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March 8, 2011 News 31 Comments

We’re trying a new way of organizing our posts in response to reader survey suggestions, so don’t panic that you flipped to the wrong channel.

We tried to figure out an orderly way to arrange everything to allow quick skimming while letting you know whether Inga or I wrote a given item (thus our names at the end of each) since that means we can’t have separate sections a la HERtalk by Inga and you may want to respond specifically to whomever wrote something. We may ditch that later, or shorten the identifier. We’ll see.

You get a little more white space on the page, which is nice. Easier on the eyes.

I’m sure we’ll be fine tuning and getting comfortable with it. It’s extra work for me, so you can help me decide whether it’s worth it. Comments welcome. UPDATE: vote your preference below. We’ll go with the majority starting with Thursday’s post.

Top News

3-8-2011 7-24-20 PM

The Children’s Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP) and Harvard Medical School make their SMART platform and interface available. The app store-like system, built with a $15 million ONC grant, is open to developers to create Web applications with specific applications that are scalable and substitutable. They’re offering a $5,000 prize to developers who build the best application as reviewed by a panel of judges, with the winner to be announced in June. Project co-leaders are Kenneth Mandl, MD MPH and Isaac Kohane, MD PhD. [Mr. H]

3-8-2011 1-17-09 PM

Paul Concocenti, CIO of NYU Langone Medical Center, steps down as SVP, vice dean, and CIO to “pursue broader healthcare IT opportunities that simply are not available at one medical institution.” Nader Mherabi will move from his current role as VP and CTO to serve as interim CIO. NYU Langone is in the midst of a $200 million Epic implementation. [Inga]

Even though nearly 83% of office-based physicians are eligible for Medicaid or Medicare EMR incentives based on the number patients seen, over 70% of eligible physicians don’t have a basic EHR. A Health Affairs study also finds a disparity in eligibility among different specialties, with the vast majority of family practice and internal medicine providers likely to qualify, but fewer than two-thirds of pediatricians, OB/GYNs, and psychiatrists. Researchers recommend broader eligibility requirements to help more specialists qualify and encourage more EHR adoption for smaller practices. [Inga]

Reader Comments

From Walking in Memphis: “Re: booth babes. Let’s see…your avatar is a nubile, stylish, attractive female whose passion is shoes of the spiked variety and your problem with booth babes is the exploitation of their gender? Really?” Really, and this really is going to be my final comment on the subject. I am pretty sure Walking in Memphis is suggesting that I am a hypocrite and I won’t argue that point. However, I will add that just like my avatar, I am a nubile(ish), stylish, attractive female. I also happen to have a passion for shoes of the spiked variety. The difference between me and booth babes, however, is that the lovelies’ raison d’etre is eye candy. I do hope that I offer more value than that. [Inga]

From Steve: “Re: FirstNet problems. What has struck me toward the end of the article is that it sounds like this health system doesn’t have a good change control process in place. I got that impression reading the part about ‘constant minor setting changes’ leading to changes for everyone. I think of the change control process as something like taxes. Everyone hates it, and yet it is also insanely important for proper running of the system. Outside of that, I can also see many truths in the problems they are having with Cerner’s own departments not talking to each other to coordinate build, etc.” I don’t doubt technical and vendor issues contributed to the situation there, but I’d bet any amount of money that the client isn’t guilt free. First and foremost, they’re the ones who bought FirstNet, so complaining how it works now implies lack of due diligence (not to mention that it works fine in a lot of other places, with the variability being the driver, not the car). The decision was made top-down from what sounds like an out-of-touch bureaucracy, a sure predictor of user pushback whether it’s Cerner or SAP. I’d bet the schedule was pushed, the communication was poor, and the project oversight left to IT or other departments out of touch with what people really do. Not to mention that everybody loves the system that’s going away and being the new stepmom brought home by a beaming dad to meet the kids is a tough situation. [Mr. H]

From BeKind: “Re: University of Cincinnati. HIStalk said 8/2/10 that they would spend up to $100 million on a clinical system. The decision: Epic.” No surprise there – if  you had $100 million to spend, what else would you buy? UC says they’ll be live everywhere in 18 months. [Mr. H]

From England Dan: “Re: Ohio Health Information Partnership. Announced today that Medicity will be their HIE vendor.” Unverified. I couldn’t find a press release, but I knew a state announcement was coming up this week. I’m told it went out via a statewide telecast. [Mr. H]

