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News 7/5/13

July 4, 2013 News 8 Comments

Top News

A Dow Jones article says Intuit not only found its healthcare portal business to be a poor fit in its financial product lineup, the company had to write down $46 million in May after Allscripts bought Jardogs, which offered a patient engagement platform that will likely eliminate the dependence by Allscripts on the Intuit Health patient portal. The customer comments I heard at ACE 2010 (the Allscripts user group meeting) weren’t complimentary about Intuit’s portal, which it had just bought with its acquisition of Medfusion. It will be interesting to see if Allscripts will make a play for Intuit Health since it has already acquired Jardogs as an alternative.

Those with memory deficits might want to study yet another example of how outsider companies throw down big money to buy their way into the healthcare market because it looks easy, then slink off licking their wounds shortly afterward as they dump customers off to any bidder willing to take over the smoking wreckage of what used to be a decent company and product. That might be a fun exercise: leave a comment about which big company screwed up the most in its unsuccessful foray into healthcare. I always vote for Misys, which I’ve always suspected was created solely to amuse the industry with an exaggerated parody of incompetence.

Reader Comments

7-4-2013 9-40-51 PM

From RustBeltFan: “Re: HIPAA Omnibus Rule Advisory Panel responses. Scary answers! Maybe you’d be doing all of us a favor by developing a HIPAA Omnibus Rule 101 series for HIStalk!” Most of the CIO/CMIO respondents said their organizations were generally oblivious to the new rule, which kicks in September 23, 2013. If you are an expert on the topic, consider presenting an HIStalk Webinar to enlighten readers. This would be purely educational, with no commercial bias or sponsorship, and I’ll provide the platform and promotion to let you reach an appreciative audience (and it’s not bad for resume expansion and industry exposure besides.) Contact me if you’d like to present on this or any other educational topic.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Happy Independence Day. I’m not a fan of calling it the “Fourth of July” since that’s devoid of creativity and as dull as calling Christmas the “Twenty-Fifth of December” or New Year’s Day the “First of January.” About the only good thing about calling it the Fourth of July is that politicians weren’t tempted to make it a Monday holiday and thus destroy its historical significance simply to give Federal workers (and eventually the rest of us) a long weekend. At any rate, my flag is flying outside and I hope yours is, too. I worked a regular day today at the hospital and now I’m writing HIStalk, so I’ll celebrate by watching a few minutes of “A Capital Fourth,” which I’ve actually seen in person on the National Mall once. It was fun but dangerously hot, and while I’m glad I did it once, I have no plans to do it again other than on TV.

Other than HIStalkapalooza, what HIStalk activities, if any, would you like to see at the HIMSS conference in February? Let me know. I’m planning it now before I get swamped again starting in October.

On the Jobs Board: Senior Healthcare Policy Analyst, Epic Project Director, Android Developer – Healthcare + Google Glass, Staff Software Engineer .NET.


7-4-2013 7-48-02 PM 7-4-2013 7-49-11 PM 7-4-2013 7-49-52 PM 7-4-2013 7-50-29 PM

Scott MacLean, deputy CIO and director of operations at Partners HealthCare, starts his one-year term as chair of the HIMSS board. Carol Steltenkamp, MD (CMIO, University of Kentucky Healthcare), is named vice chair; Paul Kleeberg, MD (CMIO, Stratis Health) becomes chair elect; and Pete Shelkin (Shelkin Consulting) is named vice-chair elect.

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New HIMSS board members starting their three-year terms this month are Beverly Bell, RN (VP, Health Care Dataworks); Beth Halley, RN (principal advisor, MITRE Corporation); Rick Schooler (VP/CIO, Orlando Health); and Michael Zaroukian, MD, PhD (VP/CMIO, Sparrow Health System).

Government and Politics

7-4-2013 9-02-50 PM

The Wall Street Journal apologizes for not having been critical enough of the Affordable Care Act, which it calls “a fiasco for the ages” and a “rolling train wreck.” It speculates that the Treasury Department pushed for delayed implementation (possibly illegally since Congress didn’t approve a delay) of the employer mandate because its own software isn’t ready to handle the changes. Apparently only the WSJ missed the obvious point that employers could bypass new healthcare expenses by either (a) cutting their headcount to drop below the 50-employee minimum; or (b) turning full-time positions into part-time positions. Their conclusion: the whole ACA could go right down the toilet because it was sloppily written, is impossible to execute, and will hurt employment. 

Speaking of the ACA, here are some interesting thoughts from a well-connected reader who knows what he’s talking about: with the announced delay in the ACA employer mandate and the uncertainty about the individual mandate, will hospitals ever really see the influx of newly insured patients they have expected? And if they have any doubt about that (which they should), will they curtail big software investments now?


7-4-2013 9-08-46 PM

US Army Sgt. Kyle Patterson and his wife Ashley thank The Aroostook Medical Center (ME) for using an iPad and Skype to create a video connection that allowed him to participate in the March 29 birth of his daughter from his post in Afghanistan. According to Ashley, “Kyle was just over the moon. He told me before the birth that he was not going to cry, but he did. He sure did.” The family presented TAMC with a flag that Sgt. Patterson flew in their honor at Bagram Airfield. The hospital flew that flag on July 4 to honor all members and veterans of the military.

A New York Times article entitled “American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World” says we spend $50 billion per year on four million births, a lot more than other developed countries that provide comparable access to services and technology. It describes a pregnant woman whose insurance doesn’t cover maternity costs trying to figure out how much money she would need, only to be told by the local hospital that it would be between $4,000 and $45,000. Her response: “How could you not know this? You’re a hospital … I feel like I’m in a used-car lot.” 

7-4-2013 9-46-58 PM

Maine Medical Center says it has fixed its problems with Epic, with Epic itself issuing a rare statement in saying MMC’s problems weren’t related to software defects. The hospital admits that the computer issues caused budget problems, but says those aren’t related to the buyout offers it will send out to 400 employees this week.   

7-4-2013 9-48-12 PM

The bonds of North Mississippi Health Services (MS) are downgraded because of financial losses largely due to $11 million in one-time expenses in implementing Allscripts at its Tupelo campus. Fitch Ratings says the implementation required more staffing and budget than expected and also increased length of stay.

In England, the head of the defunct NPfIT is called out, along with two other executives, for spending more than $100,000 for a consultant to help them look good in a single meeting with the Public Accounts Committee. A Member of Parliament describes their performance at the hearing as “woeful,” and suggests, “Perhaps they should ask for their money back.”

7-4-2013 9-58-56 PM

Weird News Andy succinctly titles this photo, “The ‘M’ stands for … “

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

A Minnesota study demonstrates improved blood pressure readings using telemonitoring technology. Patients also kept their blood pressures controlled six months after the intervention ended. Pharmacists provided consultation and education over the phone once readings were received.

We know that exercise helps many of us deal with stress. Princeton researchers show that exercise creates new brain cells while also creating calm in other parts of the brain. The study involved mice running on wheels, which is a lot like being employed in the health information technology realm, especially during the summer. So many people assume summer is a “slow” time but I’ve found it to be stressful with many co-workers on vacation and the same amount of work to be done. Don’t forget to get your exercise and be glad you don’t have to be immersed in ice-cold water to be stressed (like the mice were.)

Thank you to everyone who sent comments (both posted and e-mailed) regarding my “tale of the ED” Curbside Consult. I’m happy to report that my sweet grandmother was discharged home to continue living independently. Her medications were adjusted, she’ll have some home therapy, and we’re off tomorrow to see if she’s a candidate for an injection of the pinched nerve that seems to be the root of the problem. I’m pleased to report that the care she received on the med/surg unit was both high touch and high tech, which renews my hope that we don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.


Thank you also to HIStalk contributor Ed Marx, who was the first to wish me a Happy Birthday this morning even though he is in the midst of climbing Mount Elbrus. His team is scheduled to summit on the 10th, so please join me in wishing them a safe journey. For our US readers, enjoy the Independence Day holiday. If you’re working in the trenches, double thanks to you.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect



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July 4, 2013 News 8 Comments

News 7/3/13

July 2, 2013 News 4 Comments
Top News

7-2-2013 6-10-06 PM
ONC releases its patient safety and surveillance plan based on public comments the draft received this past December. In summary:
  • ONC wants EHRs to be equipped with a “report a problem” type button that would collect information about the issue and send it to Patient Safety Organizations using AHRQ’s Common Formats.
  • Certification bodies will be required to “conduct surveillance” to ascertain that the capabilities of a given certified EHR are the same in the field as they were observed in certification testing.
  • Certification body surveillance will also monitor EHR vendor responsiveness to user complaints.
  • ONC will monitor FDA’s MAUDE medical device problem reporting database to find reported events that are related to health IT.
  • Meaningful Use and certification standards will be expanded to cover more patient safety-related objectives.
  • ONC will create tools that will allow provider EHR users to assess patient safety in their organizations.
  • ONC awards the Joint Commission a sole source contract to assist the ONC in detecting and proactively addressing health IT-related safety issues across a variety of care settings. The Joint Commission will develop an IT incident classification system, provide de-identified reports on related sentinel events, conduct at least five event investigations each in hospitals and practices, develop provider tools to help providers understand IT-related sentinel events, and publish a research paper that analyzes IT-related sentinel events.

Reader Comments

7-1-2013 12-52-11 PM

From Evangelist: “Re: Epic. Killing it in large practices.”More than half of all EMR-using practices that have 40 or more doctors use Epic, according to SK&A. Allscripts and eClinicalWorks each serve a substantial percentage of the smaller offices and the top 20 vendors support almost three-quarters of all practices using an EMR. Where people get in trouble is trying to infer from this limited information who’s buying what, which is more a question of practice ownership rather than practice size as hospitals keep buying out doctors and sticking Epic and Cerner in there.From Pointy Head: “Re: McKesson. Killing the MED3OOO Unity project and sunsetting InteGreat in favor of Practice Partner. There have been layoffs.” Unverified. McKesson acquired MED3OOO in October 2012 and claimed major go-forward love for InteGreat, so that’s quite a change in stated direction if so.

7-2-2013 11-02-42 PM

From Iknowa: “Re: Inova. Will collaborate with ValleyHealth, which has hospitals in Virginia and West Virginia, in several strategic areas, including IT. Inova brought its final two hospitals live on Epic over this past weekend, with all five now live on both financials and clinicals.”

From Patient Portal Believer: “Re: portals. Mr. H, you are spot on about the need for a strong patient portal strategy. EMR vendors that don’t currently have a tested and feature-rich patient portal should go out and acquire a portal vendor while there are still a few companies available. The portal is too important to MU2 and beyond to ‘partner’ with a portal vendor and it’s too late in the game to still be developing your homegrown solution. Yet, there’s still a handful of sophisticated inpatient EMR vendors without a portal answer. Hard to believe.“

7-2-2013 8-59-21 PM

From HITEsq: “Re: IRS conservative targeting scandal. RHIOs seeking non-profit tax exemptions were sent to the IRS group that reviewed Tea Party applications.” A New York Times article from last week says the IRS targeted not only conservative groups, but any groups whose use of non-profit application keywords suggested political activities. Among the keywords the IRS used to trigger further scrutiny was “regional health information organizations.”

From West Coast Angel: “Re: RECs. Over half of the 63 ONC grant-funded Regional Extension Centers are developing new service lines in privacy and security, patient engagement, practice optimization, and new service delivery models like ACOs. First round will go live in September.”

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

7-1-2013 3-05-33 PM
EyeNetra, which offers inexpensive eye-testing technology using smartphones, raises$2 million in equity funding.Allscripts closes $650 million in new financing, which with previously announced credit lines gives it a net of $400 million in liquidity.

7-2-2013 11-06-31 PM

inga_small As reported here this past weekend on HIStalk from an Indoor Privy rumor, Intuit announces plans to divest its health group, including the patient portal business it acquired from Medfusion in 2010 for $91 million. Intuit says it thought the health group could make money, but it needs to be owned by someone who understands healthcare better. It would not be surprising to see one of Intuit’s resellers — such as Allscripts, GE, or Greenway — make a play for the business.A union investment group urges McKesson’s shareholders to vote out Chairman and CEO John Hammergren and two other directors because of Hammergren’s compensation, also demanding that the company split the chairman and CEO roles he holds.

