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June 14, 2011 News 7 Comments

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6-14-2011 9-49-29 PM

image Three Kentucky healthcare systems will form a single organization with a combined 91 hospitals, clinics, and home health agencies. The new system will include the University of Louisville Hospital, the James Brown Cancer Center, the six-hospital Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare, and the seven-hospital St. Joseph Health System. As part of the deal, Catholic Health Initiatives will make an incremental capital infusion of $320 million to support the system.

image A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report finds that 51% of office-treated diabetics in Cleveland received all the care they needed from practices using electronic medical records vs. 7% from paper-based practices. A similar correlation was found for diabetic outcomes. I didn’t see study methodology so I can’t really evaluate it to determine if it adequately proved cause vs. effect, but it’s interesting.

Reader Comments

image From Paula: “Re: Vince’s HSD piece. What about McDonnell-Douglas IHS? It was an innovative system for its time. When McAuto decided to get out of the hospital systems business, it was sold.” Here’s a reply from Vince:

Thanks for reading these dusty old bits of trivia! Yes, IHS (Integrated Health Systems) was one of many turnkey minicomputer systems that the shared giants offered in the 80s – which is going to be the next epoch in HIS-tory covered. McAuto bought IHS in the mid-90s as a DEC-based "total" HIS, to complement their wide array of other turnkey mini offerings, including HDC, MHS, LabCom, RXCom and RadCom. SMS offered a bunch of minis too: ACTIon 400, 700 & 1200, Spirit Choice, and MS4. Ironic the shared giants got into minis so big! Stay tuned for all the details in two weeks."

image From Former TMISer: “Re: Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities (CPHA). Vince might want to do a piece on them since they were maybe the first to computerize healthcare data on a large scale. It was a grant-supported non-profit that collected, processed, and stored abstracted data on more than 50% of hospitals back in 1969, offering three products: Professional Activity Study, Medical Audit Program, and Length of Stay Study. All were paper-based printouts. CPHA was influential in the development of the International Classification of Diseases and its length of stay data contributed materially to the development of DRGs.”

6-14-2011 7-03-23 PM 

image From The PACS Designer: “Re: StartUp Health. In addition to HIStalk giving smaller companies a chance to succeed, the federal government has announced a program called StartUp Health. This new effort will help entrepreneurs create a long-term roadmap for success by providing education, support, and capital to build a health and wellness business.”

6-14-2011 8-30-54 PM

image From augurPharmacist: “Re: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The Summer Meeting in Denver has lots of HIT content. Discussions include bar code scanning at each step of the intra-hospital supply chain such that ‘when a drug product changes hands, it gets scanned.’ There’s a growing awareness about the technologies required to enable intended pharmacist practice model change from inside the pharmacies to the patient side. Lots more information available on pharmacy’s professional initiative referred to as PPMI by searching ‘PPMI.’”

6-14-2011 8-12-17 PM

image From J.U. Stice: “Re: nextEMR. Looks like they are the most recent ONC-ATCB certified EHRs to die on the vine. No employees, unpaid bills, empty promises. Classic story of underfunding and no marketing traction. If you build it, they will come? I don’t think so.” I contacted CEO and Founder Alan Faustino MD, who provided this response:

Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. While we have experienced our share of growing pains, like most companies in this economy, we are still offering the same outstanding service and support that has help us survive in this turbulent and confusing HIT period. As a matter of fact, we have been vetted out by several organizations recently from a financial and technology point of view and have been successful in developing strong relations that will sustain this company today and into the future. As an example, we have been chosen as the EMR of choice for the McFarland group to implement and use EMR for research initiatives. We have weekly webinars and look forward to using our technology to better the overall success and increase influenza immunization to the under represented in this country. I can assure you that the NMA and the Cobb institute would no likely involve themselves with a company not in operation. As a matter of fact, we have in conjunction with the McFarland group a webinar tonight and welcome anyone to join and "feel our pulse" Like many businesses, we have had to let go of some employees for financial or performance reasons. However, we wish these people well and hopefully they will find more constructive things to do with their time. However, I do appreciate the "press." Hopefully, HIStalk will allow us to show a different perspective on our company and welcome the opportunity to let the physician community know how nextEMR, along with our partners, are giving physicians the technology to be frankly better physicians today.

