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March 3, 2011 News 8 Comments

From KoolAidKid: “Re: vendor market share. Numbers I’ve heard suggest that Epic gained 100 new hospital customers in the past year. Nobody else was close and GE and Meditech both had a net loss of sites.” Unverified.

3-3-2011 7-20-43 PM

From Mintonw: “Re: Allscripts ED standalone. Receives certification as a Complete EHR for version 7.0, the first and only best-of-breed EDIS to be a Complete EHR.” It’s listed on CCHIT’s site as such.

From Genius Bar: “Re: GE. Searching for a new CTO to drive innovation, also looking for strategic partners and acquisition candidates. Good timing since they are freezing development of some of their products.” Unverified.

3-3-2011 8-13-27 PM

From @cascadia: “Re: Sarah Kramer of eHealth Ontario. Is it coincidence that the comments about her were followed by a picture of women’s shoes? Wonder if the recent negative press is the reason her LinkedIn profile was deleted and exists only in a cached version?” Here’s the story we linked to that mentioned her involvement in UCLA’s EMR implementation. I don’t assume she did anything all that wrong given the general fiscal fuzziness that seemed to envelop eHealth Ontario (and who knows what pressure she was under to get work done, even if it meant going with consultants you know instead of going through government procurement processes). Her boss quit the day before the auditor’s report came out, so I’d say he was involved. I think we should let the woman make a living – nobody said she wasn’t a good EMR advocate and she’s not in a management role at UCLA.

From Sharlie Cheen: “Re: AdvancedMD. Can your investor guy inspire us daydreamers with an estimate of how much CEO Morgan and VC Francisco made for less than two years’ work flipping AdvancedMD?” Winning! I’m waiting to hear back from Ben Rooks, although I’m sure the best he can do is guess like the rest of us.

From Curious George: “Re: Jonathan Bush’s Sam Kinison-esque rant at the HISsies. I keep hearing about it – is there any public video available anywhere?” I know Medicomp filmed it from multiple cameras, but I don’t think it’s been posted. He was definitely on, and most impressively, was up the next morning and on national TV at 7:30 talking business.

From Peter the Rock: “Re: Dell Services. Has frozen all Meditech hiring for an undetermined amount of time for them to review their financial stability.” Unverified. Update: Dell says this isn’t true. I’ve offered to run their response if they want to provide one.

3-3-2011 8-17-01 PM

From Mitigator: “Re: Medicity. Big plans, looking to branch out into the apps business. Rumor is they are working on an app store model. Given the recent Allscripts announcements, will we see app wars in HIT?” Verified. Medicity started work on an app model for its iNexx platform two years ago. They’re piloting a free referral app, a free virtual care team record that is similar to a provider’s social network centered around the patient, and a fee-based Meaningful Use app. Third parties have expressed interest in writing to the iNexx API. I found the above on Medicity’s site.

From Lawrencium: “Re: Siemens. They are gaining momentum, especially in small hospitals looking to replace Meditech and considering Soarian. New deals coming toward the end of this quarter and new key talent being recruited.” Unverified.

3-3-2011 9-21-23 PM

Dr. Jayne is doing a fine job, don’t you think? So much so that I’m moving her to her own post on Monday nights, although she’ll continue to write here on Thursdays. That excellent idea came from a reader responding to my survey. This will give her the space to create her own identity and will shorten the always-full Tuesday posts. She’s looking for advisory board members who can give her quick feedback on ideas (she calls it “the HIStalk Medicine Cabinet” – isn’t that cute?), so if you are a CMIO, CMO, CIO, physician, or other clinician interested in swapping ideas with Jayne, shoot her an e-mail or connect on Facebook. I’m really happy that she joined Inga and me. You never know how someone will work out, especially if you hire them without so much as a telephone conversation first (OK, I’m the trusting type) but she’s smart, sassy, and has a commendably dry and cynical sense of humor, not to mention that she and Inga were quick to advance to BFFs. She’s been an HIStalk fan for a long time and therefore gets what we do. What more could you ask?

