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June 10, 2010 News 6 Comments


From Vic Damone: “Re: Eclipsys Helios. I think that this is a capital idea. No company today can meet all needs of the enterprise. Look at all of the Microsoft-based products out there or, perhaps even more similar, look at all the add-on products for an iPhone. Even in the Epic world there has been a lot of custom development, either by Epic or sometimes by the client. There was none in the Eclipsys world, at least on the Sunrise side.” Agreed. It’s cool. Cerner has something similar, giving clients access to the code hooks to customize and extend their apps. As a customer, you definitely want that.

From CPAhole: “Re: Allscripts. Over $650 million of Goodwill and Intangibles, most of which should be written off as the products are abandoned. That does not include at least $50 million in acquisition costs associated with the Medinotes/Bond acquisition. There will be many past sins buried in the Eclipsys reorganization costs.”


From PACSman: “Re: Allscripts. Glen Tullman was the mentor to Michael Ferro in Merge Healthcare’s takeover bid of AMICAS. IMHO, Merge will be the next Allscripts acquisition IF they can stay alive for the next 6-12 months.”

From Lederhosen: “Re: Eclipsys and HIEs. HIE strategy eludes me totally on both vendor and client side. Is it really sustainable? Why do two or more competing health delivery organizations want to participate? How many interfaces need to be supported? We’re still struggling just to get EHRs up or just trying to get a provider to use a PC.”

From Wildcat Well: “Re: Philadephia. Why was an EMR/PHR guy called up for a fourth presentation to Comcast’s top brass?”

From Fan # 2333787: “Re: eClinical Works. Has Sam’s Club quietly discontinued their partnership with eClinicalWorks? The link that they originally publicized is now redirected to their main page and a search brings up nothing relevant.” eCW will provide an official response to your question, but advises in the meantime that some of the Sam’s Club health offerings have been moved under Walmart Health and Wellness. More to follow.


From GoGreen: “Re: Dale Sanders. You were interested in how Northwestern University’s school of medicine CIO Dale Sanders ended up in the Cayman Islands. Please send Inga there to get a first-hand report. Many thanks for your excellent site!” I’ve been to the Caymans several times and I’m pretty sure I remember seeing telephones there, so instead, Inga could call him from home while she stands in a sandbox wearing a bikini just to get the island flavor. I’ll pay for her braids. 


Inga and I appreciate the support of Stockell Healthcare Systems of Chesterfield, MO, a brand new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor. The company’s tagline is The Revenue Cycle Information System Company, including its InsightCS suite that streamlines patient access, reduces payment delays and denials, manages payer rules upfront, and submits cleaner claims with better point-of-service collection. Specific solutions include revenue cycle management, patient access, patient accounting, order management, reporting, worklists, and business intelligence, all built on the .NET framework and using scalable Microsoft technologies such as SQL Server and Reporting Services that lower the cost of ownership. We thank the folks at Stockell for supporting HIStalk.


This is a fun idea: Hilo Medical Center (HI), which converted from paper to Meditech in May in a project it calls Health Connect, names its Health Connect Baby, the first newborn brought into the world using its new EMR.

I said in 2007 that I thought Second Life was clunky and pointless despite all the hospitals and webheads raving about how transformative it was going to be for business and consumer commerce. Maybe in a virtual world, but in the real one, Second Life parent Linden Labs is tanking. Predictably, Second Life proved to be as pointless for corporations as it was for everybody else, although the article mentions that Children’s Memorial Hospital (IL) is doing something that doesn’t sound all that useful on it. My words from 2007: “I tried Second Life once and was bored after a few minutes of fumbling around, but apparently it’s quite the hit, especially for nerds whose First Life isn’t what they’d hoped.” Twitter will be next, I predict, like any other tech fad that’s overrun with spammers, corporate marketers, and creeps.

HIMSS promotes John Hoyt to EVP, Organizational Services, which apparently includes running HIMSS Analytics since Dave and Mike bailed bailed for greener ($$) pastures. I know John from his Martha Jefferson Hospital CIO days. Hospitals considering Cerner knew to call him about the rampant performance issues Millennium was having back then in his little hospital. On site visits, I thought the hourglass was a screensaver.

The Minnesota nurse strike happened Thursday, with 12,000 of them walking off the job at 14 hospitals. The planned sympathy strike in California was blocked by a judge. Agencies charged up to $2,000 and more to provide replacement nurses for the day, including an extra day of orientation. Want to bet that some of the strikers came back as agency nurses for the day, covering a different hospital to avoid detection? Seems suspicious that the strike was supposedly over the nursing shortage, yet replacements were found.

