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News 1/3/08

January 2, 2008 News 1 Comment

From Lazlo Hollyfield: “Re: AHRQ. It amuses me how some of the health news outlets are highlighting the AHRQ focus groups on how consumers perceive health IT. Besides an area that several market research companies already cover, this is a complete non-story at best and lazy journalism at its worst. NIH budgets have dwindled/been flat and so has AHRQ’s budget. Most of the bureaucracy is leaving before the end of this presidential term and decisions to award money have gone astray. This is probably a case officer at AHRQ who basically had some extra money to throw around. Nothing more. I would be shocked if something truly interesting gets published from it. Probably just verifies existing customer data out there from the various market research firms.”

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Cloudy 2008. TPD took a well-deserved vacation and a break from HIStalk, but is now back in the groove as we approach 2008. Speaking of ‘Cloudy 2008’, it’s not weather or financial predictions, but refers to the emergence of more ‘Cloud’ offerings in the healthcare space, with Clouds being bundled software services which include  automatic upgrades from time to time which will remove the burden and worry from institutions. Since hospital budgets are tight due to reduced Medicare expenditures, you can expect more C-level execs to consider outsourcing many of the more laborious tasks to vendors who offer their services as ‘Clouds,’ which will expand the size and number of clouds employed to get the jobs done in 2008 and beyond. Short term, it will mean lower software revenues for vendors, but longer term will provide stable monthly/yearly business revenue volumes for companies offering this option. Happy 2008 from TPD to all HIStalk readers!”

Nasty Parts: “Re: rumor. I can confirm your rumor of a British EMR company’s SVP of sales leaving. He came from outside of healthcare, a decision I never understood. Morale is high with his departure.”

From Marge N. Alperformer: “Re: HIMSS. Do you know of any inexpensive way to to attend?” Registration’s going to set you back $740 if you get it in by the 28th and there’s not much way to avoid that unless you: (a) “share” a badge with someone else and split your time; (b) find a vendor to comp you, which isn’t likely; (c) do something for HIMSS that will get you a free reg, but it’s probably too late for that; (d) skip the educational sessions (or assume credentials won’t be checked closely) and buy just an exhibit hall badge for $175. You can save on flight and lodging by using Priceline (I’ve done that), especially since rental cars are cheap in Orlando so you can stay further out and off the shuttle line. Anybody else have ideas?

From Kiera Whitlock: “Re: MGMA. They are very visible in the Medical Group Practice world; their founding fathers practically invented the large multi-specialty group practice. Most of the big groups are members, but MGMA is catering more and more to the smaller practices. Their sectional and national conferences are big, though not as big as HIMSS; but also don’t have HIMSS’ price tag, for vendors or for members. If you don’t know much about medical groups (or even if you do),their training and publications are a good value. If you want to hang around exclusively with the bigger (50+ MDs) groups, you’ll probably want to check out AMGA; their conference is smaller, but the biggest groups and the best vendors are there. AMGA does not (as far as I know) have individual memberships; so if you’re looking for a personal (as opposed to organizational) membership, MGMA is the place to go.”

From Techman: “Re: HL7. I work for a software vendor and I am interested in the way HL7 is used in practice by healthcare providers, like which parts of the HL7 messages are used. Anyone have suggestions for information sources?”

From Grizzled Veteran: “Re: Alteer. The California-based EMR/PM company is being acquired by VisionaryMED, a Florida EMR/PM company.” I saw nothing in the news or on either company’s site, but I’m not doubting you.

From Porchean Cantrall: “Re: HISsies. athena’s insane IPO and ongoing industry buzz around their disruptive SaaS model have got to make it for biggest industry event. Loved Beers with Bush last year in any event – thought that was pretty cool.” Beers with Bush was fun, especially since athenahealth brought out the good stuff right on the exhibit hall floor for HIStalk readers who dropped by. We need another fundraiser for a worthy cause, if anyone has ideas.

And speaking of HISsies, it’s that time again: your nominations for “The Brutally Honest Healthcare Information Systems Awards” in 18 categories are now welcome. Among them: who’s the worst vendor, what’s the biggest HIT news story of the year, who is the HIS industry figure in whose face you’d most like to throw a pie, and who gets the biggest award: the “HIStalk HIT Industry Figure of the Year.” Nominations will run until the end of next week, then voting begins. Don’t discount the importance of voting now: only the top handful of nomination vote-getters appear on the final ballot. If you’re new, don’t think this is a joke just because the categories are cheeky: it draws 1,000 or more voters each time, some vendor always tries to rig the voting by urging employees to vote for them as Best Vendor, and the number of people who read the results announcement is off the scale.

