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March 4, 2010 News 9 Comments

From JT: “Re: speech recognition. I know of patient populations that might be able to use it because of disabilities. Any information you can share is greatly appreciated!” Dragon Naturally Speaking is the standard and the one I bought. It not only does an amazing job of hitting 99% accuracy right out of the box, but also allows controlling Windows functions by voice (like using Word’s menu bar, navigating files, etc.) I know the military puts it on laptops for recovering soldiers who can’t use their hands, giving them a way to use the PC, use e-mail, etc.


From The PACS Designer: “Re: Microsoft Windows Phone 7. InformationWeek has posted a video gallery for the new Windows Phone 7 application. It should give us a good comparison to Apple’s iPhone.”

From Anon: “Re: Epic. Last Monday, Luke O’Voron reported that Judy Faulkner used the HIS Policy Committee Privacy and Security Workgroup call that week to shill for Epic. The transcript is posted (warning: PDF) and I can’t find anything in it remotely like what Luke said. Do you read it the same way?” I don’t see anything that looks like shilling, so I’m not clear on the original reference either.

Listening: Band Marino, possibly defunct indie pop from the Orlando area. They sounded good on the Clemson radio station I was playing in the car this morning, so I checked them out. My favorite tune is here (video).

The strange courtship of Amicas continues. The Amicas board now decides that Merge’s offer of $6.05 is better than the $5.35 one from Thoma Bravo it previously supported (duh). So now it’s back to Thoma Bravo to make a new offer by Monday, which of course they should have done immediately instead of sitting around waiting to have their hand called. Amicas has pushed its shareholder meeting back from March 4 to March 16. PACSMan weighs in on Dalai’s PACS Blog, using one of my favorite movies (Wall Street) as a backdrop. He even quotes the Greed is Good speech that I could recite nearly verbatim like the guys in another great movie, Boiler Room.


Here’s Dr. HITECH, Ross Martin, MD, doing the world premiere of his excellent Meaningful Yoose Rap at the reception.

The VA and DoD disconnect their shared EMR connectivity after after data errors are discovered, first noticed by a doctor who wondered why a female patient had been prescribed an erectile dysfunction drug. As a risk manager pointed out, it’s a good thing at least one error was obvious enough to raise a flag.

Prompt Medical Systems, a “vendor” whose only asset is a CPT entry patent and whose only business is suing other vendors (it doesn’t even have a Web site that I could find), files suit against nearly everybody selling an EMR, extending a string of lawsuits going back to 2005. A Virginia investment banker apparently funds the lawsuits, filed in friendly Texas courts.

Lakeland Regional Medical Center (FL) selects API Healthcare’s time and attendance and remote hosting solutions. API also announces go-lives at seven provider organizations.

A Microsoft VP makes an odd suggestion: treat PC security as a public safety issue and collect taxes to fund “hospitals” that will remove viruses and reduce their spread. Seems like that’s their job, especially since Apple users aren’t having problems.

A survey says 58% of doctors not using EMRs now plan to buy within two years, but would prefer a hospital help cover the cost. Federal incentives and penalties were cited as the main adoption drivers.


Eclipsys announces Helios, its open architecture platform that exposes Sunrise Enterprise 5.5 to third-party developers. Already building add-ons: Microsoft, Capsule Tech, and Hill-Rom. A reader asked why I hadn’t mentioned it, with the main reason that John Gomez already talked about it here when I interviewed him right before Christmas. ECLP calls developers out in the Helios site: “An open invitation to innovate. Competitors welcome.”

Merge Healthcare and Mass General will partner to build a testing environment for mobile healthcare applications.

Odd lawsuit: an IHOP cook accidentally cuts off his fingertip, which nobody can find. It turns up in the fried chicken salad of a woman eating after-church brunch. She suing for $20.5 million.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From Midwest Doc: “Re: roundtable with Blumenthal. I was one of about 40 physicians who somehow earned an invite to a roundtable with Dr. Blumenthal. I was impressed that he cared enough to ask our opinions. He had a politically correct answer for every question we posed of him, so maybe he is well suited for his job.”

