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July 9, 2009 News 18 Comments

From John Q. Seriously: “Re: Eclipsys. In a morning blind-side, Eclipsys has released former MediNotes CEO Don Schoen and former Bond Technologies President Travis Bond. Bond created the EHR Bond Clinician, which was acquired by MediNotes in spring of 2008. It was subsequently acquired in the the acquisition of MediNotes by Eclipsys in the fall of 2008 and renamed Eclipsys PeakPractice. Schoen was co-founder of MediNotes, known for their Charting Plus and MediNotes EMR products.” Several readers e-mailed with the same rumor, saying that business unit had been merged into an existing Eclipsys one. I’ve offered Eclipsys the chance to respond and haven’t heard back yet. It’s unusual for entrepreneurs of acquired companies to stick around after an acquisition, but they usually leave under their own power.

That rumor follows news that Chris Perkins has been named CFO of Eclipsys, rejoining his former Per-Se colleague, CEO Phil Pead. He gets an immediate 22,222 ECLP shares ($362K worth) plus options for another 133,334 shares to “align Mr. Perkins’ interests with those of Eclipsys shareholders,” who are unaligned in the sense that they had to pay for their shares with their own money. He’s also getting $400K in salary and a targeted bonus of $200K with $100K guaranteed. Also announced are severance deals with Pead and Perkins: a year’s salary, 100% of target bonus, an extra year of vesting, and 18 months of health insurance.

From Ken Kashimoto: “Re: Valco. Heard through the grapevine that as a result of Hyland Software’s acquisition of Valco Data Systems last week, all Valco employees were let go last week.” Unverified. Valco’s headcount was around 35, I’ve heard.


From The PACS Designer: “Re: Google OS. Google has announced a new web operating system called The Google Chrome Operating System. The Google Blog states, ‘Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We’re designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don\’t have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.’ It appears that Microsoft and other major operating system vendors have something to worry about when it comes to competition from open source web operating systems.” Don’t underestimate the benefit of having a change-resistant customer base. Chrome is already out there and not making much of a dent in IE. Linux, on which Chrome OS will be based, is also free but has taken only a tiny percentage of PC users. People don’t like change even more than they don’t like Windows. I like all the Web emphasis, but they better not make Microsoft’s Vista mistake and tell users that dysfunctional and outdated plug-and-play drivers aren’t the fault of the operating system. Google is smart to be going after Microsoft’s cash cows of Windows and Office, though. For Netbook users and those who really don’t need anything running locally on the desktop, Chrome OS will probably be just fine, but that’s not a big bunch of users so far.

From Rhythm n’ Blues: “Re: CareFusion. I’d be interested in your response to this unique marketing tactic. Hope they’re stopping in a city near you!” Cardinal Health’s planned technology business spinoff and IPO, CareFusion, will sponsor a jazz festival series that’s going to Newport, Chicago, Montery, Sydney, Paris, and NYC. They’re using a lame excuse for it, saying that “there is a clear connection between jazz and medicine.” Dear Saint Obama, while you are looking into ways to cut massive healthcare costs by throttling the incomes of the people who deliver care, please make sure not to forget to save a little of Uncle Sam’s well-intended meddling for those companies that make a fortune from patients in the form of Pyxis and Alaris patient care devices whose high prices and market penetration have allowed them to hoard enough healthcare cash to stage an international festival series for jazz music, which nobody likes anyway except pedantic posers not quite up to classical and secretaries who aren’t allowed to play real music on the office radio. Sincerely yours, the people paying for it.

I get e-mails every few days from people aren’t getting the update blasts any more. I’m still sending them, so if you aren’t getting yours, your e-mail server is rejecting them as spam. I can’t fix that on this end, but you can contact your e-mail administrator to ask to have my e-mail address added to the “white list” of known non-spam e-mailers. If you use Gmail or one of the other free accounts, you can probably set it up yourself. I send HIStalk e-mails at least three times a week and usually 4-5, plus HIStalk Practice is good for two at minimum and sometimes 3-4. if you aren’t getting them, that’s the problem. You can also use the Subscribe to Updates box to your right to add your home e-mail address in addition to your work one since it’s usually the work one that is overly aggressive about discarding suspected spam. I don’t want you to miss anything.