Now I’m really glad I moved HIStalk to a new server last week. The Allscripts-Eclipsys news sent traffic through the roof, with over 8,200 visitors on Wednesday alone. Without the new hardware, you’d have been looking at the same hourglass as those early Millennium clients. Of course, HIStalk reported it first, thanks to Inga being up and about in the middle of the night on Twitter and Facebook (insomnia, she claims) and readers who e-mailed me from Europe and elsewhere, allowing me to send out the blast well before 7 a.m. Eastern. A reader comment: “Thanks for the excellent coverage that HIStalk provides. I got a call from an investor advisory company asking me to do a conference call about the merger. Not having seen the news, I was blindsided, so while the person was talking, I quickly turned to HIStalk, got the general info, and sounded completely informed and up to date!”

I always urge readers to put their e-mail addresses in the Subscribe to Updates box to the right. Signups were heavy Wednesday, so I’m guessing my dire warnings were accurate: know-it-alls who got the Eclipsys news before daylight Wednesday because they’re on the list must have started contacting colleagues to smugly tell them the news. That’s what I would have done.


Holon gets a double welcome: one as a new Platinum Sponsor of HIStalk, but a second as a new entrant into healthcare IT. The Atlanta-based Holon (from the Greek holos, or “whole”) offers its Holon Process Adaptability Interoperability Framework, an enterprise application integration (EAI) platform that supports interoperability, data exchange and translation, workflow, a rules engine, and document management capabilities. The hardware- and software-agnostic solution lets hospitals extend and enhance their existing systems without resorting to point-to-point connections, thereby easing the transition to CPOE and challenges with Meaningful Use. Obviously there’s a lot of interesting detail on their site, particularly on the downloads page. The company is new to healthcare, but its parent and executives have a long history of providing tools to accelerate workflow and enhance business processes (not to mention that some of its execs have deep healthcare roots). Thanks to Holon for choosing HIStalk to get the word out.

Our own Dr. Gregg Alexander uses Eclipsys PeakPractice in his practice. His thoughts on the Allscripts acquisition are on HIStalk Practice.

Texas Medical Institute of Technology is offering a free Webinar on bar coding solutions from pharmacy to bedside, with speakers that include Charles Denham, David Bates, Eric Poon, and some other high-profile presenters. It’s next Thursday, June 17, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

TPD is updating his iPhone Apps List, so let him know (through me) if you’ve seen something interesting.

Jobs: Ambulatory EMR Administrator, Clinical Process Consultant, Soarian Clinicals – Plan of Care, Soarian Pharmacy and MAK.

A New York Time article says rural Iowa clinics are the first in the US to use telemedicine and telepharmacy to remotely dispense abortion pills.

An employee of Phoenix Health Systems, contract IT services provider to Salem Hospital (OR), is arrested for allegedly causing $200,000 worth of damage to a hospital administration building by stuffing a drain with paper towels and leaving the water running. I guess he wasn’t clever enough to be a hacker.

The VA announces an $80 million technology competition for solutions to its biggest problems, targeting areas such as telehealth and clinical applications that integrate with VA systems.


I really like this article: librarians at the William H. Welch Library serving the medical school, public health school, and hospital at Johns Hopkins University are transforming themselves into “informationists” who work side-by-side with researchers and students to help them find the information they need. The goal is to shut down the central library, which is scarcely used in an electronic information age, and to make “the library be wherever you are.” I’ve always said librarians and HIM people should be the stars of the healthcare information age, except nearly all of those I’ve known are quiet and passive. I’m not judging — IT and finance people are often like that, too since that’s what draws them to those fields instead of being salespeople or entrepreneurs.

A strange new medical research finding: almost 8% of people studied had sexsomnia, a propensity to have sex while sleeping. It was three times as prevalent in men (insert your own punch line here).

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From Joe: “Re: EMR warning, in response to Suzy RN. Although you make some great points, I believe you are directing your ire in the wrong direction. It would be Dr. Blumenthal’s evangelism that is creating plenty of angst and running our patient care quality and integrity of our physicians off a cliff, But, this is not a message he invented. He is, like a good soldier, merely working hard to promote the message from the White House and with the WH’s CTO breathing down his back and insuring he stays on message. Our industry must take our messages of caution and slowdown to Secretary Sebelius and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”


Like unsavory ambulance chasers, several law firms commence investigations into “possible breaches of fiduciary duty” and other violations associated with the Allscripts/Eclipsys acquisition. Must we?


WakeMed Health and Hospitals adopts Clinical Xpert Billing, a charge capture solution from Ingenious Med and Thomson Reuters.

mPay Gateway announces the general availability of its Advance Payment Plan, an enhancement to its point-of-care product that allows physician offices to establish patient payment plans.

