Home » News » Currently Reading:

News 7/2/10

July 1, 2010 News 8 Comments


From Jack Ripert: “Re: Cisco Pad. Apparently it will run Android. This may have killer healthcare application if done right.” Cisco will launch its Google Android-powered Cius tablet PC next year: smaller and lighter than the iPad and with two cameras, USB connections for external devices, and an easy tie-in to Cisco’s Telepresence videoconferencing system. They’re shooting for an under-$1,000 price. IT shops aren’t crazy about supporting Android, but they probably like it better than Apple and Cisco carries a lot of CIO clout, so this could be a big deal in hospitals, at least those prepared to wait for it. Those with long memories will recall that Cisco sued Apple over the use of the iPhone name (Cisco was selling a $12 iPhone), then settled with Apple and gave them the name (reported here in January 2007).

From I Have Friends in Military: “Re: AHLTA. To be declared a failure and replaced.” Unverified. That would be huge (and expensive) news if true, but I’m a doubter. Confirmation, anyone?

From Big Dave Brewster: “Re: [HIT publication name omitted]. Looks like it’s going toes-up.” Another HIT rag that I won’t name apparently goes on death watch. They’ve laid off the editor and no ads are displaying on the site (no loss from what I can tell from online stats – it looks like it’s only drawing a handful of visitors each day). Someone said management had already decided to run only advertiser-friendly stories to try to keep the money coming in. Something’s wrong with the cost structure if you can’t make a living charging high five figures for a yearly full-page ad and nearly that for an online ad that nobody will see.

From Denise: “Re: most overused press release buzzwords. You’re gonna love this one.” Right you are, Denise! It’s a press release word frequency list, with the most common being (1) leader; (2) leading; (3) best; (4) top; (5) unique; (6) great; (7) solution; (8) largest; (9) innovative; (10) innovator. Now if some would just write a Word add-in that would count these in a document, I could run a Buzzword Bingo game using real-life press releases and make it part of the HISsies awards.


From Texass Longhorn: “Re: Dell. I didn’t know that we at UTex could come up with a math problem so difficult as to bring down a Dell computer.” It was probably trying to calculate Texas football coach Mack Brown’s $5 million salary. Dell, stung by complaints and lawsuits about widespread failure of its OptiPlex PCs three years ago because it used cheap (and leaky) Asian capacitors in 11.8 million of them, is surely embarrassed by this New York Times story. When UT’s math department complained about failing Dell PCs, the company blamed the university for overworking them with tough math problems. An interest fact: the legal firm defending Dell from huge lawsuits over the problem had 1,000 of the bad PCs itself; Dell stiffed them too. Who would have guessed that 90s darlings like Dell and Microsoft would be struggling?

From Del Taco: “Re: CCHIT. Can you please shed some light on who the actual commissioners, trustees, and staff are at CCHIT since Mark Leavitt’s departure? Its Web site is out of date. How many HIMSS employees are still considered as staff of CCHIT? There should be more transparency if CCHIT intends to apply for more government grants.” I e-mailed your questions to both Sue Reber and the press contact at CCHIT Thursday morning. No response yet, but I’ll let you know one way or the other.


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Capsule Tech, a leading provider of medical device connectivity. The company, operating in 27 countries and 600 hospitals, offers the vendor-neutral, 510(k)-cleared Capsule Enterprise Device Connectivity Solution, which allows connecting any medical device to hospital information systems. Part of that system is Capsule Neuron, a touch-enabled bedside platform for managing device connectivity that adapts to the environment it’s operating in. Our long-time HIStalk friend Ann Farrell of Farrell Associates will be co-presenting Capsule’s July 21 Webinar on medical device integration and its impact on patient safety, care outcomes, and meaningful use, so I know it will be good. Thanks to Capsule Tech for choosing to support HIStalk.

CynergisTek announces three new products for small healthcare organizations: IT support services, e-mail, and HIPAA/HITECH security compliance review.

A reader e-mailed me about the cool Mass General ED finder for smart phones. I agreed it’s cool, but opined that they’ll be sued in no time since any obsolete information is going to make someone needing an ED unhappy about being led to a closed one. Another reader noticed that problem when he tried the app: it highlighted EDs in his area that have closed. Its database is from 2007, he believes. They’d better have a lawyer review the disclaimer extra carefully.

MedAptus is awarded a patent for its automated process for capturing professional and facility charges in outpatient settings.

mobile mobile2

Showing the new HIStalk mobile display is as pointless as showing a fancy TV’s picture in a TV commercial, but just in case you don’t have a smart phone and wonder what it looks like, here you go (thanks to Inga for the early morning screen shots). Several readers e-mailed to say they love it, so thanks for that. One reader suggested creating a downloadable launcher for BlackBerry, iPhone, and Droid to avoid having to go to browser bookmarks, so if anyone knows how to do that, let me know because I don’t.

Speaking of smart phones, strong rumors say Verizon will start selling iPhones right after Christmas.


