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News 1/11/08

January 10, 2008 News 5 Comments

From Rogue: “Re: HIStalk get-together. Thanks, Healthia. I propose the price of admission be a wrapped/bagged trinket from your vendor company or organization —  a go-live t-shirt, hat, pen, stress ball, Post-It pad, or whatever logo item you have lots of. (And Mr. HIStalk can get rid of the bag of last year’s leftover buttons, too). Drop yours in as you arrive, take one home as you leave. Something fun to talk about later. Maybe a couple vendors will seed the grab bag with a neat MP3 player or two. BTW, the Communities open house is Monday night until 6.30 pm, so I’ll be late. And isn’t the Chapters Open House night on Monday traditionally since Tuesday is the awards dinner and Wednesday is the Universal Studios event? Stagger from one open house to another. Maybe I’ll be lucky and they’re all in the Peabody. Do we use our real names when we RSVP to keep our blog pseudonyms secret?” I like the swag idea, a modified Christmas party idea where you bring a wrapped toy. Would anyone do that? I know there will be conflicts with the time since every HIMSS event is either Monday or Tuesday night, so we figured making it 6:00 to 8:00 would allow hitting the big blowouts afterward (we know our place in the universe). I think you’ll want to use your real name on the RSVP, but we can try to guess each other’s secret HIStalk identity. Inga and I will be undercover most likely, so we can all play.

From Animal Mother: “Re: temper your envy. There is certainly a happy McK rep – or reps, actually – but no one is retiring. McK has a 27-page comp plan: one page on how to earn the money and 26 on how to actually get it. There’s a cap of around $300K on the commission will be paid out in total for any one contract, even if there are three, four, or five reps on the deal. Then you start the clocks on what will be paid when, based on the deal. The result is that the McK retention plan holds around $50-100K from the performing rep. The comp plan is the #1 reason reps leave and leave the money behind. It’s a monthly slap in the face to see that the largest number on the commission statement is the money you don’t get.”

From Willem Seminole: “Re: your free research. I got an e-mail update from [magazine] and it’s obvious they’re just writing up the news you’ve found. Some of your links from Tuesday were obscure and, what do you know, they covered those stories like they found them themselves.” I know. Adds to my legend.

From Leonard Pratt: “Re: ECG. I heard a rumor that ECG, the company that owns CHIMES, shut its doors yesterday. This is third-hand info, but I thought I would see if you heard anything about it.” I assume this is the contract worker firm. If so, yep, they’re toast. Ensemble Chimes Global was a subsidiary of Hollywood payroll services Axium International, which filed bankruptcy and tied up lots of payroll deposits this week when it defaulted on a $140 million loan.

From Lumpy Rutherford: “Re: Allscripts. This was posted on the MDRX message board: ‘Allscripts announced to customers yesterday that they’re halting all further upgrades and installations of version 11.0 and waiting until 11.1 can be released. This is in response to massive technical problems in v11.’ Any truth to this rumor?” According to my internal source, it’s not true. Lots of folks are already live on v11 (some upgraders, some net news) and v11.1 will GA in a few weeks.

From Eightball: “Re: athenahealth. Word is athena’s big win at Harbin was an IDX install and Allscripts lost out.” Here’s an announcement of their 2002 TouchWorks intentions, anyway, so it seems likely.

I’m not naming names, but a reader was looking for some help and someone from HIMSS stepped forward. Enough said, other than thanks.

Listening: Maeder. Also: Zebrahead.

Last chance for HISsies nominations. We have a couple of frontrunner disqualifications already, namely me in the “HIS industry figure with whom you’d most like to have a few beers” category and Inga in “HIStalk HIT Industry Figure of the Year.” We appreciate the support, but we’ll keep it honest. And to think I had my beer alone today while watching a Gilmore Girls rerun and waiting for Mrs. HIStalk to get home. We’ll have no remarks about Inga’s figure, please.

Jobs: Web Developer, PathNet Architect, Senior Account Executive, Epic Consultants.

McKesson claims to be the first vendor to GA software for the Intel C5 tablet PC. Says it will support Admin-RX barcoding, which could use some improvement.

Verispan announces availability of a database of retail clinics.

Jay Miller, president and CEO of Vital Images, resigns (with someone else’s hand firmly forcing his signature on the resignation letter, no doubt.) The guy he hired as COO will take his job.

I haven’t mentioned them in awhile, so here’s a plug for The Revere Group, a big hitter in providing Microsoft services to healthcare providers. Thanks for sponsoring. Ditto for MedMatica Consulting Associates, a fine source for experienced healthcare consultants.

Midwest Regional Regional Medical Center (OK) goes live with SafeScan medication barcoding.

