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September 16, 2010 News 6 Comments

9-16-2010 7-20-50 PM

From Bama Birdie: “Re: HealthSouth. Trinity Medical Center will relocate to its unfinished hospital on US 280.” This was the endlessly touted digital hospital that was to serve as the flagship for the HealthSouth rehab chain, to have been built by HealthSouth and Oracle. It was called the “hospital of the future” when construction began in 2001, which turned out to be apropos since Richard Scrushy’s $2.7 billion fraud scandal left it permanently unfinished. It was vaporware anyway, said HealthSouth’s CEO last year: “It was a pipe dream and a figment of the imagination. It never had a chance.” You would have believed otherwise given the gushy coverage by the bootlicking healthcare rags back in the day, which were apparently unaware that Oracle had pretty much nothing to offer hospitals despite periodic, uninspired healthcare waters toe-dipping.

From RegularReader: “Re: Broadlane. MedAssets buys competing GPO/services company Broadlane for $850M Tuesday and the Street doesn’t exactly love it. Stock is down approximately 10% since the deal was announced. Only time will tell how many jobs the expected $20M in 2011 expense-based synergies represents.” MedAssets shares closed Thursday at $18.54, down from Tuesday’s peak of $21.50.

From Willie Maquitt: “Re: Adreima. Where do companies come up with these names? How do you pronounce it?” Advocacy for Reimbursement Matters, like George “T-Bone” Costanza in Seinfeld, decides to give itself a contrived nickname, Adreima, maybe to celebrate its acquisition this week of eligibility vendor Hospital Inpatient Services. I’d say it “addREEmah”, but I hate it when companies make up a name of their own free will, then insist on shortening it. Why not just pick a short one to start with?

From Human Error, Here: “Re: Pittsburgh. The executive, who spent $10 million of taxpayer money on an emergency dispatch system upgrade (downgrade) when the county and city can barely afford to patch potholes blames human error for care delays.” The new system was missing addresses and landmarks, so dispatchers got confused when multiple surrounding towns share the same street address. A dispatcher who sent police to a cell phone tower instead of a house to check out a break-in was suspended indefinitely. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than in Detroit, where ambulances don’t have computers or GPSs, ambulance response times are long, and firefighters and police officers aren’t allowed to help a victim until the ambulance gets there.

From TexLAHawk: “Re: JPS Health Network, Texas. Word is that Jamey Pennington has resigned as CIO. So basically a county facility that has historically had terrible management and clinical outcomes now is set to buy the most expensive, resource-intensive EMR possible without a CIO at the helm. Glad to see our tax dollars are hard at work!” I’ll guess the CIO part is true since JPS IT director Joe Venturelli sent a Rumor Report to mention that the book he wrote, The Informed Patient, is available on iTunes (or at least it claimed to be him) and mentioned his role as interim CIO. They couldn’t force the CIO to stay if he wanted to leave, of course, and I’m sure that he’s as replaceable as any of us.

Inga and I get occasional personal invitations to attend conferences of various kinds. Even though we rarely do so because that means arranging vacation days from work and all that, we do appreciate the offers. Thanks for thinking of us.

9-16-2010 6-47-37 PM

Capsule announces Mobile Vitals Plus, part of its Enterprise Device Connectivity solution. It’s a single, touch screen-powered, nurse-friendly device that captures vital signs and sends them to the patient’s electronic record. A video demo is here. Seems cool, but I’ll defer to the nurses (I’ll bet you rarely hear that from an IT person).

HIMSS 2010 Davies Awards winners, just announced: Sentara and Nemours, organizational; The Diabetes Center (MS) and Miramont Family Medicine (CO), ambulatory; Open Door Family Medical Center (NY), community health; and Wisconsin Division of Public Health’s Wisconsin Immunization Registry, public health.

Jobs: Clinical Systems Analyst III, EMR Implementation Specialist, Eclipsys Documentation Consultant, Allscripts Consultant.

I mentioned the Davies winners even though HIT awards are a waste of time if you ask me, so I might as well mention the hospitals just named to the InformationWeek 500: Banner Health (90), Caritas Christi (44), Children’s Omaha (184), Children’s Dallas (187), Cincinnati Children’s (13), CoxHealth (144), Geisinger (243), HCA (213), Heartland Health (118), Lifespan (74), Norton (157), OhioHealth (238), Parkland (143), Poudre Valley (224), Sparrow (22), University of Pennsylvania Health System (54), UPMC (5), and Wuesthoff (172).

