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January 22, 2008 News 4 Comments

From Neal’s Pizza Guy: “Re: Cerner. 21 June 2005: Cerner wins a seven-hospital Abu Dhabi contract and no doubt promises the world. Arab pizza futures soar on the news. 14 June 2007: Cerner opens a new office in Dubai to supplement efforts in Abu Dhabi. The smile on Doug Krebs face says the parking lot is full and the pizza is yummy. The other Cernerbots smile pretty for Neal. 22 January 2008: Doh! What do you mean we had to deliver?!? IBA Health boots Cerner from Abu Dhabi hospital after ‘lengthy delays.’ Abu Dhabi pizza futures are down …way down. No word on whether Krebs is still smiling. Also: Computer Weekly reports that Fujitsu is ready to pull the plug on NPfIT program. UK pizza futures are rocketing on the news.” Link.

From Rich Davis: “Re: Cerner layoffs. Go back and check your lists of healthcare IT employers in KC. There are several pharmacy tech vendors of size and lots of other niche players. Other IT only places are Garmin, Yellow Freight, etc. Don’t cry too hard for these folks. If they have any skills at all they will easily find work.”

From Kenny Crawdad: “Re: Keane. What is up with Keane? I hear they are imploding because of the new acquisition and the loss of CHS business. No real new sales in over six months, and the only thing going is some offshoot deals with MedSphere. Sounds pretty scary.” Unverified, assumed inaccurate unless someone wants to confirm.

A sponsor tells me (via Inga) that HIStalk was mentioned in a recent HIMSS Analytics webinar, with 13% of surveyed healthcare CIOs saying they read here regularly. I’m a glass-half-empty kind of guy, so I’m thinking that having 87% who don’t is a terrible disappointment, but I guess that’s pretty good.

My editorial this week: Cerner Layoffs in Review: Why Marching People Out Makes Sense, but Sickouts Don’t. A short teaser: “Personally, I’m blaming Meditech.” Want to guess the connection?

Houskeeping issues: the search box to your right plows through millions (literally) of words of HIStalk going back to 2003, so Google yourself or a company for fun. That Rumor Report button to your right lets you send me anonymous, secure messages (including attachments if you’re so inclined), so give me some good dirt and I can write about. Sign up for e-mail updates when I write something new here or for the Brev+IT weekly e-mail. Try HIStalk Discussion or the stock page. Our friends at Healthcare IT Transition Group have a text ad to your right for their 2008 Health IT Grant Resource Directory (you can check out sample pages and full details). And please take a moment to do a little click-visiting to the sponsors whose ads grace the left margin and thereby keep my keyboard clacking until all hours of the night like Design Clinicals (HIStech Report coming soon), SCI Solutions (ditto), high availability architecture gurus Stratus Technologies (ditto again), and patient flow experts Premise.

Speaking of Google search, I was scouring HIStalk for something yesterday and ran across this post from May 2006, when Electronic Slide laid on some heavily sarcastic criticism of my skepticism about the rumor that Allina was bailing out on Epic, saying I play Epic favorites and have no journalistic standards. Since then, Allina’s live on Epic and, in fact, won the Davies Award. So there.

Jobs: Account Executive Sales (note: it’s in KC!), Physician Liaison, Information Architect, Sales Executive. Signup is quick for a weekly jobs update.

Stocks started out in meltdown mode this morning, then rebounded, with the Dow down 1% and Nasdaq down 2%. Most HIT stocks did a little but worse than that, but Eclipsys and Perot Systems were up.

Jim Wilson is promoted to president of Craneware’s US subsidiary, which sells charge master software.

Philips had a big Q4, doubling profits to $2 billion on a 3.8% revenue increase, but US sales were down 10%. Healthcare is right up there with shaving and grooming for US investment, the company president says.

King’s Daughters Medical Center (KY) names Cathy Cooper-Weidner as VP/CIO. I think she used to be CIO at Memorial at IU South Bend.

