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HIMSS Wrap-Up 2/24/11

February 24, 2011 News 12 Comments

From Just Saying: “Re: your Soarian demo. While pithy, this post would have been more honest if it had said, ‘I fell prey to the seductions of the attractive women and bright lights at the Siemens booth and I am so ashamed.’ Wouldn’t it have been just as valid to say ‘good to see Siemens playing offense again…Glaser seems to be making an impact already?’” Actually I wasn’t paying attention to the women or the lights – I was dragging along tired at the end of the day Wednesday and the rep stuck some 3D glasses out and promised the video would last only five minutes, just long enough for me to rest on what looked like comfortable benches (but weren’t). I didn’t find the video effective, but maybe some did. Actually, I already had an improving opinion of Soarian and the video didn’t really change it either way, but I was too tired and fidgety to want to sit through a demo, which was my real intention several times I passed the Siemens booth way down on the end (but somehow I never actually did it). I want Soarian to do well – we could use a respectably performing system that isn’t 30 years old. John Glaser did a little speech at the end of the video. He dropped by HIStalkapalooza, having warned me in advance that he wouldn’t be able to make it in time to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award in person before the band went on.

Just to show there’s no hard feelings, here’s a good consumer-oriented Soarian video from Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital that I found on YouTube. It’s more interesting than the 3D one if you ask me.

From LaVerne: “Re: Siemens. HHS lists Siemens as a certified vendor, but why do they list Enterprise Document Management as required additional software? How does that apply to Meaningful Use? MS4 is certified but does not require any document management product. Perceptive, Hyland, and other vendors don’t even modularly certify their DM products, so that might lead to the conclusion that Siemens has the only certified DM solution. Are they being intentionally mendacious or am I missing something?”

From Dolphins Fan: “Re: vendor attention. Once again, you guys did an awesome job of covering HIMSS — thanks! I can relate to your stories of being ignored by product vendors. I can think of several (Azzly and Phreesia immediately come to mind, but there were several others) where I felt if my nametag didn’t have ‘VC’ on it, I wasn’t worth talking to. As someone who provides significant guidance on many clients’ purchase decisions, it makes me wonder if these firms are actually driven by serving customers or just by scoring funding and being acquired.” I feel guilty going public with stories of unresponsive booth reps, but I’d want to know if I was the vendor. You get the feeling that nobody from management is overseeing, or if so, they aren’t very good managers (and in fact, some of the worst offenders were clearly the suits more interested in holding court with cronies than working prospects). Even Dr. Jayne’s CMIO badge couldn’t stir some of them. Let us read from the Book of Glengarry Glen Ross: “You got leads. Mitch and Murray paid good money. Get their names to sell them. You can’t close the leads you’re given, you can’t close %#*@, you ARE %#*@. Hit the bricks, pal, and beat it, ’cause you are going OUT … A guy don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money. Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? What’s the problem, pal? … Always Be Closing.”

From Rodrigo Barnes: “Re: Certify Data Systems. Why don’t we hear more about them?” Never heard of them, sorry. I checked their management team and never heard of any of them, either. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good at whatever connectivity stuff they do, but maybe not so good at getting their story out.

From Northeastern CIO: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. Thanks to you, Inga, Dr. Jayne, and of course, Medicomp, for the wonderful HIStalkapalooza party. I enjoyed it, got to speak with several interesting folks, had fun watching the awards, and appreciated the food. You ordered great weather too, making it all the more difficult to return to the cold. As others continually state, you do great work and I appreciate being part of your expanding circle of colleagues.” Thanks! I bet lots of folks are missing the weather and the non-monochromatic Florida landscape.

