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Monday Morning Update 1/7/08

January 6, 2008 News 6 Comments

From Christine Slater: “Re: HIMSS legislative success. HIMSS sponsored 92 healthcare IT bills. Zero passed. Anything wrong? Nah.” And in more bad news for EMRs, fading presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she’s all for them.

From Is CCHIT Irrelevant?: “Re: CCHIT. The CCHIT home page lists Epic as the only vendor with a certified ambulatory EHR and inpatient EHR system. Is the baseline functionality that CCHIT requires really missing from other enterprise vendors, or have vendors just stopped caring about CCHIT certification and the advantages that it is supposed to bring their customers?”

Patrick Ayephbee: “Re: new vendors. I’m seeing more get rich schemes and dirty tactics from the usual greedy vendors plus companies new to HIT. Greed, inexperience, and arrogance – great combo. Most of the IT world seems to think that poor industry performance can be explained because we’re in the pioneering stages. No, THEY are in the pioneering stages. The industry is 40 years old and they have not stopped to learn one damn thing. In fact, they don’t even ask. If you heard some of what the [vendor name removed] folks are saying, it would bring a tear to your eye.”

From Gail Pileggi: “Re: real time location systems. The area of RTLS is suddenly the ‘next new thing’. We fail with overhyped CPOE, so turn to nursing documentation and BCMA. Oops, that’s not easy either, so let’s focus on supplies since they can’t gripe. Not a bad thing, just another detour and hype cycle to deal with.”

From The PACS Designer: “Re: 2008 outlook. The outlook for 2008 is rosy for some new software applications. We will be hearing about successes and failures of PHR efforts and implementations of thin client applications Another innovation that will begin to find a home is the ASTM International Continuity of Care Record (CCR). Since TPD was a participant in its creation, it would be gratifying for me to hear that it’s in use and working to improve the information flow of healthcare!”

From Stratto Cumulus: “Re: cloud computing. Reminds me of the late, unlamented ASP model, where clients wanted to outsource everything, lay off staff, and make huge profits. In real life, the vendors were running cloud servers with vanilla COTS applications that they would not modify, which killed the business since enterprise apps always need customization and interfacing. Questions to ask: who’s handling authentication and security? Will the cloud vendor tell you if someone snoops in George Clooney’s records, or if you suspect someone is, how fast will they look into it? How will COTS licensing be handled, or will only open source stuff be in the clouds? Will the cloud be a data repository with local data marts or will local systems collect the data and batch it up to the cloud? Will it be transaction driven and Web-based, and if so, how many critical clinical apps are really Web-enabled? How will APIs and web services be handled? Are you sure you have the bandwidth? Clouds could be great for research repositories, provided authentication and architecture is adequate to handle the multiple query services. It would be great if we could integrate research findings across multiple studies to increase statistical power or see relationships across organizations, genes, etc.”

My editorial in last week’s Inside Healthcare Computing: “How the Layoff Grinch Stole Christmas: Clueless Management 101.” I gave myself some love (is that immoral?) for this line about how suits pick layoff targets: “Extra points are assigned if the victim doesn’t seem like the sort to argue, sue for discrimination, or return with armament (the worst part of being laid off is realizing that management put you in the same league as those losers who got axed with you.)” I’m not claiming it’s Tolstoy, but it sounds like me.

Heard: Lucida Healthcare IT has been acquired by Vitalize Consulting Solutions. Lucida’s execs have taken key roles (CEO, CFO, and CIO) in the new entity, which has the financial backing of some big players that include Bank of America and SV Life Sciences. Vitalize’s Mary Pat Fralick will stay on as COO.

Jobs: Manager of Clinical Informatics, LIS Director, HRIS experts, Sunquest lab consultant. Employers can list jobs free for a couple of more weeks.

Make your HISsies nominations now. Surely you have thoughts on the best and worst HIT vendors, the smartest and stupidest vendor strategic move of 2007, and the HIStalk Industry Figure of the Year. There’s about 100 nomination votes so far and the top nominees will go on the ballot. Maybe the obvious choices haven’t been named, so why take the chance?

I’ve got a few giveaway items for the HIMSS conference and need vendors to make them available to attendees. If you want a little extra booth traffic, drop me a line. These are small items, so they won’t be hard to handle in the convention center. Unlike those damned “I Am Mr. HIStalk” buttons from two years ago, which I can’t believe I found a forgotten sackful of while cleaning out my computer closet this weekend. Maybe they’re reproducing like Tribbles. Unless someone saved theirs, I could wear one myself and have an exclusive (plus they say “I Am Mr. HIStalk”, so I’d be telling the truth).

Former QuadraMed sales guy and HIStalk reader Mike Quinto has joined Appalachian Regional Health System in Boone County, NC as CIO. Fun fact somebody told me: he sold the only Affinity deal made in the last three years and his customer was … Appalachian Regional Health System. He must be persuasive.

Kelly Barland, formerly of GE Healthcare, has joined InfoLogix as senior director of professional services.

Somebody sent me a Medicity Christmas letter of sorts (I always appreciate forwarding!) Revenue doubled again for the third year in a row (notable considering the obvious floundering of their interoperability competitors). They also signed a big deal with HSHS. I always harp on idiotic RHIO business models and Medicity’s customers seem to be a lot smarter about theirs (including CalRHIO, which is hush-hush about their arrangement but promises to spill it someday).

