Two Minnesota hospitals start notifying 16,000 patients that their medical information was contained on a laptop that was stolen. The hospitals blame subcontractor Accretive Health, whose employee left the laptop in a locked car outside a restaurant. The company did not give a reason that its employee had PHI on a personal laptop that was, contrary to company policy, not encrypted.
From Keanu “Re: Health 2.0 conference. It might be bigger this year, but so far it’s super disorganized (and has been during the lead-up.) I’ve spoken to multiple vendors and sponsors they’ve managed to upset (including us.) I just witnessed a big argument about an ad gone wrong. Signage is lacking and has misspellings. We’ll see how the actual show goes.” Keanu sent a follow-up email, saying the first full day of the show was “semi-organized anarchy,” though better than the initial setup day.
From Jackie Dan “Re: Health 2.0. It’s sort of an interesting meeting and a cross between a mini-HIMSS and a VC startup competition. Everyone is trying to prove they’ve got the next ‘disruptive business model.’ A couple of interesting trends here though, like the whole Dr Chrono/Practice Fusion freemium thing. An insider at Practice Fusion told me that their paying customers are pretty much negligible compared to their purported 100k+ users, although, he still seemed ‘confident’ that they would survive/make money on ad revenue.” I have my own theories on the freebie EMRs and suspect Practice Fusion’s Research Center makes a nice impact to the bottom line.
From Doctor Who “Re: HIStalk resilience. FYI, you guys have significant sway these days. My profile in the Health 2.0 program makes direct reference to a post I made after HIMSS. HIStalk seems to have staying power. BTW, in addition to tons of people vying for money, the Health 2.0 conference is inspiring with some really cool and smart ideas out there. And the reception even included an open bar with Inga-like drinks (coco-tinis, nikita margaritas.)” Glad for the vote of confidence on HIStalk, as I kind of like this gig. HIStalk is over eight years old, so it’s been around for awhile. Bummed I missed the drinks. Next year, Matt.
From Fred Norris: “Re: HIMSS webinar. Got this in e-mail today. Doesn’t HIMSS charge hospitals a bunch to be members so they can benefit from their neutral, unbiased education services? Are they offering equal time to GE, Cerner, Epic, etc.? How can HIMSS claim to run a vendor-neutral annual conference (you have to swear that to be a presenter) and then run this marketing seminar? I’m sure they’re charging Siemens a fortune, so will they lower our annual dues proportionately, or are they just in it for the money like all vendors?” I raised a fuss when HIMSS started shilling its infomercials, but nobody seemed to share my indignation (or maybe they were just not surprised enough to care given the ever-blurring line between HIMSS and other vendors). Like a TV station during election season, HIMSS will indeed offer equal time to all other vendors – at an equal price. I do resent HIMSS passing sales pitches off as education, but that horse left the barn long ago and all you can do is try not to step in the part that’s left.
From NeverEnuf: “Re: Jackson. I thought you’d like this article on executive pay not being sufficient!” The new CEO of financially desperate Jackson Health System (FL), himself a former banker and city manager, gets some heat from the local paper by hiring two $500K executives who also have no hospital administration experience, one an accountant and the other a former IBMer. The CEO says the whole management team is paid well below market rates, which is definitely the case since he himself makes “only” $590K for trying to turn around the ultra screwed up Miami public hospital. That sounds plenty fair for a county official, but you know how hospitals are.
From Viggo: “Re: Thanks for looking over our Web page. I appreciate the favor.” I get quite a few requests for one thing or another: making an introduction, giving an opinion about a potential employer, offering thoughts on a vendor or product. I politely turn quite a few (maybe most) of those down since I don’t have much free time and it gets overwhelming at times (not to mention that much of the time, I’m just as clueless as the requestor and don’t want to just throw something out there implying otherwise.) My decision tree looks like this: (a) is the requestor a friend of HIStalk in some way – a sponsor, a guest article submitter, an interview subject? (b) if not, have I exchanged e-mails with them previously? (I save all my outbound e-mails, so I can tell); (c) is the requestor at least superficially supportive of HIStalk, like by being in the HIStalk Fan Club on LinkedIn or a friend in Facebook? I’ll do whatever I can to support people who support me, but I get more requests than I can handle as an after-work hobbyist (for example, I’m still writing after a crappy and long day at work that was followed by four hours of HIStalk work; my pager is going off; I won’t get to bed for another hour; and six hours later, I’ll the cycle start over again. If you’re waiting on e-mail from me, that’s why.)
