeniorCare, a provider of analytics-driven prospective care solutions, appoints Joell Keim (Outcomes Health information Systems) president.

HealthMEDX hires Craig Frazier (Intuitive Medical Software/McKesson) as COO.

Matt Ebaugh (Kaiser Permanente) is named VP/CIO of Kings Daughters Health System (KY).

Announcements and Implementations

Strategic Health Intelligence of Pensacola and Atlantic Coast HIE of Miramar become the first providers to exchange patient information with the Florida HIE Patient Look-up Service developed by Harris Corporation.

NextGen Healthcare will integrate PDR Network’s drug information technology with the NextGen Ambulatory EHR platform.

5-14-2013 3-20-20 PM

St. Francis Memorial Hospital (NE) goes live on McKesson Paragon June 17.

LDM Group will provide its healthcare messaging solutions PhysicianCare and ScriptGuide to providers through DrFirst’s Rcopia e-prescribing solution and Patient Advisor patient education solution.

Community Memorial Health System (CA) begins deployment of PatientKeeper CPOE for more than 500 physicians.

Healthwise will offer National eHealth Collaborative’s Consumer eHealth Readiness Tool to its clients.

Mountain States Health Alliance reports significant improvements in glycemic control within 60 days of implementing Glytec’s inpatient glucose control platform Glucommander.

5-14-2013 10-12-43 PM

Athenahealth completes its $168.5 million purchase of the 760,000 square foot Arsenal on the Charles complex in Watertown, MA from Harvard University, in which the company’s headquarters has been located since 2005.

Government and Politics

Proposed legislation in Texas would allow licensed healthcare providers to collect or verify patient information with a swipe of a patient’s driver’s license.

Innovation and Research

An project seeking crowdfunding via Indigogo is a placebo mobile app, which is a lot more interesting and scientific than the title would suggest.


Student journalists from Virginia Commonwealth University  interview Colin Banas, MD, CMIO of VCU Medical Center (VA). He talks up the hospital’s PatientKeeper system, which they are running with Cerner.


5-14-2013 10-34-31 PM

MaineHealth President and CEO Jim Donovan tells patients of its St. Andrews Hospital that the hospital’s future direction wasn’t set by the decision to replace Meditech with Epic.

New York eHealth Collaborative names the winners of its Design Challenge for the Patient Portal for New Yorkers. Mana Health took first place.

In a Techonomy guest article, Jonathan Bush of athenahealth says VC funding of healthcare IT companies is “tragic” if you exclude HITECH, with the reason being (a) healthcare is not a shopper’s market; (b) the federal government stifles innovation and instead rewards risk aversion that he calls “the scenario of maximum regret” – audit, lawsuit, and death; (c) doctors are paid for volume instead of service, quality, and competitive pricing. His solutions aren’t nearly as decisive, but he naturally likes his own company’s innovation program.

An Arizona nurse sues her former physician business partner for blocking her access to their clinic’s computer systems, which she says prevented her from treating her patients.

Weird News Andy hopes his turn signals were working. A man accidentally amputates his arm while cleaning equipment, then puts it in the car and drives nine miles to the hospital, where he parks calmly in the parking lot, walks in, places the arm on the receptionist’s desk, and asks to have it reattached.

St. Luke’s Hospital (AZ) finds a 19-year-old student passed out in a wheelchair in its ED lobby, left there by his friends after 20 shots of tequila with a 0.47 percent blood alcohol level and a Post-It note stuck to him explaining that he had been involved in a drinking contest.

Sponsor Updates

  • Ping Identity CEO Andre Durand discusses how creating the right circumstances can lead to “eureka moments.”
  • Informatica introduces Informatica Cloud Summer 2013, the latest release of its integration and data management software which delivers native SAP connectivity, process automation, and MDM advances.
  • Caradigm signs an OEM agreement for BIO-key International’s fingerprint biometric technology for identity and access management.
  • McKesson expands its McKesson Gives Back Program nationwide and will provide up to 100 selected physicians with the McKesson Practice Choice EHR/PM program.
  • Impact Advisors principal Laura Kreofsky predicts that most organizations will experience Meaningful Use fatigue by 2015.
  • Winthrop Resources will participate in the International MUSE 2013 event May 28-31 in National Harbor, MD.
  • NTT Data will participate in the Open Data Center Alliance’s Forecast 2013 event in San Francisco June 17-18.
  • MedAssets calls for exhibitors for the 2013 Technology & Innovation Forum October 1 in Orlando. Deadline for submissions is June 3.
  • Bruce Eckert, national practice director for Beacon Partners, discusses habits of meaningful EHR users at the Arkansas HIMSS conference May 16.
  • Vitera Healthcare Solutions sponsored this week’s MediFuture 2023 that promoted disruptive innovation in healthcare in the Tampa Bay region.
  • Beacon Partners releases a white paper on the seven steps to know and do now to reach Meaningful Use Stage 2.
  • Intelligent InSites offers a white paper with tips for enterprise RTLS success and hosts a May 23 Webinar on the operational aspects of an intelligent hospital. 


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 14, 2013 News 1 Comment

Monday Morning Update 5/13/13

May 12, 2013 News 6 Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: PACS advice. TPD worked with Herman Oosterwijk at a previous employment and benefited from his knowledge of DICOM and its attributes. He just published an Aunt Minnie article on the top 10 things to consider when replacing your PACS. It’s well written and can help lead the migration to more robust PACS/RIS/Archive solutions. ”

From Leverage: “Re: MModal. For your expert to further reflect on, from S&P’s ‘Leveraged Commentary & Data,’ May 10, 2013.” I fear my excellent MBA finance grade may have been a sham given that I understood very little of the writeup, which was summarized as, “MModal is seeking roughly two years of covenant relief via a loan amendment package that launched yesterday afternoon. The deal is on a tight time frame, with responses due on Monday, sources said.” One Equity Partners, which acquired the company last year, will instead of executing an “equity cure” add $20 million in new equity.

From Quietly Working: “Re: McKesson. Has concluded that a shareholder relationship with Automation isn’t required to enable clinical and technological integration with healthcare software and pharmacy distribution providers. As such, McKesson has made the decision to divest the Automation business. Their intent to sell was announced earlier this week.” I did mention that along with the company’s decision to sell its international technology business in summarizing the earnings call last week.  

5-11-2013 7-48-14 AM

EHRs aren’t the problem when hospitals experience financial setbacks during or after their implementation, with 40 percent of respondents saying it’s more that hospitals have unrelated issues that they don’t address. New poll to your right: should Meaningful Use Stage 2 be delayed a year as recommended by CHIME?

5-12-2013 11-42-47 AM

Welcome to PerfectServe, sponsoring HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Connect at the Platinum level. PerfectServe’s cloud-based, HIPAA-compliant platform helps hospitals improve efficiency and care by providing reliable and secure clinical communications (voice, online, and mobile.) It’s used by more than 30,000 physicians to communicate more easily, representing more than 10,000 practices and 60 hospitals that include Advocate Health Care, MemorialCare, Hoag, WellStar, and Orlando Health. PerfectServe connects every clinician, whether on campus or off, allowing them to use voice-powered lookup by name or service and incorporating on-call schedules and physician preferences with every transaction documented and analyzable. Patient-endangering communications breakdowns caused by complicated coverage and communications rules are eliminated, while the average customer saves 12,000 hours each year in wasted nurse time. Just announced last week was DocLink, a private and secure HIPAA-compliant texting, voice messaging, and real-time call routing system for doctor-to-doctor communication. The company offers case studies (the one I read randomly involved reducing time to treatment of stroke patients by simultaneously notifying both the neurologist and neuroendovascular specialist with escalation or backup for non-response), white papers, and studies. Thanks to PerfectServe for supporting HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Connect.

Here’s a YouTube video illustrating how nurses contact physicians using PerfectServe by telephone.

5-12-2013 2-12-26 PM

UPMC made an $18 million profit on its $35 million investment in Israel-based interoperability technology vendor dbMotion when the company was sold to Allscripts for $235 million in March 2013. 

5-11-2013 7-58-58 AM 5-11-2013 7-59-57 AM

CIC Advisory names Liz McNamara, MHA (ECG Management Consultants) as business intelligence service line leader and Eric Zuhlke, RN, BSN, PMP (Abrazo Health Care) as IT strategy and planning service line leader.

