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News 9/5/08

September 4, 2008 News 5 Comments

From Barney Miller: "Re: JJWild. Sal Lanuto and Dick Fitzpatrick have officially left JJWild and Perot has completed takeover of day to day operations." Unverified. Both are still pictured on the web page. We’ll ask the company.

From Dumbfounded: "Re: Misys-Allscripts. Anticipate an announcement that Allscripts-Misys merged debacle will purchase an EMR company now that the iMedica deal has soured. The company being acquired was based in Tampa, now headquartered in Iowa via a merger announced earlier this year at HIMSS. Plain English: Allscripts-Misys is in talks to buy MediNotes." Unverified. Their February announcement at HIMSS was the acquisition of Bond Technologies. That would be a good move for the merged companies, I think, at least at the right price. But, consider it an unfounded rumor until someone says otherwise.

I’m still working with the Google Chrome browser and have changed my tune. It’s really fast and clean, a non-geek’s browser that just gets the job done without fuss. Here’s my take on it. Part of Google’s motivation is to protect its ad revenue by not letting Microsoft or even the Firefox people control its destiny. But, far beyond that is its interest in creating a pseudo-desktop that’s free of anything that Microsoft makes. Chrome is the first browser written with optimization of AJAX and Javascript in mind, so it’s lightning fast on Google Apps, iGoogle, widgets, etc. With Gears, you can save information to the desktop and work offline (the only killer app they’re missing, which is puzzling, is online storage linked to your Gmail account). Google now controls everything from web apps down the desktop, with nobody else’s software necessarily in between, a Google OS if you will (Chrome will be used in Google’s Android smart phone, too). That not only removes Microsoft dependencies, it kicks them squarely in the crotch for cash cow sales of Office and makes Google search ubiquitous. It may not be the best browser right now for surfing (neither is IE), but when it comes to running Web 2.0 applications, it’s king.

Listening: After Forever, my all-time favorite that isn’t on any music service or even my Russian MP3 purchase site, so I usually resort to bootlegs. I was tuned into Swedish metal station One-Eleven on my new gadget when it came up, leading to embarrassingly non-hip, four-limbed spastic movements on my part as I air-drummed.

MEDSEEK is named #1 in KLAS among clinical portals.

Robert DeLoach, formerly of McKesson and Siemens, joins Stoltenberg Consulting.

Caritas Christi names Todd Rothenhaus, MD as CIO. He was CMIO before, I believe. He used to write a "Survival Guide" series for medical interns.

The HIMSS Financial Systems Steering Committee releases an interesting paper (warning: PDF) that basically tells the government that it’s wasting time and money trying to build the Nationwide Health information Network (NHIN) when the existing HIPAA transaction processing backbone already has adequate capacity to handle clinical transactions. It’s kind of of ballsy and I like it (one headline: Why Are We Building ANOTHER Highway?). It even basically says decision makers either have a vested interest in NHIN or aren’t even smart enough to know about the "existing, fully functional information highway." My only criticism of the paper is that an Emdeon VP chaired the committee, which looks like a conflict even if it isn’t. But enough of my knee-jerk, anti-establishment reaction: send me your thoughts for the next Readers Write.


GE Healthcare announces Centricity Enterprise Monitored Care, developed with UCSF to integrate monitor information into the EMR.

Cerner foots the bill for a Republican Convention reception honoring Bob Dole.

Jobs: Consultant (GA), Clinical Consultant, Sales and Marketing (CA), Senior Technical Analyst (TX), Sales Executive (GA).

A couple of new text ads to your right. Orchestrate Healthcare announces its 91.6 KLAS score for integration, while First Choice Professionals offers expert help with Boston WorkStation (BWS) projects.

Tenet will deploy ClinicComp’s Essentris Perinatal in seven hospitals.

Design Clinicals will co-sponsor a medication reconciliation webinar on Thursday, September 25, at 2:00 PM Eastern. Good speakers: Dewey Howell, MD, PhD from Design Clinicals and Jeannell Mansur, PharmD of Joint Commission Resources.


Wolters Kluwer Health, coming to the startling conclusion that the UpToDate medical reference product was the only one it hadn’t already acquired, buys it.

This WSJ doc decries the financial disincentives for managing chronic diseases. He includes a half-hearted EMR compliment: "My office has invested heavily in an electronic medical record to track and monitor chronic conditions with little financial return. Still, the system helped me notice that a patient’s control of his diabetes had been slipping for a year."

