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March 31, 2009 News 10 Comments

From Tyrone C. Earl: "Re: Pyxis. 800 people laid off today. The regional manager came in today to tell us that one of the people was our PM for our go-live this week (nice timing). He said we had to wait two hours before we told anyone." The company just announced that it will eliminate 1,300 jobs when it spins off CareFusion. The announcement mentioned 800 layoffs, so maybe that’s not a coincidence.

From Eclipsys Layoffs, aka A Passage to India: "Re: Layoffs. Once again the ‘leadership’ at Eclipsys has cut 100 (give or take) positions. So what exactly have Eclipsys stockholders gotten from Andy’s multi-million dollar leadership team? Lower stock price, fewer sales, and an employee base that’s being slowly exported to India." Unverified, although someone I know got the axe and also gave the 100 number, mostly from development, and also said that development SVP Joe Petro resigned (but he’s still on the Web page, so I’m not sure about that). I would blame the economy more than the company.

From Alexander B. Fitzhugh: "Re: BearingPoint. Healthcare consulting (which consists of the Federal, Provider and Payor practices) is part of the Public Services business unit. The information in the link you provided is correct, Deloitte intends to buy PS. According to Kelvin Womack (VP and sector lead for Healthcare), almost all employees within Healthcare are going to move over to Deloitte."

From Anony: "Re: GE. Harrison Hospital (Bremerton, WA) selects GE Centricity for its 25 hospital physicians. Also purchased were 100 licenses for a community Stark offering and GE’s Health Information Exchange (HIE). Expect a press release in the next week."

From Kat & Mouse: "Re: McKesson layoffs. A good source states the layoff was around 600. The source was one of them, given severance and time to find new job. Source stated that McK had over-expanded last year – nothing to do with issues related to the stimulus." Unverified.

From Yancy Derringer: "Re: KPIT. Insiders say 400 more will be let go in June. The IBM announcement was rumored the day the new CIO came to KP because he did the same thing in his last two jobs (both outside healthcare) and the new VP he hired did the same." Props to Dr. Mark Craig, who rumor reported to me in October 2007, "The prevalent rumor is that the new CIO and his new hires are on an outsourcing train and the train is powered by IBM.”


From The Beeb: "Re: Second Life used to teach doctors." Link. Imperial College London’s interactive hospital simulation is used to teach third-year med students. The on-screen characters resemble faculty members, students review recordings of real-life patient breathing, and the game stops if students forget to wash their hands.


From New York Cynic: "Re: move. Lori Evans, 39, rising Health IT star Deputy Commissioner 4 NY Office of Health Information Technology Transformation has left after only 2 years and is positioning herself for her next move. Although she was anticipated to be CEO of the National eHealth Collaborative, this has been put on hold as the role of NeHC is in question under the stimulus plans policy committee. Her connections to the previous administration (Brailer) precludes any position with the current administration or ONC but watch for some serious re-branding to occur."

From People Love to Gamble: "Re: prize. What prize will you be giving to the 2 millionth visitor to the site? ;-)" I like the idea, but there’s no way to identify who the visitor is. And, it looks like I’m out of time to think about it since the magic number will be reached sometime Wednesday or Thursday at the usual rate. It’s a good time for me to thank the people who read and sponsor HIStalk. I remember with total clarity when I was thrilled to look at the e-mail list and see 31 subscribers (now at 4,000) and to see that long-awaited first thousand page views (now at over 3 million). I’m just as thrilled and surprised now.

Listening: Crack The Skye, the new release from Mastodon, the Grammy-nominated, 70s-sounding (Sabbath meets Green Carnation) new wave heavy metal that covers Stephen Hawking, Czarist Russia, and astral travel. Diggin’ it.

If you RSVPed and are coming to the reception Monday, we’ll probably start our little program at around 7:45 or so (the event runs 7 until 9). We’re playing it by ear, but I was thinking that leaving some networking time afterward would be fun since we may recognize a few people from the podium that you’ll want to chat with. And if you have signed up, please make sure to respond the confirming e-mail from Ingenix since we’ve got waitlisted people who would be happy to take your spot if you can’t make it after all. I’m heading out to Chicago early, so I will report from there starting Saturday evening, enjoying the snow and freezing (not).

