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July 14, 2011 News 14 Comments

Top News

7-14-2011 4-54-17 PM

Nuance Communications acquires transcription services provider Webmedx. Both companies offer outsourced transcription services with speech recognition capabilities and offer NLP technology to extract information and convert it into discrete data. It’s been a busy week for the transcription services and speech technology segment: earlier this week, MedQuist announced plans to acquire M*Modal for $130 million.

7-14-2011 4-12-37 PM 7-14-2011 4-36-10 PM 7-14-2011 4-37-06 PM 7-14-2011 4-38-30 PM

Allscripts adds four senior execs to its leadership team including Cliff Meltzer as EVP of solutions development, Steve Shute as EVP of sales, Jackie Studer as SVP and general counsel, and John Guevara as CIO. Meltzer is an Apple, Cisco, IBM, and CA Technologies veteran and replaces the now retired John Gomez. Long-time IBM-er Shute replaces Jeff Surges, the current CEO of Merge Healthcare. Studer (GE Healthcare) takes over for Kent Alexander, and Guevara (Microsoft, Intermec, Siemens) is Allscripts’ first CIO.  Allscripts also announced the department of COO Eileen McPartland, who is leaving to become CEO of a private company outside of the healthcare industry.

Reader Comments

From Charlie Brown “Re: Worried. Hey Inga. No push e-mail this AM for HIStalk and no new postings since yesterday. Did HIStalk break?” Thanks for your concern, Chuck, but nothing is broken (well, nothing that I know about, anyway.) Alas, Mr. H didn’t set up anything in advance for posting Wednesday, so we went a rare mid-week day with no Readers’ Write or interview. Mr. H promised me he’d eventually return from vacation, so look for an in-box full of HIStalk blasts next week.

7-14-2011 4-02-06 PM

From Boozers “Re: 2010 market share. Wow. Look at how Epic is hurting McKesson.” This table from KLAS shows Epic won 75 deals last year in the 200+ bed hospital market and had no legacy losses. The next best performer was Cerner, with 14 wins and six legacy losses. At the bottom: McKesson Horizon with four wins and 24 legacy losses. Ouch.

7-14-2011 4-26-05 PM 7-14-2011 4-28-05 PM

From Court Jester “Re: From the floor at AMDIS. Lots of interesting discussions and speakers and talk around the evolution of technology adoption by physicians. The hottest topics center around  CPOE and clinical documentation and the need for good workflow and ease of use.” AMDIS’s 20th Annual Physician-Computer Connection Symposium is wrapping up Friday in Ojai, CA. I must admit that if I were Court Jester I would be hanging by the Ojai Resort’s gorgeous pool rather than in the back of one of a meeting room.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

This week on HIStalk Practice: Dr. Gregg dialogs with Stupid Simple and S&M. Sermo intros Sermo Mobile and iConsult. A whopping 76% of physicians with smart devices utilize iPhones. Physicians increased their ability to generate registries after implementing EHRs. Telepsychiatry is not catching on as fast as other telemedicine services. If you sign up for the HIStalk Practice e-mail updates, the budget crisis might be resolved and the US women might crush Japan. With stakes like that, how can you not sign up? And thanks for reading.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

7-14-2011 4-32-33 PM

drchrono closes $675,000 in its first round of institutional financing. Investors include several VC firms, plus Gmail creator and FriendFeed cofounder Paul Buchheit and Google’s principal engineer Matt Cutts. drchono offers a free EHR for the iPad.


Nevada Rural Hospital Partners, a 14-hospital alliance, partners with Anthelio (formerly PHNS) to provide business office solutions and coding services to member hospitals.


7-14-2011 3-02-52 PM

Progress Software appoints Philip M. Pead to its board of directors. Pead is the current chairman of the board for Allscripts and the former president and CEO of Eclipsys.

7-14-2011 4-07-53 PM

Dominick Bizzarro, the CEO of the Healthcare Information Xchange of New York, resigns to join InterSystems as business manager for the HealthShare HIE platform.

Announcements and Implementations

Nevada-based HealthInsight launches its HIE using Axolotl’s platform. Providers will begin sharing patient information in September.

