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From HIMSS 2/25/14

February 25, 2014 News 10 Comments

Imprivata’s people worked hard overnight to get out video from HIStalkapalooza. They did a great job capturing what the event is all about. Thanks again to the companies that made it possible – Imprivata, Greenway, Nordic, Hill-Rom, RFIDeas, and VMware. If you attended, I’m sure those companies would appreciate your stopping by to say thanks (as would I.) The band rocked the house to the point I was told (having left long before so I could get work done) that they were still playing with people dancing until at least midnight. When we all get some catch-up time, I’ll list the contest and HISsies winners.


Lorre wanted me to make sure to thank three guys from our booth neighbor Park Place International. She asked them if they might have a hand cart that she could borrow to bring in three heavy boxes of our giveaway mugs that were sitting in her vehicle on the top level of the Rosen parking garage (since that was the only place left to park). They insisted on going out in their dark business clothes on a sticky morning and hauling in the boxes by hand, starting off their day sweating. That was a classy and chivalrous thing to do. Their behavior reflects positively on the company and we appreciate them, especially since Park Place is also an HIStalk sponsor (they provide Meditech services.)



Sunquest emailed yesterday asking if we could drop by their booth Tuesday afternoon to accept an award. That was a surprise since we’ve never received an award, so Lorre went over during their booth happy hour. It was a bigger deal than we expected – Sunquest’s executive team, including President Richard Atkin, presented HIStalk with the “Sunquest Industry Pioneer Award.” Richard remarked that some companies keep HIStalk at arm’s length knowing that we’re going to call them out if they do something stupid, but that Sunquest supports what we do and considers us a partner. It was a nice thing to do and an honor, and Lorre reports that lots of people stopped her on her way back to the booth wanting a peek at the award.

Odd: everybody was giving away pens, but notepads and sticky notes were impossible to find. Vendors, if you’re going to go green by not giving out paper, we don’t really need pens. I couldn’t find anything to write notes on.


I was walking in the hall and heard what sounded like a high-pitch voiced fire and brimstone preacher. It was patient advocate Regina Holliday of “The Walking Gallery” fame, almost seeming out of place pushing for patient involvement in a hall full of people and products that aren’t really wired with that in mind.

I’m trying to track down something that supposedly happened during the opening reception. I was told that someone from HIMSS was addressing the audience and said something that was potentially insulting to physicians (something about ego, I was told with no further details). If you were there and can elaborate, please do.


Evena Medical had cool glasses designed for venipuncture that view 16 lines transparently in the center of both lenses. They can also take pictures to send back to the EMR. They were interesting, although the venipuncture app seems to have limited sales potential compared to other possible uses.


The folks from 7 Signals showed me a cool display of their WiFi monitoring tool. They have it set up to report on the exhibit hall’s WiFi, which you might guess from the red indicators and the long list of exhibitor sessions, is pretty much useless. Their tool can not only report problems, but actually fix them with a single click. They couldn’t confirm a rumor I had heard – that vendors can’t avoid paying exhibitor company Freeman hundreds to thousands of dollars per day for Internet access in the hall because they run a program that disconnects all sessions that have been active for more than 15 minutes. Along those lines, Lorre found it amusing that we paid Freeman $185 for a single electrical outlet in the booth and they made sure to tape over the second outlet on the jack so we didn’t dare use it without paying.


I would come to HIMSS just to see the Hyland magician. Not only is he very engaging and fun, he fills up their sports bar booth all day long. I can never figure out if he’s a Hyland-knowledgeable magician or a magic-knowledgeable Hylander, which is a testament to how good he is at his craft(s).

Here’s a shout-out to booth visitor and Meditech employee Ockert Coetzee, who earns recognition for reading HIStalk every day from Dubai.



Lorre got a booth visit from Niko, who put together the fascinating book Struck by Orca: ICD-10 Illustrated that features fun and/or bizarre artistic interpretations of obscure ICD-10 codes. He autographed copies for Inga and me, which we appreciate. Copies of the book would make a fun vendor giveaway if you can strike a deal.


Also visiting our tiny but expensive patch of HIMSS release estate was former New York Giants receiver Stephen “The Touchdown Maker” Baker, who caught a touchdown pass that helped beat the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. Thanks to Quest Diagnostics for bringing him by. He let Lorre take a picture of her finger wearing his Super Bowl ring and autographed footballs for Inga and me.

