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News 11/28/07

November 27, 2007 News 2 Comments

From Bignurse: “Re: chart errors. The article about the doctors finding incorrect information in their own medical charts reminded me of a ‘new paradigm’ for charting that I saw a few years ago in which the doctor-chart-patient are in a triangle, with doctor and patient sitting side-by-side and looking at the chart (an EMR) together. It makes perfect sense and would prevent incidents of ‘wrong patient, wrong chart’ as described in the article, but when I used to describe the ‘new paradigm for charting’ during EMR training sessions, people looked at me like I had three heads. It is anathema for medical folks to imagine letting patients see—much less contribute to – their own medical records.” Maybe we need an evaluative tool to determine just how capable and interested people are in participating in their own care. Otherwise, we just treat them equally like dull fools, at least unless the family intervenes. And I truly believe the days of “don’t worry your pretty little head about your records – that’s my job” are over. No one’s too scared to speak up any more. I say if you want to stroll around to the doctor’s side of the PC or hold out your hand for the chart when he or she’s done writing in it to take your own look, then that’s your right as a paying patient, no different than you’d expect than when dealing with a mechanic or plumber (although since doctors work on patients, not cars, they can’t put out those phony “insurance doesn’t allow customers in the garage” signs to keep pests from bothering the help).

From Hamilton Swan: “Re: Perot. Has Perot has adopted the IHE model for HIT standards, do they lean more toward the HL7 model, or are they agnostic?” I’ll ask for a lifeline on that one, if anyone knows.

From Gerry Fleck: “Re: reading list. I have found The Innovator”s Solution a powerfully useful way of thinking about what it is that we healthcare informaticians are really trying to enable and why the incumbents can find it daunting.” OK, I was hooked by the opening sentence of the first Amazon review: “The first two chapters of this book are so well thought out and beautifully written that reading them literally made my muscles ache and toes curl.” I’ve placed my order. Thanks for the recommendation – book report to follow.

From Theodore Millbank III: “Re: hospital guards. Kaiser does not allow any armed guards for the ED or anywhere else for that matter. I really dislike this policy.” I’d be nervous, especially after dark. If you work for a trauma center or inner city hospital, you need a front door security guard and an real, uniformed cop in the ED, in my opinion. There’s nothing like a couple of stabbed gangbangers dripping blood in the ED who regain enough moxie to continue their knife-fight from their gurneys, sandwiching a 110-pound female nurse between them in the process. Current example: police dropped off a drunk man in a New York hospital ED, where he broke out of restraints at 4 in the morning and beat two nurses with them, threw a computer at another nurse, and wailed on security guards with computer cords. Sounds like an effective, if inappropriate, use of technology.

From Art Vandelay: “Re: remote monitoring. Monitoring technologies allow disease management with human interventions (i.e., people watching your data and running reports with automated alerts). These people will likely sit in other countries (The World is Flat) and use mobile broadband capabilities to work with our phones, watches, and other on-the-person devices. This could offer interesting alternatives for chronic condition management and surgical recovery, although the FDA 510K challenges could be interesting.” Art mentions Bill Crounse’s blog entry on mobile devices.

From Harlan Pepper: “Re: CIO Summit. The one being discussed is not affiliated with CIO magazine. They made their logo look just like the magazine’s.” I’ll be darned. Compare CIO Magazine’s logo to the Summit‘s. That’s quite a coincidence. Harlan sent over a list of delegates who’ll be there, some of whom I know read HIStalk, so perhaps a critique will ensue.

Another sad news item involving a hospital IT leader. UPMC CIO Mark Hopkins died of cancer on November 13, the family announced yesterday. He was 47. Hopkins was named as one of ComputerWorld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders last year. He is survived by his wife Kimberly and two children. A memorial service will be held Saturday at noon at First Unitarian Church and a reception will follow at UPMC Shadyside’s Herberman Conference Center. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mark T. Hopkins Fund at the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Eric Rubino joins InfoLogix as COO. He was formerly COO of SAP Americas and Neoware.

Listening: Paramore, big-guitar chick rock. You have to like a song called “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic.”

Gaines Baty, president of recruiting firm and HIStalk supporter R. Gaines Baty Associates Inc., provides career guidance for employees of acquired companies in The Wall Street Journal.

Tom Visotsky, formerly of Concuity and 3M HIS, joins Medicare compliance and reimbursement solutions vendor CodeMap as EVP of business development.

A reader sent over John Glaser’s article in Harvard Business Review, a fictional case study in which an IDN’s CEO is asked to choose between a billion-dollar monolithic enterprise system and experimentation with service-oriented architecture. Without apparent irony, Kaiser CEO George Halvorson opines that the phony organization shouldn’t bet the farm on systems without a sound business case and that “extremely high levels of system availability are an absolute necessity.”

Reminder: Platinum Sponsor Picis is looking for topnotch talent, which I know is commonplace among HIStalk readers. Worth a look, I’d say.

Streamline Health’s Q3 numbers: revenue up 10%, EPS $0.00 vs. -$0.04.

A Tacoma Community College nursing professor uses the online world of Second Life to create ED simulation training. I tried Second Life once and was bored after a few minutes of fumbling around, but apparently it’s quite the hit, especially for nerds whose First Life isn’t what they’d hoped. If you’re a fan of it for medical or business reasons, feel free to send in a precis.

