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Allscripts Gets No Buyer, Cleans Executive House

December 19, 2012 News 17 Comments

Allscripts announced Wednesday evening that its board has rejected its strategic alternatives and has instead decided to “develop Allscripts’ long-term potential under the direction of our new management team.”

Glen Tullman has relinquished his role as CEO and board member, stepping down immediately. He has been replaced by Paul Black, an Allscripts board member and former Cerner COO. Allscripts President Lee Shapiro will step down immediately and will be available as a consultant to Paul Black for six months.

Dennis Chookaszian, Allscripts board chair, said, “We want to thank Glen Tullman for building Allscripts into one of the leaders in the evolving healthcare IT industry. Glen began at the Company in 1997 when it was unprofitable, turned Allscripts around and achieved record revenues and profits in 2011.  Along the way, Glen also grew the workforce to more than 7,000 employees. I also want to thank Lee Shapiro for his many important contributions to Allscripts, particularly with respect to our M&A strategy and international expansion.”

Allscripts shares were down 17 percent in after-hours trading shortly after the announcement.

UPDATE: According to an Allscripts customer e-mail forwarded by a reader, Laurie McGraw (chief client officer) and Diane Adams (EVP of culture and talent) will also be leaving the company.

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Currently there are "17 comments" on this Article:

  1. I knew Paul Black when he was with Cerner, there is no harder working guy in the industry. Good move for Allscripts.

  2. Ahhh, and the emperor’s clothes are finally revealed. One of Healthcare’s largest ‘house of cards’ has finally crumbled and perhaps Messrs. Black & Chookaszian will be the Phoenix.

    It’s obvious PE took a long measured look and said “pass”. Too much blood in the water, disgruntled customer base, (or rather customer bases from A4, MyWay, Bond, Medinotes, Misys, Eclipsys) as integrating 7, or is it 8 distinctly separate EMR’s proved an unattainable objective. For years Tullman has boasted the validity of KLAS ratings trumpeting them as the “Consumer Reports of Healthcare” until the ratings plummeted. He’s also boasted the largest customer base in the industry. If that’s true, and many took great exception with his say-it-enough-times-and-it-becomes true marketing dogma, then he’s left new management with perhaps the largest and the nation’s most unhappy customer base.

    Quite unfortunate considering this critical time in healthcare when providers, practices, nurses and hospitals are seeking true leaders and companies to assist in the growing complexity of healthcare provision.

  3. Great move by Allscripts, Paul Black is a solid, proven winner.

    Not sure where Caymus gets his information? What exactly do you consider an EMR if you think Allscripts has 7 or 8 of them? Agree that Glen can fit anything into a marketing box and try to make it real, but the nation’s most unhappy client base? Give everyone a break – KLAS may have been the CR of healthcare in the early days, but it’s now as much of an “independent” source of reliable data as my left boot.

  4. Will Allscripts continue it’s lawsuit with HHC now that Glenn has departed? Maybe they will refocus on the reasons they are losing deals to Epic

  5. Glad to see Glen and Lee leaving, but there is an entire cadre of skill-less “Tullmanites” that have been his close advisors (McGraw, Carey, etc) that need to be exited if Allscripts is ever to survive…

  6. Allscripts never appreciated what Eclipsys brought to the table and virtually ignored the acute care client base. Hopefully Mr. Black will circle the wagons, continue to clean house, flatten the sales management infrastructure, reinvigorate development and deliver on what is arguably one of the best inpatient solutions on the market.

  7. Where Allscripts can improve is with their sales teams….

    They deliver lackadaisical demo’s of the acute care product line which is why they keep losing to Epic. Other examples include ignoring the enhancement request ideas from their front line service delivery consultants.

    The development team in India is a black hole because they have very poor response times to open cases and no one can ever get a straight answer out of them.

    Fix the above and they will start to kick-ass again because the .NET architecture is much more robust than a mumps based system.

  8. Having run allscripts for 3 years for 30+ practices it is more robust than MUMPS. SQL Server 05-12 can scale to sizes needed for even the largest medical groups. With that said, you have to have skilled DBAs and more importantly skilled allscripts application manager to not screw up a site/configuration.

    The touchworks app has it’s own gremlins. .NET web-technologies that really just houses 4-5 activeX add-ins to give you a terminal back into the application’s screens. Any web-app still using ActiveX should be re-written, it’s just not stable, and it’s why they had to build the wombat platform for iOS/iPads. There was no way they could take the current app and port it. Those add-ins made it nearly a fat client application where Citrix or like technology was the best deployment method.

