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June 29, 2010 News 13 Comments


From The PACS Designer: “Re: Yoono. Yoono allows you to connect to all your social networks and instant messaging services in one place.” Guess all the good domain names were taken if Yoono was all that was left. I gave up on Twitter about five minutes after I tried it. Recruiters have run everyone off from LinkedIn. Facebook is pretty cool, but trending up on self-conscious constant users trying to impress their phony online friends with minimally clever observations. Still, Inga and I like it when someone Likes or Friends us on FB because we’re just as vain as everyone else when it comes to public displays of fake affection, the electronic version of the Hollywood air kiss.

From ExER: “Re: Betsy Hersher. It seems she’s back in the recruiting business. Her picture and references are gone from CES Partners and she’s working with former employee Bonnie Siegel on a search.”

From GladToBeLongGone: “Re: you won’t run this, but word is that Mr. Big Yahoo whose name sounds like his initials at a company being acquired is already looking for a new gig. This should be good news for all the sales people at Newco since the guy who should get the top job doesn’t have that incredible ego.” I expected that — the coattails he rode in on are long gone.

From Medsync: “Re: baby pool. Join the pool on the arrival of the Blumenthal twins, Meaningful use and Certification.” Someone set up an online “when will the baby be born” contest. Funny. The MU draft went out right before New Year’s, as I well know since I worked frantic hours summarizing it here, so maybe the final version will come out this holiday weekend and mess up another holiday for me.

I’m in solo mode again as Inga takes a bit of me-time. Here are a few quotes from her e-mails to me today to tide you over (feel free to guess the context): (a) “Seems to be a lot of interest in porn stars these days”; (b) citing readership increases since she came on board, “just saying … I’m sure your work contributed to that growth as well”; (c) with a forwarded press release of dubious value, “Hmmm …”; (d) when testing a change I had made in the HIStalk display on smart phones, “We have been re-mobilized.” She’s a bit terse from her iPhone, but always entertaining.

Listening: new from The New Pornographers, indie pop from Canada.


Back in March, I dug out a juicy nugget from an internal VA report: it was scrapping a $150 million patient scheduling system without ever bringing it live. The GAO weighs in with its official report (warning: PDF), pegging the cost at $127 million and saying “VA has not implemented any of the planned system’s capabilities and is essentially starting over.” The contractor that developed the system with “a large number of defects” walks away with $65 million. GAO finds much to criticize about the VA’s involvement: lack of competitive bidding, sloppy specs, unreliable status reports, and lack of action by project oversight groups when the project started tanking. They made the same massive mistake they made with BearingPoint in the also-failed, $472 million CoreFLS — they just gave the incumbent contractor more work orders against an existing maintenance contract instead of bidding it out. All of this started coming out a couple of years ago in various reports, which got a few VA bigwigs fired and some politicians fired up to hold VA accountable. The contractor is not conspicuously named in any of these documents, but it appears to have been Southwest Research Institute of San Antonio, a non-profit bringing in $564 million per year. It was founded, oddly enough, by an Texas oilman named whose last name was Slick.

A Compuware survey attempts to make a point about clinical system response time, but I’m not going to bother with the results because their methodology was terrible. They scrounged up 99 respondents to take their survey, all from social networking sites and with no apparent attempt to qualify the respondents by the system they use, their roles, etc. Given that the company is in the infrastructure business, you will not be shocked to learn that they conclude that clinicians taking Twitter surveys aren’t happy with response time. (note to self: develop a Twitter-based CPOE system and go public fast).

A Dr. HITECH contribution for Independence Day (please, can we avoid calling it the Fourth of July?) Ross Martin, MD, MHA re-imagines a National Anthem that’s easier to sing and allows variations (hopefully better than those godawful hack jobs done to the Star Spangled Banner by “Nashville recording artists” and diva-lites before NASCAR races). You can vote for Ross’s version.

A new KLAS report covers cardiovascular information systems. Its conclusion: they suck. Every vendor except Philips and Digisonics gets a lower client satisfaction score than last year, making the CVIS segment one of the worst. Those vendors: Agfa, Fujifilm, GE, HeartIT, Lumedx, McKesson, Merge, ScImage, Siemens, and Thinking Systems. KLAS says 30% of respondents are hoping to dump their vendors, concluding that they “fail to deliver on integration, functionality, and service expectations.”

