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July 20, 2010 News 25 Comments

From News This Week: “Re: sale. One of your quoted CEOs will announce the sale of his company on Wednesday and hold an all-employee meeting on Thursday. A solid acquisition that will give the company extensibility internationally, although you will scratch your head for 3-4 months on what the purchaser is doing until the strategy emerges over the fall of 2010.” That’s Picis, I assume, although I don’t have solid information on the acquirer if it’s them (one reader says Ingenix, another says it’s a less obvious but unnamed player).

From Htx: “Re: Tim Thompson, CIO at The Methodist Hospital of Houston. He’s leaving to return to Florida.” Unverified. UPDATE: verified – he will be announced as the new CIO of BayCare (FL), Lindsey Jarrell’s old job.

7-20-2010 6-45-36 PM

From Cabrini Green: “Re: HIMSS Analytics Europe. HIMSS Analytics staff visited Germany to meet their new colleagues. The picture is funny — it looks like Steve Lieber and Jeremy Bonfini are holding hands.” It does, even though they aren’t.

7-20-2010 8-00-32 PM

From Elsie EHR: “Re: IBM. Who remembers ten years ago when IBM (along with Pfizer and Microsoft) sunk a chunk of change into an EMR called Amicore? Amicore was acquired by Misys in 2006, and of course Misys was acquired by Allscripts last year, which will merge with Eclipsys this year. Golly, I can hardly keep my dance card straight!”

Also from Elsie EHR: “Re: Aprima, formerly iMedica. I wonder if they will go after the Allscripts MyWay customers since MyWay and Aprima are the exact same product?” Careful … I don’t have confirmation on the rumor that Allscripts will sunset MyWay in 2012, so I assume it’s not true. Also, just to clarify, MyWay was the same product as Aprima only when that deal was originally signed in August 2007 (see my interview with Michael Nissenbaum, president and CEO, for more background). Since then, Aprima has continued to develop and sell the product separately from Allscripts, so they are no longer the same product even though much of their DNA is identical.

From UK Horlicks: “Re: British Medical Association. It has recognized Horlicks, the drink for HIT, with the slogan, ‘A drink other than Kool-Aid for HIT.” BMA demands that the government suspend access to Summary Care Records, saying it is unreliable since doctors aren’t keeping the uploaded patient records current.

7-20-2010 7-52-56 PM

From Anesthete: “Re: University of Michigan Hospitals. Recently signed with Epic to provide enterprise clinicals and financials in a plan to achieve MU.” Unverified. I mentioned that Hurley, which is affiliated with UM, had signed on, but that’s all I know. UM used to have a homegrown system that someone was trying to sell as I recall, but I never heard much about it.

From Zooey Rice: “Re: Amalga. A user of the Microsoft Amalga HIS says the company will exit the HIS market to concentrate on other things, like HealthVault or UIS. Love reading you every morning — smells like … victory.” Verified. Microsoft will announce Friday that its Health Solutions Group will discontinue sales and development of Amalga HIS to focus on Amalga Unified Intelligence System (the former Azyxxi). I didn’t really understand why they bought it in the first place considering it was a Thailand-based product with one notable customer, medical tourism hospital Bumrungrad International in Bangkok. Hanging the Amalga name on it was just plain confusing since in the US, Amalga was just the former Azyxxi product. My comment in 2007: “I don’t know why Microsoft wants to be in this business either, although maybe Azyxxi needs a little brother.” More from the company:

Amalga HIS, based on technology acquired from Global Care Solutions in 2007, is a traditional hospital information system designed to address all of a hospital’s transactional and reporting needs. Working with customers over the past three years, we’ve learned that an all-encompassing solution is not optimal for meeting the varied and dynamic needs of health organizations around the world. As a result, this approach is not well aligned to Microsoft’s broader health IT strategy moving forward. We will continue to develop and sell a RIS/PACS solution based on Amalga HIS and will look at other opportunities to leverage Amalga HIS functionality on the Amalga UIS platform.

HSG will continue to support our customers’ use of Amalga HIS through sustained engineering and support services for at least five years. We are working with each Amalga HIS customer to address their short and longer-term needs – moving them forward to HIS version 6.0 or identifying partner solutions that, together with Amalga UIS, could meet their requirements. Amalga UIS, based on the Azyxxi technology, is a highly flexible solution that enables healthcare organizations to reengineer workflows and get information to professionals when and where they need it.

From Cassie: “Re: St. Luke’s Health System in Boise. They’ve had a data breach in which a significant number of employee records, including SSNs, have gone missing. They are trying to squash the news report, especially given the other recent news from them.” Verified, but it wasn’t the health system’s fault. Mercer, the HR consulting people, loses a St. Luke’s backup tape when moving to a new office. St. Luke’s was in the news last week when its data center lost power, forcing clinicians back to paper.

