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Monday Morning Update 2/6/12

February 4, 2012 News 5 Comments

2-4-2012 11-02-00 AM

From Kit Carson: “Re: Fletcher Flora. I’m interested in knowing what’s going on with shareholders. The final distribution statement was supposed to go out in November 2011.” We broke the news in November 2010 that Merge Healthcare had acquired the LIS vendor (I forget how I found out, but it must have been sneaky since I worded it as “HIStalk has learned,” which means I was snooping.) I don’t know anything about its shares, but I’ll run an update if anybody has one.

From Adele: “Re: HIStalk. As a sponsor, thanks for all of your hard work toward making HIMSS as productive as possible for your subscribers and for your sponsors. We are grateful that you all actually make the time to track our news and offer your suggestions to us when there are so many larger ‘fish to fry’ in your universe. HIStalk is one of the only places that provides for an equal voice for all of its sponsors, regardless of size, revenues, or politics. As a smaller company, we just can’t write a fat check simply to pay to play in some other channels. Moreover, we wouldn’t. For us, that is just not responsible stewardship of our clients’ resources.” Sometimes Inga and I need a little boost and this gave us one. Thanks.

2-4-2012 4-22-07 PM

From Vendor_Neutral: “Re: Epic. Wondering if you came across the online discussion spurred by the NYT piece?” I did see it, but like a lot of Internet discussion, I found it to be mostly hot air pontificating by industry sideliners and self-referencing, self-appointed experts who have never used Epic, aren’t clinicians, and don’t even work in healthcare IT (if you’re going to criticize a restaurant, at least eat there a couple of times.) Some of the least-informed comments drone on about Epic’s outdated technology, a clear signal that the authors have no experience in a business software environment, where customers value applications that are solid, scalable, and expertly managed over the latest iPad app or cool Web site. To dismiss the business and software savvy of hospitals that are buying Epic in droves is ludicrous, even if you (as I) doubt that most of them have the organizational fortitude to get the rosy ROI and patient benefits they expect when they fork over mega-millions. Somehow I doubt that Judy is losing sleep worrying that all the armchair quarterbacks will redirect their expertise into building a better mousetrap that will renders hers as obsolete as the company’s persistent detractors claim it already is.

2-4-2012 4-24-16 PM

From CDS Observer: “Re: FDA regulation of clinical decision support. This could be serious since it could involve a wider range of systems to be regulated, such as EMRs and simple apps. This would be a big blow to many smaller companies. Our company has joined CDS Coalition to make our voice heard and to keep members informed in case their product ends up getting included in the regulatory net.” I found the CDS Coalition’s Web page here. Companies pay $1,200 to $30,000 per year to join.

2-4-2012 10-04-29 AM

From Ambergris: “Re: KLAS scores of publicly traded companies. Didn’t you post something at one time?” That was actually Evan Steele of SRS, who made the point in October that five of the six top-rated EHR products are offered by privately held vendors, while eight of the nine lowest-ranked products are offered by publicly traded companies. To be fair, he’s only looking at customer support rankings of a specific ambulatory EHR category. However, I will add from experience, having had a few incumbent vendors go public or be acquired by publicly traded companies, that every one of them got worse afterward (I’ve written many times on the KLAS “first to worst” product phenomenon.) Investors replaced me as the company’s most important customer. I’d like to say it doesn’t have to be that way, but I can’t think of many exceptions. On the other hand, if you buy from the company after they’re public, at least you know what you’re getting and have less reason to be disappointed compared to the folks who knew them before.

From Jess: “Re: fast track clinic model for expediting medical services to patients coming to the hospital. I was hoping I could tap into your vast knowledge base to see what you know about this model.” I think you are overestimating the vastness of my knowledge base since it’s coming up empty on this topic (although come to think of it, “vast” usually means big but empty.) I will call in the assistance of expert readers to fill my void.

2-4-2012 4-25-36 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Jobs biography. The biography Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson has some interesting comments. Jobs said of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, ‘Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he’s more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology.’ Isaacson said this about Steve: ‘He was not the world’s greatest manager. In fact, he could have been one of the world’s worst managers. He could be very, very mean to people at times.’" I think that’s what I enjoyed most about the book – trying to figure out how someone so narcissistic, uncaring, and downright nasty could not only create arguably the world’s greatest company, but run it as a publicly traded company CEO almost until the day he died despite seemingly lacking all the important skills for the job. The only other example I could think of was Neal Patterson of Cerner. And Bill Gates. I guess the bottom line is that if you’re a visionary who started the company (see: Mark Zuckerberg), you can mold it to your bizarre personality, unlike the typical gunslinger, committee-vetted musical chair CEO that big corporations love who are loaded with MBA school bean-counting competency but short on anything resembling risk-taking, innovation, and vision.