Cardinal Health recalls another 200,000 of its Alaris Medley smart IV pumps. Springs inside the pump were assembled incorrectly, leading to the potential for overinfusion.

Pennsylvania get its usual abundance of federal pork barrel money, including $86,000 each for clinical IT projects at Mercy Hospital Scranton, Moses Taylor Hospital, and Mid Valley Hospital.

Inga mentions her Christmas presents below. Mine: the rest of the Gilmore Girls DVDs (so femme, I know, but I’m addicted); Call of Duty 4; a couple of books, including How Doctors Think; and some Boy Scout popcorn from Mrs. HIStalk’s batty but adorable 90-something aunt.

Let’s get this Best Practices thing going! What software or forms do you use to track an active project … tasks, percent complete, assignments, due dates, etc.? An HIStalk reader has asked, so share your thoughts in this new HIStalk Forum topic. Register to post if you haven’t already.

If you found the Rose Bowl coverage annoying (nearly assured since Brent Musburger was involved), you’ll find this funny.

CPSI signs a deal with NeoTool to use its NeoIntegrate interface engine.

Listening: Blonde Redhead.

Merge Healthcare did some restating and reporting, but I just can’t get interested in their ongoing troubles any more.

Sumter Regional Hospital wins the Siemens MRI with over 260,000 votes, 101,000 more than the second-place finisher. The official announcement will come in a couple of weeks. Congratulations to them and thanks to the HIStalk readers who voted for them.

A Malaysian hospital has developed its own information system using free Oracle software. It includes ADT, ED, surgery, HIM, case mix, and patient accounting, with CPOE and HL7/DICOM integration planned for 2009. Says it costs millions of ringgits to implement (a ringgit is around 30 cents US) and that distributors are interested in selling it.

A former GE Healthcare bigwig, soon to be CEO of a small medical data analysis company, says he wants to sell clinical-genetic information systems to vendors like Cerner and GE.

Jobs: Pharmacy Application Specialist, Epic Trainers, Director of Global Training & Education.

A doctor creates a video e-mail for each patient to explain their lab results.

Allscripts acquires discharge referral system vendor Extended Care Information Network for $90 million in cash.

E-mail me. It’s time to get back in the swing of things.

Inga’s Update

I am back from a week in the land of no Internet access. I loved my time with the extended family, but truly, how does one survive in a world with no Wall Street Journal, one FM radio station, and 20 miles from the nearest manicurist? The highlight was driving into “town” one day and seeing a plethora of beefy country boys in their nice-fitting jeans. They all looked like they spent a lot of time hauling things around all day, though I bet none knew anything about healthcare IT. Next year I am voting for a Four Seasons somewhere (I love their towel boys.)

My best Christmas present is my 320GB external disk drive that I haven’t hooked up yet. Probably next was the 1000-page “World Without End” by Ken Follett. No healthcare IT references at all, though it is Oprah-approved.

I was pretty amused by the number of posts related to Meditech and their technology. To be fair, I should note that I am the one who introduced the MUMPS technology issue when asking if Meditech had difficulty finding employees with expertise in MUMPS (to which he pointed out that the current technology was not MUMPS.) I was a bit surprised by the passion my Meditech friend still had for his company. Whether or not you agree with his opinions on Meditech and its technology, my impression was he honestly believed in the company and their products. On one hand that is commendable, and certainly understandable. How could you stand by your company and its products and people for so long if you didn’t believe in them? On the other hand, it’s easy to get blinders on after a period of time. I know little about Meditech’s management but I hope they take time listening to the market (and not just their clients) since it appears the world views things differently than the Meditech folks.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. RE: MGMA. Kiera Whitlock did an excellent job of describing MGMA (Medical Group Management Association). They are headquartered in Utah and are a great group of people to work with. I can speak to the activity of one of their “sectional”/regional groups. The MA/RI MGMA runs its own 3-day annual meeting and 4 other half-day seminars with local topics every year. My software vendor company keeps memberships in both the national and sectional MGMA organizations and we exhibit at the national conference every October.

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