From DDLT-AAGL: “Re: Epic. Having Epic installed at all necessarily gives you full access to the server-side code (which is not much use without Epic’s internal-only set of tools for navigating it.) Client (Hyperspace) code is effectively a black box to customers except where APIs are specifically created for custom forms, etc. Numerous server-side programming points allow predefined access at various code entry points — usually this is limited to simple code such as customized text output for a field, etc. But you can do a lot in theory. They draw an absolute line at customers editing any Epic-released code. Pure custom code is (reluctantly) tolerated (as it cannot be prevented by virtue of how Cache works) but discouraged and unsupported.”
Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock
PatientKeeper lands $1.5 million of a planned $3 million debt financing round from a group of nine backers.
CareCloud, a provider of cloud-based PM, EHR, and RCM solutions for physicians, raises $20 million in Series A funding, led by Intel Capital and Norwest Venture Partners.
Greenway Medical Technologies amends its $100 million IPO, noting that it intends to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange using the symbol “GWAY.”
Telehealth provider Tunstall Healthcare Group will acquire American Medical Alert Corp, a provider of remote health monitoring and communication services, for $82.3 million.
HHS awards SAIC a contract to provide full life-cycle operations, maintenance, and enhancement services for its HRSA Data Warehouse. The maximum contract value is $15 million over five years.
The Health Information Network of Arizona (HINAz) partners with Axoloti Corp (OptumInsight) to create a statewide HIE.
The state of Alaska hires Cognosante to conduct evaluation, technical assistance, and consulting services for the state’s HIE system.
Health Partners of Philadelphia selects MyHealthDIRECT’s Web-based scheduling solution.
Select Data chooses Emdeon’s RCM solutions for its home health customers.
Allegiance Health (MI) chooses TrustHCS to provide ICD-10 training and coding services.
The VA awards HP Enterprise Services a $10.4 million contract to provide a WiFi based RTLS to the VA hospital in Ann Arbor, MI.
Kony Solutions appoints Sriram Ramanathan (IBM) as chief technology officer.
Announcements and Implementations
Three Illinois-based health systems and two physician clinics join forces to establish the Lincoln Land HIE, which will utilize Medicity’s exchange technology.
Onslow Memorial Hospital (NC) will activate the second phase of its Meditech implementation next month with the go-live of clinical documentation by non-physician users. Physician online documentation will start in April 2012.
The hospital authority for Memorial Hospital (GA) approves the $747,125 purchase of an integrated PM/EHR system for physician practices.
Floyd Valley Hospital (IA) begins its $500,000 EMR conversion to Meditech’s Client/Server release.
The American Hospital Association extends its third consecutive, three-year exclusive endorsement of Hyland Software’s OnBase solution as the ECM solution of choice.
Transcend Services releases a front-end speech technology and transcription platform that incorporates template-based documentation tools from its newly acquired Salar division.
MidSouth eHealth Alliance goes live on ICA’s CareAlign 1.0 HIE platform at 16 facilities.
3M Health Information Systems announces the release of its 3M 360 Encompass System, which unites coding, documentation improvement, and performance monitoring by providing auto-suggested codes and real-time clinical documentation improvement prompts.
NoMoreClipboard.com announces cc:me, a new addition to its personal health record service that allows patients to send and receive medical information electronically via the Continuity of Care Document format. They’re most famous for concocting (along with Medical Informatics Engineering) the Extormity fake EMR vendor. A quote from that brilliant spoof:
Generating a return on an investment first requires an investment. The heftier the investment, the more substantial the return could potentially be if there is, in fact, a measurable return. The Extormity EMR Software Suite is built on a proprietary software model renowned for its complexity. This proprietary platform and all of its components must be procured and implemented as a complete package we call the Extormity Bundle (which describes both our comprehensive package and its associated cost) … Planning for this additional infrastructure can be provided by the Extormity Strategic Consulting unit, with implementation provided by the Extormity Solutions and Services Business Unit. These Extormity business units operate in silos, ensuring that you receive and pay for duplicated services.
In Australia, Garner defends a report it prepared for Queensland Health in which health officials requested (and obtained) changes that critics say favored the selection of Cerner for a $180 million statewide EMR project. Gartner highlighted the fact that it considered Cerner the only vendor of a “Generation Three” product (on a five-generation scale, which QH’s ehealth program director wrote is equivalent to “a HIMMS scale of 5”) that is up and running in Australia. Both parties said the change was intended only to call out information already contained in the report, which provided Cerner with no advantage. It doesn’t seem the slightest bit fishy to me, but I’m not looking at it through political goggles like some of the torch-wavers down there.