West Georgia Health System is bringing up a $12 million Meditech system. It wasn’t clear what it is from the newspaper article, but C/S 6.0 is mentioned.

If you have to make a medication error, make sure no celebrities are involved. Dennis Quaid criticizes Cedars-Sinai in a Sundance Film Festival interview, something the average patient isn’t often asked to do.

Looking for a laptop deal? Best Buy has a Gateway with Pentium Dual Core 1.6 GHz, 2 gig memory, 160 gig SATA, DVD/CDRW, 15.4″ display, and Vista Home Premium for $549. I got one and it’s sweet, even to the laptop-indifferent like me.

GE Healthcare will exhibit at Arab Health 2008 in Dubai next week. So will just about everybody else in HIT, according to the conference page. Which reminds me: if you’re an HIStalk sponsor, Inga will be contacting you about some cool HIMSS benefits: a free sign for your booth (autographed by her, no less!) and a mention in the upcoming “Mr. HIStalk Goes to HIMSS” guide. Thanks to the companies who volunteered to help out with our little giveaways there. We’ll name them soon.

Siemens will announce the MRI winner in a live webcast Friday morning at 8:00 Eastern. Sumter says they haven’t heard anything.

The Ann Arbor Area Health Information Exchange gets a Detroit mention. Its annual budget is only $140K, which is darned good. NextGen is mentioned because all the partners use it.

An embarrassing NHS glitch: a server crashes at midnight, the primary on-call tech forgot to turn his cell phone on, and the backup support tech didn’t have a data center key. The ED and results inquiry function were offline for 12 hours. Maybe not as embarrassing as this NHS gaffe: a patient’s newly transplanted kidney has to be removed when caregivers notice that the patient’s blood type was recorded wrong in the computer.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

The country’s oldest visiting nurse association, VNA of Western NY is partnering with Cardiocom Multi-Disease Management to provide home telemonitoring technology.

Cerner Millennium PowerChart 2007 and MEDITECH MAGIC 5.6 just gained 2007 CCHIT EHR certification. INVISION Clinicals Version 27.0 with Siemens Pharmacy and MAK Version 24.0 is conditionally certified, pending a “verifiable customer reference.”

Awarepoint and Skytron announce a new integrated active RFID asset management and information resource solution.

McKesson pats itself on the back a bit for having 18 solutions ranked in the top three in the recent KLAS rankings. Not shabby at all.

Greenway Medical Technologies was another strong KLAS performer, named Best in KLAS for ambulatory EMR in the 6-25 physician practice. Greenway’s also making headway into the RHIO/IDN/IPA segment since the Stark laws were modified and has signed on 10 community healthcare organizations since July.

Fujitsu announces a more secure and powerful mobile device targeted for healthcare (and some other industries.) The newest design of the P1620 includes such features as a biometric fingerprint sensor, secure asset tracking software, and a weight of just 2.2 lbs.

Is it tougher than ever to be in healthcare sales? Out of 180,000 surveyed docs, 19% said they refuse to see drug and device sales reps at any time and 23% make the reps to set an appointment. However, 73% of the physicians said they’ll take details from reps at any time of the day or week. A couple of curious observations here: first, the numbers add up to greater than 100 (what is up with that?) and second, this study by SK&A Healthcare Information Solutions (who sell physician databases) claims they reached all 180,000 doctors by phone. Why would a doctor take a phone call from a marketing company but not see a sales rep in their office? Are there perhaps no restrictions on paying physicians for their time to answer surveys?

E-mail Inga.

Art Vandelay on Social Networking in Healthcare

The spigot is opening. Another Web 2.0 company, IMedix, is stepping onto the scene to take social networking and apply it to healthcare. This company offers a virtual gathering place for patients to share their experience and search for useful health info.

