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October 28, 2008 News 5 Comments

From Houndoggie: “Re: UCI. The Eclipsys install got pushed again at UC-Irvine Med Center and the first casualty was Joy Grosser, long-time CIO. No word yet on what is going to happen. Jim Murry was brought back in the interim spot.” Unverified. I’m happy to run either confirmation or correction, whichever is appropriate.

From Slap Maxwell: “Re: AM/PFM. Yes, AM/PFM is the old SDK. It is quite functional and effective for Bridgeport and numerous other users. It does not get much press, but you can ask Eclipsys why. It seems to me they should be marketing the heck out of it.”

From The PACS Designer: “Re: RIS/PACS and EHR. TPD has mentioned in the past that some PACS suppliers include a mini-EHR in their systems. When a RIS is added to the PACS, the EHR becomes more robust in collecting  information, which can result in improved efficiency for the institution. Sectra, a RIS/PACS supplier, is taking the next step by partnering with an EHR supplier to bring more information into the RIS/PACS system. This move could start a new trend that others may emulate in the years ahead.” Link.

McKesson just announced Q2 numbers: revenue up 9%, EPS $1.17 vs. $0.83. Earnings beat expectations even when one-time items were excluded. John Hammergren bragged that the company was doing just fine despite the economy, but then mentioned that some of its IT prospects are delaying their decisions.

Parrish Medical Center (FL) deploys two solutions from the Thomson Reuters Clinical Xpert suite: CareFocus (clinical surveillance) and Care Navigator (mobile clinical information).

Only in America: the Kansas guy arrested for leaving his girlfriend stuck on the toilet in his mobile home for two months wins $20,000 in the lottery — for the second time this year.

Fred Trotter calls attention to the National Dialogue site, which is conducting a discussion on HIT and privacy through November 3.

If you’re a vendor marketing person, here’s a last chance to complete our seven-question survey on what 2009 looks like in terms of budget, priorities, etc. We’ll send you the aggregated results if you provide your e-mail there. I doubt anyone else can give you such a quick read on what to expect next year.

The insurance company that refused to pay for a woman’s $4,000-a-month, last-chance cancer drug helpfully volunteered to cover physician-assisted suicide drugs if she chose that option, a bargain for them at only $50. The cancer drug has proven to be nearly worthless in extending life, showing only a couple of months of extra life vs. placebo. If you’re the patient, naturally you want all the stops pulled out, even if it buys you only a little extra time. Should the rest of us have our rates raised for that? Beats me. Anyway, another hot issue is whether insurance should get involved with physician-assisted suicide.

Advanced Technology Consortium, a “virtual entity” of National Cancer Institute-funded organizations (Washington U. in St. Louis, UC Davis, MD Anderson, UMass, and others) will implement TeraMedica’s Evercore clinical enterprise suite to manage its patient case data sets including its DICOM archive, DICOM RT objects, and metadata.

Defaults on hardware and software loans are increasing. CHRISTUS CIO George Conklin says some software vendors are now asking for 50% down. Others are self-financing customers for competitive advantage.

Jobs: Eclipsys Clinical Consultants, Epic Consultant, SIS Project Manager.

Former Navy hospital CIO David Yovanno is named CEO of Web widget start-up Gigya.

The local paper runs a nice article on Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s teledermatology program, where dermatologists use videoconferencing to treat patients 100 miles away. It quotes an article suggesting that 28% of ED visits could be managed by telemedicine instead, which I don’t doubt at all. I’m surprised that telemedicine isn’t bigger than it is, particularly since I think I read somewhere that reimbursement isn’t the issue it once was.

Here’s a list of Mac-specific medical applications.

A research report from RTI International says that large databases, such as EMRs and anonymized claims data, can improve drug safety by alerting researchers of the adverse effects of specific drugs.

Lawyers may beat doctors in EMR adoption. A Florida company announces its Internet-based utility to send patient medical records from doctors to personal injury attorneys. Note that the “About Us” and “Our Team” sections of the Web page names and shows no one other than some stock photo people, although some sleuthing seems to indicate that it’s the same folks who run Rehab 1.

Wolters Kluwer announces its Brand Probability File, whose entire purpose is to analyze a given drug and decide whether it’s a brand vs. generic product for purposes of formulary coverage. As screwy as it might sound, that’s not an easy call sometimes.

The political race for board seats of Washington Hospital (CA) gets ugly. A cardiologist launches her campaign with a documentary claiming the hospital delivers poor care. The hospital responds by pointing out that her own medical privileges were revoked by other hospitals because of improper care. The CEO showed pictures of another candidate, an attorney, who she accused of promoting the movie, while the board chair started a political action group to criticize both candidates, saying the attorney candidate is “defending sex offenders, drug violators and white-collar criminals.”