Listening: Iced Earth, The Glorious Burden: patriotic, American history heavy metal that sounds like Iron Maiden. Not many metal bands would do an 30-minute, multi-part composition about the Battle of Gettysburg. Trivia: Richard Christy from the Howard Stern Show was the drummer on that album.

Jobs on the HIStalk Job Board: Performance Management and Revenue Cycle Director, Healthcare Informatics Analyst, Implementation Project Manager (Remote). On Healthcare IT Jobs: Systems Administrator III, Senior Software Engineer, Senior Systems Analyst – Clinical Apps.

Reminders of stuff you can do: (a) sign up for e-mail updates like 7,117 of your peers have done; (b) send me stuff: rumors, news, photos, or anything else that would interest readers; (c) use your social networking power in friending Inga, Jayne, and me on Facebook and liking HIStalk so we can brag to our mothers that we have an Internet following; and (d) support our sponsors by looking over the ads occasionally and clicking those of interest. Thanks for reading.

3-3-2011 6-58-49 PM

Thanks to Chris Rauber of the San Francisco Business Times, who cited HIStalk in today’s writeup about McKesson’s planned acquisition of System C. Lots of press people and online sites get their ideas and information here, but few give credit. Thanks!

3-3-2011 9-22-45 PM

I wouldn’t say you missed much if you weren’t at the HIMSS keynote of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, but the full text is here if you’d like to decide for yourself.

Everybody’s weighing in on HIMSS – the booth babes, the giveaways, and the general silliness in the exhibit hall. My take: it doesn’t bother me. Surely nobody’s naive enough to think that traipsing through the exhibit floor constitutes any kind of research or due diligence, not that all that many research-driven decision-makers go to the conference seeking vendors anyway. Vendors and freebie-seeking non-prospects might as well make it fun without lofty expectations either way. I do feel bad for the rent-a-babes (and female attendees who feel demeaned by their presence, which I get totally), but like most cases of the non-involved protesting bad working conditions, I’m pretty sure the subjects themselves would not be in favor of even a well-intentioned ban on their presence (good news, you get your dignity back; bad news, you now have no income.) I keep thinking exhibit hall excesses will be self-limiting since they have no ROI and don’t impress prospects, but vendors are so scared of each other that nobody will blink first in cutting down on booth sizes, doing product demos instead of card tricks, and letting people buy their own cookies and popcorn. Vendors are providing what prospects (or at least booth-cruisers) respond to, rightly or wrongly. At least I saw no mimes or Richard Simmons this year. Next year I may ask the youngest and cutest booth decorations outright – are you an employee of this company, and if so, what’s your job the other 51 weeks of the year?

3-3-2011 10-14-47 PM  

3-3-2011 9-49-05 PM

Speaking of exhibitors, above are the top 10 vendors by HIMSS points, which lets you pick a better booth location by spending money elsewhere with HIMSS. If you don’t play the game, you get to be one of those vendors in booth Siberia, wondering where all those 31,000 attendees are since you won’t see more than a handful and those will be directionally challenged, not product curious.

Nine of the 10 companies above either sponsor or are in the process of sponsoring HIStalk, I just noticed (all but Epic), so I can’t get too self-righteous about their payments to the not-for-profit HIMSS. At least I don’t charge much and I think I probably appreciate it more.

Vermont Information Technology Leaders selects Medicity’s HIE solution for its statewide project.

3-3-2011 7-24-25 PM

Thanks much to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor MediServe. The 26-year-old Chandler, AZ company focuses on specialized software for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation (documentation, functional scoring, intake, scheduling, charge capture, and order management), respiratory (staffing management, protocols, clinical and financial reporting tools, charge capture, electronic documentation), and a specific application for managing Spontaneous Breathing Trials to improve patient outcomes through protocol compliance, electronic documentation, and reduced ventilator length of service. You may have heard of a few of its customers: Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, Vanderbilt, Duke, UNC, University of Michigan, Sutter, and Baylor. Thanks to MediServe for supporting HIStalk.

