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February 5, 2009 News 10 Comments

From The Watchman: "Re: Epic. I hear that Judy Faulkner is telling newly signed clients to not use consultants, sending her own instead. Word is she was out at Dartmouth and at NYU saying the same thing."

From Carpluv: "Re: HITECH. If my practice is on a Stark-sponsored hospital ASP, will we still get the stimulus that totals $41,000?"

Inga worked hard to interview Glen Tullman of Allscripts in the pre-dawn hours this morning, so look for that to follow. I’ve given her the night off as her Employee of the Month award, so I’m solo-posting this time.

TEPR non-attendance and this should be scaring the bejeebers out of HIMSS: GE Healthcare cancels its August User Summit, citing customer travel cutbacks.

Community Medical Center (PA) signs for SIS.

TPD mentioned IPv6, the solution to running out of IP addresses worldwide. Here’s an article about it, co-authored by a VP from Stratus Technologies, an HIStalk sponsor.


This is odd but probably a good idea: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital offers employees a class in minimizing their foreign accents to sound more American. A bit steep at $2,300 considering the hospital benefits as well as the employee, but it’s still cool.

Listening: brand new The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, melodic hard rock. Failure to air-drum is not an option. Also: A Cursive Memory.

Jobs: Epic Resolute Professional Billing Consultant; PMO Eclipsys, Cerner, or Epic; Team Lead, Load and Performance.

Rotherham NHS bails out of NPfIT to bid its own EMR contract, unwilling to wait for Lorenzo to be ready. They will issue their award shortly in a deal expected to exceed $50 million.

IBM announces software that will transfer medical device data into a PHR. IBM says it built the product following Continua’s guidelines. That’s kind of interesting, assuming doctors will find it convenient to get the information from the PHR. Since most of them wouldn’t have access to home monitoring data otherwise, maybe they’ll use it.

Terry Ragon, founder of InterSystems and co-founder of the former IDX, donates $100 million to Mass General with the goal of developing an AIDS vaccine within ten years. He’s also convinced several scientists to join up with the new institute bearing his name instead of working in their individual silos. All the money spent on Cache’ licenses and maintenance fees by users of MEDITECH, Epic, and a bunch more HIT vendors will at least go back to a worthy healthcare cause. That’s an amazing gift.


Inside Healthcare Computing has opened up its new Electronic Library, an archive of articles from that newsletter and its HIS Insider acquisition that’s available to everyone. Full articles are available from 2007 back, with more being added regularly. And while other publications and sites are awash in self-important policy analyses and spouting ivory tower eggheads, my guest contribution to the newsletter this week is My Lifelong Clock-Puncher’s Entrepreneurial Brainstorm: How the HIStalk Home Shopping Channel Will Make Me Rich. Don’t say I didn’t at least try to squelch the gloom and doom.

Sad: an elderly man injured in a traffic accident in Japan dies after being turned down by 14 EDs called by paramedics, reflecting lack of capacity in Japan’s hospital system. That’s not the record, though: one woman got shut out 49 times in Tokyo.


A UCLA photonics research group modifies a cheap cell phone with around $50 worth of parts to create a mobile lab for certain tests, such as CD4 or hematology. The device counts microparticles using a UCLA algorithm that’s 90% accurate. A biochemistry professor says, "What makes it quite valuable is that it is small and inexpensive. It’s also the scientific proof of a principle in its very early stages. Once the group puts more and more work into it there are going to be a huge number of applications that are going to come out."


Heart Imaging Technologies of Durham, NC, which makes the "100% client-free PACS" WebPAX system, announces a free Web site for patients to upload and share diagnostic-quality DICOM images. It allows anonymizing the images, has some PACS-like viewing tools, and provides discussion tools for each image in a kind of social networking wraparound to medical images. I’m not exactly sure how patients will use it, but it’s available for research and educational use as well.

Hospital layoffs: St. Clare (WI), 25; Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (CA), 152; Petaluma Valley Hospital (CA), 30; Swedish Medical Center (WA), 200; Niagara Health System (ON), 90.


Speaking of St. Clare, notice the ironic juxtaposition of the layoff story right by their paid recruiting ad. 

A former employee of Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center (VA) is sentenced to a year in jail for using patient information from the hospital’s computer system to apply for loans in their names, then stealing the loan checks from the mail.

Red Hat announces a call for papers for its Red Hat Summit in Chicago, September 1-4. Papers are due March 9.

Idiotic lawsuit: a golfer’s ball ricochets off a yardage marker on the course, hitting his eye hard enough to cause a permanent loss of sight. He’s suing the golf course, saying the owners should have warned him about the markers. "It’s not a frivolous, run-it-up-the-flagpole-and-see-who-salutes kind of thing," his lawyer assures.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. “Judy Faulkner is telling newly signed clients to not use consultants, sending her own instead. ”

    Her consultants? As in “Do you have any healtcare experience?” “Um… I got mono last semester!”

  2. … that an organization should use their own staff if possible to work on the install. If they can’t do that, they should think about consultants to back fill legacy aps while the organizations staff work on the project. If they still just feel they need more help, then use trained consultants for specific project roles.

    She’s been rock solid consistent on this message for years.

    I think she’s observed what everyone else knows as well. That you have to be thoughtful about using staff that costs 200.00 / hour or sometimes more.

    Judy and her crew have and continue to have great relationships with the majore consulting firms even while maintaining this consistent message.

    And, Epic staff almost never serve in customer side roles except in emergency situations. Whether you use consultants or not, you’ll have basically the identical team from Epic. Consultants are not used to fill Epic roles.

  3. It is interesting that GE cancelled its User Meeting because of their concern for their customers economics. iMedica kicked off its series of User Group Meetings by 1) bringing the Company to the region and 2) not charging our customers to come to the meeting. The attendance was excellent and the spirits high! We are now planning our NE and West User Groups for the Spring.

  4. Epic Judy vs Consultants… this time its for real.

    What is real is that this whole issue comes down to money. Epic is expensive as are consultants… she is just looking at her own bottom line. The really interesting battle on the horizon involves Epic and their “Good Maintenance” program. Good Maintenance is a program where Epic refunds money (that the site paid in) to sites that are staying current with Epic Releases. We qualified last year for this program and received a refund check for $440,000 (not chump change).

    Healthcare systems are able to shed consultants off the books with relative ease in times of financial strain but what happens when a hospital can’t keep up with the thousands of SUs and RNs that Epic throws their way? Times are tight in Healthcare and Epic withholding their good maintenance money sounds like an interesting law suit. Epic needs to remember that patients come first… otherwise there is going to be some nice office space available in Verona.

  5. The Accent Reduction class at Cincinnati Children’s is not really to “sound more American”, but is for those who feel that their accent interferes with communication – which, of course, puts a much greater significance behind it.

  6. Seriously, the Epic guys only fill a standardized set of Epic roles. When extra Epic people show up to help they are often expenses only – you fly them in and feed them and they help you out in a pinch. So, at least Give them some credit there. They’re not in competition with consultants. Although it is true that some consultants would like to fill Epic roles, history has shown that that’s a disaster. Like them or not, the Epic guys generally know the system well even if they’re young and lean on the customer to know their own healthcare operation.

  7. Use the cash to make a PSA that educates them on why people sound so funny when they talk… ’cause they know two languages or more.

    I’d rather a hospital pay to train its docs to speak slower, make eye contact, and use less patronizing tones. Who cares about accents? Just slow the hell down and talk to me like a person. lol.

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