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News 5/28/08

May 27, 2008 News 3 Comments

From drNurse: "Re: new site. Thanks for the best blog in the world! Fabulous news! HIStalk makes my day. Have you seen this? (It showed up on the AMIA OpenSource working group list…)  Pretty funny, and, sadly true. One of our faculty just wrote to ask if they have an academic advisory board. They need one, don’t you think?!" Link, and also its sister site. Somebody mocked up a pretty fun parody of CCHIT and EMR vendors. Given the carefully hidden registration information, the elaborate site design, and the flurry of blog mentions that surely aren’t coincidental, I’m betting it’s a viral marketing project of a vendor. I got quite a few e-mails about both sites. I think they do need an advisory board and you and I should be on it (for an appropriate stipend and travel to exotic meeting locales, of course). Thanks for your ultra-nice comments, by the way.

From Charles Bronson: "Re: RHG. They laid off their entire Employer Group business unit on Thursday, 21 people representing most of the seasoned health care people." Unverified, but I’ll ask Inga to check it out.

From HIS_Grue: "Re: Philips selling MedQuist. MedQuist is the world’s largest medical transcription company and would be larger if the Cbay/MedQuist merger goes through. The new MedQuist transcription platform has speech recognition technology from Philips firmly embedded in it and MedQuist resells products from Philips. The plan mostly worked, other than the litigation issues that caused selling for a loss and taking away near-term revenue gains."

From Rogue: "Re: retail clinics. In the 80s and 90s, it was all about walk-in clinics or, as they were so horribly monikered, ‘Doc in the Boxes’. Having consulted to 20 or so of them, they were very different from today’s retail clinics. They were staffed by physicians and the well-done ones partnered with the local medical staff for PCP and specialist referrals. However, the best revenue models relied on 1/3 of patients being repeat customers, so there was inherent conflict in trying to hook everyone up with local medical staff for an ongoing relationship. Hospital-sponsored clinics had to wrestle with economic viability vs. peace with the medical staff. Today’s clinics can learn from the walk-ins. Those I saw never had an electronic record and it was a cash/credit card business – here’s your superbill, you go hassle the insurance company."

I got a response from Dossia’s PR firm about the reader’s speculation that they would part ways with Indivo, which the CHIP people denied last week. "Dossia has no plans to change from using Indivo as its core technology and is working closely with the Children’s Hospital team to deliver the next release of Dossia; to that end we are even moving into the same office space in Cambridge." Sounds like that rumor has been put to rest.

That RAND study that Cerner paid for and quotes widely (claiming HIT will save $77 billion a year) is hogwash (warning: PDF), according to the Congressional Budget Office. Criticisms: (a) it estimated potential impact, not likely impact; (b) it excluded studies that didn’t show positive HIT effects; and (c) it used 2004 adoption trends. The benefits, it says, will mostly accrue to integrated delivery systems, which are, not coincidentally, the only constituency installing them in significant numbers. CBO was equally critical of a similar study by the Center for Information Technology Leadership, declaring its assumptions to be "overly optimistic." The conclusion is exactly what you’d expect: it’s not the systems, it’s what providers do with them that might provide benefits, and they are more likely to improve quality than save money. And you know what? Improved quality is reason enough.

Listening: new from The BellRays, fierce soul from California, like Tina Turner backed by the best indie band you’ve ever heard. Check the second video if you’re sick of lip-synching posers. My highest rating.

Consumer Health World gives (warning: PDF) the Order Facilitator product of SCI Solutions an award for "Best Web Tool for Promoting Community."

Inga and I are getting more user-submitted material (which we like), so we’ve decided to give those writings their own issue of HIStalk once a week or so (on a day we don’t usually write). Send in your editorial or other commentary (under 500 words and subject to editing) and maybe we’ll feature them on Reader Day. Informative, amusing, sarcastic … it’s up to you.

Final results of the CIO education poll: 57% say no Master’s degree is needed, 43% think it is (if you don’t have one, hope your future boss is in the slight majority). New poll to your right: will NAHIT’s freshly minted abbreviations increase HIT adoption? Not to show my cards, but my guest editorial in the newsletter tomorrow is entitled Hello, NAHIT? Wanna Buy My Dictionary for $29 Billion? Here’s a snip: "Note: it is law that every healthcare IT article written by dull reporters or unimaginative academics must start with one of two opening lines, either, (a) ‘In 2004, President George Bush called for every American to have electronic health records by 2014’ or, (b) ‘In its landmark 1999 report To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine said that medical errors kill 98,000 Americans each year.’ Spoiler: this one goes with (a)."

A CIO told me a curious story about a new computer virus he’s seen that isn’t in McAfee’s definition files. Microsoft says they’ve seen it only in healthcare. If you’ve had a similar experience, let me know and maybe we can figure out if there’s a common software exploit or geographic area.

Robertson Research Institute (MI) releases a new version of its medical diagnosis software NxOpinion, which is marketed primarily outside the US.