7-2-2013 10-54-17 PM

The Boston newspaper says a real estate deal involving athenahealth as a corporation and Jonathan Bush as a personal investor, along with a developer, will turn several real estate parcels in the Arsenal on the Charles area near athenahealth’s headquarters into apartments, restaurants, and boutiques that will cater to young technology professionals.  According to Bush, “We have work but we couldn’t get live and play into the Arsenal on the Charles. Nobody in this generation wants to schlep for an hour and a half on the Mass. Pike to a little patch of land. This is a generation of people who are just coming out of their dorm rooms. That’s who we’re hiring. These are people who want to work and live near a restaurant that grows its own food, a bar that makes its own beer.”

Women’s Healthcare Associates (LA) selects Vitera PM/EHR.
7-2-2013 2-32-56 PM
Memorial Hospital (MS) will implement ProVation Order Sets from Wolters Kluwer Health.
7-2-2013 6-41-18 PM
Liberty Hospital (MO) contracts with Allscripts for IT management services and will transfer its 30 IT employees to Allscripts.
Medical Services of America selects Patientco as its RCM solution.

7-2-2013 11-08-27 PM
GetWellNetwork names David D. Bennett (Krames StayWell) EVP/COO.
7-2-2013 9-45-36 AM
Kathleen A. Frawley, AHIMA board chair and president, died last week at the age of 63, according to an AHIMA notice. She was also a professor and chair of the HIT program at DeVry University’s North Brunswick, NJ campus. Angela Kennedy will take over as AHIMA board president/chair.

Announcements and Implementations
Washington Hospital (CA) launchesits $86 million Epic system.Core Health releases results of its healthcare integration compensation survey.

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Flagler Hospital (FL) went live this past weekend on Allscripts SCM, ED, lab, radiology, HIM, registration, scheduling, billing, pharmacy, medication administration, and CPOE. According to HIStalk friend CIO Bill Rieger, “So far so good. Mandatory compliance for physician training has led to some great conversations. The Breakaway Group training simulator program has worked and benefited us Day 1 more than we thought it would. MAKE Solutions workflow testing team work really saved us a lot of Day 1 pain as well. Kudos to the Allscripts team for excellent support and response.” CMIO Michael Sanders, MD dressed for the occasion in a brand new Kevlar vest and garish go-live socks, while the command center crew kept on top of the trouble tickets.

Government and Politics

7-2-2013 11-11-01 PM

The Treasury Department announces that the Affordable Care Act mandate that businesses with more than 50 employees must provide health insurance will be delayed for a year to 2015.

Innovation and Research

7-2-2013 6-59-50 PM

The Hoosier Healthcare Innovation Challenge will present three developer challenges in Indianapolis on July 12: reduce infant mortality by delivering educational information, eliminate duplicate messages caused by multiple Continuity of Care Documents, and perform medication reconciliation across inpatient and outpatient encounters. Teams can receive cash and an in-kind services worth up to $25,000.

The US Patent and Trademark Office awards LDM Group a patent for a method of providing targeted information to a patient through a physician’s server as a prescription is written.

CORHIO reportsthat approximately 44 percent of Colorado’s 5.2 million residents are represented on the statewide HIE.Tea party activists in Ohio will use a little-known IRS provision that allows citizens to challenge the non-profit status and executive salaries of hospitals, saying that citizens should question why hospitals with large cash reserves need more federal money to deliver indigent care. One of the group’s leaders calls out Cleveland Clinic’s $9 billion in assets and CEO Toby Cosgrove’s $2.5 million annual salary, saying, “This guy’s making $2 million a year, pleading poverty to help poor people. It just seems a little disingenuous to us in the tea party who volunteer for nothing. We’re curious to see their definition of poverty.”

An unnamed South Carolina hospital’s humorous employee training video demonstrates the frustration patients feel when asked mandatory Meaningful Use questions. “I live in the US of A. My primary language is American.”

Walgreens will pay $1.38 million to a woman who sued the drug chain for filling a prescription incorrectly written by her doctor. The doctor realized that she had specified 100 mg of promethazine, quadruple the intended amount, and called the pharmacy to cancel it. The pharmacist did so, but a computer problem allowed the prescription to be filled anyway. The patient claimed side effects caused her to be fired.

One of the 850 employees laid off last month by St. Vincent Health (IN) was CMIO Alan Snell, MD. The health system also gave a pink slip to its chief medical officer.

7-2-2013 11-12-39 PM

Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center paid almost $1 million in legal fees and fines in a frantic effort to avoid having its clinical lab shut down by the federal government. That effort, aided by appeals by the state’s lawmakers to HHS, was successful. The hospital’s laboratory information system incorrectly flagged a proficiency test to be sent out to an external lab and a medical technology student didn’t catch the mistake.

Weird News Andy is fascinated that dogs are being trained to detect hyperglycemia in children by their smell, allowing them to paw the child as a signal to take corrective action. He also concludes that “you can’t legislate intelligence” after reading the story of a woman who mixed up Super Glue and cold sore cream with predictably gripping results and another in which six armed police officers take down the suspected “Surgical Mask Bandit” in a Wells Fargo bank, only to find that he’s a chemo patient making a withdrawal.

Sponsor Updates 
  • Vocera demonstrates how its badges work with the Stanley Hugs infant  protection solution.
  • Infor integrates NextGate EMPI and identity management solutions with its Cloverleaf integration and information exchange suite.
  • ZirMed announces that its first claims acceptance rate is averaging 98 percent or higher.
  • Sunquest launches a new website.
  • SIS posts a blog entry called “Careers in Nursing Informatics: Applying Your Knowledge.”
  • The ONC Beacon-EHR Vendor Affinity Group names SuccessEHR National Director of Government Affairs Adele Allison the group’s co-chair, along with Chuck Tryon of MyHealth Access Network.
  • Truven Health Analytics releases the Truven Health Unify ACO solution to help Medicare shared savings program participants manage their ACOs.
  • Forrester Research names CommVault a leader in The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Backup Software, Q2 2013.
  • Jonathan Handler, MD, MModal’s CMIO, shares his thoughts on population health data and why doctors struggle with it.
  • T-System creates a video on its RevCycle+ RCM solution.
  • St. Cloud Orthopedics (MN) discuss how the practice earned $342,000 in Medicare incentives payments following its implementation of SRS EHR.
  • A Windows 8.1 version of AirStrip ONE Cardiology will be released as part of the company’s strategic partnership in Microsoft’s AppsForSurface program.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect


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July 2, 2013 News 4 Comments

Monday Morning Update 7/1/13

June 30, 2013 News 18 Comments

6-30-2013 3-59-13 PM

From Zaphod Beeblebrox: “Re: Allscripts. The second successful activation occurred this month for Allscripts in a UK NHS hospital. This one was on time and on budget. The previous one (Salford) was three months early and on budget. Almost unheard of in the UK NHS marketplace.” The announcement from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital says it went live on Sunrise 15 months after their project started. UK hospitals are indeed tough customers as vendors always underestimate the localization challenges, so those Allscripts accomplishments are significant. Sunrise has always been a good product but under iffy executive leadership. The challenges for Sunrise going forward are integration, since Cerner and Epic usually tromp Sunrise easily in that regard, and wariness of the company by prospects after the previous management ran the Allscripts ship aground. A lot hinges on North Shore – LIJ, which is probably locked in no matter what because of the money and energy they’ve spent. I’d want them as one of site visits if I were a prospect, making sure to veer off the planned hospital itinerary and seek out frontline clinicians since Sunrise should excel in that regard. I’d really pay attention to the medication management aspects. And watch those KLAS scores, which if the company can turn itself around, should start to move up a couple of quarters from now.

6-30-2013 3-56-18 PM

From Indoor Privy: “Re: Intuit Health’s patient portal business. Allscripts and others are in discussions to acquire. More details may be coming Monday.” Unverified. I’ve always been amazed that Allscripts put its entire practice EMR strategy at risk by choosing a third-party patient portal in the former Medfusion, acquired by Intuit in May 2010. Intuit was apparently looking for some kind of consumer finance play that would be complementary to Quicken, but like most big companies toe-dipping in healthcare, their impact was minimal and the healthcare business is rumored to have never made a profit.

6-30-2013 3-23-08 PM

Two-thirds of poll respondents don’t routinely take all of their PTO. New poll to your right: should McKesson’s customers care that John Hammergren’s pension will be at least $159 million? Your“yes or no” answer isn’t descriptive, so click the comments link after voting and explain your thought process.

Johns Hopkins Medicine will work with Walgreens to open a new East Baltimore, MD drugstore that will develop health and wellness programs for all Walgreens locations, including offering non-emergency urgent care services delivered by nurse practitioners backed up by Hopkins primary care doctors. It’s a brilliant move since chain drugstores have a massive geographic footprint and often serve as the de facto shopping center for urban areas, allowing Walgreens to scale offerings without additional fixed costs or overhead. The company can make money even if the urgent care service doesn’t because, unlike other medical facilities, a Walgreens store has a lot of higher-margin products to sell to cash-paying customers. It’s also nice for locals because of easy access, shorter waits, and lower cost. High-margin, ambitious, and scandalously inefficient hospitals keep erecting higher and more-expensive figurative walls around themselves and are buying up all the physician practices, so the best hope for affordable, accessible care and health advice may well be chain drug stores.

6-30-2013 4-38-07 PM

Paul Henry (ADP/AdvancedMD) joins CareCloud as VP of small group sales.

It turns out that BlackBerry’s Phoenix-like rise from the ashes has been mostly hype so far, as the company admits that sales of its new products failed to stave off a Q1 loss and will likely result in continued losses in Q2, sending the stock into the toilet Friday down 28 percent for the day. The exuberant analysts are now back to business as usual, i.e. wondering what the flesh-picking buzzards might be willing to pay for the pieces and parts in a fire sale.

A ED medical scribe company touts its success at two Arizona clinics that use its services to avoid having its doctors waste time documenting in the EHR. According to an orthopedic surgeon at on of the clinics, the scribes “may will have saved the clinic by helping with the implementation of the new EMR.”


I’m intrigued that in the promotional video above there’s a cheap, in-window air conditioner behind Kevin Parks, MD, medical director of San Antonio Community Hospital (CA), that appears to be held in place by badly cut plywood and what looks like Scotch tape (00:20).  They’re expanding the ED to 52 beds, with the opening scheduled for this year, so it’s probably a temporary solution (and looks like it.)  

6-30-2013 7-25-12 PM

Jackson Health System (FL) want taxpayers to provide $830 million for facility and equipment upgrades over the next 10 years, including $130 million for computer software and hardware. The health system hopes voters will approve a property tax increase to pay for the improvements, which it says will make it competitive.

The widow of a UPMC-Mercy Hospital (PA) diverticulitis patient sues the hospital for not performing surgery on her husband over 15 months’ of treatment before his lower intestine burst, claiming that the man’s medical record was flagged with a note that he had no insurance.

A Nebraska medical practice notifies more than 2,000 patients that their demographic information has been exposed when the doctor loses the thumb drive that he wore on a lanyard a round his neck.

Long-time HIStalk friend Dave Miller, vice chancellor and CIO of University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, explores his artistic side by playing a variety of ensemble roles in a North Little Rock, AR community theater production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Vince wraps up his Epic HIS-tory this week, ready to move on to Siemens in next week’s edition.

Sponsor Updates

6-30-2013 4-03-36 PM

  • Aventura employees cooked and served dinner to children and families at Ronald McDonald House of Denver this weekend.

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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 30, 2013 News 18 Comments

News 6/28/13

June 27, 2013 News 2 Comments

Top News

6-27-2013 7-27-32 PM

ONC releases its report to Congress on healthcare IT and HIE adoption through April 30, 2013, basically a predictably uncritical annual report of its activities. I chose this graphic randomly, then immediately noticed the common mistake of saying “Advanced Directives” instead of “Advance Directives” (you specify them in advance, but they aren’t necessarily advanced.)

