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News 8/22/08

From Lloyd Bridges: "Re: ADT + EMR go-live. This is becoming far more standard as sites being converted are increasingly complex. OHSU replaced A2K and LCR big bang (all rev apps and majority of clinicals) with Epic. CPOE 6 weeks later. Slower implementations tend to get pushed by ever increasing  optimization cycles."

From Caroline Mulford: "Re: Dairyland. Rumor has it Dairyland is or has purchased APS out of Waco, TX?" I saw no announcements and nothing on Dairyland’s site, but APS’s is down.

From Otis Day: "Re: Siemens layoffs. I was speaking to Soarian Clinicals. However, I am hands-on familiar with both Financials and Clinicals. I happen to be quite close to someone who works in a multi-hospital site and they have had successful implementations (not to be confused with installation). This site also delayed implementation of some software deliveries, but not due to software availability. Mr. Judd doesn’t mention why Medicorp delayed their go-live. I do agree that Siemens is looking to improve short-term and milk INVISION. And why should Siemens care, or the customer, for that matter? If the customer is happy (and paying their invoices), where’s the problem? Does Mr. Judd suggest this is a negative situation?"

Listening: new Alice Cooper, still doing the mascara-and-codpiece shtick at 60. If you liked it then, you’ll like it now.

Microsoft pays Jerry Seinfeld $10 million to try to stop the bleeding, with Chris Rock and Will Farrell being considered to help him out. What a joke (and I’m not talking about Jerry’s material). Vista’s not selling, you can get most of Office 2007 for $99 with a "wink wink, I’m a student" discount, and the hottest Microsoft offering is an XP downgrade from Vista. Maybe Jerry will have some boffo lines about Amalga.

National Review, which I read on occasion, is sticking to the "healthcare can be saved with competition" mantra. "According to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, Medicare rents an oxygen concentrator at the price quoted above [$7,000 over three years] — with Medicare patients shelling out a 20-percent co-payment for the rental ($1,418) — that it could buy outright for only $600. When Medicare was set to implement a competitive bidding program for DME last month, Congress killed it."

CoxHealth (MO) mentions its homegrown bed board system as part of its Innovator Award. Looks pretty cool. Bruce Robison is the CIO there.


At least one doc is unhappy that Nuance has blocked the use of Dragon Naturally Speaking with EMRs in Version 10. "We found that some large hospitals were using the consumer editions of Dragon and not getting the accuracy, quality and manageability that would be achieved when using Dragon Medical." In other words, you have to buy the much more expensive Medical version for reasons that are financial rather than technical. 

Open source vendors Pentaho (business intelligence) and Open Medical Record System (EMR) will work together and integrate their products.

Xoova, a physician research site for consumers and poster child for those convinced that all it takes to change healthcare is a web site and a Foosball table, is apparently defunct. All that’s left is a blog whose last entry was in February, full of braggadocio and hipness right as the slow augering in was underway despite rosy press releases that mostly bragged on site hits. The company sniffed that it was "much more of a Health 2.0 site" than its competitors (which are still around, 1.0 apparently being more profitable). I can’t decide which is lamer, their name or the story behind it: "XO = hugs and kisses. OO = ‘you,’ as in, ‘this site is for you, you people out there seeking medical care and you doctors out there who wish to share your philosophy of care.’ Ova is both a Latin word for egg and a medical term for what happens to be the largest cell in the human body. And Va? Va means ‘go.’" If all that isn’t dot-bomb enough for you, they were even bragging on their Herman Miller chairs, the shark tank, and their proximity (in no way except physical) to Google. Most of these hip new companies are looking for buyers, not paying customers. In this economy, they’re likely to be riding those Herman Millers right into the toilet.

USA Today publishes hospital death rates online for MI, CHF, and pneumonia.

Your federal tax dollars at work: $300,000 for a Wisconsin pre-RHIO of some kind.