Speaking of HIMSS, here’s our list of who you should see in the exhibit hall, those sponsors who keep the presses pressing right here. These are the cool people. Want a nice, printer-ready copy perfectly formatted for taking along? Here you go. Tell them thanks for sponsoring HIStalk, will you?

Among those companies making the short list to provide a new national pathology system for Wales: Cerner and InterSystems.

Over on HIStalk Practice, we did an "HIT Moment with …" Michael Stearns, president and CEO of e-MDs.

A nice piece on Cleveland Clinic’s HealthVault pilot, highlighting one hypertensive patient’s experience. Says a doctor there: "We’ve not been connecting as well as we should have. I think this is where the future is."

Nicholas Casabona is promoted to CIO of Winthrop-University Hospital (NY).


Rich Temple, CIO at AristaCare Health Services (NJ), tells me he’s signed a contract to implement business intelligence tools from ABS System Consultants as the Canadian company’s first US LTC customer.


Quest Diagnostics is quietly releasing a free iPhone application that will run the Care360 physician portal of its subsidiary, MedPlus.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From Clueless: "Re: What to wear? Inga – can you advise re: dress code at the HIStalk/Ingenix soiree?" Good question. As Mr. H babbles on about recommends which education sessions to attend, I am glad that someone has the good sense to be asking the important questions. So, always start with the shoes. The weather on Monday is currently forecast for a high of 39 degrees and rainy, with snow and freezing weather by the evening. Clearly not conducive to high-heeled stilettos, which would be the preferred footwear for such a festive occasion. Unless you are staying at the Trump Hotel and simply taking an elevator to the party, such shoes will be a challenge. If you bring a large purse, you could always change out of your ugly shoes and into elegant footwear once you arrive at the hotel. But, gentle reader, I will let you figure that out those logistics. Once you settle on shoes, nothing else really matters. However, I will say that last year we had everything from lovely cocktail dresses and suits to those just-off-the-exhibit-floor khakis with tacky golf shirts that shout the name of one’s employer and are ill-fitting on 90% of all wearers. Don’t worry if you are appropriately dressed. We really just want you to have fun and say very loudly how much you love Mr. H and Inga. 

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From Confused: "Re: Pink pants at HIMSS….Is this going too overboard? We want to stand out, but I think this might be pushing it. Currently we plan on wearing black t-shirts with the following logo and khaki pants. Your feedback is greatly appreciated." After suggesting to Confused that only real men can wear pink, Confused said that was enough of a challenge to his team’s collective manhood that they decided the pants were a go. I’m hoping they’ll show off the fancy pants at our HIStalk/Ingenix gathering.

From Pacstech: "Re: RealAge Response. Thought this might interest you. I thought the same thing as New York Cynic after taking their ‘survey,’ carefully opting out of any offers (many) to have them send me health related info." Pacstech forwarded us a copy of a note he received from the RealAge people, who claim the information people provide "is never shared" with advertisers or anyone else, though if you opt for e-mail offers, you will get links from advertisers. I asked privacy rights advocate Dr. Deb Peel for her take on the note and here was her response: "The most important point is how can we trust them or any other health-related website? They all say they never do anything wrong, but where is there any objective evidence, proof of what they say, or certification by an independent outside consumer-led certification organization?  No trust without verification. Those who handle Americans’ sensitive personal data all promise great things but when it comes to our MOST sensitive personal information (health information) we need verification. (We are trying to launch our privacy certification later this year.)" All I can say is that I took the RealAge test a few months ago and was pleased how it so accurately shaved several years off of my not-real age.

The ever-humble Mr. H hasn’t mentioned this recently, but it looks like HIStalk will hit the 2,000,000 visitor milestone by the end of the week. Mr. H is the genius behind HIStalk, so if you are a fan, send him a congrats, kudos, felicitations, or a thatta  boy. And thanks for reading.

Eclipsys announces that Lahey Clinic will implement the Sunrise suite of clinical products for its two-hospital delivery system. Lahey will also add Eclipsys’ clinical and financial decision support solutions.

West Carroll Memorial Hospital (LA) implements Healthland’s EMR solution for its 33-bed hospital.

Motorola and Vocera sign a joint marketing deal to offer the Vocera system on Motorola’s VoWLAN smartphones.

We interviewed Linda Peitzman, MD, CMO of Wolters Kluwer Health Clinical Solutions, on HIStech Report.

