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April 21, 2011 News 3 Comments

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4-21-2011 9-25-29 PM

CPSI reports Q1 net income of $5.37 million ($0.49/share) compared to $2.92 million in the prior-year period. Analysts were expecting $0.46. Sales revenue grew from $31.54 million to $40.38 million.

GE’s Q1 numbers: revenue up 6%, EPS $0.31 vs. $0.17, with $1.8 billion in profit from GE Capital. GE Healthcare put up good numbers.

Reader Comments

4-21-2011 9-35-26 PM

image From Ishmael: “Re: Meditech. I am just loving being a Meditech beta tester for CHW’s rollout. It’s great when my livelihood and patients’ lives are on the line, especially when I’m not getting paid for it! I actually don’t mind the software as much as my median doc or nurse colleague, which are about an 80-20 split on hate/don’t mind. No one loves it.” I guess to be fair users almost never love enterprise software like they might Facebook or something. My armchair psychologist theory is that having software imposed on you with mandatory use is a reminder that you are subservient to management, and no matter how benevolent, nobody likes to give up control (and that’s what work software is – a package of rules, controls, and monitoring tools). Another problem I can cite from experience is that Meditech is the hardest system I’ve ever had to replace, and we’re talking the old Magic product – users hated anything that wasn’t Meditech. We took an IT black eye for replacing it in the hospital we acquired.

image From St. Pauli: “Re: kudos. When I moved from medical practice to an informatics role, I researched any and all sources of information. HIStalk was one of the first I found and continue to read regularly. I admire anyone’s ability to write well and regularly and the expansion of HIStalk to include Inga, the reader polls, Dr. Jayne, Readers Write, and Ed Marx have increased HIStalk’s value logarithmically. I was recently promoted and would like to thank those responsible – my family, bosses, and employees. HIStalk is included in that list. This is not a lame attempt to get mentioned – I just want you and others that contribute to HIStalk to know the benefits you have given one of your readers.” Thanks – that made my day.

image From Rango: “Re: HCRAP. Inga mentioned it, now I have to know what it means.” A couple of huge companies e-mailed to say, “We want to spend a ton of money and sponsor your site at a higher level than anyone else” (I’m paraphrasing slightly). I don’t do that – sponsorships are relatively inexpensive and everybody gets the same treatment – but I wanted to yank Inga’s chain. I first told her I was studying the Periodic Table of the Elements to find metals higher than Gold and Platinum and was feeling good about the Roentgenium Level and would calculate the price of that sponsorship based on its atomic number relative to those of the other metals. I then told her about the brainstorm I’d just had about two new sponsorship programs. The HS program (Hollywood Squares) allows a sponsor to not only run their own ad, but to buy the spots of their competitors (at a 50% premium) to block them from doing the same. The second option carries a 100% surcharge, for which we will send every news and rumor item about a company for their approval before we run it, which I dubbed the HIStalk Company Reputation Assurance Program (HCRAP). She was suitably amused, or at least pretended to be.

image From iFad:”Re: iPad. It’s cool, but does anybody really think it’s revolutionary? We’ve had PCs for going on three decades and are still trying to figure out how to use them in healthcare. Call me a cynic, but there aren’t many paperless healthcare organizations and pie-in-the-sky simplicity and streamlined workflows remain just that. Reality check poll: if you own an iPad, do you really expect improved outcomes or productivity that you couldn’t get from a PC?”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

image  Several dozen companies have asked to be featured in the innovation showcase I’m starting up. As usual, my reach exceeded my grasp given that my time is almost non-existent between my hospital job and HIStalk job. Despite my being the rate-limiting step, it’s underway, albeit in a more controlled manner than I’d like. Stay tuned. I hadn’t heard of several of the companies that are interested, which I think is great since I’ll learn about them along with everyone else.

4-21-2011 6-55-39 PM

image Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor HMS of Nashville, TN. HMS provides Meaningful Use-ready enterprise solutions for 680 hospitals, focusing on the often-forgotten community and specialty hospitals that deliver much of the care out there in the real world. They’ve been around since 1984 and offer a broad line of products: EDIS, LIS, PACS, pharmacy, radiology, surgery, AP/GL/MM, payroll/T&A, HIM, quality management, transcription, CPOE, eMAR, device integration, clin doc, patient accounting, claims, document management, and a bunch more I left off since the list is obviously comprehensive. The company’s inpatient EHR, EDIS, and ambulatory EHR all earned ONC-ATCB certification in 2011 and HMS clients are already receiving inventive payments for using them, which can be run locally or hosted by the company. Thanks to HMS for its support of HIStalk.

Jobs on the job board, where sponsors post free: RVP Sales. On Healthcare IT Jobs: IS Clinical Systems Analyst II Nursing, SAN Administrator / Engineer, Epic Ambulatory Specialist.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

The State of Wisconsin awards Merge Healthcare $500,000 in JOBS Tax Credits and a $500,000 loan from the department of commerce to consolidate operations at its Hartland, WI facility. The project is expected to create 100 jobs and represents a $2 million investment.