image From Chip: “Re: poll on giving patients a list of employees who accessed their electronic medical record. You have to do this to pass ARRA and EHR certification requires it, so vendors must have overcome any technical hurdles.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

6-14-2011 9-32-53 PM

image I have to give a shout out to Best Buy for some superior customer service I just received. I bought a new Asus PC from them, but noticed it had integrated graphics rather than the advertised 1 GB ATI graphics card, which was almost certainly an error in the specs Asus gave them (or perhaps an Asus manufacturing mistake). It wasn’t a huge deal and it wasn’t Best Buy’s fault, but I called the local Best Buy store where I had picked it up (I had done ship-to-store) and they told me to bring it over. They gave me a brand new 2 GB card ($100) and for “my inconvenience” (basically, next to none), they had the Geek Squad folks install it while I waited – all at no charge. I felt bad for even calling since the graphics aren’t all that important to me, but Best Buy really came through. The new PC is working great and I’m finally off Vista and WinXP (except at work, of course, where the ten-year-old XP still reigns unchallenged).


6-14-2011 3-13-34 PM

Norton Healthcare (KY) purchases the Morrisey Concurrent Care Manager application to automate its care management processes


James Hauschildt EdD, MA, BSN, RN is named academic dean of Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences (MO). He was formerly with Dearborn Advisors, Dell, Cerner, and the Air Force nurse corps.

Announcements and Implementations

6-14-2011 12-05-32 PM

Massena Memorial Hospital (NY) goes live on MEDHOST’s EDIS.

6-14-2011 3-12-14 PM

image Shands Healthcare (FL) goes live on its $95 million Epic EMR at three facilities. A fourth facility will be added in September and several faculty practices will go up next year. The same article includes some interesting facts about Epic: the company has 240 customers; one-fourth of the country’s physicians use Epic software; and, 110 million patients (38% of all patients) will be in an Epic system once pending implementations are complete.

The School of Medicine at the University of Alabama-Birmingham starts its EHR implementation, which will be completed in five phases over the next 18 months. Stephen Stair MD, the physician executive sponsor of the project, provides an update above.

6-14-2011 3-10-45 PM

West Tennessee Healthcare System deploys BIO-key International biometric ID software within its Sentillion Vergence solution.

6-14-2011 8-46-21 PM

image A nine-physician internal medicine group in Michigan sells itself to Oakwood Healthcare, saying it passed on aligning with Henry Ford Health System because HFHS couldn’t get its EMR installed quickly enough. HFHS says the EMR wasn’t a priority because they are replacing their McKesson system with a $100 million custom system from RelWare and didn’t see the point in installing a system that will be gone in two years. Oakwood uses NextGen, but signed a contract in April to implement Epic in its hospitals and practices at a cost of $60 million.

Philips will roll out its eICU system in India within a year.

Government and Politics

Maine legislators vote to allow residents to opt out of the state’s HIE database.

image Mark your calendar: July 3 is the last day eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals can begin their 90-day reporting period in fiscal year 2011 for the Medicare EHR incentive program. Eligible Providers have until October 3.

The Boston Globe points out that the state still does business with IBM’s Cognos division even as one of the company’s former salespeople goes on trial for giving kickbacks to the speaker of the house of Massachusetts in return for getting software contracts without going through the required bidding process. Neither IBM or Cognos, which had not been acquired by IBM at the time of the alleged incident, have been charged, but it’s possible the SEC could get involved if evidence suggests that the sale boosted the acquisition value of Cognos.

