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Monday Morning Update 1/23/12

January 21, 2012 News 8 Comments

1-21-2012 9-08-49 AM 

1-21-2012 10-21-53 AM

From KC HIT BootsOnGround: “Re: Missouri’s statewide health information network. A rumor no more … Cerner will not serve as the technical service provider. Statement attached.” Above are last April’s announcement that negotiations had commenced and Thursday’s announcement that they have ended.

1-21-2012 10-23-01 AM

From Al Faretta: “Re: Baptist Montgomery. Just wanted to let you know that our clinical system is not McKesson – it’s Cerner. Thanks for all you do – I start my morning with you!” Thanks. That eliminates McKesson’s sole entry in the Thomson Reuters Top 15 Hospitals list and boost’s Cerner’s presence there.

1-21-2012 9-04-41 AM

From Karen Thomas: “Re: Main Line Health. I wanted to clarify the systems used at Jefferson Health System, JHS. JHS is comprised of Main Line Health and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. TJUH uses GE as their EMR. The Main Line Health System uses Siemens Soarian in four of our hospitals and Cerner in one of our hospitals. I understand that this does not change the point of the author, George, but I thought I should point out that GE is not the EMR for JHS. Also, all the Main Line Health hospitals have recently achieved HIMSS analytics Stage 6 designation.” Thanks for the clarification. Karen is VP/CIO of Main Line Health.

From PharmGuy: “Re: Prognosis Health Information Systems. The CTO, who was the brains behind the company and a co-founder, is gone.” I asked Prognosis President and CEO Ramsey Evans about Isaac Shi. He responded as follows:

Isaac is a co-founder of Prognosis and remains a significant shareholder. He has the gift to see the “big picture” and introduce innovative solutions to the marketplace. His leadership of our ChartAccess EHR has been the foundation of our rapidly growing company. As you realize, our marketplace demands a fully integrated clinical and financial solution. As a result, we’ve broadened our focus and Isaac’s responsibilities changed as our strategy has evolved. With the 2006 vision now becoming a reality and confidence in our path forward, Isaac made a decision to look at some other opportunities to expand on his vision. He remains in good standing with Prognosis and is very supportive of our company’s direction.

1-21-2012 8-42-07 PM

From Alzado: “Re: separated at birth? Being an HIT guy and a music connoisseur, I figured you would recognize the resemblance.” I do, but I’ll leave it up to readers to figure out how those categories fit this photo. Hint: two first names, both starting with J.

From Pippy: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. Have the invitations gone out yet?” Everybody who signed up will get a response by the end of the week, hopefully – either an invitation or an apology that we couldn’t invite everyone (it’s about 50-50 since we had over 1,000 requests). As much as I like hearing from readers, I respectfully request (based on experience from previous years) that folks don’t e-mail Inga or me to ask (a) what happened to their e-mail, since we can’t control your spam filters, or (b) if we can slip them an invitation even though they didn’t get one or didn’t register in the first place. I’m already overwhelmed. But here’s some good news – next year’s HIStalkapalooza in New Orleans is already somewhat underway, with a sponsor and venue secured. I’m really lucky that companies volunteer to underwrite not only the cost of putting on the event, but to manage the surprisingly complex logistics required to do it right for readers.

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Blue Button initiative. TPD was first introduced to healthcare blogging by Shahid Shah, a fellow blogger, who started HITSphere to power this whole healthcare phenomenon by highlighting HIStalk and other websites. Now, he has blogged about the VA’s Blue Button Initiative and what he sees as its key benefits. Since it is on the NHIN Watch website, you’ll have to create an account there to read his seven key positives of the project. ”

1-21-2012 6-58-36 AM

The level of HITECH payouts is about what most readers expected, although a significant minority thought it would be more. New poll to your right: what do you like best about the HIMSS conference?

My Time Capsule editorial from 2007: Crossing the Cliché Chasm: Banished HIT Words for 2007. It obviously wasn’t effective since most of 2007’s overused words are still being repeated endlessly. A snip: “Thought leaders – people smarter than you and me, at least in their own minds. Companies often present their high-ranking employees as thought leaders when they want to sell you something. Thought leaders don’t have real jobs –they just think and cling to HIMSS podia. Picture that Rodin statue wearing a suit or black turtleneck and bringing Dilbert-laced PowerPoints.”

I just noticed that with increasing readership, we’ll be close to hitting the 5 millionth HIStalk visit right around when the HIMSS conference starts. That’s since I started it, way back in June 2003. I sometimes question whether it’s worth the effort, but I still have a blast doing it every single day, as much or more than I did 8.5 years ago.

