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April 10, 2008 News 4 Comments

From UPHS Employee: "Re: CIO. Mike Restuccia was named CIO of University of Pennsylvania Health System on 3/31. He was interim from early 2007 until now."

From The PACS Designer: "Re: DCP. TPD coined the acronym DCP for the relative new concept of the Digitally Connected Patient.  Now, it appears the concept is gaining momentum, as Philips Healthcare has released a survey on the effects of DCP in home care agencies. (1) 17.1% of agencies use some type of telehealth system. A much higher percentage of large agencies (32.0%) report that they provide telehealth services. (2) 88.6% report that telehealth led to an increase in quality outcomes, with 76.6% reporting a reduction in unplanned hospitalizations and 77.2% reporting a reduction in emergency room visits. (3) 71.3% report that telehealth services improved patient satisfaction, with no agency reporting that it reduced patient satisfaction. (4) 83.9% state that fewer than one in ten patients refused a home telehealth system."

From Spud Webb: "Re: HIMSS. Big names were part of an end-of-day panel at a regional HIMSS policy forum on April 8 in a city just outside of Boston. Jonathan Bush of athenahealth lived up to his reputation as an engaging attraction, saying, among other things: ‘I’m so sick of standards’ and ‘I hate the word interoperability.’ Also on the same panel were Girish Kumar of eClinicalWorks, Sumit Nagpal of Wellogic, and others. Pretty impressive gathering organized by HIMSS, New England Chapter." Another reader comment about the meeting: "I saw you mentioned the New England HIMSS meeting. I was able to attend today and have to say the CEO panel was very well done. The athena CEO and eClinicalWorks CEOs are both very compelling. These things are usually very boring, but this was one of the better lineups."

From Dutch Treat: "Re: OHT. In Europe, quite a buzz around the Open Health Tools initiative. Pretty quiet in the USA as observed from this side of the pond." Link. It’s an interoperability framework based on Eclipse that will link healthcare systems, with the first tools due on by January. The VA and Oregon State University are among the members, as are IBM, Oracle, and Red Hat.

From Gov’t: "Re: AHIC. Secretary Leavitt wants to take it private before the end of the Bush term. The various successor committees met for the first time this week. Not everyone is happy about privatizing AHIC – Pete Stark." Link 1, Link 2. Stark’s comment: "Secretary Leavitt wants the blind to lead the blind. If the private sector was interested in developing or able to promote interoperable standards for health information technology, it would have done so years ago – and private companies wouldn’t today be asking the government to pay for it. Self-interested private firms have and will continue to fight among themselves over specifics, further delaying the adoption of money saving and lifesaving technologies. It is well past time for federal leadership to fix this market failure."

From OneWizer: "Re: Keane. I had not heard that they lost the CHS account, but I do know that the First Coast system is being phased out, with clients expected to move to the Patcom and iMed solutions. Seems they have lost a number of hospitals of late with many of those moving to Meditech." No Paragon? Surprising.

Healthcare Growth Partners has its Q1 healthcare IT M&A transaction summary ready to go.

Roger Madura has a new edition of his VistA & Open Healthcare News, which I find to be one of the most interesting and well-written newsletters out there (even if you don’t follow VistA and open source all that much, like me). You can download it here (warning: PDF). A few factoids I extracted: Picis has ported its periop suite to work with VistA, a couple of best-selling healthcare books talk about the VA and VistA, and Roger has his take on the VA’s recent big outage and its intended replacement of VistA’s LIS with Cerner. Most interesting: the effect of putting a lot of DoD people in charge at the VA and their cultural bias toward big-ticket contractor software development (like ultra-expensive AHLTA). "Well, as a result, MHS is now facing a exodus of physicians and nurses. Because AHLTA does not work the way clinicians do they are having problems working with their patients and are having to spend several extra hours a day entering data into the system. Contractor-designed and built, AHLTA meets all the specifications,yet unlike VistA it very hard to use."

Kaiser Permanente tells 800 specialty nurses to either leave their union or lose their retirement benefits, so the union claims. The union withdrew its representation of the nurses, apparently the first time that’s happened since KP formed a partnership with them to avoid labor strife.

The folks at what used to be InteGREAT had to swallow some pride and pick a new name after one of those "too close to ours" complaints (even made-up words are off limits, apparently, leaving no names left except random combinations of letters and numbers that resemble a strong password.) Anyway, as their text ad to your right indicates, they’re now Orchestrate Healthcare Consulting. 

My editorial in this week’s newsletter: Perfect Is the Enemy of Good Enough: Waiting for IT Nirvana Kills Projects and Patients. It’s in the electronic update, just in case you’re looking.

Jobs: Clinical Informaticist (CA), Orders Systems Analyst (FL), Regional Managers Consulting Services (MA). 

Google announces its App Engine that lets developers upload, host, and run applications for free, with 500MB of storage and 5 million page views a month and the eventual option to buy more. Great if you code in Python since that’s the only language supported for now. Video showing a Hello World app being built is  here

Two Gartner analysts say that Windows is collapsing because of legacy code issues that prevent innovation. Their conclusion: Windows needs to be killed off in favor of a modular solution. I’m hitting the three-year mark on my desktop and considering a quad processor AMD, but then the decision: XP or Vista for about the same price? Vista’s doing fine on the laptop, so I might be tempted by it even though MSFT had to begrudgingly extend XP support because Vista isn’t selling.

A securities analyst says companies with a lot of auction-rate debt could be hurt by increased financing costs. Named: Eclipsys, HLTH Corp., and Cerner. One example is that Eclipsys got $45 million in cash for what I assume was its EPSi acquisition, but had to trade $90 million worth of those securities to get it.