5-12-2013 11-05-51 AM

Aventura will announced Monday that it has promoted VP of Sales and Marketing John Gobron to acting CEO, replacing the retiring Howard Diamond.

5-11-2013 8-46-31 AM

Eric Novack, MD, PhD (Valley Orthopaedic Consultants) joins Intelligent InSites as senior medical advisor.

5-11-2013 8-54-47 AM

Bobbie Byrne, MD, MBA, VP/CIO of Edward Hospital (IL), tells me they went live on Epic big bang at both hospitals on April 28, on time and on budget. They’ve hit CPOE numbers in the 75 percent range since go-live day, impressive given that it’s a community hospital with few in-house physicians. I interviewed her in December 2011 (she had some very interesting thoughts, having been an Eclipsys SVP and CCHIT clinical director) and I have proposed that we do an update.

MModal’s Catalyst for Quality wins the top healthcare IT innovation award from the North Carolina Health Information and Communications Alliance and Intel.

A Brandeis professor of health policy says CMS’s release of hospital charge master data for common Medicare DRGs is “useless and misleading” because nobody pays list prices for services, hospitals tune their individual charges based on payor mix and desired margin, and the public has no idea what any of this means. A Harvard public health professor says the information offers one benefit: “It helps people understand how ridiculous and complex our system has become.”

5-12-2013 11-11-55 AM

Vince Ciotti offers a tip for frequent travelers: spend the $100 for a five-year registration for TSA’s Pre-Check program. He used it for the first time at LAX last week and skipped the mile-long security lines, only needing to have his boarding pass scanned at the empty pre-check security lane, a standard X-ray with shoes and belt on instead of the full-body scan, and then a standard bag X-ray except that laptops and liquids don’t require removal. I also noticed that the program was expanded to some international flights last week.

Forbes contributor, Avada CEO Dave Chase, says Tampa, FL is throwing out the marketing and tax breaks approaches to get corporations to locate there and instead will pitch its lower healthcare costs, second only to payroll expense as a cost of running a white collar business. The city’s May 13 MediFuture 2023 event features Harvard professor author Clay Christensen talking about disruptive healthcare innovation. Chase, who is also speaking at the event, says hospitals are making the same mistakes newspaper publishers made in the 1990s in worry about competition from each other instead of from outsiders. Examples of the “shadow” healthcare system are workplace clinics, national primary care providers, retail clinics, domestic medical tourism, and Medicare Advantage programs.

District Medical Group (AZ) implements a medical scribe program at two Phoenix children’s clinics as doctors learn to use their new EMR. An orthopedic surgeon says the scribes eliminated transcription costs and improved the revenue cycle, adding that, “Scribes may have very well saved the clinic by helping with the implementation of the new EMR. Having EMSS [the scribe service] here definitely allowed the clinic to get back up to its running speed in less than the anticipated amount of time."

In the UK, debt-ridden Rotherham Hospital Trust is criticized for paying a US consultant almost $40,000 per month to try to save its struggling $60 million Meditech implementation that has caused lost appointments and financial problems.  

5-11-2013 8-40-18 AM

Allscripts (one-year share price in blue vs. the Nasdaq above) reported all-around bad quarterly numbers last week. From Thursday afternoon’s conference call:

  • CEO Paul Black stated that the lawsuit against New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., filed when Glen Tullman was running the company, was dropped because, “This management team does not believe it is in the company’s long-term interest to pursue such litigation.” You may recall that the lawsuit won the attention of HIStalk readers, who proclaimed it the “Stupidest Vendor Move” of 2012 in the HISsies awards voting.
  • Black predicts that rip-and-replace projects will wane.
  • The company’s focus seems to be moving toward integrating disparate systems, or as Black described it, “Innovation to accelerate our leadership in ensuring multivendor interoperability through open community architecture.” That led to the acquisition of dbMotion and Jardogs (now Follow My Health) as well as the GA of Allscripts Community Care Director, which hospitals use to manage post-hospital care.
  • Black said, “Sunrise Financial Manager is one factor impacting our ability to capture larger mind share within our client base.”
  • The consolidation of offices was mentioned as one cost-cutting move, with the hopes of saving $50 million per year by 2014.
  • Company revenue was down because of the shift to subscription-based contracts (apparently that excuse was part of the Eclipsys acquisition since that company used it every quarter for years). Allscripts reported revenue drops in both system sales and maintenance for the quarter.
  • Less than 25 percent of Sunrise clients are running 6.0, with many of them planning to skip that release and jump to 6.1 instead.
  • When asked how Allscripts pitches against competitors, Black mentioned revenue cycle management, hosting, total outsourcing, and population health management.

Also notable from the Allscripts earnings call is the highest and most annoying concentration of the phrase “kind of like,” this impressive demonstration of a verbal crutch firepower coming from the Morgan Stanley analyst’s question: “So can you just kind of like give us a little bit more color about kind of like your clients? Are they making kind of like long-term retention commitments? Or are clients more kind of like taking it — taking more of a wait-and-see approach and kind of like taking it kind of like one step at a time?”

5-12-2013 11-22-20 AM

ESD celebrated Mother’s Day by providing surprise Mother’s Day gifts for each of the women at Mom’s House of Toledo, which helps low-income single mothers earn an education that will allow them to break the cycle of poverty and welfare.

Vince finishes up his HIS-tory of GE Healthcare, covering its very early entry into healthcare in the 1960s, its exit in the 1970s, its re-entry in the 1990s, and what Vince says could be the company’s fall back down the healthcare IT revenue chart. He brings up an item that I may have missed: GEHC sold its Centricity Pharmacy product to Canada-based BDM IT Solutions in March 2013, which is interesting because GE bought BDM Information Systems and its RxTFC system in 2002 and renamed it Centricity Pharmacy.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 12, 2013 News 6 Comments

News 5/10/13

May 9, 2013 News 7 Comments

Top News

5-9-2013 7-31-07 PM

Allscripts reports Q1 results: revenue down 4.8 percent, EPS –$0.07 vs. $0.03, missing estimates on both.

Reader Comments

From IT Exec: “Re: HIStalk. Thanks for everything you do. My day wouldn’t be complete without spending a few hours on there.” Thanks. Mine either.

From PCP Doc: “Re: athenahealth. Just got back from their user conference. Jonathan Bush did not mince words on stage, just like in their earnings call, when talking about ‘companies of Epic proportions.’ Athena going to Haiti to install an EMR in a rural clinic that treats spinal injury patients was a noble touch.”

From Green Lantern: “Re: CMIO searches. I am aware of a couple of hospital systems that restarted their search rather than make an offer to an existing applicant. Does that happen often with CMIO searches vs. other C-level corporate officers? Are there enough applicants, or are hospitals being unreasonable?” Your thoughts are welcome.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small Highlights from HIStalk Practice this week: the AMA’s board of trustees chair criticizes the federal government for mandating the use of EHRs under threat of monetary penalty while simultaneously accusing providers of cloning documentation. Frederica Krueger responds to the AMA’s complaints in a “Nightmare on EHR Street” Readers Write post. DigiChart changes its name to Artemis. American Medical News reviews the status of various lawsuits against Allscripts since the company announced plans to stop regulatory development of its MyWay product. CMS creates a timeline for aligning quality measurement and reporting for multiple initiatives. Dr. Gregg considers patient engagement and patient empowerment from both the provider and consumer points of view. Get your fix of ambulatory HIT news and sign up for the email updates while you are there. Thanks for reading.

On the Jobs Page: Open Positions in Development, Senior Manager Engineering Development, Clinical Analyst.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

5-9-2013 7-31-44 PM

HealthTap raises $24 million in series B funding led by Khosla Ventures.

5-9-2013 7-32-33 PM

Alere reports Q1 results: revenue up 10 percent, EPS $0.09 vs. –$0.05, beating expectations on both. The company also acknowledged that an investment firm that is a major shareholder will launch a proxy fight.

5-9-2013 10-04-47 PM

The Advisory Board Company reports Q4 results: revenue up 19.1 percent, adjusted EPS $0.33 vs. $0.31, beating analyst expectations for both.