From JL, MD: “Re: Microsoft. Go to silverlight.interknowlogy.com to view two videos that are part of the 2011 HIMSS Microsoft HSG presentations from today that demonstrate form-factor convergence for Surface, Windows 7, Windows 7 tablet, Windows Mobile for healthcare information display for patients and providers. A second video demonstrates the ability for a Windows 7 PC enabled with USB KINECT and custom healthcare gestures can display healthcare image data, and do 3D manipulation of coronary image data using gestures via KINECT without XBox 360.” I wish they hadn’t been so Microsofty in posting the videos in the annoying Silverlight format that takes a long time to load and requires a huge plug-in if you don’t already have it (I don’t mind it for apps, but it seems like overkill for a video). Had they done like every other vendor in the world and posted it on YouTube, I could have run it right here. Ever seen a Silverlight video go viral? Uh, no, and that’s why. So anyway, the videos are pretty cool. I saw a Surface at RelayHealth’s booth, but nobody seemed to be doing much with it. I have a feeling the other form factors are getting completely buried by the iPad with little hope of catching up, but I don’t claim to be an expert. Example: I saw dozens or hundreds of vendors raffling off iPads to hundreds of anxiously awaiting HIMSS attendees. I saw one giving away a KINECT and nobody offering the others.

Inga, Dr. Jayne, and I are home now. I won’t speak for the ladies, but I’m pretty beat since last night’s long post took me until midnight to finish and I was back up at 3:30 a.m. to get ready for the trip home. Maybe HIMSS is a fun week for some, but I’ve worked constantly since it started and slept little, including leaving HIStalkapalooza right after the band started so I could write that night’s recap. On the other hand, Mrs. HIStalk was waiting with open arms when I got home today and I’m calling it an early night tonight, so I expect conditions to improve steadily, at least until the pre-dawn commute to the hospital Friday morning. We’ll just clean up some loose ends tonight and I’ll be back in the usual swing Saturday for the Monday Morning Update.

And just to be clear, although nobody has complained: we write up what we think are the important, interesting, and amusing aspects of HIMSS. We don’t do it to make those who couldn’t attend feel left out – we do it so they’ll feel like they were there and didn’t really miss anything. I’m sensitive to reading about someone else’s good time, but it’s not that great a time when you’re taking notes all day and spending hours writing them up at night.

OK, was I the only one to do this (multiple times, in fact?) I was ambling along the exhibit hall aisle and rounded a corner a bit too sharply, stepping my inside foot into inches-deep swanky booth carpet and nearly falling over from the immediate, one-sided deceleration. Or this, a couple of times: I impulsively grabbed a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie from a booth and chomped down, but was horrified to get napalm-hot melted chocolate chips all over my teeth and fingers with no easy way to clean it off.

Since Medicomp was so gracious to sponsor HIStalkapalooza, I’ll give them a little more exposure with this video shot from the show floor as users went through brief Quippe training to earn their iPad (I’m in one snippet, I noticed). I think I recognize a couple of the docs who went on camera.

2-24-2011 7-39-39 PM

Here’s Vince Ciotti, debriefing after his industry history presentation Wednesday afternoon. I had joked that he should wear a Mike Brady costume to his presentation and sent him the link — darned if he didn’t do it. If he had some mascara, he’d look like Alice Cooper in his 70s heyday.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga 

From Gossip Girl: “Re: Epic. A CIO to me explained Judy’s strategy. Epic is cutting the price on a lot of deals, especially the more prestigious health systems. If Epic has a couple of years that aren’t profitable, she can afford it and she doesn’t have investors to answer to. She realizes that these health systems make big HIT decisions only once every 10 or 15 years, so Epic needs to get in there now and hope that over time the health systems will keep buying more product. Meanwhile, the second-tier health systems see Epic getting all the wins and decide they need to get Epic, too. And those guys aren’t getting as sweet a deal as the top tier.”

From EMR vendor: “Re: HIStalk luncheon. Thank you for the great lunch today. I met some great people at my table and will have a follow up meeting with one of them.” Mr. H and I were thrilled to hear it provided a good networking opportunity. I mentioned in an earlier post that several competitors happened to sit at the same table and I and wondered how often folks like Girish Navani, Michael Sterns, and Evan Steele have lunched together. A reader suggested I’d be surprised how often it likely happens, since those folks collaborate as members of the EHR Association. For the record, two of these three told me they had never met the others before then.

From Greg Wilson: “Re: thanks. Just a quick note to convey my thanks. We had a lot of fun as a group and I had a lot of fun being a part of it. Very sincerely, thank you for the opportunity to be part of the ceremonies. It means a great deal to us.” Greg (regional sales VP for Salar) was the official HIStalk King and Queen judge and did an excellent job. I am not sure if we have complete video of his presentation, so you will have to trust me that it was wickedly funny. He gets bonus points for wearing his HIStalk Booth Babe sash in their booth for the rest of the show.

