From Big Kahuna: “Re: Advisory Panel question about ‘2014 will be the year of …’ Patient Access! Of the 10 hospital CEOs we heard speak at last week’s J.P. Morgan conference in San Francisco, eight mentioned patient access as a chief concern or initiative.”
“Jeopardy” winner or not, readers aren’t impressed with the healthcare potential of IBM’s Watson. New poll to your right, as requested by a reader: are HIT vendors laying off more people than 1-2 years ago? You can click the poll’s Comments link after voting to explain.
Lorre is finishing up work on HIStalkU, a new site that will showcase our completed, recorded HIStalk webinars to give them more long-tail visibility. We included the capability to include outside webinars, white papers, and videos as well, so if you are interested, contact Lorre. We have plans for adding more purely educational content such as lectures and slide sets (thus the name.)
Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Arcadia Healthcare Solutions of Burlington, MA. The 12-year-old, 200-employee company has worked with 7,500 providers, 150 PCMH practices, and five pioneer ACOs to improve healthcare quality and reduce cost via EHR outsourcing and consulting, vendor-agnostic data integration and population analytics, provider retention, and practice transformation and coaching. The company can improve key ambulatory network measures 15-30 percent in six months by bringing together EHR and claims data and helping providers use it. Some of its EHR optimization accomplishments include reducing log-in time by 50 percent, improving system performance by 27 percent, and increasing physician satisfaction by 20 percent. Arcadia provides expert advisors rather than, as it says, “high-priced management consultants who leave nothing behind but PowerPoint.” You probably know some of Arcadia’s industry long-timer leaders: Sean Carroll (Nuance); Sam Adams (Lawson, Picis); and Chris Couch (Health Dialog). Thanks to Arcadia Healthcare Solutions for supporting HIStalk.
Cerner launches what will be the largest corporate campus in Missouri at an eventual 4.1 million square feet. Cerner says its $4.3 billion complex will house up to 1,500 new employees within three years.
Meanwhile in England, the interim CEO of Royal Berkshire Hospital says its $47 million Cerner Millennium system is still not working right, adding, “It was particularly bad the year before, but it’s still not good enough. We’re in the process of moving with a new strategy with what the information system should be in future.”
The local newspaper covers a site visit to St. Rita’s Medical Center (OH) by a nine-member delegation from an Epic prospect hospital in the Netherlands.
DreamIt Health Baltimore launches and adds Kaiser Permanente to its list of strategic partners that includes Johns Hopkins and Northrop Grumman. Startups chosen for the four-month boot camp, many of which don’t even have websites that I could find, are:
- Aegle. Wearable biometrics.
- Avhana. EHR clinical decision support.
- Cognuse. Game-based stroke rehab.
- EMOCHA. Medication data capture.
- Protenus. Patient consent management.
- Respi. Smartphone-based spirometry.
- Patient Feed. Inpatient collaboration.
- Phobious. Augmented reality treatment of behavioral health issues.
- The Smartphone Physical. Smartphone diagnostic tools.
Beverly Bell (Health Care DataWorks) is named VP of consulting at Siemens Healthcare.
Connie McGee (AirSrip) joins Pershing Yoakley & Associates as a principal.
Actor Dennis Quaid is back on the patient safety bandwagon again years after after his high-profile legal crusade against medication errors went on hiatus. Quaid, whose newborn twins were given 10,000 unit/ml of the blood-thinning drug heparin as an IV flush rather than 10 units/ml at Cedars-Sinai in 2008 without permanent harm, is urging Californians to support the Pack Patient Safety Act that would require doctors to look up their patients in the state’s CURES prescription dispensing database before prescribing narcotics. The proposed act, which will appear on the November ballot if it gets enough signatures, would also adjust California’s $250,000 medical malpractice cap for inflation to $1.1 million, require physicians to be randomly tested for drugs and alcohol, and would require doctors to report their peers if they witness substance abuse or medical negligence. Bob Pack’s two children were killed in 2003 when a doctor-shopping drug addict ran over them, after which he found that multiple Kaiser Permanente doctors were prescribing narcotics for the woman without realizing it. Pack, the founder of NetZero, developed the CURES system that few doctors use ( including those of Kaiser) and that doctors say is user-unfriendly. Quaid sued everybody in sight after the medication error involving his twins (including the drug’s manufacturer and distributor, who had nothing to do with the nurse’s mistake) and shamed Cedars into spending $100 million for medication barcoding. HIMSS put him on as a conference keynoter in 2009. He merged his patient safety foundation with another group the next year and hasn’t had much to say about patient safety since.
NextGen, like Greenway and Allscripts before it, will integrate analytics from Inovalon (which changed its name from MedAssurant last year.)
A Wall Street Journal blog entry mentions an Amazon patent for “anticipatory shipping,” where the company it will use its customer information to reduce the delays between ordering and shipping that “may dissuade customers from buying items from online merchants.” Nobody seems to interpret the possibilities as I do in reading between the lines: the company could ship items “on approval” for opt-in customers with return postage paid, allowing the company to put appealing merchandize into the hands of qualified customers with the confidence that many will keep it. Amazon would be putting a lot of trust in the information it owns, but imagine the possibilities of customers voluntarily buying items they didn’t order, just like making impulse purchases in a store’s checkout lane. Amazon has blurred the line between bricks-and-mortar stores and online purchases with its Prime program, fast shipping, digital downloads, superb product recommendations and reviews, and the possibility of drone-delivered packages. I can see this as its next step in world domination. Imagine the mess if hospitals and practices used their patient data to automatically schedule tests or issue prescriptions and you’ll see why Amazon is a lot smarter.
GE Healthcare announces 2013 financial results, with sales down slightly but profits up 4.4 percent.
The local paper says the formerly high-flying transplant program at University of Arizona Medical Center has been temporarily shut down after a dispute with the program’s chief surgeon, who was fired in September 2013 when the hospital accused him of falsifying the electronic records of unsuccessful surgeries. The surgeon claims he was let go after criticizing the dean of the university’s medical school.
Girish Navani, CEO of eClinicalWorks, is interviewed by the New York Times on his management style. Some highlights: (a) he doesn’t believe in titles because they create “title warfare”; (b) he doesn’t fire people, he just tells them to take three months to find something else they want to do or be prepared to change how they work; (c) the company hires straight out of college, saying, “We don’t hire free agents, we draft players.” I like this idea:
There’s a big, oval table outside my office, with eight chairs around it, and I spend a lot of time working there. It gives an opportunity to anybody to come up to me, ask questions, discuss an idea and brainstorm on a big whiteboard. Some people will join a conversation just because they want to learn. You never ask the question, “Why are you sitting at this table?”
Weird News Andy says she’s on pins and needles. New England Journal of Medicine reports the case of a woman with resistant knee pain who was found by doctors performing X-rays to have knees filled with hundreds of acupuncture needles, apparently left there intentionally for ongoing benefit by her acupuncturist.
Vince’s HIS-tory of McKesson Paragon is bittersweet because it’s the last episode in his series that has been running on HIStalk for years. Industry long-timers have enjoyed some fond (and not-so-fond) memories of companies, products, and people in the past, while newer folks have developed new appreciation for the origins of the industry in which they work.