Reader Comments

inga_small From Chris ToeBall: “Tenet-Vanguard deal. The merger could be good news for a lot of vendors, starting with Tenet’s Conifer Health Solutions.” Tenet President and CEO Trevor Fetter says in a conference call that Conifer will provide RCM services to Vanguard’s 21 hospitals, which could provide a 28 percent boost to revenues. Less clear is the impact on athenahealth, which provides services for Vanguard’s ambulatory clinics, and McKesson, which serves Tenet’s clinics.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small HIStalk Practice highlights from the last week include: Humana takes the top spot in athenahealth’s 2013 PayerView Report, while Medicaid continues to underperform. Financial management issues are the most challenging difficulties currently facing group practice executives. Consumer Reports publishes an excellent overview of the PCMH model. The AMA votes to lobby CMS for a two-year grace period to avoid complying with the ICD-10 transition – which seems like wasted energy to me, given the ONC’s promise to hold firm on the current October 2014 deadline. CMS concludes that the adoption of EHRs in community practices doesn’t necessarily impact costs. Dr. Gregg amuses with a fairy tale in the kingdom of happy healthcare. Maybe HIStalk Practice isn’t exactly summer beach reading, but there is still lots of good stuff to check out. Thanks for reading.

On the Jobs Board: Data Analyst Meaningful Use, Healthcare Software Project Manager, Resolute PB Team Lead.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Craneware warns that its revenues and earnings will be below market forecasts, saying it will likely not close one of its large sales opportunities despite increased levels of sales activity.

6-27-2013 9-43-02 PM

PokitDok, a startup that offers a platform for healthcare providers to advertise directly to consumers, raises $4 million in funding.


Erlanger Health System expands its relationship with MModal to include MModal Fluency Flex for creating reports and documenting patient records.

6-27-2013 9-52-15 PM

Slidell Memorial Hospital (LA) will implement Medhost’s EDIS and ED PASS for self-service patient check-in.

Piedmont Orthopaedic Associates (SC) selects SRS EHR.

6-27-2013 9-53-00 PM

South Georgia Medical Center will implement RelayHealth’s HIE platform.

ProMedica’s Lenawee Physician Hospital Organization (MI) selects Wellcentive’s population health management and data analytics solutions.

6-27-2013 9-54-52 PM

North Shore-LIJ Health System chooses InterSystems HealthShare for connectivity of all its systems in a $25 million deal. Competitor Allscripts dbMotion, now owned by NS-LIJ’s incumbent EHR vendor, wasn’t mentioned.

6-27-2013 9-34-49 PM

The Miami VA chooses GetWellNetwork for in-room entertainment, Internet access, and patient education under a $2.4 million contract.


6-27-2013 6-29-10 PM

CareTech Solutions appoints Brian Connolly (Oakwood Healthcare) chairman of the board, replacing Peter Karmanos.

6-27-2013 6-31-36 PM

Chris Bauleke (RelayHealth) joins Healthland as CEO. Former CEO Angie Franks (above) continues as president.

6-27-2013 6-33-01 PM 6-27-2013 6-34-34 PM

PatientPoint hires John McAuley (Allscripts) as COO and Eldon Richards (UnitedHealth Group) as VP of engineering and technology services.

6-27-2013 6-35-36 PM

Nordic Consulting promotes Vivek Swaminathan to chief consulting officer.

6-27-2013 6-37-08 PM

Jacobus Consulting names Noel Allender (Beacon Partners) managing director of its Epic practice.

6-27-2013 6-38-25 PM

RemitDATA names Michael Kallish (MPV – above) SVP of business development and Jim Harter (e-Rewards) CTO.

6-27-2013 9-38-06 PM

Imprivata President and CEO Omar Hussain is named as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in New England.

Huron Consulting hires Tracey Mayberry (CSC) and Kevin Smith (MedeAnalytics) as managing directors in its Huron Healthcare practice.

Announcements and Implementations

Cerner achieves HDI Support Center Certification.

Quest Diagnostics makes its Care360 Solution Suite available through AT&T Healthcare Community Online.

6-27-2013 8-21-06 PM

The local TV station profiles Cedar Rapids, IA-based healthcare website developer Geonetric, pointing out that none of its 70 employees have managers, food is available and free, and flex time and sabbaticals are standard. According to the HR director, “We want you to enjoy life and experience life, and do great work for us. And it’s awesome.” It says the company will hire another 130 people and move into a new building. Its website declares it to be the “coolest healthcare Web company. In the history of ever.” According to its site, employees get free ice cream when a new client is signed,  dress is casual, Grillin’ Friday is BYOM (bring your own meat), and there’s a knitting circle.

6-27-2013 8-06-11 PM

AMIA’s review course for the clinical informatics subspecialty certification that starts in October is scheduled for July 15 availability. Live courses started in April.

Caristix introduces Caristix 2.0, the latest version of its HL7 interface lifecycle management platform.

Allscripts announces that Sunrise Acute Care 6.1 and Sunrise Ambulatory Care 6.1 have been certified as Complete EHRs under ONC 2014 Edition criteria.

Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital uses Amcom Messenger for calling Code Blue.

Cerner announces its support for Blue Button +.

6-27-2013 7-54-43 PM

Sprint announces the availability of the TigerText HIPAA-compliant secure messaging solution and a less-expensive offering powered by TeleMessage branded as Sprint Enterprise Messenger – Secure.

Government and Politics

Industry officials testifying before the Senate Committee on Finance offer opinions on how to improve healthcare quality. Concerns raised include:

  • CMS should consider reducing the 1,000+ quality measures currently used for reporting and payment programs and develop measures that are more outcome- and patient-oriented.
  • Many traditional EHRs, especially those used by small physician practices, are not well designed, which limits a provider’s ability to produce meaningful data for quality reporting.
  • Provider payments need to be better aligned with outcomes and quality reporting.
  • The government should go beyond the EHR incentive program and work towards the development of a framework for care coordination and long-term care outcome measurements.

CMS redesigns its Physician Compare Website to include details on physician or practice specialties, EHR use, board certification, and hospital affiliation.

Practice Fusion launches a medical imaging API that will allow its practice users to connect to imaging centers, allowing physicians to receive results electronically for Meaningful Use and giving imaging centers potential new business. Use is free for the practice, but not for the imaging center.


6-27-2013 9-01-45 PM

Arizona-based surgeon Gil Ortega, MD performs the world’s first orthopedic trauma surgery while wearing Google Glass, which he says will be useful for teaching students who will have a clear view of the sterile field, recording the surgery, and requesting information via the device.

6-27-2013 9-18-59 PM

A study finds that the survival rate for non-hospital heart attack patients doubled when paramedics performing CPR were coached using Real CPR Help software that is standard on  ZOLL Medical’s defibrillators.


A study published in JAMA finds that treating the costliest Medicare patients in doctors’ offices instead of ERs may not save as much money as previously hoped, only about 10 percent.

Porter Research looks at ICD-10 readiness among physician practices and finds that most are concerned with disruptions in cash flows when the new code set goes into effect. Of practices that have not yet started preparing for the transition, more than a third believe they have adequate time to prepare. The rest either don’t know where to begin or lack time, staff, or training resources.

Healthcare attorney David Harlow, who writes HealthBlawg, launches a crowdfunding project called Hacking HIPAA. It will a create a new Common Notice of Privacy Practices that will give patients an explanation of potentially beneficial electronic transfer of their data (e-mail, cloud, video, text messaging) and obtain their consent for its use before the new Omnibus HIPAA Rule “will make cloud hosting of healthcare projects untenable very soon.” He’s hoping to raise $10,000. That’s Fred Trotter in the video.

6-27-2013 8-52-49 PM

Who proofed this announcement? It’s apparently how they role.

6-27-2013 8-57-23 PM

Kaiser Health News test drives the health insurance exchange enrollment software that will be rolled out in Minnesota, Maryland, and DC for the scheduled October 1 launch.

Weird News Andy hopes the patient remembers his native language. A 69-year-old man being treated for stroke at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is sent unconscious on a charter flight back to his native Poland when he’s found to be uninsured and living in the US illegally.

Sponsor Updates

6-27-2013 7-35-20 PM

  • Visage Imaging releases a case study about the use of the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging Platform by teleradiology provider Rays.
  • UltraLinq Healthcare will incorporate cardiology decision support tools from DiACardio into its cloud-based image management and reporting system.
  • Karen Marhefka, MHA, RHIA of Encore Health Resources will present a primer on value-driven healthcare at the Texas AHIMA convention today (Friday, June 27) at 1:30 p.m. Central time.
  • Quantros announces the patent pending status of its Smart Classification technology for classifying incident reports in real-time.
  • The Center for Economic Growth recognizes etransmedia Technology with a technology innovation award.
  • Cornerstone Advisors announces its #1 KLAS mid-term ranking in the Planning and Assessment category and its projected 100 percent growth this year.
  • Nuance Communications names 11 hospitals as 2013 winners of the Million Dollar Club, having saved at least $1 million by using Dragon for medical transcription and clinical documentation.
  • Xerox VP Ed Gala asks JetBlue co-founder Ann Rhoades and hospital IT executives what airlines and hospitals have in common.
  • Greenway Medical will integrate the inpatient EHR of Health Management Systems its PrimeSUITE solution.
  • Nuesoft Technologies celebrates its 20th anniversary.
  • Kareo integrates its PM application with Demandforce, an Intuit company, to help practices build their online reputations and proactively engage with patients for preventive or recurring care.
  • Sandlot Solutions CEO Joe Casper discusses improving care with HIE and data analytics.
  • Verisk Health recaps its recent Webinar featuring Granite Healthcare Network’s (NH) use of data analytics to provide cost-effective care.
  • Versus offers a replay of the AHA-hosted Webinar on improving safety measures with RTLS featuring Western Maryland Health Systems. Versus also offers a case study that details how the organization reduced elopements and improved response times with RTLS technology.
  • AT&T partners with Project HOPE to improve women and children’s healthcare in Asia and Africa.
  • Northern Ireland’s health minister writes about the transformation of the country’s healthcare system using technology from Orion Health.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

The National Uniform Claim Committee announces that CMS has finally approved the new 1500 claim form. It allows identification of whether ICD-9 or ICD-10 is being used and expands the number of diagnosis codes which can be reported. The deadline for transition to the new form seems to be fluid. Providers should contact their clearinghouses to determine when they will begin accepting the form and should work with their vendors to ensure practice management systems can generate the new form.

HIMSS calls for proposals for pre-conference symposia. New this year, they’re looking for abstracts for full-day preconference programs. The deadline is July 22 and those selected will be notified in August.


Medical Economics identifies “10 regulatory irritants fueling physician dissatisfaction” according to a Physicians Foundation study. The list includes:

  1. Meaningless work
  2. Box checking
  3. Data is replacing information
  4. Quality
  5. Site of Service
  6. Fraud
  7. Sustainable growth rate (SGR)
  8. PCORI and IPAB
  9. Costs
  10. The government is coming between me and my patients

Bloomberg discusses the top US states where physicians have gone digital. I was surprised to see Washington, DC at the bottom along with Louisiana, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Wisconsin is at the top, followed by Minnesota, North Dakota, and Massachusetts.

Note to marketing folks: always test your mail merge skills before sending out blast e-mails (and especially snail mail). This week I’ve been on the receiving end of two charity letters asking me to send my pledge (which wasn’t a pledge but an outright donation) and now an e-mail addressed to “Dennis.” First impressions are everything, folks.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 27, 2013 News 2 Comments

News 6/26/13

June 25, 2013 News 8 Comments

Top News

6-25-2013 6-58-04 PM

McKesson Chairman and CEO John Hammergren is due a $159 million lump sum pension payout when he retires, the company discloses in its annual proxy filing. Experts believe it’s the largest pension in corporate history, also noting that the amount doubled in the past six years. I mentioned the hoops the company’s board went through to boost his pay without being obvious to shareholders back in January 2009, when he would have received only $85 million. Above is the six-year share price (blue) vs. the standard market indices. You can decide whether he’s worth it and if healthcare can afford it.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

6-25-2013 7-04-47 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Seamless Medical Systems, which offers the SNAP Practice cloud-based patient engagement platform. It includes an iPad-based patient registration app and health education and literacy tools. SNAP Express includes primary care forms, digital signature capture, and forms tools, while the enterprise version also includes a bidirectional interface to the PM/EMR along with marketing tools. The iPad-based system engages patients in the waiting room as they complete forms electronically, read health and wellness information, and take notes about their visit and e-mail them afterward. Download it to your iPad for a free trial. Thanks to Seamless Medical Systems for supporting HIStalk.

I found this SNAP Practice overview on YouTube.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

6-25-2013 8-43-31 PM

Next Wave Health makes a minority investment in HealthPost, which offers a provider search and booking platform.

