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News 2/6/08

February 5, 2008 News 3 Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Sun xVM. t looks now like virtualization may be the hot topic of 2008. In addition to Oracle that was mentioned in TPD’s last post, Sun Microsystems also is promoting Sun xVM as its virtualization solution for the enterprise. Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s CEO and president, states, ‘xVM is our free, open source virtualization platform, which we unveiled at Oracle Open World, alongside our management platform, xVM Ops Center. xVM will virtualize Windows, Linux or Solaris, on either Dell, HP, IBM or Sun hardware.'” Link 1, Link 2.

From Sleepless: “Re: Cerner stock. Don’t forget that ‘realigned’ former associates also take it in the shorts x4 — lose your job, lose your 401K match, lose value in your 401K (it’s Cerner stock), and get to watch your stock purchase plan lose value since you’re handcuffed from selling your stock for a year.” Big mistake putting the bulk of your investment in one company’s stock, at least if you have a choice. Speaking of Cerner, here’s the transcript of last week’s earnings call. On Medicare cuts: “So we think given that there’s always been haves and have nots in healthcare. We tend to be fortunate enough to sell to the haves, and if this would become enacted, it clearly will hurt the have nots, which, fortunately for us, are not really our target market.” Now that’s a stirring and beautiful statement, to a beancounter anyway.

From Mel Cucamonga: “Re: QuadraMed. Huge axe is swinging right now at the San Bernardino (CPR) location of QuadraMed. So very sad. It is characterized as ‘almost everybody but Programming’ … and programming was already terribly, terribly thin.” Other sources report that QA, internal office support, data warehouse, and all the technical writers were hit, including some 20+ year employees.

From Jyoti Diot: “Re: QuadraMed. The RIF makes sense. New year, budget approved last week, and execution of that plan begins this week.The development talent in-house has not been all that impressive over the last few years. Why not partner with some development team that does it better than they can? The other side of it is if you’re proven not to be a marketing/sales organization, and now you’re saying your not a software development company … what exactly are you?”

From Salad Days: “Re: John Halamka. I was in an elevator that runs news and trivia on a screen (because God knows I need to be entertained and targeted for the 30 seconds I’m in there). BlackBerry has been running ads there that feature an exec with the tag line, ‘Just ask someone why they love their BlackBerry.’ Imagine my surprise when the Man in Black (Halamka, not Cash) turned up in one, listed as the CIO of Harvard Medical School. What next? Will he be on an LCD screen installed above a urinal?”

Sonomaca weighs in on Neal Patterson’s absence from the Cerner earnings call last week: “Always embarrassing when your leader refuses to show up for a bad call. That’s sort of like the CO hiding in the rear as the bloody battle commences. Oh, and the ‘traveling abroad’ thing: it’s pretty lame that a tech company can’t figure out how to dial-in its CEO from the UK or Dubai or wherever. I feel for the guys taking bullets on the call.”

I believe I’m safe in saying that the economy (and those running it) will continue to cause layoffs, both vendor and provider. It’s happening all over. It’s tough to take, but I know of few people who didn’t end up better off after being let go (not necessarily true of their former employers). Hang in there. It’s only fair that companies can quit you just like you can quit them (no Brokeback Mountain reference intended) so walk away strong and prove them wrong.

Care to join your fellow HIStalk readers at HIMSS? The HIStalk reception is at The Peabody Orlando, right next to the convention center, on Monday 2/25 from 6 to 8 in the evening. Gracious sponsor Healthia Consulting has posted the sign-up page, which I’d ask you to fill out to guarantee a spot. All the A-listers will be there, of course, hopefully some CEOs, CIOs, informatics people, doctors, celebrities, nurse, Inga, and anyone cool enough to read here. Note that you can put your “HIStalk Pseudonym” on the form and the Healthia folks will use that on your badge, just in case you want to keep it on the down-low like me (I’m such a slang-slinging hipster). Should be fun. I may get a couple of beers in me and start yelling to the world that I’m Mr. HIStalk in some sort of long-repressed purge.

Speaking of Healthia, I just posted an interview with CEO Glenn Galloway over on HIStech Report. If you’re a consultant or have yearnings to be, I would definitely check them out.

Here’s a nod to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor Sonitor Technologies, whose ad is to your left. They make ultrasound indoor positioning systems that can track people and equipment down to the room level. Their site has a creepy but effective “bat” analogy (I bring that up because I was watching one of my favorite movies, The Great Outdoors, last night and the key scene, such as it is, involves bat-chasing, or “radar-guided vermin” as Dan Aykroyd’s character Roman Craig says while cowering). So, back to Sonitor: my well-placed spies (not in Sonitor) tell me that the company’s locating technologies are the key component of the very cool UPMC Smart Bed project. Caregivers wear a tiny Sonitor ultrasound device and when they enter the patient’s room, their name displays on the wall-mounted monitor and clinical data pops up for them based on their role, all hands-free. The deal with ultrasound vs. RFID is that sound waves can fix locations more accurately because ultrasound has no reflectivity and doesn’t penetrate walls, which means the system knows what room the tag is in, not just what general area. OK, I’ll shut up now and welcome and thank Sonitor Technologies as an HIStalk sponsor. I appreciate every one of the companies that support my work. Thank you.

Face recognition in healthcare? Interesting.

I read an article today suggesting that Windows Vista is so bad that Microsoft is already leaking information about its replacement, Windows 7, finally realizing that Vista’s only customers are choiceless Best Buy laptop buyers, not corporate IT shops. I begrudingly bought a laptop with it and was ready to chuck it right in the trash – it wouldn’t recognize any USB devices, constantly prompting for a driver (uh, isn’t that the whole point of plug-and-play?) Finally, the same error gave me a hotfix alert this week and it’s now working. Still, if I could easily go back to XP, I would. Here’s the article’s parting shot: “For now, whether Microsoft likes it or not, XP, and not Vista, is the Windows those businesses will continue to use. And the companies that want to move on to a truly better operating system? They’ll be moving to Linux or Mac OS.”