I installed a new smartphone display format for HIStalk, HIStalk Mobile, and HIStalk Practice. If you’re a mobile user, it should be fast, sleek, and easy to read.

I liked HIT better before the politicians got involved and vice versa. Dr. Ron Kirkland, a self-styled conservative Republican running for Congress and former chair of the American Medical Group Association, bragged on AMGA’s political involvement in getting HITECH passed. Now that he’s running for office, he hates HITECH, saying the country is going bankrupt because of “the bailouts, the ridiculous stimulus plans, the outrageous farm subsidies to big corporations, and yes, even the small incentives for electronic medical records. We must end them now!” In the mean time, his 120-doctor clinic will lap up $4 million from the HITECH feed trough. A bang-up reporting job by Andis Robeznieks from Modern Healthcare. You can tell the real journalists like Andis from the posers: Google their subject and see how often (95% of the time, in my experience) they obviously just saw a press release, e-mailed a couple of people for vanilla quotes, and wrote it up cleverly like they sleuthed out real news.

Ed Marx always updates his CIO Unplugged posts with responses to reader comments, which he’s just done for his CPOE adoption one.

I’ve mentioned business analytics vendor Qlik Technologies a couple of times going back to February 2006. It’s doing an IPO valued at around $700 million.

Mass General’s Emergency Medical Network develops an ER locator app that covers the entire US.

Misys PLC CEO Mike Lawrie says that even though the company will cash in most of its Allscripts shares, it remains committed to Misys Open Source Solutions. It’s an odd press release: he made the quoted announcement at a company sales conference, not generally perceived as the best venue to deliver objective news.

IASIS Healthcare extends its plans for McKesson Horizon Clinicals, committing to physician documentation and CPOE in its 16 hospitals.


University of Tennessee Medical Center chooses GE Centricity Perioperative.

Industry longtimer Bettina Dold joins transcription vendor Acusis as director of product development. 

Australians won’t be able to review their medical records online for at least two years, the health minister says.

Sponsor news:

  • IntraNexus has a shiny new Web site, which I notice includes a handy features and benefits list for each application in their SAPPHIRE lineup.
  • Bayonne Medical Center (NJ) goes live with Picis ED PulseCheck two months ahead of schedule, integrated with Meditech.
  • Hoag Memorial Presbyterian Hospital (CA) chooses Medicity as its HIE partner, signing up for ProAccess Community, MediTrust Cloud Services, and the Novo Grid.
  • St. Cloud Medical group (MN) signs up for Greenway PrimeSuite for its 55 providers, including its patient portal and mobile version for hospital rounding.


Samsung launches its Android-powered, 4G-capable Epic smart phone on Sprint, which I’m mentioning only because I’m sick of hearing about iPhones.

Conmed (seriously) gets a $9 million, five-year contract to provide services to the City of Roanoke, VA, including implementing an EMR for its jail.

The FBI is brought in to investigate a hacker’s demands for data ransom after claiming to have penetrated the Texas Cancer Registry. Seems suspicious: the firewalls are intact, only one message was sent, and no proof was provided. It sounds like it could be an employee trying to coax more budget money from the state with a false alarm, but I’m sure the Fibbies will figure it out.

Former McKesson VP Mikael Ohman is named COO of T-System.

Odd lawsuit: two former porn stars are suing a clinic that provides medical clearance for the adult film industry, saying its release forms allow disclosure of their health information to almost anyone. I never thought of porn stars as being particularly protective of their anatomy and physiology, but I guess they’re like the rest of us.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: VA report: it was scrapping a $150 million patient scheduling system without ever bringing it live

    Wow…and they could have bought an off the shelf one from either Unibased (best in KLAS), or SSI, or others for less than 10% of the $150 million.

    …and the feds are going to tell us what meaningful use is? Or did they mean, meaningful useless?

  2. Re: Betsy Hersher. It seems she’s back in the recruiting business.

    How many more “school of hard knocks” incompetents will these recruiters place into CIO and other top roles?

    From ‘Healthcare Informatics’ about 2000 in an article “Who’s Growing CIOs”:

    … In seeking out CIO talent, recruiter Lion Goodman doesn’t think clinical experience yields IT people who have broad enough perspective. Physicians in particular make poor choices for CIOs, according to Goodman. “They don’t think of the business issues at hand because they’re consumed with patient care issues. I don’t think a degree gets you anything,” Goodman says. IT recruiting pro Betsy Hersher agrees. “There’s nothing like the school of hard knocks.”