HISsie-nominated CMIO Bob Murphy, MD from Memorial Hermann, who is a really funny guy, will be in our booth #1995 today from 10:00 to 11:00. His co-workers Alan Weiss, MD and Mitch Kwartler will join him. Stop by and say hello.

Also in our booth today will be Vince Ciotti (11:00 until noon), who will bring along his HIS-tory timeline poster showing vendor acquisitions over the years.

Lorre reports that someone from Epic told her that if I see their employees on their phones, they aren’t screwing around (as I always accuse) but instead are religiously watching for HIStalk tweets. He said a lot of Epic people read HIStalk. I suggested inviting Epic’s people to flashmob our tiny booth, to which Lorre counteroffered that we should ask them to pose looking at their phones in Epic’s booth since my conference goal is to snap a photo in which at least four company employees are paying attention to their phones instead of the people standing right in front of them.  

Inga, Lorre, and I are all tweeting quite a bit from the conference, so follow us and you might find out where the good snacks and goodies are.


We have a few more 2013 HIStalk headlines mugs to give away in the booth Wednesday. Karen DeSalvo, your photo is on them if you’d like one as a souvenir. We’ll even mail it to you.

People keep asking if I’ve seen anything particularly noteworthy in the exhibit hall. Not so far. I think the government has taken over the agendas of both vendors and providers with ICD-10 and Meaningful Use requirements. One CIO I talked to said he attended the conference only to get ICD-10 deliverable dates from his vendor – he isn’t even thinking about buying anything new.

Today I started at the low-numbered booths and made it to around the 5000 row before my feet and interest gave out for the day. I’m hoping to check out the rest and also take a deeper dive into anything especially interesting, so if you saw something fresh and exciting, let me know. Meanwhile, here are the notes I surreptitiously made as I prowled the hall. My contrived badge title makes it clear that I’m nobody of influence, so I get to see vendor people as they really are when they aren’t kissing butt hoping to make a sale.