British doctors find that using maggots to treat leg ulcers is just as effective as using gel. Both are similar in cost, but the maggot alternative is a viable option for remote areas without access to good medical care. Unfortunately, the maggot treatment is more painful. Ick.

Suburban Hospital Healthcare System (MD) selects McKesson’s Horizon Clinicals and revenue management solutions.

An engaged front-line team, supported by an electronic health record and a clinical care registry, is credited with reducing the deaths of patients with coronary health disease by 73 percent, according to the results of a Colorado program piloted by Kaiser Permanente. The pilot care program linked pharmacists, nurses, primary care physicians, and cardiologists and included such tactics as proactive patient outreach, education, lifestyle adjustments and effective medication management.

AT&T and Mednet Healthcare Technologies partner to help doctors and patients remotely monitor heart arrhythmia through personal mobile devices. Using Mednet’s HEARTRAK External Cardiac Ambulatory Telemetry solution, heart monitor data is transmitted via Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.

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Western Maryland Health Systems (MD) plans to implement Agfa Healthcare’s IMPAX Cardiovascular imaging and information management solution when it opens its new Regional Medical Center later this year.

Streamline Health Solutions announces that a "leading West Coast university-affiliated surgery department" will implement its enterprise document management and workflow solutions. The "unnamed" university is easy to identify if you view the link to the press announcement. This is the second time we’ve noticed Streamline declining to name their client in the actual release, but revealing it in the link. Perhaps they are intentionally revealing the client’s identify in this subtle way so people like me can feel like a smarty-pants.

Blood Centers of America endorses Mediware’s blood center technology product strategy. Member blood banks will now have access to special Mediware pricing.

Kaiser fires 15 hospital workers and disciplines another eight for peaking at octomom Nadya Suleman’s medical records. Suleman’s attorney suspects the employees were trying to find information on the sperm donor.

After paying contractors billions to create the DoD’s AHLTA military EMR system, officials introduce a plan to re-shape the system. The new strategy seeks to improve provider satisfaction, improve reliability, and strengthen data sharing throughout the DOD and the VA.

Oakwood Healthcare System (MI) selects PatientKeeper to streamline physician access to its clinical information.

E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Eclipsys has been exporting jobs to India since they acquired Sysware in 2007. They have invested millions of dollars in India infrastructure. Layoffs on a quarterly basis have been occurring even prior to this date…..so ….it isn’t “just the economy”.

  2. With $19.2 billion in stimulus money coming, why any EMR vendor is laying off people is beyond me. It seems shortsighted. Shouldn’t they instead be positioning themselves for growth?

  3. Do you think we’ll ever hear the “rest of the story” regarding the Pam Pure (McKesson) hasty departure?

  4. RE: Vendor Layoffs/Stimulus Package – I do not believe that the layoffs are necessarily geared around the Stimulus Package. Most of the large HIT vendors deal in the hospital space where most have already implemented or have purchased an EMR system. The vacant space is in the Ambulatory & Physician Practice space. I would assume that the vendors doing the layoff would layoff these people regardless of the economy just due to normal attrition and growth of the market place, as well as job performance. Most of these layoffs are less than 3% of their workforce…and that’s for both the large and smaller HIT companies. Sounds pretty normal…especially with all the random restructuring we have seen from the Cerners, Epics, and McKessons of the world almost every year (which I know is also going on again this year).

    Should be interesting to see what, if any, of this stimulus money going to the big vendors for their sales. I am sure their Physician Practice Divisions are salivating at the thought of all this extra cash out on the market.

  5. Congrats on the upcoming 2M visitor milestone. Great read. Don’t worry about the weather here in Chicago next week, its springtime!

  6. Interesting that Harrison Medical Center chose GE Centricity. They just got through with an Eclipsys install and an Athena deal was in the works. Perhaps they dont feel confident in Eclipsys moving forward. I also wonder if GE sold the Intermountain vision of ambulatory care…when will that ever come to pass?

  7. Re: Pyxis layoffs

    An acquaintance who is one of the 800 said he received notification of his layoff via email.

  8. Congrats on reaching the 2,000,000 hits level! It is truly amazing that HIStalk has gathered such a large following. Break out the champagne! Best Wishes, TPD!

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