    I still think wombat and that technology for the iPad… if they were smart and not developing it only for iOS…they can leverage that work as a “rewrite” of touchworks. They have a chance.

    All my very anonymous opinion. I’m also assuming that development for wombat wasn’t done in India. The engineers we’ve dealt with there are a special breed that we swear are reading off support scripts. The server engineers. They also accidentally shut servers and leave remote connections open repeatedly.

    Don’t even get me started on the cluster that is the OB module of touchworks…..

  9. So while everyone dances on Glen’s grave, how exactly else would you have created a major health IT company basically out of scratch in the last decade?

    And while the product line was a motley crue that certainly needs an overhaul — that means sun-setting products which wasn’t popular.

    While Glen was never shy to blow his own trumpet, and clearly had a bad last year or so, at least Allscripts is in the position to be a major Health IT player–and he put them there. There are hundreds of companies on the HIMSS floor wishing they had Allscripts’ problems, and only 2 (or maybe 3 if you count Meditech) able to sneer down their noses at the grow by acquisition strategy.

  10. @Visitor-Their user base IS pretty upset. Is it the worst? Don’t know, but satisfaction is pretty poor across the board. It’s very evident by looking at the comments being made on their client forum boards.

    @Elmont – McGraw is out, as well as Adams. “Tullmanites” is true and I agree. There are still many more that need to be shown the door, including Mike Burger (VP of Product Management). Time to clean the house that Tullman built down to the nap.

    @Blood Clot – They can also start by listening to their clients enhancement/functionality requests as well. Overwhleming is the client voice that is being ignored while they hide behind other excuses such as MU and regulatory items as to why they can’t get things done. Clients having to wait several years for their simple ideas to be brought to market? Lack of agile project management? Is it any wonder their clients are upset?

    @IT Manager – Wombat was developed in the US. Very disappointed with its release, considering it has been in the pipeline for at least 2 years. It is clunky, slow and lacks signifigant functionality.

    @Matthew Holt – These issues have been brewing for several years. Glen had plenty of opportunites to rectify them. I feel less than sorry for him. Love to know what his severance package was.

  11. There will be more exits, either forced or voluntary. I think you can expect six months of “blood letting” as Black and company pull back the covers to see what they really have. It won’t be pretty. It’s an aircraft carrier leaking oil and they are not easy to turn around. Old analogy yes, but true.

    @Visitor, I get my information from well qualified sources–hairdresser, butcher, physicians, ACE attendees, existing customers, developers, employees, SEC required docs, etc. Hairdresser’s sharp as nails.

    @Matthew Holt The dancers have been there for five years. However it wasn’t until Wall Street put down their Glen issued Kool-Aide and finally started hearing the music. Hats off to Piper Jaffray for calling it a $7 stock. So he M & A’d his way to a $1.5 billion dollar company. A more noteworthy accomplishment would be a $100M company providing functional healthcare solutions. Why is ‘big and broken’ a badge of honor? Shareholders need a new mantra, let’s try “To big to succeed” on for size.

    @IT Manager Valuable insight, thank you. Touchworks is a MASSIVE program, requires far too much hardware to run and has many, many issues not easily fixed.

    Sadly, Glen and what insiders call FOG’s (Friends of Glen) will walk away with millions in severance.

  12. @Allscripts Insider
    Wombat developed in the US, you don’t say? First time I’ve heard that with allscripts the past 18 months! 😉 If you see this, indulge us a little more…. were those developers Allscripts employees or contracted/3rd party?
    My take on wombat was the reduced functionality was expected but what is critical that everyone is missing is the GUI and the workflow. That workflow you could see was going to be light years better than anything Touchworks could muster. I guess my 2cents is that seems to be you new GUI… run with it… and make the workflow easy to customize…given wombat has to be built on some web2.0 legs…. I hope… and not iOS specific programming like Cocca… you could run that on any device/platform… all depending.

    I guess my take, some company has to do a complete rewrite of their offering.
    Just start over… it’s the only way someone is going to match Epic.

    We need EMR 2.0.

  13. So is December 19th the target date for another event like this at Allscripts? Looks like they’re too broke to sponsor Histalk anymore.

    I honestly haven’t heard any rumblings about any major developments there, but judging from their share price all is not well at Paul Black’s Allscripts. It will be interesting how swiftly or slowly they end up in Chapter 11. Might take them a very long time, but their share price and standing will plod along near zero for much longer than most will expect in my opinion. I’d suspect they’ll take some CIO careers with them (like they seem to be doing with Australia’s).

    DISCLOSURE – I currently do not hold any positions (short or long) in any health care related EMR company. However, I have been short Allscripts in the past.

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