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February 2, 2010 News 13 Comments

From Dweeb: “Re: Initiate Systems. For the past several years I’ve seen IBM and Initiate in partnerships deploying Initiate’s EMPI alongside IBM offerings. Recently, I’ve heard IBM plans to buy Initiate. Is this an old rumor or is there really something new around this?” Seeking Alpha says they’ve heard it’s happening, possibly as early as this week, and that IBM will pay big. In other words, it’s still a rumor so far.

From Claire Voyante’: “Re: QuadraMed QCPR. Hear they laid off about 19 of 40 in sales and are on support mode only. Are they committed to meeting all EHR requirements for clients to meet Meaningful Use? You should interview NYHH or LA County.” QuadraMed doesn’t comment on rumors, but I’ve heard this one from some pretty solid sources, all of which are saying the same thing. Sad if true, but companies have to make tough decisions based on what the market is telling them.

From Woody: “Re: Meaningful Use. It reflects physician-centric, not patient-centric thinking. They miss the point that after orders are entered, as good as they may be, someone has to actually carry them out appropriately, making constant assessments, interventions, and documenting outcomes. The largest provider group and largest base of EHR users – by far – has been left in the dust because of professional dysfunction and the fact they don’t get paid for services. RWJ ranks them last in the group of influencers.” I also dislike the insinuation that the lame, overused term “EHR” is now a catch-word for what I refuse to call anything except “clinical systems”. “Electronic health record” sounds more like a view-only portal than the far more complex systems that create all that information in the first place. And if you have CPOE but no documentation systems, do you still have an EHR?


From Sunshine: “Re: Tampa General Hospital. They have chosen Epic.” Unverified, but hardly shocking if true since nearly every purchase by hospitals I’ve heard of end up being Epic these days.

From Lisa Ramsey: “Re: McKesson Paragon. Didn’t they build it from scratch?” Sort of. HBOC rolled it out in 1996 as its “little system”, as client-server was considered in those mainframe/midrange days. McKesson nearly killed it off when it (like many HBOC offerings) turned out to be pretty crappy and rolled out too quickly. Instead of just marketing with even more gusto (cough ** Pathways ** cough), they actually fixed it and it turned out to be maybe their best product.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: The Doctor Dalai Show. All of of the hype around the announcement of the Apple iPad has even gotten Doctor Dalai to post a cute video piece about the iPad’s potential in Radiology, and also hurl a slam at the Good Enough team.”


This isn’t a car ad, it’s McKesson’s new physician EMR incentive: 0% interest for 12 months with 25% down or a $1,000 cash rebate for the first provider and $500 for each additional. It’s good for Practice Partner, Lytec MD, Medisoft, and the Pontiac Torrent. I could be wrong about that last one. Everybody rides!

The HIStalk reception sold out Sunday night. Thanks to those who signed up.


Thanks to long-time HIStalk sponsor Hayes Management Consulting, which has upgraded its Gold sponsorship to Platinum. The company is ranked Top Overall Professional Services Firm and Best in KLAS for Technical Services in KLAS Enterprise’s 2009 Top 20 Best in KLAS: Software & Professional Services report. I appreciate their long record of supporting HIStalk.

Michael Lee, MD, director of clinical informatics at Atrius Health, will speak at the Nuance CIO breakfast at HIMSS on Tuesday morning, March 2. His topic is a documentation strategy using eScription background speech recognition and Dragon Medical front-end speech recognition. CIOs can RSVP here. Nuance will also have people on hand to talk about a recent Fallon Clinic study showing $7,000 per year savings and a increase in quality, productivity, and satisfaction from using speech recognition instead of typing.

