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September 15, 2009 News 10 Comments

From Herb Alpert: “Re: Eclipsys. They are designating three business partners that will replace their own professional services people. Eclipsys is emphasizing speed-to-value, pushing cookie cutter implementations. They listed the partners last week on their Partners page, but appear to have removed that page from their site.” I know that Orchestrate Healthcare picked up some of their people and used them on their SCM/eLink project at UC Irvine (someone from there told me).


From Roger Dodger: “Re: videos. These hit the big vendor mentality on the head.” The animated videos are pretty funny (Video 1, Video 2). Guess along with me which vendor the animated CIO is talking about. “Our front-end processes blow and your 1970s-build application is the problem. The competition is killing us with ease of access and the payors are denying every claim we send them. When is your effing next generation system going to be ready?”


From William Faulkner: “Re: Epic. I can tell you without much discomfort that expectations are high and few places give 20-somethings this much autonomy. I have truly enjoyed working for one of the two hottest companies in one of the hottest industries despite little healthcare experience. The employment structure is incredibly flat, so high turnover and burnout have put five-year vets in fairly senior positions, which keeps new hires motivated. KLAS is king – I must have seen our KLAS ratings 15 times in training. Everyone does get an office, in my case fully equipped with an office mate.”

From Been There, Done That: “Re: Caymans. It’s been a while since I heard of Cayman Island Healthcare! At one point, the old CIO from U of Miami was ‘consulting’ there and bringing in his old friends from Cerner.” Brand new CIO Dale Sanders posted a comment to Monday’s post, so I e-mailed to ask him for an update. Nothing heard so far, but I’m sure he’s busy.

The Health IT Standards Committee submits its recommended EHR privacy and security standards. The initial set is basic, but by 2013, EHRs would be required to use HL7 BRAC role-based access control, security assertion markup language, and WS-Trust for secure exchange of Simple Object Access Protocol messages.


Several new events were added to the HIStalk Calendar (and you can add yours for free, of course). Among them is a September 22 free Webinar entitled Understanding State and National HIT Policy, sponsored by eHealth Initiative and featuring John Glaser.

Weird News Andy likes this story detailing Medicare’s stance on buying assistive technology for patients with speech problems. They will buy an $8,000 desktop PC whose only function is generating speech from text, but not a $150 iPhone app that does something similar. Personally, I’m riding the fence here because I keep remembering those “free scooter” commercials that beg any Medicare recipient with any kind of walking problem to get their sporty ride, courtesy of taxpayers. And if it’s that great of a device, maybe patients should spend their own money on it instead of relying on Medicare to cover every little thing.

Retired hospital CEO and current hospital consultant Ronald Gade, MD joins the board of Doctations.

Hybrid EMR vendor SRSsoft is named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America.


Newt Gingrich does a video pitch for StatCom, remarkably coincident with StatCom’s ponying up big bucks to join Newt’s civic-sounding yet entirely for-profit Center for Health Transformation.

IASIS Healthcare implements Sentillion single sign-on in seven of its 15 facilities, yielding a 60% reduction in password reset calls to the help desk. They say they’ll have all 15 running by the end of the year.

Inga and I thought it would be interesting to get a look at eClinicalWorks from the customer perspective, so she attended their user group meeting in Las Vegas this week. Her updates are on HIStalk Practice: #1, #2, #3, where she also covers some eCW announcements, including opening some new offices.


Speaking of eCW, Children’s Boston announces that its Indivo/MyChildren’s PHR will bring in data from both the hospital’s Cerner system and the eCW system used by its physician group. It will use eClinicalWorks Electronic Health Exchange.

Athenahealth announces its guarantee that physician users will be able to quality for HITECH incentives, offering them six months of service free if not. The announcement covers in some detail the complex corporate accounting that’s required to offer something like that, which is interesting in itself. Jonathan Bush quotes Malcolm Gladwell in saying it takes 3% to reach a tipping point, so he’s hoping the program takes the company over the top.

Swedish Medical Center (WA) takes an equity position in 72-doctor multi-specialty group Minor & James Medical, citing their belief that healthcare reform will require cooperation beyond having hospitals simply buy practices. The local newspaper article speculates that the group will move to Swedish’s Epic system, which sounded possible if not likely when I interviewed Swedish CIO Janice Newell a couple of weeks ago.

