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News 6/29/07

June 28, 2007 News 2 Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Internet tools. TPD has noticed that the number of new tools for implementing an Internet strategy is expanding at a rapid rate. This expansion of tool options is attracting more inquiries about how to best deploy information over the web. Since healthcare has been slow to adapt an Internet strategy, it might be the time to give web solutions another look since funding new purchases could be difficult with the current declining revenue base. Since web strategies can be cheaper than thick client applications, it deserves consideration by procurement planners.”

From Rolly NC: “Re: Misys. In addition to the departure of Jim Brady at PayerPath, Betty Feth, another 20-plus year SVP at Misys, has left her job in implementation and service. Kelly Ross, the former sales SVP for Hospital Systems who was recently named by Vern Davenport as sales VP for community sales, resigned two days later and was asked to leave immediately. Paul Lewis, hired by Mike Lawrie to run all of sales and service, no longer has sales and only half the services side. Sales VPs and directors are reporting to Vern until someone new is named.” Partially confirmed so far.

From CCHIT and Die: “Re: 2007 certification. NextGen and Greenway are the first two vendors announced to have earned 2007 CCHIT ambulatory compliance. Those standards are supposed to be harder to pass than the 2006 ones, where it appeared that they were handing them out to anything that could remotely labeled an EMR. It will be interesting to see which 2006 products don’t pass 2007 muster, although at $30,000 a pop, it’s in CCHIT’s best interest to certify everyone.”

From Jim the Waco Kid: “Re: HFMA. Have been at the HFMA-ANI show and heard HMS and SSI are now partners.” True – announced this week. HMS will enhance its revenue cycle products with SSI’s EDI offerings.

From Nasty Parts: “Re: Sage. Rumor of Sage layoffs is true. A non-visionary bean counter is trying to cut his way to profitability. Operational regions have been cut from four to two. Layoffs were senior leaders of the consolidated regions and special project staff. The company had two decent quarters of revenue because of inside sales slamming NPI upgrades. It’s a shame – Intergy is a well-built system.”

From Hedley Lamarr: “Re: Dairyland Healthcare Solutions. Heard it from a solid source that DHS was bought out by Francisco Partners. Big changes to come…” Confirmed. The private equity firm has acquired Dairyland, a community hospital systems vendor, and changes are already underway. CEO Alan Grundei is gone. FP has brought in John Trzeciak to replace him (he was a co-founder of Health Systems International and was installed as interim CEO of LYNX Medical when FP bought that company.) I’ll have to talk to Jon Philips again – I’m intrigued that, other than athenahealth’s impending IPO, all the action is all private equity instead of the public market.

Check your web address above. If it’s http://histalk.blog-city.com, here’s what I recommend: go to www.histalk.com, which will take you to the new HIStalk page. Put your e-mail and name in the Subscribe to Updates box to your right there and click Subscribe. That will get you on the new update list.

Welcome and thanks to brand new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor EHRConsultant, a free EMR consulting service for medical groups ranging from one to 1000 physicians. EHRConsultant follows over 200 EHR products and provides free assistance to practices trying to narrow down those they should consider. They offer several resources, including an EHR discussion board, the EHR Scope magazine and resource guide, and physician speech recognition expertise. Cool offering: one- and two-physician practices looking for an EHR system for under $5,000 can use their Self-Serve function, which will lead them to suggested systems in less than 30 seconds. Thanks to EHRConsultant for supporting HIStalk.

And speaking of sponsors, let’s pay our regular tribute to those brave companies that invest their marketing dollars with a flaky blog. It takes guts to splash your ad on a page that, at any given moment, could contain any sort of irreverent mayhem. Most of them at least claim to love my work, although they may want me only for my 75,000+ monthly page views (or the chance to exchange telephonic pleasantries with the lovely Inga, a benefit that I craftily dangle to get their attention):

Design Clinicals, LLC
Hayes Management Consulting
Healthcare Growth Partners
Healthia Consulting
Inside Healthcare Computing
Intellect Resources
John Muir Health
Lucida Healthcare IT Group
Noteworthy Medical Systems
Novo Innovations
R. Gaines Baty Associates
SCI Solutions

Pitt County Memorial Hospital (NC) gets a $3 million Duke Endowment grant for HealthSpan, a clinical system spanning both the hospital and Eastern Carolina University’s school of medicine.

