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Monday Morning Update 4/11/11

April 9, 2011 News 8 Comments

4-8-2011 9-28-49 PM

From Man on the Street: “Re: Association for Clinical Documentation Improvement Specialists conference in Orlando. They expected 575 attendees for their fourth conference and actual attendance was 660. An overwhelming majority of attendees are either on Epic or say they’re moving to Epic.” MOTS included some photos, which I always like.

From Ogie: “Re: ISH. Acquired by PwC.” Unverified, but I’m really hating those company names. They aren’t universally recognized brands like GE or IBM, so hacking down a perfectly good and understandable name into gibberish doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment, especially if your name (like that of ISH) results in a scattershot of unrelated Google search hits.

From EMRconsultant: “Re: acquisition. A Minnesota / Louisville-based HIS is being acquired soon.” Unverified.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Nimbula Director. It’s a new class of cloud infrastructure and services system (IaaS) that provides a flexible and secure public cloud with advanced data center security tools.”

It’s the weekend (at the time I’m writing this, anyway) so that means less formality as I use the “old” format instead of the new one. It feels like Hawaiian Shirt Friday.

My Time Capsule editorial this week, once again from 2006: Do Technology Surveys Rate the Hammer or the House? These are fun reading for me since I wrote them so long ago it’s like reading someone else’s work.

Results of my Quick Poll on the departure of John Gomez from Allscripts: 39% of respondents said it will have little or no long-term company impact, 30% said it will have some, and 31% said it will have a lot. I’ll be running these polls when big news comes up. Poll results plus the usual reader comments will provide a quick and interesting industry reaction to events.

4-8-2011 9-12-17 PM

Congratulations to Boston, hereby officially named the Capital of Healthcare IT (as it should be, in my opinion). Perhaps I should start a drive to have it commemorated with a monument or something, maybe on the Meditech campus. New poll to your right: should Medicaid and Medicare require biometric identity verification of patients seeking healthcare services?

Kaiser CEO George Halvorson talks up the new Care Connectivity Consortium it formed with Mayo, Geisinger, Intermountain, and Group Health to share patient data. I’d say it’s more of a demonstration project than a true patient benefit since those organizations probably don’t have many patients in common. Here are some excerpts from George:

We are all using our EMRs to improve care and support the delivery of care. We are all learning how to use that wonderful new tool — and we are all interested in sharing what we are learning with the world … The problem with electronic is that when patients go to different doctors for their care, they still tend to have separate records — and that can create electronic silos instead of paper silos … So we are now committed to creating similar linkages with the new set of elite medical groups to create a process that works first for our patients and then — if we do it well — for the world … This is important work. If someone doesn’t figure out how to create links between electronic medical records, those records will not be linked. It will not be done until someone does it. Who better than us to do it? We are patient-focused and we know what can be done and we know what should be done with an EMR. Almost all other care sites are just getting their toes in the water. Some are getting their feet wet. We are swimming. So this is a good contribution for us to make. Instead of keeping our advances and our learning secret and special only to us, we are sharing what we know because we want care to be better for everyone.

By the way, I can’t find a Web site for Care Connectivity Consortium, which seems strange. I searched and careconnectivityconsortium.com is not registered, although the .org variant was grabbed by an anonymous registrant on the day of the announcement.

I ran across a copy the IRS form for HIMSS for 2008, the newest one on file so far. Steve Lieber’s total compensation: $731K (slightly out-earned by Dave Garets, who was running HIMSS Analytics at the time). I’ll have to remember to check back to see if they file a new form soon. The annual conference represented $19 million of its $41 million total revenue.

Those DoD people just can’t stop disagreeing with decisions made elsewhere, but at least they’re finally willing to make fat cat contractors rich in ways other than developing custom software. The VA announced plans to move forward with developing an open source system to be shared by both organizations, but DoD says they’ll look first at commercial software and will consider in-house development only as a last resort.

4-9-2011 6-52-07 PM

Six-campus, 305-bed Central Texas Hospital (TX) chooses inpatient EHR and revenue cycle systems from the US affiliate of Mexico-based eCareSoft, expecting to meet Meaningful Use requirements for 2011-2012. eCareSoft says small hospitals can go live on its products in 120 days.

Merge Healthcare appoints Cheryl Whitaker MD, MPH, FACP as its first chief medical officer. I assume that’s the same Cheryl Whitaker, MD who, along with her physician husband (there’s an interesting story and comments behind that link), is a close friend and advisor of the Obamas, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Merge is in Chicago, a city known mostly for dead people electing ethically challenged politicians, at least until the apotheosis of its junior Senator Obama.

The local paper in Middletown, OH runs down the status of electronic health records in local hospitals: West Chester Hospital, implementing Epic. The Fort Hamilton Hospital, implementing Epic. McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital, live on CPSI. Atrium Medical Center, live on Epic. Mercy Hospital Fairfield, live on Epic.

Shares in for-profit hospital operator Community Health Systems gained only 9% from 2008 to 2010, but CEO Wayne Smith’s total compensation nearly doubled in that period, rising to $21 million in 2010.

E-mail Mr. H.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE: Should Medicaid and Medicare require biometric identity verification of patients seeking healthcare services?

    It would be nice if we had standards that guided us in determining the assurance level of biometrics as proof of identity. Open standards means leads to independent validation of implementations, i.e., a basis to trust biometric credentials.

    And exactly what risks are we mitigating? Is the level of risk high enough to underwrite standardization? If so, where is the funding? If not, why are we persuing the technology?

  2. George H. is just a wee bit grandiose, would you not say.

    Here we go: ” So we are now committed to creating similar linkages with the new set of elite medical groups to create a process that works first for our patients and then — if we do it well — for the world …”


    Speaking of silos, as George did, within each EHR are silos of information that are camouflaged with verbiosity rendering such data unavailable at short notice to the physicians and others.

    I love this blog. Keep up the great effort.

  3. Congratulations to Farzad on his new appointment.

    He is the ideal person for the job, honed in on safety, efficacy, and usability of these systems. I know that he does not dismiss reports of adverse events as “anecdotes” as did Dr. Blumenthal.

    The road to improving these systems is by responding to the front lines’ anecdotes.

    Congratulations to this blog for being the first to break the news on Farzad.

    Did anyone vote for him in your poll?

    [From Mr. HIStalk] He tied for next to last in my poll with 4.91% of the vote, although the Allscripts lobbying for Stephanie Reel threw the count off for everyone else anyway — the highest tally otherwise was 10.5%.

  4. Any hospitals in boston running epic? It seems that most of them belong to partners healthcare and they run soarian.

  5. I am personally offended about biometrics because I was the first to envision the “Mood Ring” as a universal identifier and passive EHR data collection device. In addition, my idea involved highly sought-after features like a simulated diamond and real metal plating – like the best Royal Brittania has to offer.

    If anyone suggests such a ring have advanced encryption, I just wanted to mention that I thought of that first also. (aka: Drink your Ovaltine)

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