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Monday Morning Update 9/9/13

September 7, 2013 News 6 Comments

9-7-2013 5-53-44 PM

From The PACS Designer: “Re: Apple’s fingerprint reader. With Apple possibly launching several products next week, TPD thought it would be good to give you a glimpse of what’s coming next. The fingerprint reader, if introduced, brings an interesting security solution for healthcare in that lost devices will be unusable as long as the security lock remains active.” Above is a leaked photo of a new iPhone start button with what appears to be a built-in fingerprint reader, from Sonny Dickson.

From IT Guy Turned Patient: “Re: Apple and healthcare. Interesting perspective. I could still argue persuasively for the Windows model. but what I know about the healthcare system could be inscribed on the top of a pin and still leave room there for me to ice skate. From my perspective as a recent user of healthcare, what seems to be the driving factor is simply referrals. I go to a primary healthcare provider who by most standards would be considered way better than average. I am listened to regarding symptoms, then referred to a specialist to whom I give the same answers to regarding symptoms, I am tested, receive boilerplate textbook treatment, and ushered out the door as I hear a receptionist behind me say, ‘Next.’ Meanwhile, five months later, nothing has changed. I am in exactly the same boat as I was pre-visit to either facility except about $1.800 lighter. I’ve never been called to be asked, “How are you? How did we do?” There’s no warranty. No one really seems to care once you’re out the door, which is interesting since the industry that I work in routinely makes that call. Why do people not howl at the moon over piss-poor healthcare the way they do over even mediocre or worse car care or home remodeling? I don’t know what it would take. I don’t know whether the Apple model or the PC model would work better, but from my point of view the entire experience seems so institutionalized and insulated from capitalism and the rest of the world. Something needs to change, but getting government more involved rather than less won’t accomplish that. One thing I know for certain is that we live in the United States of Unintended Consequences.” I’ll say again as I always do — you get what you pay for. More precisely, you get what insurance companies and the government pay for, and that’s patient and procedure volume. Unfortunately for now, nobody’s paid very much to care about how you like it.

From Caveat Emptor: “Re: ethics. Is a sales employee who feels their former employer engaged in unethical sales practices obligated to inform customers instead of accepting a generous severance package that prevents disclosure of those practices” I’ll open it up to readers for comments, but my answer is no. It’s not appropriate (much less an obligation) for a company’s former employee to start calling customers making accusations about company ethics. If the sales practices were all that bad, customers will find out and make their own complaints (possibly legal ones) that would carry more weight than those of someone who didn’t speak up while drawing a paycheck from that company, but suddenly feels moved to do so after quitting. I don’t have specifics about the practices mentioned here, but I’ll ask readers to weigh in anonymously on that issue as well – what are some really abhorrent sales techniques you’ve seen used?

9-7-2013 5-06-26 PM

Half of poll respondents attend the HIMSS conference because they want to see other attendees, while only 15 percent are primarily drawn there by the educational sessions (which is probably a good thing based on my perception of the slide in quality of the education track). New poll to your right: which of John Halamka’s five CIO challenges will be most important?

George Giorgianni, who has worked for HBOC, SIS, DocusSys, and Unibased in his 35 years in healthcare IT, will retire on October 4.

9-7-2013 5-49-21 PM

Cornerstone Advisors names John McGuinness, MD (Meditech) to the newly created position of CMIO.

Baylor Health Care System wins a local technology trade association’s innovation work for its development of add-on modules for Allscripts Sunrise Clinical Manager, including a physician documentation tool.

9-7-2013 6-01-37 PM

Jimmy Weeks posted on Twitter this photo of the Bridgeport Hospital appointment conversion team beginning the move to Epic. They’re part of Yale New Haven Health.

9-7-2013 6-17-52 PM

A business site says that Aetna once offered to buy physician appointment scheduling app vendor ZocDoc for $300 million, but the founders turned the deal down, probably wisely since the company is valued at a lot more than that now.

Vince’s HIS-tory Part 4 on Cerner looks at the company in its early LIS-centric days in the form of a customer’s system search.


Mr. H, Inga, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan, Dr. Travis.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Re your response to IT Guy.

    See now there’s a perfect example of a propeller heads view of the whole healthcare thing. Your response points to the reimbudement model as the culprit when you say “…you get what you pay for”.

    Shame on you. Patients “pay” to be taken care off. To be healed. To improve their health condition. Patients deserve to expect doctors to view them and their condition as a unique medical circumstance with all the care and focus necessary to fix it.

    You on the other hand point the finger at economics or the underlying technology model (Windows or Apple).

    Lets see how your narrow minded perspective changes if God forbid you get real sick.

    I doubt your comments will have little to do with any type of reibursement model or whether your doctor is using Windows or Apple.

    There it is folks. That there is the root of this healthcare debacle in this country.

    Patient is peripheral, and not the focus.

    Just read this site as a microcosm of the illness.

  2. @El Jefe

    While eloquent, your diatribe is pointless. Your argument is that healthcare is broken because its populated by narrow minded people who don’t care about the patient. That’s nonsense and you should be ashamed for even suggesting it in such simplistic terms. The truth is there are a myriad of reasons for the crisis we’re in. Social factors, regulation, an aging and increasingly overweight population, and a host of other factors play here; among them, the payment model that incents treatment and not health. It’s the system that’s broken and that includes how all of the participants in that system interact. Balling up your fists and whining that the system is broken because bad people don’t care about patients is not only intellectually dishonest, it’s supremely unhelpful. Fix the system of interactions and incentives and people will begin to act differently. Blame the collective motives of millions of individuals and you can continue to ball up your fists, bray at passers by, and relegate yourself to being noise.

  3. RE: IT Guy Turned Patient: “I’ve never been called to be asked, “How are you? How did we do?” There’s no warranty. No one really seems to care once you’re out the door…”

    I’ve been with Kaiser Permanente here in CA for about a year, and while the system is far from perfect, I do get exactly that – post-visit emails from my primary care or specialty doc asking how the treatment is working for me, if my condition has improved, etc.

    While perhaps not the best proverb in this situation, I think Mr. H’s comment “you get what you pay for” was meant to point out that there’s little monetary incentive for most healthcare institutions to behave as you’d like them to. As an HMO, Kaiser has that incentive. And while I don’t know for certain, I strongly suspect that patient follow-up gets some weighting in the internal evaluation for Kaiser’s docs.

  4. Mr. H has it wrong – “Unfortunately for now, nobody’s paid very much to care about how you like it.”

    They’re called a marketing department – and they are the necessary budgetary force, right behind risk and legal.

    Your hospital wants to be “seen” as a leader – fancy billboards and marketing FTW!!

    You want referrals, right? Well, that’s easy – let’s brand the bejesus out of a commoditized high margin hospital service.

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