Listening: I got several outstanding recommendations from reader Cody, including one I posted here way back in 2007 that deserves a revisit: The Hives, a hard-working Swedish garage rock band that doesn’t take itself too seriously (they wear matching but ever-changing black and white costumes and use old-school corded instruments) playing real, raw rock music with a stage presence and energy that makes them probably the best live band in the world. Proof: the live versions of Tick Tick Boom or Hate to Say I Told You So, which is like a 40-years-ago Mick Jagger without the scowling. They’re playing Coachella in April and my MP3 player starting today. When it comes to music, it’s not about their look, their audience demographic, or their age – it’s about how their music makes you feel. If you can sit immobile while The Hives are playing, then we differ.

Vince’s HIS-tory this week pays tribute to Bill Corum, who passed away earlier this month. Vince will have some fun stuff upcoming – I got an e-mail from Elaine Heusing, whose enjoyed seeing a cover of the magazine her father produced, Healthcare Computing and Communications, on one of Vince’s slides. I suggested to Vince that he cover some of those publications of yesteryear and the people who put them out. Back in the day, you waited anxiously for your mail copy of the magazines (even thought most of them were 70% ads, with mostly harmless and vendor-friendly prose intended to not threaten that ratio) and even faxed copies of newsletters like H.I.S. Insider. The folks who published those magazines and newsletters were highly respected, many of them with healthcare IT experience that went above just writing about it.

1-21-2012 7-26-50 AM

Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor First Databank. The company requires minimal introduction since its electronic drug databases power a great number of the clinical IT systems out there, but here’s a recap. The San Francisco-based FDB’s team of pharmacists, physicians, and technologists, working with its system developer customers, turn drug information into tools that reduce medication errors by empowering clinicians as they make medication-related decisions: drug information, drug selection, clinical decision support, clinical alerts, and patient education. FDB has developed the first physician-friendly CPOE drug database, the OrderView Med Knowledge Base, that gets clinicians quickly (two clicks, in many cases) to the desired medication without bogging them down with needless details related to dispensing or billing (making prescribers choose a warfarin 5 mg and a warfarin 2 mg to get the desired dose of 7 mg is lame – that’s a dispensing decision that prescribers shouldn’t have to worry about.) The company offers case studies of how developer customers have used its products: Design Clinicals (medication reconciliation), athenahealth (meet Meaningful Use requirements), DMD America (drug pricing analysis), and Personal Caregiver (consumer drug information for mobile devices). FDB, whose vision is “A World Free of Medication Errors,” has been delivering drug knowledge solutions for over 30 years and it was recently ranked #1 among drug database vendors in nearly all key indicators in the just-published KLAS report on clinical decision support. Thanks to First Databank for supporting HIStalk.

The Virgin Islands Health Department conducts an EMR and HIE town meeting with mixed results. An interventional cardiologist talks up how much he likes the EMR, but loses his computer connection while demoing it, leading another doctor in the audience to comment that lost connections are typical in her practice and that the infrastructure may not be up to the challenge. Another doc said computerization slowed them down so much that patients were waiting 2-3 hours to see a doctor and she was thinking about finding a different career purely because of the EMR.

Robert Schwab MD, chief quality officer at a couple of Texas Health hospitals, warbles The Ballad of Go-Live in recounting their Epic go-live week by week.

In England, reliably anti-NPfIT MP Richard Bacon calls for the Cerner Millennium patient scheduling system to be shut down after problems are reported by two NHS trusts. Surgeons complained that their surgery schedules listed incorrect procedures and cases that were not within their specialties. Another trust had so many problems with long call wait times and delayed appointments that they had to stop charging patients for parking.

The VA, fulfilling its data center consolidation plan, will move VistA hosting to Defense Information Systems Agency facilities operated by Verizon subsidiary Terremark Worldwide. In a related story that I missed while taking a break last weekend, the military’s AHLTA system goes down for 10 hours after an upgrade-related problem with its commercial data storage software. An unidentified source says the outage highlights the lack of Military Health System contingency plans for AHLTA, such as a failover data center.

Kronos acquires the OptiLink acuity-based staffing solution from The Advisory Board Company. Kronos will use the system to enhance its healthcare workforce management solutions, saying it will support collaborative cost management efforts between hospital finance and nursing departments.

I like this week’s e-mail from Kaiser’s George Halvorson. He’s throwing down the gauntlet on HIV treatment next week and the CMS Health Care Innovation Summit, challenging organizations to meet KP’s HIV death rate that’s less than half the national average and even 20% better than the VA. KP will also share its tools and strategies. Most interestingly, KP has eliminated HIV treatment disparities, with no outcome differences by race, with a goal of eliminating race-related differences in 16 NCQA HEDIS categories. Well done.