2-4-2012 6-52-57 AM

The good news about offshore programming is that half of responding readers don’t automatically assume it means shoddy work. The bad news is that the other half do. New poll to your right, and this should be fun: who is most responsible for the glut of clinically useless EMR information?

Inga and I forget ever year just how busy we get in January and February in the HIMSS build-up period: interviewing, plowing through increasing numbers of pointless press releases to find the occasional newsworthy tidbit, adding new sponsors, and planning HIStalkapalooza. If we’re slow to respond, that’s why. I came home from a nine-hour day at the hospital Friday, chowed down the Wendy’s salad and baked potato helpfully provided by Mrs. HIStalk on her way home from work since she knew I was overwhelmed and had approximately 15 minutes of free time to eat, and worked eight straight hours on HIStalk stuff without even leaving my chair. Six hours later, I was back up and at it for another long day Saturday, where emerged like Punxsutawney Phil only long enough to see my own shadow during a brief lunch with Mrs. H, then get back to work. That grind won’t end for us until the conference is over. I will need (and am taking) a vacation afterward, assuming I survive until then, and Inga will be away the week after. The worst thing is that, like a crack user, I enjoy it and can’t see cutting back even though it’s probably unhealthy. While I’m away, I’ll plan my self-improvement for the rest of the year, so if you have ideas of books I should read, conferences I should attend, or things I should do, let me know.

2-4-2012 7-46-21 AM

Speaking of HIStalkapalooza, thanks again to ESD for putting together an outstanding event. It’s a big effort to have planners visit potential sites, work out food and entertainment details, handle logistics like registration and decorations, and of course write a huge check when it’s all over. They have been outstanding to work with, and since they get what HIStalk is about, they suggested some fun surprises that I heartily approved. If you need consulting help with your clinical systems projects (training, implementation, support, optimization, Meaningful Use, etc.) I’m sure they wouldn’t be opposed to taking your call. If you got an HIStalkapalooza invitation, please thank them when you get there. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do another event this year, but I think it’s going to be cool.

2-4-2012 10-22-31 AM

Also fun: Medsphere is bringing over its 1971 VW open source bus, which Chairman Mike Doyle tells me will be available “to shuttle HIStalk groupies to your event on Tuesday.” I don’t know what they’ve planned for routes and all that, so maybe just flag it down if you see it if you need a ride to the Palazzo.


I’ll put in just a brief placeholder for our Booth Crawl, which will offer provider attendees of HIMSS what I would guess is their best chance to impress the fam by bringing home an iPad 2. Think of it as a scavenger hunt where you visit the designated booths to get the answers to secret questions (you’re visiting booths anyway, so you might as well hit these and get in the running for a swell prize.) You enter those answers online by Wednesday evening and watch HIStalk to see if you are one of the randomly drawn winners. You don’t have to get stickers or stamps on a card, you don’t have to drop your entry into a hopper, and you don’t have to be present to win. We have 55 iPads to give away, so the odds should be pretty good, plus you’re supporting our sponsors just by playing (not to mention that I noticed that a couple of sponsors have added prizes of their own.) I’ll be posting the form shortly. Nobody’s making money off this since we’re doing the work on our end for free and the sponsors happily donated the prizes, so for everybody involved it’s all about putting iPads into the hands of readers.

One last HIMSS note: if you aren’t attending, we will try our best not to make you feel left behind even though we have to write a lot about it. I think I speak for most readers in saying that the more years you go, the less you enjoy it and the more it becomes work instead of fun. I stay up until all hours each night at the conference writing everything up so you won’t miss anything important. The educational sessions are always iffy if you don’t research the presenter’s credentials in advance – I should hire someone to help me put on independent Webinars that would provide similar education without the travel and time off expense, which I’ve been talking about doing for years.

2-4-2012 4-29-59 PM

I verified that RelWare has closed its office and let half the staff go, having lost the client for which it developed its EXR EHR, Henry Ford Health System. HFHS went live on the $100 million system, then decided less than a year later to have a $350 million fling with Epic instead (note to self: don’t ask HFHS for long-term IT strategic planning help.) RelWare is sitting on a certified EHR (Inpatient and Modular Ambulatory) that is running in six hospitals and 100 clinics that will soon be homeless, so they’ll consider licensing arrangements or outright sale of the source code to interested organizations. My RelWare contact is somewhat informal, so I guess you can e-mail me if you’re interested and I’ll forward.