Tenet Healthcare will acquire Vanguard Health System for $4.3 billion, which includes the assumption of Vanguard’s $2.5 billion in debt. The transaction will make the combined company the second-largest for-profit US hospital chain with $15 billion in revenue, 79 hospitals, and 157 outpatient centers. Obviously they aren’t worried that healthcare costs are going down any time soon.


Baptist Memorial Health Care will integrate Micromedex clinical referential and patient education resources into Epic.

Kerckhoff Klinik in Germany choses iMDsoft’s MetaVision for its 267-bed facility.

The North Dakota HIN selects Orion Health HIE for its statewide exchange.

6-25-2013 8-51-07 PM

Washington Regional Medical Center (AR) selects patient portal and HIE solutions from InteliChart.

ProMedica (OH) will add dbMotion’s interoperability platform.

Bon Secours Health System (MD) will implement HIE technology from Aetna’s Healthagen subsidiary.

Athens Bone and Joint Orthopedic Clinic (GA) selects simplifyMD.

Novant Health chooses CSI Healthcare IT to fill training positions for its October Epic go-live.


6-25-2013 5-56-46 PM

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

6-25-2013 1-52-39 PM

Shaun Shakib (Caradigm) joins Clinical Architecture as chief informatics architect.

6-25-2013 6-41-27 PM

Brett Davis (Oracle) is named general manager of Deloitte Health Informatics, a newly launched informatics business.  

The Premier healthcare alliance names Leigh Anderson (Global Healthcare Exchange) COO of informatics and technology services.

Announcements and Implementations

The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation deploys an interface between Yale’s Epic EMR and the OnCore Clinical Research solution.

6-25-2013 7-13-37 AM

Fulton County Hospital (MO) goes live on Healthland’s financials and clinicals.

Deloitte and Intermountain Healthcare launch OutcomesMiner, an analytics tool that leverages EMR data for comparative research.

RFID Journal profiles Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance and its use of RTLS, including software from Intelligent InSites. They interviewed Winjie Tang Miao, the hospital’s president.  I did too, in December 2012.

SCI Solutions releases v36 of its Schedule Maximizer patient and resource scheduling system.

Government and Politics

The VA reports that it has processed 97 percent of its two-year-old veterans’ disability benefits claims and is now working on one-year-old claims.


6-25-2013 9-00-06 PM

Hawaii Health System revises its estimate for converting its 14 public hospitals to Siemens, which now stands at $100 million compare to $58 million five years ago and $75 million at the end of last year. The health system say consultants underestimated the time required to maintain the system and the infrastructure in its facilities is in bad shape.

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute will award grants of up to $75,000 each to 32 collaborative projects to help 80 healthcare organizations connect to the Massachusetts statewide HIE.

Massachusetts economic development officials tentatively agree to extend $9.5 million in state tax credits to athenahealth in exchange for athena’s pledge to add 1,900 workers by 2022. Athenahealth also announces it will bring 500 new jobs to Atlanta and invest $10.8 million in a new office complex.

Weird News Andy isn’t sure what the business model of Figure 1 (the narrator of the video above pronounces it “figger one”) since it offers free photo sharing for clinicians, but WNA hopes they have plenty of photo screeners. The company says it has figured (figgered?) out a way to limit use to licensed physicians. A terse comment about the video says it all: “Looks like a quick way to get fired. Or sued.”

WNA also likes this story, which he titles “Busted!” A Chinese woman lying on her stomach playing a smartphone game for several hours experiences chest pain, which the hospital diagnoses as a ruptured breast implant.

Sponsor Updates

  • First Databank launches a five-part blog series on prescription drug abuse.
  • Merge announces the eClinical OS Marketplace, which allows users to electronically request and receive services from within clinical study workflows.
  • CCHIT certifies that Health Care Software’s INTERACTANT v6.9 software is compliant with the ONC 2011 Edition criteria as an EHR module.
  • Levi, Ray & Shoup earns HP’s Silver Partner in Excellence Award.
  • Allscripts outlines its population health management strategy during a gathering of industry and financial analysts at the Center for Connected Medicine.
  • Novant Health chooses CSI Healthcare IT to fill training positions for its October go-live with Epic.
  • Beacon Partners publishes an article that highlights four healthcare system executives and their perspectives on integrating strategic initiatives.
  • Elsevier launches EduCode Doc Briefs, an ICD-10 education series for physicians and other practitioners.
  • Kareo reports that one-third of the 4,000 providers signed up for its EHR have moved from another EHR system.
  • Clinovations staff volunteered at the Spring Kick event with DC United, which brought soccer to 400 underprivileged youth from 12 DC neighborhoods.
  • CareTech Solutions will offer its help desk clients Courion’s PasswordCourier password management and AccountCourier user provisioning solutions.
  • Verisk Health will give away three $30 Starbucks gift cards to random participants of its online survey on the shared-risk care delivery model.
  • EClinicalWorks has signed up 1,000 providers for its RCM during the first six months of 2013 and is projected to reach $100 million in revenues by 2015.
  • SQL Server Pro highlights the new version of Predixion Software’s collaborative predictive analytics platform.
  • Conway Medical Center (SC) shares how its implementation of Rev-Cycle+ from T-System helped the organization increase collections 41 percent over five and a half years.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.



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June 25, 2013 News 8 Comments

Monday Morning Update 6/24/13

June 22, 2013 News 2 Comments

6-22-2013 4-19-14 PM

From Over Overlake: “Re: Overlake Hospital & Medical Center, Bellevue WA. Recently went live on Epic and is conducting a RIF by reposting its jobs and requiring current employees, including those supporting and installing Epic, to reapply for their jobs. Estimates are they will eliminate 10-15 percent of the IT workforce. The CIO is on a month-long leave while the RIF takes place.” Unverified.

6-22-2013 4-37-16 PM

From Robot Ghost: “Re: Duke University Hospital. Live on Epic as of Saturday morning.” Verified, according to the forwarded e-mail.

6-22-2013 2-46-54 PM

Respondents aren’t impressed with the EHR Developer Code of Conduct, with the vast majority saying it won’t have any effect on anything. New poll to your right, inspired by Ed’s “Bank Life, Not Vacation Days” post: do you take all the paid time off provided by your employer in a given year? I admit that I don’t, meaning my PTO days roll to the long-term bank and I’ll never get them back.

I have HIStalk Webinars scheduled through the end of the year and need more CIO reviewers to spend about 45 minutes reviewing a recorded Webinar rehearsal and providing feedback to the presenter. I’ll send you a $50 Amazon gift certificate and my thanks. Let me know if you are interested.

With Friday’s official start of summer, the industry takes a collective break and legitimate news tapers off until September. HIStalk articles will sometimes be shorter (like this one), but you aren’t missing anything. I just refuse to waste your time padding out the posts with junk news cleverly written to sound important.

6-22-2013 3-26-29 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum sponsor Clinical Architecture. The Carmel, IN-based company provides solutions that overcome healthcare’s terminology-related barriers. Those challenges include translating the terms within Continuity of Care Documents for Meaningful Use using structured and coded information (lab to LOINC, meds to RxNorm); mapping local terminologies specific to users or departments; handling translation ICD-10; and meeting PQRS/NQF quality reporting by identifying patients using normalized information and a standard coded vocabulary. The company’s approach with its high-performance, self-monitoring Symedical Server is to normalize (with its Cognition Engine), standardize (Coordination Engine), correlate (RelationSense Engine), and interpret (Sift Engine). Behind the scenes, Symedical Server handles high performance run-time APIs, a messaging and communications framework (including an iPad app), content distribution, a domain designer for custom content domains, and tools for searching and collective reasoning. Customers include providers and HIEs (semantic interoperability, quality reporting, and aggregating clinical and administrative data), HIT vendors (meeting Meaningful Use requirements and managing terminology content), and payors (analytics and improving efficiency). Everything in healthcare revolves around terminology and Clinical Architecture’s solutions enable the efficient and semantically accurate exchange of actionable healthcare data. The company is running a Share Your Healthcare Terminology Dream or Nightmare contest just for HIStalk readers, with winners receiving a Windows Surface Pro. Thanks to Clinical Architecture for supporting HIStalk.

Here’s a new YouTube video from Clinical Architecture that describes healthcare terminology challenges.
6-22-2013 3-12-17 PM 

Miami Valley Hospital (OH) CIO Mikki Clancy is promoted to COO.

6-22-2013 4-57-43 PM

Former AirStrip VP Connie McGee launches Evolve Women, a career development website for women.

The “Race for Heroes” 5K race in Alpharetta, GA raises $100,000 for job training for veterans and their spouses. MedAssets and Hire Heroes USA were the sponsors.

Catholic Health Initiatives chooses QuadraMed, now owned by Canada-based Constellation Software, to provide data consolidation services. 

6-22-2013 4-29-08 PM

Creative Skills for Life, along with NHS England, is running a contest that offers $154,000 in prizes to developers of 10 prototype apps that support young people in the UK who have life-threatening and limiting medical conditions.

I’m really enjoying Vince’s HIS-tory of Epic, including his Part 3 installment.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 22, 2013 News 2 Comments

News 6/21/13

June 20, 2013 News 4 Comments

Top News

6-20-2013 11-41-31 AM

Healtheway announces its nine founding organizations. The public-private partnership will provide operational support for the eHealth Exchange, formerly known as the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange.

Reader Comments

6-20-2013 7-27-05 PM

From Site Watcher: “Re: HIStalk. Happy 10th anniversary!” Thanks! It has gone by quickly.

From Doug: “Re: Meaningful Use security risk analysis. I would be interested in which of your sponsors offers consulting engagements, especially those appropriate for a 100-bed community hospital.” Thanks for showing preference to HIStalk’s sponsors, any of which that can help Doug can contact me and I’ll forward your information.

From Vascular Surgeon: “Re: health data. A Wired graphic from April finds that Kaiser Permanente’s data set is 31 petabytes, six times the size of the digital collection of the Library of Congress.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small Highlights from HIStalk Practice this week include: the top ambulatory EHR, PM, and clearinghouse products according to the KLAS Mid-Term Report (and don’t miss the readers’ comments about the rankings.) A computer outage in the Canadian province of Alberta causes 202 practices to lose access to patients’ charts for over five hours. Almost half of practicing physicians are dissatisfied with their jobs. CMS publishes updated 2014 clinical quality measures for EPs. Technology could improve treatment outcomes for children with chronic illnesses. I whine and wonder about waiting at my doctor’s office. I love new readers almost as much as I love ambulatory HIT news, so sign up for the e-mail updates when you are perusing the news. Thanks for reading.

Some of the interesting recent posts on HIStalk Connect are (International) White Collar Healthcare, Mobile Health App Platform Choices, Apple Markets Its Role in Global mHealth, and Start Me Up HIT Event. Get e-mail notification of new HIStalk Connect posts by signing up.

I’ll be surveying the HIStalk Advisory Panel of primarily CIOs again this week. Let me know if you have a question you’d like me to ask them.

6-20-2013 7-40-56 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Logicare. The Eau Claire, WI company offers patient instructions for hospitals, clinics, and EDs that integrate with all major EHRs including the VA’s VistA. Clinicians enjoy the ability to create a patient-specific teaching document in just a few clicks, while patients can actually understand that document since the content is written at a sixth-grade reading level. Patient instructions are offered for 6,300 topics and the system has earned numerous ONC certifications, making it easy to meet the Meaningful Use requirement to provide electronic discharge instructions (flash drive, secure e-mail) at the time of discharge for patients who request them. Thanks to Logicare for supporting HIStalk.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

6-20-2013 8-46-41 PM

Clinical Outcomes Management Systems, a provider of disease management technology for the long-term care industry, secures a minority investment of $21 million from Summit Partners.

6-20-2013 8-48-21 PM

Agilum Healthcare Intelligence raises $1.82 million of a $2.32 million equity offering.


Polyclinic Surgery Group (WA) selects ProVation medical software from Wolters Kluwer Health.

The Georgia Department of Community Health selects Truven Health Analytics to build and implement the Georgia Health Information Network.

6-20-2013 8-50-36 PM

Chinese Hospital (CA) will deploy NextGen Inpatient Clinicals.

6-20-2013 8-53-41 PM

KishHealth System (IL) selects PerfectServe clinician-to-clinician communications platform for two of its hospitals.

WellStar Health System (GA) will deploy Capsule’s DataCaptor software across its five hospitals.


6-20-2013 5-59-28 PM

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems announces that VP/CIO Catherine J. Bruno will retire in December.