The UK’s NHS says that even though the country’s “digital by default” policy requires citizens to communicate with government agencies by digital means, that requirement will not be imposed on those seeking health services. Instead, the government will meet whatever demand citizens have, with one of its technical leaders saying, “The idea that we should wait for everyone to agree before offering digital services is ludicrous.”

Innovation and Research

A study finds that implementation of healthcare IT had no effect on outcomes for nursing home patients, other than it seemed to make them more disruptive.


6-14-2011 3-17-14 PM

HIMSS names Hudson River Healthcare (NY) as its single finalist for the Community Health Organization Davies award.

image Mayo Clinic’s chairman of health policy and research says that the clinic won’t be participating in an ACO, at least based on the proposed rule. According to Douglas Wood MD, Mayo’s objections include the use of oversight boards to judge performance, the proposed anti-trust rules, the methods of measuring effectiveness of care, and the way patients would be assigned to ACOs.

maxIT Healthcare celebrates its 10-year anniversary by sending out its executives in an RV with a cool paint job, driving across the country to visit its consultants and clients in the field.

6-14-2011 7-26-36 PM 6-14-2011 7-29-36 PM

image Weird News Andy noodles out a great story about a doctor and a diva (he clarifies they are not one and the same in this particular case). An opera singer (on the left above) shopping at a Manhattan Trader Joe’s gets annoyed at a teenaged boy who blocks her husband from grabbing a frozen Pad Thai dinner. Hubby complains loudly, so the boy’s mom (a doctor, on the right above), bellows out, “Get that pole out of your ass.” The opera singer admits that she then slapped the doctor, but adds that she needed slapping because the doctor was “getting into her personal space.” The opera singer is on trial for attempted assault.  

6-14-2011 9-07-53 PM

image Here’s a great interview and character study of Bill Gates, who talks about global health and how his kids will need to find regular jobs because he’s not giving them much money (“much” meaning quite different things to Bill than to you and me). Trivia: he bristles when the reporter asks if his kids have iPhones, iPads, or iPods, saying, “They have the Windows equivalent … they are not deprived children.” You forget how young he was (21) when he and Paul Allen started Microsoft in 1975 – the photo above is from 1984, well into the company’s growth and the year that Windows was launched. He looks about 12.

I like this well-written and just-sarcastic-enough editorial by a physician and former president of AAPS, whose bio contains this wry observation: “As a life-long dog lover and trainer, she realizes that her dogs have better access to medical care and more medical privacy than she has, and her veterinarians are paid more than physicians in the United States for exactly the same types of surgery.” Among her unhappy but amusing observations (not all of which are correct) about medical practice is this:

Now there’s also “healthcare reform.” That includes the push for the EHR (electronic health record). Physicians are being bribed with $44,000 for installing one that meets the government’s desire to have your formerly private medical record on a government database. With this system, a keystroke can fill your medical record with mistakes, yet a physician can’t write a progress note without learning to navigate a computer program so obsessive that the detail required to order a simple test would do for a moon landing. The former head of CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, made around $2 million dollars working for the company whose program it is, before she became an unaccountable “Czar” in the present regime.

A female visitor trips while walking out of the elevator at Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital. She claims permanent injuries to her arm, shoulder, and neck that cause her pain and suffering, disability and mental anguish, loss of income, loss of earning capacity, and expenses. She’s suing the hospital for $600,000.