5-9-2013 7-29-59 PM

Canada-based vertical software vendor Constellation Software acquires Quantitative Medical Systems of Emeryville, CA, which offers dialysis-specific revenue cycle and EMR software.


5-9-2013 6-16-19 PM

The Mount Sinai Medical Center signs a multi-year agreement for Cureatr, a mobile app designed by one of its residents that offers HIPAA-secure group text messaging for care coordination.

Chicago Health System ACO (Vanguard Health Systems) selects Care Team Connect’s integrated care management platform.

SSM Health Care – St. Louis (MO) selects the EDCO Health Information Solutions day forward medical record scanning services for use at its seven area facilities.

Quality Health Solutions, formed to support the virtual network of seven healthcare systems and Medical College of Wisconsin, chooses population health management and clinical integration solutions from Valence Health.


5-9-2013 9-14-13 AM  5-9-2013 9-17-38 AM    5-9-2013 1-21-59 PM
Culbert Healthcare Solutions adds Jason Faaborg (Dell), Tom Gurdak (CSC), and David Howe (Public Consulting Group) as VPs of sales.

5-9-2013 6-25-26 PM

Forbes profiles Imprivata CEO Omar Hussain in an article on leadership.

5-9-2013 7-22-43 PM

Adventist Midwest Health names Thomas Schoenig (Wyoming Medical Center) as regional CIO.

5-9-2013 8-40-57 PM

Care collaboration platform vendor CareInSync names Steve Curd president and CEO. The company also announced a follow-on investment from California HealthCare Foundation’s Health Innovation Fund.

NCPDP names First Databank’s VP of Health Policy and Industry Relations Tom Bizzaro to its board of trustees.

Mike Vandiver (SecureWorks) joins Ingenious Med as CFO.

Charlie Ditkoff (Bank of America Merrill Lynch) joins Cumberland Consulting Group’s board.

Announcements and Implementations

5-9-2013 9-37-23 AM

Royal Philips and Al Faisaliah Medical Systems open Philips Healthcare Saudi Arabia, a 50-50 joint venture to market and sell Philips solutions and services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

5-9-2013 10-04-50 AM

Geisinger Health System (PA) will give patients access to their doctors’ notes in its RWJF-funded OpenNotes program, in which 82 percent of participating patients opened up at least one EMR note.

5-9-2013 7-39-33 PM

Martin’s Point Health Care will present at the AQA meeting in Washington, DC on May 13. They use Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager at all nine sites and 70 provider panels for micro and macro reporting.

API Healthcare and TeleTracking Technologies enter into a strategic partnership to offer API’s workforce optimization solutions and TeleTracking’s workflow automation offerings.

Project MIST takes first place in an athenahealth and MIT H@cking Medicine-sponsored hack-a-thon for its glaucoma eyedrop spray canister.

Lake Tahoe Regional Hospitalists (NV) and Shasta County Hospitalists (CA) deploy MedAptus for inpatient charge capture.

5-9-2013 10-09-07 PM

Rochester General Hospital (NY) implements EDCO Health Information Solutions’ point of care batch medical record scanning solution.

Government and Politics

HHS releases data on inpatient charges that shows significant variations in pricing, such as joint replacement that ranges from $5,300 to $223,000.

Innovation and Research

5-9-2013 9-49-26 PM

Healthfundr launches its equity-based crowdfunding platform for health startups, open to accredited investors only and working with more established companies.



Epic gives VMware Horizon View “Target Platform” status for EMR delivery through a virtual clinical desktop, quoting Metro Health CIO William Lewkowski as saying the move is saving his organization $1.6 million per year.




5-9-2013 10-12-15 PM

Fletcher Allen Health Care (VT) will lay off 40 staff members and outsource its transcription services to Nuance Communications, which will offer jobs to 35 affected transcriptionists.

5-9-2013 6-32-04 PM

The Leapfrog Group finds in its spring update that hospitals have made only incremental progress in addressing errors, accidents, injuries, and infections that kill or hurt patients. Sixteen hospitals received an “F” grade.

Gila Regional Medical Center (NM), struggling with uninsured patient volumes, downgrades employees, halts an expansion project, and postpones implementation of a new hospital information system.

Keynote speakers at the MUSE conference May 28-31 in Washington, DC will be Farzad Mostashari and George Will.

5-8-2013 3-03-08 PM

A Surescripts report finds that 69 percent of office-based physicians actively e-prescribed last year and nearly half of patient visits generated an electronically-delivered medication history, 31 percent more than in 2011.

Allscripts will add 350 new jobs over the next five years in Raleigh, NC as it consolidates its US engineering centers. State officials will extend up to $5.35 million in incentives if Allscripts meets investment and hiring goals and maintains its 1,266 jobs in Raleigh.

5-9-2013 3-52-39 PM

An eight-country survey of physicians finds that 93 percent of US physicians report using an EMR. E-prescribing rates were highest (65 percent) among US providers, as were rates for entering patient notes into EMRs (78 percent.) While the majority of doctors in all countries report EMR and HIE have had a positive impact on their practice, US doctors were the least likely to report that their use reduced organizational costs.

Ken Roberts, MD and Jim Granfortuna, MD sing about EHRs in “Our Song of Epic Proportions.”

5-9-2013 8-06-59 PM

Weird News Andy wonders, “What is it with Brazilians and harpoons lately?” A couple of weeks ago a Brazilian guy accidentally shot a harpoon into his own head. Now a Brazilian man cleaning his spear gun in the living room accidentally shoots off a spear that goes through the mouth of his wife, who was in the kitchen at the time. She’ll recover fully. And in another incident, a Brazilian teen fishing in the Amazon River mistakes his brother for a fish, shooting a harpoon into his face and then paddling 195 miles in a canoe to take him to the hospital.

WNA also ponders this story, in which a South Florida plastic surgeon is arrested for using waterboarding-type torture on his girlfriend for 16 hours after being angered by her Facebook post.


Sponsor Updates

5-9-2013 7-02-12 PM

  • Consulting firm Virtelligence and its client Cone Health (NC) donated 400 tree seedlings via the Arbor Day Foundation to the Guilford County School System, whose students planted the trees around the Triad. The company tracked the number of pages printed during the Epic implementation and used an online program to estimate the number of trees required (361) to manufacture it.
  • NTT Data moves its North American corporate headquarters to Plano, TX.
  • EClinicalWorks releases agenda details for its 2013 National Users Conference October 11-14 in San Antonio.
  • Holon Solutions hosts a May 15 Webinar introducing the value of building an HIE.
  • Sandlot Solutions Director Rosalind Bell discusses how recent emergencies highlight the need for HIEs.
  • Billian’s HealthDATA releases its Provider Portal benchmarking database, which gives hospitals and health systems data for competitive analysis.
  • In a company blog post, Patientco addresses the growing patient payment problem.
  • Red Herring names Awarepoint, InstaMed, and Kony Solutions finalists for its 2013 Top 100 North American Award, which honors private technology ventures.
  • Aspen Advisors consultants will co-present at two sessions during next week’s Texas HIMSS Conference in San Antonio. Aspen’s Director of Clinical Informatics Mark Van Kooy, MD will participate in a panel discussion during an executive summit in San Francisco May 15-17.
  • Kathy LePar, VP of strategic services for Beacon Partners, offers recommendations for healthcare organizations for creating an integrated, holistic approach to strategic enterprise initiatives.

EPtalk  by Dr. Jayne

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signs the State Physician Shield Act, which is aimed at preventing use of Affordable Care Act provisions to establish standard of care in liability cases. Supporters want to ensure that payment guidelines aren’t used to define care standards to the exclusion of individual patient factors or other clinical standards.

CMS releases Medicare provider charge data for the top 100 most frequently billed discharges across 3,000 hospitals. The variation across some procedures is as much as tenfold.