From Toledo: “Re: NextGen. Acquisition announcement coming, maybe more than one.” Unverified. [Mr. H]

From Mogall10: “Re: Rob Seliger. Rumor has it that the former CEO of Sentillion has resigned from Microsoft.” Verified. Moving to Redmond was imperative, yet undesirable, we hear. [Mr. H]

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

We have found video of the stage portion of HIStalkapalooza, including the full HISsies presentation with Jonathan Bush that people keep asking for. Coming soon. [Mr. H]

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Clinical documentation service provider Transcend Services enters negotiations to acquire medical transcription company DTS America. The purchase price is expected to be $7.9 million in cash, plus an earn-out of up to $4.2 million payable in 2012. DTS generates annual revenues of approximately $12 million. [Inga]

CPSI shares hit a 52-week-high Monday. The market cap of the small systems vendor is $628 million. [Mr. H]

Cerner will take over parts of the electronic medical records projects at two hospitals in Ontario, resulting in a 27 FTE reduction in hospital headcount with an additional nine IT positions eliminated. Opposition parties had criticized the arrangement claiming it allows Cerner to sell the hospitals’ de-identified patient data for a profit. [Mr. H]


3-8-2011 2-16-37 PM

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (NC) will upgrade its radiation oncology technology with Elekta, adding the MOSAIQ EHR, oncology information system, practice management, and oncology PACs, plus the SYNERGISTIQ workflow management system. [Inga]


Continuum Health Partners names Mark Moroses CIO and corporate VP of IT. [Inga]

Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush is featured in an Economist panel discussion called It’s a Smart World. The whole think is worth a listen, but I’m a sucker for the pop culture references. “The idea of ownership of data … it’s like that guitar in Spinal Tap that you’re not allowed to look at because it’s just too fragile or too special. It’s just a guitar, right? It’s just some information. The thing that I think we worry about is somehow being outed or treated poorly and I think that if you are given information under certain conditions, that’s why it’s important that there be buy-in through every layer of intelligence that gets added to the healthcare cloud that those conditions be honored.” [Mr. H]

3-8-2011 8-50-20 PM

CareFusion appoints Carlos M. Nunez, MD as chief medical officer. He was previously with Picis. [Mr. H]

Vendor Announcements and Provider Implementations

Eastland Memorial Hospital (TX) implements Prognosis ChartAccess Comprehensive EHR and readies for participation in the Texas RHIO. The 52-bed hospital anticipates a rapid implementation: software installation was scheduled for March 1 and the hospital plans to start its Meaningful Use attestation May 31st. [Inga]

Greenwood Leflore Hospital (MS) implements DBTech RAS e-forms and converts 500 paper forms to an electronic format. The hospital estimates the conversion will save $145,000 annually. [Inga]

3-8-2011 4-02-32 PM

Reliance Software Systems (RelWare) says it raised over $1,000 for TEAM FOX at HIMSS, benefitting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. RelWare had the Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine parked in its booth and accepted visitor donations. [Inga]

3-8-2011 7-15-39 PM

SCI Solutions announces GA of its Arrival Manager kiosk, which provides patient check-in, registration, card swipe, demographics and insurance validation, document review with signature, and wayfinding. It integrates with SCI’s access management solutions for order processing, enterprise scheduling, revenue cycle, and self-service. [Mr. H]

UCSF goes live with robotic pharmacy dispensing and IV preparation, said to be the most comprehensive in the country. [Mr. H]

RiverView Health (MN) partners with Sanford Health to deploy Epic’s EMR. Unless the community-owned RiverView partnered with an entity like Sanford, the health system would be an unlikely Epic shop: RiverView includes a 25-bed critical access hospital, 22 employed providers, a 70-bed LT care facility, homecare, and lab services. [Inga]

Altru Health System (ND) also wants to share its Epic EMR with smaller hospitals. Altru is in discussions with nine hospitals across North Dakota and Minnesota.[Inga]

Government and Politics

A study by the HHS’s Office of Inspector General finds that 92% of nursing homes have at least one employee who has been convicted of a crime, with nearly half having five or more such employees. I can’t say I’m shocked since Mrs. H was a director of nurses in a pretty good facility and even the RNs there often had records, not surprising given the low pay and the bad working conditions. My advice: stay on good terms with your kids so you can reduce your chances of requiring one. [Mr. H]

Innovation and Research

A regenerative specialist who has found a way to create human tissue using an inkjet printer with cells as the ink uses the technique to build a biocompatible model of a human kidney on state at the TED conference this week. [Mr. H]

