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October 21, 2014 News 6 Comments

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California Republican Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, plans a hearing Friday to look into the Obama administration’s handling of the Ebola crisis. Newly appointed Ebola response coordinator Ron Klain has declined to testify, likely given that it will be only his third day on the job.


November 5 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. Keeping it Clean: How Data Profiling Leads to Trusted Data. Sponsored by Encore, A Quintiles Company. Presenters: Lori Yackanicz, administrator of clinical informatics, Lehigh Valley Health Network; Randy L. Thomas, associate partner of performance analytics, Encore, A Quintiles Company; Joy Ales, MHA, BSN, RN, senior consultant, Encore, A Quintiles Company. Data dictionaries, organizational standards, and pick lists for data entry fields may describe the intent of a particular data field, but don’t guarantee that the data captured in the source system actually reflects that intent. Data profiling is the statistical analysis and assessment of the data values in source systems for consistency, uniqueness, and logic to ensure that the data landing in a data warehouse or analytic application is as expected. Attendees will learn which projects benefit from data profiling and the resources needed to accomplish it.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Care coordination platform developer CareSync secures $4.25 million in Series A financing led by Founder and CEO Travis Bond, Tullis Health Investors, CDH Solutions, and Clearwell Group. You can read my recent interview with Bond here.


Athenahealth makes plans to expand its brand-new Ponce City Market office in Atlanta. Filings suggest the company could expand by another 40,000 square feet by July 2016.


HealthStream reports Q3 results: revenue up 32 percent, EPS $0.12 vs. $0.08, and announcement of a new patient interview center in Nashville, TN that is expected to create 200 jobs.

TeamHealth Holdings acquires PhysAssist Scribes for an undisclosed sum. PhysAssist will operate as a separate division of TeamHealth under its current leadership.

Announcements and Implementations


National Comprehensive Cancer Network will integrate its chemotherapy order templates into Epic’s Beacon Oncology Information System. The templates will link to NCCN.org, affording end users access to relevant NCCN guidelines.


Cleveland Clinic (OH) and Mayo Clinic (MN) are the latest providers to deploy HealthSpot telemedicine booths. Cleveland Clinic has installed two at Marc’s retail pharmacies in Ohio. Mayo Clinic has placed one at its Austin, MN campus, and anticipates deploying more at private employers next year.


Children’s Specialized Hospital (NJ) and BluePrint Healthcare IT launch the first implementation phase of a new patient-centered medical home model with corresponding software. CSH will use BluePrint’s Care Navigator technology as its main communication and education tool during the process.


Tufts Medical Center and Specialists On Call partner to establish the Tufts Medical Center TeleNeurology program, which will provide community hospitals in Massachusetts with new neurology support options.



Lahey Health (MA) selects supply chain, performance, advisory, and analytics services from Premier Inc. and Yankee Alliance Supply Chain Solutions.


HealthInfoNet, the State of Maine’s HIE, selects the Symedical system from Clinical Architecture to enhance terminology management and data normalization. HealthInfoNet will also use the system to manage access to mental health- and HIV-related information, which requires additional legal protections in that state.


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Senator William Frist, MD and David Snow, Jr. (Medco Health Solutions) join TelaDoc’s Board of Directors.

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Baptist Health (KY) promotes Polly Bechtold, RN to regional director for clinical IT at its Paducah and Madisonville hospitals. Sharon Freyer, RN will serve as Baptist Health Paducah’s interim CNO.


Jennifer Anderson (Tenet Practice Resources) joins the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance as executive director. She succeeds Holt Anderson, who will retire at the end of this month.

GNS Healthcare names Bill Thornburg vice president of product management, Jim Dutton vice president of product development, and Lance Stewart vice president of payer business development.

Research and Innovation


A study of 142 cardiac patients equipped with C3 Nexus heart rate monitors at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center (VA) finds that just 4 percent of those patients were readmitted to the hospital within 90 days. The company is looking to expand its customer base with hospitals and payers in Texas and Arizona.


Clinical Genome Resource launches the Genome Connect patient portal as part of a NIH genetic research initiative. The portal, developed by a team of Geisinger Health System (PA) investigators, serves as a repository for lab data and patient-entered health information to assist providers and researchers in better understanding genetic variants and their impact on health.


A new study finds that participants who used Castlight Health’s Enterprise Healthcare Cloud Software platform to search for healthcare services saw lower costs for laboratory tests and advanced imaging services compared to those participants that did not.