CNBC recently ran a piece on bad habits demonstrated by younger job-seekers. There are certainly a lot of relatively young workers in IT departments, but I’ve found that regardless of age, behavior is becoming more boorish. I may not be Emily Post, but I’d like to offer some etiquette tips for the age of social media:

  • Learn how to put your phone on silent. Practice this skill often.
  • Texting or checking e-mail on your phone while in face-to-face meetings is just rude.
  • Choosing “Darth Vader’s Theme” as your supervisor’s ringtone is not a career-advancing move, especially if you haven’t learned to put your phone on silent.
  • If you’re hosting a Web-based meeting and sharing your desktop, turn your instant messenger and e-mail notifiers off. I’m tired of seeing embarrassing, unprofessional, and distracting messages come across while I’m trying to work with you.
  • If you’re attending a meeting by conference call, don’t multitask unless you have the skills to pull it off. Asking, “Can you repeat that? I was on mute.” makes no sense and brands you as inattentive and illogical.
  • If you join a meeting late, don’t waste the group’s time with excuses. Say “I’m sorry” then sit down and get to work.
  • Lock your Facebook page down like Fort Knox unless you can keep your mouth shut. Do you really think it’s smart to advertise to your co-workers that you accepted prime hockey tickets from a vendor and thereby violated corporate policy?
  • Learn how to use Scheduling Assistant, Busy Search, or whatever tools your company uses when inviting people to meetings. If an attendee is already booked and you make them “required,” have the courtesy to discuss it and obtain approval first.


Speaking of meeting etiquette, it’s been a rough week, so I was happy to see a tweet for The Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary. I think I’m going to try “acluistic” in a meeting I have scheduled for tomorrow and see if anyone figures it out.



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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 9, 2013 News 7 Comments

News 5/8/13

May 7, 2013 News 8 Comments

Top News

5-7-2013 10-43-55 PM

McKesson reports Q4 results: revenue down 3.4 percent, adjusted EPS $1.45 vs. $2.09, missing expectations on both. In the earnings call, John Hammergren mentions that the company will exit its international technology and hospital automation business. I don’t know which product lines hospital automation includes, for instance whether that means the medication packaging and distribution systems business (ROBOT-Rx, AcuDose-RX, etc.) Technology solutions revenues were up 3 percent, but profit was down 16 percent, “well below our expectations.”

Reader Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows 8. The unfriendly start menu for Windows 8 has Microsoft scrambling to fix the problem.” The company admits that its flagship product has a steep learning curve as it forced users to use its touchscreen-friendly tile-based graphical system instead of giving them the familiar Start button.

From Kaye: “Re: HIStalk sponsorship. This remains the best value we get for the money in advertising!” Thanks – that’s a nice comment and we appreciate it, especially coming from a company that has sponsored multiple HIStalk sites since 2009.

5-7-2013 10-45-46 PM

From Anesthesiologist: “Re: Google Glass. How can I partner with companies to develop applications that might be useful in the perioperative setting?” If you’re interested in working with this doc, e-mail me and I’ll forward to him.

From Arcane: “Re: Epic implementation. Do you know of a source for rollout and post-live support staffing numbers?” I have many readers and consulting firms that have implemented Epic, so please add a comment with your thoughts.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

5-7-2013 10-46-35 PM

Greenway reports Q3 results: revenue up 3 percent, adjusted EPS $0.01 vs. $0.08, beating earnings estimates of –$0.02  but falling well short of revenue expectations. The company blames a faster-than-expected shift to subscription-based pricing. Shares are near their 52-week low. President and CEO Tee Green also said in the earnings call that with HITECH in the rear-view mirror, buyer fatigue has set in over the past several quarters. Training revenue was also impacted, he said, by customers choosing train-the-trainer and pushing training back to after the quarter’s close.  He also said that Greenway’s participation in CommonWell hasn’t resulted in any sales (without expressing puzzlement at the analyst who apparently thought it might) but said more companies are signing on.

5-7-2013 10-47-20 PM

InstaMed raises $3.5 million in an internal round of funding.

5-7-2013 10-48-05 PM

Healthcare transaction processing firm MediSwipe signs a term sheet with a Chicago-based PE fund to receive up to $600,000 over the next nine months.

5-7-2013 10-48-35 PM

Vocera Communications reports Q1 numbers: revenue down 3.1 percent, EPS –$0.14 vs. -$0.08. CEO and Chairman Bob Zollars says the company saw an increase in new customer signings but did not complete several significant hospital deals.

Siemens Healthcare posts a 4.9 percent increase in Q1 profits, although revenues fell 2 percent.

5-7-2013 10-50-27 PM

Qualcomm Life acquires HealthyCircles, a startup that supports the secure sharing of patient data.

WebMD CEO Cavan Redmond, who has been on the job less than a year, will leave the company, along with CFO Anthony Vuolo.

Perceptive Software blames recent acquisitions for its decision to lay off about 40 employees, or three percent of its workforce.


5-7-2013 10-51-42 PM

Massachusetts General Hospital selects eHealth Connect Referral Portal from eHealth Technologies to support two-way communication between the hospital and its referring doctors.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust chooses Harris Corporation’s Clinical Integration Platform to integrate data from six clinical systems across five sites. East Kent will also use Imprivata’s OneSign single sign- on technology.

Upper Peninsula Home Health, Hospice and Private Duty (MI) will implement the Procura for Hospice solution.

SCL Health System (CO) selects Leap-10 from Wolters Kluwer Health to streamline its conversion to ICD-10.

Amarillo Legacy Medical ACO (TX) selects eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record to advance its ACO objectives and coordinate care among its 100+ provider members.

Physical Rehabilitation Network will deploy NextGen Healthcare’s EHR, PM, PatientPortal, and NextPen products across its 100+ locations and use NextGenRCM Services for revenue cycle management.

Virtual Radiologic signs a five-year deal with Visage Imaging to implement Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform for its 400 radiologists in a read-anywhere environment.


5-7-2013 10-38-08 AM

Ernst & Young names Intellect Resources President and CEO Tiffany Crenshaw a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 in the Southeast region.

5-7-2013 11-09-04 AM

Former Cerner VP Ian Chuang, MD joins Netsmart Technology as CMO/VP of healthcare informatics.

5-7-2013 11-14-09 AM

Former National Coordinator Robert M. Kolodner, MD joins telehealth provider ViTel Net as VP/CMO.

5-7-2013 2-26-52 PM

Care Team Connect names Richard Popiel, MD (Regence BCBS) to its board.

5-7-2013 3-32-46 PM

Healthcare software solution provider MedicaSoft, LLC appoints Mike O’Neill (VA Center for Innovation) CEO.

5-7-2013 7-29-50 PM

Beebe Medical Center (DE) names Michael J. Maksymow, Jr. (Continuum Health Alliance) VP/CIO.

5-7-2013 10-27-30 PM 5-7-2013 10-28-38 PM

QPID hires Gary Zakon (ModelLogic) as VP of engineering and Caroline Smyth (Smyth Consulting) as VP of sales.

5-7-2013 8-31-06 PM 5-7-2013 8-31-57 PM

Eric J. Topol, MD is named editor-in-chief of Medscape. What’s most interesting to me is that his ongoing full-time employer Scripps Clinic apparently Photoshopped his black suit jacket to look like a white lab coat in the pictures above from their site.

Announcements and Implementations

Access is named as a Meditech Collaborative Solutions vendor, offering Meditech customers an integrated solution to capture and upload electronic signatures and data collected from clinical systems and medical devices.

5-7-2013 10-53-44 PM

Johns Hopkins Medicine integrates Epic with Hyland Software’s OnBase enterprise content management solution in its ambulatory and inpatient departments.

Philips launches Healthcare Transformation Services, a global business unit to provide consulting services to hospitals and health systems.

Trustwave introduces a mobile security practice to help enterprises with their BYOD strategies.

HCA MidAmerica Division equips seven hospitals and multiple physician offices in its Midwest region with Accelarad’s medical imaging solution.

Lifespan (RI) completes its rollout of the the TeamNotes electronic documentation system from Salar.

5-7-2013 8-07-30 PM

PerfectServe launches DocLink, a secure communications network for physician-to-physician communication.

Government and Politics

5-7-2013 10-21-35 AM

ONC publishes a governance framework for trusted health information exchange to help HIEs and other healthcare organizations understand ONC’s priorities and how to align with “national priorities.”

5-7-2013 10-54-20 AM

CHIME recommends in a letter to six Republican senators a one-year extension for Stage 2 MU before progressing to Stage 3. CHIME contends the extra year will give providers the opportunity to maximize their EHR technology to achieve the benefits of Stage 1 and 2 and give vendors time to “prepare, develop and deliver needed technology to correspond with Stage 3.”

