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February 9, 2010 News 12 Comments


From Snow Bunny: “Re: Pittsburgh snowstorm. The snow flake power outage was severe and crippling at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. It caused all computer screens to go blank with no EMR for 20 hours. Check with your Siemens IT friends to reconcile the facts. Retaliation will be swift for the staff that leak the truth. I have not yet been able to determine the impact of the outage at the Canonsburg Hospital (above) on its EMR, but hospitals do not close their ERs just because they cannot do CT scans.” Unverified. If they had a snowstorm and power outages, I’m not sure that’s a Siemens problem.

From Sally: “Re: Allscripts. They announced a sales re-org a few days ago. Several long-term folks decided it was a good time to make an exit.” Unverified. Allscripts doesn’t confirm rumors, so that’s all I can say except lots of companies seem to be reorganizing their sales teams lately, most likely to frantically shore up the front lines for HITECH spending.

From Othello: “Re: ARRA/HITECH resources. HIPAA Survival Guide is useful.” I notice that HIStalk did not make their list of “TOP healthcare blogs”, which includes some not-so-stellar ones, so I’m not exactly sure why I’m giving them a free link.

From LPJ: “Re: HIMSS. I have been in contact with many IDN CIOs across the eastern US this past week inviting them to a HIMSS event. It may just be a weird coincidence, but an unbelievable number of CIOs are not making it to HIMSS because they are so swamped with large projects in the hospital or with ambulatory implementations.”

From Paulie: “Re: editorial. Did you read this one from [publication name omitted]? Pretty lame with some basic facts wrong.” Newspaper people write editorials that involve issues that affect us all, like taxes and crime, which makes sense. What doesn’t is sideliners who have never worked a day in either healthcare or technology who crank out impassioned, overly confident editorials that industry experts are supposed to find insightful. But if they can get readers, more power to them.

From Joe: “Re: VA. Some months ago, the VA announced that some dozen or so projects were being placed on hold, some of them where VistA had shortcomings and off-the-shelf software could be integrated.” I knew that, but what I haven’t heard is whether they’re moving forward with Cerner LIS or sticking with internal / fat cat contractor development.


From Svetlana: “Re: Scott McNealy at HIMSS 2005. He was a no-show for the opening address. The loyal Sun health care partners slated to be a part of his presentation were given the bum’s rush by HIMSS folk and left to deal with the nasty PR aftermath in the exhibit hall.” I guess that’s why I didn’t remember him. I figured I must have slept in or something since the opening session is usually pretty lame (all the HIMSS speakers just read their speeches off the TelePrompter, usually stumbling frequently). The opening keynoter this time is the CEO of Sprint Nextel, whose inspiring five-year stock performance (blue) against the Nasdaq (red) gives me a good reason to plan for some extra rest before bussing over for the first educational session.

SDI Diagnostic Imaging, a nighthawking radiology company, acquires Stratus Healthcare, another Florida company doing similar work. “Stratus’ software platform allows radiologists to do final reads and use a voice recognition system to dictate their findings directly into the patient’s medical record at the hospital, which will grow in importance with the push for more electronic medical records. It also could mean more direct billing of managed care companies for SDI’s services instead of billing the hospital or radiology group that is SDI’s client, Younger said.”

Maybe you are snowed in, tired of short days, or just struggling with the winter blahs in general. Here’s your cure: complete my reader survey. OK, that was a blatant come-on, but I really do study your responses closely and agonize over what I could be doing better after I read your comments and re-evaluate my self-worth. I only do it once a year, so think of this as Pledge Week at your local PBS station, with aging, overweight doo-wop singers in bad toupees and Popsicle-colored tuxes standing at the ready to sing the only the achievable low notes of Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite after the break.

An argument for electronic patient records, witnessed by me first hand: doctors, nurses, and ancillary employees trying to figure out how they can all use the same patient’s MAR simultaneously following the invariable search party it takes to locate it in the first place.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Receiver for iPhone. Most of us are familiar with Citrix and its servers sending applications to your home or other locations. Now, Citrix has released Receiver for iPhone to send applications to a mobile device so you can have your applications any place you might be with your iPhone.” I first mentioned it in May 2009, but I think this is a new version.

