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Monday Morning Update 7/12/10

July 10, 2010 News 7 Comments

From Holy Smoke: “Re: Cerner. Misidentification incidents have been reported with Cerner PowerChart and Millenium in hospitals in Indiana, Michigan, and others after a Cerner upgrade. Entries are placed in the wrong electronic chart and reviewed data is for the wrong patient.” Unverified. I saw nothing in the FDA’s Maude database, so if it’s happening, customers should file an experience report.

Former Cerner COO Paul Black, now working with a private equity firm, is named board chair of Truman Medical Centers (MO).


Lots of us may benefit from the redistribution of taxpayer money into our healthcare IT pockets, but our taxpayer side apparently wins, as almost 2/3 of readers say they wouldn’t have voted for HITECH had they been given that chance. New (similar) poll to your right: if you’d had the chance to vote on Don Berwick’s nomination to CMS administrator, would you have voted for him?

Health officials in Canada’s Northwest Territories say they’ll start enforcing medical faxing policies requiring cover sheets and pre-programmed telephone numbers after patient information was faxed to the CBC in at least four separate incidents. A recent embarrassing incident had led to a temporary ban on medical faxing except in emergencies. This caused big problems for pharmacies, who were given no advance notice that the 30-40% of their business that involves faxing would be shut down.


Doctors in Taiwan are taking iPads to the bedside, using them to show patients their diagnostic images right in their beds.

Bruce Greenstein, a Seattle-based Microsoft managing director of worldwide health, will become secretary of Louisiana’s financially struggling Department of Health and Hospitals after incumbent Alan Levine quits to go back to the private sector. Levine was previously CEO of Broward Health (FL).

Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana pitches HIT during a stop at Union Hospital East and at the remarkably coincidentally named Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health, which does some small telemedicine projects. The article mentions some of the hospital’s technologies: smart beds, patient tracking systems, bar code scanning, electronic inventory, and and Vocera communicators.

Inga and I are thinking that we need to get our ears a little closer to the ground with all the healthcare IT news that’s breaking this summer (mergers, Meaningful Use, etc.) We’re thinking of anonymously crashing the Allscripts user group meeting in Las Vegas the first week of August since that’s a pretty big one that should give us lots of insight beyond just Allscripts news. Inga always does MGMA. I usually only go to HIMSS, but I’ve got a lot of time off at work and figure I might as well do something useful with it. We will report the rumors and trends from wherever we end up.


Struggling Grady Memorial Hospital (GA) is criticized for giving its CEO a $291K bonus on top of his $615K salary. The board says he put the hospital into the black and met his performance targets, but it’s still getting $80 million per year from taxpayers. And in Calgary, the CEO of Alberta Health Services earns $744K in 2009 while the organization failed to meet many of its goals and ran a $885 million deficit.

More on Don Berwick’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Tax records indicate that it took in $43 million last fiscal year, of which Berwick was paid almost $2.5 million, although $1.4 million of that looks like vested benefits from the previous seven years and his base salary plus bonuses was $621K. Nothing unusual or extravagant that I can see.


As a comparison, HIMSS reported $41.4 million in revenue, about the same as IHI, according to its most recent tax documents filed in May. Only $5.3 million of that came from member dues, while the annual conference raked in $18.9 million. Steve Lieber received compensation of $731K (CEO). Other salaries are above: Dave Garets (former CEO of HIMSS Analytics), Carla Smith (EVP), Norris Orms (EVP/COO), Jeff Kenjar (EVP Sales, HIMSS Analytics), Mike Davis (former EVP, HIMSS Analytics), Kelly Laidler (senior director, sales), and Jessica Daley (sales director, HIMSS Analytics). The Advisory Board must be paying Garets and Davis really well since they walked away from some pretty big salaries. HIMSS isn’t big on technology, apparently, having spent $675K on IT, a paltry 1.6% of expenses.

Former Columbia HCA president and Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott challenges the state’s “millionaire” campaign finance law, saying it restricts his free speech by giving his opponent matching state funds once Scott spends $24.9 million. Scott has spent $20 million so far. His opponent’s campaign manager said, “It should come as no surprise to anyone that Rick Scott, a man who oversaw the most massive Medicare fraud scheme in history, just can’t seem to play by the rules.”

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. Cerner. Misidentification incidents have been reported with Cerner PowerChart and Millenium in hospitals in Indiana, Michigan, and others after a Cerner upgrade. “

    I find myself this AM rushing off to the hospital again due to yet another mini-crisis of my mother, who suffered severe injury (cerebral hemorrhage) as a result of one itty-bitty piece of information that somehow got “erased” from her electronic record.

    If the above story is true, considering these systems need to be tested, tested, tested before being unleashed on patients, there may be many cases like my mother’s lurking.

    Again, if the story is true, I believe the involved individuals need to face criminal charges.

  2. It is notable that the FDA MAUDE records contain dual and misidentification, contrary to what you report.

    If these hospitals’ contracts have do not disclose clauses and with an aggressive and feared “peer review” program run by hospital “police”, the two chances that these will be reported to the FDA are slim and none. Mr. Histalk make note: I am informed that it takes weeks for incident reports to appear at MAUDE.

    This makes the case for testing patient care equipment and upgrades before it is used on patients, to prevent meaningful dangers and injuries. The ONC is complicit with these patient endagering strategies by marginalizing the FDA.

  3. Re: Cerner incident. Didn’t something similar happen earlier this year with VistA, caught when a doctor noticed a female patient perscribed Viagra (or something similar)?

    The Tiwanese doctors using iPads was great to see, though I hope we’ll see increased competition in the tablet market (if only to keep Apple on its toes).

  4. Re: Medical faxing. I am sure I am not the only who has received an errant fax from a medical office to my home fax number that contains no cover sheet and but does contain specific patient information. Something needs to be done.

  5. Garets and Davis left for the simple fact that there is no equity stake at HIMSS while they likely got a pile of options to come on board at The Advisory Board and probably have a nice vesting schedule laid out.

    You are talking hundreds of thousands to millions. Easy move to make.

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