Readers have added several new events to the HIStalk Calendar, which is how they got them listed and linked on the main page of HIStalk (to your right). Notice the cool way the event listings include links, direct links to a location map and weather, options to download to your e-mail calendar, etc. You can submit your HIT-related event for free. Here’s a tip for those doing so: if you click “Check If Recurring,” you can enter the event once and choose the days it covers, which is a little bit easier than making separate entries for each day.

My guest editorial for Inside Healthcare Computing this week is titled A Day in the Life of IT-Visionary Hospital VPs: Laying Out CPOE Benefits to Luddite Doctors. See if you can detect the thinly disguised sarcasm: “One was late in responding because her top-of-the- line hospital laptop had failed after her teenaged son had used it for several consecutive hours of doing Internet research for a school project in his locked room, necessitating a call to the VP-only IT support hotline so that a technician could be dispatched to her house on a Friday evening.” The publisher tells me that 88% of readers like my stuff there, with 12% chiming  in with the person who wants them to get rid of me and my “clever cynicism.” I was hoping for at least a 40% disapproval rating as validation that I’m stirring people up enough.

Origin Healthcare Solutions adds patient payment collection tools to its Origin Manager practice management system. I couldn’t follow the references to Connecticut and SSIMED, but anyone interested in that news will probably know what it means.

Jobs: Business Systems Analyst-Pharmacist, Laboratory Requirements Analyst, Regional Sales Director.


In the UK, the entire 26-member EHR team at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust has been let go as the hospital breaks away from NPfIT and implements Cerner via its vendor, UPMC (yes, a non-profit US hospital is also UK vendor, as confusing as that is). They can apply for one of 19 available one-year contracts. In the meantime, since Pittsburgh’s infrastructure is crumbling because of a billion dollars’ worth of debt, entrenched unions, a declining population (even smaller than what’s left of New Orleans, which is actually growing) and a plethora of big-income organizations that don’t pay taxes, the city is considering surcharges on its hospital admissions and college students, which would hit UPMC directly other than it will probably just pass it along in one form or another.

GetWellNetwork announces several new clients for its PatientLife System for patient engagement, including big names Florida Hospital East Orlando, Children’s National, Miami Children’s, and several Adventist facilities.

Don Miller, MD, founder of prenatal care system eNATAL, e-mailed to mention to tell me that the company has several iPhone applications for obstetrics in Apple’s App Store. The application itself is sold in an interesting ASP pricing model: OBs buy “tokens” that are good for one per pregnancy. Here’s what Don had to say about certification: “eNATAL is not CCHIT-certified, never will be, and highlights what is wrong with CCHIT certification. eNATAL is an affordable niche EMR that adds tremendous clinical value, improves patient safety, incorporates clinical decision support functionality that the ‘big boy’ EMRs only dream of, saves money for all healthcare stakeholders, and is used in a ‘meaningful’ way every day across the country. But our subscribers will not receive a nickel from Obama for its use.”

More on the government of the Philippines investigation of who spilled the beans on the rumored leaky breast implant repair of its president: the National Bureau of Investigation is interrogating employees of a hospital that it claims asked for government help to make sure its employees didn’t breach patient confidentiality.

Hospitals in New York State have readmission rates that are much worse than average. The local hospital association (trade group) blames poverty, but didn’t offer an explanation of why Harlem Hospital Center excels and IT-loaded and $3 million CEO-led Montefiore Medical Center lagged.(I noticed while snooping around Montefiore’s federal records that even its chairman of dentistry makes $1.7 million a year, which seems absurd).


Medical Center Hospital of Odessa, TX says implementing its $6.2 million McKesson CPOE system will be a “massive, difficult project,” but its seems eager to snag $5.4 million of that amount from us stimulating taxpayers. A good line from the CFO about the CIO: “I’m looking forward to the day when we have a meeting when Gary [Barnes] doesn’t speak.”