Best wishes and thanks to James Liska, 42, a biomedical equipment manager at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital of New London, CT and sergeant in the Connecticut National Guard, shipping out for the Middle East next month with his unit. Hospital CIO Kim Kalajainen took time to attend an employer appreciation event Friday at Fort Dix, leading to the article I ran across.

Cerner announces a Millennium go-live at a 468-bed Johns Hopkins-affiliated hospital in United Arab Emirates.

Medsphere is offering a June 4 webinar on Midland Memorial Hospital’s reaching Stage 6 of the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model.

McKesson’s CERME makes this hospital software coordinator’s Bad, Bad Software list. "During this debacle, the tech guy informed me that the database name ‘Care_Enhance_Review_Manager’ was unacceptable. (It’s a frickin database name. It’s frickin acceptable) How do I know it’s frickin acceptable? Because it was THEIR previous tech person who frickin named it that and it worked for years that way. So anyway, this guy insists on creating a new database with the proper name ‘cerme’. Hmm… why not just rename the old one? BECAUSE HE DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT." It’s amusing and honest, which means someone will probably demand it be taken down.

And speaking of McKesson, this is odd: the company reimburses CEO John Hammergren for his lawyer’s time in convincing them to boost Hammergren’s pay.

MedAvant will sell its lab results reporting business to focus on EDI.

Thailand-based medical tourism hospital Bumrungrad International will rent laptops to patients, hinting that it may eventually use conferencing applications to connect patients to caregivers.

Two employees of Maimonides Medical Center (NY) are arrested for patient identity theft and using a doctor’s PC to set up an account at Neiman Marcus.

Former GEMS IT CFO Brian Gladden is named CFO of Dell.

Odd: a British hospital RN loses her license for offering sexual services via a web site, then meeting with an undercover reporter posing as a john while wearing her hospital uniform (complete with badge) and using her real name.

New appointees to the HHS’s National Committee on Vital Health Statistics: Harry Reynolds, BCBS of NC; Mark Hornbrook, Kaiser Permanente; Blackford Middleton, Center for Information Technology Leadership; Walter Suarez, Institute for HIPAA/HIT Education and Research; and Sallie Hunt Milam, chief privacy officer for WV and executive director of the WV Health Information Network. NCVHS advises HHS on health data, statistics, and national health information policy.

I hope you had a nice holiday (and flew your flag). I did nothing work-related for two whole days, a personal best that left me bored but rested.

E-mail me.

Inga’s Update

We can land an aircraft on Mars, but we can’t get rid of the ants in NASA’s computers. Ants are infiltrating computer systems in NASA’s Texas area and knocking systems offline. Sounds like a movie waiting to be made.

Neal Patterson is bullish about Cerner and healthcare IT companies in generally, predicting continued growth in the industry. The comments were made at Cerner’s annual shareholder’s meeting last week.

A British newspaper publishes a few of the top medical errors at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Most were the result of human error and were medication incidents (sound familiar?) However, the accidental gluing of a patient’s eyelid sounds pretty unusual.

Meanwhile in the UK, the NHS has announced full deployment of their new EHR system has been delayed an additional four years, until 2014-15.

CCHIT announces the 2008 Ambulatory EHR certification requirements. The new criteria include additional interoperability requirements. Also new are optional certifications in pediatrics and cardiovascular medicine. Look for announcements on the inpatient requirements sometime in June.

The Advisory Board Company purchases Crimson, a provider of data, analytics and business intelligence software to hospitals, health systems, and physician clinics.

Imprivata releases results from its Identity Management Trends in Healthcare 2008 survey of 171 healthcare IT decision makers. On the rise: tools for accessing applications and networks regardless of location in and out of an organization’s facility. Password management and application security are productivity obstacles.

NextGen announces (warning: PDF) that Health Management Associates will utilize its revenue cycle management services. Healthcare Management already uses NetGen’s PM and EPM solutions.

Dutch scientists claim they have completed the first sequencing of an individual woman’s DNA. Since 2001, the DNA of four men has been sequenced, lending proof to the theory that women are harder to figure out.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Yes, $500K later (or $83K per acronym) we finally have definitions for those six acronyms that were completely tying up the market and hindering adoption. Now if you truly believe that adoption was limited by confusion over these acronyms rather than just plain crappy software and poorly thought-out installs, well I have this nifty bridge in Brooklyn I’ll let you have on the cheap.

    BTW, I had resurrected Senator Proxmire’s Golden Fleece Award, bestowing it on this little acronym exercise/boondoggle. I believe it was well deserving of the award.

  2. TPD really feels fleeced after counting the important 123 words at a cost of $4,065/word after deducting “An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that” in the count since it appears in EMR, EHR and PHR.

  3. We were all fleeced TPD, at least those of us who pay US taxes. You are absolutely right about the repeating of those words. Geez, you’d think that they could at least provide some original prose/wording for that kind of moola.

    Guess it is a case of “good enough for government work”

    Now if only I could figure out how to tap that gravy train…

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