A self-taught inventor who has earned FDA approval for his medical imaging system that uses NASA satellite imaging technology lacks only one thing to bring it to market – the $500K needed to build a manufacturing facility. The MED-SEG system, built in his basement from scrap computers, enhances existing images. He claims it can reduce false positives in mammograms by 80%. [Mr. H]


Syracuse area hospitals are embracing the iPad for remote OB monitoring, documenting observational handwashing monitoring, and remotely controlling the heating and air conditioning systems. One hospital will give iPads to board members “so they can access online documents during board meetings,” which in my experience means they’ll get cool gadgets and superb IT support (at home if they need it) just to make sure they provide their rubber stamp approval to whatever the hospital executives have already decided to do. That’s what I’ve seen, anyway. [Mr H]

Microsoft will pay Nokia a reported $1 billion to convince it to use Windows Mobile on its phones instead of the free Google Android, which was announced this week as the leading US smart phone platform with 31.2% of the most recent quarter’s market share, followed by BlackBerry (30.4%), iPhone (24.7%) and Microsoft (8%). [Mr. H]

3-8-2011 8-27-48 PM

GE partners with MedHelp to provide free apps (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) for pregnancy, diet, sleep, and moods. [Mr. H]


From KLAS: an increasing number of providers are heading towards enterprise scheduling solutions that integrate with EMRs versus best-of-breed solutions. Best-of-breed solutions average higher customer satisfaction, but aren’t necessarily part of providers’ long-term plans. Unibased ranked highest in satisfaction scores, followed by Epic and SCI Solutions. [Inga]

Healthcare organizations added 34,000 workers in February, including 17,000 in ambulatory care centers and 2,100 in hospitals. [Inga]

A hospital claims HIPAA wasn’t violated when a doctor faxed the names of 12 high school students involved in a bus wreck to a local law firm. He got off with mandatory privacy education. [Mr. H]

Strange: a female paramedic and former Firefighter of the Year who took a man’s foot from an I-95 crash scene is sued by the man, who claims his foot could have been reattached if the paramedic had taken it to the hospital. She says she took it to train her body recovery dog.

Sponsor Updates by DigitalBeanCounter

  • Greenway Medical’s PrimeSuite 2011 EHR, practice management, and interoperability suite is selected for ONC’s Direct Project.
  • maxIT Healthcare launches a Canadian division and names Bob Betts as head of business development for the operation.
  • Resurgens Orthopaedics selects Merge Healthcare for its enterprise imaging solution.
  • North Highland continues to expand in the Midwest, adding a St. Louis office.
  • Coastal Connect HIE selects Medicity for its community-wide HIE across five independent hospitals in eastern NC.
  • UniNet chooses MedVentive to support its ACO initiative.
  • MED3OOO is offering a Webinar, Steps to Successful Physician Affiliation, on March 16, featuring Tenet COO Stephen L. Newman, MD.


Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg.

HIStalk Featured Sponsors


Currently there are "31 comments" on this Article:

  1. Can anyone explain how an Epic implementation at NYU can cost $200 million? Is this a typo with a zero inadvertently added?

  2. Can’t say it enough… Love the content. HATE HATE HATE the new format. The way of grouping takes away from the look and feel of a blog. I hope it doesn’t last.

    And as for NextGen acquisitions… Choose one of the following: A) patient portal; B) interface engine; C) both A and C.

  3. I have to say that I find the new format really difficult….maybe I’m just change averse 🙂

  4. The new format is ok, and I could definitely learn to live with it, but I wonder if it doesn’t take away a bit from the flavor of Mr. H’s and Inga’s personal editorial styles? Seems like their “voices” come through a bit better when their contributions are chunked together as in the previous format.

    Anyhow, thanks for taking reader suggestions into consideration and giving something new a try.

  5. Couple of things…the survey indicating 70% of physicians didn’t have an EMR is based upon 2007-2008 data…ancient history in this market, thus invalid findings as they relate to the current state of the EMR market. Expect to see a signifivcant “bump” when 2009 and 2010 data is available.

    Second, NEW FORMAT for HisTalk ? NAH..go back to the older, easier to read format. i.e. “don’t fix, what ain’t broke.”