A Canadian medical malpractice jury awards more than $5 million to a man who suffered injuries from spinal tuberculosis after he ignored his radiologist’s urging to come back for more tests to investigate problems he’d spotted. The judge found the patient 30% liable as punishment for not cooperating, but made the excuse for him that he was probably to busy to follow the doctor’s advice. The hospital says it has since implemented software that will prevent misfiled records and miscommunication.

Florida-based Metropolitan Health Networks chooses eClinicalWorks for its nine internal medicine offices.

Microsoft tries to use an Obama-like pitch to get people to “join the movement” and sign up for HealthVault on its I am Enabled site. It’s loaded with the usual cliche Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube connections. Jerry Seinfeld isn’t mentioned.

Speaking of which, I think spammers are going to kill Twitter if it doesn’t die of natural causes before they can do it. It seems like most of the new followers are just the same old pests who nearly ruined e-mail.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "18 comments" on this Article:

  1. It is reported that the hospital industry has agreed to $155 billion in cuts over the next ten years. Considering how most hospitals are perennially crying poor, does anyone have the detail on how they expect to absorb this? Or do those who agreed expect to be living on their pensions by then?

  2. From Al Borges:

    Dr. Blumenthal is a medical professor, long-term academician and leader, but from what I’ve read, he has never worked as a clinician. That’s the problem with those physicians advising Obama- most are made of the same mold and do not share the same worries, anxieties, and opposition to HITECH, as well as opposition to expensive and complicated EHR systems that are on the minds of true clinicians.

    On top of that, Dr. Blumenthal has received generous grants from GE, the maker of the most elitist certified EHR, Centricity, which is the biggest, and one of the most expensive of the “big boy” certified EHR systems. Don’t you see the conflict of interest? The bias? The lack of true insight of what our healthcare system needs?

    Of course, he’s not the only lobbyist. Obama is surrounded by a cadre of lobbyists all the while claiming “transparency”:

    1. Allscripts (Glen Tullman)
    2. Cerner (Nancy-Ann DeParle)
    3. GE (David Blumenthal M.D. )
    4. Partners HealthCare System (John Glaser)
    5. eCW (Thomas Frieden, M.D.)

    Unless Obama can offer a free EHR and fully pay for its deployment and support, then HITECH will be doomed. Aside from the initial fools that will actually try to go for the HITECH money, I suspect that EHR uptake will never reach past 25% over the next 5 years. Small group and solo docs simply aren’t interested in CPOE, eRx, PQRI, and other administrative, secretarial-like electronic paperwork.

    BTW, I’ll be in a bare knuckles debate with another one of those very lofty, elitist Harvard physician types next week- Joseph Kvedar, MD, director of the Center for Connected Health. Anyone interested in listening in on the provocative discussion can sign up here- https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/646034233 Heck, for the past 4 years of fighting HIMSS, CCHIT, and now HITECH, I’ve been a creampuff! No more… I’ll see if I can shatter through the transparency window to get at the read dirt!


  3. Also from Al Borges, eaten by the spam filter by hereby revived:

    >>> The final results of the poll on HHS’s meaningful use draft: 20% think providers will achieve it too easily, 42% think the criteria are too hard, and 38% say they are about right.

    Has anyone ever thought about asking the providers? Who the heck cares about what other people think when it’s the doctors that have to put up with the increased paperwork and layers of beurocracy. Whoever at the HHS conducted this poll is out of his mind…

    What they SHOULD have asked is “Should the vendor-inspired ‘meaningful use’ of EMR legislation be scrapped altogether since it’ll raise the cost of medical care, eventually force physicians from participating in Medicare and Medicaid, and that 96% of physiciains are not now doing it?” (Accoding to the NEJM article last year, although 17% of physicians own a c-EHR, only 4% of physicians are using all the necessary capabilities.)

    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  4. Ok, the childish attach on Jazz is totally unnecessary. I read this site for cutting commentary on the healthcare technology industry. Heck, I even agree with you about CareFusion. But nothing brightens my morning like being called a pedantic poser.