5-7-2013 9-10-19 PM

Deputy National Coordinator Judy Murphy, RN kicks off National Nurses Week with a blog post on the role of nurses in healthcare IT and an invitation for nurses to share their stories.

Innovation and Research

5-7-2013 8-55-50 PM

UCSF creates the Center for Digital Health Information. It will be led by UCSF Medical Center CMIO Michael Blum, MD, who will assume the newly created position of associate vice chancellor for informatics and who will continue to lead its Epic implementation (physician leaders of the project are pictured above, with Blum on the left). Current projects include a team-based communications platform, an open source diabetes management system, a Web-based collaboration tool for virtual tumor boards, and a social media-based cardiovascular study.

Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health will hold a Google Glass event in Washington, DC the evening of June 18.

5-7-2013 10-17-39 PM

South Carolina-based Iron Yard launches the Digital Health Program accelerator and incubator in the Spartanburg area.


Bloomberg TV covers the technology used by Palomar Medical Center (CA) and the "hospital of the future.” Palomar Health Chief Innovation Officer Orlando Portale is featured.


An Imprivata-sponsored study finds that clinicians waste 45 minutes per day in using inefficient communication systems such as pagers.

Hospital IT leaders are focused on accommodating greater mobile and wireless connectivity to their networks and with ensuring the security of patient data in BYOD environments, according to a HIMSS Analytics study.

5-7-2013 8-13-09 PM

A Raleigh, NC clinic warns patients that it was scammed by a company that claimed it would digitize the practice’s old X-rays, but instead harvested their silver content and then destroyed the films.

5-7-2013 10-56-14 PM

University of Rochester Medical Center warns 537 patients that their PHI may have been compromised when a resident lost a USB drive containing quality improvement information. The hospital thinks it went to the laundry and was destroyed.

John Halamka reports on new Meditech 6.1 development after mixed response to Version 6: a cloud-hosted system based on standards, Web-centric and mobile-enabled, with both inpatient and outpatient capabilities, complete with analytics, a PHR, and care management tools. He says it will ship in 2014.

5-7-2013 9-01-55 PM

Drug chain CVS shuts down its drug company-sponsored refill reminder program because of limitations imposed by the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule on using patient information for marketing.

Weird News Andy refers to this story as “brain drain.” A man who thought his year-round runny nose was caused by allergies finds that it’s actually brain fluid leaking from a tiny hole. It’s been fixed and he’s fine. WNA also likes this story, in which researchers claim to have found the cause of graying hair (hydrogen peroxide buildup in the hair follicle) and a cure for both gray hair and vitiligo (a proprietary treatment involving a UV-activated enzyme).

Sponsor Updates

5-7-2013 10-36-38 PM


  • API Healthcare and The DAISY Foundation offer The Nurses Week Story Contest, with submissions from nurses due May 12.
  • McKesson releases version 13.0 of its Homecare solution.
  • Orion posts a video featuring Orion clients that have solved interoperability challenges.
  • More than 200 hospitals using CareWorks content management system from CareTech Solutions have received 32 Website awards in the past year.
  • Truven Health Analytics finds that healthcare spending is 20 percent higher for public sector employees than for the private employee population.
  • Passport Health Communications names Texas Health Resources, Trinity Medical Center (AL), and Kadlec Regional Medical Center (VA) winners of its Leaders at the Forefront of the Healthcare Experience contest for best healthcare access management practices.
  • Gwinnett Medical Center (GA) discusses how using RelayHealth services helped the hospital remove patient billing obstacles.
  • iHT2 hosts a May 29 Webinar on security, privacy, and compliance risks in a post-reform era.
  • Greenway Medical President and CEO Tee Green discusses the compatibility of innovation and other topics with PGA tour partner Jason Dufner.
  • Red Herring names Kony Solutions a finalist for its Top 100 North America award, which honors the year’s most promising private technology ventures.
  • EBSCO announces its intent to collaborate with the American College of Physicians to give ACP access to its DynaMed evidence-based clinical summary resources and literature surveillance.
  • Gartner names Health Catalyst to its list of Cool Vendors in Healthcare Providers 2013 and profiles Shareable Ink in its update on 2011 winners.
  • Greenway Medical releases agenda details for its PrimeLEADER 2013 user conference in Washington, DC August 22-25.
  • CommVault launches a customer education services program that includes customized user training and access to online training courses for its Simpana software.
  • ADP launches a Website to help clients and other employers plan for and comply with the Affordable Care Act.
  • Nuance names seven healthcare organizations winners of its Voice of the Customer award for improving quality of care, reducing costs, and accelerating EMR adoption using speech recognition and clinical language technology.
  • CCHIT extends EHR Module certification to the latest version of the Medseek Empower patient portal.
  • TELUS Health and McGill University enter a three-year joint venture to conduct research on how best to use technology to improve health and healthcare delivery for Canadians.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 7, 2013 News 8 Comments

Monday Morning Update 5/6/13

May 5, 2013 News 16 Comments

5-4-2013 3-43-24 PM

From MaineMan: “Re: MaineHealth / Maine Medical Center. Names interim CIO.” According to the March 25 employee newsletter, Andy Crowder (JC Solutions Group and Florida Hospital before that) is serving as interim CIO.

From The PACS Designer: “R: Intel’s Haswell. We are about to enter a much faster PC user experience with architecture from Intel called Haswell. One of the key features is Haswell provides is a nine-hour battery life through the use of more efficient chips. You can expect to see Haswell powered PC’s in the fourth quarter.” The article says the chip may revive the rapidly dying PC business by making them more competitive with tablets. Of course, that’s what Intel said about the Ultrabook, which hasn’t made Intel-powered laptops a bit more attractive vs. a Macbook Air or an iPad.

5-4-2013 2-00-21 PM

Three-quarters of respondents don’t think it makes sense for innovation conferences to exclude hospitals and physicians under the assumption that they helped cause the problems that seen to require more innovative approaches. New poll to your right: several hospitals have reported financial losses that occurred as they were implementing an EHR. Who is to blame?

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

5-5-2013 9-32-33 AM
5-5-2013 9-26-12 AM
5-5-2013 9-33-39 AM
5-5-2013 9-31-32 AM
5-5-2013 9-19-25 AM
5-5-2013 9-22-33 AM
5-5-2013 9-24-10 AM
5-5-2013 9-23-19 AM
5-5-2013 9-20-44 AM
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5-5-2013 9-30-42 AM

Two NHS trusts running NPfIT’s Cerner implementation issue tenders for replacement systems.

5-4-2013 2-51-08 PM

Centegra (IL) will go live on McKesson Paragon on May 6.

Some quotes from Jonathan Bush during the athenahealth earnings call Friday:

  • The company that started as an ill-fated birthing clinic and used to hold all-hands meetings from the tailgate of the Jeep Wagoneer is entering the big show. We have done well at the land war that is selling back office services doctor-to-doctor and hospital-to-hospital, but for the first time, we have a crack at the hearts and minds campaign.
  • Take athenaCoordinator. It is a really easy way for any health caregiver to connect to every other one without the complexity of an organ transplant. It is a two-week sales cycle and a two-hour implementation process.
  • We’ve already just announced today Epocrates EDU, which is a whole version of Epocrates to help educators, medical schools, the texting that we are going to be rolling out, secure HIPAA-compliant, patient-related texting between doctors. We’ll be able to attach links to athenaClinicals next year so that doctors who aren’t clients of athenaClinicals will be able to take a quick look at a patient face sheet in athenaClinicals.
  • I think we are seeing — particularly the folks who got pregnant with Epic, sort of they’re going to this sort of desperate burn-bright tactics. We heard where Yale-New Haven has told all the doctors that have privileges that they will either this piece of shit Epic that none of them want or do you have their privileges revoked. So there’s that kind of tactic going on. "Oh, we can’t interface." I’m like, "What you mean? Epic interfaces all the time. They actually do it really well." … The folks that have gone off and laid down more money than they have on Epic have, in the back of their mind, that they are going to make a real impact on referral patterns by getting doctors on to Epic that don’t want to be on it. And it’s — really, Epic is the only one. Cerner builds interfaces, no problem.