BJC HealthCare (MO) signs a $49 million, 12-year agreement to migrate 11 of its hospitals to Soarian Financials. Also, Platte Valley (CO) and Kingman Regional Medical Center (AZ) each signed multi-year deals for Soarian Clinicals.

The healthcare industry spent $8.2 billion globally on handheld devices last year. Kalorama Information predicts sales will grow 7% per year for the next five years and physicians and hospitals purchase new IT systems.

Results of the investigation into $11 million worth of delayed charges at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: budget cuts left them with only one person to perform the required manual record review to document the appropriateness of cardiac cath charges, so it didn’t get done. Doh!

API Healthcare issues a set of best practices to help hospitals deal with nurse shortages.

AMIA names Jonathan Grau as VP of corporate relations.

Family doctors in the UK say they will not allow the medical records of themselves or their families to be stored on the troubled Summary Care Record, citing privacy concerns.

An interesting All Things Considered story on athenahealth, which processes 30,000 pounds of paper per month. A fun Jonathan Bush quote: “Because what healthcare really is is this awkward word slapped on top of a million little tiny markets.” An interesting factoid: New York Medicaid, among the worst claims payers, requires claims to be filed on special forms that must be ordered from Albany, then hand signed by the doctor.

jm pm

Encore Health Resources announces two new hires: Julie Morrison (CSC, FCG) as client services executive and Paul Murphy (KSA) as services area leader for IT strategy.

HIStalk readership easily set a new record in the normally slow month of June. The tally, for those scoring at home: 101,652 visits and 139,766 page views (up 50% over a year ago). Most of that wasn’t because of the Allscripts or John Glaser news since those days were up only a few thousand visits. The e-mail list has 5,746 verified subscribers. Thanks to everybody who made that possible: readers, sponsors, authors, interviewees, commenters, and of course my trusty companion and kindred spirit Inga. It was fun writing HIStalk back in 2003 when nobody was reading, but I admit it’s more fun now.

Weird News Andy notes this story: in preparing for the rollout of its Healthcare.gov portal, HHS gets all cool and takes over a dormant @healthcaregov Twitter account, but forgets to clear the favorites list. As a result, HHS’s list of favorite tweets include several about P. Diddy and the vodka he was pitching a year ago.


Cash-bleeding West Penn Allegheny Health System will lay off 1,500 employees and cut back operations at West Penn Bloomfield. Considering the big money UPMC makes, that looks like an area ripe for consolidation if you don’t mind the idea of UPMC having no competition (like it really does anyway).

FormFast will offer a July 13 Webinar on avoiding HIT contracting pitfalls.

Rockford Health System (IL) chooses Epic, the same system used by its potential acquisition partner, OSF HealthCare.


If anyone still cares about The Leapfrog Group, it expresses concerns about those CPOE systems it’s been bugging everyone to buy for years. Leapfrog’s tests find that CPOE (actually its decision support component, which isn’t distinguished separately) misses a lot of really dangerous orders. CEO Leah Binder says, “The belief that simply buying and installing health information technology will automatically lead to safer and better care is a myth.” I agree, but wasn’t Leapfrog perpetuating that myth by making CPOE adoption one of its Leaps without really getting into the nuts and bolts? Above is a snip from a 2000 press release, which shows unconditional CPOE love.

A Florida county’s EMS department pays $500K for 911 software that claims to predict where the next emergency call will come from based on historical data. Paramedics say it wastes their time sending them to areas waiting for calls that never come.


ProHealth Care (WI) plans to replace multiple modality-based software applications with McKesson’s Horizon Imaging PACS, Cardiology CVIS, and Study Share case collaboration tool.

Adventist Health System signs up with Lexi-Comp for drug data. I guess they didn’t like Cerner’s Multum product even though they’re running Millennium.

Software Testing Solutions will demo two new products at the upcoming SUG 2010 meeting for Sunquest users: Application Monitor and Calculation Extractor. Product data sheets are here.

The ever-optimistic MMRGlobal predicts massive MyMedicalRecords and MyMedicalRecordsPro sales increases, with the business model being the 35% skim that doctors get for convincing their patients to upgrade. The company says that “can result in substantially more income to doctors than the $44,000 in government stimulus programs.”

Norton Brownsboro Hospital (KY) connects its GetWellNetwork system to Cisco Unified Communications, allowing patients to send messages to their nurses.

WellPoint notifies 470,000 of its insurance customers that their medical records and credit card numbers may have been exposed in a March breach cause by a problem with its online insurance application system. A customer noticed that she could see other people’s information by tweaking the browser address of her own. She let WellPoint know — by filing a lawsuit against them.


Another breach: Siemens Medical Solutions USA FedExes several CDs full of unencrypted patient information to its billing client, a New York hospital. The CDs fall out of the envelope during transit, apparently, and FedEx assumes they were trashed. The breach affects 130,000 patients.