3-3-2011 7-37-36 PM

Vanderbilt launches My Cancer Genome, an online tool for physicians and researchers that allows them to look up tumor profiling results to find the clinical implications of the specific gene. Lung cancer and melanoma are up and running, with capabilities for breast, colon, and other cancers coming soon.

Saint Barnabas Health Care System (NJ) is enforcing content control restrictions on its PCs using Symantec’s policy-enforcing hosted data loss prevention agent. I found information on Symantec’s site about its product, which I assume it obtained in its 2007 acquisition of Vontu.

3-3-2011 9-24-16 PM

We new iPad 1 owners (thanks, HIMSS vendor contests!) aren’t missing too much with the just-announced iPad 2: it has faster video, dual cameras, Facetime, a gyroscope, and a lighter and thinner case. Same price. Otherwise, there’s not much new – no improved video resolution or anything major that would make you want to toss your new one to buy an even newer one. My iPod Touch has all those new features already plus the Retina display and longer battery life, so if you don’t already have one of those, that’s where I’d spend $225 instead of putting $500 and up into a new iPad – I still use the tiny iPod Touch 10 to 1 over the iPad. The fact that tons of people will be clogging up Apple stores next week and victoriously waving their expensive replacement of a product less than a year old tells you all you need to know about Apple as selling a vicariously hip lifestyle instead of technology. People gripe about spending $100 to replace a ten-year-old Windows XP, but can’t wait to muscle through the line to conspicuously consume anything that Steve Jobs has touched on a stage.

An incubator formed to commercialize software and other technology from Mayo Clinic is being disbanded after blowing through all of its $8 million in funding in 18 months, mostly on excessive corporate headcount, not to mention that Mayo charged Healthcare IP Partners with misusing Mayo’s name to raise money. “Distance medicine services” vendor Rainwater Healthcare already appears to have been shut down. Another portfolio company is Kardia, which sells a cardiovascular imaging and information system. The only good news is that an audit found no evidence of rumored financial shenanigans, which a former director says came from an employee he fired for indecent exposure.

A man who scammed Medicare for $10 million in phony medical equipment claims says it’s “incredibly easy” to commit such fraud, saying anyone with basic computer data entry skills can do it.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga

From NotFromTheAgency: “Re: trade show models. I work for one of the large HIT companies. About six years ago, one of our company lawyers was walking the floor at HIMSS when he was approached by a couple of very attractive representatives from another large company. They asked him if he wanted to come in and learn about ‘Sorio.’ When he told them he worked for the other guys and offered to helped them learn the name of their own product, they confessed that they didn’t care – they wanted to talk to him because he was ‘young and good looking’ and they were tired of being friendly to other people they described in not as kind terms. Turns out they were professional models. This might not be a surprise to many, but it was to us — we had never hired people to work in our booth. After learning this it was fun to watch the models from Company A congregate in the halls with other nice-looking ‘employees’ of Company B & C during breaks, apparently friends from the same agency.” I’ve been trying to decide how I really feel about this whole booth-babe-for-hire thing. There’s a part of me that believes that if a company is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on exhibiting, they better figure out a way to draw prospects in. In general I don’t take issue with the companies who hire appropriately dressed attractive women or hunky guys if they think it makes a difference. On the other hand, I find it degrading as a woman to witness the girls in the company-sanctioned (and paid for) super short skirts and skin-tight jumpsuits. It says something about how these companies value women and lead me to conclude that I would never want to work or do business with one of these organizations. Wow, sounds prudish, especially coming from someone who likes fancy clothes and all. But, there is a time and a place for everything, and the time and place for a skin show does not include the HIMSS exhibit floor.


