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Monday Morning Update 8/4/08

August 2, 2008 News 4 Comments

From The PACS Designer: "Re: virtual appliances. A new virtualization format has been developed by the Kensho Project for virtual appliances. A key element of the virtualization concept  is a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor, which is a virtualization platform that allows multiple operating systems to run on a host computer at the same time. Since there are several types of hypervisors from different software vendors, the Kensho Project setup a project team to neutralize the hypervisor marketplace by creating the Open Virtual Format (OVF). By creating OVF, the virtual environment becomes more manageable for systems designers by allowing numerous applications to run efficiently regardless of which hypervisor you deploy. The OVF will become a part of the service-oriented architecture in September of this year." Link.

From oneHITwonder: "Re: CPMC. The Sutter/CPMC comment is interesting since back in December 2007, Sutter tagged CPMC CIO Jerry Padavano as the EMR Transformation Vice President for all of Mother Sutter. St. Lukes, CPMC’s sister facility, is in trouble financially. But it would not be surprising for any Bay Area Hospital to pull away from Sutter, which has a much stronger ‘branding’ in the Sacramento Area. Marin General is seeking a divorce from Sutter. In the biggest cash transfer since Sutter Health and Marin General Hospital joined forces in the mid-1990s, Sutter nabbed nearly $39 million from the Greenbrae hospital last year. The controversial transfer has sparked another point of contention as the two parties seek to end of their long-troubled relationship. Critics see it as a sign that Sutter is trying to milk Marin General’s profits before handing control back to the Marin Healthcare District in a year or two. I guess the Sutter tag line ‘With you for life’ doesn’t always ring true, and I guess there are things that you do not want ‘with you for life’ anyway."

From Wonderbread: "Re: athenahealth. I’m assuming from the growth athena has experienced that most doctors don’t have any qualms about sending their claims through India. I feel like if I could achieve financial success without offshoring, I would." You could always spend the money you’re saving in using offshore services to create a new US job or two as penance, maybe bringing in an IT person or another nurse.

From James: "Re: ethical dilemmas. 1) If you think someone would provide a good read then it seems reasonable to let them have an audience. Asking employees to have public statements reviewed by the PR department is old-school, but hardly sinister. Likewise, the policy of not responding to rumors is a plausible one since once you respond denying a rumor it is hard to stop responding. 2) If a company offers a division CEO and then withdraws the offer, you don’t have any obligation to interview a replacement. In fact, you might share the company name with us (just to keep the PR department on their toes)." Most readers said the CEO shouldn’t be able to have it both ways, i.e. avoiding blog contact except when it benefits the company. The #2 issue was, I suspect, a misunderstanding, since a loyal HIStalk reader who is a new company PR person suggested interviewing the CEO and learned about the policy only after trying to expedite it (and I appreciate her efforts). Inga and I try hard to keep HIStalk on the up-and-up and BS-free, so we deal with issues like these regularly. I appreciate all those who took time to give us guidance since it helps us keep our heads on straight.

Listening: HIStalk Radio, including James Peel, Blue Stingrays, Get Set Go, Eskobar. Extra points if you know the secret of the Blue Stingrays.

A reader reports having problems bringing up HIStalk from the e-mail link via AOL Mail. If you use that, does it work for you?

Cerner launches an e-prescribing module, PowerWorks eRX, for $25 per physician per month. And while Googling for more information, I ran across Dell Healthcare’s eRx offering (relabeled Allscripts, from appearances).

Two private equity groups invest $232 million in revenue cycle management vendor Passport Health Communications of Franklin, TN, acquiring a majority position in the company.

CIO salaries: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY: $657K; Duke University Health System, Durham, NC: $388K; Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA: $401K; University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL: $571K; Sharp Healthcare, San Diego, CA: $467K.

Six University of Toronto students create an ED simulation game in a nine-week project. A software company got the commercial rights for free and plans to sell the game to hospitals; the students got nothing (now there’s a real-world education).

The Burundi Team, a group of what appears to be students from Calvary Chapel in Steibach, Manitoba, apparently conducted fundraising projects to support their religious mission to Burundi, including a visit to Jabe Hospital. I ran across their blog by accident and it appears the hospital could use computer equipment, just in case anyone is interested. From their blog: "The hospital and clinic does all kinds of diagnostic tests but most of it is still with limited computer technology. Brad was really impacted at the meager computer systems and the incredibly urgent need for upgrades in hardware, software and networking, which to date is non existent. Recognizing that in order for any gift of equipment to be a blessing, it should come wired for 220 volts and setup before being sent to ensure optimum usage."

