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Monday Morning Update 9/22/08

September 20, 2008 News 10 Comments

From Reality CCHIT: "Re: CCHIT participation from vendors. Let’s be clear about the goals of vendor representatives participating on CCHIT commissions and committees. The primary role of these participants is to watch out for the interests of their employer. That may mean adding onerous requirements already met by their company that sets a higher bar for less well-funded competitors or making the case against functionality their employer doesn’t have. A secondary role is to be the first to know what’s coming for technology that will take months or years to complete. Finally, participation looks good on resumes and RFPs."

From Medicman: "Re: Misys. Despite the financing issues with the Misys/Allscripts merger, Misys reps were in Raleigh earlier this week being trained on the Allscripts products. Someone is fairly confident this will go through." It probably will, although who knows what it will cost to get financing in this market. Analysts would say that the expected benefits outweigh the deal’s cost. I would say "expected" rarely proves to be the case. I can’t think of even one good strategic decision that Misys Healthcare has ever made (buying CPR, selling CPR, botching Sunquest, botching ClearPractice, copping out by relabeling iMedica instead of building or acquiring its own product, etc.) Maybe the best value of the merger won’t be the vaunted PM/EMR cross-selling opportunities, but rather clearing out what appears to be several corner offices worth of underperforming executive talent.

It’s not news to HIStalk’s readers since we told you on 9/15 after reader tips, but Eclipsys will acquire physician EMR vendor MediNotes for $45 million in cash and stock. I interviewed MediNotes CEO Don Schoen two years ago, where he said, "This is a huge market with potential and some people will benefit greatly from it. I hope to be one of them." Sounds like that’s what happened.

Parts of Microsoft’s new post-Seinfeld ad campaign were made on a Mac, geeky sleuths have determined. The article says the "Vista sucks, but less than you think" campaign (I made that up, but it has a nice ring, I think) will cost $300 million. The self-congratulatory article announcing the campaign basically says that Microsoft will copy everything that Apple does: hip ads, in-store kiosks, and free expert bars. That’s going to be a tough sell given that Windows 7 hints are already being dropped. Vista could be the next Windows ME. I’m running it on my laptop (not by choice since it was bundled) and it’s working fine, although I don’t really do much on it.


IT folks at the Houston VA hospital scrambled to prepare for Hurricane Ike and are now trying to recover 35 PCs lost when its Galveston clinic was destroyed. "As the storm approached, employees transmitted hourly updates of patient records over a VA network to the Little Rock facility, he said. They continued to do so the weekend the storm hit. Seventeen of the hospital’s 40 technology employees and 23 family members camped out in the facility’s library and server room from Friday, Sept. 12 until the evening of Sunday, Sept. 14, to keep vital computer systems running."

Allscripts sells its Physicians Interactive business unit, which pushes drug company sales pitches to doctors over the web.

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A woman bringing her disabled veteran father to the Boise VA hospital refills her mug with soda from the cafeteria as usual, for which she has always been charged $1 or $1.50 even though no refill price is posted. On a recent visit, the cashier tells her it will be $3.80. The woman refuses to pay, the manager says they won’t take the soda back, and the woman dumps it on the counter and leaves. A reporter calls to tell her that two federal charges have been filed against her, each of which carries a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail. She claims she was identified by looking up her father’s electronic medical records. "They should not have used a veteran’s medical records to find me," she told reporters.

The government of Belize signs a contract for a national health record that will connect every citizen and the entire health sector. "The BHIS consists of a set of mostly interdependent modules surrounding the central Electronic Health Record (HER) and Admissions-Discharge-Transfer functions. The chief functions of BHIS key modules are, electronic health record and admission discharge transfer, clinician order entry, financial, maternal child health, HIV/AIDS, laboratory and testing, supply chain management, public health and human resources." Careful readers will notice the EHR/HER transposition, which surely means Microsoft Word was used to compose the story.

Hamilton Health Sciences, an Ontario hospital group, builds a technology hub for its IT department and vendor test bed. It’s doing innovation work around mobile caregiver technology.


Doctors in Scotland report great success with their Mobile Clinical Assistants, which I assume is the Motion C5.

UCI Medical Center (CA) overhauls its anesthesia information systems by bringing in SIS, putting an end to handwritten reports last week.

Apollo Hospitals, which operates 41 for-profit hospitals in India, will develop a centralized patient records repository in which birth-to-death records are indexed by an Apollo-assigned patient identifier.  


UMDNJ made up a no-work job to keep a powerful former state senator from going to work for a competing hospital, an administration official testified Wednesday. The former senator is charged with bribery and fraud for steering $12 million of public money to UMDNJ in return for the job. The dean of the medical school arranged the job, which officials said was created when the school hired high-salaried doctors for a cancer institute that it lost to Cooper University Hospital when that hospital’s own power broker, "the political boss of South Jersey," shifted the project to Cooper. Do you suppose sick patients realize how much sleazy jockeying is being done by seemingly reputable organizations?

New York eHealth Collaborative issues proposed guidelines for patient consent for electronic data interchange. Public comments are welcome through October 3.

Vermont Information Technology Leaders capitulates to state government demands that it reduce its board size, cutting back from 21 to 11.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. I’m glad to hear that charges will be filed against the soda spiller. (Insert “COPS” theme song here…) It doesn’t matter how they found her (medical records, arm band, etc.) She was there to get free VA medical care for her father, courtesy of the US Taxpayer. The LEAST she could do is pay for the drink and not leave it for someone else to clean up. That’s just common courtesy. I guess her father didn’t teach her any manners.

  2. Regarding the Mobile Clinical Assistant: This was Intel’s push to create a healthcare-specific platform. The two primary (only?) implementations were Motion Computing and Philips. While the Motion Computing C5 is pretty well known in the United States, Philips’ product (CliniScape) might be the technology mentioned in the article, based on the geography.

  3. Regarding Misys, the Payerpath acquisition and what they’ve done on the claims side of the business may be the one strategic brightspot for them. From what I remember, that piece of the business was always profitable and the senior guys who ran it were never mainstream Misys guys after Payerpath came on the scene.

  4. 45 mil for a company of revenue -?? say 10 million`
    Definitely a sellers market.

    I am off to start one of my own..45 mil even in such market conditions!!
    I better get on that boat before it gets overfull.

  5. “I’m glad to hear that charges will be filed against the soda spiller” Hardly seems like a proportionate response to spilled soda. If everyone exhibiting rude behavior at hospitals were charged with crimes, the buildings would be empty and the jails would be full.

  6. It is a shame how all we have to show in the day and age, is the how quickly we can escalate to the next level.

    The lady acted out of hand, but it does not grant the Hospital the right to take it to that level. What ever happened to letting things go?

    To quote a band I truly enjoy (Flobots)

    “a threat for a threat leaves the whole world terrified”

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