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Monday Morning Update 10/11/10

October 8, 2010 News 5 Comments

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Windows Phone 7 launch. Microsoft has scheduled the Windows Phone 7 launch for October 11. If Windows Phone 7 is as good as Win 7 in combination with Bing, then we’ll see some interesting apps that could start to be used by healthcare providers and patients.” I’m not a big fan of the name for sure, and I don’t know how many people care about the Zune Hub. The Windows Phone Live cloud service seems cool. Overall, I don’t think it’s exaggerating to say that lines of would-be purchasers Monday morning (or lack of them) will tell you a lot about the odds that Microsoft will return to innovation relevance. I can’t imagine anyone giving up a recently purchased iPhone or Droid to get one — they’ll have to energize the fence-sitters. You don’t want to be slow to a market involving long-term contracts.

From Five Grand, Here: “Re: Harvard. Capitalizing on fear and anxiety, they’re going to the bank after promoting them. Even with a visit to the Harvard Faculty Club, am I the only one who thinks this is a rip-off?” The Harvard School of Public Health offers two-week program on HIT leadership for $4,995, not including hotel and dinners. Faculty includes Glaser, Halamka, and Middleton. Hospital people are so insecure and indecisive that I’m sure the mid-levelers with budget money show up (and probably add an intentionally vague note about their new Harvard “education” on their resume, which is part of what the $5K buys in their minds, I’d bet). The site says the attendee satisfaction is high. I’ll reserve judgment until someone who has been tells me their outcome, i.e. everything else aside, did their employer, who is likely quite different from Harvard, get their money’s worth in sending them? Sometimes expensive is worth it.

From Paisano: “Re: GE. I heard they’ve restructured the sales force. Any insights?” I don’t usually follow sales force restructurings, but anyone who wants to chime in can. I’m bored easily by endless territory realignments, new management bringing in recycled ideas already tried and failed elsewhere, and messing around with the sales function instead of fixing the real problem of underperforming products or executive management.

From Mark Wagner: “Re: HIStalk article EMR: One Size Does Not Fit All. Evan Steele made some accurate observations in his recent physician practice EMR post. There are many variables that influence the eventual success or failure of an EMR deployment at a practice. Practice specialty is absolutely one of them. Since HIMSS10, KLAS has been compiling a report that drills down on EMR vendor performance by specialty. As the need for more information by specialty was raised in this forum, it seems appropriate to also announce here that KLAS is releasing a first-of-its-kind ambulatory EMR specialty report on Tuesday. Beginning October 12, providers will be able to download a complimentary copy of the KLAS EMR specialty report and vendors can purchase a copy of the report. Mr. Steele correctly points out that KLAS only accepts evaluations from live users of a system. KLAS feels that live users are best equipped to report on current release quality, vendor responsiveness. and the level of customer support. Former users often share comments about failed experiences and KLAS reports that feedback when it is offered. KLAS welcomes research topic suggestions and questions about what we do and how we do it. Please contact us at info@KLASresearch.com.” Mark is the director of ambulatory research at KLAS.

10-8-2010 7-10-33 PM

From Mark: “Re: Meditech’s history. I love telling this story. Beverly Hospital was the beta when Meditech was introducing color terminals. Their controller and CIO went to visit Neil in the development building in Cambridge, which was actually two buildings, one old and one new, joined on a few floors. When you walked from the second floor of one to the second floor of the other, there was still a step because the floors weren’t the same height from the street. They went into the room where Neil was putting the final touches on the EPROM that was going to become the master for the new color terminals. All that was left to do was to pick out the colors that would be used for certain menus and pop-ups. Neil let the people from Beverly choose the color palette for hundreds of thousands of color terminal users.”

From John Smith: “Re: Ingenix. Layoffs in the payer and government group (the division that acquired AIM Healthcare). Rumor is about 100 people this past Wednesday.” Unverified.

HIE vendor Halfpenny Technologies gets $2.6 million in VC funding.