I see that HIMSS government relations VP Dave Roberts is now mayor of Solana Beach, CA.

Opus Healthcare Solutions demos the new version of its LIS, which includes smart phone results reporting.

Christus Spohn Hospital South (TX), where up to 17 babies were overdosed on heparin last month, is hinting that it will use a product liability defense against any lawsuits filed against it, perhaps blaming the heparin manufacturer or Cardinal Health, which runs the hospital’s pharmacy where the mis-mixing of the IV occurred.

The administrator of Memorial Regional Hospital (FL) resigns after a Virgin Islands newspaper investigation reveals that he had spent time in a military prison, was the beneficiary of $1 million diverted to his accounts while working at a Virgin Islands hospital, and was paid $3.8 million over several years at the same Virgin Islands hospital while patients suffered because the hospital didn’t have enough money to provide basic services. Memorial says it checks everything except military service, so it will do that ongoing since that’s what prompted his departure.

High fives by all involved at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven, MS, on track to get $500,000 in federal taxpayer dollars to pay for its EMR system as championed by some vendors and a senator (at least so far – the HHS appropriations bill could still be killed by the Senate). A consultant guy involved said, "It was a tremendous team effort," but I don’t think he was referring to the team of wage-earning taxpayers being stuck with the tab.

Layoffs: Palm Drive Hospital (CA), Boone Hospital (MO), Stanford Medical Center (CA), Battle Creek Health System (MI).

It’s a big web site upgrade for Dr. John Warner Hospital (IL), which hired a college student for $3,600 for the job (much needed: check out the current site, a frame-heavy monstrosity with some really amateurish graphics, but it’s only a 25-bed facility).

Heeeeere’s my lawyer: Ed McMahon sues Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, two doctors, and a billionaire after he claims his broken neck was not treated correctly. Ed, most recently known for not being able to make his house payments despite what seems like several lifetimes’ worth of embarrassing but lucrative TV work, claims he fell at a billionaire’s dinner party and was sent home with a broken neck by Cedars. He’s claiming negligence, battery, elder abuse, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In the mean time, Big Ed is not only facing foreclosure, he’s also being sued for non-payment by his divorce lawyer. Hiyooooo!

Bizarre hospital lawsuit: a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center patient claims his liposuction was botched by a surgeon with a history of drug and alcohol problems who appeared to fall asleep during the procedure. The patient is suing the surgeon, five other doctors, two nurses, and BIDMC.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Secret of the Blue Singrays:
    The Blue Stingrays were a late 1990s rock band that played surf rock, incorporating some country and western elements, with an overall Hawaiian atmosphere. The band was composed of the members of The Heartbreakers, Tom Petty’s backup band, who took a short break from their work with Petty to record one album, Surf-N-Burn.

  2. I was an executive in a company (HIT) that found out a staff member for one of the company’s clients was bad mouthing the company on a public blog. The staff member was upset because he felt his requests for changes in the software (code changes not configuration) were not being delivered as quickly as he wanted. Regardless of what HE wanted — the client wasn’t asking for the changes — just this staff member..

    In any case our CEO found the blog, went ballistic, called the client and threatened to sue them and their employee if the blog comments weren’t taken down.

    Points to consider

    1. The staff member was acting on his own in posting to the blog although he told everyone on the blog who he was and where he worked — may be not so bright.

    2. The staff member was asking for things that his employeer didn’t see as necessary.

    3. The client did not want to get into a peeing match with their vendor and told the staff member to retract or leave (which he quickly did).

    4. The vendor wasn’t about to stand still while someone trashed the product because he was ticked off no one (including his employer) cared about what he wanted (that includes other staff members).

    5. The vendor went WAY overboard threatening to sue everyone involved. Maybe a little side conversation would have been best.

    6. Some people are just jerks — and when that is the case — fire them (like google does).


  3. University of Illinois, Chicago just sent out the winner of their Staffing and Scheduling RFP… (drumroll) AtStaff has vanquished 5 other vendors and was selected for their” event based staffing system” that enabled UIC to automate their acuity system and meet the Illinois staffing law. Does anyone know what “event based staffing system” means?

  4. “Despite the complex scope of the initiative, the VA is proceeding with it without a comprehensive project management plan and validated cost estimates to coordinate and guide the effort and has yet to establish a governance structure and permanently hire managers who have day-to-day oversight for it, “….

    ” VA reported spending almost $600 million for these eight projects. ..

    “In April 2008, VA provided an $11 billion cost estimate for completion of HealtheVet, GAO said. But it has not yet independently validated this estimate, which is essential to improve the accuracy of cost, schedule, and performance management, Melvin said

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