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Monday Morning Update 9/5/11

September 4, 2011 News 6 Comments

From It’s All Good: “Re: Sage Healthcare. Tom Chmielewski, VP of product management, leaves to ‘pursue other interests,’ following the recent departures of project management execs Mike Burger (PM/EHR), Rob Price (practice analytics), and Mark Martin (EDI). It’s an interesting time to be cleaning the product management house. Who’s minding the store for Stage 2 and beyond?” A source verifies that Tom Chmielewksi has left the company.

Thanks to the following sponsors (new and renewing) that supported HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Mobile in August. Click a logo for more information.

9-2-2011 4-10-20 PM
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9-2-2011 4-09-13 PM
9-2-2011 4-08-15 PM

Listening: reader-recommended Metric, female-led Canadian indie rock with only a little bit of guitar (reminds me a little of Muse, but more subdued). I was surprised that I missed a band this good, but it turns out I didn’t: I recommended them back in April 2009. Really good stuff, fresh and tight. I’m happy for the reminder to listen to them all over again.

My Time Capsule editorial this week, archeologically excavated from the ash heap of history circa 2006: “Hospitals Want Software to Do The Dirty Work of Changing Physician Behavior.” A free sample of the equally free product: “No software contains a switch that turns resistant physicians into docile, rule-following sheep who make better decisions under the watchful eye of Big Brother’s can’t-miss medical guidelines.”

InterSystems acquires Siemens Health Services France from Siemens, whose Clinicom system is used by 60 French hospitals. InterSystems will pair Clinicom with its TrakCare HIS, which offers electronic patient records, documentation, order entry, flowsheets, patient management, ED, OR, rad, lab, pharm, and billing. InterSystems acquired TrakCare and its Australian developer, InterSystems application partner TrakHealth, in 2007.

The joint VA-DoD EHR will yield an open source results, at least according to VA CIO Roger Baker. That statement didn’t come from DoD, which has a rich history as an intractable, contractor-enriching bureaucracy not interested in giving up control or collaborating outside its walls.

9-2-2011 7-20-32 PM

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob will resign to become president and CEO of WoundVision, an Indianapolis company that sells software that performs risk assessment and predicts pressure ulcers. He replaces founder James Spahn MD, who will remain board chair.

9-2-2011 7-25-07 PM

Microsoft will work with Social Interest Solutions, a non-profit that connects low-income individuals and families to health resources. Microsoft wants to use the organization’s knowledge to get involved with government health insurance exchanges.

This article says US News & World Report used HIMSS Analytics data to choose their top hospitals, which I thought was bizarre since HIMSS Analytics looks only at IT metrics and US News evaluates death rates, reputation, and several non-IT factors. Turns out the story is not really correct: USN&WR used the HIMSS Analytics information only to create a Most Connected Hospitals list by cross-referencing its own top hospitals with those that are EMRAM Stages 6 or 7.

9-2-2011 4-13-26 PM

We are collectively torn on the issue of whether Congress should rescind HITECH money. New poll to your right, for hospital employees: to what degree does your board review and analyze big IT requests before approving or rejecting them? I got the idea from Joel French’s interview, in which he marveled that boards of struggling hospitals approve $70 million system purchases (I assume he meant Epic) without any guarantee the investment will help the bottom line. My experience with hospital boards is that members (community movers and shakers, hefty donors, and a token smattering of social advocates) are mostly interested in the community relations aspect rather than deep diving into operational decision-making. Rightly so, hospital executives would argue. It’s like Congress: the outcome of  big decisions is a foregone conclusion since the execs have persuasively lined up the support they need long before the issue is brought up for a board vote.

9-2-2011 7-05-33 PM

9-2-2011 7-08-22 PM

This article says hospitals are using doctors with questionable objectivity or even “doctor bots” (example 1, example 2, both using the same doctor name but pictures of different people) to spit out medical advice via Twitter, which gain a following and reap AdSense revenue for the commercial sites they link to. The bots take existing articles of questionable value that have no references or detailed information, swap words using an electronic dictionary to make it look like something new, and then tweet links to it. My first thought was that laws would surely prohibit either falsely claiming to be an MD or dispensing questionable advice as one, but then I realized that (a) someone would have to file a complaint, and (b) those laws are mostly at a state level, so it may not be clear whose domain something like this falls under.

9-2-2011 4-31-17 PM

Cayman Islands Health Services Authority CIO Dale Sanders tells me the national healthcare conference will be held November 17-19 at the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman. I think I need to be there.

Meditech cancels plans to build an office building in Freetown, MA after the state historical commission overrides an archaeological firm’s recommendations and insists that the company dig, sieve, and log the contents of a two-foot layer of dirt covering 21 acres, which Meditech says would have taken at least a year. Town officials fear the company will look out of state for a substitute location. The mayor of Fall River, where the company already has offices, says his town will beat any Freetown offer.

Healthcare RTLS vendor Versus Technology announces Q3 results: revenue down 15.4%, net income –$15,000 vs. $38,000.

9-3-2011 8-45-27 AM

Oroville Hospital (CA) is profiled in a local publication for its impending implementation of the WorldVistA’s EHR, the first US hospital to go live on that particular variant of the VA’s VistA. From the Bob Wentz, the 153-bed hospital’s CEO: “Why do most healthcare organizations and doctors’ offices have software owned by a company? … What if they wanted to change to a different provider? What would it cost them to get out? And they would get no help transferring their data.” On the other hand, he’s not exactly objective – according to the article, he’s associated with Tenzig Corp., which it says offers hospital implementation services for VistA. I don’t know what happened to the hospital’s original plan to implement Medsphere’s OpenVista, announced in 2007, that caused them to switch to WorldVistA. It was announced a few days ago that WorldVistA EHR 2.0 earned ATCB certification as a complete inpatient and ambulatory EHR, with Oroville proving money, enhancements, and coordination.

