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January 8, 2008 News 10 Comments

From James Ballard: “Re: checklists. HHS’s ruling on the checklist issue is a perfect example of the loss of common sense caused by excessive regulation. If we call the documentation of the checklist a ‘Nursing Intervention’ and we then call the study a ‘Chart Review’, the Joint Commission would be singing our praises for an effective quality improvement initiative. I can’t help but wonder if I was breaking the law during most of the chart reviews I was asked to take part in.”

From Mac MacGuff: “Re: checklists. Check the credentials of the person the Bush Administration put in charge of the Office for HUMAN research protection (Acting Director). You’ll find he is a veterinarian. Apparently human protection has gone to the dogs. It appears there’s a new acting director now, but I don’t know his background.” Bet he’s driving improvement guru Peter Provonost through the woof. Sorry.

From Sam: “Re: Greenway. I was contact by Greenway Medical about a position. Do you know anyone who worked there or anything about the company?” I’ll need some reader help here since I know next to nothing.

I heard from Mike Quinto and others with clarifications about a reader’s comment involving Mike’s new CIO job at Applachian Regional Healthcare System. Mike says he’s not the only one who sold Affinity deals during his time there, although he was the big gun (he didn’t say it like that, but I spiced up the wording since I always picture sales guys as swaggering former jocks who talk that way). He also mentions that this particular ARH is not the one I was thinking of in KY and  WV — it’s a three-hospital group in Boone, NC (I gave him a barbeque joint tip since that’s one of my core competencies, but he’d just been there the night before).

From The Shelton Shadow: “Re: PACS in NPfIT. Word has come that the PACS installation in the UK has reached conclusion. The positive responses from users are starting to roll in, with many reporting faster processing of patients and quicker access to image files, thus saving money. Another key decision was made by Philips Medical to exit the installing of any further PACS for radiology in the UK, leaving the potential future business for Sectra and others to pursue.”

Mark your HIMSS calendar for Monday evening, February 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Peabody Orlando, right at the convention center. It’s the first ever HIStalk get-together, unbelievably sponsored by the cool folks at Healthia Consulting. This will be first class in every respect — food, drinks, and who knows what else. I just about fell out of my chair when Shawna from Healthia sent me the menus, which just happened to include costs (I’m parsimonious), but they graciously volunteered to make the arrangements and spend the bucks to support HIStalk’s readers. Details to follow (including an online RSVP page so we can reserve those $7 Peabody shrimp, which is about what I pay for one of those barbeque dinners I mentioned). If you’re an outgoing sort, I may need some “ambassadors” to mingle on HIStalk’s behalf (I’m considering hiring cheery booth babes and boys, which even Inga thinks would be fun, although I’d be too embarrassed to have Healthia pay for them).

Speaking of booth candy: I put up a new poll to your right, playing off Inga’s earlier question. What would draw you into a vendor’s booth if you otherwise had no particular interest? I se that “attractive representatives” is doing well, so it’s not just me.

Houskeeping stuff: check the Healthcare IT Stocks page, which displays current (well, delayed 15 minutes, anyway) stock prices of some bit HIT vendors. Also, the Best Practices question is still open, with good feedback from readers about their choice of project tracking and communications tools. There are new text ads to your right — thanks to Dragon Medical, CodeMap, and Patient Placement Systems for supporting HIStalk. And, time is slipping away to get your HISsies nominations submitted, joining 137 of your colleagues so far in deciding who will be on the ballot shortly. I was thinking of unveiling the HISies winners at our Orlando soiree, although that may take more organizational skills than I can muster. Wouldn’t it be cool to have The Pie winner show up to accept? Unlikely.

Nearly 200 jobs are listed on HealthcareITJobs.com, including listings from QuadraMed, Partners Healthcare System, Intellect Resources, and DocuSys. Employers can post jobs at no charge for a few more days.

Listening: Chevelle.

My editorial in tomorrow’s Inside Healthcare Computing electronic update: “RHIOs 2.0 Dying Uglier Deaths than 1.0,  but Hardy Survivors Guarantee Another Round.” I might surprise you with my tiny, guarded RHIO optimism, including this comment about my previous posture: “I was a real buzz-kill, raining rational thinking onto the frenetic, obedient parade of RHIO trough-lappers.” I notice today that Marc Overhage has an editorial in the Indianapolis paper, although he isn’t unbiased like I am since he runs a RHIO.

American Radiology Services Inc. will be sold by its buyout owners for $151 million to CML HealthCare Income Fund. Johns Hopkins owns a big chunk.

Cerner, Microsoft, and Spectrum Health (MI) will partner to develop the Cerner Care Console, one of those combination clinical/entertainment systems that companies keep trying to sell. Cerner’s version will include an Xbox 360, patient-physician communication, patient schedules, surveys, and hospital propaganda.