From Lady In Red: “Re: John Halamka. I noticed this image posted by Engadget during their live blogging coverage of the iPad2 event. It was shown in the segment of the presentation where Apple was talking about how much of a success the iPad1 has been. Is there anywhere the man in black *doesn’t* turn up?” Now that you mention it, I don’t think I ever had a John Halamka sighting in Orlando. I believe I heard that he was in Japan and not at HIMSS. However, when I was with Mr. H at the opening reception, we spotted a Halamka wannabe in one of those black, mandarin collar shirts.

The Indiana HIE announces that its Quality Health First Program has enrolled over 1,500 physicians in 50 communities. It provides summaries of clinical patient information and flags patients needing provider intervention.

This week on HIStalk Practice: the full interview with AdvancedMD CEO Eric Morgan, whose company was acquired this week by ADP. The AMA wants more flexibilty with Stage 2 Meaningful Use. New iPad options from Practice Fusion and GE. An Arkansas doc opens a barter clinic (Chickens for Check-Ups.) Dr. Gregg pimps HIStalk Practice to the industry. Show a girl some love and sign up for e-mail updates while you are there.

The VA awards Harris Corporation a multi-year contract to continue providing software engineering and enterprise support for the VistA Imaging System.

Axial Exchange, a provider of clinical data sharing tools, raises $1.15 million from a $1.5 million offering. Axial CEO Joanne Rhode is the former CEO and director of HIT strategy at Red Hat.

IBM Patient Empowerment System

IBM introduces its Patient Empowerment System, a “next evolution” patient portal.  The portal is designed to be hosted by health systems and includes such features as drug interaction warnings, alerts, and examination of genetic profiles. IBM will continually enhance the system by adding analytics from public sources. IBM is previewing the system at CeBIT in Germany this week, leading me to wonder why they chose not to preview at HIMSS. Or did they and I just missed it?

3-3-2011 12-56-49 PM

Two senators, including Mr. H’s man-crush Chuck Grassley, introduce legislation that would require Medicare to publish what individual physicians earn from Medicare. The bill would overturn a 1979 court injunction barring the public to see what individual physicians receive from Medicare. The court ruling was designed to protect physicians’ financial privacy, but Grassley and Senator Ron Wyden are pushing for more government transparency and more provisions to fight Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

A Birmingham paper chats with Boyd Douglas, the hometown CEO of CPSI. He explains why he is bullish on continued market growth beyond 2015:

I am confident we will see sales of our electronic medical record system continue for some time beyond 2015, which is when the stimulus fund payments are scheduled to end. First, I don’t believe there is sufficient capacity amongst all the health care information technology vendors combined to implement EMR systems in every hospital in the United States by 2015. In addition, moving the medical records for an entire nation from paper to an electronic record that is both standardized and secured, yet can be shared as needed, is a massive and complex undertaking. I believe it will create additional demands and opportunities beyond 2015 as the whole dynamic of how clinical information is captured, stored, and communicated continues to evolve. Finally, my feeling is there are a number of EMR systems that will be put in hospitals that satisfy the letter of the requirements to receive stimulus fund payments today, but are not necessarily satisfactory long-term solutions. They lack the integration with other information systems that is essential for a seamless flow of information throughout the hospital and to their physicians.

3-3-2011 10-48-23 AM

Congrats to Jill Krcatovich, manager of nursing informatics & infusion center at Allegan General Hospital in Allegan, MI. She won a Sonos Music System, courtesy of the wonderful folks at Enterprise Software Deployment who held a special HIStalk reader-only drawing at HIMSS.

Kane Community Hospital (PA) goes live on Healthland EHR.