The College of American Pathologists contributes to the first DICOM medical imaging exchange standard for pathology slides, a step along the way to full integration of imaging information with LIS information. 

At a meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee, Epic CEO Judy Faulkner says she is worried that the “government is going to get into the electronic health record design business,” apparently concerned that its future Meaningful Use requirements may be overly prescriptive. Members are also debating how HHS can give the industry a heads-up on the second-stage MU requirements given that they won’t have had time to understand how providers are faring with the first-stage ones by the due date.

9-16-2010 8-16-14 PM

LTC Patricia Ten Haaf, commander of the Army’s 452nd Combat Support Hospital in Afghanistan, leads a Lean Six Sigma project to upgrade its MC4 battlefield EMR. ED charting was cut in half when electronic notes replaced paper and nurses created 22 templates that reduced paper forms from nine per patient to two and shaved more than 10% of an admission duration. In the US Army photo above: SGT John Michel, SSG Brooke Stauner.

9-16-2010 8-23-35 PM

Free EMR vendor PracticeFusion had two revenue streams in its early business models: pushing ads and selling de-identified patient data. Above is how the first option looks — an ad running at the bottom of a PracticeFusion screen, courtesy of its announcement this week that it has hooked up with an ad company.

Munroe Regional Medical Center (FL) budgets $2 million to upgrade its McKesson Horizon Expert Orders system.

GE Healthcare announces that it’s working with Bassett Medical Center in a Smart Patient Room pilot to develop real-time monitoring of safety protocols such as hand-washing and falls.

Sentara chooses Omnicell for medication dispensing. I assume that means Pyxis was displaced, which is happening pretty often these days.

Teleradiology service provider Musculoskeletal Imaging Consultants introduces Virtual Viewbox, which presents multiple patient PACS records in a single display and allows side-by-side consultations (the company calls that “HITECH Teleradiology”). It runs on an iPad and is free, with a catch: the docs have to ask their imaging centers to use MSKIC for reading.

In England, the Morecambe Bay NHS Trust creates an ambitious improvement plan for its just-implemented iSoft Lorenzo system: “transact a day’s work in one working day.” There’s also a problem in that the system informs users that a patient is dead when in fact they are not.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

A Boston Medical Center insider confirms that the organization’s recent layoffs included a few IT staffers. However, they added that BMC sees its IT strategy as an integral component of the organization’s overall financial recovery. BMC is on track to implement a new GE revenue cycle system and is working towards qualifying for Meaningful Use incentives in 2011.

Wanted: 13 senior healthcare executives to work for free on CCHIT’s Board of Trustees and Board of Commissioners. Commission chair Karen Bell says CCHIT says participants will help in the development of new business strategies and programs. Application deadline is October 15th.

National Surgical Hospitals contracts  with Summit Healthcare to provide data normalization and clean up following its migration to the Meditech 6.0 platform.

This week on HIStalk Practice: Dell plans to integrate its Android-based Streak mobile device into its EMR technology bundle; providers may one day need EMRs to prove clinical competence when renewing their medical licenses; female physicians are slightly higher performing and producing better outcomes than their male counterparts; and, doctors are more likely to adopt EMR if their physician friends (and not just peers) do.


There’s now an iPhone app for real-time drug safety surveillance. MedWatcher tracks the latest drug safety updates based on FDA alerts, media, and other sources. The bi-directional app also allow users to report possible side effects.

google health1

Google unveils an upgraded version of Google Health that includes a cleaner interface and more focus on wellness. I took a five-minute spin, which was enough time for me to conclude that 1) there were lots of new options, nice graphics, and a handy dashboard, and 2) the iPhone app I have been using for tracking calories, exercise, and weight (My Fitness Pal) has more much built-in functionality and requires fewer keystrokes for data entry. Plus, it runs on my iPhone. Overall, Google Health is a more comprehensive tool and would be great for someone wanting to track chronic health conditions, but, I didn’t see enough there to make it worth my time.

Spalding Surgical Center of Beverly Hills installs the web-based MMRPro professional solution, allowing the center to digitize and upload medical records from treating physicians.