6-20-2013 6-02-28 PM

Ernst & Young names Encore Health Resources CEO Dana Sellers its 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year for Healthcare in the Gulf Coast Area.

Jerry Dennany (Allscripts) joins RazorInsights as CTO.

UltraLinq Healthcare Solutions appoints Ross Hoffman, MD (MedSolutions) CMO.

Announcements and Implementations

Caradigm announces the availability of Provisioning v4.0, which manages clinician access to applications while supporting data privacy regulations.

6-20-2013 1-14-17 PM

EHealth Technologies breaks ground on its new company headquarters in Rochester, NY.

Cerner launches a pilot of the Primary Health Network, a health model that uses retail locations as access points for wellness screenings.


Government and Politics

6-20-2013 11-19-59 AM

The HHS Office of Inspector General audits four Texas RECs and concludes that each has met the scope of services in their cooperative agreements with the ONC. The audits are the first of their kind by the OIG and focused on outreach activities, vendor selection and implementation assistance, and workflow analysis.

The VA announces the availability of eBenefits, an online portal that will allow veterans to file disability compensation claims electronically.

Today’s best use of a “This Is Spinal Tap” reference in a tweet comes from, interestingly enough, the federal government.


6-20-2013 8-55-12 PM

Unionized nurses with Affinity Medical Center (OH) call on hospital officials to delay this weekend’s implementation of Cerner EMR, saying patients will be at risk because the nurses have not received sufficient training and will be short staffed during the first days of the live. The nurses detailed their concerns in a letter to hospital officials, but claim that hospitals officials refused to meet with them and would not accept the letter.

Here’s athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush speaking at TEDMED 2013 on healthcare profits, pointing out that non-profit hospitals often make bigger margins than Exxon. “In the mid-1990s, healthcare was annoyingly affordable – annoying if you’re one of the hospitals.” He names names.

6-20-2013 8-56-53 PM

Cone Health (NC), facing a $30 million annual budget shortfall, will lay off 150 employees. Both Cone and nearby Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center say their Epic implementation costs hurt their bottom line at least temporarily.

Sponsor Updates

  • HealthEdge, a provider of IT solutions for healthcare payors, partners with NTT DATA to transition Independent Health and Riverside Health to the HealthRules product suite.
  • Divurgent posts a video of its DIVOLYMPICS employee spring games event.
  • Two members of Wellcentive’s implementation team earn NCQA certification as content experts for patient-centered medical homes.
  • Access partners with The Last Well to bring clean water to all of Liberia.
  • A Deloitte Center for Health Solutions report explores how CIOs are navigating  day-to-day management challenges.
  • Visage Imaging publishes “Three topics you may have missed from #SIIM13” as a follow-up to the recent Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine 2013 meeting.
  • ISirona President Peter Witonsky lists key criteria for evaluating a medical device data system.
  • GetWellNetwork announces the Transformative Health Series, a series of short films that recount the personal journeys of patients, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals who are shaping the patient engagement movement.
  • API Healthcare opens its annual conference with a keynote address featuring Paul Spiegelman, author of Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way you Lead.
  • Verisk Health announces the agenda and speakers for its 2013 national conference September 18-20 in Orlando.
  • The Association for Healthcare Documentation selects Emdat as a nominee for the Innovation Through Technology Award.
  • A local publication features Canton-Potsdam Hospital (NY) and its online bill-pay service operated by Instamed.
  • Strata Rx announces the schedule for its O’Reilly Strata Rx Conference September 25-27 in Boston.
  • Aspen Advisor consultant Claudia Blackburn will discuss how to empower population health during a June 25 Webinar.
  • Wellsoft’s EDIS earns the top rating for EDIS and Imprivata takes the top spot for Single Sign-On in the KLAS 2013 Mid-Year Performance Software & Services report.
  • Former CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, MD discussed the future of healthcare at this month’s 22nd Annual Midas User Symposium.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne


The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates met in Chicago this week. One of their resolutions addresses sitting in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to make alternatives available including standing desks, treadmill desks, and isometric balls. I’d love to have a treadmill desk, although I spend half my day on conference calls which would render it almost useless. Several schools in my area are experimenting with standing desks in the classroom, citing famous users Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, and Ernest Hemingway.

I loved this piece on batch workflow for the medical office that turned up on KevinMD this week. It should be required reading for EHR users. Author Dike Drummond, MD compares physicians that respond to popups and messages in the EHR to a dog with a tennis ball that can’t choose to not chase it once thrown. Watching my colleagues become totally distracted with Instant Messenger, Twitter, Facebook, and e-mail all day long, I can’t help but agree.

Dr. Gregg tweeted earlier in the week about the fundraising effort for Scanadu Scout, being billed as the first real medical tricorder. I e-mailed myself to look at it later and am happy to see that they have raised over a million dollars. I also learned that the Scout is built on the same platform as the Curiosity Rover, which is pretty cool if you’re a science geek like me. Scanadu hopes to use backers to gather data to help refine its algorithms as well as to prepare for FDA approval as a medical device.

Speaking of Twitter, Bill Gates @BillGates noted this week that he is “Excited to join the 200M+ strong @LinkedIn community.” I wonder if his connections will start endorsing him for skill sets that he doesn’t actually have, which is what my connections recently started doing? It’s definitely been amusing.

I’m excited about the new HIStalk webinar series, but unfortunately my day job keeps interfering with my potential attendance. Next week’s webinar addresses “Using Clinical Language Understanding & Infrastructure Planning as Key Strategies to Ensure Clinical Revenue Integrity with ICD-10” and you can register here. I’ll likely register anyway with the hopes that my conflicting meeting will cancel – hope to see you there!


We’ve all heard horror stories about organizations dumping medical records rather than shredding them or unintentionally misplacing paper charts. Now that patients are receiving copies of their visit summaries and other documents at every visit, there’s an increased chance that we’re going to see more than grocery receipts and shopping lists blowing in the wind. Kudos to my friends at DISC Corporation who made sure the full-color copies of a patient’s colonoscopy report made it to the shredder. Not every patient-facing document has a patient or practice address, so that was probably the most ethical course of action.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 20, 2013 News 4 Comments

News 6/19/13

June 18, 2013 News 4 Comments

Top News

6-18-2013 7-20-54 PM

Robert M. Wah, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist, chief medical officer for Computer Sciences Corporation, Navy veteran, and ONC’s first deputy national coordinator, is elected president of the AMA. He’ll take office in June 2014.

Reader Comments

6-18-2013 8-22-09 PM

inga_small From Alectrona: “KLAS Mid-Term report. Epic was the only acute care EMR to earn a green stoplight.” In KLAS-speak, a green stoplight indicates a customer satisfaction that’s at least six points above the average for that product segment. EpicCare Inpatient scored 90.4 compared to the 12-month segment average of 73.2. Cerner Millennium PowerChart came in a distant second at 77.5. The average score for community hospital EMRs was 70.6, indicating a good deal of discontent across both segments. Ambulatory EMRs fared better, led by PCC EHR (94.5), EpicCare Ambulatory (88.3), and SRSsoft EHR (86.7).

From Stephanie: “Re: EMR. Can you recommend a system that would be ideal for a small, new epidemiology practice?“ I’ll open the floor to suggestions, particularly for EMRs known to work well for a practice of that type.

From Re-Org: “Re: Springfield Clinic. Dual-headed CIO initiates re-org and dismantles the clinical informatics department, which merges with IT. Top talent jumps ship along with dual-headed CIO. HR will no longer meet with confused, misled, and frustrated employees.” Unverified.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

6-18-2013 6-32-28 PM
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor SpeechCheck. The Yorkville, IL company can help prevent errors that occur when physicians (especially radiologists) fail to correct mistakes created by speech recognition systems, which is often a problem with their rapid rollout. Those mistakes can cause embarrassment, loss of reputation, patient care problems, and lawsuits. The company analyzes a facility’s reports, trains their physicians, and develops measurable quality standards that include a goal of 98 percent accuracy and zero critical errors. The result is improved care, risk management, and increased reimbursement. Choose from four service packages that offer choices for type and frequency of auditing, creating or reviewing templates, one-on-one physician training and conversion to self-edit , and compliance updates. See where you stand by finding your documentation quality metric. As the company says, we’ve all seen radiology reports where the technology failed to wreck a nice beach recognize speech. President and CEO Lee Tkachuk is a friend of HIStalk going way back; she also leads ChartNet Technologies and Keystrokes Transcription Service. Thanks to Lee and SpeechCheck for supporting my work.  

Maybe I should have taken a picture with my iPhone. I noticed a guy standing at the urinal in the restroom at work doing his business while frantically keying into his iPad mini with both hands. I dawdled at the sink to see if he washed his hands afterwards since I wondered if he could stand the separation from his beloved gadget. He did, not that it mattered at that point.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

6-18-2013 8-25-02 PM

CareCloud secures $20 million in Series B financing led by Tenaya Capital, bringing its total funding to $44 million.

6-18-2013 8-24-24 PM

Mobile health monitoring provider Medivo raises a $15 million Series B round.

PaySpan, a provider of automated healthcare payments and reimbursements, acquires the assets of mPay Gateway, a point-of-service patient payment solution for healthcare providers.


6-18-2013 8-28-29 PM

St. Mary’s Health Care System (GA) selects Merge’s iConnect Access and iConnect Enterprise Archive for enterprise imaging.

OnePartner HIE will add the Allscripts dbMotion platform to enhance reporting and connectivity.

Nature Coast ACO (FL) expands its relationship with eClinicalWorks to include eCW’s Care Coordination Medical Record.

Community Health Network (IN) will deploy OpportunityAnyWare business analytic solutions from Streamline Health Solutions.

WellStar Health System (GA) selects Avantas to provide consulting services and its Smart Square labor management software to improve labor performance in its nursing units.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (PA) will implement Salar’s TeamNotes solution to capture clinical documentation and comply with ICD-10.


6-18-2013 5-56-57 PM

HIMSS Analytics promotes Bryan Fiekers (above) to director of consulting solutions sales and Matt Schuchardt to director of market intelligence solution sales.

6-18-2013 5-59-41 PM

CareCloud hires Tom Cady (athenahealth) as VP of professional services.

6-18-2013 6-02-18 PM

Former CMS Administrator Donald Berwick announces that he will run for governor of Massachusetts.

6-18-2013 6-03-18 PM

John Frenzel (Conifer Health Solutions) joins Convergent Revenue Cycle Management as CFO.

Announcements and Implementations

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reports it has recovered more than $300 million by reducing net A/R with the help of Hyland Software’s OnBase ECM platform.

6-18-2013 8-31-48 PM

Mary Greeley Medical Center (IA) implements PeriGen’s PeriCALM fetal surveillance solution, interfacing it to Epic Stork.

Glenn Medical Center (CA) goes live on CPSI.

Laurel Regional Hospital and Prince George’s Hospital Center, affiliates of Dimensions Healthcare System (MD), activate Cerner.

6-18-2013 8-33-15 PM

EvergreenHealth (WA) goes live with PatientKeeper Charge Capture.

Bumrungrad International Hospital (Thailand) deploys the Intelligent InSites RTLS solution.

ARC Community Services (WI) implements Forward Health Group’s PopulationManager to monitor addiction treatment programs.

Cerner will embed the MedAssets Claims Management solution within its patient accounting solution.

6-18-2013 8-34-41 PM

University of Ottawa Heart Institute (Canada) goes live on the Med Access EMR.

Adventist Health finishes its implementation of Strata Decision Technology’s StrataJazz for operating budgets and management reporting and will begin rolling out additional StrataJazz modules for capital planning and strategic planning.

Government and Politics

inga_small National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD has supposedly confirmed that the ICD-10 transition date will not be extended beyond October 1, 2014. If CMS weren’t notorious for soft deadlines, would this even be news?

White House Senior Advisor Ryan Panchadsaram, a former executive of Ginger.io and former Rock Health fellow, talks about patients accessing their electronic records at TEDMED 2013.


6-18-2013 1-05-28 PM

The first of 4,000 Cerner employees begin moving into the first of two high-rise towers at the company’s new Cerner Continuous Campus in Kansas City, KS.

6-18-2013 8-36-18 PM

The Meditech system of Memorial Hospital (IL) has been down since June 11 after upgrade-related problems and won’t return to normal operation until June 24, forcing the hospital to go back to paper charts for almost two weeks.

