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Monday Morning Update 1/28/08

January 26, 2008 News 6 Comments

From Mitt Romney: “Re: Lowell. Lowell General Hospital is the only full Cerner site in Massachusetts and a fairly new install. They had a multi-day,system-wide downtime last month that has been kept very quiet. It would be good to hear from CIO John Goodrow what the outage was and its impact on clinicians.” Inga will make inquiries.

From Big Fan: “Re: Cerner. Lazlo has the Cerner health plan mostly correct, but we associates have always been told that the TPA processors are not Cerner employees. Cerner has received numerous Top 100 awards for Best Places to Work, citing the health club, onsite daycare, etc. but to me, it is not as good as it sounds. The health club/associate center is more costly than the local gym, the onsite daycare is convenient and nice but more expensive than nearby places, and the health care plans are expensive compared to most area employers. Three days paternity leave – hey, at least it is something. They offer an FMLA-like option for people employed less than one year, which isn’t a bad thing. If that makes one a Best Place to Work, then I guess just having those sorts of things exceeds what most other companies do for their employees.”

From Dan Tanna: “Re: progress notes. We are moving our inpatient progress notes online. An issue that has come up has been during a code or RRT situation, people have to leave the bedside to find a computer and look at the ‘chart’. I recommended using one of the nurse’s medication carts since they are wireless, portable, and hooked up to the EMR, but was wondering if there are any better ideas. We don’t want to print out notes.”

From Walt Ducati: “Re: Cerner in the Middle East. Cerner was chosen by the American Hospital in Dubai, but later lost because ‘management couldn’t deal with the arrogant Cerner salespeople, so we took our next choice – Meditech.’ The hospital did not look at Epic because ‘they didn’t have plans to sell internationally.'”

From NY Customer: “Re: QuadraMed. Could someone please confirm the departure of Christine Stanfield from QuadraMed? She was one of the few who really knew the CPR system.” I’ll defer to anyone who knows one way or the other.

Intercepted e-mail: Drexel DeFord has resigned as VP/CIO of Scripps Health, according to an internal memo dated January 22. His last day will be February 22, after which he’ll head off to be SVP/CIO of Seattle Children’s after two years at Scripps. You may know him from his Air Force hospital CIO days or his HIMSS involvement. The anonymous source sent the e-mail over by confidential Rumor Report.

Jobs: MUMPS Software Engineer, Centricity Consultant, SCM Project Manager (Contract), Allscripts Consultant.

McKesson joins the “vendors laying off” club, wiping out 79 IT jobs in Dubuque, IA and announcing plans to sell the old department store it occupies. Sounds like the end of the line for CyCare, the practice management and EDI vendor that HBOC bought for $287 million in 1996.

The Raleigh paper declares that Misys Healthcare is “on the mend,” although its numbers don’t seem quite that rosy and betting its future on a relabeled competitor’s physician system seems both risky and uninspired. Maybe it’s just me, but they’ve got a lot of train wreck baggage to unload before I’d project their success.

HHS recognizes three of HITSP’s interoperability specifications.

Calgary Health Region reveals that a problem with fax software held up delivery of radiology reports to doctors’ offices last year. I’m still amazed that anybody faxes anything. If someone e-mails me some document to be signed, I print it, sign it, scan it, and e-mail it back. Primitive, but way better than faxing.

This seems preordained: in Michigan, St. Mary Mercy Hospital will join St. Joseph Mercy Health System.

Investigators say that an electronic medical records system is partly to blame for the low productivity of its contracted prison doctors, calling the documentation function “achingly slow”. Their recommendation: get rid of it.

I’m puzzled: Sumter Regional didn’t win the MRI from Siemens, according to announcements that proclaimed Lockport Memorial Hospital (NY) to be the winner despite what looked like about a 2 to 1 Sumter victory based on the online vote counts. I’ve seen no mention of how or why the auditors overturned the tally, although the phrase “qualified votes” has been thrown around. Still, Siemens is giving them a free MRI anyway, saving themselves a PR headache in having to explain how, in the absence of an electoral college, the popular vote winner lost. I’m trying to hold back on the Siemens bribery jokes.

Physician billing company MTBC is named a Microsoft Gold Partner, which I don’t care much about, but I did look at the company’s site since I’ve never heard of them. Looks pretty good and the management team has great credentials. Says they take care of all physician office billing for 4%. You can download their free EMR in case it’s a slow weekend.

Big problems at $3.8 billion insurance company WellCare Health Plans, which probably thought they’d bottomed after state and federal investigations and a stock price freefall. Well, maybe: the CEO, CFO, and general counsel all quit Friday. At least the CEO has an impressive resume to take job-hunting; he was also CEO of a subsidiary of Oxford Health Plans, which had a similar meltdown.

Nice reporting by an Idaho reporter: researching the governor’s claim that the RHIO he wants to start will be self-supporting after the grants run out, she dug up several sources from our industry citing how hard it is to wean off RHIO grant money. Both the writing and the research behind it are better than what most of the industry rags put out.

John Dvorak says Sun’s aquisition of open source database vendor MySQL is such a bad idea that surely Sun is trying to kill MySQL off to benefit Oracle. Evidence: Sun’s terrible acquisition track record and its willingness to pay $1 billion for a company whose annual revenue is only $60 million. I’ve also heard that the price was really too low and that the stalwart Swedes who run MySQL should have shopped it around before simply handing over the keys to Sun. Since its database runs most of the Internet (mostly because it’s free), it’s surely got a footprint.

Bizarre hospital lawsuit: an Illinois hospital will pay a $100,000 EPA fine but still faces a civil suit from a man who says he saw a hospital employee toss a cardboard box of body parts into the open grave of his father and stomp on it, explaining that the hospital contracted with the cemetery for such disposal.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Dear NY yes it is tru that Christine Stanfield was walked out of the Quadramed building CA. Her skill set will be truly missed.

  2. Re: “Sounds like the end of the line for CyCare.” It is definitely not “the end of the line.” The products are alive and well, and there are still 300+ jobs staying in Dubuque, in addition to the personnel working in other cities all over the US. This is just speculation, but we think that they may be combining the Dubuque operations center with the PerSe center. And although Dubuque is a great source of low-cost, well-educated employees, it’ll probably be easier to talk Dubuque people into moving to Georgia than it would be to talk Georgia people into moving to Iowa.

  3. Re: Charting during a code using the RRT – we have not implemented this as we currently chart on paper, then dictate later (text document) and scan but in the new process we have talked about adding a scribe role to the code team or the first to the scene grabs the closest appropriate system user (nurse, RT, pharmacist) to be the scribe using the closest device. We have deployed carts and are evaluating various Tablets and laptops depending on the user’s role, workflow and typical work patterns.

  4. Re: Wellcare: I think its a big positive that the let go of their top three execs, and frankly I thought it was inevitable. Regardless of whether there is substantial fraud or if this ends up being nothing, they presided over a company that walked close enough to the line that they allowed for the appearance of impropriety (if not the actual incidence of it) to pique the interest of the feds, and are responsible for the 80% loss in market value if nothing else. I say its a positive because 1) if they are to blame the feds could go after them directly and drop the investigation against WCG and 2) the hiring of Berg as Chairman I think is a good indication that Wellcare will be sold (Berg sold Oxford to United in 2004). Definitely a step in the right direction.

  5. Personally for me Sun’s acquisition of open source database vendor MySQL is not a bad idea and it surely won’t kill MySQL off to benefit Oracle.

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