Claims clearinghouse vendor InstaMed raises $6 million in a new round of funding that includes both debit and equity capital. Investors have contributed $22 million to date.

Sponsor Updates

  • MEDSEEK secures an 18-month engagement to develop and deploy a new consumer Web site for ProMedica Health (OH).
  • Keane earns a #70 ranking on the InformationWeek 500 list of top technology innovators in the country.
  • CareTech Solutions makes available the recorded Webinars from its eHealth Innovation Series.
  • FormFast will demo its HIM workflow and document management tools at AHIMA in Orlando next week.
  • VHA, Inc. will offer PrimeSuite, Greenway’s EHR/PM solution, to its affiliated physician practices.
  • KronosWorks 2010, the Kronos user conference, will be held November 7-10 in Las Vegas, with former labor secretary Robert Reich as the keynote speaker. The $100 early registration discount ends October 1.
  • I see Wellsoft EDIS is heading to the ENA conference in San Antonio Sept. 23rd, as well as the ACEP Scientific Assembly Sept. 28th.
  • Voalté brings on five employees to support the success of its Voalté One smart phone system. The company has doubled its headcount so far this year.


E-mail Inga.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Have you noticed that hospitals that select Epic often bring in a new CIO too… Sentara (goodbye Greg Walton), Yale (goodbye Mark Anderson), JPS (Jamey Pennington), and soon a big NY CIO… The lesson learned is that if the physician community goes around you (CIO) to bring in Epic and you’re not 100% behind buying Epic, then say goodbye. I think Epic pushes out CIOs they don’t 100% feel are b bought into them as the vendor. If you’re paying Epic $150M, who’s more important: Epic or your CIO?


  2. HealthSouth…Oracle fell out of the digital hospital evaluation quickly (vaporware) and Siemens was brought in to provide, IT, medical equipment, building infrastructure, security, communications, power generation, etc. Awesome facility until the sh*t hit the fan with Scrushy.

  3. C’mon now, Mr Histalk! The Davies HIT awards DO mean something! Usually I enjoy your cynicism but sorry, on this one I respectfully disagree (yes, it’s true, I happen to serve on a Davies committee.) Not only do these organizations go to extreme lengths to respond to the detailed award application, but upon site visits, they demonstrate excellence in HIT implementation that deserves recognition. It takes a lot to win a Davies award, and the winners are leaders and role models. I’ve seen “reference sites” that were pathetic compared to what can be found at a Davies winner site. These awards are well-deserved and worthy of industry attention.

  4. I think Bert was the CIO who brought Epic into Sentara and he’s there and going strong – Stage 7, Davies and touts big ROIs from his work.

    Mark announced his retirement before they selected Epic.

    And, again, remember, it is highly unlikely that anyone is “paying Epic $150m” – that’s likely Yale’s all in 5 or 10 year project cost – mostly funding their staff, equipment, build out, etc.

    Don’t know much about JPS, so can’t comment there, but certainly not the pattern DallasMan is putting forward.

  5. RE: At a meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee, Epic CEO Judy Faulkner says she is worried that the “government is going to get into the electronic health record design business,” apparently concerned that its future Meaningful Use requirements may be overly prescriptive…

    To late now, that horse already left the barn, should have thought of that before she got on the Obama health ovehaul train. Next stop for EMR/CPOE is FDA ville. And she’s going to really love that trip!

  6. Re: At a meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee, Epic CEO Judy Faulkner says she is worried that the “government is going to get into the electronic health record design business”

    Our current administration’s not just “gotten into” but actually taken over a number of industries, and health IT is yet another it could take over to meet its agendas.

    They seem to be entertaining the idea of denying licensure and board certification to physicians who refuse EHRs (http://www.massdevice.com/news/blumenthal-emrs-debate-raging-over-competition-vs-standards), another major regulatory grab.

    While I’ve been an HIT industry critic, it’s in the spirit of having the industry improve their products and be more accountable – not taken over. As a pro-business, free-market individual, the prospect of a government takeover of the HIT industry concerns me.

    Ms. Faulkner, when the day comes that you are told, gangster government style, that “nice business ya got there, shame if anything happens to it”, I’ll be the first to defend the industry’s freedoms.

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