Listening: Built to Spill, Boise-based, mature, Northwest-style indie rock.

Allscripts’ Q4 numbers: revenue up 14%, EPS $0.10 vs. $0.09, guiding up. The company beat expectations on both revenue and earnings for the quarter, but fell just short on consensus yearly revenue. CORRECTION: Allscripts actually slightly beat yearly revenue expectations – it was the company’s 2011 guidance that came in slightly low in the range of expectations, an announced $780 to $790 million vs. estimates of $787 million. All of these numbers exclude the impact of the Eclipsys acquisition. The conference call transcript is here.

Apple’s Q3 numbers: revenue up 61%, EPS $3.51 vs. $2.01, handily beating estimates. The company sold 3.3 million iPads, 9.4 million iPods, 8.4 million iPhones, and 3.5 million Macs in the quarter. Market cap is $229 billion, $6 billion more than Microsoft, and shares are naturally up on after-hours trading.

Iowa’s HITREC names e-MDs as a preferred EHR vendor.

ONCHIT is looking for a policy analyst to focus on consumer e-health.

7-20-2010 7-54-15 PM

Weird News Andy is reduced to puns in describing medical technology put to a seedy use — MRIs of food. Obviously fixated, he adds, “The one I found most interesting was the watermelon. The way the seed groups spiral puts to rest my sleepless nights wondering about their seemingly random distribution.”

HCA Midwest names Sarah Bloom as CIO.

7-20-2010 8-06-32 PM

Kingman Regional Medical Center (AZ) chooses SIS for periop.

Another backup tape mishap: South Shore Hospital (MA) determines that backups with 800,000 patient records were lost by the shipper on their way to destruction.

Epocrates files for a $75 million IPO, the same amount it planned to raise in its aborted 2008 attempt. Sales are at $100 million, but the company lost money in the most recent quarter. It plans to bring out some kind of EMR application for small practices this year.

Confirmed, thanks to a reader’s forwarded company e-mail: Kate Kervin joins NextGen as  SVP of marketing and product management, leaving Siemens. Brad Block of IBM (and former Doylestown Hospital CIO) is hired as VP of NextGen Consulting.

7-20-2010 7-04-34 PM

Minneapolis-based HealthPartners will use a mobile healthcare communications platform from Toronto-based Diversinet, starting with a two-way secure messaging system for discharged patients with chronic illness and women with high-risk pregnancies.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NC) chooses Perceptive Software’s ImageNow for scanning and approval of invoices, integrated with Lawson.

SAP partners with a consulting firm to develop financial and logistics applications for under-400-bed hospitals.

Jersey City Medical Center (NJ) rolls out the Isabel diagnostic checklist system.

Iron Mountain announces its EMR Enablement Solution to help hospitals organize and digitize paper records. It sounds like a marketing repackaging of existing offerings.

Small practice EMR vendor Patagonia Health gets a startup grant from a technology accelerator in its home state of North Carolina. Its product went GA on March 31. Former Misys software director Ashok Mathur is a co-founder.

This fun article profiles some doctors who write medical smart phone apps.

MedPATH Networks announces a marketing agreement with a digital rights vendor to commercialize security technologies that are used for military EMRs, including a secure information exchange based on NHIN standards. I haven’t heard of any of this, but it sounds interesting.

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HERtalk by Inga

HIMSS names three additional finalists for the Davies Awards, including Open Door Family Medical Center (NY) in the Community Health Organization category and Sentara Healthcare (VA) and Nemours (DE) in the Organizational category.


Beaufort Memorial Hospital (SC) says the installation of MEDHOST in its ED increased gross revenues by $1.3 million increase and saved $240,000 annually by replacing dictation with electronic charting. And, Tenet Healthcare has contracted with MEDHOST to add the Care Clock application, which enables hospitals to automatically post current ED wait times to their Web sites.

New from KLAS: a report on homecare finds that three of the top four rated homecare systems are sold by best-of-breed vendors. The top-rated vendors were Homecare Homebase, Delta, and CareAnyware. Meanwhile, Meditech clients find that PTcT is outdated and difficult to use, with 40% saying they’re considering a switch.

HHS wants to use ARRA money to develop a national inventory of research on the most effective treatments and medical interventions. The information would be available as a searchable online tool for physicians and the public.

Huntington Memorial Hospital (CA) selects the Allscripts Community Solution to power its HIE. The Community Record solution is powered by dbMotion. Centra (VA) also plans to implement the Community Exchange platform as well as provide Allscripts EHR for 70 staff and affiliated providers and Allscripts Homecare for its home health nurses.

