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News 11/2/07

November 1, 2007 News 1 Comment

From The PACS Designer: “Re: SaaS. The fairly young industry of Software as a Service (SaaS) is experiencing renewed focus for several reasons. The most prominent is DRA-2005, which has many institutions struggling to avoid losing money from operations. With SaaS, the spending can be from operating budgets, thus avoiding the RFP capital expenditures process. Also, since SaaS can be ordered for specified time periods, you can avoid the forklift upgrade scenario which has been all too common. When signing up for SaaS, it is important that data belonging to the buyer is addressed in the purchasing agreement to protect the institution and also patient confidentiality  Other benefits of SaaS are educating the user on new concepts, exposing weaknesses in current operations, and improving the integration of existing processes.”

From DRPend: “Re: who should run clinical systems projects. The best choice would be A & B One of my first projects was as a system manager implementing a new lab system in a hospital that was using paper forms. One of my first tasks was to integrate with the hospital’s IT department and make use of shared resources. I handled clinical decisions and they handled IT decisions and the project went quite well. Who was in charge? Doesn’t matter. The doctors and patients got what was needed and we all were better off for it.”

From ERMurse: “Re: UCDMC. Congratulations to UCDMC for consolidating all their IS operations under one CIO. Tinstman (who now works as a Senior Advisor, aka consultant’s consultant at HealthTech in San Francisco) only ran the CIS portion. CIS, IS, and Campus IT had separate CIOs, for lack of a better term. The new org structure brings them together. Hopefully Minear is up for the task of uniting three kingdoms. On a less flattering note for UCDMC, their Customer Service (Help Desk) manager and another IS employee have been fired and are under criminal investigation accused of diverting high value equiptment and selling it on Ebay and Craigslist.” Link. Someone sent me an internal e-mail about the investigation in which IT employees were cautioned to decline to comment to reporters (good idea). The hospital refused to let the TV station inside to ask questions (another good idea).

From Larry Cotton: “Re: guerrilla activities at HIMSS. I can’t help thinking of the ploy in The Thomas Crown Affair (at least the Pierce Brosnan one) where a whole *bunch* of people wear similar outfits to confuse people. I’m sure you and Inga look just like Brosnan and Renee Russo. Do you look good in a derby?” Does anyone, other than John Steed from The Avengers, or maybe Mr. French from Family Affair, look good in a derby? HIMSS shameless PR activity ideas are welcome (nothing that would get me arrested or escorted off the property, please – a hallmark of a memorable prank is that it has to be good-natured and fun).

Sumter Regional Hospital is doing well in the contest to win an MRI. Discovered: once you’ve watched their video the first time and voted, you can vote on subsequent days without watching first. Just click the Vote button beside the video (without launching it). Sumter has 54,000 votes compared to 24,000 for #2, but voting isn’t over until December 31. The CEO writes an article about it for the local paper. The hospitals almost-new MRI got destroyed along with everything else in the tornado, he says.

Misys shuffles Charles Lambert out the door and brings in Ron Scarboro as CFO. He’s spent time at TriZetto and A4.

The layoffs at Perot Systems were related to Q3 earnings: revenue up 12%, EPS $0.20 vs. $0.00, missing expectations of $0.22. Loss of the Triad contract upon that company’s merger with Community Health Systems hurt them, obviously, even though that deal was break-even for Q3, according to the announcement. Perot claims headcount reduction of 425, Forbes says 650, and others confirmed the 1,000 I heard. Hardly a bloodbath given its 21,000 employees, unless you’re one of those affected, anyway. The stock hit a 52-week low today.

Thanks to hitpUNDIT for submitting a Rumor Report form to alert me of the CSC-FCG announcement. I’m usually at work when stuff like this is announced early on a weekday, so it’s the Rumor Report forms or e-mails that usually let me know something has happened. Much appreciated. I usually manage to scoop almost everybody for that reason, getting an e-mail update out quickly.

New hires at Lucida Healthcare: Wesley Knox joins as career advisor (former VP of MaxIT, Primetech Consulting, and Per-Se) and Alex Johnas as director of professional services (formerly with IBM Healthlink, Hayes Management Consulting, and East Boston Neighborhood Health Center). Bruce Cerullo hires great people.

A reader who’s doing a HIMSS presentation on marketing the hospital IT department internally would appreciate any ideas from readers who have come up with cool ways to do this. My contribution: an IT Annual Report, and IT Report Card, a system-naming contest (lame), and a CIO blog. Anybody have other ideas? Submit by e-mail or by the Rumor Report form to your right.

VISICU gets a new patent for its technologies, apparently putting the annoying challenges behind it for good. I mentioned the company’s technology indirectly in my editorial for Inside Healthcare Computing this week: “Outsourcing Pharmacist Order Entry: Why Technology-Driven Clinician Virtualization Will Increase Costs Instead of Lowering Them.” The publisher says someone observed that I’m too cynical, although this was one of my less-cynical editorials. The good news is that there are plenty of naive cheerleaders and company shills out there to offset my darkness. Plus, on those rare occasions where I’m slightly positive, you know I’m really stoked.