More from Vince Ciotti on Gerber Alley. Care to share some vendor reminiscing from back in the day? (that being defined as pre-1990, let’s say, involving visionaries or now-defunct companies). E-mail Vince.

Continua Health Alliance releases its 2011 Design Guidelines for personal health devices, with new coverage of Bluetooth Low Energy temperature sensors, ZigBee networks in which a single sensor communications with multiple hosting devices, and user identification over a Wide Area Network interface.

A survey in Ireland finds that almost 50% of people diagnose themselves using the Internet instead of seeing a physician. Nearly half of those surveyed said they would use SMS or IM to communicate with their physician if available.

9-2-2011 7-42-59 PM

A hospital in England ditches the “do not disturb” vests that nurses were wearing to prevent distractions during medication administration. Patients hadn’t complained, but newspapers had run quotes from other areas in which visitors claimed to be miffed at being told to leave the nurses alone until they had given all their meds, even though studies have shown significant error reduction when nurses are allowed to focus on the task at hand. One might logically conclude that if it weren’t for the social aspect of being hospitalized, hospital units should be closed off to outsiders just like the psych ward or an auto garage. You’ve got dangerous equipment and drugs being hauled around, bodily fluids flowing, people trying to focus on life-and-death tasks, and patients having life-threatening events, all while visitors are getting in the way, asking questions, and spreading germs. It’s like trying to run a busy restaurant kitchen where patrons are allowed to wander in and out and maybe reach around the chef for a sample.

A futurist’s view of sleep technology and the “hotel room of the future” predicts that within 20 years, sleepers will be able to choose their dreams and share them with others; wear active contact lenses that will deliver 3D TV images directly to their retinas; and participate in virtual lovemaking where feelings and emotions are shared via skin sensors.

9-2-2011 7-54-46 PM

Government contractor CSC acquires Baltimore-based Maricom Systems, which provides informatics and data management systems used by HHS. 

9-2-2011 8-49-28 PM 9-2-2011 8-49-46 PM

Allscripts files suit against Virginia-based consulting company Visus, alleging trademark infringement. Allscripts claims the company used its company and product names without approval to promote EHRs. Visus has removed references to both Allscripts and NuWave from its site (before and after image above) after both companies insist they have no relationship with Visus.

A nursing professor in Canada conducts a telenursing pilot project in which nurses monitor home-based diabetic patients using smart phones and the Internet. Part of the project involved creating an interactive telehealth platform that is being commercialized by McGill University with Magellan Global Health, of which the professor appears to be president and COO after the company was merged with her medical tourism company. Being a professor has to be the best job in the world. You get a substantial paycheck for teaching a few classes a week at a pretty campus that offers lots of entertainment opportunities, you get grant money and eager beaver student research assistants, and there’s plenty of time to run consulting or product businesses on the side.

9-2-2011 8-19-02 PM

Jeffrey Kriseman, an Arizona State University PhD student, is profiled for developing an open source messaging system used to exchange public health information for disease surveillance. It’s being used by Nevada providers to submit reportable lab results to public health agencies, qualifying them for HITECH money. Kriseman is finishing his PhD in biomedical informatics.

Strange: the FBI investigates a prosthetic manager at University of Minnesota Medical Center, accusing him of convincing patients to replace their perfectly useful artificial limbs with new ones, after which he would sell their old ones on eBay.

9-4-2011 10-05-49 AM

Stranger: a 17-year-old part-time doctor’s billing clerk is arrested in Florida after posing as a physician’s assistant, convincing the hospital’s HR department to give him a PA badge so he could work in the ED where he examined patients, dressed wounds, and performed CPR on a patient in cardiac arrest. He was caught after he pestered HR to upgrade his badge so he could hang out in the doctors’ lounge, but gave the excuse that he was working undercover for the police. He had previously been dismissed from a Sheriff’s Explorer teen police program for wearing a deputy’s badge and bulletproof vest in public.

E-mail Mr. H.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. About the “hotel room of the future”. Funny thing is the technology being developed for “virtual sex” is called “dildonics”. You can’t make this stuff up!

  2. So what happened to the grace period for all your sponsors to ditch the animated Ads? Still annoying as ever although it looks like some vendors did respond to your request as I see they have gone to static ones. Kudos to them…the others are killing billions of electrons a day and should be called out on it! 🙂

    [From Mr. H] The deadline is January 1 since it’s an involved process in some companies to design new ads and get them approved internally. Several sponsors have already made the switch, though, so the improvement should be ongoing.

  3. I just slide the window to the left so I don’t see any of them. The animation is too much of a distraction when you are trying to read.

  4. About the McGill University Nursing Professor – parts of this sound fishy with the professor doubling as president and COO, but saying a nursing professor gets a ‘substantial paycheck’ is way off base (at least for the US). As a master’s prepared nurse, I looked into teaching at a private university, but the fact is I would have had to first get a PhD (my own expense) and then I’d have a ‘substantial payCUT’ – less than half my current salary. Some professors with full teaching loads make less that RNs working in hospitals. For my own family reasons I could not do it even though I’d like to help out with the nursing shortage issue. Look into this as I’d love to be wrong.

  5. How about those vendors that switch to the static ads first get moved ahead of the animated ones. So this way the sponsors have a little incentive and pressure to beat the 1/1/2012 deadline.

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