Globally, wi-fi technology in healthcare grew 60% last year. The US healthcare market will add more than 500,000 additional networks this year, representing a 50% jump over last year.

giant mr whale

Giant Mr. Whale has apparently found a new home at Epic’s headquarters, according to the artist. He (Mr. Whale) looks like a happy guy. The artist has a link on his Web site to more attractions on the Epic campus. I think my favorite is the subway.

ITalagen and Medificiency form a partnership to promote a physician practice solution that includes Allscripts EHR and ITegen’s medical billing services and IT support.

No surprise here: an survey finds that EHR implementations are the top priority among the HIT crowd, with 85% saying they are in the  midst of an EHR project or plan to start one within 18 months. More surprising: of the 110 professionals surveyed, 13% reported using Epic, 11%  Cerner, and 8% Siemens. How “random” are these results if Meditech or McKesson weren’t named?

I must ask Matt Holt if this qualifies as Health 2.0. A 64-year-old Pennsylvania woman avoids dialysis after finding a donor kidney via Facebook, getting 197 responses to her plea.

Philips Healthcare’s second-quarter sales were up 4% over last year and second quarter earnings were $280 million, compared to $198 million. CFO Pierre-Jean Sivignon said the US healthcare market was “bouncing back” after a period of financial crisis and regulatory uncertainty.


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Currently there are "25 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mr. HIStalk,

    There are now more reports of adverse events, defective HIT, and privacy breaches gathering on your blog than at the FDA, ONCHIT, AHRQ,, and any others that are out there.

    A few thousand privacy breaches here and there, a few hundred patients with misidentifications, a few hospitals that have patients without records due to powerfailures and other naturally occurring IT phenomena, and pretty soon there are some serious problems.


  2. Picis is being acquired by iSoft. This gives them a good presence in the US and something else (surgery, anesthesia) to sell across the pond. They’ve already done some joint ventures in the UK and have had some success.

  3. iSoft? You’re kidding! Oh, you actually are kidding, Harvey

    And Inga, yes I think it does. Note how in the story the virtual community helped the real community

  4. “Re: University of Michigan Hospitals. Recently signed with Epic to provide enterprise clinicals and financials in a plan to achieve MU.” Unverified. I mentioned that Hurley, which is affiliated with UM, had signed on, but that’s all I know. UM used to have a homegrown system that someone was trying to sell as I recall, but I never heard much about it.

    Actually, I thought UM had started an implementation of Eclipsys a few years ago….and are dumping that for EPIC? It looks like almost every major health system in Michigan has gone with EPIC!

  5. Suzy, you have to get over yourself. How many breaches took place in the paper world? How many nurses “chatted over charts” each day?

    You’ve got such a chip on your shoulder that you discredit yourself most days.

    EHRs don’t solve all the world’s problems, but they do help in most cases.

    You are comfortable using the internet to make your point now, but did you spend the 90s writing letters to the editor trying to discredit the internet?

    Why don’t you start a blog of your own where the masses can flock to and support your point of view – http://www.amish-nurses.com. Patient care by candle light. You could be somebody!

  6. Every day new processes are put in place in hospitals. It may be decision support, it may be a new way of reporting. These projects go through design, development, validation, testing and release. Some people call that an experiment. Some people call that progress. As most of the players in this process are human, mistakes get made. In some of these instances testing will find those errors. In some, unfortunately, they do not.

    In the average day of an EMR there are maintenance tasks. The ICU moved to a different location. A medical step down unit closed. Devices swapped out. New procedure orders created. Often these changes cannot be tested in a real life environment. Some of the CPOE errors reported on have been discrepancies between an external radiology system and the EMR. This was due to a maintenance task. Somebody didn’t link up the right order in the EMR, to the right order in the external system. It happens. Why did it get moved to production? That’s the hospitals error. They will pay for those errors in the way of lost reputation and possibly law suites. In the same was as a surgeon leaving suture in a patient’s body.

    I have worked in many industries in I.T before realizing my home was in healthcare. In any other industry mistakes can be corrected, credit card transactions can be reversed, banking transactions can be overridden. Our industry requires 100% accuracy. You can not bring a patient back; you cannot undo that damage done by a missed lab test. For this reason I respect the people who work under that pressure. Some clinicians hate I.T people, that’s fair enough, they speak different languages and often (the best) I.T people don’t haven’t the best social skills. But they need to understand they often work under the same pressure, where a mistake can cost a life. That’s the same pressure clinician’s work under and more people need to recognize that. Everybody, including clinical people, make mistakes. Fact of life. We should do everything to minimize the impact of these mistakes, but anybody thinking we can alleviate them entirely is living in LaLa land.

