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March 23, 2010 News 9 Comments


From Lee H: “Re: Marshfield Clinic. Bob Carlson is out of the CIO role after just a year. The previous CIO is back for the interim.” Unverified. Bob’s still listed as CIO on the clinic page, but not on his LinkedIn profile. The former CIO was Carl Christensen, moved to CTO last April.


From T. Corolla: “Re: HIStalk. I started reading you the day the blog hit the center column of the WSJ. There are a lot of blogs and there is a lot of criticism of the healthcare industry flung about. I’ve been in it for 35 years and I don’t have time for people who bleat just for the attention. The WSJ article gave you credibility. So I’ve been reading and recommending HIStalk ever since. It has been the single most helpful glimpse into this world. I get sick of the self-gratifying vendor claims and the paid endorsements. I want to know if a product is useful, if the people behind it are honest, capable and knowledgeable, and where it has been deployed. I want to know if promise didn’t pan out. When it is a success, I’d like to know what made it successful. I want to know about what other organisations are doing. I want to be told a straight story. A little humour helps because this is a crazy world and we all need a laugh. You and Inga do that well. What you both do is valuable to me. Thank you for doing it. And thank you for doing it so well.” And thank you for those extremely kind words, which I hesitate to run because it appears immodest, but I conveniently justify it with the rationalization that I’d run them even if they were critical. Since I’m feeling nostalgic, above is my very first HIStalk post from June 30, 2003.


From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows 7 sales soaring. As we move toward the middle of this year, it looks like Windows 7 is going to be a huge success. The increased sales are from desktop users who want the latest and greatest from Microsoft.” I’m actually running the beta of Office 2010 and it’s pretty good, at least for the minimal uses I have for it. Ever notice that each Microsoft software release goes toward more muted colors? I like that since, taking a cue from car makers (maybe not the best source of inspiration) it makes the old model look gaudy and cheap by comparison. I also noticed that WinXP support ends on July 13, meaning you’d better either be planning to go with Win 7 or to install XP Service Pack 3.

From UKnowMe: “Re: Epic. It seems just about every week I hear about another organization that has selected Epic. How in the world are all of these implementations going to be staffed with experience people? Consulting firms and hospitals are already killing themselves trying to keep up. What will the market look like 3-6 months from now?” Probably about the same — experienced people pitching engagements, newbies actually running them.  

Listening: Brendan Benson, pretty good power pop if you’re in the mood for something peppy. I’m kind of not, so I’ve moved to Nightwish, dark Finnish operatic metal.

The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and the former president it fired in December exchange lawsuits. They allege fraud; she claims wrongful termination; the lawyers squeal with delight.

Trinity Health (MI) chooses workforce management solutions from Kronos for its 46,000 employees.


It’s Weird News Andy’s moment in the sun, about, as he calls it, “not the sharpest knife in the drawer.” A teenager working in an Internet cafe is assaulted by gang members who accuse him of cheating in a video game. He ends up with a 10-inch kitchen knife shoved completely through his skull, sticking out of both sides of his head. He strolls into the local hospital, where employees thinks it’s a teenage prank with one of those Halloween knives until he collapses. Luckily (or maybe not, depending on your perspective) it didn’t hit anything important and he’s fine. And in a rare double header, WNA says of a boy with a record 31 fingers and toes who’s having some of them removed, “Inigo Montoya must really hate this kid.” I just saw Princess Bride again last week, so I got it right away. Incontheivable!


The State of Massachusetts, drooling at the prospect of federally fueled HIT dollars, will hold the Governors National Health IT Conference on April 29-30 in Boston featuring Governor Deval Patrick, Kathleen Sebelius, David Blumenthal, John Halamka, Marc Overhage, Paul Tang, and Micky Tripathi. Registration runs $350 for non-profit employees and $500 for for-profit. Unfortunately, I expect the HIT benefits listed in the headline above are in order of importance.

