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Health IT from the CIO’s Chair 3/26/14

March 26, 2014 Darren Dworkin 6 Comments

The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine personally and are not necessarily representative of current or former employers. Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear. MSRP excludes tax. Starting at price refers to the base model, a more expensive model may be shown.

Writing a Blog – HIStalk Style

I like Monday morning headlines as they keep me informed about a range of things with a relatively quick glance. I thought I would try to emulate and see if I could round up some interesting information from around the Web.


On March 21, the CMS Medicare Shared Savings Program sent out a warning email to each participating MSSP ACO that they only had two business days left to submit complete and accurate reporting or risk losing incentive payments. They included the statistics above, which leaves you to wonder how many might have missed the reporting deadline.


Despite lots of rumors from Apple around wearables, Google beats Apple to the punch with an announcement around Android Wear. While Apple got a quick start in healthcare, it looks to be Android’s game as enterprise customers struggle with their love/hate relationship with Apple.

Google CEO Larry Page says his billions should go to Elon Musk. On the one hand, this could be seen as quite odd given all the worthwhile causes out there and the many great problems to solve. But on the other hand, perhaps this should be taken as a statement that we really need to invest in innovation. This makes me think that solving our healthcare problems won’t be just about reducing costs (which we certainly need to do) but also about innovating our way out.

Healthcare.gov quietly drops the online chat customer service function. You can check out the old link at this cached page that shows the now-obsolete chat window. Seems like a really odd move given all the problems, but maybe someone was trying to improve their help desk statistics.


Windows XP support is officially ending on April 8. I bet lots of hospitals will need to make alternate plans. There has been a lot of press around ATM machines struck in time on XP. The same will be true for some medical devices.


Remembering passwords is a problem in many settings and it is especially challenging in healthcare. Check out www.pingrid.org and its approach to getting us to remember a pattern instead of a complex traditional password. If you were good at Simon, this might be for you.


Stanford’s James Cybulski, James Clements, and Manu Prakash have invented a microscope that costs 50 cents that is capable of magnifying up to 2,000 times and helps medical professionals in developing countries diagnose diseases like malaria. Check it out at www.foldscope.com

The headlines read that Facebook has bought a virtual reality company. But the real news is that Facebook has now entered the hardware business with its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus. (On a related note: best fake headline related to this news … “Yahoo! Buys Viewmaster.”)

When IBM’s Watson beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy in 2011, it was big news and propelled the journey of artificial intelligence in healthcare. The latest news is that a Lego robot has set the world record in solving Rubik’s cube. I’m not really sure what this means for healthcare, but I’ve always been impressed when someone (or something) solved the cube.

The top 100 CIOs to follow on Twitter are available here, with about half a dozen healthcare folks on the list. I’m not really sure why I’m not on the list; I’ve tweeted over 10 times in the past two years.

Many lessons from the Target data security breach, two of them for me are: first, it is unlikely we have a clear picture of what has happened by following the news reports. With the intense pressure on Target IT teams, I’m sure there is more relevant detail and nuance to be shared, but PR crisis folks are heavily involved in trying to manage the story. The second and most important is that people and process are as important as technology.


Google has announced significant drops in both cloud storage and cloud computing. This will likely move the market as others will follow. While large health systems still have a way to go before this will have an impact due to the current architecture of many HIT systems, the pressure is mounting.

1-29-2014 12-54-46 PM

Darren Dworkin is chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, CA. You can reach Darren on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. Very much enjoying your contributions to HISTalk – interesting, varied and fun to read – thanks for writing.

  2. Darren,

    Thanks for the post about Pingrid as I’ve been contemplating what would be best for login for a new ICD-10-CM solution. Pingrid will be one option that could fit the bill!


  3. How much did the last dip into the ICD-10 cost ?!?
    How about HIStalk run a survey on the estimated cost of the latest US Healthcare misadventure ?
    I bet you – it will dwarf the fiasco of the healthcare. GOV ($500M if I remember correctly – ha!HA! – small change when compared to this last “Yes-No-Maybe” policy on ICD-10 will eventually cost.

    And what about US govt. credibility ? Sebelius and Tavenner were literally still singing (or should it be tweeting) about ICD-10 “coming this October rain or shine” – just yesterday morning! Were these two completely blind sided by the Congress ?

    Last but not least – why should anyone believe Sebelius and Tavenner in 2015 ?
    Why should any organization invest in ICD-10 next year ?
    My suggestion – work tightly with you Congressman / Senator and just prove Sebelius and Tavenner that “House of Cards” is not just a great NetFlix show (and it is) – it is also REALITY !

  4. Darren, love your contribution to HISTalk! But, your comment “Google has announced significant drops in both cloud storage and cloud computing”, has left out a crucial word, “Price”.

    Actual Headline from TechCrunch

    “Google Announces Massive Price Drops For Its Cloud Computing Services And Storage, Introduces Sustained-Use Discounts”

  5. Would like to hear more about your statement “…perhaps this should be taken as a statement that we really need to invest in innovation. This makes me think that solving our healthcare problems won’t be just about reducing costs (which we certainly need to do) but also about innovating our way out.” How does a healthcare CIO envision innovation? Is innovation all about integration sundry third party device and software integration, fully exploiting your EHR software, and/or something else? How do you measure the value of innovation and how to you recognize it when there’s only intangible ROI?

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