I visited my doctor recently and have to say I was impressed with the practice’s EMR use. He conducted the whole session with both of us looking at the monitor, walking me through labs and meds (sounds simple, but it was amazingly effective and the display was great even on his puny 15” or so monitor). He mentioned that he would never put a keyboard or monitor between him and a patient, which was cool. I had a sleep study done awhile back and he pulled up the on-screen transcription from the polysomnography people and walked me through their findings. I needed a prescription refilled and he shot that off electronically, saying he was a big fan of e-prescribing, especially for drug interaction checking. The practice is just starting to use speech recognition, which he seemed to like, and also templates, which he seemed to hate (he said he refuses to use them because they create reams of worthless junk data in the EMR). He likes his EMR, I’m in fine health, and we’re both happy. He also said he would definitely get the H1N1 flu shot when it comes out, just in case you’re waffling like me.

A Buffalo group gets a $1 million grant to develop a data sharing pilot project.

Spacelabs announces its Sentinel cardiology information system.

The West Virginia Health information Network delays its RFP for creating a statewide HIE as it figures out how stimulus money and meaningful use definition could change its plans. The new date is November.

Odd lawsuit: a hospital stages a fake pharmacy stickup as a drill without telling employees. A pharmacy technician is suing the hospital and its parent company for false imprisonment, claiming the drill’s aftermath required her to have ongoing therapy for depression, anxiety, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and emotional distress.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re Eclipsys professional services. All PS people sign a big fat non-compete agreement. Now that Eclp is releasing everyone, I wonder how that will factor in. So far I know of several released people who are either consulting for or have been hired on at their former clients, so it appears Eclp is not enforcing the non-competes. Would be happy if any attorneys are lurking to hear their take.

  2. re: STATCOM–I worked with this vendor in the past and must say I was certainly impressed with their patient tracking system. In my humble opinion much better than Epic’s or Cerner’s…
    But couldn’t they have a better spokes person than NEWT?!?!?
    Good Grief!!!!

  3. re iPod assistive technology

    Being one of those who lost his voice due to throat cancer, having a mobile device to help you communicate with a speech driven world is essential. Try to spend a day communicating with peers w/o talkiing. I’d say the iPod was a few steps above the “free scooter”

    [From Mr. HIStalk] But similar in having potential appeal to people who want them for non-essential purposes. That was my point, although certainly documenting a need for speech-assistive devices is a lot more specific (you could even use ICD-9 codes) than the reason for needing a scooter.

  4. I’m in the middle of an inpatient EMR vendor search as a Rural hospital CIO. Are there actually any good or great options, or is it pick your poison and try to make it works (as it seems after months of dealing with vendors sales staff)

  5. My Dad has a “free” scooter. It enabled him to see his grandsons baseball and soccer games and was the only time he left his bedroom. Without that free scooter, his life was very small.

    But hey, don’t worry, he’s not using it much anymore since he’s in hospice.

    Sheesh, Mr. Histalk – have a heart. Seriously, for some people that scooter is their lifeline to the world.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] No argument here. For others, though, it’s just something free that insurance pays for and that requires minimal medical approval. Otherwise, would they run TV ads all the time?

  6. nice another free booter shot at MEDITECH…they don’t have a truck division and people haven’t been waiting years for their next generation systems…Siemens is the vendor!

  7. cartoons: I too thought it was Siemens at first, but in one of the episodes, they mention a “Braves” game. So, has to be an Atlanta based firm. The only one I know of developing a new “front end” system is McKesson, which is being partially developed at Gwinnette Medical Center in North Atlanta. But, I guess every vendor could be implicated at one time or another.

  8. I am the CTO of StatCom and would like to respond to posts regarding the StatCom “Newt Video”. Newt came to Jackson Healthcare to meet with its CEO and Chairman to discuss Jackson Healthcare’s initiatives. During this visit he was introduced to StatCom, one of about nine portfolio companies owned by JH, and was so impressed with our technology and mission (transforming healthcare operations for the benefit of everyone) that he lingered for hours with StatCom. Yes, Jackson Healthcare joined Newt’s center (and StatCom paid a small part of that membership), but honestly the goals of his institute and our company seemed completely in alignment and we are appreciative of his support.

    Disclosure: I am NOT a republican, but having read Newt’s books regarding healthcare, I think he is far more right than wrong

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