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Monday Morning Update 3/22/10

March 20, 2010 News 3 Comments


From kITty: “Re: Detroit Medical Center. Sold to Vanguard Health Systems.” DMC signs a letter of intent to sell out to the for-profit Nashville chain, with the hospital’s CEO saying, “The nonprofit hospital model is killing health care in the city of Detroit.” It will be interesting to see how a for-profit operator can improve a situation in which the local economy is wrecked and the hospital is burdened with charity care. I assume from my long-ago, not fondly remembered experience in working for a for-profit hospital chain that the bean counters will run wild trying to cut costs and manipulate the patient mix for maximal profit, which is of course what for-profit companies do to benefit their shareholders, hopefully not at the expense of their customers (patients).


From mrsoul: “Re: today is Certified Nurses Day. Unlike CPHIMS, you actually have to verify education and experience BEFORE you can take the board exam. Re-certification does take effort and diligence. I am a CPHIMS too; but, I can tell you the RN-BC from ANCC testifies far more effort and experience to my peers. Happy vernal equinox!” Friday, March 19 was the day to recognize certified nurses, including those holding ANCC’s informatics nursing credential. If you are a board-certified RN, a belated happy Certified Nurses Day to you.

Trident Medical System (SC) goes live in the ED with Oacis HIE in a Carolina eHealth Alliance-sponsored program that connects 11 EDs. Trident is Columbia HCA’s hospital group and Oacis HIE connects their Meditech systems with each other and those of MUSC.

John McConnell, who made a couple of kings’ ransoms in selling out Medic Computer System and A4 and then bought golf courses, gets back in the software business. He’s buying a golf club management software vendor. Allscripts probably won’t be buying this one from him.


Parrish Medical Center (FL) claims a 31% reduction in mortality and a 77% drop in non-ICU code blue calls as it uses Clinical Xpert CareFocus from Thomson Reuters in a Six Sigma project involving its rapid response team. The software identifies patients at risk through an ongoing review of meds, results, vitals, orders, and other clinical data.

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Readers generally agree that companies aren’t doing themselves any favors by holding their press releases until HIMSS week, along with everyone else. Make the announcement before the conference, 68% of you said. New poll to your right: what influence does the HIMSS annual conference have on hospital IT buying decisions?

I notice that the visitor count will hit 3 million before long, so I assume Inga is preparing for her usual celebratory pomp and circumstance. She loves watching that counter.

TPD has updated his excellent list of healthcare iPhone applications with many new apps.

The acquisition of QuadraMed by Francisco Partners has been completed.


An interesting perspective from Indra Neil Sarkar, director of biomedical informatics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, on the role of informatics related to EMRs:

AMIA is making very good headway in this community. There are only about 2,000 to 5,000 of us who are formally certified informaticians. Someone at a medium-sized hospital might have the title informatician, but they are really IT and not informatics. And if there is one term I have an issue with, it’s ‘health-IT,’ it’s the misnomer that we’re stuck with.

Informaticians need IT, but if you ask me to fix something on my computer, I am not a hardware guy. It’s a way of thinking. Many informaticians here fell into the field by accident. I grew up with computers and had strong ideas about the role of computers in microbiology. I am not a physician but I have a lot of interest in medicine. I had the notion I would spend most of my time in the lab using a computer on the side, but I have a dry lab, I don’t maintain a wet lab.

Creating data is not the problem; it’s understanding the data, and that is where AMIA fits in with its history. Its main meeting is more oriented toward electronic health records. This meeting is, ‘Let’s take EHRs and basic bioinformatics for granted. Now what can we do with the data?’

The Las Vegas newspaper reported on confidentiality breaches at University Medical Center a few months back, but this seems to stretching the point: an investigative piece reports that hospital managers don’t have good records of who has keys to the shred bins. The maximum fine for that egregious act: $400. Must have been a slow news day.

CHRISTUS Health engages MEDSEEK to develop its consumer portal and will eventually implement the company’s eHealth ecoSystem.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Detroit Medical Center. Bingo, Mr. HISTalk. You are correct. How willing is the Blackstone Group (the VC behind Vanguard) willing to fund the uninsured in Detroit. And how much of a golden parachute did the top leaders negotiate for themselves?

  2. Re: Las Vegas newspaper report. Hmm, on a further read of that article, I think the issue isn’t that someone had access to shredded information or the shredders, but the fact that these bins stored patient info waiting to be shredded (wow, using a variation of “shredder” three times totally gives me a Ninja Turtles flashback).

    Seriously, since someone using a stolen or lost key could potentially have access to this information, it sounds like it falls under perview of the new Breach Notification Rule, which made clear information had to be made unusable to unauthorized users, not just inaccesible.

  3. There are only about 2,000 to 5,000 of us who are formally certified informaticians.

    Formally certified? Certification in medical informatics does not yet exist. Perhaps he meant postdoctoral-trained or degreed?

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