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June 3, 2014 News 13 Comments

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Apple announces (but does not demonstrate) HealthKit at its developers’ conference, which will combine and present information from healthcare apps and wearables. It will be part of iOS 8. Apple said in the announcement that it’s been working with Mayo Clinic, which will connect to the Health app within HealthKit, and also Epic, which has integrated HealthKit information into MyChart.   

Reader Comments

From Carol R: “Re: Dana Moore interview on Epic at Centura. One point I thought would have made the article more real and interesting was if Dana had discussed the journey from Epic to Meditech and then back to Epic. Centura decommissioned Epic in 2006 when it was replaced by Meditech. That was a directive from the board and Dana for cost containment overall and possibly other reasons as he stated in his review. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston also moved off and then back to Epic. I think there is a lot to learn from other organizations on a big decision over time such as the purchase of Epic. Why not share this knowledge in case there are other organizations struggling to figure this out?” I’m happy to run any information anyone would like to provide. It’s an interesting topic. 

From Lyle: “Re: Epic. See the first comment after this article. I was subject to this during my time at Epic.” An anonymous comment to a post on the “Life After Epic” blog claims that Judy Faulkner “exhorted managers to be capricious. Her idea was that you keep people at peak productivity by making sure they never know, exactly, where the goal post is. Independently-minded malcontents won’t stand for it and will leave; but people eager to please — people who need to please — will just keep trying. So you can essentially keep pulling 125 percent out of them indefinitely by being an ass and constantly moving the marker of what they need to do or how they need to do it.” As an example, the commenter claims that Judy told team leaders to randomly deny employee vacation requests just to keep them guessing. The commenter also opines that “the software is basically an undocumented rat’s nest of bailing wire and duct tape that it works because Judy has an unlimited supply of college kids graduating in a crap economy to throw at it.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Congratulations to HIStalk friend Barry Wightman of Forward Health Group, whose novel Pepperland (which I enjoyed immensely) just won a regional fiction award. Barry is just about the coolest guy I know.

I’m a bit stretched on time since I’m at Health Datapalooza, so I’ll keep it short this time and catch up by the weekend.

Upcoming Webinars

June 11 (Wednesday) 1:00 p.m. ET.  Building a Data Warehouse and Analytics Strategy from the Ground Up. Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: Eric Just, VP of technology; Mike Doyle, VP of sales; Health Catalyst. This easy-to-understand discussion covers the key analytic principles of an adaptive data architecture including data aggregation, normalization, security, and governance. The presenters will discuss implementation tactics (team creation, roles, and reporting), creating a data-driven culture, and organizing permanent cross-functional teams that can create and measure long-term improvements.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Outpatient specialty documentation system vendor Net Health acquires The Rehab Documentation Company.


McKesson sells its European technology product line, which includes its System C hospital offerings acquired in 2011, to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group.


Orthopaedic Associates of Southern Delaware (DE) chooses SRS PM/EHR.



Healthgrades names Jeff Surges (Merge Healthcare) to the newly created role of president.

Announcements and Implementations

Boston Software announces GA of Boston WorkStation Version 10, its workflow automation technology.

Kareo releases a social media and reputation management guide for practices that have limited resources to develop an online presence.

NextGen Healthcare claims it has achieved “vendor agnostic interoperability” because one of its client practices has exchanged C-CDA Summary of Care messages with Tucson Medical Center’s Epic system using the Surescripts network.

Government and Politics

The federal Bureau of Prisons issues an RFI for an EHR to replace the system it has used since 2006.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House is considering Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD as the next VA secretary.


Edith Dees, CIO of Holy Spirit Hospital (PA), says the hospital is trying hard to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements but is struggling with issues outside of its control, including one vendor’s requirement that its system run on an OS version the hospital doesn’t support, an HIE vendor whose product doesn’t meet Direct Project security standards, EHR vendors that require buying additional products such as patient portals and add-ons, and delayed and buggy vendor MU releases.  


NPR covers Health Datapalooza, which it calls “an awkward adolescence” in which “2,000 people [are] shrieking with excitement over federal healthcare databases,” cautioning that all of those cool apps that people are developing trying to make a buck are largely unproven works in progress.

University of Arizona Health Network (AZ) has lost $28.5 million so far this fiscal year ending June 30, which it says is due to $32 million in unplanned training and support costs for its $115 million Epic implementation.


A ProPublica series on national prescribing irregularities wins the Health Data Liberators Award at Health Datapalooza.

