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News 8/8/07

August 7, 2007 News 3 Comments

From Victor Melling: “Re: Perot. Perot already has an offshore company dedicated to healthcare. Their plan to aggressively grow the healthcare organization has to include international initiatives. In the international market, you can’t just take something American and expect the rest of the world to follow. You do it with country-specific nationals, and in some countries, it will make the best business sense to acquire. Don’t forget the payer and government side of their healthcare biz. Services are a key.” Victor was talking about Perot’s $10 million acquisition in 2003 of Vision Healthsource. Back then, it was a 500-employee BPO company doing healthcare claims and billing. Thanks for that report.

From Stan Fields: “Re: Are you sick of Misys yet? Last week, four more senior folks left. Not sure if they chose to leave or were asked. All were long-timers and two were on the Wall of Fame. Either they’re cleaning out the old guard or the old guard has had enough.” I’m always uncomfortable naming names, so how about first names only: Tammy, Scott, Stephanie, and Karen. I think I am getting sick of Misys rumors, finally, although their diaspora should have wide influence on the industry.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: CafeScribe looks interesting, as it fosters the shared learning experience that permits updating of text material and experiences similar to how a wiki operates. Through this shared experience, healthcare IT users can expand their knowledge base and interact with others who share the same desire to learn.” Link.

I hope you enjoyed the interview with Vince Ciotti. I should have warned those of you who don’t know Vince that he speaks his mind. Sometimes he’s pulling your leg, sometimes not, but he’s always entertaining. He cracks me up.

Speaking of interviews, if you know someone interesting I should talk to, let me know. I learn a lot every time I do one.

I’d like to recognize a loyal HIStalk sponsor both old and new: InterSystems. Old, because InterSystems has been a Gold sponsor of HIStalk for some time. New, because they just upgraded to Platinum, for which Inga and I thank them very much. As in the case with Vince, I’ve been their customer, although they don’t know that because I’m anonymous. I’ve used Cache’ and it’s a smoking-hot database, running faultlessly under heavy, enterprise use at a big IDN I’ve worked in, and with minimal care and feeding on our part (say the words “Cache DBA” at my old shop and they’ll look at you blankly – it doesn’t need one). You know that already, of course, because it runs what seems like 80% of big healthcare apps already (Meditech, Epic, both lines of QuadraMed, etc.) Equally hot stuff are the company’s Ensemble integration platform and HealthShare for EHR data sharing. Anyway, many thanks to InterSystems for the vote of confidence. Say, I bet CEO Terry Ragon would be a great interview. He’s one of several Boston-area giants of the industry.

And speaking of CEOs, thanks to those who are recommending HIStalk sponsorship to their CEO peers in other companies. I’ve gotten several e-mails out of the blue from CEOs who start out by saying, “So-and-so tells me he loves your site and that I should really consider sponsoring …” I’m blessed. Thank you. That’s really cool.

I’ve received two unverified rumor reports claiming that a well-known Meditech consulting firm is about to be sold. One says the buyer is Perot Systems. I’m not naming names because I’ve received incorrect rumors about this company before. Still, the sources appear to be unrelated and Perot says they’re buying somebody. We’ll see.

Errata: I inadvertently cleaved off a zero from the UPMC server virtualization numbers last week. Their engineers estimated a server cost of $65,000, not $6,500. I said they estimated a cost 98.7% less than the software vendor’s server specs, but the actual number was 87% less (still not exactly chicken feed). I also got a follow-up from Marc Holland in response to some reader comments. He mentioned that UPMC’s high growth (25% in Wintel server count per year) plus software rollouts and end-of-life replacements mean they’re saving big bucks quickly. They’re also feeding an enterprise-wide SAN instead of direct-attached storage to cut costs even more (both cost per gigabyte and cost per usable GB due to easier provisioning from a central storage pool). Thanks, Marc.

Quality Systems (the NextGen ambulatory EMR people) reports Q1 numbers: revenue up 17%, EPS $0.29 vs. $0.28. Wall Street wanted $0.33, though, and the stock is down around 10% since the announcement.

DR Systems announces 10 new small-hospital RIS/PACS contracts worth $5.6 million.

Alberto Kywi is promoted from CIO at Cottage Hospital to SVP/CIO of Cottage Health System.

Cleveland Clinic names Sulaiman H. Sulaiman as CIO of its Abu Dhabi project.