7-14-2011 8-32-06 AM

Cheboygan Memorial Hospital (MI) outsources its IT operations to Phoenix Health Systems, who will implement Meditech’s EHR and provide IT leadership and service desk support.

Government and Politics

A bipartisan group of Congressmen introduces a bill that would amend the EHR incentive program to benefit multi-campus hospitals. The legislation would give each hospital campus the opportunity to earn Meaningful Use incentives.

Innovation and Research

The US Patent and Trademark Office awards Epic Systems a patent for “a system and method for providing decision support to appointment schedulers in the healthcare setting.”


Directors of the Kingsport, TN-based RHIO CareSpark vote to cease operations this fall, citing an unsuccessful effort “to transition from a grant and contract based nonprofit organization to a user subscription and revenue sustained entity.” CareSpark was formed in 2005 after receiving $600,000 in funding from the Foundation for eHealth Initiatives and local partners.

Sponsor Updates

7-14-2011 2-00-40 PM

  • Greenway Medical and PGA Tour Golf Pro Jason Dufner debut their new partnership at the British Open. Note the Greenway logo on Dufner’s jacket.
  • The Drummond Group awards SRS EHR ONC-ATCB certification as a complete EHR.
  • GE Healthcare releases a new white paper discussing the annual cost of healthcare-associated infections in terms of dollars and lives. GE Healthcare also announces the formation of MIND, a coalition to help physicians detect, diagnose, and manage neurodegenerative diseases.
  • The Entrepreneurs EDGE awards Lexicomp, a Wolters Kluwer Health subsidiary, its fourth Crain’s Leading EDGE award for creating economic value in Northeast Ohio.
  • Blanton Godfrey, Ph.D. and board chairman of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement will be the featured speaker at TeleTracking Technologies annual client conference in San Diego in October.
  • Sage awards Peter Christensen Health Center (WI) its Healthcare Best Practices award at the Sage Summit conference in Washington DC.
  • Practice Fusion announces Practice Fusion Connect 2011, a free EMR event for its 100,000+ clients, November 11th in San Francisco.
  • AirStrip Technologies expands its leadership team, promoting Bruce Brandes from chief sales officer to EVP and chief strategy officer. Also, AirStrip was named InformationWeek magazine’s Most Transformative Healthcare Application at this week’s Healthcare Leadership Forum in NYC.
  • Emmi Solutions selects Health Language, Inc. to enhance the usability of its patient engagement programs.
  • North Highland announces an expansion into Japan through a partnership with GENEX.
  • Iatric Systems earns ONC-ATCB certification for three more products. Iatric is also hosting a slew of free Webinars over the next three months, covering a variety of clinical and technical topics.
  • Precyse hires Kristen Saponaro as VP of marketing. Saponaro was the principal of Saponaro Communications, LLC, the consulting firm that supported Precyse in its recent rebranding efforts. Precyse was also recently awarded a medical transcription services contract with Community Medical Center (PA).
  • Anson General Hospital (TX) leverages its ChartAccess EHR from Prognosis to successfully attest for Meaningful Use.
  • NextGen execs Charles Jarvis and Tony Landauer are scheduled panelists at next month’s CompTIA Breakaway 2011 in Washington, DC.
  • Allscripts provides its preliminary Q2 financial numbers, which include expected bookings of about $240 million and profits and revenue above analysts’ expectations.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne

It’s been difficult to get back to the routine with me returning from the beach and Mr. H vacationing, but the lovely Inga has been doing a fantastic job holding down the HIStalk fort. Although I’m still somewhat achy from the gut-busting laughter that accompanied Dr. Gregg’s recent comments on the EHR selection process, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share some newsy tidbits and random thoughts.

HHS releases a proposal to revise HIPAA and harmonize it with HITECH provisions. The AMA states: “The proposed rule seemingly goes beyond what is required by laws and would pose significant burdens on physicians if finalized.” The comment period ends on August 1, so let your voice be heard.

The Sage Summit is being held this week at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Washington DC. Partner Days are July 10-15 and Customer Days are July 12-15. I understand the Wednesday evening event was “Night at the Museum” at Smithsonian Air and Space. Anyone attending? Let us know what you are seeing and hearing.