5-4-2013 3-19-19 PM

TriZetto announces that CEO Trace Devanny will leave the company immediately after two years on the job “to pursue other opportunities” as a search is undertaken for his replacement. EVP/COO Jude Dieterman is promoted to president, a newly created role. Board member Vicky Gregg will assume the role of non-executive chair.

Intermountain Healthcare is working with Blue Cirrus Consulting to develop a homegrown tele-ICU solution.

UCSF lauches MeForYou.org at the OME Precision Medicine Summit. The precision medicine project will link people with genetically similar others via their genomic information, environmental factors, and their EHR information to help guide clinicians. They differentiate it from personalized medicine in that in precision medicine, the information used goes beyond genomic data and scientists can tap into that information directly to guide research and treatment.

5-4-2013 4-41-19 PM

Team Break Fix won the $25,000 grand prize at the Cajun Codefest 2.0 in Lafayette, LA last week.

Weird News Andy says this gives heart attacks the finger. The EndoPat test predicts heart problems by checking blood flow in the fingers.

Vince has a Part 3 installment on GE Healthcare in this week’s HIS-tory.

Sponsor Updates

  • Cynthia Davis, RN, co-founder and principal of CIC Advisory, is named Entrepreneur Woman of the Year by the St. Petersburg (FL) Area Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Council.
  • Allscripts posts the agenda for its ACE conference, to be held August 20-23 in Chicago.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 5, 2013 News 16 Comments

News 5/3/13

May 2, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

5-2-2013 10-44-47 PM

A selectman and software developer from Edgecomb, ME blames MaineHealth’s decision to close a local ER on the health system’s $150 million Epic implementation. The selectman’s letter to the editor to the local newspaper notes that MaineHealth has charged “millions of dollars” to member hospitals, but has had “a real failure in its implementation,” resulting in unplanned operational costs with minimal benefit to the state. Meanwhile, in a memo to employees last week, Maine Medical Center’s CEO listed several causes for its $13.4 million loss in the first half of the fiscal year, including “unintended financial consequences” of its Epic rollout as well as incorrect charging. The organization has placed further Epic implementations on hold as teams from Epic and the hospital try to fix problems.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small A few HIStalk Practice highlights from the last week: patients say the most bothersome aspect of doctor visits is unclear or incomplete explanations of problems. Health Texas Provider Network partners with MediMobile for its mobile charge capture solution. The number of physician office jobs for billers and medical record clerks has declined sharply over the last two years. Epocrates is the most popular mobile app among US physician app users. Athenahealth names St. Boniface Haiti Foundation the winner of its 2013 Vision Award. Physicians are generally making more money this year than last, but are also spending more time on paperwork. Most news items on HIStalk Practice are not mentioned HIStalk, so peruse HIStalk Practice regularly to stay current on the ambulatory HIT world. Thanks for reading.

On the sponsor-only Jobs Page: Regional Sales Director, Senior Director of Business Development, Senior Manager Engineering Development, Open Positions in Development.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

5-2-2013 10-45-35 PM

Merge Healthcare reports Q1 results: revenue up 4.3 percent, EPS –$0.07 vs. –$0.02, missing earnings estimates.

5-2-2013 10-46-12 PM

API Healthcare announces the signing of over 25 contracts in Q1 and bookings that were 25 percent higher than the same period in  2012.

5-2-2013 10-48-26 PM

MedAssets announces Q1 numbers: revenue up 15.3 percent, adjusted EPS $0.41 vs. $0.24, beating expectations on both.

5-2-2013 10-49-46 PM

Athenahealth announces Q1 results: revenue up 30 percent, adjusted EPS $0.38 vs. $0.17, beating on both but adjusting fiscal year EPS guidance to below consensus.


5-2-2013 10-51-29 PM

University of Nevada School of Medicine chooses GE Healthcare’s Centricity Business, Centricity Practice Solution, and Centricity PACS-IW.

Filmore County Hospital (NE) selects NextGen Healthcare’s Inpatient Clinicals and Inpatient Financials.

Baylor Quality Alliance (TX) chooses Humedica MinedShare from Optum to analyze administrative and clinical data from payers, various EHRs, and the Baylor Health Care System HIE.

Louisiana Specialty Hospital will implement ONE-Electronic Health Record from RazorInsights. 

5-3-2013 7-08-25 AM

MD Anderson Cancer Center (TX) chooses Epic as its vendor of choice, according to an internal memo forwarded by a reader. Other readers had reported that same rumor late last week, saying that Epic had beaten Cerner as VOC.


5-2-2013 6-25-04 PM

UNC Health Care (NC) interim CIO Tracy Parham, RN is named permanent CIO, where she will lead its Epic project.

5-2-2013 6-47-56 PM

Parallon Business Solutions names John Guevara (Allscripts ) as CIO.

5-2-2013 7-14-00 PM

Patient Privacy Rights names Adrian Gropper, MD (HealthURL Consulting) as CTO.

5-2-2013 7-48-03 PM

Stephen Collins (Allscripts) is named president of Austin-based behavioral charting system vendor ChartAssist.

5-2-2013 8-07-48 PM

The Advisory Board Company CEO Robert Musslewhite is named by Washingtonian as one of its 100 Tech Titans and is also profiled in a feature in The New York Times.

Galen Healthcare Solutions appoints Joel Splan (Northwestern Memorial Healthcare) as CEO.

Announcements and Implementations

Rockdale Medical Center (GA) implements Nuance’s PowerScribe 360 voice recognition software for the dictation of imaging reports.

5-2-2013 8-53-10 AM

PointClear will move its corporate headquarters from Huntsville, AL to Dunwoody, GA.

5-2-2013 11-02-55 AM

McKesson recognizes Peninsula Regional Medical Center (MD) as the 2013 winner of its Distinguished Achievement Award for Clinical Excellence for effectively using McKesson technology along with Modified Early Warning Scores to proactively identify patients at risk for a code blue.

Aprima Medical Software will interface its EHR/PM system with the Homecare Homebase platform.

LHP Hospital Group implements McKesson’s Paragon HIS at Portneuf Medical Center (ID), Seton Medical Center Harker Heights (TX), and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital WNJ (TX).

Elsevier launches its third annual “Superheroes of Nursing” contest and is accepting nominations for applicants in the categories of Achiever, Protector, Educator, Validator, and Connector.

SCI Solutions adds text appointment reminders to its Schedule Maximizer scheduling solution.

Modern Healthcare has corrected its article about the State of West Virginia’s payments to Medsphere for implementing OpenVista. The originally reported figure was $8.4 million per year, but that was actually the total amount spent since the contract was signed in 2005. Current payments are just under $1 million per year.

5-2-2013 10-54-20 PM

Mount Sinai Medical Center (NY) announces that it has enrolled 25,000 patients in its BioMe program, which links DNA samples to its Epic EMR information to support targeted medical care and to provide de-identified data for research. 

First Databank announces ICD-10 for Saudi Arabia at the HIMSS Middle East conference.

Government and Politics

5-2-2013 6-30-10 PM

HHS names Lyfechannel the winner of its healthfinder.gov Mobile App Challenge for its myfamily app, which helps individuals manage their family’s health through customized prevention information for each family member.

Healthcare modeling and analytics company Archimedes collaborates with CMS to give users easier access to public payer claims data.

5-2-2013 3-29-16 PM

CMS announces that hospitals and EPs have been paid $13.7 billion through the end of March, with $8.5 billion going to 8,558 hospitals and $5.2 billion to 255,722 EPs.

FDA launches the redesigned FDA Patient Network, which will educate patients and their advocates about FDA and will invite them to attend and present at FDA meetings.

Farzad Mostashari was a panelist in a discussion of technology in healthcare put on by Politico last week. The 77-minute video is of very high quality and it’s an interesting mix of people and topics.

5-2-2013 11-08-05 PM

CMS gets criticism for removing information on hospital-acquired conditions from its Hospital Compare site. CMS says the information is flawed and is redundant, but patient groups say CMS is buckling to the complaints of low-performing, high-profile hospitals.