3-3-2011 9-26-16 AM

Twenty years ago today, Rodney King was caught on video being beaten by LAPD officers. After ensuing riots, King spoke the famous words, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?” Perhaps that is what members of the Tri-City Healthcare Board of Directors (CA) are saying to themselves after fellow board member Kathleen Sterling had to be physically restrained by five guards during a recent meeting. Because of frequent outbursts and verbal assaults in recent months, Sterling was made to stay in another room during board meetings and communicate through a speaker phone. When she attempted to walk into a recent meeting, she fought body guards to be allowed entrance. Hospital administrators intend to file a restraining order against Sterling so if she tries to walk into another meeting, she can be arrested. All members of the board are publically elected, by the way.


E-mail Inga.

Sponsor Updates

  • SCI Solutions tells us that one of their customers, Atlanta Medical Center, has increased their CT appointments 46% since their November go-live of Schedule Maximizer in replacing STAR. Part of the reason is the flexibility of setting appointment slots for times less than 30 minutes. They’re offering a series of Webinars that includes Physician and Patient Connectivity: The Southwest Airlines Way, How Can I Make My Customers LOVE Accessing My Hospital, and Creating a Patient Financial Access Center-If you build it, they will come! Many of their Webinars are presented by their customers.
  • e-MDs reports that 2010 was a record year in terms of revenue and employee growth. Employee count grew 31% to 275.
  • Happy 10th anniversary to sponsor maxIT! Founders Parker Hinshaw, Robert Moore, and Jennifer Arthur are still with the organization, which now supports over 550 consultants and recently earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies.
  • Resurgens Orthopaedics (GA) selects interoperability and surgical planning software from Merge Healthcare. The solution will allow Resurgens’ physicians to view images directly from within their EHR.
  • Brielle Orthopedics (NJ) picks the SRS EHR for its 12-provider practice.
  • Erlanger Health System (TN) will implement GE’s eHealth Information Exchange platform.
  • Albemarle Health (NC) chooses the MetaVision AIMS from iMDsoft for its pre- and intra-operative environments.
  • Baylor Medical Center at Frisco (TX) purchases PatientKeeper’s clinical and documentation software products, including PatientKeeper CPOE and NoteWriter. Baylor will integrate the PatientKeeper software with its existing Meditech system.
  • Advanced Pain Centers (MO) selects McKesson’s Practice Complete for physician billing, coding, and reporting.
  • Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (CA) chooses Access Universal Document Portal (UDP) to integrate EKG results from its Epiphany system into its EHR.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

American Medical News reports that “degree of patient’s online access” is a new vital sign, based on data from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life project. Apparently searching for health information on the Internet is the third most common online activity. Most of us who see patients regularly already know that, based on the volume of Internet printouts patients bring to their visits, along with “ask your doctor about our drug” ads ripped from the pages of Reader’s Digest.

Although the piece initially elicits moans and groans from those of us who have been on the receiving end of a consult request from what the article jokingly calls “Dr. Google”, the point it tries to make is that those of us delivering healthcare should not assume all patients have Internet access. An interesting thought, since Meaningful Use is driving us to provide more and more information electronically (and doubly so based on what seems like every hospital and health system’s initiatives to have patients access their patient portals).

Ultimately, I was relieved that this was the spin of the article. For a minute there, I thought there was going to be some new federal agency making me score online access in the chart along with blood pressure and BMI, much like JCAHO did with “pain score” as an additional vital sign. There is some interesting data in the article, though, looking at demographics and how income, race, ethnicity,and  gender correlate with access. Worth a quick peek.

Their other headline was “EMRs, quality efforts key to viability of practices, Obama officials advise.”  Whether you agree with the changes that have come to all of us recently or not, this is the new world we live in. Unless you’re a physician ready to switch to a concierge practice, practices that want to continue to see Medicare and Medicaid patients will have to comply. And for those who have already opted out of those programs, the commercial payers are lined up right behind them, cloning the programs, but with their own unique twists.