I mentioned it briefly, but I’m going to talk about Dragon Naturally Speaking one more time because a reader picked up my last mention, bought it, and thanked Inga effusively for turning him on to it. I’m usually indifferent to technology that I’ve bought, rarely putting anything in that elusive “change your life” category. DNS has made that list. I bought it on a lark ($59 with free shipping), never read any instructions, and figured I would just play around with it. I have used it nearly constantly every day since to write HIStalk and send e-mails. There’s no need to get into a lot of details, so here’s the conclusion: even with the occasional correction (and there aren’t many), I can still put out text probably twice as fast with no tired fingers – I just say what I’m thinking and out it comes on the screen without my sloppy typing getting between my brain and my screen. It reminds me of that old Twilight Zone episode I watched the other night where the first Darrin from Bewitched played a guy who got hit by a car and could suddenly hear everybody’s thoughts. Rarely does a cynic like me give an unqualified recommendation, but this is one. I’m thinking of buying a second copy since I don’t want to have to write from the laptop at HIMSS without it. I’m not mentioning it again since it gives me a competitive edge, so that is all.

It was Merger Monday this week, apparently. I’ve never seen three HIT-related acquisitions announced almost simultaneously. I saw a few readers cancelled their e-mail subscriptions because of the rapid-fire updates I sent, but I had to consider the potentially significant number of employees and customers affected who deserved the chance to know about it quickly. It’s not that hard to delete an e-mail without reading it. There’s another acquisition coming Thursday, so indulge me one more time. And if you’re having regrets (which you will when I get something hot that DOES interest you), just put your e-mail in the Subscribe to Updates box to your right and we will be BFFs again.

National eHealth Collaborative announces (warning: PDF) nine new board members, among them Brent James, John Tooker, Jon Perlin, and John Glaser (there are five more, but these are the names I recognized).

Justen Deal has an interesting take on the Apple iPad, saying people are overlooking its potential as a replacement for thin clients and computers on wheels.

A UK article profiles Christofer Toumazou, the guy whose company is developing a “wireless digital plaster” that can monitor patients at home, feeding a constant stream of information about body temperature, heart rate, and respiration to a base station or EMR. The first rollout will be in a hospital. Cardinal Health is involved.

I’m short on time tonight, so that’s it for me. E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From DrLyle “Re: Top 50 HIT blogs. You made it!” Thanks, DrLyle, for pointing us somebody’s list of top HIT blog sites (usually just a scheme to get themselves back links from the grateful winners, but a win’s a win). I see DrLyle also made the Top 50.

PBnJ asked Mr. H what HIT publications he/she should subscribe. Mr. H said he hardly reads anything. On the other hand, I skim a ton of publications (all free) on a daily basis. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that unless you plan to take my job (which, as far as I know, is not currently open.) There exists a wide variety of “HIT” publications out there, each targeting a slightly different audience (clinicians, IT types, the hospital space, ambulatory care, medical devices, vendor news, CIOs, CMIOs, etc.) I suggest you figure which niche interests you the most and start there. Of course you’ll want to round out your reading by making time for HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Mobile.


Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (NC) completes a deployment of Lawson QuickStep Healthcare in under six months.

The 34-bed Hamilton Healthcare System (TX) selects Healthcare Management Systems’ clinical and financial automation solutions.

MEDSEEK reports its 2009 highlights: 58 new hospital clients, a 53% increase in one-year revenue backlog, a #1473 ranking on Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing private companies, and a third year on HCI’s 100 list. Over the last five years, MEDSEEK’s revenue has jumped 346%.

Microsoft and Siemens are hoping that HealthVault will be more popular in Germany than it’s been in the US. Siemens signed on to be the exclusive operation of HealthVault in Germany and will market the platform to developers, application providers, and device manufacturers.


More than 300,000 people have downloaded uHear onto their iPhone/iPod Touch, making it the most widely distributed hearing screening test ever. It’s free and available in French and English.

The Social Security Administration hands out $17.4 million in in ARRA funds to 15 HIEs, providers, and health IT firms. The new contracts will enhance networks and reduce the time to adjudicate disability claims.

National Health Services (CA), a 12-site FQHC, achieves 100% provider adoption on HealthPort’s EMR.

Streamline Health Solutions announces the general availability of its new accessANYware 5.0 document workflow solution. Version 5.0 is a ground-up re-architecture of Streamline’s flagship document workflow product and is built on a service-oriented architecture using Microsoft.NET framework.