The local paper profiles Resolution Care, which aims to improve in-home palliative care in rural areas via house calls or virtual visits. Michael Fratkin, MD founder of the project and St. Joseph Hospital’s (CA) Palliative Care Program, will launch an Indiegogo campaign next month to raise $100,00 for the project.


Local radio profiles the Kentucky HIE’s progress in rolling out a statewide patient portal developed by NoMoreClipboard. Five facilities are participating in the pilot phase of the myhealthnow portal, which is expected to go statewide by the end of the year.


Kenneth Mandl, MD of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, points out in a JAMA article that EHRs and workflow aren’t the only problems when it comes to screening for Ebola: “Compounding the problem is that public health, largely absent from the table in defining requirements, remains mostly locked out of the point of care, barely able to exploit the newly deployed health information technology infrastructure. Five years after the enactment of Meaningful Use, public health officials still reach clinicians and hospitals through traditional dispatches and media alerts.”


The mock @CzarOfEbola Twitter account spotlights the frustration many Washington insiders have expressed with the continued leadership of Tom Frieden, MD at the CDC, and appointment of “Ebola Czar” Ron Klain.


The local business paper details the somewhat strange trip a group of Nashville, TN healthcare leaders took to Cuba. Scott Mertie, president of Kraft Healthcare Consulting, noted that, “even though the technology is a little bit behind, they’re still doing advanced medicine. I think in general the population seems very happy with their health care,” adding that may be because they "just don’t know what else is out there."

Sponsor Updates

  • Nuance partners with eClinicalWorks to offer cloud-based speech recognition with eClinicalTouch for the iPad, and eClinicalMobile for iPhone and Android.
  • Health Catalyst shares “factoids” from its Summit due to a high volume of requests.
  • NextGen Healthcare and InterSystems enable Missouri Health Connection to provide on-demand bidirectional data exchange with clients.
  • Medicity shares a video of CORHIO’s providers discussing how their HIE has helped improve patient care and streamline workflows.
  • Elsevier releases the first multidisciplinary, general medical reference digest of from its new Clinics Collections series.
  • Health Catalyst introduces a white paper for a systematic approach to transform healthcare.
  • Gartner names the Cache’ data platform from InterSystems a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Operational Database Management Systems.


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

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. “Ebola (Czar) Ron Klain has declined to testify, likely given that it will be only his third day on the job.” And he has no healthcare background or management crisis experience!

  2. Re the article about the Nashville group that went to Cuba and came back with a praise report. All I’d ask them is “if they had a serious illness, would they leave the US and go there for treatment.” If any of them say “Yes”, then I will give them kudos. That offer extends to Michael Moore, also. Until then, please don’t become a useful idiot for a repressive regime.

    The stat on life expectancy is misleading – there are many things other than medical care that affect that – diet, genetics, culture, and how the stats are calculated.

    Note that they say they only got a limited look at the system, only seeing the administrative side and no physician interaction. They forget that the Cuban system is two-tiered, as was the old Soviet model – the leadership gets great care while the masses don’t have access to those same facilities.

    Otherwise, the comment from the article is right on: “and the population seems less likely to complain about their treatment or their coverage than Americans are.” Yes, I’m sure they are. Complaining in Cuba is not a wise move.

  3. Cuban physicians have long been known for their superior physical/patient examination and diagnostic skills largely due to out of sheer necessity. Cuban physicians are typically valued and Castro has sent them abroad to a number of places in large numbers including Venezuela and Angola to either extend Cuban foreign policy goals or as part of trade agreements.

    Point though is that Cuba and every other country spends a fraction of what the US does on healthcare and achieves a much higher level of outcomes given the inputs they invest. Healthcare costs are a slow motion car wreck that is driving the US off a cliff especially at the local and state gov’t levels. Even now with historically low healthcare cost increases at the macroeconomic level they are still outpacing CPI (highly flawed number but that is another issue) and certain wage increases.

  4. In lieu of creating an Ebola Czar and wasting still more tax-payer money, to say nothing of the ineffectiveness of the current “screening'”policy, simply ban all flights from Africa until the epidemic is controlled. Effective yes; politically correct no.

  5. Lazlo Hollyfeld – I actually planned and led the healthcare delegation to Cuba last October. I would be more than happy to discuss the details and outcomes with you. Scott

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