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April 1, 2010 News 6 Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Wall Street Journal iPad review. TPD has always admired Walt Mossberg’s technology reviews and he’s done another good one on the Apple iPad. The iPad is thinner than a netbook and weighs only 1.5 pounds. Walt was able to get eleven and a half hours on the battery before needing a recharge! If you want to be the first to have one, get in line early as supplies are limited due to production being offshore.”


From anesoptime: “Re: Epic. Go to epic.com today, April 1st. I’ve worked with many of the big EMR vendors and many niche vendors. This is one of the many reasons I will only work on Epic projects and for Epic clients. They have a sense of humor and they do everything first class or at least put their best foot forward.” Lots of folks e-mailed me about Epic’s brilliant home page replacement, full of phony April Fool’s news (click the image above to enlarge it if you missed it). More than one person was fooled by the “Company Reveals Plans to Go Public” headline, I’m told. Also on the page: Epic Issues First Press Release; Epic Offers Training Course in Cow Chip Throwing, Suggests You Duck; and Epic Offers Organic, Home-Grown Carrots as an ARRA Alternative for Docs. Truly inspired, irreverent, and right in character. They are the Google of HIT. Apparently the employees didn’t even know about it.

From zaphod bebblebox: “Re: CSC. Ouch! CSC and iSoft again miss a go-live date at critical first major activation site amidst comments of failed data loads and in excess of 100 software errors. CSC have been told by NHS that they will not receive expected substantial cash payments associated with this milestone and their hoped for contract reset will not be signed.  Both CSC and iSoft had previously told analysts that they were expecting these payments for their end of quarter results and that they would meet this milestone. More importantly, Morecambe Bay Trust have decided NOT to go-live on the software at any forseeable date.”

I just ran an interview I did Wednesday night with Gary Cohen, executive chairman and CEO of iSOFT. I asked him about the critical Morecambe Bay go-live. That’s important because it was announced today that the NHS-mandated deadline has been missed, meaning that primary contractor CSC will not be eligible to get a renegotiated deal and, in fact, may be in danger of being replaced (although in the UK, “with whom” is always a good question since all the usual contractors have already bailed). Judging from the rhetoric, I’d say it’s an NHS bluff, especially considering that the trust itself has some responsibility for its own state of readiness. Still, it puts the heat on CSC contactor iSOFT and its Lorenzo system, also discussed at length in my interview.

I got a surprising number of well thought out comments about which hospital system would be a good choice for a 200-bed hospital with limited IT resources. If you want to chime in, e-mail me. I’ll share those suggestions in the Monday Morning Update, along with the advice I originally gave.


Pharmacy OneSource rolls out VeriForm, a Web-based hospital checklist system for reminders and documentation.

A reader tells me that CSC Healthcare is losing executives, including its retiring president.

March was a record month for HIStalk, with 94,834 visits and 128,894 page views. Thanks for reading.

Jobs: Project Manager, Implementations; Senior Healthcare Informatics Analyst; Meditech LSS Consultants.

Monica Arrowsmith, formerly chief quality officer and attorney with Clarian Arnett Health (IN), joins the ARRA-funded Indiana Health Information Technology Extension Center as director. It starts up this month.


Former Siemens Medical Solutions CEO Janet Dillione turns up after a hasty post-HIMSS resignation. She has been named as EVP/GM of the healthcare business of Nuance. In the Know actually tipped me off early Wednesday morning.


Odd lawsuit: a doctors’ union is suing St. Barnabas Hospital (NY) for planning to spend stimulus money to replace a parking lot with a deck, claiming that 20 parking attendant jobs will be eliminated as a result. The hospital says the union is just causing trouble because it’s trying to unionize the residents.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital (AZ) chooses MedAptus Enterprise edition for professional, facility, and infusion pump charge capture.

Hayes Management Consulting announces its assistance services for ARRA-funded regional extension centers.

Paul Peck, a 30-year veteran of healthcare strategy and executive management, has joined Culbert Healthcare Solutions as VP of consulting services, where he will manage the physician practice service lines and launch new acute market services.

Listening: Michael McDermott, reader-recommended Irish-American folk/pop music. I like it.

A University Medical Center (NV) employee says the $155 per hour contracted IT director was spying for the hospital CEO, now on trial giving no-bid contracts to acquaintances. One of them was the IT guy.

Picis gets two new VA contracts for anesthesia systems.

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (NH) sues its two former pathologists under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, who it claims deleted computer records when their pathology group was replaced. The hospital claims the docs brought in external hard drives, downloaded hospital information to them, and then used a drive scrubbing program to delete the hospital’s data. The hospital became suspicious when they found a DriveScrubber 3 CD in the laptop’s CD tray.

An Illinois eye surgeon files suit against Microsoft, claiming he invented and patented technology that would allow Zune music player users to buy songs they hear on FM radio. He offered the technology to Microsoft in 2006, says he never heard back, and it popped up in the Zune two years later.


HHS spends $26 million of HITECH money to hire a PR company to try to convince consumers that their privacy concerns involving electronic medical records are unwarranted. The company hired was the same one who sent out a fake video news story awhile back, including an actor posing as a reporter, that was found to have violated a federal ban on propaganda.