The New England chapter of HIMSS will hold its annual public policy forum next Wednesday in Norwood, MA.

iMDsoft gets its first sale in Denmark, with Gentofte University Hospital choosing MetaVision clinical information system for its brand new ICU. The company also announces that Dominion, an IT solutions provider in Spain, will distribute MetaVision in that country.

The fired CEO of University Medical Center (NV) goes on trial, facing charges of giving no-bid contracts worth $10 million to acquaintances. One consulting company had no other clients and was housed in the garage of the owner’s mother. The CEO blamed the computer system for his need to stop providing monthly financial reports, after which the hospital was found to have lost $50 million in the previous two years.


I installed a cool iPhone theme on HIStalk Practice just to make Inga happy, so if you read it on a smart phone, it’s going to be fast and cool. I’ll put it on HIStalk when I get some time. 

BusinessWeek speculates that if Google or Microsoft makes a bid for Nuance as has been rumored, the healthcare operation, which makes up 44% of sales and includes Dragon Medical and eScription, could be split off and sold to an acquirer such as Cerner, HP, or IBM.

A university in Switzerland is examining bodies using a virtual autopsy robot based on MRI technology and topography software, which also makes a copy that can be studied later.

A man is arrested in Australia for posing as an female nurse in suicide chat rooms and persuading at least five people to kill themselves in front of a webcam while he watched.

In the UK, The Guardian claims that the $20 billion NPfiT project is closed to going down in flames, besieged by missed deadlines and flagging support. iSoft’s Lorenzo was supposed to be live this month under threat of replacement.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

TriZetto Group signs an agreement with 3M Health Information Systems giving TriZetto the right to include the 3M ICD-10 Code Translation tool with several new services for payers under its TriZetto Advantage 10 Services family. Initially TriZetto will integrate the 3M technology in a provider contract modeling service and ICD-10 translation mapping service.

Consulting firms Deloitte, ACS, and CSC hold the largest share of clinical implementation engagements, according to a new KLAS report. When acting as the lead on clinical engagements, ACS, CTG, and Deloitte earned the overall highest performance ratings, winning higher rankings than past leaders like IBM and CSC. In addition to full service firms, companies like maxIT Healthcare and Vitalize were noted for their experience and solid team of skilled consultants.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center launches an enhanced version of EDIMS EHR in its emergency department. The latest release includes an RCM module, CPOE, and improved physician and nursing documentation tools.


Vitality will rely on the AT&T wireless network for its Vitality GlowCaps product, intelligent pill caps that fit on standard prescription bottles and use light and sound reminders to remind patients to take medications. If patients don’t comply, they’ll receive a phone call or text message reminder.

Lake Region Healthcare (MN) selects Allscripts EHR and PM solution for the 50 affiliated providers at Fergus Falls Medical Group.

The Mayo Clinic enters into a collaboration with VitalHealth Software to develop an EMR specifically for primary care physicians. The technology platform, which will launch later this year as a SaaS offering, is based on several years of development and implementation design within Mayo’s primary care practices. VitalHealth is a joint venture between the Mayo Clinic and the Netherlands-based Noaber Foundation

alaska native

The Alaska Native Medical Center selects Cerner’s HIS solutions, including registration, scheduling, and CPOE. An October 2011 go-live is planned.

Hudson Headwaters Health Network (NY) adds  athenaClinicals for its 100 providers. Its 12 health centers already use athenahealth’s RCM service.

Psychiatric facility Silver Hill Hospital successfully implements Medsphere’s OpenVista EHR.

Chamberlin Edmonds and Associates introduce PinPoint, a Web-based patient eligibility screening application for hospitals.

East Carolina University’s Family Medicine residency program selects Retasure for retinal risk assessments.

Excellus BCBS awards 48 New York hospitals over $22 million in quality improvement incentive payments. The program targets improvements in clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient perception of care and patient satisfaction, and efficiency.

Disturbing: two armed gunman in Maryland storm a medical office training class and rob 15 students. Tuition was due that day, so each student was carrying $440. Despite the arrival of police and SWAT teams, the robbers got away.


NorthBay Healthcare (CA) implements 250 ZynxOrder evidence-based order sets within its Cerner Millenium CPOE.

