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May 11, 2010 News 7 Comments


From Snoop John B: “Re: Cattails MD. Heard its implementation at Ministry Health has been suspended because of poor upgrade quality.” I asked Ministry CIO Will Weider, who says the implementation has not stopped. Three clinics are live and planning is underway for the remainder. They are reviewing their plans and figuring out how to incorporate Meaningful Use. Will was nice enough to provide a summary:

There have been the usual surprises and unanticipated occurrences. So, this won’t be my first flawless large clinical project. In March the system (it is hosted by Marshfield Clinic) had some stability problems. That may be the source of frustration from your source. It was frustrating for us too, but Marshfield Clinic, led by their CIO, has taken ownership of their problems. We at Ministry are also working through our issues. The situation has improved and Marshfield Clinic has bent over backwards to provide us reports to monitor stability. They are also quickly updating their systems to prevent recurrence of the problems. They have been very transparent in their efforts. I have lots of different clinical system vendors, so I can put Marshfield Clinic’s support in perspective. They are better than most, but admittedly, the bar is not as high as I would like. As you can see, I am not afraid to share the good and the bad (hence the blog name candidcio.com). Our contract doesn’t contain a gag clause like many vendors. So, I will email you directly if our plans change.

From 153 Anecdotes: “Re: FDA’s MAUDE database. Updated with additional anecdotes.” MAUDE is FDA’s database of voluntary reports of adverse events caused by medical devices. There are quite a few reports related to Cerner Millennium, although there’s no way to tell if they were filed by one disgruntled practitioner or several concerned facilities. Some (most?) of the reports involve design complaints rather than actual examples of patient harm, such as: “This cpoe product allows doses to be ordered that are not a multiple-s- of the pill size.”


From Nolo Contendere: “Re: does anyone do background checks? [Name omitted] was recently hired as VP of sales for [vendor name omitted]. Here are links to public records. People are sending this all around, making the vendor a laughingstock.” I’m omitting the names and the links since I don’t want to get threatened, sued, or notified that the guy killed himself or something because I mentioned his crimes (theft, drug possession, driving violations, etc. with some jail time and house arrest). Or for that matter, notified that it’s someone with his name but not the same guy. If it is, he’s bounced around quite a few EMR vendors and has also been accused of stealing leads from competitors a la Glengarry Glen Ross.


From The PACS Designer: “Re: Google search enhancements. Google has made over 500 changes to its search capabilities over the last year. TPD likes one of the new search options that now appears on the left when you first begin your search effort.” I noticed the 3D logo, the left column that allows subsetting the results by source, and some minor redesign. I like it.

Listening: She and Him, musically marginal, but I’m crazy enough about about Zooey Deschanel in movies that I’ll listen to her sing.

Weird News Andy runs across PriceDoc, which he calls “Priceline for doctors” where prospective patients can name their own cash price for specific dental, medical, and vision procedures.

I got a really nice handwritten card from Brittanie Good, marketing director of Enterprise Software Deployment, who thanked Inga and me on behalf of Team ESD for mentioning their new sponsor ad. “We are very excited about our growth and refreshed changes, and we are proud to be a sponsor of HIStalk. We love what you do – keep up the great work!” I’m always amazed and moved that I have such supportive sponsors. I’ve stood the card proudly right beside my monitor.

A New York Times article titled The Agenda Behind Electronic Health Records pits athenahealth’s Jonathan Bush against ONCHIT’s David Blumenthal over the issue of whether HITECH is a cash-for-clunkers program for old-line vendors at the expense of upstarts or the logical way to goose EMR usage among reluctant providers. According to Bush, “Established technology is being given a federally funded new lease on life … Traditional health software now is on Medicare, being kept alive like grandma.” Blumenthal’s comment was that the government had to intervene to correct a market failure, saying, “The market doesn’t reward performance.”


Speaking of athenahealth, the company responds to Dr. Deborah Peel’s HIStalk editorial on athenaCommunity and patient privacy.

Jeff Surges, sales president for Allscripts, is appointed to the board of Merge Healthcare.

Voalté releases a white paper covering the use of smartphones at the point of care.

A medical group that provides services to correctional facilities in 25 California counties chooses eClinicalWorks.


Mac McMillan, CEO of IT security consulting firm CynergisTek, is serving (warning: PDF) as a panelist at a HIPAA conference sponsored by the Office of Civil Rights and National Institute of Standards and Technology that started Tuesday. His session involves OCR’s enforcement of privacy regulations.

Evidence-based protocol platform vendor Order Optimizer forms a strategic alliance with EHR vendor Prognosis Health Information Systems. Prognosis will make Order Optimizer’s protocols and orders available to its customers, along with its SaaS-powered merging engine.