Jim Bradley is named chairman and CEO of claims processor GTESS, moving over from its board. Big-time loaded, I assume. He used to be with Abaton.com and then iMcKesson (that was an unpleasant memory there for a second).

Microsoft launches the former Azyxxi in Europe.

The LA Times outs the now-fired UCLA nursing secretary who snooped into the EMRs of 33 of its celebrity patients. She declined to answer when asked if she sold Farrah Fawcett’s cancer information to the National Enquirer.

Bizarre lawsuit: a woman whose husband died a month after a liver transplant is suing PetSmart, claiming the liver donor was infected with a virus caught from a hamster she bought there.

And another: a Louisiana jury awards a couple $5 million from Chrysler after their Jeep ran over the pregnant woman as they were leaving for the hospital delivery room, killing her baby shortly after birth. The husband told deputies he left the Jeep in reverse while getting his cell phone, but the lawsuit claimed it spontaneously shifted from park to reverse. He changed his mind after reading claims that one model year of Jeeps could do that, even though his wasn’t one of them.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

The faculty physician organization at Duke University Medical Center selects Hayes Management Consulting’s MDaudit software. The solution will help Duke’s Private Diagnostic Clinic reduce compliance risk.

When it comes to sensationalizing the news, those Brits have got us beat hands down. Earlier this week, Barts and The London NHS Trust went live on Cerner and The Sun reported the hospitals “descended into chaos” when the systems failed to function properly. Hospital officials denied that the system crashed, though one admits there were some “teething problems.” (Don’t you just love those British-isms?)

Sunquest names Kelly A. Feist VP of marketing. Feist was previously senior VP of marketing for Eclipsys and Siemens before that.

Since my top pick for the NCAA basketball pool lost early (Duke), I sort of lost interest in the whole thing. $10 down the drain (not that I was betting – there was a charity involved!) My only consolation was coming in way ahead of Mr. H, who has shown to be far better at predicting HIT company mergers than college basketball winners. Thanks to the fun vendor folks for including us and sending humorous updates. They’ve sent over a nice chunk of change to Project Bethlehem.

Shar posted a note earlier this week on the HIStalk Forum asking if anyone had heard that EMR vendor Catalis was going out of business. After a bit of investigative reporting (I picked up the phone and called over there plus got an e-mail from an employee,) I got a little information. Apparently since last summer, they have had some major management shake-ups including most of their board and their President. They then hired a well-known management consulting firm and the proposed “solutions” actually led to more problems. They are now trying to dig out from the various issues and say they still have plenty of money.

CCHIT announces receipt of an additional 27 applications for ambulatory 2007 certification and four inpatient applications. CCHIT claims that if all four of the inpatient applications are approved, then more than 50% of the estimated market will be certified. All certifications are expected to be announced by July.

From Dr G: "I heard Mr. Hammergren, CEO of McKesson, on talk radio this morning (Ronn Owens show, KGO AM). One caller said, ‘John, you’ve swallowed the Kool-aid. You’d be perfect for a cabinet post in a McBush administration.’ The radio station offers podcast downloads, but that hour of today’s show (from 10-11 a.m.) wasn’t downloaded yet. The promos for Hammergren’s interview he would be discussing issues facing health care in America today. If you heard the interview, feel free to share." Link.

Former McKesson VP John Danahy joins Medsphere as vice president of sales. Apparently one of Danahy’s primary responsibilities will be to generate new business by leveraging Midland Memorial Hospital’s designation as one of only twelve Stage 6 healthcare facilities in the U.S.

The Center for Connected Health claims that connected health technologies, such as remote monitoring, are empowering patients to take a more active role in managing their health, and are helping clinicians provide more timely interventions and information to improve patients’ overall quality of life.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. DCP – TPD: Enjoy your responses immensely and follow HIStalk in order to get a read on IT from TPD -Kind of a mutual admiration society. DCP is inevitable and serves as a focal point of interoperability in diagnostic medicine that I have coined/developed a service approach, “Diagnostic Oriented Architecture” (DOA) to include ex vivo close looped diagnostic surveillance and the merging practices of molecular pathology and diagnostic imaging. Of course, you are aware of the coming M&A of pathology / imaging from Siemens and GE.

    Had the very good fortune of communicating with the former CEO of Emergin, Michael McNeal just after the Philips acquisition. I can see how Philips has come so far with diagnostic messaging technology since the Emergin M&A. I complemented Mr. McNeal on his brilliant white paper that I use continuously and refer many of my clients to the paper as a SOA primer: http://www.futurehealthcareus.com/?mc=five-steps&page=hit-viewmarketplace

  2. Nice to see Philips finally release that report, though most of the results were presented last fall at the Connected for Health Conference held in Boston. So not really new News here. Now if we could only get CMS to see the value in telehealth and get them to actually start reimbursing for it, then we could really start moving the proverbial ball forward. But that will probably have to wait for the next administration

  3. NOTE: ” The Five Steps to SAO Readiness for Healthcare” first appeared as a Supplement white paper glued and inserted into Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare: November / December 2007 and I had contact with Mr. McNeal in January 2008. The white paper was released by the CEO of Emergin before the merger with Philips. No disrespect to Philips, but please give the author credit for a great job of providing a roadmap to interoperability. I am sure Mr. McNeal would like to receive credit for his company’s copyright 2007. Emergin Inc. All rights reserved.

    After M&A, how easily we forget. I will state the obvious again, “once you go SOA you’ll never go back.”

  4. Service Oriented Architecture is really an ideal tool for health care organizations in that it works with the existing installed base, helps breakdown the silo mentality, and last but not least can make better use of valuable resources. Oracle and other software companies are targeting SOA as the next big business opportunity. TPD!

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