  • Pentaho was a company that seemed to get traction a couple of years ago, then went off the radar. They are an Orlando-based commercial open source vendor of data analysis tools, with emphasis on Hadoop. They said they got a CMS contract to figure how how to handle the information from Healthcare.gov because CMS couldn’t figure it out and their processing time was hours instead of minutes.
  • Ingenious Med had our “We Power HIStalk” sign out. I appreciate that, so indulge me when I mention that fact because it’s pretty cool that companies will use their space to promote their relationship with HIStalk.
  • PDR Network had our sign out. They explained that their customers are vendors that integrate their information into their products, so they were mostly using their booth to meet up and prepare for meetings. That’s something about exhibitors that attendees might not know – B2B type companies might rent space just to connect with potential non-provider partners or customers.
  • I saw several exhibits featuring variations of the old “Operation” game (“Remove Funny Bone.”)
  • I looked over someone shoulder at an NTT DATA demo. It looked pretty good.
  • I saw only a couple of white coats worn by booth people who clearly aren’t clinicians. Thank goodness. They were about as phony as those worn by Clinique makeover people at the mall.
  • MEDHOST had an impressive booth that was crowded. They said their patient flow solution is new. Some customers have had a payback period of only nine months from implementing their EDIS (note to vendors: if you quote a time-based result, that’s payback period, not ROI.)
  • CTG had our sign out. They were nice guys and made me feel better about sweating like a pig all afternoon Monday – apparently the exhibit hall AC was out and it wasn’t just me perspiring.
  • Caradigm had a big crowd in a big booth.
  • I saw one of the girls who was serving up frozen yogurt in one vendor’s booth fill up a cup for a waiting attendee, then lick her fingers vigorously before handing it over.
  • Clinical Architecture had our sign out.
  • The red-white dressed people from Alert were there as they are every year despite never seeming to have made a US sale.
  • McKesson had a cool coffee bar.
  • TeraRecon had a big booth and some cool display stuff.
  • Summit Healthcare had our sign out and was baking cookies in the booth.
  • Symantec was emphasizing breach protection and had customer IT people talking on stage. They had an effective booth person engaging passers-by.
  • Peer60 had some cool, non-corporate guys who explained that they develop customer surveys that require less than 60 seconds to complete. I suggested that their biggest potential prospect is on site since HIMSS sends out ridiculously long and poorly designed member surveys that I’ve never completed even once.
  • The Advisory Board Company had a big booth and a lot of traffic.
  • Hitachi was going to offer an Orlando microbrew for happy hour, which would have been a welcome alternative to the lowbrow canned swill (Budweiser, Amstel Light, Heineken, etc.) that everybody else was serving up.
  • I chatted with someone from ICA, who explained that hospitals are connection to long-term care providers as a “short putt” to meet Meaningful Use requirements with as little effort as possible. He also said that some small companies are getting traction with specific services that use Direct platform. He pointed out that HIE vendors often require hospitals send them all HL7 transactions, which the always-secretive hospitals don’t want to do, so hospitals are choosing ICA to filter what is sent out.
  • I talked for a few minutes with Chris Joyce of Bottomline Technologies, who said that its acquisition of his former company Logical Ink opened up a lot of possibilities because of ECM synergies with Hyland Software.
  • Thanks to Winthrop Resources, MediQuant, and Arcadia for putting our sign out.
  • Passport had our sign out and was busy.
  • ESD and Shareable Ink had our sign out – thanks.
  • GetWellNetwork displayed our sign and had an effective person engaging on the perimeter.
  • The eClinicalWorks booth was large and busy. The rep said they’re signing 2-3 ACOs each month. They got a great gift with Farzad Mostashari pushed their population health and primary care agenda when he was with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – they are very well positioned.
  • Medicomp was playing the Quipstar game, which is always fun.
  • Aprima had our sign out, along with brownies and coffee.
  • InterSystems had a huge booth.
  • Also displaying our sign: Innovative Healthcare Solutions, Healthwise, Quest Diagnostics, and Infor.
  • SSI Group had our sign out along with coffee, drinks, and a cool mobile device charging station.
  • Aventura hung out their Bonny’s “Fashion Diva” sash.
  • PC Connection was making great-smelling cinnamon almonds and pecans.
  • NantHealth had out stuff from the LA Lakers that billionaire founder Patrick Soon-Shiong owns. I tried to figure out what they are selling, but I never did given that all the screens seemed to be lofty PowerPoints and videos of PSS talking rather than anything with specific details about how several dozen recent acquisitions that cost a billion dollars have suddenly transformed into a “Clinical Operating System” as was announced this week. He’s a genius, but the roadside is littered with companies that were long on acquisitive ambition but short on integration.
  • I was pretty pleased when I saw three sponsor people seemingly caressing their HIStalk sign in their booth, but then I overhead them complaining bitterly that their bosses got invited to HIStalkapalooza and they didn’t.  I’ve heard that almost constantly over the last few weeks from people who should intellectually be able to understand that no company can afford to thrown a bash for the probably 3,000 people who would want to attend, so I’ll resist the urge to call the company out and instead I just won’t mention them at all. I should have jumped in and opined that the Super Bowl needs to be played in a million-seat stadium so everyone can come.
  • Max from Legacy Data Access gave me a good elevator speech on the company’s system retirement services.
  • The Qlik booth was packed, our sign was out, they had customer presentations, and they gave me a killer chair massage.
  • My award for best use of a small booth goes to CommVault, which had a great design, a fun game run by Katrine, and fun giveaways (syringe pens and ear buds). I’m sitting here hours later and I still remember the company’s selling points as featured in the game – performance, access, and management. I’m really impressed with how polished and fun their booth was given its modest space and furnishings.
  • Also displaying our sign: healthfinch, Versus, MBA Health Group, Leidos (they had it front and center in their big booth), ICSA Labs, PatientSafe Solutions, Valence Health, Patientco, Beacon Partners, and Wellsoft.
  • Divurgent was raising money for a local children’s hospital. You spin the wheel and whatever dollar about you hit is added to their donation check. Nice job.
  • Greythorn not only had our sign on display, they had placed it in a glittery frame and mounted it to the back wall. They get the “most creative” award.
  • I talked to Talksoft President Ken Walsh about the company’s phone messaging system.

Dr. Jayne’s HIMSS Report – Monday


If I wasn’t already moving a little slowly, the sheer size of the conference center and exhibit hall has almost done me in. I was a little turned off by the keynote speaker. Although many of his recommendations for transforming healthcare are solid, I would love to see payers help lower costs by doing something about the outrageous bonuses that some of their leaders receive. I understand the bonus is for doing a good job, but we all need to remember that those bonuses are funded through premium dollars in the end. After that, I attended a session on converting the legal medical record. Lots of good information and I’ll write more about that later in the week when I have a chance to go through my notes.