6-18-2013 7-54-38 PM

The UK government fines North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust $86,000 for exposing the medical information of three patients by manually entering the fax number of a psychiatric facility incorrectly and sending it instead to someone’s house.

Sponsor Updates

6-18-2013 1-50-56 PM

  • Optum donates $10,000 to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (FL) in connection with its successful “Make Every Step Count” campaign during this week’s HFMA-ANI conference.
  • PeriGen pledges support for the first published draft of nursing care quality measures developed by the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric  and Neonatal Nurses.
  • e-MDs expands its headquarters to three locations in the Austin, TX area.
  • An eClinicalWorks survey finds that the primary motivator for becoming an ACO or PCMH is to improve patient outcomes, with respondents also stating that an integrated EHR would be the most valuable IT feature.
  • 3M Health Information Systems introduces the 3M CAC System, a computer-assisted coding solution for small hospitals.
  • Bay Area News Group includes First DataBank on its list of Top Workplaces based on employee feedback.
  • David M. Walker, former US comptroller general, provides the keynote address at the SCI Solutions Client Innovation Summit October 15 in Braselton, GA.
  • Advocate Health Care (IL) says its use of the Healthcare Workforce Information Exchange from API Healthcare has given the organization the ability to link patient satisfaction with employee satisfaction.
  • Craneware introduces enhancements to its Chargemaster Toolkit software.
  • Hayes Management Consulting discusses common areas to consider for increased EHR efficiency.
  • GetWellNetwork integrates its Interactive Patient Care solution with Rauland Responder nurse call system to improve nursing workflow and communication.
  • Capsule posts a white paper that discusses medical device connectivity that is vendor-neutral, open architecture, and device-specific.
  • SRSsoft completes the first phase of certification for the 2014 Edition of the SRS EHR.
  • HIStalk sponsors AT&T and Ping Identity are included on Computerworld’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT 2013.”
  • MedAssets introduces its Procure-to-Pay Solutions suite, which is designed to enhance the management and oversight of contract compliance, standardization, and pricing accuracy.
  • Beacon Partners hosts a four-part Webinar on getting the maximum value from HIT systems beginning with a June 21 discussion on optimizing systems to improve workflow around patient access.
  • T-System posts a video highlighting its RevCycle+ solutions for physician.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 18, 2013 News 4 Comments

Monday Morning Update 6/17/13

June 16, 2013 News 7 Comments

6-16-2013 6-49-56 PM

Three-quarters of poll respondents don’t believe EHR vendors should sell the de-identified data of patients who haven’t approved that practice. New (reader-suggested) poll to your right: what will be the effect(s) of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct? You may choose more than one answer and add your comments after voting.

6-16-2013 7-50-27 PM

Fans of the smoking doc HIStalk logo will like the old-new mash-up done by the folks at Billian’s HealthDATA. Inga and I think it’s pretty cool.

6-16-2013 7-31-27 PM 6-16-2013 7-41-01 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor O’Reilly Strata Rx Conference, which runs September 25-27 at Boston Marriott Copley Place. It focuses on improving healthcare by acquiring, analyzing, and applying big data (the conference tagline is “Data Makes a Difference.”) Presenters include Jonathan Bush of athenahealth; James M. Maisel, MD of ZyDoc;  Richard Elmore of Allscripts; Jordan Shlain of Healthloop; Dale Sanders of Health Catalyst; and Michael Weintraub of Humedica. Fun events include speed networking, a startup showcase, and a five-minute presentation track. Use code HIST by August 15 and you’ll get 20 percent off on your registration, which ranges from $645 for Wednesday only to $1,925 for a three-day, all-access pass. Thanks to O’Reilly Strata Rx Conference for supporting HIStalk. I’m looking for interesting fall and winter conferences to attend if I can find the time and this one looks like a contender.

6-16-2013 7-17-14 PM

Speaking of HIMSS EHRA’s Developer Code of Conduct, its website doesn’t indicate which vendors have signed it, but Epic has, according to its site.

6-16-2013 9-18-56 PM

Mediware will announce Monday that it has acquired Fastrack Healthcare Systems, which will add home medical equipment systems to Mediware’s Alternate Care Solutions business.

Another acquisition will be announced Monday afternoon involving two physician practice system vendors, but I’m non-disclosed on that one.

Here’s a pretty funny video of athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush in a fake screen test (aka an athenahealth pitch) for Health Datapalooza.

From an AAFP interview with Farzad Mostashari: “I think that [physician EHR dissatisfaction] number may grow, because as we expand beyond the early adopters, the expectations for usable and intuitive technology are higher. I sure hope that the EHR vendors are hearing the same levels of dissatisfaction from their customers and their prospective customers that I’m hearing. I hope vendors are focusing on user-centered design in the next iterations of their software instead of adding more bells and whistles.”

6-16-2013 9-20-17 PM

Passport announces CareCertainty and PatientSync, which provide real-time notifications  of care transitions for population health management.

6-16-2013 9-21-30 PM

An article in the Madison newspaper provides a factoid about the brick building at 2020 Old University Road in Madison: it was the birthplace of both Epic and American Girl.

6-16-2013 7-23-04 PM

David LeClair, one of 140 athenahealth employees bicycling an 180-mile route from Maine to Massachusetts in the Trek Across Maine fundraiser for the American Lung Association, was killed Friday by a passing tractor trailer. He was 23.

6-16-2013 7-29-40 PM

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford notifies 12,900 patients that their information was present on a broken, unencrypted laptop that was stolen in May.

Among the 11 medical schools earning a $1 million AMA grant for education innovation are New York University and Indiana University, which will develop a virtual EHR using de-identified patient data to each students how to manage population health.

Winner of ONC’s Family Caregivers Video Challenge is “Grandma Safe and Sound,” in which Rachel Rust describes using Independa Angela, a tablet- and TV-based system that gives users video chat, e-mail, health information, schedules, reminders, and photo sharing, to help care for her 91-year-old grandmother. The announcement was six months ago, but I hadn’t seen it until ONC tweeted it.

6-16-2013 9-22-49 PM

AMIA launches a Student Design Challenge to re-invent electronic clinical documentation to reduce clinician burden, improve decision-making, encourage teamwork, and support reuse of the captured data. Graduate student team entries are due July 31.

6-16-2013 9-23-30 PM

An interesting blog post by Barbara Bronson Gray, RN wonders why we someone doesn’t offer a Genius Bar for everyday health issues. The obvious answer: Apple charges a premium for its products and can therefore afford to spend money improving user satisfaction at no charge, while in healthcare someone would have to be paid to provide services for free. It would be nice for hospital EDs, though.

6-16-2013 9-24-51 PM

A Harvard Law symposium contribution on the re-identification of genomic data sets cautions hype-happy newspapers and blogs to understand and accurately portray what they’re writing about, concluding, “… while this recent re-identification demonstration provided some important warning signals for future potential health privacy concerns, it was not likely to have been implemented by anyone other than an academic re-identification scientist; nor would it have been nearly so successful if it had not carefully selected targets who were particularly susceptible for re-identification.” It doesn’t mention similar recent articles describing re-identification of health information for accident victims by matching their records to newspaper accounts, but the conclusion might be similar.

6-16-2013 8-41-57 PM

Surgeon and mHealth innovator Rafael Grossman, MD, FACS describes his experience with Google Glass and his ideas for developing medical applications for it. Examples: sharing live OR video, distance education, telemedicine, surgical back-up, and viewing EMR data without being distracted. He calls on the American College of Surgeons to lead the way in using Glass to improve healthcare.

6-16-2013 8-52-14 PM

A Dallas newspaper article profiles Vivify Health (mobile apps for patient engagement and population health management) and Axxess (home health agency software.)

6-16-2013 8-58-57 PM

England’s National Audit Office finds that the now-defunct NHS National Programme for IT (NPfIT) cost a lot more than the benefits it delivered, and it’s doubtful it will ever pay for itself although estimation is difficult because of uncertainty. Three significant programs (Summary Care Record and the South and London programs) have delivered only two percent of the expected benefits.

Here’s Part 2 of Vince’s HIS-tory of Epic.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 16, 2013 News 7 Comments

News 6/14/13

June 13, 2013 News 3 Comments

Top News

6-13-2013 10-58-55 PM

The FDA urges medical device makers to protect their products against hackers and malware and offers guidance for developing security controls that would protect the confidentiality and integrity of data and limit malfunctions in the event of computer viruses.

Reader Comments

6-13-2013 10-40-52 PM

inga_small From Biker Dude: “Re: HIStalk Practice. What do I win if I am your 500,000th visit?” Thanks for noticing that HIStalk Practice is about to hit a milestone in the next couple of weeks. No prize for making the visit counter hit 500,000, though every reader has my undying gratitude for the support.

inga_small From Mojo: “Allscripts. I heard they are scheduling a conference call Friday to announce another reorg. Have you heard anything like this?” No, although another reader shared news that Allscripts had sold off its forms division (who knew they still had a forms division?) Unverified but neither piece of news would not be surprising given that CEO Paul Black has now had six months to get a lay of the land and the company reported a loss in Q1.

From Zee: “Re: inbox. I want to do a prototype on how we could improve the old-style physician inbox so that read-only information can be delivered in a meaningful way on a tablet. Replicating the current functionality as is isn’t innovation.” Sounds like a fun challenge to visualize how an improved inbox might work. Send me your ideas and I’ll run them here.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

inga_small HIStalk Practice highlights from the last week include: CMS pays out $547 million in PQRS and e-prescribing incentives in 2011.  Physician compensation is increasingly tied to measures of quality and patient satisfaction. AHRQ offers a guide for primary care physicians connecting to RHIOs. As of the end of April, one out of two Medicare EPs were meaningful users of EHRs. MyMedicalRecords ends a lawsuit with Emdeon but initiates a new one with Jardogs. Emdeon CEO George Lazenby discusses his company, the industry, and potential opportunities. Rob Drewniak of Hayes Management Consulting looks at healthcare data governance and data stewardship. Thanks for reading.

On the Jobs Board: Compliance Program Manager, Software Engineer, Territory Sales Manager – South Eastern US.

6-13-2013 9-31-14 PM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Sagacious Consultants of Lenexa, KS. Sagacious means smart and having good judgment (I had to look it up), and the company applies those qualities to its singular focus: Epic. A full 97 percent of its employees came from Epic, collectively holding every Epic certification. The company has worked with 40 Epic hospitals and physician practices on full implementations, big bang installs, upgrades, and rollouts. It can provide build analysts, team leads, project managers, trainers, and go-live support. KLAS ranks it #1 in satisfaction for staffing and implementation support, with 100 percent of clients saying it keeps its promises and 100 percent saying they would hire the company again. Consultants work from their homes nationally, reducing travel billing and making them happier besides. Thanks to Sagacious Consultants for supporting my work.

6-13-2013 10-42-39 PM

The next HIStalk Webinar will be “Using Clinical Language Understanding & Infrastructure Planning as Key Strategies to Ensure Clinical Revenue Integrity with ICD-10” on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 from 1:00 – 1:45 Eastern time. It is sponsored by Nuance Healthcare and will be presented by Mel Tully MSN, CCDS, CDIP, senior vice president at J. A. Thomas and Associates. Register now.

6-13-2013 8-57-22 PM 

A reader provides this photographic evidence of a pop-up HIStalk presence in Paris, as evidenced by a “I Could Be Mr H” banner in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Snap a picture with something HIStalk showing HIStalk in an interesting location and I’ll run it here.

Listening: new Black Sabbath, with “13” being the first new studio album since 1995 and the first with Ozzy in 35 years. I’ve listened to it at least 10 times and it’s a perfect 1970s sludge metal sound. It’s magnificent.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

6-13-2013 10-43-58 PM

Allscripts prices a private offering of $300 million aggregate principal amount of its cash convertible senior notes due 2020. The conversion price represents a 30 percent premium to June 12’s closing price of $13.22 per share.

Emdeon acquires Goold Health Systems, a provider of pharmacy benefits and related services to state Medicaid agencies.


Christus Health selects McKesson’s suite of documentation management solutions for integration with the health system’s existing HIS.

6-13-2013 10-45-37 PM

Swedish Covenant Hospital (IL) selects eClinicalWorks EHR and RCM solutions for its 150 employed physicians.

The DoD awards PSI and partners TechWerks and Mediware a $9.2 million follow-on task order to sustain and maintain the DoD’s enterprise blood management system.