The world’s most lucrative healthcare market? The Middle East, this conference says (and which software vendors are already aware). Beds will double by 2025 at a cost of $10 billion and the industry will be worth $60 billion. Maybe Inga and I need to expand our news coverage there.

Covenant Healthcare (TX) will lay off 91 employees. Medical Center of Central Georgia axed 208 people last week, including 17 managers earning an average of $120K. Texas Health Resources just cut 49 people.


IBM is working on browser-based mashup applications in its Opus Una project, which allows users to share audio and video in real time. The article says one version being tested involves doctors collaborating while viewing x-rays, sending their markings back and forth. A hospital will be one of the three industries participating in the proof of concept early next year. I found this site, which takes forever to load but apparently doesn’t do anything.

CPSI is named to the Forbes 200 Best Small Companies list.

UMDNJ is under investigation again as subpoenas are served for allegations of additional Medicare fraud.

HP is apparently doing a lot of infrastructure stuff with hospitals.

The Welsh Clinical Portal is rolled out to another hospital in Wales. I hadn’t heard of it, but it went live earlier this year.

Michael Frankenberger has joined Ascension Health Information Systems as CIO, moving from Alliance Information Management in Fargo, ND.

Four of the ten board members of LMS Medical Systems, the Montreal-based vendor of the CALM OB system that seemed to be getting some US traction, have resigned, one of whom was just appointed two months ago. The company announced three weeks ago that it had terminated its US distribution agreement with McKesson. Shares are down 25% to $0.06, off 94% from their 52-week high.

The Worcester Business Journal runs a profile of eClinicalWorks as one of the fastest growing Central Massachusetts companies.

E-mail me.

From Jay Volk: “Greetings from Cleveland. I am the president of Workflow.com. I read your column from 10-20-08 and I was surprised to hear that you visited our booth at MGMA and no one approached you to offer you a demo of our product. If you are interested in hearing more about our company, please feel free to call me at any time. I hope you enjoyed San Diego as much as all of us did. Cleveland seems a little colder than usual as a result.” Thanks for the note, Jay. Hanging out in a booth all day is not the most exciting thing and perhaps with all my free tote bags, stuffed animals, and pens they assumed I was just looking for trinkets (busted!) I’ll catch you at the next show. Meanwhile, I still think your booth looked great.

HERtalk by Inga


A University of Colorado Hospital study of 49,000 patients reveals that its use of Picis EDIS decreased ED length of stay by 15%.


Mr. Green Genes is the name of a genetically modified cat that glows in the dark. The fluorescent effect is part of a gene therapy experiment designed to combat diseases such as cystic fibrosis. The scientists claim the special glow does not harm his health. Mr. Green Genes would sure be a cool addition to my Halloween party.

VeriChip, the guys that make the RFID chips that go under your skin, is out of compliance with Nasdaq. The stock price has fallen below the required $1/share mark for more than 30 consecutive business days. Nasdaq will give it extra time because of market volatility, but the company has to comply by April 20th or risk de-listing. Shares are at $0.31 with a market cap of just $3.5 million, 93% off their 52-week high.

Alliance Imaging names industry veteran Richard Hall as president of Alliance Oncology. He comes from US Oncology and has served in leadership roles at PatientKeeper, McKesson, General Medical, and BrightStar Healthcare. Alliance also announced that Mark Carol, MD is the company’s new chief medical officer.


Lloyd Dean, Catholic West Healthcare CEO, says the 41-hospital health care system will spend $6.5 billion in capital over the next five years. A big chunk will be for connecting physicians to the system and for electronic medical records.

The integrated workflow automation solution from Sonitor and PCTS now supports over 400,000 high acuity patient visits a year.

Eighty-three percent of companies have at least one woman or minority on their boards, but only 38% of women are among the five highest-paid executives, according to this survey. At HIStalk, we are bucking the trend, as I am the second highest-paid executive. Furthermore, if we had a board, I bet Mr. H would let me be president (of course, he’d be CEO). Power and money, what else does a girl need?

Baptist Health System (AL) is live on Sentillion’s clinical workstation solution Vergence. By the end of the year, Baptist expects 3,000 clinician users of the SSO solution.

The Loftware guys are recommending a November 11th seminar for anyone wanted to know more about the movement towards GS1 standards in healthcare. The title says it all: “Improving Patient Safety and Supply Chain Efficiency with Data Standards: The Basics of GS1 Standards in Healthcare.”