From Broke But Connected: “Re: exhibit hall Internet. Yes, it costs $1,500/day. We thought it was outrageous. I guess they figure whatever the traffic will bear! Do you think HIMSS gets a kickback on it???” Someone is clearly making serious money.

From Loyal Fan: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. It was great, but I think the music was a little too loud and it was too dark. The conference provides a great opportunity for people who haven’t seen each other in awhile to connect. They can listen to loud music at home.” That is great input. I’m sure that over the next few weeks Mr. H will continue to reflect on things and start thinking about next year.


Allscripts definitely had one of the most hopping booths. I liked its layout because it had a theater right in front and was quite open throughout. I hear Allscripts had over 1,000 people at their event at the Hard Rock Live (I had an invite, but missed it.) They also made a few product announcements, but they haven’t surfaced in my overflowing inbox yet.

I have concluded that I greatly favor the booths that are wide open with the product demo and people at the edges, as opposed to those that you have to enter in order to check out what they are offering. For example,the configuration of the booths for McKesson and Siemens (and to some extent NextGen) were a little intimidating. I almost felt I needed an invitation before walking in.

I thought Ingenix had a huge booth. Turns out it wasn’t quite as huge as I thought. They were right next to another vendor with the same red color scheme, so it appeared the two were one. Ingenix was featuring its various acquisitions and I just thought the vendor next to them was just another new division. Funny.

Orlando traffic, at least around the convention center, is insane. Fortunately my hotel was relatively close and I walked the 15-20 minutes most of the time. Wednesday I was weary and decided to ride the bus. Long story short, I got on the wrong bus and it took me 40 minutes to get back. After dropping off my things, I decided to take a cab back over to the Peabody. There was a limo in front and the guy said he had to drop a group off at the next hotel over and then would take me. So I shared the limo with artists who were performing for NextGen (they told me they practiced a lot). While it was fun chatting with them, that limo ride ended up taking at least 20 minutes because of the traffic. Sheesh.


JB walks the red carpet. Check out the gorgeous dress.


JB announcing the HISsies. Look at the size of the crowd.

I asked quite a few people what the “buzz” was. I think there is generally an agreement that we are past the Meaningful Use frenzy in terms of aligning with vendors. At this point, most people are either committed or at least pretty far down the line in the EHR selection process. Now people are looking a little more into the future and trying to figure out what tools they need for likely Stage 2 and 3 requirements (the HIE booths were busy) and for establishing ACOs. Meanwhile, everyone knows they must cut costs and improve care, and there are literally hundreds of niche vendors offering everything from tracking systems, infrastructure alternatives, and RCM add-on utilities. Obviously Meaningful Use and ICD-10 will remain the priorities for the next few years, but I think health systems are going to become increasingly interested in finding these more peripheral products, if they indeed offer a meaningful ROI or transform care. And likely the McKessons and Ingenixes will look to buy many of these smaller companies so they can sell more into their existing base. I wonder if over the next few years the number of individual HIMSS exhibitors actually declines.

I am now home and thanking my lucky stars that I don’t travel for a living. The Orlando airport was a zoo and it took me almost 30 minutes to go through security. While sitting at my gate, a couple guys (clearly vendors) were remarking that it looks like the economy has finally turned around, based on the heavy interest they saw this week. Maybe, maybe not, but that’s a pleasant thought to end the week.


 E-mail Inga.

Overheard HIStalkapalooza Comments
By Evan Frankel,  MD-IT (roving reporter wearing a memorable jacket)

Jonathan Bush:  “You can only interview me if you buy me a cigar. It is principled.”

DrLyle: “I can’t believe that people aren’t asking more questions. For smart people, they accept way too much.”

Dr. Gregg Alexander: “I have heard about college savings funds for children. I don’t have one.”

Dr. Christ Pavlatos: “The shiny and flashing buttons are lovely. As a trained medical doctor, a seizure episode could result from focusing too much on the flashing lights. I would think that the person that causes the seizure is required to resuscitate them — it’s only fair. The buttons are all conveniently located in the cardiopulmonary level, which is easy to focus too much eye attention on.”