6-13-2013 11-37-45 AM

inga_small Aneesh Chopra,  former US CTO and one of technology’s most beautiful men, loses his bid to be Virginia’s Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor.

6-13-2013 8-38-30 PM

Quantros names Dmitri Daveynis (HP) SVP of engineering.

6-13-2013 8-40-35 PM

US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announces her resignation after four years in the post. Benjamin does not provide specific details on her future plans, but Democratic Party officials have identified her as a potential candidate for a Congressional seat being vacated in her home state of Alabama.

Announcements and Implementations

Healthix and the Brooklyn Health Information Exchange will merge into a single RHIO and retain the name Healthix. A new board of directors will govern the entity and leadership and staff from both RHIOs will continue to support the organization.

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust implements Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager three months ahead of schedule and on budget.

KershawHealth (SC) implements a paperless clinical data bridge solution from Access to transfer EKG traces and other clinical data into its EHR.

6-13-2013 10-47-59 PM

Marshfield Clinic (WI) will form Marshfield Clinic Information Services, a  separate for-profit subsidiary that will support the clinic and technology and services to other customers. The clinic’s 350 IS employees will join the new entity.

IBM, the Premier healthcare alliance, and four healthcare systems launch the Data Alliance Cooperative, which will allow members to share experiences and co-develop solutions that integrate data across the care continuum. Initial focus will be on reducing medication non-compliance and readmissions through predictive modeling.

Innovation and Research

6-13-2013 10-50-30 PM

Interested in Google Glass? Kyle, who writes for HIStalk Connect, is part of Pristine, a startup that’s developing Glass apps for physicians. He has received his pair and invites readers to give them a try at a party in New York City on Thursday, June 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Galway Pub. E-mail Kyle to RSVP and bring friends if  you like.


6-13-2013 10-53-33 PM

Nuance releases a new version of Dragon Medical Practice designed for smaller practices that includes voice shortcuts to aid searches for medical information and more than 90 specialized medical vocabularies.


6-13-2013 10-54-53 PM

Care Logistics sues Ohio-based Catholic Health Partners of Cincinnati and Mercy Health Systems of Toledo, claiming it has lost $50 million after the health systems reneged on a 2008 deal to serve as reference sites for the company’s bed management software in return for royalties. 

Inga is so proud of beating Weird News Andy to this story. A trucker sues a urologist for what he claims was a botched penile implant that caused him to have an erection for eight months. The doctor says the man should have told him when his scrotum swelled to volleyball size, but the man says he was told to expect swelling. The patient, who changed his wardrobe to baggy sweatpants and long shirts, made his case to the jury: “I could hardly dance, with an erection poking my partner … It’s not something you want to bring out at parties and show to friends.”

Sponsor Updates

  • CollaborateMD will add educational content from Elsevier into its ClaimGear solution for medical billing and coding education.
  • NoMoreClipboard will integrate ICA’s HIE offerings with its PHR and patient portal.
  • Vitera Healthcare releases Vitera Medical Manager EHR, a Web-based EHR, analytics, and transaction platform for its customers.
  • Ingenious Med integrates Wolters Kluwer Health’s Health Language code search engine into its point-of-care charge capture solution.
  • Impact Advisors Principal John Stanley discusses analytics as it relates to HIE.
  • Emdat publishes a case study highlighting Illinois Bone and Joint Institute, which reduced its documentation costs by 50 percent after implementing Emdat’s medical documentation platform.
  • Porter Research discusses the role of NLP technology in healthcare transformation with Nuance CMIO Nick van Terheyden.
  • Perceptive Software CTO Brian Anderson offers five predictions for business process management, enterprise content management, and capture and search.
  • The office manager for Summersville Pediatrics (SC) shares her practice’s experience migrating from MyWay to Aprima.
  • PeriGen publishes a case study featuring Summit Healthcare’s (AZ) experience of implementing advanced perinatal technology.
  • David Laureau, CEO of Medicomp Systems, discusses the importance of giving providers the data required to better manage the health of individual patients in real time and at the point of care.
  • VitalWare’s VP of Compliance Jill Wolf will discuss the benefits and limitations of predictive modeling at next week’s HIMSS ICD-10 Forum Washington, DC.
  • Wolters Kluwer Health’s customer advisory board says that improving clinical outcomes through expanded integration of clinical decision support is a top priority.
  • iSirona will remain in Panama City, FL after the county and state promise $1.8 million in incentives. The company will 300 new jobs in the next three years.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

The United States Supreme Court ruled this week on Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter. Essentially this paves the way for physicians to use class arbitration to resolve issues with payers. Dr. Sutter, a pediatrician, alleged that Oxford systematically bundled, downcoded, and delayed patients for more than 20,000 network physicians but Oxford claimed physicians had to participate in arbitration as individuals. The case has been in the courts for more than a decade. I like to see the little guy stick it to the payer at least once in a while.

Medicare will be issuing a redesigned Medical Summary Notice to beneficiaries. Aimed at preventing fraud and abuse, it will show the services and supplies billed to Medicare during the past three months, the amount paid, and the patient responsible portion.

I’d like to see all payers take this approach. I’m still getting Explanation of Benefits statements from a procedure last year that the practice erroneously billed yet keeps trying to hit me up for the insurance balance. Guess what, not paying it. And to my orthopedic surgeon – guess what, you’re going to be refunding me all the co-pays you’re making me pay for follow-ups in the global period. Dr. Jayne has her summary plan description and knows how to read it. And if you cross me, I might just demand an electronic copy of my record, which I know will cause much consternation in your office. Welcome to the era of patient empowerment.

Athenahealth offers an ICD-10 Guarantee for practices that are live by June 30, 2014. Additionally, practices experiencing cash flow disruptions may be eligible for cash advances against outstanding claims. There’s a fair amount of fine print involved, but I like the idea.

Apple announced this week that the next generation of its mobile operating system will contain a virtual “kill switch,” or activation lock to allow stolen devices to be deactivated.

A couple of my friends convinced me to sit for the Clinical Informatics subspecialty certification from the American Board of Preventive Medicine. In reading through the various requirements I have one major concern (other than the cost of the exam, which is substantial). The criteria require current certification by one of the other ABMS specialty boards. This is problematic for informaticists who have let their clinical certifications lapse. I understand why they’re doing it, but the thought of maintaining two certifications isn’t a happy one. I’d be interested to hear from others who are planning to take the exam.

E-mail Dr. Jayne.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.

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June 13, 2013 News 3 Comments

News 6/12/13

June 11, 2013 News 12 Comments

Top News

6-11-2013 11-33-45 PM

The HIMSS EHR Association announces the EHR Developer Code of Conduct, which is available for companies that develop complete EHRs. Principles include (a) communicating product information accurately; (b) designing products with patient safety in mind; (c) participating in a Patient Safety Organization for reporting and reviewing patient safety problems; (d) sharing product-related best practices with customers; (e) notifying customers of software bugs that could impact patient safety; (f) excluding contract language that prohibits customers from speaking up about safety concerns; (g) supporting interoperability through use of standards; (h) giving customers their data if they switch vendors; and (i) documenting how the product handles coding and quality measurement. It’s nicely done, and while I’d rather see these items in my contract instead of in a voluntary set of principles issued by a trade association, I like the idea of laying them out publicly.

Reader Comments

inga_small From Nick Carraway: “Re: TeraRecon changes. Longtime president Robert Taylor is gone. CFO Lakshmi Lakshminarayan is serving as interim CEO.” We requested confirmation from TeraRecon and haven’t heard back. Lakshminarayan is listed as interim CEO on the company’s Website.

6-11-2013 7-47-46 AM

inga_small From Georgia Peach: “Marketing gimmick. I got a HFMA ANI postcard from an exhibitor in the mail that made me laugh out loud, especially because I’m a parent.” Now that’s a genius marketing promotion. Any parent who has felt the pressure to return from a trip with goodies for the kids will appreciate this giveaway, which includes two iPad minis so the winner can keep one for himself and give the other to a spouse or “favorite child.”

6-11-2013 11-36-58 PM

inga_small From Becky Badger: “In case it’s not on your radar, the Digital Health Conference is here in Madison this week and Judy Faulkner is a speaker this year. That’s notable because she rarely strays from the standard circuit.” Judy will participate in a panel discussion Wednesday morning on interoperability and information exchange. The other panelists are both Epic customers (Kaiser and St. Mary’s Hospital), so don’t be surprised if third-party EHRs fail to get much airtime in the interoperability discussion. Epic is also sponsoring the event.

From SNOMED Junkie: “Re: resignations. Both the CEO and chief technical architect of IHTSDO resigned today. That’s the non-profit that manages SNOMED content and distribution.” The announcements suggest that the Denmark-based organization made the change as part of a review of its long-term direction.

From Chas Incharge: “Re: McKesson Provider Technologies. They have lost market share but haven’t downsized marketing. Now it appears they want the marketing and sales team that oversaw the huge market share loss to do marketing for all technology business units. I’m a long-timer worried about my stock value. Harumph!” Unverified.

From Big Datty: “Re: Atlantic article. BKA in the EHR repeatedly, but the patient had both legs. Doesn’t anyone examine the patient any more?”The Drawbacks of Data-Driven Medicine” mentions an intern presenting a patient on rounds as having a below-the-knee amputation that had been noted on three previous discharge summaries. When the rounding team actually looked at the patient instead of the computer screen, both legs were intact. The incorrect information had been caused by speech recognition, which misunderstand DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) as BKA (below the knee amputation) and nobody noticed.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Great Point Partners makes a $10 million growth recapitalization investment in iVantage Health Analytics, a provider of healthcare informatics and business analytics solutions.

6-11-2013 8-08-02 AM

Parallon Business Solutions, a provider of business and operational services for the healthcare industry, will acquire The Outsource Group, a healthcare RCM company.

6-11-2013 7-18-19 PM

Ivo Nelson (IBM/Healthlink, Encore Health Resources) launches Next Wave Health, which will provide management advice, operational support, and capital to healthcare IT startups. Working with him will be Mike Davis, formerly of HIMSS Analytics and The Advisory Board Company.


Centra Health (VA) selects HealthMEDX Vision and the Exchange platform to manage post-acute patient care and facilitate patient data exchange.

6-11-2013 11-39-47 PM

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (TN) will deploy McKesson’s enterprise medical imaging products.

Horizon Health Center (NJ) expands its relationship with eClinicalWorks to include its  Care Coordination Medical Record.

Piedmont Eye Center (VA) selects SRS EHR.

The Veterans Benefit Administration awards Harris Corp. a four-year, $37 million contract to provide technical services for the agency’s enterprise data warehouse.

Partners HealthCare (MA) will implement the Health Catalyst Late-Binding Data Warehouse across its two academic medical centers and community and specialty hospitals. Partners and Health Catalyst will also co-develop new clinical applications for the warehouse platform.

6-11-2013 11-40-40 PM

Hospital for Special Surgery (NY) contracts with SCI Solutions for its rules-based referral management system.

CAQH selects Passport Health to develop a national COB solution to improve the sharing of patient coverage data between healthcare providers and payers.


6-11-2013 7-16-48 PM

iSALUS Healthcare promotes Kimberly Poland to VP of client engagement.

6-11-2013 12-34-46 PM

Delta Health Technologies hires Lorraine Lodigiani (MedAct Software) as VP of marketing.

6-11-2013 12-54-32 PM

Zachary Landman, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital) joins DoctorBase as CMO.

6-11-2013 1-06-04 PM

Intellect Resources names Susan Williams (High Point University) VP of recruiting services.

6-11-2013 1-42-48 PM  6-11-2013 1-41-27 PM

Shareable Ink will on Wednesday name former Allscripts Chief Customer Officer Laurie McGraw as CEO, taking over for company co-founder Stephen Hau, who will transition to CTO.

Announcements and Implementations

VitalWare and Panacea Healthcare Solutions will co-market their CDM and pricing systems.

King’s Ridge Christian School (GA) becomes the first student health clinic to implement simplifyMD’s EHR software.

6-11-2013 10-22-21 PM

Yale New Haven Saint Raphael Campus and 63 practices and clinics went live on Epic on June 1, which followed the February 1 go-live of Yale New Haven Health System and the Yale School of Medicine, Epic’s third-largest go-live ever. CIO Daniel Barchi credits the Epic teams of the hospital and medical school and the clinician preparation at YNHHS Saint Raphael Campus for the smooth transition. The two remaining go-lives are Bridgeport Hospital and Yale Health, with the $293 million project targeted to finish ahead of schedule and under budget.

