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June 21, 2012 News 2 Comments

Top News

The VA establishes a goal of conducting more than 200,000 clinic-based telemental health consultations in fiscal year 2012, offered to veterans without requiring a co-payment per VA policy that covers all videoconferencing-based encounters.

Reader Comments

inga_small From Overheard: “Re: HIT sales training. A friend tells me he just completed a sales training class led by one of the professional training and coaching organizations. His impression was that the course was developed by a ‘bunch of bitter nerds who are haters getting their kicks off telling the nice-looking popular kids that they are stupid.’” Ouch. Before begging Mr. H to hire me, I considered taking a position as a sales coach. At least in this gig I don’t think too many people call me a nerd and I can get away with telling just about anyone that they are stupid.

inga_small From Eros: “Re: Cerner and autocorrect. Have you ever tried typing ‘Cerner’ in a message on your iPhone?” It seems that Apple insists the correct word should be Cerberus, a mythological three-headed watchdog that guards the gates of Hades to prevent anyone from escaping. Perhaps Neal should invest in one for the employee parking deck.

From Printgeek: “Re: [free EMR vendor’s name omitted.] I heard its board and executive team has seen four departures. They are making good headway with physician enrollments, but actual usage is poor and eyeballs on the screen are not meeting expectations. Additionally, the model to generate revenue from data and ad sales isn’t coming close to investor expectations.” Unverified, so I’ve omitted the company’s name, not that most readers aren’t astute enough to know it instantly anyway.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

6-22-2012 9-02-25 AM

The latest from HIStalk Practice: Medford Medical Clinic (OR – above) signs up with athenahealth. The AMA votes to evaluate ICD-11 as a possible alternative to ICD-10 for replacing ICD-9. The ONC plans to help small providers increase security on mobile devices. Offices with great EHR implementation had only slightly higher patient safety culture scores. Dr. Gregg reveals his interoperability nightmare. Give HIStalk Practice a test drive if you aren’t a regular. Thanks for reading.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

6-22-2012 9-05-44 AM

eMerge Health Solutions, a developer of a hands-free documentation and workflow solution for gastroenterologists, closes on $850,000 in seed funding from CincyTech and private investors.

GE Healthcare sells the assets of its Nurse Call business to Switzerland-based Ascom, which markets its own nurse call system outside of the US.

PatientKeeper raises $6.25 million from existing investors to expand professional services and support operations.

Etransmedia Technology acquires Associated Billing Services, a provider of RCM services.

T-System acquires Marina Medical Billing Service, which provides ED medical coding and billing services to 110 facilities.


6-22-2012 9-10-44 AM

Iowa Health System selects Explorys’s Enterprise Performance Management  applications to support its ACO initiatives.

6-22-2012 9-09-09 AM

O’Bleness Memorial Hospital (OH) chooses ProVation Order Sets as its electronic order set solution.


6-22-2012 9-11-43 AM

Former RelayHealth exec Matt Llewellyn joins BillingTree as its VP of sales for the healthcare market.

OTTR Chronic Care Solutions names Sandy DeRoberts (Carefusion) regional VP of sales.

Announcements and Implementations

Pacific Medical Centers (WA) installs Versus Advantages RTLS to track patient flow at its Totem Lake clinic.

6-22-2012 9-12-55 AM

St. Rita’s Medical Center (OH) goes live on Epic.

KLAS names Encore Health Resources the top-rated consulting firm serving Epic clients in the category of Team Implementation Leadership & Advisory.

CareFusion signs an agreement to support bi-directional connectivity between its Alaris smart IV pumps and Epic.

Kony Solutions releases a new version of its Mobile Health Plan.

6-22-2012 9-15-10 AM

In the UK, Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust begins implementation of Meditech.

The US Air Force will use SAS tools to support research and to deploy a global dashboard to improve operational and clinical decision support. An example given involves SAS Scoring Accelerator for Teradata, in which researchers can run query of 1.2 million patients to determine which 10% of those with diabetes are most likely to have an ED encounter in the next two months.

Three competing hospital systems in the Charleston, WV area (Thomas Memorial, CAMC, and St. Mary’s in Huntington) meet to discuss their use of Siemens Soarian. The article cites two examples of its use by Thomas Memorial’s CMIO Matthew Upton, one in which he entered patient orders from home before leaving for the conference and another where he followed his patient from a café in Italy using an iPad.

Government and Politics

ONC launches a pilot project to measure the effects of giving providers and pharmacies better access to drug monitoring programs in order to reduce prescription drug abuse.

CMS awards a $20.75 million Health Care Innovation Challenge grant to VHA, Inc, TransforMED, and Phytel for a three-year national project to expand the PCMH concept and test the viability of a patient-center medical neighborhood model.


6-22-2012 9-21-26 AM

inga_small The Association of Regional Centers for Health Information Technology, or ARCH-IT, is formed as a national association for the country’s 62 Regional Extension Centers. I noticed, by the way, that of the 143,000 providers signed up with RECs, only 12,000 have received incentive payments. Maybe a bit more mindshare wouldn’t be a bad thing.

The Long-Term and Post-Acute HIT Collaborative issue a roadmap for HIT in nursing homes and rehab centers, focusing on care coordination with other providers, implementing quality measurement activities, and promoting technology education among LTC workers.

In New York City, merger talks between NYU Langone Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners break down after Continuum entertains a similar offer Mount Sinai Medical Center.