A reader pointed me to the court filing in which Epic apparently prevailed over patent leeches Acacia Research. My take: vendors, get yourselves a good lawyer and they will turn tail and run since there are plenty of other marks to shake down (like Siemens and GE) who will just pay up and write it off as a cost of doing business. The last thing Acacia wants to do is either have their patent (and gravy train) threatened. I hope Epic tore them a new one.

Intel is offering $100,000 for the best technology solution in global healthcare. Craig Barrett’s example: a PhD who created a cheap digital whiteboard from a Nintendo Wiimote (free download). You have until September 30 to register and January 31 to get your submission in. Pretty darned cool. "Barrett compared the world’ healthcare system to an ancient mainframe. ‘The hospital is the mainframe,’ he said. ‘If you get sick, you go to the hospital. What we need to do is bring the PC to the healthcare system.’"


Speaking of Craig Barrett, he rips the government on failing to encourage innovation and quality education (roger that) and also demos an unnamed PHR at the Intel Developers’ Forum.

Great news: 86% of people remember ads stuck on hospital walls or on wall-mounted monitors. That’s probably at least double the percentage that remember what doctors tell them.

GE Healthcare gets another FDA warning letter.

Remember this as you’re paying Oracle maintenance: Crazy Larry exercises a few options, netting him $544 million. Not to worry: at current prices, he’s still got $26 billion worth of shares.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From dogofwar: “Re: Picis Survey. The announcement says that 87% believe a government-run EHR is the answer, but the slide shows the opposite.” Good observation. That 87% pro-government EHR number was buried in the press release and I thought it was surprising. I checked with the Picis folks and they confirmed that the write-up had an error. The text should say, “Close to 90 percent said government-run EHRs are NOT the answer, when questioned, but many expressed interest in joint funding from the private and public sectors.”

Sonitor is awarded a 2008 North American Frost & Sullivan award for Emerging Company of the Year based on its contributions to the RTLS industry and improved US market presence.

I had asked readers to comment on the impact of the ICD-10 transition and MGMA provided a response (OK, perhaps they weren’t responded to me, but the timing seems coincidental.) MGMA issues a statement that while they support the move, the proposed timeline is “not workable” due to the extensive changes required of health care facilities and insurance carriers. MGMA estimates that 95% of medical practices will have to purchase software upgrades or new software to accommodate the changes. Stay tuned.

HealthSouth is nw offering free wireless Internet access, courtesy of a new agreement with Wayport.

Good Samaritan Hospital is live on MEDSEEK’s eConnect clinical portal, enabling its 600 physicians anytime/anywhere access to disparate IS systems through one gateway.

Waukesha Memorial Hospital is installing RF monitoring systems in its pediatric and maternity wards to product infants and children from abduction (what a sad world we live in). RF Technologies is the vendor providing transmitters for patients’ wrists or ankles. The setup also includes receivers that track when a patient moves too close to a doorway, setting off an alarm and locking doors immediately.

Halifax Regional Medical Center (NC) integrates IntelliDOT BMA with their Meditech HIS. Caregivers will utilize a wireless handheld barcode point of care device.

MemorialCare Medical Centers (CA) contracts with Accenx to provide an interoperability platform for its physician outreach program.

Kryptiq (healthcare connectivity provider) acquires Secure Network Solutions (administrative workflows such as appointment reminders, waitlist management, and electronic billing statements.)

GE Healthcare recognizes six healthcare organizations for their innovative use of Centricity products.

Eclipsys announces Ali Zarzour as VP and GM of Middle East operations. He comes from Microsoft, where he served as a healthcare industry manager in the Middle East and Africa.

Five Sharp HealthCare hospitals are deploying Premier healthcare alliance’s SafetySurveillor infection control and pharmacy modules to track and prevent healthcare-associated infections and optimize antibiotic use. It sounds like cool technology that apparently 200 hospitals are using nationwide. Anyone have any comments on whether it works as advertised?

E-mail Inga.