Quest Diagnostics reports a 13.3% drop in net income compared to last year, falling from $162.4 million to $140.8 million ($0.86/share). Analysts expected $0.99 to $1.05. Revenue was up 1%.

Here’s the Cerner video presented by the ADP and the Small Business Administration, featuring co-founder Cliff Illig. It’s good.

Israel-based EarlySense, which sells a continuous patient monitoring system whose sensor resides under a bed mattress with no direct patient contact, announces that it will locate its US headquarters in Massachusetts. MetroWest Medical Center was also announced as the company’s first Massachusetts hospital customer.

Canadian vendor PatientOrderSets.com, which I mentioned last time, gets $750K in funding from a government-funded accelerator.


Emerus Hospital Partners (TX) selects InsightCS patient access, patient accounting, and revenue cycle information solutions from Stockell Healthcare Systems.

Allina Health System chooses Micromedex from Thomson Reuters as its drug information vendor after a month-long bake-off.

In Canada, Ottawa Hospital orders 1,800 iPad 2s for its physicians, saying they will pay for themselves through increased productivity and reduced errors.

NextGen gets a $6.7 million contract extension to provide an EMR to Maryland’s prison system.


4-21-2011 6-36-13 PM

image Sad news: Craig Maszer died on April 11, 2011 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital after a long battle with multiple myeloma. He was a resident of Andover, MA and a principal at Champions in Healthcare, where he worked alongside his mother, industry long-timer Stephanie Massengill. Others may remember him from his time with Sentillion and Eclipsys. Craig Maszer was 46 years old. Condolences.

Omnicare names Randy Carpenter to SVP/CIO. He was previously CIO of HealthSouth and had hospital CIO experience before that.

4-21-2011 9-43-22 PM

image University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) names David Miller as vice chancellor and CIO. He was formerly with University of Chicago Medical Center. I think I probably mentioned that awhile back — he and I swap e-mails occasionally and he let me know as soon as it was official.

4-21-2011 9-44-26 PM

OB-GYN PM/EHR vendor digiChart names Phil Suiter as president and CEO. The former president and CEO, founder and Vanderbilt professor G. William Bates MD, will remain with the company as board chair.

4-21-2011 9-45-43 PM

Former HealthPoint Medical Group CIO Steve Fisher joins MD Solutions as SVP of advisory services.

Announcements and Implementations

4-21-2011 10-05-15 AM 

McKesson Horizon Enterprise Visibility earns top marks in KLAS’s new report on patient flow solution. TeleTracking and Allscripts Sunrise Patient Flow earned the next highest ratings. Only 20% of hospitals are using a patient flow system, but 85% of those say they provide benefits, especially in terms of resource collaboration and communication.

4-21-2011 1-45-12 PM

Denver Health (CO) implements Microsoft’s Chronic Condition Management platform to facilitate communication between providers and diabetic patients and promote better self-management of chronic conditions.

4-21-2011 1-42-32 PM

Wayne Memorial Hospital (NC) goes live on EXTENSION’s HealthAlert for Nurses for nurse call messaging.

The Methodist Hospital System (TX) will use the Rothman Index for scoring patient condition from EMR information into a dashboard.

Two Siemens Soarian customers successfully attest for Meaningful Use Stage 1: MedCentral (OH) and Riverside (VA).

Government and Politics

Indian Health Service becomes the first federal agency to have its EHR (the IHS Resource and Patient Management System, or RPMS, based on the VA’s VistA) certified as a complete EHR.


A Sage Health survey finds that patients believe EHR use increases care quality and results in a more accurate health record. Eighty percent of patients have a positive perception of EHRs, compared to only 62% of physicians; privacy and security is a concern for 81% of patients but only 62% of  doctors. Both groups agree that the biggest benefits of EHRS are real-time access to records and  the ability to share information among providers.

4-21-2011 9-53-51 PM

A Texas hospital tries to convince county voters to create a hospital tax district after it experiences financial losses, layoffs, and wage freezes. The new tax dollars will pay for a  new EMR, which will cost $1.2 million plus $18,000 per month maintenance.

image Strange: the family of a patient who died after heart surgery is suing the surgeon and hospital after an anonymous caller told them that the surgeon’s 7-year-old daughter was showing a video of the surgery to her friends. The family claims the surgeon was so interested in making the movie for his daughter that he left the OR before the revascularization procedure was complete, allowing a non-physician to close and monitor the patient. The family also claims they found out only after the surgery that the surgeon has the worst outcomes of any surgeon in the state for the procedures he performed.