I’ve spent the last couple days talking to all sorts of people about the Allscripts and Eclipsys. In general, people tell me they believe it’s a good move and especially beneficial to Eclipsys. Allscripts brings a strong management team with a proven track record of merging companies and products. Allscripts also has one of the strongest marketing machines in HIT. Allscripts has a strong ambulatory EHR solution (or three or five) which will appeal to many health systems in Eclipsys’ sweet spot. Meanwhile, Allscripts increase its chances selling EHR to more of these large health systems. Of course there are many unknowns and uncertainties (what products, management structure, integration, company cultures etc.) but I don’t see the move as some disaster waiting to happen. In fact, it might actually work out pretty well on several fronts. It will be fun watching it unfold over the coming months.

Emdeon taps Franklin Baumann, MD as chief medical officer to provide clinical oversight and strategic planning for Emdeon’s Interactive Care Management suite. He has served in clinical leadership positions at UnitedHealthcare, Dreyer Medical Clinic, and Rush-Copley Medical Center.

Colorado Casualty Insurance files a federal lawsuit that contends it’s not liable for reimbursing the University of Utah for $3.3 million in costs associated with a 2008 data breach in its hospital. The case is related to the theft of backup tapes containing PHI for 1.7 million patients, which were stolen from a private vehicle belonging to an employee of a secure storage company. This may be a case to watch.

RealMed signs a multi-year claims processing agreement with UHealth, University of Miami Health System, and the UM Miller School of Medicine.


Henry Ford Hospital (MI) names Dr. John Popovich its new CEO and president. Popovich, a pulmonary disease and critical care medical specialist, has been with Ford since 1975.

Siemens Healthcare enters an agreement with SSI Group to resell SSI’s ClickOn LinX technology for claims editing and transmission.

Start-up company Healthrageous secures $6 million in Series A financing for its personalized health technology platform. The solution was developed with Partners Healthcare Investors’ Center for Connected Health.


Dell continues to make hay in healthcare, inking a deal with Stellaris Health Network (NY) for hosting of its Meditech system, disaster recovery, and network and application support.

I was fascinated by this article that highlight the success of electronic health records in a small town in Spain. They informed citizens via radio announcements that they could electronically schedule appointments and renew prescriptions. Patients asked doctors if they could use it, which led physicians to adopt it. Doctors and pharmacists are encouraged to manage drug costs. Not sure how much of the Spanish approach could be translated to the US, but perhaps there are a few gems there worth stealing.

A few sponsor updates to round out your week:

  • Mary Staley-Sirois joins DIVURGENT as a principal responsible for leading the company’s clinical transformation practice.
  • Rich Fishback, formerly with Thomson Reuters and MercuryMD, has joined Salar, Inc. as RVP of sales for the Southeast, where he’ll lead sales efforts for the company’s electronic documentation and charge capture solutions for hospitals. 
  • North County Health Services (CA) selects Sage Intergy’s EHR, practice management and community health center modules for its 53-provider practice.
  • Ingenix completes a system-wide rollout of enhancements to its CareTracker EHR, providing physicians the capability to demonstrate Meaningful Use.
  • Caritas Christi Health Care (MA) deploys MedAptus’s Intelligent Charge Capture suite.
  • MED3OOO signs a multi-year agreement with RealMed to provide claims processing.
  • maxIT Healthcare announces creation of a new healthcare management consulting division, led by former Dearborn Advisors SVP/Partner Reese Gomez.


E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Thanks for a little break in the acquisiton action, Mr. H. Your “sexsomnia” news at last may explain why my wife thinks we’re having far more of a night life than I do!

  2. Seems suspicious that the strike was supposedly over the nursing shortage, yet replacements were found.—The so called
    “nurse shortage” is a straw man argument. It is never about nurse shortages. It is about working conditions.

  3. I’m wondering if all the Eclipsys folks who will lose their jobs are feeling as good (as we are) about watching the merger play out ? Having worked at Eclipsys for several years in the early part of this century (okay, so I have a flair for the dramatic)… I have been constantly amazed at the cast of Bozos who have served in senior leadership positions at the company. It was like watching a collective unconscious in action…. Anyway, I feel sad for the employees who aren’t going to get anything out of this deal except an unemployment check.

  4. Regarding the comment from Vic Damone and your reply: One of the great features of Eclipsys is the ablility of the customer to easily add to and change the software. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering we have made extensive use of this feature.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Pat – I saw your chemo ordering module at a HIMSS session. Amazing! I was impressed by both the work put into it and the capability of Sunrise to support that level of customer development.

  5. Just got back from vacation and was catching up on HISTalk. I though I noticed that someone updated the Meaningful Use table originally constructed by Inga months ago. Went back to find it and couldn’t. Conducted a search and couldn’t find it either. Was I dreaming? If not, would you mind resending the link?
    Much thanks.

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