More Accretive Health news, all of it bad. Minnesota’s attorney general expands the suit against the collections company; Maple Grove Hospital (MN) fires the company at the request of its 25% owner, Fairview Health; and two US congressmen investigating the company’s practices say it has not replied adequately to their inquiries, failing to produce requested internal documents and ignoring their requests for a meeting.

A DrLyle blog post talks about EMR extender tools, postulating that EMRs have become somewhat stagnant infrastructure tools and that the innovation ecosystem will instead involve tools other companies build on top of their platforms.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison buys himself a Lanai, but instead of being a tiny porch like that word would imply for most of us, it’s a 141-square-mile Hawaiian island of that name. The world’s sixth richest man will pay around $500 million cash for the purchase, which you might take a moment to enjoy vicariously the next time your hospital pays an Oracle invoice.

Weird News Andy muses about who the patient (especially for the all-important hospital billing) is in this story and others like it, in which an oral tumor was removed from an unborn child during the mother’s 17th week of pregnancy.

Sponsor Updates

  • Pittsburgh Bone & Joint Surgeons (PA) selects SRS EHR and PM for its seven physicians.
  • Emdeon launches Emdeon Payment Network, which combines electronic and print payment services for payers.
  • TeleTracking announces a series of webinars on improving hospital operations and ROI using real-time capacity management. 
  • The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation names Emdeon EVP/CIO Damien Creavin and Cumberland Consulting Group partner David Vreeland to its board.
  • NextGen Healthcare’s Electronic Dental Record receives ONC-ATCB certification from CCHIT.
  • Acusis introduces AcuMobile for the capture of patient encounters on the iPhone.
  • T-System will showcase its RevCycle+ solution at next week’s HFMA’s Healthcare Finance Conference in Las Vegas.
  • St. Joseph Health (CA, NM, TX) pilots AT&T Telepresence Clinic service.
  • Kliniken Maria Hilf (Germany), SALK (Austria), Bakiroy Dr. Sadi Konuk Egitim va Arastima Hastanesa (Turkey), and Boston Children’s Hospital (MA) go live on iMDsoft’s MetaVision solution.
  • Greenway Medical exhibits its PrimeRESEARCH solutions at next week DIA 2012 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

EPtalk by Dr. Jayne


I am humbled by the response to this week’s Curbside Consult. My e-mail has been overflowing with readers who know what it means to come from a farming background. Most of the themes revolve around hard work, perseverance, and living with the consequences of your decisions. There was even great story from one reader whose family ran moonshine to earn money after a tragic accident.

One reader stated she was going to post the 4-H pledge at her desk to remind her every day about striving to be better person. From the responses, it looks like there are some regional variations, but for those of you who haven’t Googled it yet, here is the 4-H Pledge:

I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.

It’s kind of like the Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten list, but maybe it’s something that healthcare should embrace as we slow the pace down and stick to the basics.

Another reader shared her love of trail riding and said that being on a farm is “the one place where I know I can keep all those untamed healthcare acronyms at bay for a while in favor of what my father would call honest work.”

Slightly surprising (but not really) was that nearly all of the responses were from women, several of whom cite their backgrounds as helping them make it in IT:

Being raised around country people, I was fully supported when I ventured into traditionally male roles like running a bush hog, planting, or working on engines. No one thought a thing about it – you did whatever you had aptitude for. I grew up “liberated” and was mystified by all the fuss in the 70s. How fortunate to grow up with the belief that you were only limited by the barriers you set for yourself.

Thank you again to all of you who wrote about the article. You’ve helped recharge my somewhat depleted batteries as I slog through a series of intense go-lives. And now, back to our regularly scheduled healthcare IT message.

John Halamka blogged this week about “meaningful consent” for health information exchanges. His institution is using an opt-in model where patients can choose to share or not share data originating from various institutions. There will be no clinical override or “break the glass” functionality. Although I agree generally with this patient-centric model, I’ve practiced under a similar one and found it to be less than optimal for monitoring basic patient data. When patients can choose to share some data but not all, it fragments the patient record making it very difficult to identify duplicate therapies, drug interactions, and redundant tests. Since this is the prime reason for having an HIE, it somewhat defeats the purpose.

A reader shared this write-up of the new website ChickRx whose tagline is Expert Advice to get Happy, Healthy, & Hot. The review describes it as “what would happen if WebMD met Cosmo.” Presented at a recent Rock Health Demo Day, it has some serious potential as an entertaining alternative to existing consumer-focused sites.

Both Inga and I picked up on this piece about the situation where the chief medical officer at Northwest Community Hospital was found to be lacking a medical license. A hospital administrator described needing a medical license as “irrelevant” for administrators. Although I don’t think physicians working in the tech space always need licensure, I feel it’s essential for hospital administrators. If nothing else, it shows solidarity with the physician community and gives the ability to emphasize with burdensome administrative requirements with which the rest of us have to comply. Working at a hospital yet allowing your license to lapse makes an administrator seem detached from the rest of the physicians who have to live under his or her policy decisions.

I found an interesting blog posting that discusses “cloned” EHR documentation. It’s a quick read and illustrates something providers should watch out for. In trying to avoid cloned notes, the author used different wording at each visit for the same physical findings. This resulted in an attorney trying to twist a stable disease into a progressively worsening condition. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.



Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg.

More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Mobile.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. That free EHR’s a workable solution, but isn’t exactly fast, full-featured, nor a charm to use. Recent Adobe Flash 11 instabilities haven’t helped.

    I would continue with it if they started charging for it, but not sure it that’s going to be a viable business plan, either. If not, local hospital is on Epic…

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Reader Comments

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