This is one of those trends I follow from outside of our industry and try to figure out when it will make inroads into our strategy. I have seen small communities arise around support groups on Yahoo Groups, FaceBook, and MySpace. These venues aren’t tailored to health information. CarePages offers a somewhat similar concept but is usually offered through a specific health care institution. WebMD offer this service but it can be a challenge to navigate. Revolution Health (RH) seems to be the player with the most momentum. They offer the communities and health info, but also aim to link in information about physicians (typical find-a-doc search), insurance companies, and health risk appraisals. Like RH, IMedix makes money by selling targeted ads.

What does all this mean for us? Other than “never a dull moment”, I see four blips on the radar. First, these sites are yet another logical platform for personal health records (PHRs). Second, they are a platform for physician and insurer report cards. Third, we will be monitoring content sources to provide a list of approved sources for patients. Lastly, our media awareness requirements will evolve.

For PHRs, start brushing up on your HL7 Continuity of Care Document (CCD) specification and quizzing your vendors. Then, start tracing the data sources that feed the CCD. The CCD content in a PHR will be just like a patient receiving a bill and questioning the details (“Did I see Dr. ‘A’? I don’t remember her coming in.). In the PHR scenario, it will be patients questioning diagnoses, procedural descriptions, and results they see. Decoding the trail of consumer terminology versus medical and billing terminology and norms will be the challenge.

For report cards and content sources, the responses of our organizations are pretty clear. We will be asked to either try and compile the same report card info or develop systems to align with or challenge the scores. For content sources, we will be asked to provide a place where our clinical content managers or librarians can add or remove approved sites while also educating our physicians about the sites where we usually direct patients.

Media awareness, outside of health care, is a niche service. There are services that scour the public sources of information (ex: Internet, publications, radio, TV) for mentions of a company and sell the transcripts to the company. We may soon be in this challenging situation – finding all the mentions of our organizations and attempting to validate that what was said was correct.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Hi Mr. H,

    I was wondering if you can start a discussion around datawarehousing initiatives in healthcare, especially in the hospital setting.


  2. Art,
    Some good analysis on the ever evolving personal healthcare on the Internet market. And yes, there is a logical connection between these “social websites” and PHRs, but to date, very few, if any, have really brought it all together.

    Had a conversation a couple of months back with the leaders at PatientsLikeMe who were emphatic that they were not a PHR, though when you look at the type of information people freely provide on this site, and this is without any significant privacy policies, it is very similar to a PHR.

    What I find particularly interesting with these social media sites though is the level of sharing of information. Makes me wonder just how big an issue the whole privacy thing is. Certainly for some groups that are dealing with life changing illnesses, the desire to help one another – improve the social good of the community by openly sharing personal health information, far outweighs the issue of privacy.

    One interesting company that is also just out of the blocks is VitalChart. The are a PHR company that has some very strong social/community networking capabilities as well. A hybrid of an iMedix and say, MediKeeper.

    As for the ratings of physicians, one only need go to HealthGrades to see that and several PHR companies are now partnering with HealthGrades to offer that as a service to their customers. And let’s not forget Zagats – did a post on that recently over at http://www.chilmarkresearch.com. The only problem I have with the Zagats-Wellpoint partnership is that it appears to be exclusive and I want my own Zagats physician book for here in Boston.

  3. sachi, can you expand on what you want to talk about? Are you talking about the difficulties on the IT side, the IS side, or even the business side. We implamented an EDW at our company(billing), we now are trying to interface with EMRs for our clients. We have had a heck of a time getting the thing stable. First IT did not buy the right server for growth in data. Then our IS side tried to mimic a UNIX enviroment on a windows box, which killed the server. Finally, the people who lead the project had no clue as to the business reasoning or what to do with the EDW. I cannot over stress that point. What we ended up building was a pile of data. We took all the individual databases and poured them into one big database. Now when people run reports they run them against a larger DB then they need. What I wanted to do, was setup datamarts for specific departments and get structure and put value add on the process. If you are trying to centeralize reporting, I suggest looking at BI tools. There are plenty of BI tools that can add value and structure without having to build a dataware house. This has been my experience and I am always interested in hearing other stories, other problems, and most importantly other solutions.

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