Government and Politics
In the UK, ministers are considering offering US-based NPfIT contractor CSC another chance (and more money) to get iSoft’s Lorenzo up and running even though individual hospital trusts aren’t all that interesting in trying to implement Lorenzo and NPfIT is being shut down. The newspaper article called CSC “one of the worst-performing IT contractors” for being paid billions of pounds for trying, generally unsuccessfully, to implement Lorenzo, which helped seal NPfIT’s fate.
Health 2.0 and Walgreens name Team mHealthCoach the winner of the Walgreens Health GuideChallenge and award mHealthCoach a $25,000 cash prize. mHealthCoach developed a tablet-based application that that displays data retrieved from multiple health and social media sources.
An open source advocate whose medical condition required an implantable defibrillator wants vendors of similar devices to make the source code of their proprietary software available for third party inspection, citing occasional medical device recalls. She admits that even as a programmer she wouldn’t have a clue what she was looking at or wouldn’t have any option other than getting the device or not, but adds, “I don’t want to rely on Medtronics for something as essential as my heart.”
More frequent physician-patient encounters may lead to quicker control of Type 2 diabetes measurements and improve outcomes, according to a study that reviewed the EMR of almost 30,000 patients.
I knew my Starbucks made me happy: an Archives in Internal Medicine report finds that depression risk in women decreases as caffeinated coffee consumption increases.
An interesting Slate article says the highest-paid doctors are the most likely to lose their cushy gigs to automation. Examples cited: technology allows faster reads of Pap smears and mammograms; technology can eliminate the need to get a second radiologist to check a mammogram; and surgical robots help surgeons work faster and allow them to work remotely. A fun quote:
By definition, specialists focus on narrow slices of medicine. They spend their days worrying over a single region of the body, and the most specialized doctors will dedicate themselves to just one or two types of procedures. Robots, too, are great specialists. They excel at doing one thing repeatedly, and when they focus, they can achieve near perfection. At some point—and probably faster than we expect—they won’t need any human supervision at all. There’s a message here for people far beyond medicine: If you do a single thing—and especially if there’s a lot of money in that single thing—you should put a Welcome, Robots! doormat outside your office. They’re coming for you.
A 23-year-old traveling nurse covering for striking and locked-out RNs at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (CA) kills a cancer patient by accidentally running nutritional supplement through an IV line instead of a stomach tube. Another contract nurse says the 500 replacement RNs were “thrown in” amidst “complete chaos” with only a brief orientation, not that orientation is needed to avoid making a colossal mistake like this by overriding all the safety precautions (like tubing that doesn’t fit the wrong kind of port).
- Merge Healthcare will incorporate Fovia Medical’s High Definition Volume Rendering (HDVR) across its entire PACS platform. Also announced by the company: speakers at its October 4-7 user group meeting in Chicago include Mayor Rahm Emanuel and HHS CTO Todd Park.
- T-System Inc. honors Ashtabula County Medical Center (OH), Mason General Hospital (WA), Montrose Memorial Hospital (CO), Osceola Regional Medical Center (FL), and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center (WA) with National Awards for Emergency Department Excellence.
- Iatric Systems’ Patient Discharge Instructions earns Surescripts certification.
- Business Day with Terry Bradshaw will feature The Huntzinger Management Group on the Fox Business Network on October 1.
- Ron Jones, an OptumInsight SVP, encourages CFOs to make the ICD-10 transition a priority in a guest blog post. The company also announces that 30 hospitals will implement its coding solution.
- dbMotion’s Elizabeth S. Willett discusses whether providers should develop an internal connectivity platform or join an externally driven HIE.
- Brad Hawkins, MEDSEEK’s VP of clinical experience, will participate in this week’s North Carolina Healthcare Information & Communications Alliance Conference and Exhibition.
- Physicians with Kiddie West Pediatric Center (OH) secure stimulus funds using MED3OOO’s InteGreat EHR.
- PatientKeeper presents its Customer Innovation Award for 2011 to Clinical Practice Management Plan (NY) for its extensive and innovative use of PatientKeeper Charge Capture.
- Vocera names William Zerella (Force10 Networks) as CFO and Linda Esperance (MarketTools) as the company’s first VP of human resources.
- Orthopaedic Associates of Wausau (WI) will replace its existing EMR with SRS.
- Memorial Hospital & Health System (IN) subscribes to the CapSite Hospital Purchasing Database.
- McKesson Specialty Health introduces its Innovative Practice Services to help oncology practices improve their financial health through the use of business, technology, and clinical tools.