10-8-2010 3-21-06 PM 

Thanks and welcome to North Highland, supporting HIStalk as a Gold Sponsor. The company, based in Atlanta but with 45 offices all over the US and elsewhere, does things differently. Instead of flying consultants out from a central location at the client’s expense, they have experienced consultants who work out of the same cities as their clients, or as they say, “Our consultants trade hotel rooms and security checkpoints for dinner at home and Little League practice.” Their results are real and measurable and their work is guaranteed. Thanks to North Highland for supporting HIStalk.

I was thinking about the impending Siemens layoffs, scheduled to start in early December. I know the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday season is long (15% of the year, basically), but companies could at least appear to be more humane by whacking their previously valued associates after January 1 instead of during the holidays. Cutting people loose right before Christmas means executives either don’t care or have let the situation become so desperate that the only answer they have for their own poor planning is to decisively overreact.

Carol from RelayHealth, who describes her specialty as “all-around-helping-providers-get-paid products”, offers a new white paper for readers interested in the point-of-service payment question asked earlier. You can download it here.

10-8-2010 5-26-26 PM

It seems that the IS department is going to be doing the Meaningful Use attestation work in most hospitals, although many clearly haven’t decided for sure. New poll to your right: how well will the Windows 7 phone compete against the iPhone and Droid?

If you’re an HIStalk sponsor and didn’t get your invitation from Inga for out little get-together in Orlando at HIMSS, e-mail her. We look forward to seeing you there.

Nuance and IBM are collaborating to develop Clinical Language Understanding, a healthcare-specific natural language tool to extract discrete data from clinician narrative.

Bon Secours Health System will use medical error tracking tools from Quantros.

BCBS of Nebraska chooses NaviNet’s provider communications portal for real-time eligibility checking and claims status and remittance.

I’ll leave you with one of the many amazing moments (this one from 1987) from St. Elsewhere, the best hospital drama ever. This is the memorable scene where Dr. Westphall expresses his opinion of the hospital administrator sent in by Ecumena, its new for-profit owner.

E-mail me.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Five Grand, the price of Harvard’s hand holding conference on HIT Leadership, the module ” Maximizing Quality and Safety Gains from EHRs” is an enticing but deceptive draw.

    This presupposes that the HIT is safe unto itself, when we all know that it is not.

    The price is higher than you state by $500.

    The conference is not a rip off but is another example of the financially conflicted food chain in HIT, and is a harbinger of the chaos and failure seen in the UK.

  2. If Harvard, Halamka, and company were genuinely interested in spreading the gospel of MU, they would do it for free. As reported, if 100 suckers show up for their pitch, someone pockets $.5 million (at the bargain price). They will also have HIT vendor sponsors, so, call in the high roller bankers.

    Akll of this is despicable.

  3. “Meditech’s history. I love telling this story.”

    I recall a lawsuit v Meditech and Allscripts by Philadelphia Health and Education Corp in 2007. The comments are even more interesting.

  4. Why does so many technology companies in health care support their efforts within the industry with sales persons who are not health care trained professionals? And so many of these companies have let their best health care talent (i.e. physicians, nurses, former C-Suite hospital executives, health care sales professionals) that have been to the industry for many years go. We all sit in the focus group or company meetings at HiMSS and CHIME and often listen to sales people who are not able to deliver the health care value proposition to their customers and some companies even believe that because they send a generalist sales person to a training like the one at Harvard this will make them an EXPERT that can resonate with a health care audience !

  5. Hmm, while Droid and iPhone have the market advantage at the moment, I wouldn’t cut MS out. I recall when the first iPhone came out there were some who already had a phone with Windows on it, and they loved it (even made some of the iPhone features). That was before 7, which so far has impressed me with how well it works. I went on Bing when it first came out but haven’t in awhile, so can’t attest on its usefulness. But did anyone else notice that right after Bing came out, Google changed how its results were shown? Seems MS can still make some waves.

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