Bruce Brandes joins AirStrip Technologies as chief sales officer. Brandes most recently served as VP of sales and field operations for HealthStream. He’s also served in similar capacities at Eclipsys, McKesson/HBOC, and IBM.

Sisters of St. Francis Healthcare Services goes live on ZynxOrder. The health system has consolidated and standardized 42 evidence-based order sets for use at its 13 hospitals and health systems.

A few sponsor updates:

  • Mountain View Hospital (ID) expands its use of SRS EMR.
  • e-MDs announces its Solution Series Chart product completed the 2010 Integrating Healthcare Enterprise Connectathon, which tested 138 HIT systems by 90 HIT vendors. e-MDs is also participating in the IHE Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS (Booth # 7955).
  • Microsoft finalizes its acquisition of Sentillion into the Microsoft Health Solutions Group.
  • The ED at Clara Maass Medical Center (NJ) upgrades to the latest version of EDIMS’ EHR, v2.6. The new version includes enhancements to drug interactions, an eDocuments scanning solution, an upgrade to charge capture determination, and a new iPhone integration feature.
  • Picis launches a new corporate blog called Healthcare-exchange.com. The first post includes five predictions for 2010 by CEO (and HISsie nominee in a “good” category) Todd Cozzens. The first prediction: healthcare reform is dead. Future posts will focus on topical issues such as meaningful use and the new iPad and include commentary from industry experts.


StatCom appoints Mary Kay Thalken RN, MBA, as enterprise vice president. She’s the former COO and chief nurse executive of Bergen Mercy Medical Center.

Suddenly it is February and I am leaving for HIMSS is less than four weeks! How did that happen? Mr. H and I have been working on assorted HIMSS-related projects, like the HISsie Awards, sponsor recognition, and details of the HIStalk Bash. The last couple of years readers (female ones, of course) have sent me notes asking for advice on attire for the HIStalk party. Previously we’ve had everything from sexy cocktail (Mr. H’s preference) to the straight-off-the-convention-floor look (not a bad choice if you want everyone to know what vendor you work for or if you hate displaying your individualism.) I haven’t made a wardrobe selection yet (I am thinking this might be a good excuse to go shopping) but I can promise the shoes will be high and hot.

Here is something I likely won’t be doing during HIMSS: the 5K Fun Run/1 Mile Walk. Scheduled for Tuesday March 2 at 4:00, IntraNexus is sponsoring it for the fifth straight year. By Tuesday afternoon, I know I will be too weary to do anything but sip a glass of wine and write some posts for HIStalk. However, non-couch potatoes can sign up during HIMSS at IntraNexus’ booth #5221 (Hall B.) While you’re at their booth, you might want to check out the IntraNexus’s new solutions for the iPhone and touch screens.

jump rope

I’m sorry I missed this event: In honor of American Heart Month, the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) and Jamba Juice break the Guinness World Record for the “Most People Jumping/Skipping Rope at the Same Time.” That’s 89,000 people jumping simultaneously for 10 minutes. Quite a party.


E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. Yes it is true that Tampa General has chosen Epic – even you reported it Mr H! – Mike McGee is the Rev Cycle guy down there and he is sending his troops up to the Galactic Headquarters – they are currently in Phase 0.5 of flight plan (on a scale of 0-6)

    [From Mr. HIStalk] You are right … I mentioned the rumor on November 5, confirmed it November 21. I was rushed last night or I would have Googled myself.

  2. I believe McKesson Paragon was originally the re-packaged First Data Product they acquired from Americal Express. That it why it was so poor at first.. They have done a good job of improving it over the years.

  3. Re : Justen Deal and people overlooking the benefits of the iPad.

    I was goggling iPad and healthcare and there appears to be quiet a buzz. Including Apple development people visiting Cedar Sinai. In my view it would be great for rounding and light order entry. It’s not perfect, it won’t replace COW’s, but it’s better than most options for rounding currently available.