    A little insecure about your fondness for bands featuring scantily clad female leads, are we? Inga, slap him.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] I admit that was a little over the top. I’ve actually been to a couple of jazz concerts and the outdoors ones were fun (lots of casual listeners interested in beer and fresh air, paying modest attention to the on-stage activities). It’s the concerts in college auditoriums that brought out the turtleneck-wearing academics struggling to find a safe musical middle ground in the continuum from classical to popular music, forever doomed to try to explain to everyone else just how intricate and skilled jazz is even though nobody else gets it. Now if I were a CareFusion-style marketer, I’d have those jazz types rebranded into brash celebrities, maybe a little bit scantily clad, and perhaps doing a Who-like thrashing of their horns and upright basses at the end with a pyrotechnics show. That would take it to the masses!

  5. First off, Al, Dr Blumenthal has been a practicing physician. In fact, I met one of his former patients flying back from DC a couple of weeks ago. So you may just want to tone it down a bit, actually listen to someof the policy committee meetings, or at least read the transcripts before you go of the deep end and dive into that cream puff.

    And Mr. HIStalk, you a man of music not liking jazz? Shocked, just shocked. Next time you are in New Orleans, pay a visit to the Preservation Hall and sit through a couple of sets. That music has soul.

  6. To Ken Kashimoto: You heard wrong. There are still over 30 employees of the former Valco Data Systems working in the same office, now for Hyland Software, Inc.

  7. Al Borges: Given the level of cost and serious affect of these national health proposals, anyone pushing a relevant agenda at the national level, or opposing such, needs to have enough clarity of thought and strength of reasoning to contend with whatever penetrating questions or high scrutiny you might dole out. In other words, give ‘em Hell, Al! If they can’t take the heat, etc…

    Btw, Mr HIStalk… Saying you don’t like jazz is a little like saying they don’t like the taste of food. If you’d walk through some of the many diverse types of jazz, I’d bet $$ you’d find multiples that grab you by the you-know-whats. And, of course, I mean that in a good way. 🙂

  8. Just noting the fact that Medical Center Hospital of Odessa paid roughly the same for CPOE that nearby Midland Memorial Hospital (HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 facility) paid for a comprehensive EHR. I’m just saying …

    And if this appears to be shameless self promotion, that’s just because it is.

  9. Read the article about Odessa and noticed that you used the wrong person quoting about the CIO. It was Dunn…apparently a board member of Ector County, not the CFO.

    Also, the purchase from what I have read elsewhere is more than just CPOE, but a full EHR & Stimulus ready install. Not sure what all McKesson components that would include, but apparently it’s more than just “CPOE” for that price.

  10. “jazz music, which nobody likes anyway except pedantic posers not quite up to classical and secretaries who aren’t allowed to play real music on the office radio”

    Rowr! Pretty funny coming from an old guy mining obscure college cult music.

    Musicians love jazz because they understand the effort to do it musically. Non-musicians don’t get it because they haven’t studied performance or composing.

  11. RE: Google Chrome OS. I am one (of the few?) who uses the Chrome browser b/c of its speed. And competition in the O/S space is good, so I’m pleased to see this move by Google. However, I don’t think Microsoft has much to fear.

  12. RE: Google Chrome OS. I am one (of the few?) who uses the Chrome browser, b/c of its speed. And competition in the O/S space is good, so I’m pleased to see this move by Google. I expect Google’s plan is to own the Netbook market, which they hope will grow and grow until it is the vast majority of all computers. But that’s a big “if”. I don’t think Microsoft has anything to worry about for a very long time.

    Even if people are using web apps, they still want to print, scan, send faxes, get photos off their cameras, use their webcams, etc. None of that works without drivers. Anyone remember Microsoft’s problems with drivers on Vista? That’s from a company with decades of experience in the area. There’s nothing about Chrome that will save Google from similar challenges, except if they support drastically less hardware (which I expect they will do). Don’t expect the hardware vendors to fall all over themselves supporting Chrome, either – they’ll only do it when the users are there.

  13. Yep, the hospitals via AHA have put on the table $200 billion of cuts in payments over the next 10 years. That’s their offer to Obama who wanted $950 billion a month ago. So assuming the sausage grinder still works, they’ll probably settle on $450 billion or so.

    The net net is feds give hospitals $20 billion for IT, and get back $450 B. Not a bad payback for feds…when was the last time you installed an IT system and saw a 20+ payback??

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