Paul Peabody, CIO at Beaumont Hospitals, says HIPAA was supposed to provide records portability, yet doctors aren’t interested in information from PHRs. I would quibble a little with that: the P in HIPAA (of which there’s just one) was for the portability of insurance, not patient information (i.e., you leave your job, your insurance doesn’t change, an expectation which has indeed been a bust and therefore made all of the enabling security and privacy stuff mostly irrelevant for its intended purpose).


Ted Shortliffe replaces the retiring Don Detmer as CEO of AMIA.

Another Indian hospital mob attack over claimed negligence, this time with pictures.

Dr. Wes says EMR users are "our most expensive typing pool." He also touches on my gripe: the EMR is full of computer-generated crap that looks impressive in its volume and verbiage, but does nothing to affect patient outcomes. "The rest above is for Medicare and has been added repetitively and identically by countless other individuals, all whom enter the same content to assure achieving the maximum amount billed by law for their services. Not that any of it is read, mind you, but it’d better be there, lest the Medicare auditors descend on your facility."

China Information Security Technology will acquire the majority share of a hospital software company. Tidbit: the HIS market in China is estimated at up to $2.3 billion a year, with double that for PACS.

New Mexico’s Department of Health is using an EMR in all of its offices.

Cerner is involved in a genetic marker study that will look at adverse drug events: hepatotoxicity, skin rashes, and prolonged QT intervals. Sounds like Cerner is sharing patient data since the announcement mentions "open up a new, more scalable research channel to enroll subjects in this vital research." Some of the founding members of Cerner’s co-sponsor International Serious Adverse Events Consortium are seven of the biggest drug companies, encouraged by FDA to perform such research. They promise that the results will be placed into the public domain.

Among other questions about its finances, a Republican senator wants to know why Michelle Obama got such a whopper of a raise (to $317K) at nonprofit University of Chicago Medical Center.

Boeing’s $500 million terrorist tracking system (you know who the customer for that price – we are) is, according to a House committee, a complete failure that can’t even do a Boolean search. Rumor is it’s being shut down, joining the standard rumors of conflict of interest, poor oversight, and uncontrolled expenses. Uncle Sam keeps getting ripped off by the same handful of fat cat contractors and its own poor oversight, but unlike a real business, it just prints more money to waste.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From Justin Barnes: “Re: recent lab summit. As the chairman of the HIMSS EHR Association (EHRA), I’d like to clarify an earlier post regarding our recent lab summit.  We feel it was a very productive meeting with all parties contributing to an overall understanding of the issues facing HIT lab interoperability. The laboratory companies, EHR software providers, and many other stakeholders are making progress in an area of interoperability that has numerous variables and is quite complex. The EHR Association is confident that, in time, we will find the consensus that moves the industry toward a fully interoperable work flow for electronic laboratory orders and results.”

From ORLabRat: “Re: laboratory connectivity. I love all the responses to the lab topic. Good stuff. I’m also a big fan of HerTalk (including Inga Radio), and really enjoy the chemistry and banter with Mr. H.” By the way, if you liked Duffy on Inga Radio, you will love Adele. I wonder what’s up with all these one-name lovelies?

Fist bumping? Oh, please. Get real. Look me in the eye and shake my hand firmly, just like your daddy taught you. Otherwise, I risk breaking a nail.

Motley Fool notes that Quality Systems’ stock price has climbed 32% over the last four weeks. The analyst suggests the rise is a result of recent strong performance by its biggest division, NextGen, which grew revenue 34% in the last quarter. The piece also suggests the industry may be “recession-proof,” a notion that plenty of other vendors would argue.

Piper Jaffray downgrades Allscripts from "buy" to "neutral," citing a survey indicating 43% of all clients and 88% of practices of over 100 physicians are cautious about the pending merger with Misys. However, 90% of Allscripts clients are happy with the products and 75% with the company. Among Misys clients, 86% are happy with the product, but only 61% with the company.

In the battle for title of worst press release, I nominate this one based on its extraordinarily long first sentence: “MedCom USA, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: EMED) a leading provider of HIPAA compliant healthcare and financial transaction solutions for the healthcare industry, which recently signed letters of intent to acquire PayMed USA, LLC and Absolute Medical Software Systems, a leading provider of HIPAA compliant medical, dental, healthcare and financial transaction solutions for the healthcare and dental industry is pleased to announce that it has appointed four additional board members of whom three are independent and one is an inside member.” Got all that?

