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Monday Morning Update 7/30/07

July 29, 2007 News 5 Comments

From Claude LaMont: “Re: Acermed. They sure appear to have closed up shop. A physician on our medical staff was teed up for hardware install this week. Tech never showed up. Doc called sales guy at home, only to be told that company told him on 7/20 that company had folded and he was terminated. Doc is out a bunch of cash for hardware he cannot use. Nice of the vendor to call, isn’t it?” So much for the idea that CCHIT-certified products are less risky for buyers. Neither, apparently, are those applications that are highly rated by self-proclaimed futurist Mark Anderson of AC Group, who’s taking shots broadside over at EMRUpdate for his company’s previous lofty rankings of Acermed. He posted one rebuttal: “We never had Acermed rated number 1”, but hasn’t posted again in the several days since a reader pointed out of this link or this one. One made this comment: “Mark, when you make your EMR evaluations transparent, no one will question the results. When an EMR that you highly rated goes belly up a few months after your positive rating, and you say you take into account financial viability of the company, people will wonder how good your ratings are.” Some were nastier, either accusing him of various improprieties or demanding to see his raw data (I got a few of those e-mails after we ran some comments he was nice enough to provide a few weeks back). In his defense, Anderson calls himself a futurist, not a clairvoyant, and Acermed’s problems may involve neither functionality nor financial viability. It sounds like a spat among the owners. Bad for their customers, bad for other PM/EMR vendors without a long corporate pedigree, and bad for CCHIT.

From Sore-Ian: “Re: Soarian sales. Siemens is a company known for fine German engineering. I wonder how much of the Soarian fiasco has to do with the old dysfunctional SMS culture and politics in Malvern dominating the German kultur? A conversation I had there a few months ago suggested the new people who had not been SMS’ers were looking for ways to deal with the latter’s American-big-bad-IT ways.”

From The PACS Designer: “Re: virtualization. TPD did a piece on virtualization earlier this year, but felt it was worth repeating. You will be hearing a lot about the use of virtualization to improve organizational efficiency over the next few years and some of the successes that institutions have achieved by going virtual. Yes, you will be hearing from department managers about how they need to keep their local storage solution, but with the newer software tools and faster networks, the attraction of redundant storage should make the conversion to the virtual world of storage even more palatable now. Setting up a virtual server through partitioning and making the storage archive a virtual application can save considerable amounts of money through such a venture. Also, the local storage solution can still be kept as a redundant archive to appease the manager when there is considerable resistance to change.”

From Paul Burmaster: “Re: CIOs. At the recent AHA Leadership Summit, you could pick out the CIOs by their dress. Wisdom suggests you should dress one or two levels up. Some yahoo was there in shorts, and yes, he was a CIO. I love to relax and be casual, but there’s a time to dress for success.” 

Atos Healthcare is released from its $500 million UK HNS diagnostic imaging contract after missing deadlines.

Visicu announces Q2 numbers: revenue up 21%, EPS $0.06 vs. $0.04.

McKesson announces for Q1: revenue up 5%, EPS $0.77 vs. $0.60. Technology revenue was up 49% and profits up 178%, great news for shareholders (maybe less so for customers whose payments made it possible).

Former IDX CFO Jack Kane is appointed to athenahealth’s board.

Cardinal Health pays a $35 million penalty to settle SEC charges of inflating revenue and earnings.

One recommendation of a Presidential commission reviewing the care of veterans is an online electronic medical record. Cleveland Clinic CIO Martin Harris is a member.

What the hell is the American Hospital Association doing running a for-profit subsidiary that shills vendor products to its members? “AHA Solutions, Inc. is a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association that collaborates with companies to create strategic financial, technology, regulatory, employee benefit, and insurance products and services for healthcare professionals.” I hadn’t heard about it until I noticed their ringing endorsement of Cisco, apparently rubber stamped by “a group of influential IT leaders from AHA member hospitals”. Is the implication that less-influential hospital IT professionals (i.e., unwashed rubes) can’t be trusted to make wise IT decisions? Or, that vendors who don’t pay financial tribute to AHA aren’t reliable? Let’s hope no one running a hospital IT shop is so clueless as to need AHA’s sponsor-fueled guidance. Looks like the AHA folks running the enterprise are marketing people with no stated healthcare background. Joint Commission does it, HIMSS does it, AHA does it … but that still doesn’t make it right. Non-profit hospitals should insist that those claiming to represent them be non-profit as well.

The former CEO of imaging vendor A.L.I. is having a ball with the $35 million he pocketed after McKesson bought the company in 2002.

Lawson’s Q4 numbers: revenue up 69%, EPS $0.04 vs. -$0.03, but the company cautioned on 2008 prospects.