McKesson’s Q2 numbers: revenue up 9%, EPS $0.83 vs. $0.75. Shares were up 13% Wednesday and gave back a little today in a hugely down market.

HIMSS signs a deal with the Saudi Association for Health Informatics to offer training there.

Yesterday was the last day at Epic Systems for former Madison mayor and liberal activist Paul Soglin.

ZDNet says Misys is now an open source HIT competitor to Medsphere, missing the point completely that all they’re offering is some interoperability software, something the average doctor has never heard of and doesn’t want. I would be at least a tiny bit impressed if the company open sourced something that might actually increase EMR adoption, like one of its stable of poorly selling EMR applications. This is like someone claiming to be an open source evangelist because they loaded Firefox onto their Vista/Office PC.

The former compliance officer of Queen’s Medical Center (HI) is indicted for mail fraud after awarding $600,000 worth of compliance and HIPAA consulting contracts to companies she started. She says everybody knew the deal when they signed the agreements. She’s going after another $2.2 million for services she said she provided to the hospital.

Listening: Andromeda, Swedish prog-metal.

AMICAS Q3: revenue up 13%, EPS $0.01 vs. $0.01.

The Army’s MC4 combat EMR is rolled out to the Air Force’s 332nd Expeditionary Medical Support Group and an Air Force hospital in Iraq.

Meditech’s Q3 report: revenue up 6%, EPS $0.59 vs. $0.61. Services revenue saved what would have been a rare bad quarter.

SAP says it will release e-health solutions in Europe, whatever that means (no clinical systems, the CEO says). Pilots will start in December, apparently mostly in Germany. The company admitted that its joint US project with Siemens went nowhere, er, “it would be exaggerated to say that we are fully satisfied with how things developed.” Anyone shocked? That’s like a restaurant serving liver with a broccoli sauce.

Speaking of Siemens partners, patient monitor maker Draegerwerk AG’s shares tank after poor results from the chunk of Draeger Medical it bought from Siemen AG. We Americans were the problem once again.

GE Healthcare will work with an art school on home healthcare solutions.

Siemens and Merrill Lynch put in a bid of $275 million to buy three small California hospitals, intentions unknown.

InterSystems receives a 2007 Pro Bono Award for its support of The Legal Aid Society through donation of Cache’ technology and services.

Quality Systems’s Q2 numbers: revenue up 21%, EPS $0.35 vs. $0.30. Its NextGen division contributed $15.7 million in profit, with revenue up 23% and net income up 12%.

BridgeForward announces an embeddable version of its ClearSpan Server interface engine at MGMA. Sounds cool and eScription’s Paul Egerman chips in some nice comments. I see the founder and CEO had the same roles at MicroScript, later bought by high-flyer and eventual flop New Era of Networks NEON, which ended up as part of Sybase.

I’ve lauded Sunquest mostly just for bringing back the old name, but now it’s time to take them to task: the company issues a glowing sales announcement but refuses to give the customer’s name. Was someone ashamed? Will the implementors wear blindfolds? Is good news so scarce that partial news will have to do?

I’ve grown weary of reporting the accounting debacles of Merge Technologies (restatements, delisting threats, etc.). They’re restating again, driving an already pitiful market cap and share price even lower: $63 million and $1.96, respectively.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

From Inside Outsider: I read your post on HIStalk about the HIT executive trying to hook up with the young ladies at the conference. I have to ask: Do you think this is an isolated incident? It seems that every conference I’ve ever been to has the illicit hookups going on. You’d almost expect that they would have a bulletin board for people looking for people, it happens so often. I think that some go to the conferences and never go to a meeting. And the funny thing is that the people think they are being sly and that no one knows. EVERYONE KNOWS!!!

Mediware announces they paid about $5.2 million for newly acquired Integrated Marketing Solutions.

I was glad to see that I wasn’t the only person unimpressed by the HHS/CMS plan to provide 1200 physicians bonuses for quality reporting using EMRs. At least a couple of industry big-wigs agree with me that a program that offers incentives for less than 1% of US doctors is a pretty small gesture.

athenahealth announces Q3 results. Revenue was up 33% year on year, quarterly adjusted EBITDA was $4.2 million (16% of revenue) and their first quarter of net income ($500k). GAAP net loss for the first three quarters combined was $5.6 million.

Matthew Holt sent in a note about a graphical inaccuracy in Medicity’s parachute ad. My first thought was, “Who cares?” followed by, “Why would Matt waste his time pointing that out instead of working on his 2.0 updates?” Then I noticed he submitted his post around 3 a.m. Wednesday, just about the time HIStalk’s 1,000,000th visitor came by. Matt Holt was trying to be HIStalk’s millionth visitor! Thought it was kind of sweet of him, actually. Made me a bit ver clemped once I put it all together.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. SAP in healthcare – that’s interesting. As to what they will do/provide, pretty simple to ascertain. Like former Peoplesoft (now Oracle) they have HR, also have financials, supply chain/e-procurement and asset mgmt modules. No you won’t see them in clinicals, they’ll be back office competing with Lawson and Oracle.

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