A former US attorney from California is back in the same job after many years. In between, he defended HBOC’s Al Bergonzi, who sang like a castrato to avoid hard time. If you like to be a member of a very exclusive group, announce that you think Charlie McCall and his henchmen were innocent.

MEDSEEK claims massive demand drove its most successful year. Guess it wasn’t the reportedly equally massive pre-Chrismas layoffs. I suspect you’ll be hearing more about them when the HISsies winners are announced. but you never know.

Children’s Boston picks Perceptive Software’s ImageNow for document imaging.

Odd: bedside barcoding vendor IntelliDOT didn’t get enough responses to be included in KLAS’s barcoding report. The company laments that fact in a press release, but cites all the numbers that are statistically insignificant anyway. Surely KLAS can’t be happy with this quote: “Indeed, had IntelliDOT remained in the rankings in this year’s report, the company would have again earned the highest overall user satisfaction scores of all vendors listed, although the data would still reflect fewer than 15 unique organizations required by KLAS for full listing.” Isn’t the whole point of labeling results as statistically insignificant to get people to ignore them since they don’t mean anything? I’m pretty sure it isn’t intended to encourage press releases.

Speaking of press releases, MedeFile issues one that contains no news whatsoever except that it “today formally applauded U.S. Presidential hopefuls.” The company was excited, as you might expect, at the prospect that all the candidates pay occasional token lip service about EMRs (MedeFile’s in the PHR biz). How, exactly, does one “formally” applaud? Had we been witness to today’s applauding at the appointed hour, what would we have seen, exactly — tuxedo-wearing clappers, maybe screaming “Free Bird” at Hillary’s picture?

New FCG parent CSC reports preliminary Q3 results: revenue up 14.3%, EPS $1.05 vs. $0.85.

Physician systems vendor Unified Medical Informatics of Wilkes-Barre, PA shuts down after laying everyone off and saying it will not be able to repay a county loan.

TriZetto Group’s Q4 numbers: revenue up 32%, EPS $0.16 vs. $0.16. Shares were up nearly 5% today.

Maricopa Integrated Health System (AZ), stung by a bad Joint Commission visit that led to a preliminary denial of accreditation, refuses to release the report to the press, claiming it’s not a public record because it is in draft form and is protected under peer review laws. A hospital spokesperson already got caught lying to a newspaper in claiming that they had received no report.

Case management software vendor CH Mack gets a $4.2 million investment to take its Q Continuum software national.

President Bush flashes a tablet PC on which his massive $3.1 trillion spending plan lives, to be distributed to Congress over the Internet. So much for the huge surplus that was on track until he took office, now setting record deficits while cutting social services like Medicare. Here’s a good line: “Democrats joked that Bush cut back on the printed copies because he ran out of red ink.”

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

The Brooklyn HIE will use Initiate’s Patient software for their master person indexing application. I also noticed that Initiate just hired a new CFO. Dan Kossmann has a strong background in public offerings and mergers and acquisitions, so it makes you wonder what Initiate is planning.

I am not a runner and fortunately don’t qualify for this offer but I thought it was cool. Medical device company Medtronics is offering up to 25 all expense paid trips for two to participate in the Twin Cities Marathon. Runners can come from anywhere around the world, but you personally have to have be benefitting from some sort of medical technology (insulin pump, heart value, etc.) to qualify.

Allscripts teams up with TeamPraxis to provide its new Clinical Quality Solution (CQS) for automating quality reporting requirements. The CQS also includes a physician dashboard feature.

David Corbett is named SAP’s new VP for US healthcare. Corbett previously spent time with Lawson Software and SMS/Siemens before that.

I will be glued to the TV tonight watching the Super Tuesday results. A must-read for the winners will be the newly released HIMSS Technology Briefing Book (warning: PDF) to understand the top HIT policy recommendations. The recommendations are listed on a single page, but the overachieving candidate can read through the other 130 pages for some HIT 101 and learn more about other HIMSS initiatives.

Compuware’s Covinist subsidiary claims it is now the world’s largest on-demand collaboration platform for lab and Rx sharing, following its acquisition of Hilgraeve that was announced today.

Mediware’s stock plunges 23% after reporting a second-quarter loss compared with earnings over the same period last year and lower revenue compared with last year. Q2 loss was $337K ($0.04 per share) compared to $905K gain ($0.11 per share) last year. Revenue for the quarter was down 23% ($8.7 million vs. $11.3.) Ouch. Mediware cites pipeline gaps and contracting delays.

A $6 million EMR install is going into Leon Medical, a large Medicare provider in south Florida. The costs include about $3 million for NextGen’s EMR and services and another $3 million for equipment. And I hear that NextGen is about to announce another big win.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. I find it interesting when someone quotes the cost of their EMR as the sum of the hardware and software expenses. The greatest expense, BY FAR, is the cost of the labor to install the system. If you are spending $6M in hardware and software you are probably spending another $12M in implementation fees.

  2. Not too surprised that Medefile would put out such a baseless PR, just look at their website, not exactly the most marketing savvy organization I’ve seen. But Medefile is not alone as th vast majority of PHR vendors that I have surveyed could all use some serious marketing guidance. Quite astonishing that they even get funding, let alone customers.

  3. Re: Mediware…
    …and after a wicked investor call they reluctantly agreed to initaite a stock buy- back of up to $4mill. All because their investor firms pounded on them mercilessly. If you ever want to hear what kind of pressure a public company must face – every 90 days…dial up the Mediware recorded call and all you need to do is listen to the last 15 min.

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