Sponsor Updates

  • Highmark selects MEDecision’s collaborative health management solutions to support the management of its 4.8 million members.
  • Practice Fusion hires Edwin Miller as its first VP of product management. He previously worked for Curaspan, Artromick, and athenahealth.
  • Health Language is demonstrating its upgraded version of LEAP I-20 at booth #335 at this week’s AHIP conference in San Francisco.
  • CareTech Solutions and its client, Central Maine Medical Center (ME) are chosen by the Ohio Hospital Association to present an IT security case study, Security Assessments: A Tool to Manage Risks and Achieve HIPAA Compliance, at OHA’s annual meeting this week in Columbus.
  • The 49-bed Monroe County Medical Center (KY) contracts with Healthcare Management Systems for its EHR suite.
  • The City Paper of Nashville and Nashville’s Entrepreneurs’ Organization name ICA president and CEO Gary Zegiestowsky as one of the top ten entrepreneurs in the Nashville area.
  • ZirMed earns a #79 ranking on HCI’s 100 list of top HIT companies.
  • Business Alabama magazine and Best Companies Group name MEDSEEK one of the 2011 Best Companies to Work For in Alabama.
  • PatientKeeper releases its Charge Capture solution for Android.
  • Nebraska Medical Center chooses Voalte’s integrated communication solution.
  • Sage Healthcare Division announces that more than a dozen healthcare facilities have chosen Sage Intergy Meaningful Use Edition.
  • Moses Cone Health System (NC) selects ProVation Order Sets for its five hospitals.
  • Duncan Regional Hospital (OK) will implement T-SystemEV STAT to manage average length of stay in its ED.
  • North Shore-LIJ Health System extends its enterprise agreement with Surgical Information Systems by choosing the SIS Anesthesia documentation solution.
  • The entire recruiting team of Intellect Resources achieves Certified Personnel Consultant certification.
  • NYU Langone Medical Center implements the PatientSecure palm scanning solution for biometric patient identification. A patient commented, “This technology makes you feel like a VIP. You just put your palm on the scanner and you’re done registering at your doctor’s office, no clipboard, no hassle of paperwork to check in, plus, it’s absolutely secure. It’s immediate and instantaneous. Never in my life have I experienced health care like this before. ”


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

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. The news that Jewish in Louisville is joining CHI, which runs all Cerner, must be the latest unfortunate news for Unibased Systems ; at least four other customers (Inova, Lancaster General, Norton, and Oakwood) are all implementing Epic.

  2. Not entirely true. While CHI does run Cerner at some of it’s facilities, St Joseph’s in Lexington being one of them, it also runs Meditech at the smaller KY locations as well.

  3. Did StartupHealth and NextEHR use the same icon designer? Gotta’ love that blue/green combo we see 1/2 the time.

  4. Apparently, an editor and PR pro were among the people nextEMR decided to let go to “find more constructive things to do with their time.”

  5. Re: Practice Fusion – I am teaching in one of those federally-funded community college HIT programs. The curricula and teaching materials are pretty slim and I needed access to an EMR to demonstrate the topics being discussed. I contacted Practice Fusion who sent a lovely email welcoming me and the students and offering free log-ins to their system for academic purposes. Very refreshing — kudos to Practice Fusion!

  6. So why would an ONC-ATCB certified EHR name itself and contiunue to refer to itself as an EMR? Was nextEHR trademarked?

    Also, Weird News Andy’s story is not so weird. It occurred at my local Trader Joe’s just a few blocks away. It’s the talk of the town and the story appeared in the NY Times, photos and all, as well (that it made the NY Post is not surprising . . .snicker, snicker).

  7. Thanks, BigNurse! We are excited about being able to train professionals in the growing health IT marketplace and take pride on our academic program. A few other EHR companies offer a discount for schools and students to use their program, but when individual licenses cost $44,000 on average the costs quickly overwhelm an academic budget. Practice Fusion offers any academic program unlimited free, web-based EHR accounts for students and instructors. And because the accounts are portable, the students can continue using Practice Fusion after they graduate. In addition to the license, Practice Fusion offers additional support and training for these educational programs at no-cost.

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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...
  • Bob: There's no incentive for the provider to spend time doing a price comparison for the patient. Nor is it a good use of th...
  • 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 ...
  • Woodstock Generation: Bravo to HIStalk's Weekender recaps and other news/opinions. I read it first thing on Monday mornings..................
  • Veteran: #fakenews...

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