From Day Tripper: “Re: ambulatory EMR vendors. I asked several EMR vendors if they have seen a big increase in buyers, especially now that we at least have the interim final use definitions. The general consensus is that many physicians are still dragging their feet.” I’ve heard that comment as well. Either because of fear or because it sounds like a good excuse, many physicians are waiting until the MU guidelines are truly final and the certifying entities are identified. Perhaps a minority of physicians are savvy to understand that the RECs will offer some free implementation services so they are waiting for those to ramp up. And, likely others are waiting to see what opportunities their hospitals may offer to affiliated physicians. In other words, if you are looking for an excuse to not move forward, there are plenty to choose from.

From Samantha Brown: “Re: shoe patrol. Inga, please tell me. Was Judy wearing Birkenstocks?” Gosh, I was so excited that she was there I failed to notice the shoes!!

jonathan and judy

From Justen Deal: “Re: HIStalk party. Overheard: ‘Judy and Jonathan in the same room? Isn’t that like matter and antimatter?’? One observation: The fact that Jonathan Bush was able to charm a crowd made up mostly of his competitors says a lot about his comedic timing. Secretly, nearly everybody in the room is terrified of him,since his business model scares the scheiße out of them. I think the atmosphere (read: the lager) helped reduce their fears, at least for the evening.”


From BFF in Footwear: “Re: Inga Loves My Shoes! I must say that last night’s party was incredible — two of my dreams came true. First, I got to meet and chat with a very gracious Judy Faulkner, a woman who has been my inspiration and a role model for building and growing my software company. And second, I received the industry award that I have coveted for years — the Inga Loves My Shoes. I will wear my sash proudly and strive to always be worthy of this honor.”

From Inga BFF: Re: great reception. The venue was wonderful and good beer was involved, to boot! It was a high-powered crowd, and yet everyone was friendly and cordial. Please let your reception sponsors know that we truly appreciate what they did.”

Before HIMSS, I was sent a notification that I might want to attend the “CCHIT EHR Certification Town Hall.” I was quite frustrated Monday because I could not find the session either on the navigation kiosk or the paper schedule. I eventually found it, but learned the session had been renamed “EHR Certification Town Hall.” The CCHIT folks were still leading the session, but it was interesting that either CCHIT or HIMSS decided to drop CCHIT from the title. One of the more troubling points made was that the ONC is not expected to designate CCHIT or any other entity until late 2010, or even into 2011. Everyone assumes CCHIT will be one of the certifying bodies but until it is etched in stone, plenty of conservative buyers are going to wait for the final, final declarations.


I wonder if Mr. H and I were the only ones who noticed the HIStalk signs displayed at many of our sponsors’ booths? Thanks for the promotion.

I’m still wading through the endless number of e-mails and need some PR person to answer me this: why does every single vendor feel the need to issue press releases during HIMSS? Don’t companies realize their news is more likely to be overlooked because of the sheer volume being churned out by companies, PR people, and media outlets?  But what do I know? I’m just a blogger. If you haven’t had a chance to see some of the news highlights, hang on for these brief updates:

  • CynergisTek announces a new data loss prevention solution that leverages its partnership with Code Green Networks.
  • Gartner places Compuware in the “leaders” quadrant of its “Magic Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring” report.
  • The AMA and Ingenix form a partnership to offer the web-based Ingenix CareTrack through the AMA web site.The AMA says that they will be offering additional new technologies to help enhance physician practices. The AMA also announced a collaboration with Dell, which sounds as if it is part of this same physician-automation initiative.
  • UPMC announces the development of new PHR technology created in collaboration with Google Health, Carnegie Mellon University, and dbMotion.
  • Precyse Solutions introduces Catalyst, a front-end automated speech recognition product.
  • NextGen introduces a special offer to provide rural and community hospitals free financials with a qualifying purchase of inpatient clinicals. The NextGen Clinicals, by the way, is the former OpusClinicalSuite. NextGen was also named a winner of an MS-HUG 2010 Innovation Award in the category of Interoperability/HIE for its work with Doylestown Hospital (PA) and the Doylestown Clinical Network.
  • MGMA President and CIO William F. Jessee announces he will retire in the fall of 2011.
  • Enterprise content management vendor Hyland Software acquires eWebHealth, a provider of hosted medical records workflow solutions.
  • MED3OOO and Acryness announce a strategic partnership to provide the MED3OOO QuikBill patient billing solutions, powered by Acryness, to MED3OOO’s RCM and ASP practice management clients.
  • CHIME awards fellowships to Pamela McNutt of Methodist Health System (TX) and Rick Schooler of Orlando Health (FL.)
  • 4medica launches its Integrated Health Record designed to tie patient data from diverse care settings to create a single picture of an individual’s patient record.
  • Fifty eldercare agencies join the Rochester RHIO, which is powered by Axolotl’s Elysium Exchange.
  • Nuance introduces a suite of voice-enabled mobile solutions for smartphones including Dragon Medical Mobile Dictation, Search, Recorder, and SDK.
  • Healthland releases an EDIMS for small community hospitals, as well as an Analytics solution.
  • Covenant Health and Sharp Healthcare select Allscripts Care Management and Post Acute solutions for their hospitals and post-acute care facilities.