At this point, I’m running a mile a minute trying to make it to all the booths I want to check out and fitting in lots of meetings. Usually convention center food is pretty bad but I did score a grilled portobello mushroom sandwich that very good and even better found a quiet sofa on the fourth floor to eat it. There have been a couple of glitches, though. Some of the entry doors are locked (even the ones they actually want you to use) and there were some audiovisual problems in the sessions I attended. In one presentation, the slides were chopped off on the bottom, so content was missing. I’ve been a presenter at large meetings before and I know there’s a speaker ready room here. HIMSS is the big dance and you need to bring your A-game, so make sure your slides look good before you session starts.

Walking through the crowded lobbies, I remembered the jazz combos they had playing last year in New Orleans. They would have been a good distraction from the ridiculously long coffee lines. At one point there was a crew of concession workers bringing out dividers to rope off the lines from the crowd. I’m surprised with a meeting of this size that they didn’t anticipate the need for that sooner.


I haven’t seen a lot of costumes or scantily clad booth attendants this year, but MEDecision did catch my eye with their morph-suited dancer. One of their other staffers was sporting a knee brace, which she assured us was not due to a dance-related, on-the-job injury.

I spent some time in University Row and the career center area. I was happy to see A Hero’s Welcome (#165) on site to help veterans identify job opportunities. Also in the low numbers was MDI Access (# 279), who not only were nice guys, but were giving out hand sanitizer. Mine keeps getting confiscated by TSA, so they were happy to share a couple.

Inga and I spent some time cruising the hall together and had a few product demos. We make an excellent “good cop / bad cop” team because she asks a lot of patient-centric questions while I hit the clinical and technical areas. Some tips for those of you doing demos, especially if you will have a physician in your audience:

  • Make sure your clinical scenarios are valid and your sample patients have been cleaned up. Nothing turns me off as much as seeing an inappropriate antibiotic prescription or ridiculous diagnosis code on your patient chart.
  • Don’t make broad statements about “all physicians think” or how large healthcare organizations run without understanding your audience (especially if it’s a one-on-one demo.) One presenter make several statements that were directly contrary to how my organization works, which made me immediately feel that they would not be a good fit for us.
  • If you’re going to hand out information sheets, make sure you don’t inadvertently give an attendee your copy that you wrote notes on (although I did enjoy reading them.)

I attended the first round of Quipstar at the Medicomp booth (#2703). If you haven’t seen it, I’d encourage you to attend. Inga is playing Tuesday afternoon and they have a great product, so be sure to stop by.


First time exhibitor CoverMyMeds (#4495) proudly displayed their HIStalk sponsor sign and also offered a quick recharge for those whose phones were dying. After a couple of hours, my feet were dying as well, so it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for HIStalkapalooza. Unfortunately Inga and I were on a shuttle that got stuck behind an Aramark truck unloading in an alley, so we ended up in a mad rush to get ready.


Dr. J brought his A-game in these shoes. Although he missed the contest, they were my personal favorite in the men’s division. I was happy to see a physician named the winner of the Stiletto category. It just goes to show we can look good in something other than a white coat and surgical clogs.


The ever-dapper Mike Quinto of PatientSafe Solutions (#3983) sported the “I Could Be Dr. Jayne,” sash, which ended up being worn by several different gentlemen throughout the evening. HIStalkapalooza was rocking, the band was excellent, the drinks were tasty, and I thought the night couldn’t get any better until my not-so-secret crush Dr. Farzad Mostashari showed up. I was able to get a nice pic of the two of us, which really made my day. Thanks to everyone who came out and especially to our sponsors for making the night possible.

HIStalk Featured Sponsors


Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. I am amazed at the datapoints accumulated by Mr. H in his single foray. My last HIMSS conference was years ago but I was never that prolific in 3 days. Enjoying by proxy.

  2. Good summary Mr H. keep up the good work.

    If you are looking for paper to write on there were a few companies had small note pads but HIMSS Analytics had very nice small black notebooks- classy and something you might actually use when you don’t have your iPad or tablet with you.