A belated holiday-related charity update: HEI Consulting offered a matching donation challenge to benefit Community Services League, raising $15,000 for the Jackson County, Missouri self-sufficiency organization.

Paul Beckwith, former assistant controller of clinical intelligence vendor TheraDoc (acquired by Hospira in December 2009 for $63 million,) is sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for moving $1.3 million of the company’s money to his stock trading accounts. He initially profited from trading and moved the money back monthly, but like many gamblers and speculators, started losing and got desperate to recoup his losses by betting even more. The company got almost all of its money back.

The Secretary of State of Massachusetts goes public with his spat with Meditech over a proposed construction site, saying of Founder and CEO Neil Pappalardo, “Mr. Pappalardo wants the right to do whatever he wants and not be responsible for anything — including the rights to dispose of skeletal remains if they find them.” A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday on the construction project, which pits jobs against archaeology.

GE reports Q4 numbers: revenue down 8%, EPS $0.35 vs. $0.42. GE Healthcare reported a revenue increase of 1% to $5.16 billion, but operating income dropped by 5% to $953 million.

GE Healthcare lays off an undisclosed number of employees (“less than 50”) at its South Burlington, VT office, citing “changing market demand and technology needs” in healthcare IT.

Police in Russia investigate whether frequent power outages were responsible for the deaths of eight newborns in 10 days, all of whom were on respirators that apparently had no back-up power source.

1-21-2012 10-01-59 AM

Clinical documentation vendor MD-IT names Bard Betz as CEO, replacing former President and CEO Tom Carson. Kevin Shaughnessy is promoted to president.

A baby born 16 weeks prematurely at 9.5 ounces (considerably less than a can of soda) is discharged after a five-month stay at LA County-USC Medical Center. The hospital declined to state who is paying the estimated $500-700K cost.They’re still not sure if the baby, now at 4 pounds 11 ounces, has permanent neurological damage.

1-21-2012 8-50-07 PM

Reader James thought maybe Weird News Andy preempted him on this story, but he nailed it. A man building a shed thinks he cut himself with his nail gun, at least until he has X-rays, when doctors told him he had actually shot a nail into his brain. His response: “Did you get that out of the doctor’s joke file?” The response: “No, man, that’s in your head.” While being transported by ambulance to another hospital for surgery, he cheerfully posts his X-ray on Facebook. After surgeons successfully removed the nail and replaced a chunk of the man’s skull with titanium mesh, he said, “We need to get the Discovery Channel up here to tape this. I’m one of those medical miracles.”

E-mail Mr. H.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. re: “Mr. Pappalardo wants the right to do whatever he wants and not be responsible for anything — including the rights to dispose of skeletal remains if they find them.”

    I’m sure NP must be referring to onlly the ‘remains’ of the MT lost accts…best to toss them in a dunpster and just move on.

  2. Thanks Vince. A nice tribute to one of the true gentlemen of our industry, Bill Corum. I spent quite a few years at McDonnell Douglas Health Systems Company, and I will say that Bill was one of the very few senior executives who had enough personal integrity that made me want to stay, and once convinced me not to leave. Art Randall was another (I miss you Art), though I would have to include Chuck Barlow as well. These three men were examples of what made MDHS successful. Bill was a good friend to me, as he was with many others in that organization. His door was always open to anyone. There was a “Good Ole Boy” network at MDHS which Bill did not subscribe to. Bill was his own person and never had a hidden agenda. Because of that, he was sometimes critisized by some of the senior execs, but Bill remained above the network and retained his absolute integrity. Bill was incredibly respected by his subordinates.

    Bill was also very talented. Many did not know that he had a great voice and was a singer in a barbershop quartet. He loved his life outside of MDHS as well, and absolutely worshipped his wonderful wife Ellen. I kept in touch with Bill after he moved to Marina Del Rey, CA and we often discussed where our industry used to be and where he thought it was going. Bill was a true visionary.

    Yes, Rest In Peace Bill. We miss you and will not forget what you have given us.

  3. Kudo to Robert Schwab MD! I’m sure a fine doctor and also the ability to collect and express some truth through music.

  4. @ HISJunkie

    To correct perception, MEDITECH is losing some accounts but net net is actually picking up accounts.

    With an unrelated cheapshot like that, could you please provide whom your are working for or on whose behalf you are taking the cheapshot.

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