Intel’s Craig Barrett issues more homespun sound bites about healthcare IT: “‘I have a ranch with 45 horses, and they all have electronic medical records, and they all get e-mail updates when their shots are needed,’ he told the summit.The difference is that veterinarians work in a competitive market that gives an advantage to those who adopt technology,while the health-care industry has much less incentive to change, Barrett explained in an interview afterward.” And this one: “It’s time for health care to turn from a mainframe-computer industry to a personal-computer industry.” Want to guess which one he sells chips for? Hey, do your part: buy AMD desktops and servers instead of Intel and invest the difference in charity care. That will send a message to Mr. Barrett and the horse he rode in on (even if he’s right, he’s awfully smug about it).

Talk to me.

Inga’s Update

Allscripts has been selected to provide its EMR to Urology Associates of North Texas, the country’s largest private urology group. The 50-doctor group had previously been using Penchart/Amicore and will integrate the Allscripts product with their old IDX Groupcast (Centricity Business) practice management product. Penchart/Amicore, by the way, is the product that Misys bought to develop as an ASP solution – and later dropped entirely. Though they don’t mention Misys by name, the UANT medical director was quoted as saying, “We’ve experienced what happens when vendors don’t keep up with changes in a dynamic industry.” Ouch.

Allscripts also made news last week when announcing a new initiative with Sprint to use smartphones to generate prescriptions in the exam room. Sprint will be donating up to 1,000 devices to prescribers who register for the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Iniative and activate NEPSI’s Web-based eRx NOW software.

Pioneer Medical Group of Cerritos, CA signs up with MED3000 for a five-year ASP hosted agreement for Allscripts Touchworks EMR. Pioneer Medical has over 50 providers in Los Angeles. (Either Allscripts is getting their PR machine in gear or they are in the midst of a good run.)

TriZetto names Robert G. Barbieri as the incoming CFO. Barbieri comes most recently from Lawson Software, where he served as CFO and Performance Officer. (Does his appointment mess up Mr. HIStalk’s – and Yahoo’s – theory that Misys is considering a TriZetto acquisition?)

Inga’s listening.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Intel’s Craig Barrett should reinvest some of his profits where his mouth is and make a restricted donation to a healthcare organization “to get on with it.” Kaiser uses a few tens of millions of Intel servers firing their Epic Client via Citrix. Since they are the poster child for automation, are having financial difficulties, and cross paths in some of the same groups such as personal health records, medical device connectivity, and point of care Tablet PCs – give the money to someone who can burn through it with the best of them and give them little or no value.

  2. “So much for the idea that CCHIT-certified products are less risky for buyers.”

    CCHIT 2006 was a joke. Can anyone name a vendor that applied in 2006 and didn’t receive certification? Seems like if you had the money they’d give you the “baseline” 2006 stamp of approval. CCHIT 2007 and 2008, however, should thin the heard a bit. In fact, only 6 vendors have passed thus far in 2007 (it’s almost August!), and from what I hear some of the “big name” vendors haven’t even applied…

  3. “Either Allscripts is getting their PR machine in gear or they are in the midst of a good run.”

    The former. If there is one thing they’re good at it, it’s hype. I believe I once heard a colleague use the phrase, “Promising the world and delivering Rhode Island.” I always liked that.

  4. July 27, 2007

    Firms’ Electronic Health Records Effort Stalls
    Omnimedix Institute has ceased work on a $15 million project to produce an interoperable electronic health record network for several major U.S. employers because of an undisclosed dispute with the consortium, the Wall Street Journal reports (McWilliams, Wall Street Journal, 7/27).

    The initial company participants — Applied Materials, BP America, Intel, Pitney Bowes and Wal-Mart Stores — each contributed about $1.5 million toward development of the system, called Dossia. Dossia is based on the Connecting for Health Common Framework, a set of health care information technology guidelines developed by a public-private collaborative.

    As designed, the system can accept manually or electronically inputted data from existing health records, and users can add their personal family health histories to their records. The records will be users’ lifelong property, with access continuing into retirement and within the Medicare system.

    Officials from the companies said the system eventually could lower health care costs by billions of dollars annually by reducing medical errors, improving management of chronic conditions, eliminating duplicate services and creating other efficiencies (cite>California Healthline, 12/7/06).

    Cardinal Health and two other unnamed companies also have joined the consortium.

    Omnimedix stopped work on the project, originally set to be available by mid-2007, because of a dispute with Dossia, the Journal reports.

    Omnimedix Chair J.D. Kleinke declined to comment on the dispute, citing a court order.

    According to the Journal, the dispute might “mean sponsors won’t provide personal health records to employees and their families within this fall’s health-plan enrollment period.”

    A spokesperson for Intel said the consortium “is in active discussions with other vendors” to continue working on the project, adding that the effort remains well-funded, and the consortium hopes to produce an early version of the system by the end of 2007.

    The spokesperson said the individual companies also are working on privacy and security concerns as well as technical requirements and employee acceptance (Wall Street Journal, 7/27).

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