Bill Fera, Ernst & Young: “Are you an HIStalker?”
Evan: “I am here, aren’t I?”
Bill: “Are you Mr H?”
Evan: “Nope, I am just a schmuck in a velvet jacket.”
Bill: “That you are. Baba Booey.”

Louann Whittenburg, Medicomp: “I love your coat. Is that velvet?”
Evan: “It is.”
Louann: “We are going to have fun tonight. I am very excited for people to get inside and start to drink, dance, and have a good time.”
Evan: "Me, too."
Louann: "I think your coat is awesome. It is perfect for this party."

Jonathan Bush: “I gotta be honest, I don’t actually read HIStalk. I have other people read it and I say, ‘What did it say?’ and then I am like, ‘Oh.’”

Jonathan Bush: “I did not know that Mr H takes the quotes verbatim from our conversations, and so I say all kinds of shit and I am expecting a lot of conversation back and forth between our PR guy and Mr H. on what he’ll actually  put up there. I mean, shame on me. It has happened more than once.”

Jonathan Bush: “We can’t predict anything. We don’t even know what Stage 2 Meaningful Use looks like. Do you think the ‘e’ at the end of Crowne makes it fancy?”

DrLyle: “I went to Washington and started asking them the tough questions. They don’t want to hear it. There is no easy answer to hard problems sometimes.”

Jonathan Bush: “I wouldn’t do anything that is resident on one device, iPad or otherwise. Make millions of little apps. The biggest growth prospect in healthcare is the little app. We want to drive business through our ecosystem where you do the R&D. You make hundreds of them and the one people all really like is the one that pays for all of the rest. Even if we grew our R&D department 30% each year we wouldn’t be able build all of the apps you can. Be agile, get them out there, get in front of the doctor. You just got the first interview on the athenahealth ecosystem. You kids take this stuff and go and make apps and make money. I don’t care. I can’t make it all and everyone else sucks. Figure out the APIs and then go build something cool.”

Dr. Amanda Heidemann: “It is great to see all these well-dressed people out for the night. I think it is hysterical how many people follow the blog and wanted to come to this party. Did you stop on the red carpet? I was so nervous. Can you go get me another glass of wine?”

Mrs. John (Denise) Glaser: “I think he (John) takes in all in stride. I mean, he is here. I actually believe John has a lot of respect for Jonathan Bush. It looks like you all are having a lot of fun. I like your jacket a lot.”

Jasmine Gee, athenahealth: “I am having a blast tonight. I think this is the most fun you can have at a conference. Why aren’t you dancing?”

Ash Gupta and Jonathan Baran of Healthfinch: “I am very happy to meet you, this is a real honor.” (they were talking about meeting Jonathan Bush and interrupting my private cigar and beer time with him. I wish they had said that about me.)

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Currently there are "12 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Siemens and doc imaging and certification…

    This is a perfect example of why a niche or Best of Breed vendor should get certified as an EHR Module. Here’s why: When a vendor’s full EMR is certified ALL of their products /components are included as certified. The ATCB looks at all the forty or so criteria but not in each product or software module. So even though they probably did not show anything specifically related to doc imaging, the ATCB assumes all product components will meet the criteria. As an example, you may show them how you meet Access Controls using your registration system and their assumption is that it works exactly the same across all modules, if it’s sold as part of the overall release it’s deemed certified.

    Therefore an EHR vendor can claim their doc imaging is certified. A BoB then tries to sell, or keep a client that has been running doc imaging from a BoB but the EHR vendor will tell the CIO (who is very concerned about using only certified systems to maintain MU) that you must replace that non-certified BoB with our certified module… if you want to get MU via Siemens. Butif the BoB product is modularly certified, it’s a non-issue.