Travis has been writing some really good stuff on HIStalk Mobile lately. The fun mixture of pieces includes, in the three most recent posts, (a) a hands-on review of the Zeo Sleep Manager; (b) a new post that contains a lot of items that I hadn’t seen elsewhere; and (c) his take on mobile strategies for pharma. He’s a doctor and an mHealth startup guy, so while I’ve seen splashier sites covering similar ground, I haven’t seen any doing it better.

Thanks to the following new and renewing sponsors that supported HIStalk, HIStalk Practice, and HIStalk Mobile in January (click a logo for more information). You have to admire them for mailing off a check to a post office box to an anonymous, smart mouth blogger without so much as a phone call to sooth any concerns they might have. They either sign up after reading the information sheet or they don’t, and we appreciate those who do.

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Epocrates earns Ambulatory Complete EHR certification for its EHR v2. I had forgotten they had one, to be honest. They acquired the iChart mobile app a couple of years ago and rebuilt it into a full product, announcing GA in July 2011.

TrustHCS names Dianne Haas PhD, RN as executive director of its consulting services division.

2-4-2012 9-22-13 AM

Morton Meyerson joins the board of Encore Health Resources. He’s the former CEO of Perot Systems and runs Dallas investment firm 2M Companies, Inc.

Office for Civil Rights has cranked up their HITECH-mandated spot-check HIPAA audits, with the first 20 lucky organizations being notified in December that they had been chosen (with 130 more planned for 2012.) CynergisTek and ZixCorp are running a free Webinar next week featuring former HHS HIPAA enforcer and attorney Adam Greene and some folks who participated in those first 20 audits. If anybody has time to sit in, let me know the gist.

Vince’s HIS-tory lesson this week gets a bit more personal, honoring former SMS VP Jim Carter. Vince’s stuff isn’t just for the long-timers – whippersnappers can learn from the HIT history books, too.

2-4-2012 2-03-56 PM

McKesson acquires the oncology clinical decision support tools of Proventys.

Lawson announces that its Cloverleaf integration technologies have met the highest industry standards at the IHE Connecthon.

Joint Commission investigates a complaint against University of Michigan Health System that says it waited six months before telling police that child pornography had been found on a medical resident’s flash drive in the ED. Joint Commission is considering whether the delay qualifies as a sentinel event.

Revenue cycle vendor Accretive Health, already being sued by the State of Minnesota over a lost laptop, has its debt collections license suspended by the state until it provides information about how it was using patient information for collections and how its collectors interacted with patients.

2-4-2012 4-32-47 PM

Apple CEO Tim Cook, showing more support for charitable activities than his predecessor, says the company has donated $50 million to Stanford’s hospital, most of it for new building construction. Maybe he should have looked for charities that don’t run a hugely successful business already given that Stanford Hospitals and Clinics reported a profit of $186 million in its most recent government reports, paying its president almost $2 million and the CIO $680K. I’ll say this: when I donate to charity, it’s never to a hospital, including the several I’ve worked for. They are making plenty of money already, wasting significant amounts of it, and not really helping improve health as much as just providing more episodic healthcare encounters. I’d rather support public health causes that keep people from becoming their customers, such as those addressing obesity, disease management, and preventive care.

2-4-2012 2-51-08 PM

HIE vendor Sandlot Solutions names Joseph Casper, formerly  of MedPlus, as CEO.

We asked readers to let us know if they were presenting at HIMSS after one expressed concern that as a first-time presenter, she might be standing in a nearly empty room. Here are those who submitted their information.

Session # 55: Tale of Two Health Systems: Implementing an Enterprise Data Warehouse

  • Two major health systems (Orlando Health and Essentia Health) present their lessons learned and benefits achieved via an enterprise data warehouse initiative.
  • Rick Schooler, Orlando Health Ken Gilles, Essentia Health
  • Tuesday, February 21, 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

Session #31: Marketing the Healthcare IT Project

  • Effective marketing is a crucial part of any IT project- We will discuss innovative ways you can market to end-users and provide real examples from premier health systems to amp up the marketing initiatives within your organization.
  • Chuck Christian, CIO Good Samaritan Hospital Steve Bennett, VP Kirby Partners
  • Tuesday, February 21 @ 11:00-12:00 Murano 3303

Session # 42: EHRs: The New Drug Safety, Liability and Efficacy Battleground

  • The rapid adoption of EHRs by U.S. providers creates a new and powerful platform to improve patient safety, professional liability protection, drug efficacy and regulatory compliance.
  • Edward Fotsch, MD, Chief Executive Officer, PDR Network David Troxel, MD, Medical Director, The Doctors Company
  • Tuesday, February 21, 12:15 PM-1:15 PM (Marco Polo 803)