Sponsor Updates

  • Healthcare Growth Partners releases its Q1 2011 market and M&A report, which summarizes the capital market, M&A, and capital raising activity for the HIT and services sector.
  • Salar’s TeamNotes and Charge Capture software products earn ONC-ACTB EHR modular certification from Drummond Group. 
  • Central Illinois HIE picks ICA as its vendor of choice to provide the HIE’s technology and infrastructure.
  • ZirMed and e-MDs partner to offer eMD clients ZirMed’s RCM services.
  • MEDSEEK obtains CCHIT ONC-ACTB EHR module certification for its eHealth ecoSystem, Version 3.4.
  • The Huntzinger Management Group posts a video of its HIMSS presentation Discussing the Future Viability of Hospitals.
  • Hartford Hospital (CT) reports it has increased its early discharge rate nearly threefold by offering its clinicians access to Carefx’s business intelligence dashboard.
  • Harrison Medical Center (WA) is live on GE Healthcare’s eHealth Information Exchange.
  • EMRConsultant.com adds more than 100 EMR products to its database, a free service used by over 12,000 practices.
  • Mission Hospital (CA) has implemented Meditech C/S 5.64 CPOE at both its Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach campuses, assisted by H/P Technologies, which has been involved with Meditech and Epic go-lives at Cedars-Sinai, Mission Hospital, and University of Chicago.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

Earlier this week, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) addressed a letter to new National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Dr. Farzad Mostashari. It summarizes CHIME’s comments on ONC’s Federal Health IT Strategic Plan.

After the introductory pleasantries, CHIME delves into key areas close to many of us:

  • Consent issues for health information exchange, not only clarifying how consent will be stored / transmitted, but how it will integrate with personal health records; unifying the patchwork of laws across various states; and national standards to pull it all together and fix the problem created when HIPAA allowed states to preempt federal regulations.
  • Making movement to Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements contingent on having a certain percentage of providers and hospitals compliant with Stage 1.
  • Clarifying disagreement between HIPAA and HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) regulations on timely release of information and making sure that granting patients instant access to health information will not be harmful.
  • Greater focus on the usability of technology.

As a practicing physician, the last one has the greatest impact in my day-to-day practice. There have been some unfortunate downsides to the speed of the Meaningful Use timelines. The relatively short time between the publication of the final rule and implementation has stressed vendors intent on incorporating items that may or may not be clinically helpful, yet cannot be ignored if they are seeking certification.

Let’s just look at a simple measure, documentation of tobacco use. Prior to the Meaningful Use hubbub, many EHRs did a perfectly fine job of collecting the information physicians needed to do appropriate health interventions. Physicians saw patients, counseled them, documented their findings, etc. However, MU required the documentation to meet certain standards of compliance. Was there any randomized, controlled study that showed that documenting tobacco use in a certain way changes patient outcomes? Or was it just nebulously decided that it should be “this way” going forward?

I’m certainly not privy to how it was all worked out, but vendors did a fair amount of retooling to make sure all the MU items were documented in the prescribed fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I support uniformity, the ability to report data across disparate systems, etc. But I also can’t help but think that the amount of development, testing, and implementation resources that were focused on making software changes that don’t materially benefit physicians (or patients) could have been better spent on making systems more usable.

This doesn’t even take into account the amount of time and resources spent by EHR customers to upgrade perfectly functional/serviceable systems to “certified” versions, regardless of pre-existing organizational priorities. A CMIO friend of mine laments the sheer number of projects (many of which would really have provided benefit to his physicians and their patients) that have been placed on hold so that all resources can focus on achieving Meaningful Use. The pursuit of MU has put his organization back a year or more on its five-year strategic plan.

I hope that ONC gives some thought to these comments as well as the thoughts of many others in the trenches who have submitted their thoughts. Do you have an interesting comment submitted to ONC? E-mail me.


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

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re: Dr. Jayne on usability…and smoking status. You got it right.

    What many of us do not realize is that one of the driving forces in ONCHIT and MUs is academic medicine. May of the players on the Standards committees come from academia or have strong academia interest. As such their main goal is data collection in a standardized format so as to support research and analysis, particularly related to creating more evidenced based medicine. There is very little thought given to how user friendly or difficult it may be to collect that data. Soon we all will become data entry indentured servants. In my opinion, the philosophy is – healthcare will be data driven system, user be damned!

  2. Nice job by Cliff in that video. Sometimes we forget the bench strength behind the names we know at a company.

    Seems like a very solid exec and thoughtful person.

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Reader Comments

  • Sam Lawrence: Except in this case, coding = medical billing, not development. Though the same warning may be true...
  • BeenThere: Partners will find the savings from their cuts of coders as fools gold. There are a lot of hidden costs running an outs...
  • JC: If there is not there can be. VistA has a reference lab interface that can create the manifests/labeling and such as we...
  • Tom Cornwell: Great stuff from Dr. Jayne as usual. One small typo, last sentence of second-to-last paragraph: should be 'who's' not 'w...
  • HIT Observer: What I find most interesting here, is people defending their common practices rather than truly taking this as invaluabl...
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  • Peppermint Patty: Veteran - can you clarify what was "fake "? Was something made up (definition of fake) or did you disagree with Vapo...
  • Pat Wolfram: Such a refreshing article. Thanks -- there really can be a simpler version of an acute HIT implementation. But I do ...
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