Urgent care provider CareSpot implements the PatientPoint Care Coordination Platform, including PatientPoint electronic check-in tablets, in 40 locations.

6-11-2013 11-11-19 PM

LifeNexus announces iChip, an insurance card chip that retrieves a patient’s personal health record.

6-11-2013 11-45-30 PM

San Joaquin General Hospital (CA) implements the Logical Ink mobile data capture solution from Bottomline Technologies to automate patient registration and identify trends in population health.

Het Oogziekenhuis Rotterdam (Netherlands) goes live with iMDsoft’s MetaVision in its OR, holding unit, and PACU.

AirStrip’s applications earn DIACAP certification from the US Air Force, indicating that their use of authentication and encryption meets Department of Defense security requirements.

Lake of the Woods Hospital (Ontario) goes live on Meditech.

GE Healthcare will invest $2 billion over the next five years to develop software for hospital operations, clinical effectiveness, and care optimization.

Salem Community Hospital (OH) implements the PatientSecure biometric patient ID system.

HIMSS will release a healthcare IT value model on July 15 that will incorporate user satisfaction, care delivery, user education, prevention, and financial return.

Government and Politics

The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, investigating a suspicious surge in insurance company stock prices, find that hundreds of HHS employees had early knowledge of an impending Medicare change and could have tipped off investors.

Innovation and Research

6-11-2013 11-46-43 PM

The Boston newspaper covers startups working on healthcare application for Google Glass, including an app for hospital rapid response teams and another for patients and families.


6-11-2013 3-02-19 PM

Verizon launches the Blackerry Q10, which it claims is tailored for the healthcare market. It will use the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 Regulated Service to help providers remain HIPAA compliant.


6-11-2013 11-50-36 PM

Six of the eight women allegedly sexually assaulted by former Epic project manager Brian Stowe are identified as his Epic co-workers, according to the criminal complaint. He’s accused of drugging them and filming the assaults. He was charged with 62 counts of felony and posted $500,000 in bail within 90 minutes of his May 31 arrest, but was re-arrested Monday on federal charges of sexual exploitation of a child. He has lost his job with Epic.

An Alameda County (CA) drug bust uncovers drugs along with personal information on about 4,500 Sutter Health patients. Officials are unclear about how the information got there, but say the data may contain patient demographics, including financial details and Social Security numbers.

Cerner paid $193,759 last year to a company controlled by its vice chairman Clifford Illig for use of its aircraft, also paying $184,579 to a second company owned by an Illig-controlled trust for fuel. Meanwhile, CEO Neal Patterson’s employment agreement promises him up to $110,000 for personal flights on aircraft that Cerner owns or leases and cash for any unused portion.

Weird News Andy says, “Soy vey!” A case study in NEJM describes a 19-year-old who drank a quart of soy sauce on a dare, leading to a hypernatremia-induced coma that lasted three days.

Sponsor Updates

6-11-2013 10-59-18 AM

  • ICA donates $6,000 to Pryor Ministry Center in the name of Lisa Lyon, clinical informatics coordinator at Cherokee Nation and recipient of ICA’s HIMSS13 booth giveaway. ICA partners HealthCare Anytime and CSC also contributed to the donation.
  • Ping Identity announces PingFederate7, an upgrade to its identity bridge software and cloud identity management platform that provides standards-based user provisioning, authentication, and authorization with support for cross-domain identity management and OpenID Connect identity standards.
  • Midas+ names 24 hospital customers as winners of its Midas+ Platinum Award based on a data analysis of utilization efficiency and outcomes.
  • PatientKeeper offers a June 27 Webinar on voluntary physician adoption of CPOE featuring the IS director and chief hospitalist of Community Memorial Health System (CA.)
  • VitalWare introduces VitalSigns, a claims auditing and ICD-10 financial risk assessment tool.
  • Ingenious Med reports that clients using its PQRS registry had a 100 percent reimbursement rate in 2012.
  • Medicity publishes a white paper on engaging patients within an ACO.
  • TELUS Health Solutions releases a white paper on the value of using and approaches for implementing home health monitoring solutions.
  • Frank Grella, director of patient financial services for T-System customer Conway Medical Center (SC), will discuss how his organization increased collections using a specialized ED billing solution during next week’s HMFA13 conference in Orlando.
  • Direct Consulting Associates interviews Michael Elley, CIO/VP of support services for Cox Medical Center (MO), who shares his thoughts on HIT leadership and management challenges.
  • iMDsoft and Anesthesia Business Consultants (ABC) partner to offer iMDsoft’s mobile solution for electronic documentation with ABC’s F1RSTUse EHR platform.
  • The Philadelphia newspaper interviews InstaMed Founder, President, and CEO Bill Marvin, who shares details of his company’s business model and history.
  • Park Place International joins the Citrix Solution Advisor program, allowing the company to offer Meditech-approved Citrix solutions to hospitals for three-tier connectivity.
  • SIS offers suggestions on choosing the right mobile device for OR use.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 11, 2013 News 12 Comments

Monday Morning Update 6/10/13

June 9, 2013 News 7 Comments

From CIO Reader: “Re: Webinars. I am thrilled you have put this type of process in place. I need to attend many of these Webinars to stay abreast of industry trends, yet many of them are sales pitches or poorly presented. Nothing is worse than having the presenter read slide after slide. A topic I’d like to see covered see is data governance, with real-life examples from hospitals that have developed a structure.” If you are a CIO who has implemented an effective data governance program, why not present your experience as an HIStalk Webinar? It’s just as gratifying as speaking at a conference without the logistical headaches and it makes a nice resume addition besides. Contact me if you are interested.

6-8-2013 6-51-05 AM

The vast majority of poll respondents, 82 percent, would avoid using a hospital whose clinicians are complaining publicly that its clinical systems are compromising patient safety. New poll to your right: should an EHR vendor be allowed to sell a patient’s de-identified data without their permission?

We’re doing an expansion of IT pay bands/job descriptions at my hospital, which caused me to recall how many times I’ve overseen that process at other hospitals I’ve worked in. The cycle involves: (a) deciding that IT has way too many job descriptions that don’t make sense and it would be better to collapse them into generic pay bands such as Analyst I/II/III; (b) everybody gets slotted with a lot of complaints, and the smart employees realize that the lower the band the better since their salary won’t decrease but they have more opportunity to move up; (c) the good IT people start leaving for greener pastures because there’s not much future upside if you’re already at the top of the grade with nowhere to go except into soul-sucking IT management, causing (d) HR and IT to agree that more job descriptions and pay flexibility would be just the ticket and it’s time to add a bunch of new job descriptions. This entire cycle gets repeated every 4-5 years, providing the illusion of effectiveness to IT and HR management.

6-8-2013 7-30-03 AM

Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Alere Accountable Care Solutions. The company was formed in January 2013, made possible by Alere’s 2011 acquisition of Wellogic and integrating Alere’s offerings to help ACOs and provider groups improve outcomes and reduce costs. It offers interoperable HIE and EHR solutions developed with an emphasis on the physician-patient connection, physician usability, and innovation. Specific products include an HIE platform, EHR, PHR, connected biometric and diagnostic devices, decision support, real-time analytics, population analytics, wellness and health coaching, and evidence-based care management. Recently announced customers include Virtua, Triad HealthCare, and the MedVirginia HIE. Thanks to Alere Accountable Care Solutions for supporting HIStalk.

6-8-2013 7-46-25 AM

Supporting HIStalk at the Platinum level is Vital Images, part of Toshiba Medical Systems, which offers next-generation advanced visualization software that’s #1 ranked by KLAS and used by 5,000 customers in 83 countries. The software enables visualization and analysis by radiologists, cardiologists, and oncologists of 2D, 3D, and 4D images using CT and MR scan data. Its vendor-neutral Vitrea Enterprise Suite allows enterprise-wide sharing of images and functionality, providing consistent user interfaces and tools that that improve adoption and reduce support requests. The VitreaView universal viewer gives physicians fast access to DICOM and non-DICOM images from any archive via a zero-footprint browser or tablet, while VitreaAdvanced offers a wide range of best-in-class clinical applications such as stent planning, colon analysis, EP planning, and liver analysis. Check out their on-demand Webinar that explains how to image-enable the EMR using a universal viewer. Thanks to Vital Images for supporting my work.

6-8-2013 8-06-02 AM

Analysis of March-April MU attestation data by Wells Fargo Securities finds that Cerner has pulled slightly ahead of Epic in the percentage of clients achieving MU while McKesson has improved a lot. Meditech still leads the overall attestation count, while Epic is so far ahead in physician attestations that the analysis concludes, “… no vendor looks above average other than Epic.”

A newspaper editorial written by the manager of a North Carolina solo medical practice says the practice’s EMR implementation hurt its efficiency without improving patient safety. It also calls out state programs that chose the mothballed Allscripts MyWay as their foundation, the big financial losses experienced by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Cone Health during their Epic implementations, and the failure of the state’s $484 million Medicaid system. She says that implementation of ICD-10 “would be the tsunami that derails our healthcare system.” Obviously she isn’t a fan of healthcare IT.

Here’s a video on the Blue Button Design Challenge from Health Datapalooza IV.

6-8-2013 8-28-13 AM

I take a mild blood pressure med that my doctor says I don’t really need but he likes me on it anyway. There was some screw-up with Express Scripts, so I decided to refill my 30-day supply at Walgreens. I thought I’d give their iPhone app a try and it was amazing. It located the pharmacy since it was nearest to me, then had me scan the prescription label’s barcode using the phone’s camera. A message said when it would be ready for pickup and I was done. You could literally request a refill in 10 seconds. The app also provides pill reminders, prescription transfer by taking a picture of another pharmacy’s label, loyalty card points tracking, the aisle layout of the store, and online shopping and weekly ads. I’m impressed. It makes “find our nearest hospital” apps seem pretty lame in comparison.

6-9-2013 11-42-13 AM

Perhaps ONC will learn the how hard it is to design usable software by introducing its “Health IT State Summaries” widget. States are arbitrarily divided into geographic regions that each have their own dropdown with resulting wasted space, words are misspelled (“state’s,” “South Caronlina”), and it’s an awfully big widget to embed on a website.

6-9-2013 1-09-46 PM

Researchers at the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, part of Parkland Memorial Hospital (TX), get a write-up in the Dallas paper for their work in developing a model called PIECES that analyzes EMR data to flag patients at risk for cardiac arrest. A randomized controlled study of the software’s effectiveness will start later in the summer. The Center has 35 employees and a $6.7 million annual budget. PIECES use information that includes monitoring data, lab results, MEWS, unit assignment, and orders to predict clinical deterioration 16 hours in advance on average. The original article in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, published in February 2013, is here.

6-9-2013 12-19-37 PM

Hello Doctor introduces an iPad app that allows patients with complex medical conditions to organize their medical records for conversations with their physicians. 

New York City’s 911 operators are forced to use handwritten notes delivered by runners when the city’s new $88 million emergency dispatch system goes down for several minutes on at least three occasions.

A patient at the Bronx (NY) VA hospital dies when a gamma camera collapses on him during a radiology procedure.

Sue Fischer, a nurse who works in the Cerner practice of Encore Health Resources, recently saved the life of a man who had gone down in cardiac arrest in a Phoenix airport jetway by giving him CPR.

6-8-2013 7-21-05 AM

John Alexander (Optimum Healthcare IT) joins ESD as Epic practice director.

6-8-2013 8-01-31 AM

Glenn Cole (The Ghafari Companies) joins Nordic Consulting as CFO.

An Ohio medical practice’s letter to the editor of the local newspaper requests the understanding of patients as it transitions to an EMR, saying, “For the most part we are not computer savvy so this has been a real challenge. While we struggle with this change we are just not able to see the number of patients we had previously.”

Vince Ciotti has been a longstanding critic of what he sees as Epic’s cult of Kool-Aid drinkers, so did a personal audience with Judy Faulkner change his tune? Find out in this week’s HIS-tory.

Sponsor Updates

  • HCA will present its experience implementing identity and access management solutions in a Monday, June 17 Webinar sponsored by Caradigm.


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

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.


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June 9, 2013 News 7 Comments

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

6-4-2013 7-56-06 PM

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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