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News 4/16/10

April 15, 2010 News 11 Comments


From The PACS Designer: “Re: Google Documents. In a challenge to Microsoft Office, Google has expanded its online document offerings. TPD has been using the Google spreadsheet application for some time and now will be testing the new features as well as the usability of Google Presentations and Google Drawings.”

From Rysanwss: “Re: Yale-New Haven. An EVP made a formal announcement to the IT staff that Epic is in their future. No signed contract yet, but they are close.”


From Jobs: “Re: Apple iPad unpacking video. A staple of Star Trek movies is a long, slow tour around the exterior of the ship, showing the exquisite detail of nacelles, the phaser emitters, the gentle curves of the saucer section, etc. This scene is ‘trekkie foreplay’. The iPad video is the Apple version.”

O’Connor Hospital (CA), Orlando Health (FL), St. Vincent’s East (AL), Huntsville Hospital (AL), and UC-Irvine (CA) are recognized for excellence at the annual conference of Surgical Information Systems.


Sad news: Steve Tanaka, CIO of Palomar Pomerado Health (CA), drowned last week while on vacation on Costa Rica. He was 50. The hospital has created the Steve Tanaka Award for Excellence to honor his work and memory.

This story doesn’t inspire much confidence in healthcare IT security. Auditors reviewing the security of electronic patient records of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority found so many vulnerabilities in every area that they buried the report for six months, fearful that anyone reading it could start digging through its systems. “No intrusion prevention and detection systems exist to prevent or detect certain types of [online] attacks. Open network connections in common business areas. Dial-in remote access servers that bypass security. Open accounts existing, allowing health care data to be copied even outside the Vancouver Coastal Health Care authority at any time. Almost all users have some access to confidential information about all clients in the database. Many clients’ full health information is accessible to a large number of users.”


Software developed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to optimize the schedules of astronauts based on their sleep rhythms may have a role in healthcare, with potential use in creating employee schedules, predicting low-performing times to avoid errors, and using light therapy to  change natural sleep cycles. I found a free beta download here.

From Weird News Andy, who comments on his find as <predictable>The thought of an implantable chip just gets under my skin.</predictable>. PositiveID (formerly VeriChip) strikes a deal with the International Maritime Medical Association to offer its PHR to seafarers. WNA also found this story about the theft of 57 hard drives from BCBS Tennessee, now estimated to include records of 1 million patients.

Jobs: Cerner Build Specialist, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Regional VP Sales – HIT Consulting, Anesthesia Product Specialist.

Epic CEO Judy Faulkner will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree on May 14 from her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sheehan Medical Cork Medical Centre, the first new private hospital to open in Cork, Ireland in 30 years, awards its IT contract to Meditech. The company has several other Irish clients.

Dennis Quaid has produced and narrated a documentary called “Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm” that will air on the Discovery Channel next Saturday, April 24. It was inspired by the near-fatal heparin overdose given to his infant twins at Cedars-Sinai.

An Army doctor faces court martial after refusing deployment orders to Afghanistan, stating his belief that the orders are illegal because President Obama was not born in the US and therefore cannot serve as his commander-in-chief.

University of South Florida will hire 100 “e-ambassadors” for its stimulus-funded PaperFree Florida electronic medical records initiative.


Christoph Lehmann, MD, a Johns Hopkins neonatologist, is chosen as founding medical director of the Child Health Informatics Center, an American Academy of Pediatrics informatics group created in October 2009. That group will design a prototype model electronic pediatric health record.

A former medical records clerk of St. Peter’s Hospital (NY) is arrested for stealing patient information and shopping online using their credit card numbers. He was caught after ordering merchandise and forgetting to change the default shipping address, sending a package to the house of one of his victims, who realized someone else had ordered it using his credit card.

Oppenheimer upgrades shares of open source vendor Red Hat to outperform, while UBS flags the company as a compelling takeover target.

Odd lawsuit: the sister of a man accused of beating his parents to death sues the hospital for negligence in the death of their mother, claiming “wrongful death”.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

danville polyclinic

Danville Polyclinic (IL) selects Sage Intergy EHR for its 40-provider practice. The clinic already employs Sage Practice Management and Practice Analytics.

Enterprise Software Development changes its name to Enterprise Software Deployment to better reflect the company’s evolved breadth of EHR implementation services. You can check out their good-looking new logo and ad to your left.

mPay Gateway says more than 800 physicians signed up for its patient payment system during the first quarter of 2010.

I don’t think I’d be starting a career in PACS sales any time soon, assuming the results of this CapSite Consulting study are accurate. Currently 96% of hospitals have already own PACS solutions and only 17% of the surveyed hospitals have plans to buy a new or replacement system. The biggest imaging IT spend in coming years will be for image archiving and storage, plus voice recognition tools. Almost half of hospitals with PACS cited functionality as the biggest weakness of their PACS.