Medical ID theft is definitely not funny, but I found a bit of humor in this story. A patient discovers a $12,000 charge on her healthcare credit card for a a liposuction procedure. She never had the procedure, though someone else did using her identity. After contacting the medical practice and police, she waited at the clinic for the impersonator to show up for the next appointment. Do you think she was able to identify the thief by her svelte thighs?


E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. “From UKnowMe: “Re: Epic. It seems just about every week I hear about another organization that has selected Epic. How in the world are all of these implementations going to be staffed with experience people? Consulting firms and hospitals are already killing themselves trying to keep up. What will the market look like 3-6 months from now?” Probably about the same — experienced people pitching engagements, newbies actually running them.”

    You got it right on the nose. And those newbies are being asked to implement multiple products that they may or may not be certified in and most likely have zero experience with. What a sales team!

  2. “Inigo Montoya must really hate this kid.” I just saw Princess Bride again last week, so I got it right away. Incontheivable!

    One of my fav’s also. Therefore you know, “you killed my father, prepare to die”!!! That is of course unless you think that I switched cups with you when you were not looking and of course that is what I wanted you to think, but knowing that you would think that, you knew that I knew that you would think that therefore I did not switch the cups. Let us drink to life!!!

  3. Has anyone actually ever seen an Epic person installing an Epic application they weren’t certified in? Doubt it. Pretty strict and process oriented place and if it ever happened it would be a rare rare exception.

    As far as industry consultants go in general, even Epic staff will remind you to verify that a third party consultant is actually certified in the application you are paying them to help you with. It isn’t enough to be certified, you have to be certified in the application you’re installing.

  4. Re: Epic – I also believe they have seen the trend of many more of their customers “going model.” Epic does a remarkable job of gathering the best system configurations from across their clients and stitching this into a model system, complete with basic process flows, system content (ex: forms and templates, “picklists”, order sets, flow sheets, work flows, reports), and combines this into a tested configuration. Don’t get me wrong, there is still much work to do, but for an organization that needs to rapidly implement, this turns the activity into much less “blue sky” planning and into a “review and update” exercise. Cross-department, module and system flows are the place to focus. This is where there are some weaknesses. That is something you should be doing regardless of the vendor.

    The clients (or their consultants) still need to be pretty well-versed in the application, maybe even more so, as a change in one area may have a ripple effect. Usually, an organization’s leadership also initially buys off on this approach and compressed timelines are agreed upon. Later, when issues (ex: we just can’t do that here, we just aren’t staffed to do that, we don’t have one person qualified to do “x, y, and z”) arise and organizations modify the model system, these challenges manifest themselves.

  5. “Probably about the same — experienced people pitching engagements, newbies actually running them”

    In the best instances. Sadly there are too many recruiters with no experience bottom feeding. I have seen lots of people not certified in EPIC products implementing. Indeed employed by some of your sponsors. Often these people are trained by other consultants at the expense of the client. It’s a big money game, as you know, and plenty of people are playing the system. The best consulting firms are under the radar. Pulling talent from their network. They are the ones not in the numbers game.

    And of course certification guarantee the absolute basic knowledge to be on a team. To be a consultant? Not really in my view. It’s like coming out of college, your learning starts there. Yeah you can build a flowsheet, but you shouldn’t be consulting. You would be surprised how many people are. The quality is certainly on a downward trend.

  6. I find it interesting that so many people are commenting on Epic Systems sales. 4 days until I hit my 1 year from leaving date and I’m eagerly watching the market to find somewhere I can hop onto the management team and I’m finding zilch. A great deal of contract work is available though, and I’d probably even earn a better wage being a road warrior but I’m ready to find a project and see it through from start until finish.

  7. jeremytech

    Please give Mr. H. permission via another posting so that he can send me your e-mail addresss, I may have any opportunity for you to grab some EPIC type business with a bleeding edge solution I’ve developed for healthcare. TPD!

  8. Hi TPD, Loved the interview you gave in 2007, you can email me at the username I use on here @gmail.com

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