    Best buttons.by far were at the Solarwinds booth- each one was funnier than the next including gems like “It’s not that I can;t explain it it’s just that you wouldn’t understand”, “I’m here because you broke something”, “Users: Also known as job security” and others. Thycolic also has some great security related magnetic stickers including one that related passwords to underwear.. Don; forget to get your death ray gun at Connected Technology’s booth for either when the CTO starts giving you a hard time.

    The giveaways here were amazing with nearly every booth offering something for someone. If you weren’t wired before you would be after all the coffee bars and chocolates being offered plus the to-die-for cinnamon roasted almonds and ….oh yeah- the technology was pretty interesting too.

    Don’t kill yourself trying to do the whole show. It’s impossible especially since you only have 7 hours of floor time left before Hillary. Attendance is up 11% over last year (just under 37,000 as of yesterday) with 1233 exhibitors to look at, over 300 that are new, who occupy over 500,000 square feet of space,Thank God for 800 mg Motrin.

    Lots of Histlak signage out there too- several personalized by Mr H and Inga and great traffic at the HISTalk booth, every one of them I hear singing HISTalk’s praises. Lorrre is doing a great job holding down the fort while you two eat and drink your way through the show (laugh). Ah the perks of leadership!! (laugh)

    Enjoy the last day- it only gets better,

    Mike Cannavo- PACSMan

  3. Re: physician ego remark in opening speech. As a member in good standing in the International House of Physicians, I did not take great offense at the remark. I recognize few of my brethren after long days and nights of healing the sick and curing the afflicted , convince themselves that MD stands for Minor Deity or at least Major Domo. Thankfully this number is shrinking as physician embrace being one part of a care team.

  4. Mark Bertolini was paid $13M in 2012, and Aetna had $47B in revenue in 2013 (the latest years I found information for). This makes his income less than one tenth of one percent of your Aetna insurance premium. Sadly, hospital cost increases continue to drive the bulk of higher insurance prices. There are many sources for this information. Here is one with interesting graphs: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1205958.

  5. Has anyone seen the Glassware and V3 suite of solutions demonstrated by Sphere 3D at HIMSS booth #3791?
    Utilizing Sphere 3D and V3 Systems product suites, IT has the ability to build out their IT systems in the most versatile architecture not seen in the marketplace today and enables them to virtualize a wide range of legacy systems in the process.
    There are no words that express what you can see there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I68ixxxfU7g&app=desktop

  6. John-Paul Jones:

    Can I sell you a bridge in Brooklyn?

    You (presuming you’re really a physician who sees patients) assume all the liability for patient care, while other members of the “team” of health IT assume none. How does that represent being a “team player?”

    If IT personnel were truly part of the health care team, they’d be happy to sign a Hold Harmless agreement with physicians that absolves physicians (and nurses etc.) of any liability for EHR-related malpractice. I’ll bet, though, that they don’t like that idea.

    The cat’s getting out of the bag on the latter issue of IT-related malpractice. See the Journal of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, Jan/Feb 2014 article: “Malpractice Claims Analysis Confirms Risks in EHRs”:

    CRICO [Harvard’s med mal insurer] recently analyzed a year’s worth of medical malpractice claims in its comparative database and found 147 cases in which EHRs were a contributing factor. Computer systems that don’t “talk” to each other, test results that aren’t routed properly, and mistakes caused by faulty data entry or copying and pasting were among the EHR-related problems found in the claims, which represented $61 million in direct payments and legal expenses.

    … Half of the 147 cases resulted in severe injury.

    … … The team asked its CRICO and Strategies members, “What vulnerabilities are you seeing? What are your risk managers worried about? What are your doctors complaining about?”

    It used that feedback to draft a set of EHR-specific codes and then tested them in three datasets: CRICO (Harvard users) and two of Strategies’ larger clients, !e Doctors Company and Princeton Insurance. Based on those results, CRICO revised and approved 15 new EHR codes that went “live” in January 2013.

    That means CRICO’s cadre of nurse coders can now identify EHR as a contributing factor to a malpractice claim, instead of using one of the less specific factors available in the past. [It’s about time for a dose of transparency in the health IT sector – ed.] And they can flag whether the problem involved user issues, system/technology issues, or both. “

    In some cases,” Sato points out, “the system design sets up humans to make errors.”

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