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September 18, 2008 News 11 Comments

From The PACS Designer: "Re: cloud map. Peter Laird, who works for Oracle, has done an excellent job of creating a ‘Visual Map of Cloud Computing’ which gives you the full spectrum of the cloud environment. His map details suppliers of the types of clouds, storage, integration, value-add, and SaaS applications." Link.

From Deb Ridement: "Re: Misys. Both CEOs are way out on a limb with no turning back. If Misys, which has contacts with the CEOs of every bank and lending institution, can’t get the money, the banking industry really is in the toilet. That also says volumes about the HCIT industry and US economy. Employees and shareholders of both companies must be holding their breath."

From Inside Outsider: "Re: GE’s HPA. GE seems to be pushing HPA and they believe that the product exceeds what is in the market, particularly with the CBO product that combines both the hospital and physician billing. In fact, GE reiterated this at their GE Summit this summer."

From GE Centricity HPA Customer: "Re: HPA. I’m a senior IT person at a GE HPA site. At last month’s GE Healthcare Users Summit, Centricity Business leadership stated the HPA billing system was the go-forward billing system for hospital customers. As such, they are continuing to enhance and support HPA. This was the same message GE leadership gave us in March in a private executive briefing. They implied they would be migrating their clients using the old Phamis / CareCast hospital billing system to HPA. But, it was pretty clear Carecast sites hadn’t gotten the message yet. Moreover, I don’t think GE has figured out how to migrate everyone."

From Interested: "Re: GE. Has GE made a big sale EMR in India?"

From Justasquirrel: "Re: the Evanston / NorthShore moniker. They have a contractor going through everything in Epic using Chronicles to change the name on every document. I wonder how much money they are investing in changing all letterhead, business cards, invoices, etc.?"


University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics votes down the Vocera VoIP communication system for what sounds like a bizarre reason: "There are certain areas of the hospital that cell-phone use is prohibited, for example. Whatever technology you install, you have to make sure that it’s not going to harm patients." I’m going to assume that the reporter or spokesperson got in over his head in trying to explain it because surely the hospital hasn’t found previously undocumented interference issues with the wireless network they’re already running.

Center for Information Technology Leadership says (warning: PDF) that a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office, which concluded that previous analyses (including CITL’s) overstated the benefits of IT in healthcare, is wrong. I admit that I’d probably go with CBO’s assessment, only because I never believe the optimistic outcomes industry folks usually predict. I’ve been jaded by hospitals creating expectations for big savings and improved outcomes, but failing to do anything to actually deliver them.

Former Cernerite Guillermo Moreno joins kiosk vendor Aurillion.

Someone from Microsoft e-mailed to say they had located and removed the PHI-containing Amalga/Azyxxi presentation that an HIStalk reader had reported to us and, sure enough, it’s no longer available via a Google search. Somehow it got out on the Web with some full patient names, diagnoses, EKG strips, and other confidential patient information.

Speaking of Amalga, El Camino Hospital buys it.

David Brailer’s Health Evolution Partners invests in Chrysalis Ventures.

HIMSS supports its big vendor constituency by declining to support the healthcare IT bill that Pete Stark just introduced. HIMSS doesn’t want a new group usurping HITSP’s work and is against the idea of the low-cost open source systems called for in the bill. In other words, the screwed up healthcare system we have has been berry, berry good to HIMSS and all the other member groups out there, so they aren’t about to advocate widespread reform that might reduce their own influence. You can’t blame them, I guess, but it’s a shame that AHA, AMA, HIMSS, etc. talk about real change to improve outcomes and reduce cost, but only in ways that don’t threaten the big money folks.

Mass General will cut 200 jobs.

Akron Children’s Hospital took IT damage Tuesday in its outpatient building when a water main blew out and flooded the ground level data center.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga


From ORLabRat: “Re: Seinfeld show. Did you notice that Jerry’s computer (on the table by the window) morphed from what looked like a Mac to a PC somewhere around the third season? My timing could be off, but it’s interesting now that he’s a Microsoft pitchman.” I never noticed, truthfully. However, there it is on the desk in the back. Looks like a PC to me.

From Elsie EHR: “Re: Justin Long. As you mentioned, Justin Long — the Apple computer nerd cutie — is known for his role in Dodge Ball; certainly a classic in the genre of ‘nerds band together to save the (choose one) neighborhood / school / summer camp / nursing home / gym / world from corporate goons.’ However, he’s better known for his appearance last year’s explosion-filled Bruce Willis epic, Live Free or Die Hard, in which Long played a (drumroll, please) computer nerd cutie who joins a Luddite cop (Willis) to save the world from evil hackers.” Those Apple guys are marketing geniuses!

Meanwhile, just days after Jerry Seinfeld cashed his $10 million check for his Microsoft spots, Gates and company are pulling the ads (claiming it was all part of the original advertising plan). Yeah, right. Obviously those MS guys read my post on Tuesday.

CCHIT announces eight new commissioners and the reappointment of five others of its 21-member board. The appointees were selected from 85 applications and will serve two-year terms. Among the new folks is Sarah T. Corley, MD, CMO for HIStalk sponsor NextGen. CCHIT also announced it will begin its new HIE certification program on October 1.


According to a poll, 63% of us spend our lunch at the desk plowing through e-mails. Compare that to the 20% who lunch with colleagues or friends, the 8% who work out, and the 9% who have a working lunch with colleagues / prospects / partners. Remember the good old days before e-mail, voice mail, and virtual offices when we actually went to lunch with the office crowd?