The two organizers of the German HIT trade show ITeG are parting ways and arguing over its name. Issues: location, whether to add HIMSS-like educational sessions, and control.

Dell, Fujitsu, and Lenovo will offer hardware discounts to organizations that receive grants from the Center for Community Health Leadership of Misys.

Joseph Zaccagnino, former Yale-New Haven Hospital CEO, is named to the board of Premise Corporation. They sell throughput and patient flow applications: bed management, bed cleaning, transport, and executive dashboards.

I see quite a few folks signing up on my e-mail lists to your right. The first one is to get e-mail updates when I write something new here. The second is for the new Brev+IT (pronounced “brevity”) weekly newsletter, which you’ll get only if you sign up. Help me spread the word on that one by forwarding your copy to anyone else who might be interested, please. It’s aimed at C-levelers who might not enjoy the insider stuff here that the rest of us love. It looks deceptively simple, but the value is having culled out only the most important news of the week and added some perspective and opinion around it, all in a quick-read package that’s self-contained in an e-mail.

Laparoscopic gastric bypass patients at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore whose doctors used robots for bedside rounding had a mean length of stay of 1.26 vs. 2.33 days for traditional rounding.

A hospital in Belgium is using .NET-Java EE integration tools for its portal, developed on WebSphere and running on Linux with an Oracle database. They’re developing with Visual Studio and compiling to Java (!)

Cool: three foundations donate money to pay for a document-based EMR for behavioral provider for foster children in Kansas.

A Wall Street Journal story describes a neurovascular surgeon who bought an iPhone on launch day to access his practice’s EMR. I also like an unrelated tag-on at the bottom that ridicules common IT terms. “But the word implies that the ‘users’ are utterly dependent on the provider …Today, all the term does is emphasize technology at the expense of the task someone is trying to perform. To an IT person, you aren’t writing a message, you’re using email … We also hate the term ‘solution.’ IT people often say that they have a customer-relationship solution or a supply-chain solution. The word ‘solution’ not only doesn’t tell you what it does, but also doesn’t tell you what it is. A supply-chain solution might be software, but it might be a storage rack in a pickup truck, or it might be a cardboard box.” Amen, brother.

Craig Barrett’s horses aren’t the only ones with an EMR“Horses treated by Hagyard will soon have electronic medical records that allow their veterinarians to see their history from anywhere in the country. Images taken by the practice’s 11 digital X-ray machines allow veterinarians in the field or working for bidders at horse sales to see a horse’s file from computer work stations set up on site. They can do endoscopies and bone scans, and soon will have MRI capability to help diagnose problems. There’s a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for treating horses with a variety of conditions and a treadmill on which to test respiratory function and lameness. A neonatal ICU cares for newborn foals. The babies get ‘their own little Tempur-Pedic mattresses,’ which tour guide O’Flynn says helps eliminate bed sores.” Say, I could be the first veterinary CIO. Sport horses apparently get better care than a lot of humans, but then again, they’re worth a lot more in real dollars, sadly enough. The short, whip-wielding guy on their back probably has no insurance. At least he won’t be put down if his leg breaks.

Amcom announces its Answering Service module for call center customers.

Bizarre: a Minnesota man decided he needed to have his testicles removed. When hospitals refused, he found some amateurs willing to tackle the job in his home. He awoke, bleeding, in a makeshift OR complete with medical supplies, specimen jars, and a camera. The impromptu surgeons had high-tailed it when police were called and the man wouldn’t name them. Larry, Moe, and Curly?

News, rumors, good HIT sales stories: e-mail me. Thank you for reading.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Great clarification on UPMC – as you said – very telling numbers. The costs are easily justifiable when they likely licensed software related to the hardware. Some vendors have updated their licensing to cut users a break on virtualized instances.

  2. QSI/NextGen stock. The stock was down after the announcement, but there was a runup just before the earnings were released. So really the price hasn’t changed much from a week ago.

    Allscripts (MDRX) announced earnings the other day, too. They also fell short of estimates, for the 2nd straight quarter.

    *insert wacky Cramer sound effect*

  3. It appears FCG is pushing its own person to take the lead at Continuum in New York City. I wonder if Perot is doing the same at North Shore. Seems both NYC area CIO’s left suddenly. Makes one even more weary of outsourcing arrangements.

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