Innovation and Research

Vanderbilt University launches the Health App Challenge to transform clinical summaries into a more patient-friendly form. Entries are due August 1, with the winner receiving $10,000 and up to five finalists being awarded $2,000 or more each.


5-2-2013 9-43-07 PM

Former Google Health product manager Missy Krasner, now involved in startups and an advisor to Box, says Google Health was a good idea in theory, but “It was a very bumpy user experience for even the most super-charged, IT savvy consumer.” She says Box will take over where Google Health left off for storing personal health records that it supports HIPAA requirements. She concludes, “So here is my hope for the future. If most EHRs can currently export a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) via the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA), why couldn’t Box grab that clinical care summary format and stylize it in a way that made sense to other doctors or patients via its documenting previewing technology? This would help the interoperability and file transfer juggernaut get a whole lot easier.”

FastCompany profiles companies started by founders who were frustrated with existing products, among them Amazing Charts.


5-2-2013 9-48-14 AM

KLAS reports on the post-acute care market, which is critical for managing outcomes and costs. HealthMEDX was named the top performer among long-term care vendors with 100 percent of its customers saying the company keeps its promises and that they would buy HealthMEDX Vision again.

Weird News Andy summarizes this article as “coming clean.” Piedmont Healthcare (GA) admits that for two years it improperly cleaned colonoscopy requirement at one of its ambulatory surgery centers, requiring it to notify 456 patients that they should be tested for hepatitis and HIV. Employees cleaned the equipment with soap, but missed the disinfectant step.

Sponsor Updates

  • T-System posts a photo gallery from its linkED 2013 Emergency Care Conference held in Dallas April 22-25.
  • Emdat posts a case study from Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, which reduced documentation costs by 50 percent by implementing Emdat’s transcription software and the company’s mobile documentation tool.
  • The Nashville Business Journal names Passport CEO Scott MacKenzie one of the most influential business executives in Middle Tennessee.
  • First Databank hosts a May 14 Webinar on the use of RxNorm within information exchange and clinical quality measures.
  • Kareo offers a May 16 Webinar that considers five activities to prevent a government audit.
  • Executives from Yale-New Haven Health System, Hartford HealthCare, and North Shore-LIJ Health System will share strategies to reduce readmissions at the iHT2 Summit in New York City on September 17-18.
  • Porter Research posts a presentation that provides insight into the trends, challenges, and benefits of engaging consumers in every stage of healthcare.
  • Capsule Tech will exhibit at the annual MUSE conference May 28-31 in Washington, DC.
  • Truven Health Analytics receives a five-year accreditation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for its Micromedex Medication Management solution.
  • The National Committee for Quality Assurance certifies Verisk Health’s Quality Intelligence solution to support quality reporting for commercial and Medicare Advantage populations in the California P4P program.
  • As part of this week’s Medical Library Association Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Boston, Elsevier pledges to donate $1 to One Laptop Per Child for every ClinicalKey search made at Elsevier’s booth.
  • Allscripts releases details on its annual ACE client conference in Chicago August 21-23.
  • Liaison Healthcare launches its EHR Partner Program, which give participants access to orders and results connectivity to over 100 major lab and radiology service providers.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

HIMSS opens the call for proposals for the 2014 conference in Orlando with 24 topic categories. If you’re like many of us in the non-profit trenches, being selected as a presenter may be the only way to go to a meeting, so good luck!


The hot topic in the physician lounge this week was HR 1701, the “Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2013.” Introduced by Representative Poe of Texas last week, it aims to block ICD-10 implementation. What surprises me most was the number of physicians who think the mere introduction of a bill will support their lack of preparation for ICD-10. News flash – if you haven’t started preparing, you’re already behind, and I certainly wouldn’t wait around to see if this becomes law before I get started.

It’s not health IT, but it’s my favorite story this week: “untethered microgrippers.” Engineers at Johns Hopkins are working on miniature devices to retrieve biopsy specimens. Although they’re not quite ready for human testing, they look cool and are promising as a mechanism to take multiple biopsies in hard-to-reach areas.

I almost missed this little tidbit in the Federal Register that would allow use of eight CMS record systems for emergency preparedness. The change would allow CMS to disclose individually identifiable records to “public health authorities and entities acting under a delegation of authority of a public health authority” for the purpose of providing health assistance in an emergency or disaster.

CMS issues a Call for Measures for potential Quality Reporting System items to be used in future rule-making years. CMS is focusing on measures that cover clinical outcomes, patient-reported outcomes, care coordination, safety, appropriateness, efficiency, patient experience, and patient engagement. Submissions must have strong scientific evidence, so I guess my “number of patients seen on time because they weren’t yakking on their phone when I entered the room” measure won’t make the cut.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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May 2, 2013 News 2 Comments

News 5/1/13

April 30, 2013 News 4 Comments

Top News

4-30-2013 7-09-06 PM

Greenway Medical announces that it will swing to a loss for the current fiscal year because of declining sales and deferred revenue. The company’s fiscal year earnings estimate of $0.10 to $0.17 on $145-$150 million in revenue was revised to a loss of $0.11 to $0.13 on revenue of $132-$134 million. The fiscal year ends June 30. Shares dropped from Friday’s $16.05 close to just above $12 by Tuesday morning, but had rebounded to $13.47 by Tuesday’s close. Above is the one-year GWAY share price (blue) vs. the S&P 500 (red).

Reader Comments

4-30-2013 10-18-31 PM

From Big Tex: “Re: Epic deals. St. David’s Healthcare in Austin and Methodist in Houston are both heading to Epic, though I don’t think either has officially announced yet.” Unverified.

From John: “Re: interesting comment from an FBR analyst covering Nuance’s poor earnings announcement. ‘While several industry/external (smart phone consolidation, transcription transition, EMEA weakness) factors have put pressure on mobile and healthcare growth, we believe the blame lies squarely around Nuance’s execution in the field, coupled with management’s feverish acquisition strategy over the last year, which has put onerous integration risks back into the Nuance story. While we believe potential activism could put a floor on Nuance shares and ultimately enhance shareholder value over time (e.g., management changes, split-up of the company, M&A path), we find it hard to remain positive on the Nuance story as the company goes through a challenging transition process in its business over the next six to nine months.’” Carl Icahn just announced that he’s loaded up on more shares, so the surprisingly poor results for both revenue and earnings help make his eventual argument that the company should be broken up or sold outright.

4-30-2013 8-17-49 PM

From Mr. Eko: “Re: HIMSS Middle East. Started Monday. Some American-based companies there are Cerner, GE, and Medicity. Judy Faulkner, CEO of Epic, was spotted yesterday morning eating breakfast in the Four Seasons hotel. Rumor has it they are pitching to the Ministry of Health for Saudi Arabia.”

From Giles: “Re: healthcare IT decision making. Interesting reader comments. What’s your opinion?” I agree with some of the comments that healthcare organizations are quicker to promote and retain executives who wouldn’t qualify for comparable jobs in most other industries based on their education and experience. However, healthcare is a different world, trying to balance the demands of an increasingly interventionist government, regulators, special interests, politicians, clinicians, community leaders, and giant insurance companies with the patients and families who are hardly typical customers. I’ve seen cases where hotshot IT people from allegedly more progressive sectors were brought in with near disastrous results, even though the IT shop looked like a showcase on paper. Some healthcare CIOs are not very good at strategic planning, management, and customer engagement, but they have a small domain with minimal clout and high operating and capital expenses due to decisions almost always made by someone else with more influence. Healthcare CIOs also aren’t given a lot of unilateral decision-making over anything other than infrastructure – everybody likes to suggest and approve massive change management projects that get incorrectly tagged as IT initiatives, but those folks disappear when their own lack of leadership ability starts sending the project down the drain due to poor user acceptance, lack of resources, and poor project decisions. My opinion, therefore, is that healthcare IT leaders aren’t empowered to make a lot of decisions on their own, are struggling to deal with the mess foisted upon them by their fellow executives and third parties, and are trying to deal with the squeeze of ever-increasing demand with an ever-decreasing budget. I’m fairly certain that swapping them out with fat-resume private sector CIOs wouldn’t make much difference on the plus side of the ledger, but would cause all kinds of unintended consequences to patient care. It’s easy to shoot the messenger, and with regard to many high-profile projects, that’s all the CIO is allowed to be. If nothing else, consider the high degree of CIO turnover – if all it took was new people in the chair, you’d be seeing wide swings in success from that alone and that’s not the case.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Nick van Terheyden, MBBS, CMIO of Nuance, posted the cool photo above on Twitter. If you’re traveling anywhere interesting, send a fun local photo with something that identifies HIStalk and I’ll run it here.