The 12th International Congress on Nursing Informatics will be held June 21-25, 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Weird News Andy titles this article “Daft Graft Graft,” adding that “he had skin in the game.” A Pennsylvania man is arrested for stealing skin grafts worth $350,000 from Mercy Philadelphia Hospital over two years.


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

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Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. For Carol R.

    Centura only had Epic for practice management. No clinical or acute setting components were deployed. Once the decision was made in 2005 to go with MEDITECH and have an integrated record, the practice management software from Epic was replaced by LSS (now MEDITECH). Integration was the driver to replace Epic, not cost. Happy to discuss further if there is an interest.

  2. Those practices do NOT occur at Epic (the company that gives paid sabbaticals).

    Just silly and superfluous nonsense.

  3. If Judy is god-fearing, she surely will be praying for a Cosgrove appointment to the VA.

    So should veterans if you’ve ever received care at the Cleveland Clinic.

  4. Explicit goals are reviewed weekly with my TL and Ive never had a vacation request denied. It’s disheartening to see this site used as a platform to broadcast a spiteful and personal attack. It’s hurtful and uncalled for rumor mongering.

  5. Heck of a pay cut for Toby Cosgrove to go to the VA. I don’t see how that would raise his profile much more than he’s already established at the Clinic.

    As far s the “Lyle” comments. I was at Epic in management the entire time that guy would’ve been employed. Nothing of that nature was ever stated. The goal posts were always to be the best; at the product level, implementation level, and customer service level. There never was anything about denying vacation requests.

    The amount of support for his comments probably demonstrates a lack of communication for certain decisions at the manager/employee level, but at the same time anyone who is willing to publish some of this nonsense gives some insight into their overall level of common sense. That may have something to do with their employment opportunity.

  6. As a former TL at Epic, I can say with certainty that the claims made by Lyle are completely bogus. In point of fact, as a TL I was instructed to be transparent with my team members so that they knew where they stood at all times. In other words, if they were exceeding, meeting, or falling below expectations. The mantra was “there should be no surprises” during end of year reviews, since we were to keep team members up-to-date on their performance at all times.

  7. I heard many different things from TLs during and after Epic. While I didn’t hears this story directly, I saw similar actions with vacation denials, teams disappearing suddenly, projects getting sabotaged, etc. If Epic is such a great place, why do people leave so soon, and why the class action? The “there should be no surprises”? There were lots of surprises.

  8. Wow….. based on the number of defensive comments you get when you have a post critical of Epic, I think you have a loyal reader base in South Central Wisconsin.

  9. I know relatively little about Epic. On the other hand I know quite a bit about Meditech and, from what I understand, they have very similar corporate cultures. I also know lots about the IT world outside healthcare.

    There are people here affirming that this manipulative managerial behaviour definitely did happen. There are others saying absolutely not. Quite the dichotomy, no?

    Meditech is a very old-school company with old-school technology. They want customers to come corporate headquarters for in-person training. They have an inward focused system. Most of all, their attitude is that customers don’t tell them what to do or how their HIS system should work. They tell customers that.

    Yeah yeah, I can hear the objections already. Well I’ve seen the mechanisms for an alternate way of working and they are all half-hearted, weakly administered, and rarely deliver anything of note. And that’s by design. The technology reinforces the culture and the culture reinforces the technology. It’s also no accident that this company was founded in the 1960’s and most/all technology companies from that era worked that way.

    This is the kind of place where “people like us” thrive and “people not like us” do poorly and leave.

    What does this have to do with Epic? Remember me saying that Meditech and Epic seem to have similar corporate cultures? Also, I seem to remember that Judy Faulkner used to work at Meditech early in her career. Coincidence?

  10. Judy never worked at Meditech.

    Brian, if everything everyone said was true, you’d be a genius Too.

  11. She may never have worked at MEDITECH Brian but are you familiar with the history of the relationship/interactions between her and the founders of MEDITECH? If you are not it’s not hard to find on the web.

  12. @Brian:

    I think the dichotomy is probably just psychological. People who do poorly at a job tend to externalize the reasons for their poor performance, and thus are more likely to attribute their failures to flaws in their managers or coworkers rather than flaws in themselves.

    Asking employees about a company they left on bad terms is a bit like asking someone about their ex-spouse – even if what they tell you is completely true from their point of view, their point of view is usually emotionally charged, and not the way an unbiased observer would see things.

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