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News 9/26/07

September 25, 2007 News 2 Comments

From John Stryker: “Re: Wal-Mart. Any speculation on who Wal-mart will choose as a vendor? I hear that they are down to three and plan to decide this week.” Maybe a Chinese software firm willing to sell systems for $200 each? Actually, I have no idea. If you do, spill. I bet Eric Fishman knows since he dropped hints when I asked him about retailers and the new wave of vendors.

From Desert HISer: “Re: QuadraMed. QuadraMed’s long-time customer, Sun Health in Phoenix, may be at risk with the recent announcement that Banner Health would be acquiring  them. In an article in the AZ Republic, Banner Health was quoted that IT upgrades would be a high priority for Sun Health under Banner’s ownership and Banner is not a QuadraMed customer.”

From PTSD: “Re: CE. Illinois passed a new Nurse Practice Act requiring professional nurses to have CE courses to maintain their license. Almost half of the states out there do not require nurses to take CE to maintain their license.” Surprising. I assumed all states required CE.

Vince Ciotti checked in to drop some kudos about two small but innovative clinical systems vendors: VisualMED and IntraNexus. On VisualMED, Vince found their system functional, robust for nursing documentation, and designed by a great MD, Art Gelston. I’ve seen their system and have met Art and agree on both counts. Vince mentions that one hospital is using VisualMED as a clinical front-end to Meditech and it was apparently designed to work that way for any other system. I interviewed CEO Gerard Dab last year. I know less (nothing, actually) about IntraNexus, the keepers of the old SMS Allegra system, but the company is introducing a new system called Sapphire. There are few clinical systems to choose from and fewer still that don’t cost gazillions, so give these a look if you’re so inclined.

While I’m talking about Vince, I’ll give him a plug: H.I.S. Professionals will be having its “Mini-HIMSS” in Chicago on October 3-4. He invited Inga to cover it for HIStalk, but I don’t think she’ll be able to go.

Listening to now: Megan McCauley.

Found: Kim Pederson, former Excellian VP at Allina. I wanted to see what she’s up to after Allina won the Davies Award for the Epic implementation she led. She left Allina in June (right after I interviewed her) and has hung out a consulting shingle as KP Healthcare Consultants, she told me in an e-mail. On the Davies win: “I’m thrilled about the Davies Award. I had a great team that gave it their all and they deserve the recognition. I couldn’t be more pleased.” On her new business: “I’m focusing in healthcare. My two big experience areas are large scale implementations and revenue cycle. The work I’m doing to date is around project assessment & improvement, strategy, planning and budgets, executive level coaching, project governance, risk management, and scope management. I’m looking to help organizations at the start of their implementations get set up to succeed and to go to troubled implementations to help get them back on the right track.” She put in Epic in a 11-hospital, 350-employee, $250 million program and won the Davies doing it, so you might want to contact her if your project needs help.

Amazing: Microsoft wants to buy 5% of Facebook for $500 million, thereby valuing the three-year-old, teen-heavy social networking site at $10 billion. The founder and CEO is 23. Too bad we’re wasting our time working on systems that save lives.

The folks at eScription tell me they’ve earned their first speech recognition patent. Their AutoScript background speech recognition uses “adaptive playback speed” to intelligently adjust audio speed based on the transcriptionist’s editing proficiency, their efficiency with that clinician, and their preference for playback speed. It was developed under code name “The Lucy Chocolate Factory”, referring to the Lucy episode where she’s unable to keep up with the assembly line. User quote about the system’s ability to learn the preferences of transcriptionists: “The speed increments are slowly introduced so you are not even aware of them until you notice your gain in productivity.” Nice.

Frank Pecaitis and Medsphere have parted ways, I hear. He’s working for GE Healthcare as GM/VP of Sales.

In the UK, a newspaper runs some examples of NHS errors. One of those listed: “A further incident involved a software company failing to activate a neonatal screening system, leading to a series of false negative results.”