A MED3000 employee and eight others are indicted on theft and wire fraud charges for allegedly preparing false insurance claims, claiming to be providers. MED3000 issued over $100,000 in checks to the employee’s boyfriend and others before the FBI got involved.

In an attempt to be cool like Mr. H, I downloaded Google Chrome. I found one issue that may be a deal-breaker for me. Chrome won’t let me have two separate Gmail accounts up at up at one time (to protect user privacy.) I currently have IE open with one Gmail account and the other one in Chrome. Seems like a goofy solution. (And don’t bother advising me to open all my Gmail accounts in one view, because when you have a dissociative identity disorder, it gets way too confusing).

Mediware announces its 2008 fiscal year results ending June 30th. Total earnings were $728,000, which is a 69% decrease over 2007 ($.09/share vs. $.29/share.) Revenues slipped 4.3%. CEO Kelly Mann (who clearly must be a glass-half-full type of person) is pleased with Mediware’s progress in fiscal 2008.

A recently released AHRQ report on telehealth concludes it can improve patient outcomes, but it isn’t always easy to implement. The home monitoring devices used with one project failed so regularly that one-third of the patients stopped using them. Poor resolution with transmitted video provided additional challenges.

Ladies take note: researchers have found a genetic variant that affects a man’s attachment hormone (called vasopressin). Vasopressin-challenged men seem to have a higher tendency for infidelity, have weaker relationships, and more marital problems. Pre-marital genetic testing, anyone?

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Google now controls everything from web apps down the desktop, with nobody else’s software necessarily in between, a Google OS if you will

    That would be nice to believe but the pendulum has always swung between ‘thin client desktop’ and the ‘fat client desktop’.

    AJAX, Google Web Toolkit, Web 2.0, and so much more continues to enthrall media and users – why? because the bar was set so low in first place – browsers evolved from an original design never meant for the purpose they serve place. Further fragmenting the browser market is not going to help that much. I predict the return of desktop applications. As the CPUs become multi-core and extremely fast it becomes ludicrous that you are going waste all that power on running a browser rendering someones HTML with poor CSS and a massive, Javascript spaghetti style.

    Gmail is not MS Outlook, Google documents is not Word. Anyone who believes they are do not use them enough, ‘power users’ who suffice themselves with glitches, problems, workarounds that are rarely encountered on the desktop.

    The web is great for the internet, not great for replacing complex information systems – it will be a long time before MS Office is replaced by a ‘web version’. Note the Wall Street Journals tech guys commentary on the problems with gmail and its threaded conversations – I loved gmail for 1 year but now I see the serious limitations and design flaws.

    Viva Microsoft – not I – but lets not kid ourselves that Google is here to save us. Their software reads your email, integrates with partner applications unexpectedly, no doubt can turn up your searching history and their ‘open source’ is usually not that open. The only reason this browser is ‘open source’ is because they didnt write it – someone else did.

  2. Re: Misys-Allscripts. Anticipate an announcement that Allscripts-Misys merged debacle will purchase an EMR company now that the iMedica deal has soured. The company being acquired was based in Tampa, now headquartered in Iowa via a merger announced earlier this year at HIMSS. Plain English: Allscripts-Misys is in talks to buy MediNotes.”

    Misys is obviously communicating that Tiger/Misys EMR, and who knows maybe A4/Healthmatics, is not their go forward product, evidently not going to invest in R & D of either/both. So are they really just acting as a venture capital group to acquire another vendor product (iMedica? MediNotes? Anybody?) so they can keep their name out there? Maybe it’s just time to go away?

  3. Dumbfounded where on earth did you hear this?

    Misys-Allscripts is not going to buy another much less two other products. They have enough on their plate right now.

    Put down the crack pipe. Buy some MDRX and get in on the dividend.

  4. Hey Phil anyone who believes MDRX is worth buying needs to get their head examined.

    Lets see we have the Misys Tiger / EMR garbage add in the A4 crap that is written in code so old no one remembers how to update it, add in the stellar Misys management team and one sure has picked a winner here.

    I wont even bother to go into the fact that Docs wont buy the pieces of sh** that the vendor community is attempting to pass off as quality, easy to utilize, and needed to improve clinical outcomes.

    Were is your data to support the need for the crap in the marketplace? Or that MD’s will buy for the trash out there today? Go ahead suck on the pipe a little longer, you deserve to lose a few more brain cells.

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