Kleiner Perkins, which you may recall started a $100 million fund in 2008 to invest in iPhone applications, chips in another $100 million and expands the fund to include iPad applications.

Nepal will implement a telemedicine program connecting 25 remote hospitals in the Himalayas to specialists in the capital of Kathmandu via satellite.

Former MinuteClinic CEO Michael Howe is named board chair of NHIN/HIE vendor MEDNET.

The Mississippi Coastal Health Information Exchange starts Phase II of its Medicity-powered project, which will add four new health systems, a community outreach training program, and further integration with EHRs.

Enovate, maker of mobile and wall-mounted computer workstations, is named to “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch”.

E-mail me.


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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: “They are the Google of HIT.” Don’t you mean, the Topeka of HIT? 😉 Loved the Epic homepage, especially the part about “Meaningful Ewes.” And Happy Easter, Mr. HISTalk!

  2. RE: Epic website. Don’t miss the press release. The link on home page takes you to following press release(http://www.epic.com/pressrelease.php):

    Epic Issues First Press Release
    Verona, Wis. (April 1, 2010) – Healthcare software company Epic issued its first press release today. “We decided it was time to release this press release to the press,” said an Epic spokesperson. “Many people believed this day would never come, but here it is.”

    The press release is 61 words long and contains five sentences.

    Epic was unavailable for comment.

  3. Think about this…
    The one vendor that is mentioned most on HIS Talk never has had a sponsor add.
    Is this woman smart or what???

  4. Re: Morecambe Bay/iSoft. The challenge with Gary Cohen’s assertions Mr. H , is that this was not THE deadline for a go-live. This was the latest in a series of deadline’s stretching back more than 3 years for the NHS. Morecambe Bay have been actively engaged as the prime site for Lorenzo for almost 4 years and from my own personal knowledge have fully committed themselves to being succesful.

    I don’t wish to clutter your comments section with the tawdry history of the slippages and missed deliveries committed to by CSC and iSoft, but for those interested use the search capability on the news site below and you will see the answers for yourself that Morecambe Bay and the NHS have been more than patient with both CSC and iSoft. I commend Christine Connelly for having the ‘cojones’, right as an election is being called, to take the correct and appropriate commercial stance with her suppliers.

    Scroll all the way back to 2006 stories on page 5 of the search results and read forward.


    The Obama administration today has revealed a key finding that it has been very carefully concealing up to this point in its Healthcare Reform efforts. U. Gotta Bekiddin, a spokesperson for Dr. Davis Bloomington, the head of the OCN, told reporters that it has been determined by semi-scientific studies done in various sectors of the country, including many planned communities in Sim City, that imposing additional high taxes on individuals and businesses, including the unemployed and homeless, leads to “significantly better health and reduced medical errors”.

    According to one un-named source in government think-tank firm Yooseless Research, this startling fact will have a major impact on the administrations healthcare reform plans, especially in the incentives regarding EMR adoption. Up to this point, the government has put forth an arcane, impossibly-complex program to reimburse providers who purchase “certified” EMR systems and use them in a “meaningful way” “It was intended to show everyone how unfeasible such a program was”, said Mr. Bekidden. “Now, we can unveil our bait and switch maneuver and we believe everyone will be greatly relieved”.

    Armand Aleg, a cost overrun specialist at Rahm’s Car Wash, told us, “The incentives offered as part of ARRA are causing too much consternation on the part of vendors, frustration with consultants and pundits, uncertainty on the part of insurance companies, and complete confusion on the part of doctors.” The cost over ten years of this incentive program is about $150 for every man woman and child in the country over five years. “And the results expected are very iffy”, Aleg added.

    On the other hand, simply taxing every citizen an additional $100 per year and just giving it to the EMR vendors, on the condition that they will make no attempt to sell EMR to providers, will make everyone happy. The vendors have a huge pool to divide up without having to suffer through trying to implement recalcitrant providers; the consultants and pundits are happy in that it gives them great opportunities to sell their services to flush vendors; and the providers are all thrilled that they don’t have to implement EMR systems they are clearly dubious about.

    Having everyone in the country be happy will have a major impact on the healthcare throughout the country. Studies show that the happier people are, the healthier they are. Happy doctors treat their patients better and make fewer mistakes. Insurance companies will be happy because of fewer claims to deny paying and this, too, will make doctors happy. And the consultants and pundits will have all kinds of material to create a firestorm about…after all, if everyone is happy, no one needs a consultant.

    Happy April Fools Day everyone. Dream on.

  6. International Failures of HIT: “Re: Morecambe Bay/iSoft. The challenge with Gary Cohen’s assertions Mr. H , is that this was not THE deadline for a go-live. This was the latest in a series of deadline’s stretching back more than 3 years for the NHS”

    It is worse than that. The Brits refer to the HIT systems as etiology of mayhem. One will only wonder how many patients died.

    Will the US learn from the experinces around the world that they were sold a pig in a poke by the HIT industry, a global fraud. HIM$$ International educated those overseas using the same textbooks as in the US.

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