I’m skipping town for the holiday and haven’t decided if/when to do the Monday Morning Update, so for those who start e-mailing me when the withdrawal symptoms hit late Saturday afternoon (yes, I’m pleased to say those people exist – maybe they’re the same ones who keep track of the readership stats), be prepared for these eventualities: (a) I don’t publish the update until late Monday afternoon; or (b) I bag it entirely. The only HIStalk that will get my undivided attention this weekend is Mrs. HIStalk, but I’ll probably sneak back sometime Monday for some PC intimacy. I hope everyone has a happy Independence Day.

E-mail me.

HIStalk Featured Sponsors


Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Cisco tablet. Ah, a new tablet on the market, I’ll have to go check it out since the Adam still shows no sign of life.

    And have a happy holiday weekend everyone. I’ve got a special Independence Day post up about our founding physicians today, but don’t plan to monitor it: time for some fun in the sun. Enjoy.

  2. Hi, I work at Dell and I wanted to add some background to the Nichicon capacitor issue from three years ago, which affected many major manufacturers including HP, Apple and more. As noted in a NY Times article about the lawsuit, faulty capacitors were manufactured by Nichicon, a respected, long-term supplier to many industries. These capacitors were used by Dell suppliers at certain times from 2003 to 2005. This was not a Dell-specific issue, but an industry-wide problem and Dell extended the warranty for up to five years for customers who had affected machines.

    This is an issue that Dell has blogged about several times over the years, to keep our customers informed and to take any questions or feedback. If there are any Dell customers looking for further clarification, my colleague Lionel wrote a blog yesterday about this with more information: http://bit.ly/dbYJWB. As Lionel mentions in his post “It’s also important to note that AIT was using the OptiPlex systems as servers, a use for which they weren’t designed. The company also admitted in its complaint that Dell fulfilled its warranty obligations to AIT until AIT decided to stop paying for the OptiPlex computers.”

  3. cPad – Unfortunately, it will take more than a press release to kill the iPad. Just ask the phone makers how easy it is to kill the iPhone. (about to get even tougher when Verizon starts selling it) It will take more than a name like Cisco (very respectable btw). It will take a large and loyal customer base, cutting edge product design, robust and stable development environment, 6 figures worth of apps and world class customer support AND let’s be honest … cPad had better come in really cool looking box. I do agree that CIOs dig Cisco, so it could get some traction in hospitals IF the apps are there to support it. Time will tell.

  4. Went to read HIStalk on my Droid this morning and was so pleasantly surprised that it had suddenly become so much more pleasurable to read. Thanks!

  5. I committed to follow up on the Mass Gen “findER” app that has closed ED’s referenced. Their developer site (linked from their App Store bio) had a contact listed. I e-mailed her and found a very friendly and forthcoming person who explained the problem (quite refreshing to not get questioned if I was using the app incorrectly). I cited the ED in my area as an option though it had been closed since 2007. She said it is based on a database called “NEDI-USA” apparently that only gets updated every 2 years with an additonal 9 month delay updating their system after they “close” the database. She indicated that because of my discovery they will be reducing that periodicity for updates to annuallly in September with a “temporary” patch in March. She cited that the database today is 99% accurate to which I ask how do you explain the risk to users the other 1% of the time they go to the wrong hospital. She cited that 100% accuracy is ideal but not realistic then empahsized the increased updates as their plan. In fairness to them, it would be interesting to qualify who is responsible for the NEDI-USA database, a vendor who uses the data or the ED’s that are listed in it. Regardless, I think your point in today’s HISTalk news report that a legal review by Mass Gen’s Legal counsel or whatever entity owns this app is a sound assessment.

  6. Lots of good stuff on your blog. Exceptional information. I like the excuse about the math problem overloading the computers.

    Leapfrog must leaping to come clean to protect itself from criminal investigation of deceiving hospitals and the US Congress about the benefits of CPOE and decision support devices. On what scientific studies was the requisite need for CPOE based? Leapfrog gave out awards to hospitals and their CIOs for completing the “leaps”, putting in equipment that endangered patients.

    Like the math problem at UT, it must be that the clinical decision support I am required to use was overwhelmed by the complexity of my case with multiorgan failure, warning me multiple times of innocuous drug interactions but failing to warn about a totally absurd order. Where is the FDA when needed?

  7. RE: “One reader suggested creating a downloadable launcher for BlackBerry, iPhone, and Droid to avoid having to go to browser bookmarks, so if anyone knows how to do that, let me know because I don’t.”

    If you are talking about an icon to click directly on the home screen (without having to start Safari and choose the bookmark), for the iPhone: When you have the website pulled up in Safari, just click the + at the bottom and choose Add to Home Screen.

Text Ads

Recent Comments

  1. Care from the "Home Care" industry, housecleaninig, companionship, etc, is trying to move into the Hospital at Home space, but…

  2. There are many validated and published studies on patient satisfaction with "hospital at home" models, along with individual statistics presented…


Founding Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors






















































Gold Sponsors