Sunquest Information Systems plans to expand to Europe following an initial agreement to purchase UK-based Anglia Healthcare Systems. Anglia is a provider of lab connectivity, orders, reporting, and messaging solutions and has a 60% market share in the NHS Acute Trust Hospitals, as well as a presence in Denmark.

MedData, a provider of emergency medicine and hospitalist RCM services, acquires competitor Summit Health Care Services.

Virtual Radiologic announces its Q3 earnings. The company’s $0.21 EPS was $0.09 better than analyst estimates, with total revenue of $29 million versus the consensus $27.4 million. Revenues were up 21% year-on-year, largely due to a 24% increase in the number of hospital and facilities served. Adjusted EBITDA also rose 16% from last year.

Now available from your physician: the HairDX test that indicates if a man is at high risk for pattern baldness. If a man tests positive for a particular gene, he has a 70% chance of going bald. If identified early enough, the hair-challenged man can begin prescription treatment for hair loss prevention. I am sure it will be a huge hit with the 20-something crowd, though personally I find the Mr. Clean look incredibly sexy. I could never figure out why a guy would want hair plugs or a rug or (heaven forbid) a comb-over.

Outcome Sciences is partnering with Greenway Medical to facilitate research and patient registries through Greenway’s PrimeResearch network. Outcome has developed technology that uses EHR’s for clinical research and quality measurement.

A doctor is accused of practicing without a license, and badly at that. Vikas Jain moved to Las Vegas after Ohio revoked his medical license for failing to meet minimum care standards with 22 of his ophthalmology patients. He is now being sued by two patients, each who claim their vision has been compromised following his negligent pre- and post-operative care. One of the patients is his former office manager. Vikas is counter-suing the office manager for removing her personal medical records from the clinic.


Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman and friends presided over the Nasdaq opening bell Tuesday. I say keep bringing him back since the Dow was up 890 and Nasdaq jumped 144. He just purchased an additional $511,000 worth of company stock, which represents a 17% increase in holdings to around $3.3 million.

Troubles with the NHS’s Connecting for Health continue. Health ministers are no longer scheduling new trust installations until existing implementation issues are addressed.

A new study concludes that moving emergency room patients to upper-floor hallways when they are ready for admission does no harm. “Hallway medicine” on the appropriate acute care floor is apparently less risky than leaving patients in the overcrowded ER hallways. Are there still people out there arguing that the US has the best healthcare in the world?

The industry’s leading optimist has to be Mediware president and CEO Kelly Mann. After the company announced that quarterly income declined from $463K last year to $218K this year, Mann said, “During the quarter we continued to gain traction in the U.S. and abroad for our new initiatives that will fuel the company’s growth.” Revenues also fell from $10.74 million to $9.83 million.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Thomson / Parrish- Care Navigator mobile software. For those that don’t recognize the product, this is the former best in KLAS physician handheld system formerly known as MercuryMD’s “MData”, you know, the one that had actually built some BRAND EQUITY until the Thomson folks decided on something better. 🙂 Patient Keeper certainly doesn’t mind the change…

  2. While I didn’t see it live it looks to me like Mike Lawrie jumped in front of Mr. Tullman to try and ring that bell. Those 2 sure do look like a match made in heaven.

  3. UCI Irvine, Eclipsys was not the only install that did not go well. The Surgical Information Systems Anesthesia Module did not go live as planned and several of the people that SIS was going to fly in and attend their Customer Congress backed out because they did not want to misrepresent. That is two big projects that happened on the CIO’s watch.

  4. This is no surprise, if true. Grosser has been on the chopping block for close to a year now. UCI’s project has had minimal Eclipsys support. It is run raggedly by a bunch of 3rd party support staff with dismal project leadership (both UCI and Eclipsys). IMHO, an overly ambitious timeline plus the above resulted in the push back.

  5. The Eclipsys Sunrise Revenue Cycle products including the AM/PFM products are alive and well. The products have undergone a recent uplift to provide integration of Revenue Cycle products with Clinical applications to provide workflow extensions. A Revenue Cycle Dashboard analytics tool has also been added to the mix that has drill down capability to the transaction level of data.
    You will find Eclipsys Revenue Cycle customers featured in many periodicals including Health Leaders Magazine, HFN magazine, Healthcare Finance News and others. Eclipsys is also making an effort to be at many Revenue Cycle related events throughout the year including HIMSS, HFMA ANI and HFMA Strategies conferences. Eclipsys is also sponsoring 5 “hot topic” seminars in several cities over the next few months that feature speakers on RAC, Red Flag rules, ICD-10 and Transformation.

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