Rep. John Murtha, the big-time bringer of federal pork (some of it healthcare IT-related) to the coalfields of Pennsylvania, dies of what appears to be a medical error. Reports suggest that his surgeon at National Naval Medical Center nicked his intestine or a blood vessel during a routine laparascopic gall bladder removal, causing his death from complications three days later.

I ran across CareCloud, some kind of start up that is not very descriptive of its business, a couple of days ago. I also notice that they’ll be pitching to investors at the Health IT Venture Fair at HIMSS. From the minimal description on its site, it sounds as though CareCloud sells cloud-based physician office systems (“a Web-based healthcare IT ecosystem”)with some social networking thrown in. Pretty much everyone on the executive team came from RCM vendor Avisena.

Jobs: Senior IT Systems Analyst (GA), Clinical Informatics Specialist – Pharmacy (MO), Director – Clinical Informatics (CA), Information Services Manager (VA).

Cerner reports Q4 numbers: revenue up 0.1%, EPS $0.71 vs. $0.86. Some of that was because of a one-time benefit from a year ago, but I would still say it’s a pretty poor quarter given all the company’s bravado about HITECH-fueled growth. They beat earnings estimates, though, and nearly everyone admits now (finally) that stimulus dollars won’t be hitting vendor bottom lines for some time.

A Weird News Andy find: a Texas hospital nurse writes a confidential letter to the Texas Medical Board, asking them to check on a doctor whose medical practice she thought was substandard. The doctor, who has been reprimanded several times by the hospital and fined by the medical board for running a phentermine-dispensing weight loss mill, gets her and another nurse fired. He then reports the nurse to his happy patient the sheriff, who hits her with a felony charge of misusing clinical information. She faces up to 10 years in prison for doing what she thought she was obligated to do as a nurse. The medical board sympathizes, saying “It’s sort of an alarming idea that somebody reporting a doctor of concern has to be afraid of criminal charges.” The nurses are suing the county, hospital, sheriff, doctor, and prosecutor for vindictive prosecution and violating their First Amendment rights.

The greenhorn manager’s guide to fixing every organizational problem: (a) draw up a new org chart that looks exactly like the one from five years ago, which was changed back then to fix every organizational problem; (b) implement more systems in which to document work, record time, and report status; (c) move people around and expect significant synergies to result; (d) hold pathetically transparent motivational sessions and team-building sessions among co-workers who dislike each other intensely; and (e) dismiss all longstanding, serious problems as requiring nothing more than fresh perspective, additional meetings, and focused prioritization. This is a composite of all the hospitals in which I’ve worked. I felt the need to share.

PC World mentions Microsoft Research’s work in using consumer products like the Xbox and Windows Mobile phones for health-related functions. “Researchers are also looking at how to automate the data transfer from complex records and choose or filter displayed information according to conditions such as whether the doctor or family members are in the room, which could be detected by sensors, Tan said. Xbox units could be used for those purposes, to present other health information and to let patients play games or access certain Internet services, including through body gestures enabled by Microsoft’s upcoming Project Natal control system, he said.”


Sometimes it seems that as many spare bedroom programmers are writing iPhone apps as there are people using them. This Mayo cardiologist taught himself programming and spent 200 hours writing his 99-cent app that lets users screw around with photos, like adding balloon messages, devil horns, or giant pectoral muscles.

Nuance announces Q1 results: revenue up 21%, EPS -$0.02 vs. -$0.11.