Session # 110: A Community HIE that Makes Cents while Improving Health Location

  • MyHealth Access Network, a Beacon Community in Tulsa, is focused on improving health with a community-wide infrastructure for healthcare IT learn their approach and associated ROI evaluations.
  • David Kendrick MD, MPH, CEO MyHealth Access Network, a Beacon Community
  • Wednesday, February 22, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Session# 211: Increasing Nurse Leaders’ Informatics Skills: Building from the TIGER Competencies

  • Provides a discussion of the application of TIGER competencies to create institutional education programs to increase nurse leaders’ informatics skills.
  • Melissa Barthold, MSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS IT Senior Clinical Solutions Consultant University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson, Mississippi
  • Friday, Feb. 24th, 2012 10-11 AM

Session #66: Extreme Makeover – ICD-10 Code Edition: Demystifying the Conversion Toolkit

  • ICD-10 translation engine tools, code mapping tools, crosswalks, GEMs, code simulation tools, medical language/content management tools, computer-assisted coding software, and more — what’s a healthcare organization to use?
  • Deborah Kohn, MPH, RHIA, FACHE, CPHIMS Principal Dak Systems Consulting
  • Wednesday, February 22; 8:30 – 9:30 am

Session #153: How to Create a Care Coordination Team Using Spare Parts

  • Learn about a primary care group’s innovative model of care coordination which combines standard EMR functionality + clinical checklists + low cost staff to make life easier for physicians and patients, while improving quality and saving time and money for everyone!
  • Lyle Berkowitz, MD, FACP, FHIMSS Medical Director of IT & Innovation, Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group (NMPG) Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
  • Thursday, Feb 23: 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM (Marcello 4502)

Session #32: The New Millennium of Enterprise Patient Centric Care across the Revenue Cycle

  • This presentation will review how the Cleveland Clinic is transforming traditional revenue cycle management by implementing an enterprise patient administrative management system, aligned to their Patients First Initiative.
  • Lyman Sornberger, Executive Director Revenue Cycle Management, at Cleveland Clinic Health System, and Dawn Mitchell, Principal, Aspen Advisors
  • Tuesday, 2/21 – 11:00am – 12:00pm

Session #406:  IT Governance for Hospitals and Health Systems

  • Learn how to create an IT governance process that increases the number of projects that support your organizational strategy and are completed on-time and on-budget.
  • Roger Kropf, PhD, Professor at New York University, Wagner Graduate School, and Guy Scalzi, Principal at Aspen Advisors
  • 1 of only 12 HIMSS eSessions

Session #9: The People of Clinical Decision Support

  • I’ll present results of a qualitative study I conducted along with OHSU’s POET research team at seven hospitals and health systems across the US focused on the types of people needed to carry out a clinical decision support program.
  • Adam Wright from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
  • Tuesday, February 21 @ 9:45 AM in Veronese 2503

Session #163: Applying Lean Principles to Ensure Clinician Productivity while Securing PHI

  • In this session we will explore the process and results of applying Lean principles at Mahaska Health Partnership to measure clinician productivity and minimize waste when implementing security technologies.
  • Kristi R. Roose Information Technology Director, Mahaska Health Partnership Dan Nikkel Continuous Improvement Director, Mahaska Health Partnership
  • Thursday, February 23, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM in Lido 3103

E-mail Mr. H.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. I agree with Adele. We look at the cost to show at HIMSS (we don’t), getting white papers published, and doing any reasonable PR, and our investment in HISTalk is by far the most cost-effective way we have of getting our message out. Thanks for all you do for us.

  2. Mr. H et al,

    Do you have the transcript of the FDA Hearing on CDS?

    If the vendors truly want safety, then their devices ought to be scrutinized for such, as would a hip, knee, or stent.

    CDS is meaningfully useless, most of the time; and rather disruptive to thought, to say the least. CPOE devices are a bad enough time waster; but CDS, give me an antiemetic for the nonsense warnings that pop up.

    Go FDA; instill in the vendors the requirement to produce safe and efficacious HIT devices.

  3. It seems as though the HIT vendors and trade groups are having a hissie fit over the FDA’s approach to CDS. After all, whose brain is providing the cognition for the care of the patient? and if the CDS is wrong (as it is often irrelevant), who eats lunch downtown at the courthouse during the trial?

  4. The question about offshore resources begs the question: Why utilize offshore resources at all? And the unfortunate answer is because the US does not have enough qualified resources to handle the demand.

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