A recent survey shows consumers have a higher opinion of facilities using the word “Hospital” as opposed to those who have gone to the ritzier-sounding “Medical Center.” Respondents felt Hospitals provided better care and were more cutting edge. What’s in a name? It reminds me of when a previous employer named their brand new facility the “Cancer Center of Excellence.” Not only was it just tacky, but as far as Centers of Excellence go, it was a new service line that hadn’t gone anywhere near proving itself through outcomes or peer recognition. Personally, I’d like to see a survey on “Information Technology” vs. “Information Services” vs. “Information Systems” departments. A rose by any other name…

For those of you who have been eagerly awaiting implementation of new DEA rules for e-prescribing controlled substances, you’ll probably have to wait on your medical marijuana scripts. The DEA has stated that cannabis “has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug.” Advocates can now appeal to federal courts after a nine year delay. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart states that “the known risks of marijuana use have not been shown to be outweighed by specific benefits in well-controlled trials that scientifically evaluate safety and efficacy.” How hard do you think it would be to enroll patients in THAT study?

Thanks to Mustang Sally, who sent an article on physicians who use Twitter anonymously. It has some interesting examples, but closes with a mention of the American Medical Association’s ethics policy on social media, which warns that “actions online and content posted… can undermine public trust in the medical profession.” I don’t agree with physicians griping about patients on Facebook or Twitter, but you can imagine that I do see a benefit in anonymity. The full text of the Policy, approved in 2010, can be found here.

Interesting piece from the Kaiser Family Foundation: “Why It’s Okay that EHR Adoption Will Fall Behind 2011 Goals.” The authors cite “cleaning house” as a cause, meaning “older, costly, and difficult-to-implement legacy EHRs will be replaced by less expensive, more agile systems that have been developed specifically for meaningful use and are deliverable in the cloud as Software-as-a-Service.”


I’m off to sample my employer’s mandatory online training offerings, which apparently I must complete or I won’t get paid. After a week of fuzzy umbrella drinks, I’ve decided that Workplace Harassment, Personal Protective Equipment, and Privacy 101 go best with a nice Cab from Joseph Phelps. Have any other suggestions for excellent educational wine pairings? E-mail me.



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

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Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. >>> Interesting piece from the Kaiser Family Foundation: “Why It’s Okay that EHR Adoption Will Fall Behind 2011 Goals.”

    Thanks for the reference Dr. Jayne! The way I see it is that MU itself is the cause. The recent final rule is 275 pages long of pure bureaucratic junk making a maze of booby traps in which one simple oversight could place one’s MU government check in jeopardy. Providers are waking up to the fact that whether they choose to play or not will end up cutting into their profit margins and survival, and that at the end they would be better off simply sitting in the sidelines.

    We’ll be seeing similar lame excuses in 2012, 2013, and beyond as MU gets even more onerous.

  2. I am with a McKesson facility on their Horizon suite of applications. We have been live for almost two years and still have a frighteningly unstable environment (over 30 unplanned downtimes in the last three months). There is no way our facility could afford to start over, so we are stuck with this system that is a huge patient safety risk. Wish we were one of those on that chart that jumped the McKesson ship in 2010.

  3. At what point does Epic become too big? Isn’t it a bit of a worry that a company run by a major donor to Democrats has got a growing stranglehold on HIT during the age of Obamacare? We’ve gone from a cottage industry looking to make HC more efficient to a scarily massive one which will help the government more and more to regulate our health care lives.

  4. Harvey, that is just a ridiculous question. If you don’t like the fact that money rules politics, then instead of villainizing a woman that does nothing wrong, try writing a letter to your senator. She’s perhaps less guilty than other corporations that dish money to everyone with a vote in that she seems to be more motivated by political ideology and not a corporate agenda.

  5. @Harvey – it is as much of a worry as the fact that someone named Guevara being the CIO of a major HIT vendor is a worry that Latin American communists are taking over your health care life.

  6. It seems to me absurd to call Epic too big when they are still one of the smallest vendors (in terms of annual revenues) in the market segment they compete in (hospitals > 200 beds). Look at Healthcare Informatics annual June issue of the top 100 vendors. Epic has half the annual revenues of some of its competitors, and no market capitalization.