Tasmania’s Department of Health and Human Services has issued a request for tender for a system to create a longitudinal patient with HIE and business intelligence capabilities from its legacy systems, just in case any of you vendors are interested.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

Picis announces its 2009 highlights, which include the addition of 30 new IDNs, 83 CareSuite selections, and a doubling of LYNX revenue cycle customers. Mr. H mentioned the other day that Picis was of HIStalk’s first sponsors and that he interviewed President Todd Cozzens in 2005 (back when he still had to beg people to talk with an unknown blogger). Here is what Cozzens said five years ago:

We’ve got plenty of room for growth. These care areas (ED, ICU, OR) make up over 50% of a hospital’s revenue and expense, and only 7% of ICUs are automated so far. We’ve proven that we have the technology and usability levels for users to spend money to make money in these areas. We’re past the early adoption phase. Most of our OR revenue comes from replacing antiquated scheduling systems, but only 7-10% have automated anesthesia and PACU, so that’s an add-on at the same price as the scheduling system. ED is only 10% automated and a hot area for investment. So, there’s plenty of growth for this company in the next five years, continuing to do what we do extremely well.

east cooper

East Cooper Medical Center (SC) plans to install Patient-Aware OR in its new hospital opening later this quarter.

Mediware announces its Q2 numbers: net income of $783,00, which is a 158% increase over last year; revenues of $10.8M, 8% higher than last year.

Providence Health & Services Washington Region selects Compuware’s EHR Service Delivery Solution to proactively resolve performance issues.


Citrus Memorial Health System (FL) upgrades its HIS to McKesson’s Paragon community HIS. Citrus will use McKesson’s remote hosting services and plans to connect its outpatient clinics that are running McKesson’s Practice Partner ambulatory EHR.

The University of Colorado Hospital is seeking to fill 75 new jobs as it implements its $67 million Epic project over the next three years. Average salary is $74K for positions that include analysts, project managers, business systems analysts, and computer technicians.

I also noticed that MEDecision is soliciting potential employees to schedule an interview with them during HIMSS. If the interview goes well, perhaps you’ll be invited to attend the big party they’re hosting at the Georgia Aquarium. (Unfortunately it is the same time as the HIStalk party or I’d be making plans to be there.)

Phytel raises $14.2 million in funding from investors, including Polaris Venture Partners, Caris, and LAH Investments. Phytel plans to use a portion of the funds to advance product development.

Also raising new funds: PatientSafe Solutions (formerly known as IntelliDOT), which closed on $30 million in Series B-1 financing and will use the money to complete its next generation product.


Concord Hospital (NH) is replacing its Sun Microsystems eGate solution with Orion Health Rhapsody Integration Engine.

Garden City Hospital (MI) integrates Dragon Medical with EmergisoftED in its ED. The hospital says its now creating “transcription-free clinical documentation.” CareTech Solutions provided the implementation training and support for the EmergisoftED and Dragon Medical integration.

The CIO at Wayne Memorial Hospital says their Imprivata OneSign SSO application has eliminated password management challenges and is providing secure access to data from more than 40 applications. Connected applications include MEDITECH 6.0, McKesson PACS, Nuance ESW, Kronos, NetLearning, OWA, and RadNet.

nash health

Nash Health Care initiates a 15-month Cerner clinical implementation nicknamed “On Track for ePatient Safety.” The hospital anticipates saving $8 million a year over five years following its March 2011 go-live.

Cook Children’s Health Care System (TX) signs up for multiple enterprise software solutions from Lawson Software.

A new KLAS report looks at 22 HIE vendors and concludes that most have only one, two or three validated sites. Axolotl has the most live HIE clients in the acute-to-acute space (seven validated.) Epic also had seven validated acute-to-acute sites, though all are Epic software customers. Among acute-to-ambulatory HIEs, Medicity’s Novo Grid leads the pack with 22 live HIE organizations; RelayHealth has eight live sites.

A few sponsor updates:

  • CareTech Solutions names Colleen M. Hanley as VP of marketing, communications, and government affairs.
  • Quality IT Partners wins an IT infrastructure contract with a major health system in the West.
  • Home health provider SunCrest Healthcare selects Philips as its provider of telehealth monitors for home care patients.
  • Rob Kolodner headlines a Sunquest-hosted breakfast March 2nd during HIMSS.
  • BridgeHead Software is surveying hospitals and healthcare organizations to gauge the industry’s readiness for and response to IT growth and the data it produces. If you’d like to participate — and earn a chance to win an Apple iPad – you’ll find the survey here.
  • The Children’s Center (OK) purchases QuadraMed CPR, including the Smart Start solution, CPOE, Long-Term Care and Rehab, and AcuityPlus.