Confirmed: Epic will start work on a Web transition shortly, but has yet to choose a development tool. Their previous switch from character-based to GUI wasn’t too smooth, I’m told (hearing the words “hyperspace transition” apparently causes early customers to seize involuntarily), so they’re taking it slow.

QuadraMed closed its Misys CPR acquisition yesterday, so that’s probably why some San Bernardino CPR staff were let go.

Stock of RFID vendor InfoLogix began trading on Nasdaq Monday. Market cap is $91 million, not bad.

Duplicate patient records caused a Nightingale Informatix health department system to delay some test results in Nova Scotia.

Cardinal Health CEO Kerry Clark will replace founder Robert Walter as chairman. A painful tidbit in the announcement, since I owned CAH stock in the 1980s: “An investment of $10,000 in Cardinal Health stock at the time of its public offering in 1983 would be worth $8.2 million in 2007, an appreciation of more than 80,000 percent.”

Inga’s Update

I heard Epic invited 3500 of their closest friends to an open house to tour the new facility. Since I didn’t make the guest list, I was wondering if any readers were invited and if they cared to share their impressions.

And speaking of Epic, I was amused by a blog I came across called, The Rantings of an Angry Security Kitteh. (I know “kitteh” is some sort of urban lingo, but I don’t get it.) Anyway, the writer is apparently an Epic employee who sat in on some of the recent user group meetings and was less than impressed with one of the speakers.

Mr. H suggested we might want to “wangle” an interview from Isacc Kohane of Children’s Hospital Informatics Program of Boston. This is the organization that is taking over development of the personal health record program for Dossia, after Omnimedix and Dossia split sheets. I asked “Zak” Kohane for his impressions, to which he commented: “Many years ago, when I was single and dating, I found that it was not a good idea early on in a relationship to probe too deeply into prior relationships. Also, even I knew enough to not ask her why she had chosen me. I might not like the answer.” Obviously this does not give us any more insights into the issue, but it sure makes me wish I had dated Zak back in the day.

A study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) found significant variation in IT adoption exists across specialties. Highest usage specialty: oncology, followed by internal medicine and family practice. Lowest IT adopters: ophthalmology, followed by psychiatry and orthopedics. If you are an EMR vendor, this study provides some good insights.

What does this suggest about the state of RHIOs? The Patient Safety Institute (PSI) is closing shop. PSI was founded six years ago to provide the healthcare industry with a commonly owned, inclusive network utility to support RHIOs and provide ready access to patient healthcare information. PSI promoted a private sector self-funding model similar to that used in the financial services industry, but claims that in the end the model proved to be ahead of its time, pointing to lack of cooperation between parties as a primary issue. So what, if any, RHIO business model(s) will ultimately prove financially successful and widely embraced?

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE: Facebook.

    The valuation is easier to swallow if you realize that MySpace is (or was?) the #1 site on the Internet. #1, period, no conditions. Facebook has the potential to surpass MySpace in the social networking space–and even if it doesn’t, it probably won’t wither far from its current position on the internet.

    Also, Facebook is decidedly less seedy than MySpace [my opinion], and as such can attract a wider audience and expand beyond MySpace’s limited activities. In FaceBook, for example, you can set up a Family network and share family photos with them.

    That’s just one example. The point is: social networking DOESN’T HAVE TO BE MYSPACE.

    But yes, I was flabbergasted the first time they turned down $750M for Facebook. I was thinking “no way it’s worth that much.” Time will tell–look at Yahoo.

    Lessons you might take from Facebook: check out their APIs. http://developers.facebook.com/

    Now imagine if your HIS allowed you to work with it in such an easy, open fashion. WOW.

    Too bad our vendors are focused on “saving lives”, huh..

  2. I have to agree with the previous comment. If you are scoffing at FaceBook, you aren’t paying attention — it isn’t just for teens anymore, especially since the college students who first started using it have grown out of their teens. They are doing some really innovative stuff with “Facebook apps” that we should all pay attention to. The user record truly is at the center of everything in facebook.

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