    And then to say Epic has undue influence in the political process seems even more ridiculous when Judy’s paltry personal contributions pale in comparison to the money and influence the lobbyist for GE and Mckesson have. And can you honestly say that the leadership of Cerner, Siemens and Meditech haven’t made the same efforts at the state and national level?

    Epic has pursued it’s vision of the IT tools needed for the future healthcare model for decades. They got it right, and now the marketplace is rewarding them for their vision and their ability to execute on delivering it.

    Implicit in many of the anit-Epic comments in this blog is that Epic’s customers are not intelligent decision-makers. Is it really possible that 240 of the largest, and most prestigous, health care delivery systems in this country have gotten as big as they are by making stupid decisions?

    I think this blog has been infiltrated by the sales departments of GE and Mckesson, because so much of the comments sound like sour grapes.

    I will sip my Kool-aid, and wait for your response.

  7. Looks like I struck a nerve. Did the Epic folk never expect scrutiny even as the company becomes more and more powerful?

  8. Dr. Jayne: “A rose by any other name…”

    So then you have to wonder what the combined ‘hosp/Med Cntr’ names nets them, as in ‘Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center’ or ‘Englewood Hospital Medical Center’, etc. There are a lot of those combined names around.

    Although it goes back further than your personal experience – I think the first computer divisions were called simply Computer Services, then became Data Processing, then all those subsequent name changes to IS, IT, etc. were attempts to be more definitive about their purpose.

    Speaking of divisional names, I know of one hospital that recently had (still has, actually) multiple publicly posted building directories that include the “Division of Biomedizmatics”. (Pictures on request!) Sorry, I can’t account for it, I can only report it. 🙂

  9. To LemmingWannabe:

    No, I don’t work for GE or Mckesson.

    I do agree with you and the others that say Judy’s political leanings are nothing to be concerned about. Her intentions, I believe are good, of course the road to hell is paved with good intentions……..However, it should be noted that she is a bit of a hypocrite, lobbying for more government involvement in everyday life, yet, she has been quoted as saying that govenment is regulating HIT too much in terms of MU, etc.

    In regard to your other question, is it really possible that 240 of largest HC delivery systems could be wrong? In a word, “yes”. These leaders, and their greed have them focused on the almighty dollars and shortcuts to short term profits, like the unfunded promise of MU (I mean come on, with all of the spending cuts on the horizon to you really believe the MU dollars, the greatest driver to waste money on Epic, will be there when all is said and done?). These institutions are deciding to convert their databaes, and their user staff over to a system that is not user friendly, nor intuitive, at a time when 5010 and ICD-10 are on the cusp of making HIT even more difficult. How smart is that? These same leaders also bought the line of complete integration, even though Epic’s billing module is an entirely separate database from it’s EHR.

    It will be interesting to see how well they do, as their implementation reputation continues to decline, and the future of healthcare profits get tied more, and more to research. Epic’s product is notoriously horrible in that regard.

    Enjoy your kool-aid. Of course, most kool-aid drinkers end up with a lot of cavaties, due to the short term pleasure brought on by all the sugar :-)…..hope you have a good dentist!

  10. While I probably should not feed the troll..

    Anonymous32, I really would want to know where you get your facts from. Judy as an individual supports particular political parties and viewpoints, as do many of her employees on both sides of the aisle. During the last election season, Epic offered both candidates in a statewide race use of its auditorium to inform potential voters. I’ve seen much more of her political beliefs come out in actions (offering same sex partner benefits, for example, or pursuing solar energy in Wisconsin) than through this supposed lobbying.

    The only thing I can find in your next paragraph that is faction is that 5010 and ICD-10 will make HIT more difficult. The rest seems to be unfounded opinions at odds with reality, or blatant falsehoods (different database for billing?)

  11. I have no issue with Judy’s political beliefs……….none whatsoever, in fact I agree with most of them……however, she seems to mind federal government intrustion in her industry alone…….kind of a a the expansion of federal government is good, unless it impacts me, tone, don’t you think?

    And, yes, they are two entirely separte databases…….Facepalm??? Really?……Perhaps you should refer to yourself as “Brown-Nose”

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