McKesson signs a big deal with Community Health Systems (TN) that includes its physician portal, EMR, and clinical systems in over 40 hospitals. There’s one happy salesperson out there somewhere who will eventually pocket a fat commission check (How much, since I’m an incentive-free provider sider? A million?)

Provena Health signs up for Misys EMR, Tiger, and Homecare.

Lonnie Johnson joins Zotec Partners as COO.

Goldman Sachs puts money into portable clinical information vendor Epocrates.

The DoD wastes so much money that another $4 million and over 100 employees for a “Military Interoperable Digital Hospital Testbed” doesn’t register, even when it’s in that high-tech haven of Johnstown, PA and paid out to Northrop Grumman. Still, you have to guess this announcement is a lot more about federal pork than technology.

Former Amicore president Richard Noffsinger is named CEO of SafeMed. I couldn’t figure out what they sell from the lofty-sounding press release, but it’s something to do with health analysis and it brims with buzzwords: actionable, empower, architect, etc. According to my trustworthy Bullfighter software, “Diagnosis: You like to hear yourself write. Despairing of the thought of bringing a sentence to a close with something as demeaningly ordinary as a simple period, you shower readers with gratuitous, interminable and often weighty if not impossibly labyrinthine prose. Meaning lingers, albeit awash in a thick tide of metaphor and exposition that threatens to drown the writer’s message. Seek help.” I didn’t think it was that bad, but I don’t question BF.

Sage Software announces go-lives of its Intergy Practice Portal for patient-physician communication.

CalRHIO announces that Cisco will join Medicity, Perot, and HP in developing its information exchange.

InterSystems announces that partner Oleen will provide its Cache’-powered SurgiDat system to the VA.

E-mail me. Inga’s working on some HIStech Report stuff tonight, trying to catch up for HIMSS, so it’s just me.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. From what I understand, Greenway has a pretty nice product that is fairly straightforward to deploy. Greenway requires a significant amount of travel… 90%ish… from its implementation staff… 60-70 hr workweeks. Not unlike most ambulatory HIT vendors. My friend, an ex-Greenway employee, works for one of their VARs – MDS Medical in Phoenix.

  2. Really looking forward to MrHISTalk’s anonymous appearance at the Peabody. It’s been quite a while since anyone accused me of being him, so perhaps we can start that up again. On the other hand, perhaps he’ll send a duck.

    Meanwhile, I had a look at SafeMed at HIMSS last year and it’s a pretty interesting way of looking into Rx data. And boy we need lots more help in that arena. Others to check out are Enhanced Medical Decisions and PharmaSurveyor (FD I’m an advisor/friend of both companies).

    Finally the checklist story is a screaming big deal. check out TCHCB and Maggi Mahar’s Healthbeat blog for the great work she and some others have done looking into it, and start thinking about President Obama’s cost effectiveness institute and how that’s all going to go down!

  3. Checklist HHS Rulings. Yes, James there is a total loss of common sense for all involved in any HHS ruling. Like all HHS rulings, you need an interpretation of the interpretation to interpret the ruling. This affectionately reminds me of the dog indeterminately chasing his own tail.

    As medical informaticist and human being, I participate in the renowned U.S. Healthcare Circle Jerk.

  4. Maia Thompson what did your friend say the work enviroment was like. I am not going to be in implementation but another department. I am wondering about the culture, the executive staff, etc.


  5. Looks like I may have taken your place Mr. HIStalk on being the cynic regarding RHIOs. With ONC’s budget flat in 2008, funding for NHIN initiatives, where a lot of these RHIOs get funding from , will take a BIG hit. This is but another coffin nail in many a RHIO. Talked about it further in a recent post over at ChilmarkResearch.com

    You’ll also find another post there on the PACS roll-out in the UK, based on a report I found on an EU-centric eHealth site. Some impressive results.

  6. Sam,
    Greenway is a small practice management company with a very good reputation and products. I have met the owner, other executives and liked them. If you want to work for a small, family run company, then this is the place for you.

  7. I’m a little surprised that you only placed Picis on positively stated questions within your HISies poll. In our experience, which has also been shared by several peer organizations within the region, Picis is not what we’d hoped it would be. I’d bet that, had they been a candidate on some of the more negatively phrased questions, you’d have received some more votes for them. I do remain hopeful, however, that their performance and our experience with them will improve over time.

    From Mr. HIStalk: the nominees were from readers. I didn’t add or remove any – I simply pulled the nominees most often submitted. For Worst Vendor, Picis got one nomination. For Stupidest Strategic Move, one nomination. That wasn’t enough to put them on the ballot in either category.

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