Not to bring up the taboo world of politics or anything, but the whole Sarah Palin phenomenon got me curious about how many women are in HIT’s higher ranks. Rich Correll, CHIME president and CEO, informed me that only about 25% of his organization’s healthcare information executive members are female (Rick says he remembers when CHIME was 90% men, so at least the trend is going in the right direction). That is still probably much better than the stats with healthcare IT vendors.

If you are curious what is going on in post-Ike Galveston and UTMB in particular, ER Dr. Angela Gardner has been posting interesting (if not depressing) updates. “80% of the island is damaged. UTMB is not seeing patients of any type at this point. DMAT teams are providing any necessary care. There is no electricity, no running water, and not enough fuel to start pumping water out of the flooded areas. Many of the emergency generators were damaged by storm. Phone lines and Internet connectivity are spotty. Even cell phone coverage is unreliable. Today, UTMB estimates re-opening the doors with a skeleton crew next week. Services will be added as it becomes possible. It is just a guess that we may not be able to have inpatients for 4 to 6 weeks. Full operability of all the hospitals/clinics/outpatient services/area clinics will probably take months. Much of the operability of the hospital depends on the time it takes for the city/county infrastructure to be rebuilt. This is emergency medicine’s surge capacity nightmare. The nearest fully functional hospital is 60 miles away.”

Cardinal Health is awarding more than $1 million in grants to help health care providers improve patient safety and health care quality. Last year Cardinal offered a similar program that resulted in grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

Enterprise portal provider MEDSEEK announces its eMarketing Advisor service to assist hospitals improve web site effectiveness.

The Center for Studying Health System Change finds that, despite relaxed Stark laws, hospitals are not rushing to assist physicians with EMR costs. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-sponsored study found limited hospital budgets, conflicting projects, and lack of physician interest were all contributing factors. The third point goes back to a often discussed point that even a free (or almost free) EMR still isn’t enough to entice some doctors.

Note to Dysf(n): if “Tim” is a palindrome, perhaps “Inga” is actually “Agni”. (For the record, I’ve been told more than once that I am "hot").

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. it should not be a huge surprise that women are underrepresented in the ivory towers of HIT executive management. As I noted in my “readers write” piece, IT is more of a boys’ club than the rest of healthcare. The trend is changing though; there is no need for intervevtion. Just tell your HR people to only consider people with masters degrees. You’ll have parity in no time. After all, how can you manage people without a graduate degree?

  2. I really appreciate the two comments regarding GE HPA. They answered my question. Would you pass along my thanks.

    You run a great service for the healthcare IT industry.


  3. could we hear more about El Camino buying Amalga- a few years ago they bought Eclipsys 2.0 after a hard fought competiton amongst competitiors trying to take away this Eclipsys 1.0 legacy site.

  4. Mr. H I usually agree with you but your comments regarding Pete Stark’s proposal are uninformed(unlike your normal responses). The “open system”, low-cost EMR created by the government would bring purchase/implementation of any EMR to a screeching halt while everyone waits to see what it is like…and waits to see…and waits to see. Then it would end up being government designed–and we all know how good the Fed is in designing EMR (i.e. AHLTA, Vista). The Fed needs to stay out of the software development business and let the market take care of it.

    I’m still a fan of yours, but I had to take you to task.

  5. To Dan Field: First of all, Eclipsys has never had 1.0 or 2.0 versions of anything but KBC content. El Camino has been an Eclipsys/TDS client since the 60’s or 70’s. They were on the legacy e7000 system until last year when they were upgraded to Sunrise XA 4.5. They are currently considering another upgrade to 5.0. Amalga does not replace Eclipsys.

  6. I’m with you Mr. H and lean to/favor the CBO’s analysis of HIT benefits/ROI than that of CITL. Why CITL even bothered to post a rebuttal is strange to me.

    Having looked at the CITL report as well as working in the analyst biz for some 15yrs, I know how they think, how they work and how they more often than not (analysts as a general rule), will “pump the numbers” CITL did such in their report, plenty of flaws, not all that hard to poke holes in.

  7. Actually, our country’s health system has been in wait-and-see mode for years when it comes to electronic medical records. The New England Journal of Medicine recently reported that of 2,700 practicing physicians in the U.S., a paltry four percent had a “fully functional” EHR system. That is exactly why Rep. Pete Stark’s proposal makes perfect sense. We can’t wait any longer for vendors to provide an interoperable health IT system – not when we have a proven system like VistA that makes perfect sense. OpenVista, the commercialized version of VistA is now in use in dozens of facilities. AHLTA, on the other hand, was designed privately and is not interoperable.

  8. In 2008, no hospital or clinic in this country should be purchasing a non-interoperable EMR or have to spend a dime on getting systems to inter-operate. The standards and technologies are available, but the proprietary systems business model does not serve the market well and should grind to a halt right now. The last thing health care needs is one more system that doesn’t talk to another. We’ve seen plenty of that – just look at AHLTA, which, by the way, was developed by a contractor, not the government.

  9. Eclipsys buys Medinotes. Thank goodness. Now, Clinician can get the utilization and support it deserves. Maybe Eclipsys will start to expand their market horizons even more. (Smaller and bigger.)

    “e” users? Future? Not necessarily a compatible pair of terms. Doesn’t matter. None of us need non-interoperable, non-future-friendly garbage slowing down the process anymore.

  10. Edmund Billings you are right AHLTA WAS developed by Northrup to Fed specifications.Was it ever publically bid ? Probably not, after all there were only about 500 EMR vendors in operation at that time.

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