And speaking of a potential SafeScan client, Dennis Quaid is really peeved at Cedars-Sinai now. He found that his twins got two heparin overdoses each, not just the one the hospital told him about. Not to belittle DQ since I’m a fan of his Right Stuff work, but Dennis … hospital mistakes kill patients all the time, unfortunately. Your kids got protamine and are fine, with no lasting consequences. I know actors are self-centered and all, but leave the outrage for someone looking at a headstone instead of healthy, happy babies. Go ahead and sue since that’s the American way, but remember how it could have turned out. Start a foundation or something for those not so lucky.

Speaking of positive ID technologies, Mercy Medical Center (AR) will implement a state-of-the-art RFID scanning system. In its gift shop, along with Camille Beckman lotions.

FCG’s shareholder merger vote on its CSC acquisition forges ahead. The court told a couple of legal firms that always file shareholder class action suits to stick it. Surely no one with any shred of sanity thinks FCG could do better.

Washington Hospital Center, fresh off selling Azyxxi to Microsoft, apparently will turn its ED into a mini-HIMSS, with its technology vendors running around with reporters for the launch party … errr,  “unveiling,” as the press release says. Somebody keep those unsavory patients out of the camera shots, please.

In the UK, a passer-by finds a bicycle courier bag in the street that contains sensitive lab results. He turns them over to the local newspaper, of course, since people who find medical records always seek a media outlet instead of just giving them back.

The remains of shuttered practice managment vendor AcerMed are bought for $500,000 by a newly formed subsidiary of an ophthalmic sofware vendor. Former AcerMed CEO Michael Bina is brought on as CEO of the new Abraxas Medical Solutions, Inc., along with seven other former employees. Could be good news for practices who figured they were stuck with an albatross.

Elekta AB is negotiating to buy CMS, Inc., a St. Louis radiation treatment planning software vendor, from its private equity owner.

Former Summit Medical Systems execs form clinical trials software vendor MedNet Solutions.

Mayo Clinic and IBM announce formation of The Medical Imaging Informatics Innovation Center, whose bulky and voluntarily chosen name is helpfully pushed as MI3C, which they might have picked upfront if it tickled them so darned much that they immediately started using it instead of the real name.

Cleveland is a healthcare investing hotbed, although the local paper doesn’t mention Cleveland Clinic’s doctors who have been caught running up patient tabs for medical devices and treatments produced by companies in which they have a financial interest.

Sounds interesting: a new documentary investigates the massive doping of American children with ADHD drugs. “Ethics, or as Miller reveals, the lack of such, is a central theme of the film. As he investigated the culture of medicine, the producer was shocked to learn that a vast majority of psychiatric drugs being prescribed to millions of children worldwide have never been proven safe and/or effective for the very conditions they are purported to treat. In fact, he uncovered a pattern of collusion between drug manufacturers and their regulatory watchdogs at the FDA, who literally hid evidence of suicidal thoughts and violent acts long before these drugs were approved for the marketplace.” Maybe he should offer CME and a free lunch.

The new drug benefit increased Medicare’s costs by 18.7% in 2006, now up to over $400 billion. Demanding boomers should be able to bankrupt the entire country in a few years at that rate of increase.

If you read this snip out of context, would you guess the article is about EMR software developed by a doctor in Viet Nam? “Medisoft makes things too explicit. Even one dong cannot be concealed. Perhaps that bothers some people.” Maybe it’s just me.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. In a previous incarnation, I was working with a company that developed and sold electronic content management solutions (mostly to government and legal).

    I was part of a deal where we received a PO slightly in excess of 15 mil. This deal was the culmination of 5 years of hard work on the account… where 50,000 users was considered the PILOT of the project.
    There were 7 reps and tech-reps involved that were commissionable, at various levels (alas, I was very low down on that scale)… however due to the size and nature of the purchase, the company did not want to pay out commissions based on the rates that were in our comp-plans. We ended up having to seek legal counsel, and were within a day of submitting a lawsuit _against_the_company_that_we_worked_for_, when they agreed to pay out based on the comp plans in effect at the time of the sale. This happened over a year after the sale closed, and the commissions were originally due to be paid. They didn’t pay interest on our monies that they held for that year, nor did we recoup our legal expenses.

    The comp-plan that followed the fiscal year in which the atypical sale was attained ended up having 10 or so pages of addendii, caveats, appendices…

    So it’s not always rosy being a salesperson out there on the sharp end; I believe it causes a CFO physical pain every time that he or she has to authorize commission payments, and that’s why they so rarely do it…

    SoftwareSalesguy 1972

  2. What if only one lady turns out for the HIS Talk HIMSS get together — Bingo, you got Inga revealed (assuming Inga is a female!!)

  3. The Quaid twins are extremely lucky that they received care to counteract the overdose of heparin that they received. If indeed they got two overdoses each, that means the system failed 4 times.

    Although I agree that medical errors occur frequently, I don’t think we should brush it off, but should attack the root cause of the errors so the next time they don’t occurr.

    We also need to support the staff with systems that alert them to errors – before they occur, especially nursing, who don’t have a double check to fall back on. I agree with yesterdays editorial – Now that it’s the new year – lets get cracking on bedside medication verification! – add to that smart pumps.

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