4-30-2013 8-00-00 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Porter Research, A Billian Company. The company provides its clients with customized market intelligence and research insight that includes go-to-market strategy, focus groups, win-loss analysis, prospect profiling and lead generation, competitive analysis, customer and market analysis, and M&A research. Don Graham (GM of both Porter Research and Billian’s HealthDATA) and Cynthia Porter (president) have many years of industry experience with major healthcare IT firms. The company offers a brochure, case studies, a newsletter, and white papers that illustrate its expertise. Thanks to Porter Research for supporting HIStalk.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

4-30-2013 7-39-52 PM

Emdeon completes re-pricing of its existing senior secured credit facilities, securing lower interest rates on its term and revolving loans.

4-30-2013 7-38-31 PM

Nuance reports Q2 results: revenue up 15.9 percent, EPS $0.34 vs. $0.43, missing estimates on both and sending shares down 18 percent and increasing speculation that activist investor Carl Icahn will use his recently acquired 10.7 percent of the company’s shares to force a breakup.

4-30-2013 7-47-17 PM

USARAD.com launches SecondOpinions.com, which offers same-day medical second opinions. Radiology-related reports range from $29 for an X-ray to $99 for an MRI. The company also offers second opinions for primary care, surgery, dermatology, and other services.

4-30-2013 9-10-16 PM

Forms automation vendor FormFast opens a UK-based subsidiary.


Trinity Health (MI) signs a multi-year agreement with Explorys for data analytics solutions.

Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center (NV), Renown Health (NV), and Chandler Regional Medical Center (AZ) select MRO Corp.’s ROI Online platform to manage release of information.

West Florida ACO will deploy Sandlot Connect, Dimensions, and Metrix from Sandlot Solutions for patient health information management.

Methodist Health System (NE) selects Wolters Kluwer ProVation Medical software for its gastroenterology procedure documentation and coding.

Amerinet contracts with Cornerstone Advisors Group to provide HIT advisory and implementation services to its group purchasing members.

Tri-State Orthopaedics (IN) selects SRS EHR for its 24 providers.

4-30-2013 10-35-53 PM

Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University Hospital will implement Nuance Healthcare Dragon Medical 360 | Network Edition hospital-wide.

The Cleveland Clinic’s MyPractice Healthcare Solutions will provide project management and implementation assistance to Glens Falls Hospital (NY) as it deploys Epic at its physician and specialty practices.


4-30-2013 12-25-15 PM

MedMatica Consulting Associates appoints Jerry Howell (KPMG) CEO and a member of the company’s board of directors.

4-30-2013 12-33-30 PM

Thomas H. Lee, MD (Partners HealthCare) joins Press Ganey as chief medical officer.

4-30-2013 12-54-50 PM

CSI Healthcare IT hires Martin O’Neil (Charts In Time) as health information management practice director.

4-30-2013 1-23-24 PM

Meditab Software appoints Adele Nasr (WebMetro) VP of marketing.

4-30-2013 7-55-42 PM

A. John Blair III, MD, CEO of EMR consulting firm MedAllies, is elected chair of independent Direct community DirectTrust.org.

4-30-2013 8-19-02 PM

Christopher Mansueti, former VP of client services for RelWare, died Friday, April 26 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was 53.

Announcements and Implementations

VHA, Inc. adds physician dashboards to enhance its VHA IMPERATIV Advantage performance improvement solution, which leverages transactional-level data through Truven Health Analytics and UHC.

MDI Achieve, provider of the MatrixCare EHR for long-term acute care, will integrate with Homecare Homebase, a provider of homecare and hospice technology solutions.

Heywood Hospital (MA) streamlines clinician workflow following its implementation of Accent On Integration’s Accelero Connect integration platform.

4-30-2013 3-38-00 PM

Samaritan Albany General Hospital (OR) moves from Meditech to Epic this week.

Transylvania Regional Hospital (NC) goes live on Cerner.

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota implements wireless data transmission between Cerner’s EMR and CareFusion’s infusion pumps.

PeriGen recognizes its client Banner Health (AZ) for reducing unnecessary early-term deliveries by 22 percent, earning the health system a Showcase in Excellence Award from the Arizona Quality Alliance.

Florida Hospital Tampa implements the EarlySense bedside patient monitoring system.

A Modern Healthcare article covers the State of West Virginia’s VistA implementation. It’s paying Medsphere $8.4 million per year for support and an unspecified amount to InterSystems for Cache’ licenses. The state also added financial systems from NTT DATA to replace VistA’s minimal capabilities. Update: Modern Healthcare issued a correction to this article – Medsphere has been paid $8.4 million over the life of the contract (since 2005), around $940,000 per year.

4-30-2013 9-37-04 PM

The Pittsburgh paper profiles Omnyx, a five-year-old digital pathology systems vendor formed as a joint venture between UPMC and GE Healthcare.

Government and Politics

Arizona lawmakers pass legislation that will require health insurers to pay for telemedicine treatment for certain specific conditions for patients living in 13 rural counties.

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduces a bill that would prohibit HHS from mandating providers to switch to ICD-10 code sets, which Poe contends would cost about $80,000 for individual doctors and $250,000 for practices with five to 10 physicians.

4-30-2013 3-33-08 PM

A bipartisan group of 67 senators sends President Obama a letter calling for him to be more directly involved in the VA’s disability claims backlog situation. The senators note that the average wait time for first-time disability claims is around 316 days, with a delay of up to 681 days in certain parts of the country. Of 900,000 pending claims, more than 600,000 are over 125 days old.

Innovation and Research

4-29-2013 2-10-36 PM

A peer-reviewed article published by the CDC finds that the interface technology of Intelligent Medical Objects is superior to population classification techniques as a disease surveillance tool. The findings are based on a study that showed IMO terminology service was 32 to 42 percent more accurate in identifying coronary heart disease compared to algorithms using reimbursement coding and classification techniques in identifying coronary heart disease.


AirStrip Technologies settles its patent dispute with MVisum, Inc., a competitor it accused of infringing on its patent for real-time viewing of patient data on mobile devices. MVisum agreed not to offer infringing products that include “streaming or displaying real time or near real-time patient physiological data.”

NextGen Healthcare launches Comparison Utility, a proprietary ICD-9/ICD-10 comparison tool that is available a no charge to its customers.

4-30-2013 9-04-40 PM

Healthcare Holdings Group acquires the exclusive rights to 3D-Practice’s patient education graphics technology, which it will embed in its ChartZoneMD EHR.


Athenahealth and MIT’s H@cking Medicine host a May 4-5 Hack-a-Thon aimed at at bringing about disruptive and meaningful solutions to healthcare challenges.

4-30-2013 7-24-51 PM

Anthony Weiner, the former Congressman who resigned after admitting to sending sexually suggestive text messages and photos to several women, is making big money as a corporate consultant. One of his clients is EMR vendor CureMD.

4-30-2013 8-15-35 PM

Here’s Imprivata’s latest HIT cartoon.

Sponsor Updates
  • DrFirst publishes a white paper highlighting the 428 percent growth in e-prescribing for controlled substances.
  • Medseek holds the inaugural meeting of its Clinical Advisory Council , formed to enhance patient engagement.
  • MedAptus highlights three customers and their seamless integrations between the MedAptus charge capture solution and their EHRs.
  • GetWellNetwork recognizes 12 hospitals and individuals for improving clinical care and outcomes through the use of IPC technology.
  • Inland Northwest Health Services releases its 2012 Community Report.
  • Martin’s Point Health Care (ME) discusses how its use of PopulationManager by ForwardHealth Group has improved its ability to respond to patient needs, identify gaps in care, and make systemic changes based on performance.
  • Imprivata hosts May 9 Webinar introducing the benefits of OneSign for healthcare.
  • Nuesoft hosts a May 8 Webinar on  using technology to improve revenue cycle.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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April 30, 2013 News 4 Comments

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