Two DoD medical agencies are trying to stifle military use of the Joint Patient Tracking Application so they can spend millions building their own, this article claims. The system’s developer criticized the agencies in front of a House committee, after which he was transferred from Washington to “bureacratic Siberia.” “At stake are billions of dollars. Through fiscal 2006, AHLTA alone cost Defense $775 million to develop and deploy. The system’s fiscal 2007 budget is $392 million. By comparison, the Joint Patient Tracking Application system cost less than $1 million to develop and $2 million a year to maintain. In addition, the Web-based patient-tracking systems are more useful to doctors, according to a paper prepared by a team of combat clinicians serving in Iraq. The system ‘is the only record that has visibility throughout the evacuation chain,’ according to the paper. ‘It is easy to access anywhere that we have Internet, it is easy to enter key progress [notes, X-rays, lab and operation] report data in a quick read stream that answers most coordination of care issues at a glance.'”

Companion Technologies will acquire Smart Document Solutions of Alpharetta, GA.

Two medical practices are suing Bond Medical Group and Bond Technologies for a refund and damages. They say Bond Clinician didn’t live up to the company’s claims that it could reduce paper and improve billing accuracy.

CCHIT’s inpatient EMR certification criteria have been approved. Applications for certification will be accepted starting August 1. Information and detailed criteria documents are here.

News, rumors, scandals: e-mail me.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. TPD – the funny part of the web-everything argument is that all browsers run on an OS which runs on a PC which also runs other fat-client software (i.e., anti-virus) that needs patching. The processor, disk and memory power that sits on the desktops outstrips anything just about any company has in their data center. Why not just push the vendors to provide Microsoft SMS, LANDesk, Zen and whomever else’s software distribution packages du jour so that for the applications that are processor intensive, there is a fat client on the desktop that can crunch data.

    I find people have jumped at the web-everything and they don’t think about using the right tool for the right purpose. Web is great at some things but terrible at capturing large amounts of edited discrete data and it is not great at manipulating large data files outside of fairly rigid views. The even more ironic part is that most vendors hit the wall and then distribute a fat Java applet that performs like a dog or an ActiveX control.

    The “Rich Internet Applications” or Smart Clients attempt to strike a happy medium between strong user experience, network performance optimization, utilizing the local computing power, and ease of software distribution. All this Web 2.0 hype is just adding to the complexity of the pile of technologies we are putting between the user and the data. The more complexity, the more places security holes can be found, the more places for messages to go into the abyss, and the more places for poorly trapped error messages to display. Mr HISTalk and others have blogged countless times about the poor software quality from the vendors. As the uninformed push them to add layers to a legacy or even a newer technology architecture to make it web, to add services, we need to be sure they are doing the hard work of managing system integrity, performance, and security.

    I am not claiming you are one of those types, in fact from when I have read your blog, you are very creative but I do see this as a trend and now you have business and clinical executives just wanting to make everything web without considering the overhead of adding another layer to an already shaky architecture. We need to use the right tool for the right purpose while understanding the consequences of this action. Does making something web really provide an advantage that is work the cost and risk?

  2. A lack of IPOs is indicative of the market. I believe investors want proven solutions with names they know and trust. Other than market listing to ease being bought-up by another company or invested-in by multiple venture capitalists, there is no advantage. Private equity, allows greater control and in some ways more streamlined decision-making for long-term investments… like the Meditech and Epic models. Theoretically, private companies should have more flexibility with investing in R&D and re-architecting. I can’t speak for Meditech but Epic has a sound R&D model and strategy. Re-architecting – no one wants to try and build a better foundation because of the risk and long-term prospects of delivering a rebuild of thousands of features in a short period of time.

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