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Monday Morning Update 9/1/08

August 31, 2008 News 6 Comments

From The PACS Designer: "Re: stackable switches. When constructing a network, developers use Ethernet routers and switches to create the user networks of PCs. Now, there is a new 3com switch being advertised that provides better redundancy. When connected to each other through a stack, they provide hot swappable units to insure networks remain up during component failures." Link.

From The Skeptic: "Re: Siemens. To Leyden, you are absolutely right – Siemens’ HIS days are numbered. Their experiment with Clinical PowerPoint didn’t conclude with a good outcome. But knowing Cerner as well as I do, I would not laugh all the way to Leeds or to any other location on this planet. Modules that are supposed to be ‘seamlessly’ integrated are NOT. Interfaces are inconsistent, like they originated from different vendors. Users need to document the same info again and again. If I had the resources and courage, I would short their stock."

From Attendy: "Re: Epic’s UGM. Mr. HIStalk, are you attending?" No, I’m not an Epic user.

From Dave: "Re: Eclipsys. Eclipsys laid off its entire Alliance team today (Thursday) that focused on its best clients." Unverified.

From Epic Calculator: "Re: Epic revenue. Revenue per Employee at Epic is a bit over 153k (using the data published on HIStalk). It is OK, but not stellar or in anyway spectacular. Software companies go from 150K for the SMALL ones to 220k and up for the LARGE ones. Just some food for thought for the potential investor out there." Thanks, I meant to run the calc myself. I’m a little surprised that they don’t excel there. Meditech’s at $131,000 by my calculation, low in the range.

Yes, I’m laboring on Labor Day. Apropos, yes?

Listening: The Makers, angry garage-glam, Stones meet Stooges. And one of my favorites, long defunct Moxy Fruvous: witty, harmonizing Canadians (they play it serious on the greate Thornhill, although some old-time fans couldn’t handle the change).


A trustee of Regional Medical Center (SC) questions the hospital’s choice of Cerner over Meditech, complaining that at $12 million vs. $4.5 million, "I don’t think we got the low bid, folks." The CIO claims that Cerner underbid Meditech overall, $11.9 million vs. $12.1 million (that’s hard to believe). Some trustees complained that they didn’t get to go to Kansas City to see Millennium first hand, which would seem to indicate some misunderstanding of the role of a trustee. 

Not surprising except to those who think healthcare is free if you don’t feel like paying: clinics are dropping patients who aren’t paying their bills, many of them with self-chosen high deductible plans who knew the risk of paying out of pocket going in. I believe it’s safe to say that, very soon, it will be the rule rather than the exception to make patients pay for care upfront since so many refuse to pay afterward.

A liberal group’s blog draws a savage but amusing parallel between McCain VP pick Sarah Palin and failed congressional candidate Jeanne (Mrs. Neal) Patterson: "She came off looking like a Tupperware lady who had read too much Ayn Rand."

Bayfront Health System (FL) is looking for a RN-Clinical Informatics/Transformation Leader. Since nobody ever seems to finish transforming, it’s probably a good gig.

Another example of Microsoft’s desperation and/or willingness to litigate rather than innovate: they apply for and receive a patent for "Page Up/Page Down." Maybe they’ll send out a little trademark symbol for your keyboard keys.

Asian doctors are turning cell phones into a mini Wii Fit. COPDers walk to software-driven music that optimizes their lung capacity, with reports going back to doctors. One-year hospital admissions were 22 of 24 in the control group, but only 2 of 22 in the control group.

There’s a new text ad to your right from the folks at Sun, which now owns the database that powers the Internet, MySQL. The ad mentions FairWarning, an interesting sounding EHR surveillance tool for privacy issues. I hereby contribute my more memorable product name, Snoop Doppler, or for the appliance version, the Britney Box.

Gustav is headed toward the Gulf Coast at this writing, just what New Orleans doesn’t need. The former Charity Hospital, now University Hospital, still has its electrical systems in the basement and it’s sitting in a natural depression. Labor Day hurricanes are always nasty, it seems. Here’s a positive thought to those in its path, especially those hospitals that, as always, are the beacon of safety and healing for those affected. While everybody else hunkers down with their families, hospital workers leave theirs to help strangers. The final 85 unclaimed Katrina bodies were symbolically buried Friday just ahead of the Gustav evacuation.

BIDMC will share its patient portal data with Microsoft’s HealthVault.

Mt. Sinai (NY) will redesign its smartcards to follow CCR standards, hoping other hospitals will do the same to allow exchange data (is that a RHIO in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?)


Meditech-owned Prowse Farm, a historic site in Canton, MA, is throwing a fundraising doo-wop outdoor concert on on Saturday, September 13. Funds will be used for development of its museum and education center. I’m a big doo-wop fan and seeing Gene Pitt and the Jive Five alone should be worth it. See the live video of "My True Story" here although "These Golden Rings" and "Do You Hear Wedding Bells?" are better; they changed to soul music later, charting with "What Time is It?". I don’t know of any doo-wop group whose entire lineup contributed like the Jive Five’s. Epic’s campus gets a lot of attention, but this view of Meditech’s from Prowse Farms (by ophis) is more interesting if you like history and non-flat ground.

Hawaii Medical Center files bankruptcy after Siemens Finance declines to extend its $5.5 million loan.

London trust hospitals are apparently gearing up to seek damages from BT and/or Cerner over system problems.

I hope you have (or had) a nice holiday. Thanks for reading.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Did Siemens sell Soarian to Hawaii Medical Center for $50M and then bankrupt them (kidding)? Of course that is a fraction of some of their current US implementation costs. I hear one hospital is paying around $100M for one Soarian module.

    I guess Hawaii Medical Center should look for an open source healthcare information system to reduce costs – I recall reading an article for someone installing Vista for $50,000 but I don’t believe it 🙂

  2. So Siemens has finally bankrupted HMC. Between the facility selling off its profitable units, Perot taking over for the 89 people laid off and just poor decisions (buying multiple systems and never implementing), not really a surprise.

  3. Dx SORIAN. Would Dr. Don Francis really consider Sorian the scourge of 2008, “A threat no one dared face” Healthcare Immunodeficiency Technology (HIT)? “And the Band Plays On.”

    Yes, a rather cryptic response to a SOARING problem in healthcare.

  4. Allscripts changed all of their product names at their recent user conference in Chicago (August 6-8), but the word from customers at ACE 2008 is that support is at an all time low for the Touchworks (now Enterprise) products and that upgrades to version 11 are a nightmare.

    Aparently if you are in line to upgrade from version 10 to 11, you might be able to go sooner rather than later due to cold feet.

    It looks like everything at Allscripts is focused on the Misys merger.

  5. There was not a “layoff”…the team was restructured to deliver better service. The team is now under the Outcomes group which is responsible for the services deliverd to the previous labled Alliance clients. The program is still in place under a new name and some of that team is still in place

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