Google plans to introduce a Facebook-ish feature that will make it easier for Gmail users to view media and status updates shared online by friends. I see this as a potentially very bad thing. First and foremost, I am in Gmail all day and I can’t imagine how I will get any work done when I see friends post things like they’ve gotten a new haircut and need feedback, or ask questions like what kind of wine goes best with Mexican, or even that Nordstroms is having a major shoe sale. Second, I am already entrenched in Facebook and I can’t make a switch now (same excuse used by a lot of providers using EMRs). And third, do I really, really need another way to communicate with people? One reason I am really looking forward to HIMSS because I’ll have a chance to talk to people face-to-face versus virtual communication. Who is shocked to know that Mr. H and I have only talked on the phone once in the last year? Yet I know he is always lurking on my Facebook.


Talk virtually to Inga.

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Currently there are "12 comments" on this Article:

  1. I notice that HIStalk did not make their list of “TOP healthcare blogs”, which includes some not-so-stellar ones, so I’m not exactly sure why I’m giving them a free link.

    Cuz you’re fair and U ROCK!

  2. a) I’d like to point out that THCB and the almost unread Health 2.0 Blog (unread because almost everything channels through THCB which does get read) both get on that HIPAA Survival list, whch makes it in soccer terms Matthew 2 Tim & Inga 0!

    Which goes to show what BS those lists are, because we all look at the sitemeters and the ads sold to the left, and we know who owns the HIT blog space 🙂

    b) I hear a rumor that if you beg Inga incessantly, she might let you on the wait list for the party. Otherwise there’ll be a rebel faction going to hang out with the Blues funded sharks at the Aquarium

    c) there’s quite a fuss in the twiitersphere about the lack of support from anyone other than one nurses unions for the nurse who reported the incompetent Texas doc who faces JAIL (the nurse, not the doc)

  3. So the rumor must be true. Someone from KLAS must have a crush on Judy Faulkner. How else could you explain KLAS ranking Epic as a top HIE vendor when all they done is exchange data between Epic users.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Sorry for editing slightly – the original wording, while pretty darned funny, looked like something that could get me in trouble.

  4. The greenhorn manager’s guide to fixing every organizational problem

    Uh, what makes you think this is just restricted to greenhorns?

  5. re: snowstorm power issues – Where were the emergency generators? Didn’t the facility have a business continuity plan that included IT?

  6. According to the uch website that report is slightly incorrect. Below is the link and quote:

    “More than 75 people have already been hired to work on UCH’s Epic implementation. The average salary for individuals involved in the implementation is $36 an hour or $74,000 a year.”
    [From Inga] Further clarification: UCH has plans for 150 people, 75 of whom have already been hired. Looking for 75 more.

  7. Regarding HISTalk not being included in the “Top Healthcare Blogs”, I think this is a good thing. When HISTalk starts being accepted by the mainstreamer’s, it could mean you have changed your approach – and this would not necessarily be a good thing since all of us love HISTalk for running counter to the mainstream. I for one am happy to see you weren’t accepted into the Top Healthcare Blogs – keep up the good work!

  8. All HIMSS10 attendees are invited to the MEDecision Party at the Georgia Aquarium! Whether you are participating in our onsite interviews or taking advantage of the numerous educational sessions available at HIMSS10, we invite you to join us on March 1st for a 3-hour open bar, entertainment, networking and to explore the world’s largest aquarium! Register here: http://www.medecision.com/himssparty.asp

    See you at HIMSS10!

  9. Re: VA. VA continues with the Cerner lab project. They are currently looking for Cerner to provide the software as a service in a hosted environment and are also evaluating possible alpha testing sites.

  10. Good companies attract great sales talent. When experienced sales talent leaves, that should not go unnoticed. Certainly, people will change jobs. However, when you lose (2) 20 year veteran sales leaders and a third proven rep in the same week, it’s not a good sign for Allscripts.

  11. Re: gomer pyle
    With 23% of the US population in the ‘between Epic users’ market and Epic already running a nation-wide HIE with millions of patients sharing data under a sustainable business model, it must be puppy love.

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Reader Comments

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