Remember that glowing article about Peter Provonost’s reminder checklists that were saving tons of lives and money, just like a pilot’s pre-flight checklist? They were cheap, easy, and set to roll out in the US and in other countries. Well, make that just “other countries” now because the geniuses at HHS’s Office for Human Research Protections, apparently in need of a moment of bureaucratic limelight, have declared the use of such lists unethical and have shut the program down. They decided that using a safety checklist and tracking the results violates IRB requirements, claiming that using a list is no different than injecting a patient with an experimental drug (huh?) Knowing that patients will die otherwise, that seems like a puzzling decision (who wouldn’t want their caregivers to use a list that could save their lives?) I’m not one to advocate storming the castle with pitchforks, but you could e-mail acting director Ivor Pritchard (ivor.pritchard@hhs.gov) your courteous, well-informed opinion if you agree with me that this seems ludicrous. Peter Provonost (of Johns Hopkins) agreed earlier to be interviewed here once we work out details, so I’m sure he’ll have plenty to say.

Former Navy hospital CIO David Yovanno has been named COO of Internet advertising firm ValueClick.

UK researches think Google’s PageRank technology can be used to identify MRSA hotspots in hospitals.

California’s data breach law, which previously covered only financial information, now requires patients to be notified if their medical information has been exposed.

ONCHIT’s 2008 budget will be the same as 2007’s, about half of what President Bush wanted. Rob Kolodner says they’re on track to meet Bush’s goal of EHRs for every American in the next six years. If Vegas gives odds, go the other way.

KLAS has announced its year-end Best in KLAS report. Since vendors aren’t shy in telling you when they’re #1, I like to focus on those products that are dead last in their respective categories: GE Centricity CDR, Siemens Invision ADT, Cerner FirstNet ED, Cerner Scheduling Management, GE Centricity LIS, Siemens SIENET PACS, Cerner PharmNet Pharmacy, Sunquest RIS, and GE Centricity Perioperative.

Bizarre medical lawsuit: a strip club owner whose penis is tattooed with the words “Hot Rod” is suing Mayo Clinic’s chief surgery resident, who admits taking a photo of it while catheterizing the man and showing it to other doctors.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

An Arkansas neurosurgeon pleads guilty to soliciting and accepting kickbacks from a surgical device company. The doctor has agreed to pay $1.5 million, of which $1.1 million will go to the state and to the whistleblower (who happened to work for a competitor.)

Overheard: two Misys operational superstars with over 30 years of combined tenure say goodbye to Misys to work for former Misys VP’s Marc Winchester and Scott Sanner at Digital Healthcare, a retinal risk assessment company. Their resignations come on the heels of at least a couple of senior sales superstars over the last month or so. Guess they’re all choosing the highway over Misys MyWay.

Mr. H and I have had a few conversations about what attracts people to booths at big shows like HIMSS. Let’s say you are only mildly interested in the company’s offering, or perhaps have no clue what the company does. Does a free latte or margarita get you to step into the booth? (my favorite). A beautiful young female with a bit of exposed skin? (Mr. H’s favorite). Pictures of Mr. H and me? (that was what our friends at The White Stone Group want to give away). Or, various trinkets and chances to win some exciting prize? Let me know.

Apparently the bean counters at PricewaterhouseCoopers will begin performing a new type of audit: PwC has been hired by CMS to perform 10 to 20 HIPAA “compliance reviews” of organizations facing complaints.

After an “independent strategic reviews,” MedcomSoft announces an overhaul to its board of directors. They are also looking for a new US-based CEO, if anyone is interested.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis is partnering with iMDsoft to implement MetaVision anesthesia information management system.

Reminder: our new “Best Practices” section of the Forum is up and running with this week’s question: what software or forms do you use to track an active project … tasks, percent complete, assignments, due dates, etc.? Add to your list of New Year’s resolutions to post a message or two to share your wisdom.

At the top of my personal resolutions is regular exercise, especially since I don’t seem to be too good at skipping cocktails or carbs. Happy New Year, by the way!

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Patrick Ayephbee,

    I would wish to hear what makes you cry.

    Things that sound virtual realish in HIT to me are click consuming GUI based solutions, dynamic workflow, automatic workflow, SOA solutions that bypass legacy. The cake amongst them is interoperability and some kind of integrated enterprise.

    What are the fancy new things that are being proposed that make you cry ?
    So that I can be prepared , not to react, when next time I hear some more outlandish stuff.

  2. Re: tatooo…
    Isn’t the main reason for getting a tatoo to ‘show-off’ ???
    Now with this noteriety the guy will probably get a starring role in a porno flick, so why sue???
    – and then I think the resident should sue for agents fees!

  3. Re: Is CCHIT Relevant, Eclipsys also has both Inpatient and Ambulatory products certified, though Ambulatory has not yet been certified against the 2007 standards. And the products are integrated on a singloe database.

  4. The whole CCHIT hype is goofier than the certification itself. 2 months ago on this blog people decried Epic as a lazy status quo vendor because they hadn’t posted the ambulatory certification yet.

    CCHIT is some days overhyped and some days underhyped. It just is what it is. Don’t make more of it than just a defined standard for people to comply with. They slot vendors into openings to do the certification with their experts and getting it early or late isn’t all that meaningful. It’s just indicative of when they got their slot – basically aligning people’s schedules.

    It’s a simple reasonable (so far) thing and if a vendor is certified in plus or minus 12 months their customers are probably just perfectly fine.

    Let’s not make more of this than there is.

  5. Re: CCHIT – May I gently remind everyone that CCHIT is, from what I’m able to discern and understand, a nonprofit company with a business plan. CCHIT is not a governmental regulatory agency. They have “customers” just like any other company. Some vendors will associate a sufficient perceived value in comparison with the anticipated cost or energy (“investment”), and some vendors won’t. For me personally, if a product isn’t CCHIT-certified what that means to me is “that that product isn’t CCHIT-certified”.

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