CareTech Solutions doubles its number of Web Products and Services clients in fiscal year 2010, now serving over 150 hospitals.

Cardiology Associates (AL) picks Allscripts’ EHR for its 38 providers.The practice will tie the EHR into its existing Allscripts PM and document management systems.

Complete Women’s Imaging (NY) selects Merge Healthcare to provide a diagnostic imaging workflow solution, including Merge’s Fusion RIS/PACS MX.

Desert Orthopedics (OR) plans to implement SRS hybrid EMR for its 10 physicians.

heart hospital alb

The Heart Hospital of New Mexico chooses TeleHealth Services for interactive patient education services.

IDC Health Insights takes a peek at 14 HIE vendors and provides assessments on their offerings (for $4,500, you can get a copy of the report and fill us in on the details). For the most part, the 14 vendors were the ones I would have expected (Axolotl, dbMotion, Medicity, etc.) One surprise vendor was eClinicalWorks. I knew they had an HIE product, though it’s not heavily promoted. On the other hand, I know other ambulatory vendors like NextGen and Allscripts are trying to establish an HIE presence, yet were not included. A quote:

Typical of nascent markets, the HIE vendor market is volatile with new entrants and market consolidation. We can expect dramatic changes in the next 12 to 18 months as HIE technologies become a commodity and dominant players acquire their way into a crowded market currently made up of many small, privately held vendors.

The California Telehealth Network awards AT&T a $27 million contract to build a telecommunications network to connect hundreds of providers throughout the state.

Spheris wins court approval to sell its assets to fellow medical transcription vendor CBaySystems Holding for $116.3 million, which includes $98 million cash.

Here’s a good tax day story for you. The president of a San Diego medical billing company pleads guilty for failing to pay $2.5 million in employment taxes, even though the taxes had been withheld from employees pay checks. Anthony Vacchi, Jr faces up to five years prison.


E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Dennis Quaid is an idiot and a jerk. I wish people would stop listening to his spattering documentaries on how his over privelaged kid that he had with a wife half his age lived after a healthcare employee caught the error. He is a jerk and I am speaking from someone who has met him. He should be praising the healthcare system for saving his childs life instead of pointing out an error that the health system caught.

  2. SIS announcement on their hospitals – it would be wise to fact check this stuff as there is some question of if the anesthesia product touted was actually ever really installed there. It was sold, it was launched, but was it ever really used?

  3. The news about Steve is very sad. Great guy, great CIO and a reminder that life can be short. Our thoughts are with his family!

  4. I am glad Dennis Quaid is using his celebrity and energy to do what he is doing. He is bringing to light the very real possibilities that healthcare introduces errors. His efforts can help others.

    Why would we want to keep this information hidden? Why would we want to inhibit education that can bring about efforts to help mitigate the problem?

    Maybe healthcare providers are fearful of getting exposed for making errors. The idea here is not to admonish only…

    Yes, if I was a healthcare provider I would be afraid of exposure…. however, I would be happy to see new ways of doing things that minimizes human errors. That should be the goal… not hide the problem in hopes it goes away by itself.

    Besides, with the onset of digital patient data and the likely resulting analytics, healthcare providers need to be braced for the onslaught of exposed critical failures in the way they are practicing medicine. Take it on the chin and continuously improve your practice of medicine.

    Shouldn’t you be doing this anyway?

  5. Not sure what Dennis Quaid did to Big J to cause such a vitriolic post. Thought for a minute I was reading comments section from MSN or FoxSports instead of HISTalk.

    I agree with Free Speech. Mr Quaid may not have all his facts straight – but if his celebrity can force manufacturers to improve labelling when hospitals and healthcare professionals have been unable to – more power to him!

    We will all be safer as healthcare consumers when that happens.

  6. If I were an HIT vendor, I would not want my products to cause death. I would want them approved by the FDA. I would want the doctors to desire to use them. NOT “Yes, if I was a healthcare provider I would be afraid of exposure…. however, I would be happy to see new ways of doing things that minimizes human errors. That should be the goal… not hide the problem in hopes it goes away by itself.”

    The epidemics of heparin mistakes never occurred prior to the distractions and disruption wrought by use unfriendly computerization. People have been rendreded decerebrate by the dysfunctional machines. Thus, heparin mistakes and other pathetic deaths, like the guy at MGH who died from alert fatigue. Hello?

  7. The FDA doesn’t really know how to regulate software. It’s a farce. If your premise was true, then sure, a good idea. But it’s the premise that simply isn’t true.

    If you want organizations that make a difference, look to ISMP.

  8. Where is Monday’s show? No news?

    Canada: “Almost all users have some access to confidential information about all clients in the database. Many clients’ full health information is accessible to a large number of users.”

    Now that is meaningfully useful??

  9. deinstaller: Do you have any evidence to support your wild claim that “The epidemics of heparin mistakes never occurred prior to the distractions and disruption wrought by use unfriendly computerization”?

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