  4. re: QCPR. Not surprising, since there has been so little investment in the product for the last several years. I cant see the system meeting meaningful use without a huge revamp- far more than a version upgrade – so they are probably cutting their losses. It’s really a shame for NYC HHC since the $ that was designated for a new EMR system has fallen victim to the city budget.

  5. You are right. Paragon was formerly the “SAINT” system. Originally created by SAI, purchased by American Express, changed name to First Data Corporation and then purchased by HBO&Company. I was a sales rep for SAINT and I have to say – some of the best community hospital customers in healthcare. Glad to see the system doing so well these days – has won Best in KLAS for several years. Congrats to the Paragon team!

  6. I take issue with Mr.HISTalk’s February 3, 2010 comment – “I also dislike the insinuation that the lame, overused term “EHR” is now a catch-word for what I refuse to call anything except “clinical systems”. “Electronic health record” sounds more like a view-only portal than the far more complex systems that create all that information in the first place.”

    Yes, the term “EHR” is a catch-word synonym for anything related to digital “clinical systems,” “clinical information systems (CISs),” healthcare information systems (HISs),” (the old) “hospital information systems,” “medical information systems,” etc. And the term certainly isn’t used when referring to digital “financial systems,” “electronic financial records (EFRs),” “patient billing records,” “practice management systems,” etc.

    But in its broad sense, we all know what EHR means. Therefore I support using the term “as is” because (and not necessarily in this order) 1) ARRA / HITECH adopted it; and, 2) maybe our industry can finally cease its nonsensical debate over synonyms that were codified by trade organizations to suit their needs (and not the needs of healthcare professionals)!

  7. Quadrameds layoffs sounds like they did what every vendor does once a year, cut up to 5% of their staff and re-align staff to the companies needs. It sucks for those that lost their jobs but thats life.

  8. “Quadrameds layoffs sounds like they did what every vendor does once a year, cut up to 5% of their staff and re-align staff to the companies needs. It stinks for those that lost their jobs but that is life.”

    The cynic in me (and business school textbooks) doesn’t believe staff cuts are for realignment but for management to keep all the peons running scared for their job and willing to work long hours and be happy for what praise people dish out. Few people are in a position to strike out on their own particularly when the market has suddenly been flooded by co-workers with the same experience who are much more desperate to accept any offer. Its ironic that such volatile companies serve one of the stablest industries still in existence. We’ve seen some layoffs but overall the Healthcare industry hasn’t been hurt in the same way as the rest of our economy.

  9. QuadraMed is in the process of an acquisition by Francisco Partners, under new leadership and it is appropriate for it to reorganize a sales team and structure that has been less than productive for quite some time. Change is good for all of us. Some really good people will have to move on…and I hope they make out well.

    As for QuadraMed, I have been told by their CEO that they are committed to QCPR and ARRA certification, so have other clients and new prospects.

    Product is not an issue with QuadraMed…sales and implementation have been. Both those organizations are being redefined.

    If the commitment to certification is at issue, maybe they should issue a statement or send letters to clients clarifying their direction.

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Reader Comments

  • Sam Lawrence: Except in this case, coding = medical billing, not development. Though the same warning may be true...
  • BeenThere: Partners will find the savings from their cuts of coders as fools gold. There are a lot of hidden costs running an outs...
  • JC: If there is not there can be. VistA has a reference lab interface that can create the manifests/labeling and such as we...
  • Tom Cornwell: Great stuff from Dr. Jayne as usual. One small typo, last sentence of second-to-last paragraph: should be 'who's' not 'w...
  • HIT Observer: What I find most interesting here, is people defending their common practices rather than truly taking this as invaluabl...
  • Bob: There's no incentive for the provider to spend time doing a price comparison for the patient. Nor is it a good use of th...
  • Peppermint Patty: Veteran - can you clarify what was "fake "? Was something made up (definition of fake) or did you disagree with Vapo...
  • Pat Wolfram: Such a refreshing article. Thanks -- there really can be a simpler version of an acute HIT implementation. But I do ...
  • Woodstock Generation: Bravo to HIStalk's Weekender recaps and other news/opinions. I read it first thing on Monday mornings..................
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