From McPACS: “Re: McKesson. Pulling out of the UK PACS market.” Unverified.
From The PACS Designer: “Re: iPad at Sears. TPD decided to look for a new dishwasher at Sears and was surprised that the sales consultant used an iPad to show the features. Not only are the sales consultants using them, but so are customers as they travel through the various departments. Hopefully healthcare institutions will put iPads in patients’ hands so they can understand what diagnostic tools and procedures are being used to treat their ills.”
HIStalk readers are evenly split in which political party their beliefs most closely match, as unlikely as that might sound. New poll to your right: is it OK for hospitals to ask ED patients to pay before treating them for non-emergency problems?
Listening: reader-recommended The Hellacopters, 70s-style defiant, no-nonsense hard rock from a Swedish punk band that not only sounds like MC5, but does an even more frenetic cover of Kick Out the Jams than the Detroit original. Disbanded in 2008.
My Time Capsule editorial this week from May 2007: All Government Agencies Agree – You’re Free to Buy EMRs for Physicians, Even When it Doesn’t Make Sense. A test dose:
Being a bureaucratic IDN, we were known for high overhead and low performance, especially compared to the doctor’s A+ certified, college dropout nephew who was willing to design networks and develop software for $15 an hour after his grocery bagging shift was over. He was cheaper, so that made us thieves, our doctor customers assumed (doctors always assume that hospitals are getting rich, underestimating the profit-sapping effects of inefficiency and inertia.)
Researchers from Penn’s medical school develop an EMR “accountability tool” that asks ED physicians who are ordering a CT scan for abdominal pain to justify the need. Its use reduced the likelihood of having a CT scan ordered by 10%, reducing cost and patient radiation exposure.
Weird News Andy wants this Mayo Clinic Jacksonville radiology tech charged with Murder 1: he pleads guilty to stealing fentanyl that was ordered for interventional procedure patients by replacing it with saline contaminated with hepatitis C. One of the patients had just received a liver transplant and later died of hepatitis C without knowing how he contracted it. The tech faces life in prison.
Another big health system struggles with the bottom line following its Epic implementation. The bond rating agency of Norton Healthcare (KY) gives it an A-, but notes that its finances are “weak for its rating level” given its expected $37 million in operating losses for FY2012 due to “full implementation of the electronic medical record, strategic spending to expand women’s service at the St. Matthews campus, strategic spending on pediatrics in cooperation with the University of Louisville in addition to Medicaid reductions.”
Encore Health Resources names Clair Detraz as partner for corporate planning. She was previously with CTG Health Solutions.
The Government Accountability Office needs to fill an open patient/consumer advocate position on the HIT Policy Committee, which is kind of a big deal given that group’s influence. Nominations are due May 25.
Boston-based web and mobile healthcare developer Medullan moves into new office space to make room for the 35 new employees it needs.
In the UK, a physical therapist designs neck testing software, hoping to reduce the huge number of phony of whiplash claims that require only the patient convince a doctor of their choosing that they’re in pain.
Prosecutors claim a doctor was drunk, texting, and speeding when he ran into the highway’s bike lane and killed an 18-year-old skateboarder, later cleaning the blood from his BMW’s bumper, deleting the text messages, and refusing to give a blood sample. His two employees also deleted the text messages he sent them, claiming they did so before finding out that he had been arrested.
St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital (FL) holds a prom for 100 current and former peds patients, giving seriously ill patients a chance to experience something they either missed in the past or may not survive to enjoy in the future. Employees donated many of the gowns and tuxedoes.
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan took in $12.7 billion in revenue in Q1 and earned profits of $770 million.
In the UK, a study finds that the cash-strapped NHS is paying “extortionate” prices of up to double or triple those listed on Amazon for flash memory and cables. It also finds that a plan that allowed private companies to fund new construction in return for long-term maintenance contracts has resulted in hospitals being charged over $500 to have a light bulb changed.
In Pittsburgh, newly filed tax records show that the former CEO of West Penn Allegheny Health System was paid $7.4 million in 2010, some of that from severance. UPMC’s president and CEO was paid $6 million.
Shares in Greenway Medical Technologies jumped 26% Friday after the company reported increased revenue, making GWAY the biggest percentage gainer on the NYSE for the day. Shares are up 20% since the February IPO.