Intuit will buy (warning: PDF) Cary, NC-based patient portal vendor Medfusion for $91 million in cash. Intuit (QuickBooks, Quicken, TurboTax, and Quicken Health) says it will use the Medfusion’s technology to enable patients to communicate with providers, review their health information, and track their healthcare expenses. They also mention the Meaningful Use requirement to give patients access to their records. Medfusion founder and CEO Stephen Malik will become an Intuit SVP and general manager. Allscripts announced a deal to distribute its patient portal a year or so ago.

Vanderbilt chooses Allscripts Care Management for discharge planning.

Nuance announces Q2 results: revenue up 19.2%, EPS –$0.05 vs. $0.02 due to the cost of its acquisition of SpinVox, which converts voice mails into text and e-mail messages.

Cottage Health System (CA) expands its use of Eclipsys applications by choosing the PeakPractice PM/EMR and Eclipsys HealthXchange to link community physicians with its inpatient Sunrise Enterprise system. The HIE product is powered by Medicity.

Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital (IL) says it saved $3.4 million in nurse labor costs through its use of the Kronos workforce management system to reduce overtime and agency use.

Hunterdon Healthcare (NJ) uses InterSystems Ensemble to connect its QuadraMed Affinity HIS to the NextGen PM/EMR of its physician groups.


Twelve hospitals in Australia sign contracts for the Emendo CapPlan capacity planning software. The company plans to enter the US market next year.

Apollo Hospitals, a private hospital operator in India, signs a deal with Cisco to deploy desktop-based telemedicine applications to rural parts of the country.

All Children’s Hospital (FL) will expand its use of GetWellNetwork’s education and entertainment system, courtesy of a donation from a local entrepreneur.

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. An astute pathologist, Dr. Siguel, commented in the NY Times report: “Will the future bring chaos, errors, undesirable outcomes? Or will health IT coordinate itself to find optimal diagnosis and treatment while lowering costs and eliminating fraud and abuse? How well the government runs its information systems or private industry handled mortgages, oil spills, toxic chemicals or bacterial contamination in food? ”

    You aptly opine : “Blumenthal’s comment was that the government had to intervene to correct a market failure, saying, “The market doesn’t reward performance.”

    The nation’s crises are plenty. Blumenthal rather than Bush is disgruntled. Blumenthal wants to control medical care and remains a surrogate and mouth piece for the government takeover of medical care. Bush is merely an enthuisiastic CEO critical of the government takeover.

  2. Evidence exists that attitudes remain contentedly ebullient that CPOE can do no wrong. Identical attitudes resort to name calling by Mr. HIStalk, who himself, should rely on Inga (where is Inga, I miss her levity?) as a judge of character, vis a vis, the Levy defense by Mr. H. The follorwng was discovered on an FDA website “Vital data on critically ill pt was missing from the powerchart record over a duration of several days. Care was disrupted and delayed. Hours of professional time were wasted. The patient had a double identity in the powerchart. Spuriously, the data transferred to the other identity, that was not present on users’ pt lists. The powerchart did not provide indication that patients had two or more listings, nor were the two identities combined despite same names and vital statistics.” Mr HIStalk, Inga, or/and any one else, please explain how that is possible with computers. Was the patient disgruntled?

    Everyone is trying. There is not any room for name calling.

  3. Mary Thompson – No one is arguing CPOE is the end-all-be-all… In fact, CPOE, Nursing Documentation, Care Plans, eMARs, etc. have all given visibility to a poorly run system with many holes. Computer systems aren’t supposed to save lives, but help the nurses and physicians do their job better and assisting them in double checking their work to reduce errors. Health Systems should not let IT make their decisions of how to implement the system…the people who actually use the system should be the ones designing and planning the implementation.

    Do you understand that before computers in health care, there was really no way of determining the cause of that issue like you mentioned from the FDA website? Paper charts were duplicated and many times the length in which it took to bring up a chart to even work on a patient resulted in ADEs or other issues with the patient. Many other issues we had NO way of tracking or even had the opportunity to prevent occurred on a regular basis.

    I think I speak for the vast majority of the audience who frequents this blog when I say, “If you don’t have a way to solve the problem, pipe down.” Constantly citing snippets of errors that occur out of the millions of successful patient records that are funneled through these systems doesn’t do anything but create background noise. If you truly want to change, help change the problems.

  4. “theft, drug possession, driving violations, etc. with some jail time and house arrest).”

    And how does this mean he’s not a good VP of Sales. Does the fact that someone used to have a substance abuse problem, ran into some trouble, but is now on the wagon, mean they should never be allowed to work again?

  5. Zooey Deschanel is not a bad singer especially when she croons like she did in Elf or alternative rock like in Yes Man. What say you?

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