Health Data Services offers its FreeDOM PM/EMR at no charge to one- and two-doctor practices in Florida, the tenth state it serves. They make money from elective add-ons like claims processing, patient statements, support, and coding. Sounds like a good idea, although I know nothing about the product.

Cardinal Health recalls another model of its Alaris smart IV pump line, this time the biggie: the Medley, with 200,000 devices in the field.

Inga and I have been insanely busy lately with interviews, HIStech Report, and new and upgrading sponsors. If we’ve been inattentive to anyone who’s taken the time to e-mail, allow us to apologize and pledge to do better once we dig ourselves out from under the work we keep creating for ourselves. Here’s the lightning tour of reminders for the noobs: the Search function to your right covers the 4 1/2 years and millions of words of HIStalk, you can sign up for instant e-mail updates and the Brev+IT newsletter (current issue here) over there, and ping us if you’d like information about HIStech Report or sponsoring. The Rumor Report to your right is where you can tip us off to interesting news and rumors (you can even submit attachments and it’s anonymous, of course). Speaking of HIStech Report, I interviewed the guys from PringPierce Executive Search there, so check that out. In a day or two, I’ll also tell you about a new job service that I’m involved in that I think is pretty darned cool.

I wasn’t exaggerating on the “millions of words” above. So far this year, HIStalk is running well over 300,000 words, about six novels’ worth. That doesn’t count my editorializing, Brev+IT, HIStech Report, and so on. I knew I should have taken typing in high school.

Canadian physician EMR vendor Nightingale Informatix loses $1.4 million in Q2 on doubled revenue.

UPMC signs a seven-year, $70 million deal with Xerox for print and document management.

Atlanta’s Grady Hospital could close in the next few weeks, leaving the city’s poor with few options and Atlanta without a Level 1 trauma center. It’s running a $55 million deficit and needs $300 milllion in capital improvement. Its board wants local government to guarantee $200 million in new loans, although it’s a safe bet the money would never be paid back. In a sure sign of rational responsibility over the issue of privatization, community activists and showboating politicians scuffled with hospital security guards and were hauled off screaming in handcuffs, although in their defense the board did sound kind of high-handed in its decision-making.

A CDW Healthcare survey concludes that nurses understand the benefits of IT, but hate paper duplication, poorly designed systems, lack of input in selection and implementation decisions, and inadequate computer training. My experience validates every conclusion. Good work from a vendor you might not expect to care about such issues. You can download the report here.

E-mail me. It’s alway slow in December, so I can use good rumors, secrets, or thoughts.

Inga’s Update

Drs. DeBakey and Cooley have ended their 40 year feud. I never realized that the rift was over a stolen (artificial) heart. I guess at ages 99 and 87, they figured it was time to bury the scalpel. Heartwarming.

SCI announces that its Order Facilitator product won (warning: PDF) second place for “Best Technology Innovation for Continuum of Care” by Consumer Health World.

Fired Microsoft CIO Stuart L. Scott resurfaces as COO of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. The company is based in Florida, but Scott is going to stay in Washington with his family (seven kids!)

Medsphere continues to add to their executive team. Former Athenahealth Chief Revenue Officer Rick Jung comes on board as Chief Marketing Officer. While he has an impressive resume, it looks like he has spent most of his time as a numbers guy. But, their new CMIO has spent most of his career with IT start-ups, so why not put a finance guy in the marketing role?

There is a new private investment firm focused on the healthcare. Cressey & Co. doesn’t have much of a web site up yet, but they do have former Senator Bill Frist as a partner.

I’ve read about the organization that is offering free IBM Thinkpads to attract doctors to their new association. The International Association of Dental and Medical Disciplines is offering this perk in addition to a free customized Web site, free Web site hosting, free email, and a free marketing package. The annual dues are $1899 and the perks about $5000. I looked all over the site for the catch (or at least an idea of who is providing the funding) but didn’t find any clues. Anyone know?

Hewlett Packard is giving the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital $580K in HP equipment plus an additional $500K in cash for research.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. I’m confused by Hamilton Swan question. Last time I checked, IHE utilizes existing standards, including HL7, to better achieve integration amongst disparate systems and uses workflows in support of this. As well, with Perot as an outsourcer to various Health Systems, they have to achieve inegration thru various means. Hamilton, are you asking whether Perot has participated in IHE or will now be joining? Your question is rather odd.

  2. Mr HISTalk – you (and Art) seem to share alot of ideas on an anonymous blog about these big projects. Saw your reference to the poor IT guys stuck with unreasonable expectations and ugly product limitations. I’m guessing in your shop, IT staff execute fairly close to flawlessly. Probably the same where ever Art applies his magic touch too.

    You claim it isn’t worth it – are you sure? How many lives saved or improved because real mistakes are now avoided? Is healthcare better delivered on paper?

    Is there a way for you and Art to focus some energy on how IT shops could help execute these projects better? Any ideas how organizations can learn what to do? You give advice on what not to do, and why this might not be worth it. What advice can you offer for IT shops to help them execute?

    Might not be as exciting to see on a blog, but maybe you could do a second blog – HISWork instead of just HISTalk. That way people who weren’t really interested in getting the job done wouldn’t have to trouble themselves by weeding through all that boring stuff.

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