  3. >>caution: rant ahead<<

    Every year we have to go through the same routine: our national anthem is too hard, it doesn't work for us, it doesn't represent our country well, (fill in your pet complaint here), etc. Then there are the suggestions to replace it: America the Beautiful, God Bless America, new original songs, (fill in your pet substition here), etc. It's not that the complaints or suggestions are without merit, or that I even care that much whether we change the anthem (when we do we sing it except on Independence Day and before sports games?)

    But I get tired of the argument: does it really matter? And at least if you tie up Congress long enough to change it (good luck!), please change it to something everyone already knows. While this “United” song sounded great (especially in harmony, which by the way isn’t all that easy), it doesn’t have any resonance/history with people (God Bless the USA would even have more street cred with most people). So, can we just all agree to have our own personal national anthems, and leave well enough alone?

    >>rant exit here<<

  4. “…the electronic version of the Hollywood air kiss.”

    Coolest, dead-on description of FB I’ve ever heard! I’m gonna go around quoting you on that one all day today.

  5. Ron Kirkland gets my vote when ” now that he’s running for office, he hates HITECH, saying the country is going bankrupt because of, as he states, “’the bailouts, the ridiculous stimulus plans, the outrageous farm subsidies to big corporations, and yes, even the small incentives for electronic medical records. We must end them now’.

    At least some one running for office has come to realize the boondoggle for the vendors of products which will increase malpractice incidents and insurance costs.

  6. RE: LinkedIn, the latest flocking grounds for all sheepish recruiters to unite. Why must recruiters ruin everything? LinkedIn would be so much better if there wasn’t so much crap on it.

  7. Well, very disturbing to read the report here from Klas about heart information. It says KLAS says 30% of respondents are hoping to dump their vendors, concluding that they “fail to deliver on integration, functionality, and service expectations.”

    It is not as if patients do not die from misidentifications and heart informations missing and failed accuracy of and unaccountable medication reconcilations. Oh my golly gosh, they could not find the heart catheterization report on the hospital EMR.

  8. About the cute Blumenthal twins birth date for whichomeone set up an online “when will the baby be born” contest. The twins have congenital anomalies including anencephaly and spina bifida, and will be on life support in the neonatal unit when born. Papa Blumenthal just needs to make sure he does not forget about the twins’ kidney function.

  9. Nice job on the mobile site, like you other reader said… a lot easier to read on an iPhone. My IT dept blocks FB/You-tube which your mobile site circumvents. Also, sorry to say this, but not having to look at all the everchanging ads is another big bonus…

  10. Re: Mass General’s Emergency Medical Network “findER” iPhone app. I was impressed at first upon first download checking out my own hospital’s two active ER’s and how seamless it worked. After showing it to a colleague who manages one of our ERs, however, he discovered that one of our inactive ERs (closed over 3 years ago) still listed as an option for someone to look up potentially. I read the terms and conditions of use and could not logically read into them how the mfg’r of the software could suggest this to be beyond the intended use and would be held harmless if a person out of town used the app to drop their loved one off for a critical care event only to find the ER door’s shuttered. What would happen if that patient passed away due to the delay in finding an ER that is actually open? Seems a significant omission to not validate the list of ER’s. Maybe ours is the only one that’s incorrect cited, but I doubt it.

    Researching EMNet-USA.org, host site for the findER app further reveals they rely on an ER inventory called the National Emergency Department Inventory (NEDI-USA) which cites 2007 as the date of the inventory. Our ER moved that year to a new location. I’m not sure if that means any changes after 2007 are not reflected in the application? Thought the application EULA (end user license agreement) has the standard disclaimer of warranties and limitation of liability language, I didn’t find anything disclaiming accuracy of the information based on date in the terms and conditions of use. It would seem logical that they would have as current a database as possible given the critical care nature of the application and its potential use by those not familiar with the area.

    I have a message in with the organization sponsoring the application for further clarification on how the database is ensured current. I’ll post their response and my findings for you and your readers later.

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  1. Unfortunately, I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It is important that they get this right for so many reasons,…

  2. Going out on a limb here. Wouldn't Oracle's (apparent) interoperability strategy, have a better chance of success, than the VA's?…

  3. Dr Jayne is noticing one of the more egregious but trivial instance of bad behavior by allegedly non-profit organizations. I…

  4. To expand on this a bit. The Vista data are unique to Vista, there are 16(?) different VISN (grouped systems)…

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