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News 8/13/08

From Benny Hannah: "Re: bad press releases. I nominate this one. No news except that the company’s moving for whatever reason, but it dumps in all the positive events from months before. It even pointlessly name-drops Sharp HealthCare." Link. It’s all over the place, that’s for sure.

From Company Man: "Re: Soarian. Does anyone know of any locally hosted Siemens Soarian Financial (revenue cycle) implementations, or are they still using the Invision Billing Engine and American Healthware Eagle for claims scrubbing back in Malvern? This is apparently why Sloan Kettering and Hackensack cancelled their agreements – – no locally-hosted implementations."

Virginia Hospital Center goes with Soarian for a big implementation, a nice win for Siemens (which needed one).

The CEO of 58-bed Major Hospital (IN) resigns suddenly and CIO Jack Horner is named interim.


iMedica apparently files notice with Misys that it considers their agreement (by which iMedica’s product is relabeled and sold by Misys as MyWay) to be terminated. No reason was announced, although I’ve heard whispers that confidentiality was involved (maybe connected to the Misys-Allscripts merger?) I e-mailed iMedica’s Michael Nissenbaum and he says he might be able to provide more information in a couple of days. It’s awkward in any case since Misys owns a little chunk of iMedica. And, they don’t seem to be selling much of their own product.

Scott McFarland, former CEO of Awarix before its recent McKesson acquisition, is named president of online communications vendor Mobular Technologies.

Newt Gingrich pops up at Silver Cross Hospital (IL) to brag on Misys technology, of all things. Well, mostly about himself and his business, Center for Health Transformation, which the newspaper calls a "collaboration of public and private sector leaders." He’s our Jesse Jackson, sticking his head anywhere there’s a camera, somehow becoming wealthy without ever having had a real job, and working the system for personal benefit. I still kind of like him, but it’s trending down.

Wednesday is Reader’s Write day, but only if more folks send me something. The cupboard is bare. Seems like everyone is enjoying the last days of summer since not much is happening.

Here’s a story on the Cerner rollout in Abu Dhabi.


One of the Top 10 things a medical resident learns: "The electronic medical record more than likely does nothing but slow you down." Don’t tell all the attendings or they’ll stop using it (satire alert).

Pakistan has a paperless hospital.

HIS vendor HMS agrees to pay $3 million to settle an incident from 25 years ago, in which a programmer claimed his hospital demo software was copied by HMS and sold to customers.

Battlefield systems in Iraq are sending digital pathology images stateside for interpretation. The former military health system CMIO now works for Harris, one of the big contractors looking to cash in on the technology.

I keep running across news stories from India about upset family members who get a mob together to trash a hospital after a relative dies there, suspecting medical error. Seems to be routine practice.

Nebraska’s Medicare computer system sends $2.8 million to 7,400 recipients who weren’t supposed to get it, many of whom say they’ve already spent it and can’t afford to repay it. That doesn’t seem like much of an excuse.

Croc shoes are banned in Austrian hospitals for fear that static electricity buildup could damage computers and other electronic equipment. They’ve been flagged in some hospitals for infection control reasons, I recall.

Hospitals and health centers in Massachusetts will have to use interoperable EMRs to be licensed after 2015.

E-mail me.

HERtalk  by Inga

From Obiwan Kinobe: “Re: vacation summary. Hi Inga. Back from a great cruise vacation in Europe, visited many places – Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey. The dollar-to-Euro exchange hurt, but it was well worth the expense. My favorite place was the Amalfi Coast of Italy (Ravello, Positano, Amalfi) , where the scenery and the ride is breathtaking. Highly recommend that you go there.”

From Device Dude: “Re: Response to Indy Man. Not sure where to start to answer Indy Man’s question, but typically hospitals and vendors alike are using middleware that provides vendor-agnostic connectivity from bedside monitors, vents, and pumps into the hospital EMR. The EMR manages most of what clinicians will see once the data is sent across. Middleware includes data management tools, but clinicians generally want to maintain the workflow in the EMR so each brand of EMR will offer different bells and whistles. There are a number of device manufacturer offerings for connectivity (like GE, Philips, etc.), but as you can imagine they prefer you to use their solutions so will push the hospital to standardize. Many hospitals will find it better to choose vendor agnostic middleware when using a variety of devices and device manufacturers. A leader in device connectivity is Capsule Technologies. My company partnered with Capsule to be able to provide the connectivity solution to MEDITECH customers and in our due diligence could not find any other product that could integrate over 350 different device types and provide the level of features that they do.”

NextGen’s parent company Quality Systems names Steven T. Plockocki president and CEO, replacing Louis Silverman, who announced his resignation in June. Plockocki has been on the board for the last four years and most recently was chair/CEO of Omniflight Helicopters. Other past companies include Centratex (healthcare billing company,) Apria Healthcare (home health,) and Insight Health Services (diagnostic imaging services.)

PRSouceCode announces the winners of its "Top Tech Communicators,” honoring the best IT PR as ranked by IT journalists. In addition to PR companies, the study recognized top corporate IT departments, including the following in HIT: Allscripts, Cisco, Covisint, eClinicalWorks, Eclipsys, and Hyland Software.

Speaking of Eclipsys, Yale-New Haven activates Sunrise Clinical Manager, claiming 100% CPOE.

PatientKeeper has raised $7.5 million in Series F funding, according to a regulatory filing. The company has now raised more than $75 million in total VC funding since 1999.

QuadraMed posts a 10.5% increase in y/y revenues for Q2 despite a decline in net income. The company says most of the revenue gain was driven by the QCPR integration. Once again it sounds like the CPR acquisition was a pretty good move. Somewhat buried in their press release was a statement announcing the resignation of CFO David L. Piazza, who is leaving for a COO position at another company.

Picis announces that six major US and Canadian health systems are replacing existing OR and AIS systems with their perioperative suite.

Nuance announces Q3 earnings, which were one cent higher than expectations. Despite a 46% rise in revenues, Nuance saw a net loss of $9.9 million or $.05/share. The company attributes the loss to acquisition-related amortization and restructuring charges. Revenue for Dragon fell 23% y/y though hosted software revenue grew 42%.

Merge Healthcare releases Q2 results and there isn’t much to cheer about. About the only thing up is their loss: $18.3 million for Q2 versus $10.7 last year and $8.4 million in Q1.

E-mail Inga.