    If you have a strong opinion and a holier than thou persona (which from my experience often hides a deeply flawed person) please at least try to understand some of these challenges, where the fault lies and how they can be improved. People will listen more if you do, ramming your opinion down peoples throats is often counter productive.

  7. Jlmmy>>>Spectrum Health in GR merged with MMPC and is doing a large Epic install. MMPC had Epic and now converting Spectrum at least on the AMB side. Not sure of the IP departments.

  8. Re: Epic art. The campus looks amazing (I want to ride on a train to Ganymede!) But, as much as the submay theme is awesome coolness, I’d prefer the couches in the other hallway. The tube seats I’ve sat on weren’t the most comfortable ones in the galaxy.

  9. Gee, I wonder if UM was aware of the epic “CT no contrast” defect you published last week in the form of a warning email from the U Chi radiology department about the Epic “CPOE Uh-Oh”. Lessons learned should be applied by UM when rigging the interfaces. Will any one venture an estimate as to the cost of transitioning to Epic from what they have?

  10. I resent any bad-mouthing of la-la land; I do agree that nobody’s perfect. But don’t take it from me, I’m a nobody.

  11. Anybody happen to know which hospital in Columbus OH is needing an ASAP PM? I’m not interested in working with Thor but thought I might contact them independently since I went to school at OSU.
    Sr. Epic ASAP ED Functional Project Manager / Clinical Analyst
    A top Healthcare System in Ohio is looking for Sr. Epic ASAP ED Functional Project Manager / Clinical Analyst professionals with experience working in a multi-deployment environment such as Kaiser Permanente and/or a hospital campus like Cleveland Clinic to add to their expanding team. They continue to develop their core business operations and seek new opportunities with an eye on future growth. This is a great opportunity to work and grow your skills in a stable and innovative environment!

  12. Dear “Tired of…” who says “You are comfortable using the internet to make your point now, but did you spend the 90s writing letters to the editor trying to discredit the internet?”

    So sorry, I am too young to remember this.

    I am old enough now to educate that the impatient deployment of meaningfully unusable devices with pressure from meaningfully dangerous meaningful use requirements will have meaningfully adverse impact on inpatient and outpatient patients. So there.

  13. So sorry, I am too young to remember this.

    The you are less mature than the “devices” that you are protesting, because HIT has been around since before you were born.

    I had to chuckle when I read this. I probably started my HIT programming career soon after nurse Suzy was born.

  14. Re: University of Michigan Hospitals. Recently signed with Epic to provide enterprise clinicals and financials in a plan to achieve MU.

    UM kept waiting for Eclipsys to deliver and at the last Users Meeting met with the very rich CTO at Eclipsys and found out that there had been no movement on the deliverables that they had been promised two years prior under the Eckert regime. Basically were asked, “what would you like to see?” and that my friends was the catalyst for them to move to EPIC.

  15. Gee, who could have predicted…

    A) Suzy railing to the heavens about EMRs and smart devices using language only she can understand, and

    B) Tim Thompson resigns from Methodist Houston. He’s already stayed over two years – isn’t this a new record for him since he left Palmetto the first time?

  16. Suzy, those vendors and healthcare organizations and professionals that you bash apply more science every day they go to work than you can even probably comprehend.

    Maybe the real problem is a lack of maturity and comprehension on your part.

    Everyone understands the imperfections. We actually are smart enough to “get it”. They manage the risks and together have driven down mortality and continuously improved health outcomes in this country through the methods you rant and rave about.

    Move on to another blog. This one is generally pretty good but you’re taking up way too much air time.

    I’m done with you.

  17. Tired of Suzy wrote:

    uzy, you have to get over yourself. How many breaches took place in the paper world? How many nurses “chatted over charts” each day? EHRs don’t solve all the world’s problems, but they do help in most cases.

    A growing body of literature actually shows EHR’s often don’t help, and the prevalence of EHR-related harm is actually not known, as admitted by the Joint Commission, FDA, and others. Examples of relevant sources are here and here.

    In general, I believe “Tired of Suzy’s” comments reflect superficial understanding of medical ethics. One does not “do something new” on the hope it improves things, when evidence is inconclusive or contradictory. Doing do, especially without patient consent, is actually medical battery or worse.

    I make a strong recommendation to those IT personnel who read this blog:

    If you find yourself in court as part of med mal actions (and I guarantee you, you will), make arguments like “Tired of Suzy’s” only if you get looks of true love from the jury.

  18. If you find yourself in court as part of med mal actions (and I guarantee you, you will), make arguments like “Tired of Suzy’s” only if you get looks of true love from the jury.

    You guarantee it? I’m sure you have some evidence to back that up?

    Speaking of crappy arguments, exactly how many IT med mal court cases have you won?

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