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Readers Write 10/29/08

October 29, 2008 Readers Write 1 Comment

CCS HIT Fall Report
By Pedro Borbon

The Fall CCS HIT summit had its ups and downs. I was surprised at how small it was. Apparently last year there were four times more people, but this year there were probably <50 attendees.

The first day’s content was average, but there were two very impressive speakers. John Geade, the CIO at El Centro Regional Medical Center who has done a great job integrating various HIT systems in his hospital and also installing an EMR in his ER, and Gay Madden, CIO of Florida Hospice of the Suncoast, which appears to have a much more advanced HIT system than many academic centers. Mark Probst of Intermountain Healthcare gave a good keynote, but pretty generic.

I think the problem with these types of presentations for us who are so steeped in the HIT world is that it’s hard to find anything really "new".

The small size made networking easier, especially on the second day, when there was a superior panel on PHRs: Missy Krasner (Google), Philip Marshall (WebMD), and Sanjay Gupta (Dossia).

Naomi Fried, VP of Innovation and Advanced Technology at Kaiser Permanente, has what seems to be a dream job (and who also seems like she would be a great HIStalk interview), and spoke about KP’s telehealth projects. There was also a good payer panel, with Charles Kennedy (Wellpoint), Julie Klapstein (Availity), and David Lanksy (Pacific Business Group on Health).

Dr. Lansky told us that he offered free trips to the Health 2.0 conference to every employer who makes up his group and not one of them took him up on the offer …

I don’t think I’ll be back, but maybe the spring summit will be better attended. Can’t tell if it was the content or the economy. Sofitel LA is a great hotel!

The Cloud Computing Phenomenon
By The PACS Designer

Cloud computing is the phenomenon that is sweeping through the vendor community lately. Some commentators are saying it is a fad that will pass, while others are forecasting a much wider cloud computing community.

TPD has been using clouds to describe design work for several decades, so the concept is far from being new. What is new is the movement of the cloud description from the development side to the public side. In the design workspace, clouds are used to describe future development features, and also the type of outside services that may be employed in the design.

Amazon thought that bringing cloud computing to its customers would expand its product offerings and also help retain existing customers for many years to come. So far, it appears to be working as planned even though there have been some service outages, but with any new service offering there are bound to be some bumps in the road that come up unexpectedly.

Hyperic, the company that designed the "CloudStatus" web site, fully understands the cloud computing concept and has formed their business plans around the aspects of IT services described as clouds. The concept does have some compelling ideas, which include lowering the costs of software support, using proven concepts others are using, and creating the opportunity to simplify the interfaces by eliminating custom interfaces and the costs associated with their design.

Hyperic had this to say about cloud computing: "Cloud computing is a system of technologies and services that have commoditized (sic) IT to make it more readily consumable, scalable, and cost-effective for everyone. It has leveraged the innovation and expertise of Internet giants like Amazon and Google, and is making it accessible to anyone with the next big idea. It removes the investment in physical and human resources to scale up a business. It affords more folks to try their ideas and vet its worth in the market. It also affords these same businesses to scale out as quickly as their business demands. Cloud computing, same as open source, is a way to package products and services to ease adoption so everyone benefits."

In summary, you can expect cloud computing, as a term used to describe outside services, to be around for many decades to come. It will provide a more robust platform for future designs as we move forward toward a more connected world environment.

Response to "Hallway Medicine"
By The Alchemist

Who would have ever “thunk” that Hallway Medicine is safe and good for the economy by simply moving patients to corridors while waiting for a room as a way to unclutter ERs? Just peruse this screen shot for the top 20 countries from the WHO Report Annex Table 1: Health System Attainment and Performance Ranked by Eight Measures (click to enlarge).

Anyone would agree that the U.S. is the leading country for health expenditures and proudly number one for the Responsiveness Level for Attainment of Goals. I knew that Management by Objectives would prove successful:


The reader can formulate their selective opinions on what are important metrics to define the U.S. Health System. Hint: The Middle East is not too impressed with U.S. ranking in Health Systems around the world but they will buy our products.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. One of the writers above mentioned Gay Madden and Hospice of the Florida Suncoast – I am familiar w/ Ms. Madden and “Suncoast Solutions” as it is their self-developed EMR and one I previously worked with in another organization. The product was written specifically for use in hospice, a drastically underserved area in HIT, and once refined, was made available to outisde agencies. Their level of customer support, the functionality of the product, the trainability of product and the user group meetings should all serve as a model to more “mainstream” vendors.

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