Posting from the HIMSS Facebook page on Tuesday, the day of the big snowstorm: “HIMSS 5K Fun Run has been moved Indoors. Please come to Hall A, A1 to register. Run starts at 4 p.m.” I wish I had seen the run.


Speaking of Facebook, if you have any great HIMSS pics you’d like to share, our HIStalk Fan page is waiting for you. I have uploaded a few that readers have forwarded, but haven’t had time to load all of them yet. Feel free to friend me since you can never have too many friends, right?


E-mail Your Friend Inga.

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. Regarding the proposed Merge buyout of Amicas, it is my opinion as a customer of both Amicas and Merge, that this is a bad idea. Our staff would rather work with Amicas, both from a technical and sales perspective any day of the week. While Merge’s technical support has improved these past couple of years, it still has a long way to go to match Amicas. From my own personal experience, Amicas is much more reasonable with its support fees and license fees.

    We have our fingers crossed that Thoma will come through with a better bid and protect a good company (Amicas).

  2. Hey… it’s not fair!
    Last year all you heard was b*tch*ng about the snow in Chicago, its snows like Vail on Tuesday in ATL and nobody cares!
    It took me an hour to ride the bus in on Tue all because those wimpy southerners can’t drive in a flurry.

    I say we move HIMSS back to Chicago next year, can’t be any worse than ATL. And from what I hear the city will give us a great deal since McCormick Place keeps losing shows.

  3. RE: HISJunkie

    You do realize that no one can drive in snow & ice if the roads aren’t salted and plowed. That doesn’t occur in the South…but occurs with regularity in the Northern cities. I can’t find any Northerner who is comfortable driving in ice, so how do you expect the Southerners to do the same?

    Chicago was a mess not because of the weather, but the total venue and sheer cost. HIMSS could have done a bit of a better job in arranging the halls in Atlanta, but at least Atlanta is built to do shows and allow for people to afford to go to them.

    My vote is San Diego again.

  4. A Microsoft VP makes an odd suggestion: treat PC security as a public safety issue and collect taxes to fund “hospitals” that will remove viruses and reduce their spread. Seems like that’s their job, especially since Apple users aren’t having problems.

    Come’on….if Apple had 98% market share, the virus creators would target them and the Microsoft folks would be tossing out the cheap comments from the peanut gallery.

  5. “The AMA and Ingenix form a partner to offer the web-based Ingenix CareTrack through the AMA web site.”

    Ask AMA how much Ingenix is paying them.

  6. “The VA and DoD disconnect their shared EMR connectivity after after data errors are discovered”

    One would have thought VA would have been especially cautious about the types of errors that occurred.

    Recall “IT Vulnerabilities Highlighted by Errors, Malfunctions at Veterans Medical Centers”, JAMA 2009;301(9):919-920, http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/extract/301/9/919

    After a software update of the electronic medical records system at VA hospitals in August [2008], health care workers at these facilities began to report that as they moved from the records of one patient to those of a second patient, they would sometimes see the first patient’s information displayed under the second patient’s name.

    … Nine VA medical centers reported another type of problem related to their electronic records system: physician orders to stop medication were missed, causing some patients to receive intravenous medications longer than necessary. The problem occurred because after the software upgrade, physician orders to discontinue such medications, which had previously appeared at the top of the screen, were not displayed.

    In 3 cases, patients received infusions of drugs such as heparin for up to 11 hours after their physician had ordered the drug to be discontinued.

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