Looking at some managed care contracts the other day was almost enough to make me contemplate the benefits of a single-payer system. With vendors barely able to keep up with federal guidelines and policies, what is it going to look like when every payer (and their regional variants) has their own pseudo-MU program? I guess on the bright side, it’s some degree of job security for many of us in the healthcare IT trenches.

Save of the week: my HIE helped identify a patient who showed up in my office and failed to mention the controlled substances he had received from several other providers in the region. Oops! I always love the looks on their faces when you ask them, “So, tell me about the Percocet you got last week from Dr. Smith — how’s that doing for you?” It gives me a thrill every time. Hooray for discrete data and medication reconciliation!

Funny thing, the HIE rarely finds that situation for antibiotics, or blood pressure / cholesterol meds. I guess there are not many people looking to score those.

In other news, as Mr. H mentioned, I’m hoping to keep you entertained and informed on Mondays. I’m looking for CMIOs, CIOs, and physician informaticist types to share advice and ideas. Whether you have the title or not, if that’s what you do, we need your opinions on fast-breaking issues and hot topics. E-mail me if you’re interested in joining the HIStalk “Medicine Cabinet.”

E-mail Dr. Jayne.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. About the booth babes…Thank you, Inga! I was watching the female dancers? at the Lawson booth and thinking…what does this have to do with anything remotely about this conference? Have we EVER seen good looking male models or dancers – NO. The hired hawkers, male or female are impressive speakers/promoters and are different. The Lawson exhibit made me nervous what Vegas might bring!!

  2. NOOOO!!! Inga, Inga , Inga…I did NOT “pimp” HIStalk Practice to “the industry.”

    I pimped it to providers.

    Love Dr. Jayne’s “HIE Save of the Week”! HIEs really are a direct assualt upon the drug-seeker’s pipeline. Do you suppose we’ll see them start to unite against HIEs? Maybe call themselves the Drug-seekers Oppossing Hies – “D’oh”…? Maybe they’ll start an underground network of drug-seeking hackers to target HIEs?

  3. No offense, but in a down economy if companies want to buy bigger booths for HIMSS then carpenters , receptionists, designers, sales reps, accountants, etc. all get hired or stay employed….this is not a bad thing for someone without a job or facing unemployment, we shouldn’t forget that.

  4. When with the industry realize how offensive the booth babes can be to women attendees? Are there statistics on HIT purchasing power and gender? Just saying…

  5. Booth Babes,
    Inga I agree totally with the rentals/models comments. Our “booth babes” are truely Marketing people (Tradeshow Coordinator and Marketing Event Representatives) from The SSI Group, Inc. They wanted to wear the ball gowns and have a Mardi Gras theme for the booth. We threw moon pies and logo SSI beads and people seemed to enjoy it. It made the time go by quicker for them and they did get “more attention” (even from the ladies commenting on their beautiful gowns) from people strolling by. This biggest challenge for HIMSS is getting people to notice you and next to STOP… Ballgowns, lovely professional women and a sales support guy in tux with tails worked for us.

    “A Birmingham paper chats with Boyd Douglas, the hometown CEO of CPSI. He explains why he is bullish on continued market growth beyond 2015:”

    P.S. Just keeping you honest…CPSI is located in Mobile, Ala. not Birmingham!

  6. Genius Bar and others – can you point me to the announcements that GE has made about freezing development on some products? And which products? Thanks

  7. When will organizations realize that the real purpose of HIMSS is to give the ISS folks a nice holiday, enjoy some sunshine, drink a little too much and come back with loads of tchachkies. Resonsible organizations and staff should not be bamboozled into the irresponsible spedning that is representative of HIMSS. If you went to HIMSS and your company paid for it … feel guilty, VERY guilty.

  8. I tend to wear skirts that are a tad shorter and heels that are a tad higher as I work the booth at HIMSS, just to gauge the reaction. If you want to talk tech and you assume I can’t (“That’s adorable, honey; now can you find me a man?”) you can be damn sure that we won’t be partnering with your company.

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