    As I said in an earlier post, the game has been tilted to the single vendors. ONCHIT included modular certification at the last minute. For more see my reader’s write message in the HISTalk: https://histalk2.com/2011/01/17/readers-write-11711/

  2. Re: Gossip Girl – your CIO friend doesn’t seem to have very good information on Epic pricing. Keep the gossip to the social pages…

  3. Good news: I got invited back to the HIStalkapalooza again this year–without having to rap for my admission ticket!
    Bad news: My company’s reception overlapped, so I missed JB’s unfiltered ADD exhibition.
    GN: I got there in time to hear an awesome band.
    BN: The said awesome band was waaaay to loud, so I woke up with my voice in the basement.
    GN: I woke up with my voice in the basement, so I could use my Barry White impression to woo the booth babes.
    BN: I had booth duty myself, so I never had time to woo any booth babes.
    GN: I never had any time to woo booth babes, so I saved a gazillion dollars by not having to worry about hiring a divorce lawyer.

    Thanks, Mr. H and Inga, for always figuring these things out and taking care of your peeps. It always ends up as good news!

  4. @Eddie

    I think GG’s CIO friend does have part of the story. Problem is, Judy is talking out of both sides of her mouth. She’s telling big hospitals that they’re getting a sweet deal because they’re valued customers. Then she’s telling the smaller community hospitals that they’re getting a great deal because she’s making massive price concessions to take them away from competitors. Either both groups are being swindled, or Epic is heavily discounting their software, possibly while taking a loss, for the sake of owning a huge chunk of the marketplace in a critical time. I’d bet the former is the case, and particularly large hospitals/systems who were told they’re getting a sweet deal will come to find that they’ve been hoodwinked. The really sad thing, though, is so many CEOs, CMIOs, and CIOs are infatuated with Epic to the point that they don’t even really understand they’re being cheated and continue to defend Epic with everything they’ve got. What does it matter though? Hospitals seem to be thrilled to throw their money at Epic, so whatever Judy’s strategy is, it’s working. Seems everyone’s happy, except the doctors who actually have to use the stuff.

  5. Probably wasn’t noticed by anyone but me, but HISTalkapalooza was the only event I attended – on the show floor or otherwise – that offered sweets. The brownies and cobbler (yes, I had both) were so appreciated. Does no one in healthcare man up to having a sweet tooth? I can only assume Inga and Dr. Jayne had something to do with that part of the menu. THANK YOU!

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Actually, thank Dr. Gregg for that — he chose the menu. I’m not big on sweets so the brownies were way too intense for me (one bite and I was done), but I’m glad you enjoyed the desserts!

  6. @Anonymous on Eddie: Epic doesn’t sell to “smaller community hospitals.” You must really dislike Epic to spout mis-information like this.

  7. umm, hate to burst your bubble HIMSS attendee, but Epic is indeed selling to community hospitals under 350 beds, including standalones. and they are indeed lowballing prices to make these sales in some cases. these are facts, whether you want to accept them or not, and have been verified multiple times in postings on this very blog, among other places.

  8. Kadlec in Washington and Martin Memorial in Florida are two that come to mind. Martin in particular, if I recall, had to request a $20 million bond issue from the county to pay for it. I’m sure a quick search of the archives here will yield a few more. Note that just because Epic is trying to sell into this segment, doesn’t mean they have been especially successful. Judy Faulkner herself is on record as saying Epic wants to compete in the community market – not least of which is because there are very few large hospitals/health systems left out there willing to fork over 8-9 figures for a new Epic system nowadays.

  9. Epic goggles: Thanks for the information. Quick look at their web sites shows that Martin Memorial is not just an “under 350 bed community hospital” – they also have over 70 employed physicians, and they are building another 80 bed hospital which will put them over the 400 bed mark common to Epic enterprise clients.





    Similarly, Kadlec is not just a 270 bed hospital, they are also a multi-specialty clinic, as their job opportunity materials show at http://www.kadlecmed.org/physicians/physician_opps_desc.php?did=96

    In any case, there is no indication that the pricing for relatively smaller enterprise clients is any different than the pricing for larger ones…

  10. Dear me, the Epic lovers are quick to defend St. Judy aren’t they?

    My favorite? “not just a 270 bed hospital, they are also a multi-specialty clinic”

    Because a 270 bed community hospital with a clinic is SO Epic’s sweet spot.

  11. McCynical – People seem to forget that Epic’s EMR was developed for large clinics first, and support for hospitals was added later. On the Kadlec web site, they list 210 employed physicians, my guess is that at least half work in the clinic. If that is the case, the hospital seems to be the “incidental add-on” part, while the clinic is very much in the Epic target market…

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