From Hates to Lose Things: "Re: stolen medical records. Sounds like the records that were stolen were encrypted. At least they are using their EMR if they already have 2 M records backed up!" Link. Thieves break into an archive company’s truck and steal backup tapes containing two million medical records from the University of Miami. It took the company two days to tell the university and another month for UM’s School of Medicine to post a public alert. At least backups are hard to do anything with. UM has stopped transporting tapes offsite, great unless they get nailed with a hurricane again or have some other local catastrophe.
From Orlando Portale: "Re: Second Life. Important to remember that Second Life (SL) is a rich 3D development platform, some what analgous to Java or C++. So, one’s impression of Second Life really comes down to the quality of the design and user experience of the particular property you are experiencing. Currently there are a limited number of Second Life healthcare examples — check out the UK. NHS Poly Clinic or Virtual Palomar West (disclaimer: that’s ours)." The problem is that you (apparently) have to register first, choose a name and avatar, and do all that geeky stuff before you can ever get to somebody’s site. Nobody’s going to do that. It needs to be as simple and fast as getting on a webinar to attract that same executive level user. I’m sure it’s fine once you get there.
From MilitaryMD: "Re: CliniComp. FACT: Haudenschild is definitely back as CEO, having gone through four management teams in four years. He has reconstituted the same team that delivered buggy code and poor customer service in the 2001 era. Severe morale problems among the staff, expect those with alternatives to bail. OPINION: Most likely, he just gave up on selling the company and will try to squeeze whatever profit he can out of the existing and contractually committed customer base by trimming staff and under-delivering on service and new releases." Inga spoke to a colleague who officially confirmed through the company that he’s CEO again.
From Pippi Longstocking: "Re: Cerner. I hear that Cerner has been sniffing around HIMSS trying to re-engage with sponsorships, ads, off-site events, etc., but that HIMSS has rebuffed them, saying no exhibit, no opportunities."
Listening: Ours. Depending on the tune, sounds like U2, The Doors, or Radiohead. Impress your friends with music they’ll like by someone they’ve never heard of.
McKesson will lay off 114 employees on July 11 at its Gilbert, AZ office. I think that’s where some of the former Per-Se transaction processing people work.
Sharon Pfaff is named CIO of Cancer Care Ontario (Canada).
The Leapfrog Group (remember them?) announces its CPOE Evaluation Tool.
Steve Lieber of HIMSS says doctors won’t trust PHRs. I’ve been saying that all along, but he’s got more vested interest since EMR vendors pay HIMSS while PHR vendors probably won’t. He’s right, though: duplicated tests don’t cost a doctor or patient anything, so why should the doc put themselves at risk by trusting someone else’s information, no matter what the source? I bet they redo a lot of tests even when the paper records are right there in front of them. That’s how defensive medicine works.
Art Vandelay on Yet Another Reason to Use What We Have
Not to be doom and gloom, but there is a major storm on the horizon. A number of organizations have gone on a capital spending binge. Interest rates are adjusting up. This is just like over-buying a house with an adjustable rate mortgage. For health care organizations, the binge usually involves major new facilities and major information systems. Large depreciation expenses are (or will be) coming our way. This will impact the bottom-line financials that lenders review.
Interest rates will adjust in a troubling way if the binge did not result in a return on investment that matches the depreciation and overhead of the investment. Consider that Park Nicollette is paying an extra $5-6M on its debt a year due to a recent rate adjustment. I believe we will see some de-installs of EMRs given the lack of tangible returns to offset the ongoing costs.
If the scenario above sounds like your organization, it is a good time to develop your budget contingency plans beyond the typical 1-3% cut. The finance department will be knocking on your door soon. When I develop my lists, I categorize the opportunities into cuts, consolidations, efficiencies, and growth opportunities. The last three areas usually take money to make or save money. Remember, "No company ever shrank to greatness".
The PACS Designer on Open Source Software
OpenEMR is a software platform in the SourceForge.net community. Contributors give their time to enhancing software solutions by continually updating performance issues, which is good in one sense, but may be less good for the end user. If your office has an experienced geek who is willing to submit change proposals regularly to the OpenEMR community, then it may be a solution to consider for your staff.
As with anything that is free, there are some negatives, so tread gingerly when considering OpenEMR. Also, OpenEMR shouldn’t be confused with OpenEHR which is from "The openEHR Foundation", a not-for-profit company, with its founding shareholders being the University College London, UK and Ocean Informatics pty, Australia.
The OpenEMR consists of appointment scheduling; patient registration; payment and insurance tracking, processing, and collecting; charting and record keeping; prescription writing; laboratory tracking; patient check-in/check-out, tracking and handling.
Installing OpenEMR on a Windows 2003 server can be challenging for the less experienced installer. Hiring the services of a professional in this area of software development is highly recommended.
In conclusion, you have to be extremely cautious when a free solution has had only had minimal usage in the last few years. Also, bugs found several years ago still have no responses with fixes, so you would be wise not to extend an effort to use OpenEMR without help from outside service providers.
TPD Usefulness Rating: 3.
The 265 bed Washington Hospital (PA) implements MobileMD’s HIE and EA solutions to connect to its physician community. The 33 participating practices can receive a variety of reports real time even if they don’t have an EMR.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the closure of an Ohio mental health facility because they owed McKesson $13,500 for some medication. Fortunately the police took off the padlocks at least temporarily while they negotiate with McKesson. While I am all for everyone paying their bills, why is McKesson going to such extremes to collect an amount equal to two days of John Hammergren’s compensation?
VC firm Psilos Group commits a $13 million investment in HealthEdge.
I am on a little weekend vacation and my Internet connection is weak, so I’ve told Mr. H I have to cut my post short. I also happen to be at one of those spots that requires you to start happy hour early , so there is that issue, too.