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July 19, 2007 News 3 Comments

From Joey Cheesesteak: “Re: CHOP. Regarding your 7/13 item: their outage was due to loss of power in the Primary Data Center. Operations did not shift to the remote data center because the SAN was not configured to cooperate. This outage was not an Epic problem (not to say that the Epic implementation is going smoothly). Also, three of the four CIO direct reports have left recently. One moved to a different department within the hospital and the other two have found other employment. The CIO will hit a five-year anniversary in January 2008. What’s the average tenure of a CIO after an Epic implementation?”

From Dr. Mark Bellows: “Re: Cerner. Look for Cerner and Mayo to make a huge ‘Kaiser-like’ announcement soon. Also, Clarian is looking for an out in their Cerner contract (it’s not looking good AT ALL over there …) I have always enjoyed reading your blog and have laughed at times when rumors are stated about Cerner well before they have made them public. You and your readers have been on the nose 90% of the time with most things.” Unverified, but, from what seems to be a good source.

From Lance Le Gault: “Re: Cerner. The funny talk around here is that Cerner would take any temp, put ’em in a suit, and say, ‘We are sending you a VP.’ Cerner losing 20 of those VPs means very little.”

From Nancy Greenly: “Re: Cerner. It’s obvious that Neal is putting the company up for sale with all the cost-cutting and moving everything to centrally-based KC for an easier transition. Sales are slow, but the stock price keeps going up. The Indian outsourcing is in place and a European presence makes them a ‘global’ company. I’d bet a non-current player picks them up within three years.”

From Sean Murphy: “Re: non-competes. That was nice of Mike Etue to ride out his non-compete from the other folks in Malvern on someone else’s dime and then jump ship a few months after it expired. Wow, that Epic document is brutal. Too bad the federal government says that you can’t prevent someone from earning a living. It would never stand up a real court. Do we have any legal readers that could lend an opinion of the language?” I asked a non-compete attorney I ran across to chime in, but he hasn’t replied so far. The bottom line is that non-competes are almost always unenforceable, but unless you take the company to court to obtain a summary judgment (kind of like a class action suit), each employee has to spend their own money fighting retainer lawyers in court. That’s assuming you can even get a job offer, that is. You’d be proven right, but not before you went broke. The threat alone is enough to tilt the landscape to the company’s side.

If you’ve had problems accessing HIStalk recently, my apologies. It’s hard to believe, but even after my big upgrade in May, the site’s server red-lined on memory this week and killed the Apache service several times (that causes “Page Not Found” errors). Inga tells me some of the notification e-mails may not have gone out either, although they looked OK on the server. I thought the May upgrade was overkill that would guarantee enough horsepower for years. Well, two months later, a punishing number of HIStalk hits maxed it out again, so I’ve doubled the memory and had extra bandwidth allocated. I’m not complaining – it’s a great problem to have.

The LA Times writes up Prem Reddy MD, a cardiologist turned for-profit hospital entrepreneur who claims to be worth $300 million. He tools around in a $1.4 million helicopter and has a 15,000 square foot mansion with gold-plated toilets formerly owned by Roy Rogers. How he does it: he buys struggling community hospitals, cancels their insurance contracts, dumps services that don’t have a big profit, (allegedly) turns away patients without insurance, and (allegedly) lets quality slip. He does that Bob Dole thing in referring to himself in the worshipful third person: “There isn’t anybody like Prem Reddy that can face so many challenges in the medical field.” I mentioned him two years ago, when his brother, a CEO of one of his hospitals, fired the CNO and HR director after they claimed he (Prem) was drinking while working in the ED and using a triage system based on insurance coverage.

Reminder: use the sign-up to your right to get e-mail updates when I write something new. I notice that list is up to 527 subscribers in a very short time, plus the 1,843 on the “old” e-mail list.

Jason Baker has joined Healthcare Growth Partners as Managing Director. He comes from Cerner, where he was head of corporate development (high-level strategic stuff like investments and acquisitions, not programming-type development.) I didn’t realize that Healthcare Growth Partners has been involved with over 100 deals worth over $1.5 billion in just two years. Nice.

Some Misys folks have been asking about severance (wonder why?) Typical for the company is supposedly one week per year of service. They also don’t go after non-competes too hard, rumor has it, which is to their credit when folks leave under something other than their own volition.

Off-hours teleradiology provider NightHawk Radiology buys Midwest Physician Services, a radiology business process company, and another off-hours teleradiology company. Total price: $62.5 million cash. They’re creating NightHawk Business Services, which will offer services for revenue cycle, HR, transcription, and other back-office stuff for radiology practices.

Someone who should know tells me that Cerner is indeed slimming down implementation teams as Bedrock gets built out, running implementations from the KC Accelerated Solutions Center. Apparently it really does work and they won’t need virtual implementation staff any more. Another tidbit: supposedly Paul Black left because he didn’t like how the customer-facing employees are being treated (accessibility to client, work-life balance, etc.). Unverified, of course.

Comanche County Memorial Hospital (OK) signs a $13 million deal with McKesson for Horizon Clinicals.

The Most Wired list is out. I don’t care, so I won’t mention it or the winners. It’s meaningless, was created by vendors solely to encourage the “buy more IT” bandwagon effect, and keeps going only because the “winners” pretend it shows how excellent they are. I’ve worked for winners and all those I spoke to laughed about it behind closed doors, but it’s better to win than not, they always figured (harmless CIO resume expansion and hospital chest-puffing).

Bizarre lawsuit: a nurse changing clothes in a Kentucky hospital’s anesthesia office finds a hidden camera in the ceiling tiles. She says the hospital then tried to throw her and her surgeon husband off the property for trashing the camera, also threatening to revoke their privileges. Another nurse was fired. The hospital says the camera was there to monitor controlled substances that are kept in the office and that the women should have used unmonitored areas set aside for changing. The nurses are suing for voyeurism.

News, rumors, changing room video: e-mail me.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. I second Joey’s comment that CHOP’s Epic implementation is not going smoothly. It took them about 3-5 years to roll out ambulatory product just to the primary care physicians. Can’t wait to see how long the hospital will take.

  2. Most Wired…

    In line with the admirably un-insightful analyses of the Most Wired survey every year, this year’s top ten list might take the cake… It reads like a list of insights that required consensus agreement prior to publishing. Either that or the data is worthless…. I heard a rumor that #11 was “hire nurses.”

    Also, I read through the list of contributors. I’d be peeved if I were on that list and HHN had my old title, or worse, old employer listed after leaving my post a year ago. Tisk-tisk.

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