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Monday Morning Update 7/5/10

July 5, 2010 News 3 Comments

From Cherry Capri: “Re: MMRGlobal. Docs are required to inform patients when they refer them to a facility in which the doctor has a financial interest. Do physicians also have to disclose to patients that they get a kickback if the patient upgrades to MyMedicalRecordsPro?” I’d guess they aren’t doing that since they also don’t disclose financially beneficial drug company ties, but maybe they’re supposed to.


From Jerry: “Re: how to add an HIStalk icon to the iPhone desktop. Click the icon at the bottom left of any Web site and click the Add to Home Screen button.”

From Barry Zuckerkorn: “Re: EMR patents. There are several. How can HIT vendors sell EMR systems without infringing? Or are they paying royalties to all these guys?” Good question. I’m surprised that patent trolls like Acacia Research Corporation, which routinely shakes down HIT vendors, haven’t jumped on this. I notice that Acacia just lost a case against Red Hat and Novell, which it ridiculously sued for infringing its patent for network-based desktop icons. The only surprise there is that Acacia actually took it to court since they specialize in “license fees” that costs less than a legal defense, making it teeth-grittingly easier to just write them a check to make them go away.


We talk a lot about CPOE applications, but the survey shows what we all really know: when it comes to CPOE success or lack therefore, the customer should get the credit or blame, not the company that wrote the software they use. Hospital culture and leadership are the most important, 79% of you say, with just 7% of readers saying it’s all about the application. New poll to your right: if you as a citizen were allowed to cast a ballot for or against $20 billion in federal spending for HITECH EMR incentives, how would you vote?

TPD has updated his iPhone healthcare apps list, which now numbers more than 200.

Jobs: Senior Software Engineer, Manager Clinical Informatics, Epic Ambulatory Trainers, Cerner Orders Consultant.

CPSI fires suspended CFO Darrell West, saying it has confirmed that he charged $55,000 to a company credit card to pay a personal tax bill. You’d think a CFO should have (a) known that he would get caught, and (b) calculated the net present value of years of lost income vs. $55K now and realized what a bad deal that is. Former CEO David Dye is brought back as interim CFO.


Weird News Andy deviates from his core competency in finding this article, which he says isn’t weird, just cool. A laid-off software engineer whose three-year-old son has cerebral palsy is shocked by the “stone age” devices that therapists were using to train him. Being a MS in software engineering from the best school in the country for that field (in my mind, anyway — Carnegie Mellon) he buys a Mac Mini, signs up for Apple’s iPhone developer program, and creates TapSpeak Button. It allows pictures to be uploaded and then pressed to play recorded messages. He’s selling quite a few at $10 per copy.


HHS CTO Todd Park on the now-open HealthCare.gov that helps people find medical insurance:

You know, I think everyone, I would presume, is in favor of better informed consumers. Everyone’s in favor of healthy Americans, everyone’s in favor of more functional marketplaces. I mean it’s not a political thing, it’s an American thing.

Britain’s NHS spent $2.4 billion on IT in the most recent fiscal year, most of it on NPfIT. The NHS spending that’s making headlines, however, is $10,500 in grants to teach unemployed women how to be stand-up comics.

Here’s another case, this one in Ireland, where critical patient lab results were recorded in the computer but were not seen by the physician in time to prevent a serious mistake.

Private equity firms are checking out iSoft, rumor has it, now that its share price has been beaten down. Among those supposedly interested is General Atlantic, whose other healthcare holdings include Emdeon and CompuGROUP.


The new president at University of Illinois announces his intention to run the organization, including its hospital, as a single university. He describes the Chicago hospital as “dilapidated”.

The ACLU sues Rhode Island’s state health department, claiming its not-yet-live Currentcare HIE will not adequately protect patient privacy. And in Alaska, ACLU sues the state’s Department of Law for failing to ensure the privacy of medical records that were seized in a raid on a midwife’s office, brought to light when an officer with the Ketchikan Police Department taunted a patient’s daughter by saying her mother had been treated for a sexually transmitted infection.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. I’m first to post a comment? Wow, everyone must still be getting over the holiday weekend (unlike what happened on Memorial Day). The new survey reminds me of so many I’ve voted in before; I wish there were two more options, “Yes, with reservations…” and “No, with reservations…” As it is, I’m in the “Yes” camp, but with the caveat that I’d want HITECH to have had a more flexible timeline. To me, that’s the single biggest problem we’ve seen yet, and it only looks to get worse. Either the rules should have gotton out sooner, or the deadline should have been pushed back a year.

    The story about EHR patents sounds like another silly attempt to control a universal concept of enterprise. And icons, realy? It makes me think of a Grand Rounds submission I came across today, showing how snake oil didn’t always have the bad rap it does today. Wonder what the future’s version of that term will be.

  2. The critical results lurking in an EMR as reported in the Irish Times is a common occurrence. It is listed on the MAUDE data base of the FDA.

    Would Dr. Blumenthal like to comment on this type of error?

    It is typical and facilitated by an intrinsic defect in the EMR, the failure to indicate new results have arrived.

  3. RE: Illinois dilapidated – wish President Hogan all the luck in the world, but as the front page story in The New York Times last week said, the entire state is financially more than dilapidated, it is dead on arrival, so tough, tough slog ahead for President Hogan and the hospital no matter what his experience was in Connecticut. On a much cheerier note for the HIS crowd in the Chicago area, EPIC postings starting to appear for RHC’s two to three year makeover (so long McKesson and wish them well in all their future endeavors).

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