  6. @Carl Witonsky: you heard right. Epic implementations routinely run 9 figures at academic hospitals. Epic defenders will rail on about how these are large, complex organizations and most of that money goes to IT resources and consultants, not Epic, but really, I’m with you. The money may not go directly in Epic’s pockets, but it is spent because of Epic. $200 million for NYU, which is only a mid-sized academic center, is just beyond insane. Epic is swindling the supposed smartest hospitals in the country left and right, and yet they still line up and almost beg for the system. There’s a reason none of the for-profit hospital systems, who actually do real ROI evaluations and pay attention to what they spend, use Epic.

    I am wondering how the North Dakota Epic franchises don’t constitute a kickback. If the larger hospitals are providing support and services to their neighbors through re-licensing and making a small profit, fine. If Epic makes even a penny off of that by using the larger hospitals as a franchisee to sell to other hospitals, that’s about as blatant a kickback as I can imagine.

  7. I like the new format, but each section should be its own post. Comments, etc. would become a little more useful that way…

  8. New format looks better to me, although, don’t see much of a different, but I guess it doesn’t lookas cramped. All those complaining must be a bunch of old breeds, unable to adopt to new technologies! 😀

  9. Don’t like the new format. Believe it or not, I found it more difficult to read. Plus I LIKED having to read through the entire HISTalk it did feel more like a blog and it keep my interest by NOT being all one topic together.

  10. I could go either way on the new format, but I will say having it “departmentalized” makes me more inclined to skip over things like financial updates that were previously interwoven content.

  11. I say give the change one to two weeks and then take a poll. It’s way to early to tell. Isn’t that what we tell our users!

  12. Love the new layout. It’s much easier to read. #1 “The way of grouping takes away from the look and feel of a blog” is a really silly comment – you’re saying blogs are supposed to look disorganized and cramped, and fixing that trait is a BAD thing?

    As you know, any change in software, no matter how much of an improvement it is, generates negative feedback early on. Change the formatting of patient info so it’s easier to read? People will yell at you “I used to know where the notes were, now I can’t find them!” Two weeks later the same people will be thanking you for saving them eye strain.

    Early in the voting it looks like the “I like the new format” crowd has a lead, and that’s surprising since a poll taken on day 1 will tend to skew negative. Run the same poll again after a month and you’ll get even more positive responses. That more positive result will accurately reflect how positive the change is.

  13. I love the new format – organized in a way that allows me to focus on areas I am interested in. Also like the “cleaner” look and feel.

  14. I agree with Demonurse. I liked having to read through the entire HISTalk posts. That forced me to take everything in. And there is always something that I may not have initially been interested in that catches my attention while reading through the whole thing. Its keeps me tuned into the world of HIT. I love and miss the randomness already:(

  15. Love the new format with the categories. Easier to read, at least in my eyes. I can simply browse categories and read what I’m interested in, and ignore the rest. And to the whiners, change is inevitable, my friends. Hell, looks like I’ve been brainwashed by the industry already.

  16. Either way I will be reading/scanning the entire column. If the new format is more work for you, then I vote to return to the old format. You work WAY too hard, and I don’t need to add to your (Mr. H/Mrs.H/Inga) burden! Thanks.

  17. Since the content is the same, I like either format for your blog. I agree with the person that suggested waiting a couple weeks and then poll your readers. It takes awhile for some people to get over the “change curve” before they start liking it. At first blush, I like it – you may even want to consider rolling Mobile news into it…

  18. I love the new format. I can digest the information better, since I know what I am about to read(subject). I also like the fact that the reader comments ( a mix of gossip, opinions, and rumors) are seperated from other information. Keep up the great work.

  19. Like the new format! More like a legitimate news source (not that it hasn’t been in the past) and less like a blog.

  20. Love the idea behind the new format- but it needs a bit of tweeking since its consuming too much vertical space. Adding a “new items” or time/date stamp to the sections would help as well. It might be better to separate out the data into pages now- its really just too much per day to scroll through.

  21. The responses to the new format seem to me to be based upon workload. For a very busy executive like myself, the new format is great because I can quickly focus in on the information that impacts me and skip those that do not. Those with plenty of time to read, I could see how the old format was enjoyed. Change is tough (although one would think that those of us in healthcare IT would see it as a way of life and not be so resistant)… and choice is tougher. I’d recommend we all give it it a chance.

  22. Like the new format. But it might not be good your HISTalk, since it makes it easier for me to scan for my interests! Keep up the great work, and thanks for asking!

  23. Hey why not get Jon Patrick to ask people about the new format. I’ll bet he’ll quickly be able to find 6 out of 7 readers who hate it, and then tell you about a better solution he just happens to be working on.

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