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Monday Morning Update 1/26/15

January 25, 2015 News 3 Comments

Top News


Private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson completes the sale of Strata Decision Technology to Roper Industries. Strata’s StrataJazz financial planning and analytics software is used by 1,000 hospitals. Roper’s other healthcare IT-related acquisitions include Sunquest Information Systems, SHP, and CBORD.

Reader Comments

From Kim Jong-un: “Re: HIStalk. The CMIO of a large Midwest health system told me that the IT department has blocked web access to HIStalk. Now I am wondering if HIStalk was responsible for the Sony hacking.” I like when an organization blocks access to HIStalk since that means I’m providing accurate and potentially disruptive information. It’s always been vendors doing the blocking, though. Email me your employer’s name if they’ve blocked HIStalk so I can give them a mention.


From Harold Reems: “Re: Bayhealth. Looks like they’re going Epic.” Apparently so – they’re running Epic job listings.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Two-thirds of respondents say that technology hasn’t significantly empowered patients. AlmostAdjusted commented that we’re getting there, but “technology has brought complexity to the patients and our patients are spastically grasping at a number of hyped solutions that for now are causing more disillusionment than empowerment,” while Mak says providers need to trust patients and put all of their information on their portal. New poll to your right or here:  will you in the next 6-12 months buy an Apple Watch, a different smart watch, or neither?


Speaking of empowering patients, I’m paying for five, $1,000 travel scholarships for real patients to attend the HIMSS conference, following through on an idea that patient advocate Regina Holliday and I had when I interviewed her last March. We’re accepting applications through February 9 and will choose the five based on their patient stories and their writing ability (since I want them to document their experience afterward). Those chosen  will wear a special tee shirt with a picture Regina painted just for that purpose (above is an example, but she’ll paint a new one specific for this project) as they attend sessions and visit the exhibit hall to represent the patient’s point of view. See Regina’s description and send entries to Lorre.

More on the patient travel scholarships: HIMSS declined to participate (like by comping their registration fees), so I could use some help. Exhibitor badges will work fine for the scholarship winners since they provide full conference access, but I only get five for my tiny HIStalk booth and I’ll use at least 2-3 of those. If anybody has extras, that would save me a bunch of money. UPDATE: Thanks to the several companies that offered to help out … CTG Health Solutions was quick to respond with an offer to provide badges to our patient representatives. Thanks to Amanda at CTG for supporting our project.

I learned a new, made-up word: “listicle,” a combination of the words “list” and “article” that refers to those lazy, click-baiting online pieces that start with a number, such as “10 EHR Vendors to Know” or “6 Cool Health Startups.” I like that it sounds like “Popsicle,’ a nutritionally devoid diversion that delivers little beyond the initial impulse to give it a quick lick (or “click” in this case).

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • A group of medical associations urges ONC to refocus EHR certification on usability, interoperability, and safety.
  • Industry groups ask that Meaningful Use and EHR certification require EHRs to accept the scanned barcodes of implanted medical devices.
  • ONC hires Michael McCoy, MD to the newly created position of chief health information officer, where he will oversee interoperability efforts.
  • Mayo Clinic selects Epic.
  • CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner resigns.
  • Harvard Medical School launches the Department of Biomedical Informatics, to be led by Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Emdeon is considering an IPO, sources say. The earnings multiples of recent sector deals suggest a valuation of $5.4 to $6.6 billion, which would create huge profits for the two private equity firms that took Emdeon private in 2011 for $3 billion.

California Healthcare Foundation invests in Seamless Medical Systems to develop and pilot patient engagement software for safety net providers and patients.



Nursing informatics pioneer Carol A. Romano, PhD, RN, who was chief nurse officer of the Public Health Service, is named dean of nursing school of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Announcements and Implementations

Wolters Kluwer Health releases an eBook describing how health systems can create an antimicrobial stewardship program.

Government and Politics

ONC’s annual meeting will be held February 2-3 at the Washington Hilton. Karen DeSalvo will deliver opening remarks, describe the nationwide interoperability roadmap, lead a fireside chat with Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, and join a panel discussion with all four former National Coordinators (Brailer, Kolodner, Blumenthal, and Mostashari). The meeting will be streamed via webcast as well. It will be interesting now that HITECH is winding down if attendance at this meeting and Health Datapalooza will suffer.



OpenNotes co-founder Jan Walker, RN says the next project phase, OurNotes, will allow patients to add their own notes to their electronic chart. It will be piloted at Beth Israel Deaconess, Geisinger, Harborview and Group Health in Seattle, and Heartland Health. Above is a screen shot from Joe Boyce, MD, CIO/CMIO of Heartland Health, which is using Cerner to collect information from patients (visit goals, meds, problems, care preferences) ahead of their scheduled appointments. This is brilliant – there’s no reason to waste precious appointment time collecting routine information, plus patients get flustered and forget important facts when forced to recite them on demand.

A study of New York nursing homes finds that EHR adoption increased 7.7 percent from 2012 to 2013, but HIE participation remains minimal. Those using EHRs had no specific characteristics different from those that didn’t, but HIE participation was related to being associated with a hospital and not being run as a for-profit business.


University of Virginia Health system announces that it is one of five academic medical centers that will use a $7 million CMS grant to pilot an eConsults/eReferrals model. PCPs can use Epic to send a quick question to a specialist who can then review the patient’s electronic chart to provide an answer. The goal is to free up specialists to see patients who really need a face-to-face appointment vs. PCPs looking for a curbside consult.


Weird News Andy says this story is untitleable: an Australian woman chooses a “maternal-assisted C-section” for her 10th and 11th children, meaning she removed the babies herself during the otherwise normal procedure.

Sponsor Updates


  • Surgical Information Systems team members make over 50 blankets for Project Linus at its SIS Cares event.
  • ZirMed announces results of the end-to-end ICD-10 testing of its customers.
  • Huron Consulting releases its Healthcare CEO Forum report.
  • Trey Lauderdale writes about the interconnected nature of physician messaging and alarm management in a new Voalte blog.
  • Versus Technology updates the agenda for its 2015 User Group Meeting, taking place May 11-13 in Chicago.
  • Verisk Health SVP of Population Health and Risk Adjustment Matt Siegel pens an article titled “Risk-Adjusted Base Payments can Support the Move to Value.”
  • HHS CTO Bryan Spivak visits Validic’s Durham, NC headquarters and poses for a photo.
  • Valence Health will participate in HFMA’s first Illinois Managed Care Meeting in Chicago on January 29.
  • Qpid Health releases the latest podcast in its “Intrepid Healthcare” series.
  • Thomas White at Phynd Technologies blogs about “Why a Single Provider Profile Matters.”
  • Patientco CEO Bird Blitch blogs about “Why 2015 is the Year Providers Will Embrace Cloud Technology.”
  • PatientSafe Solutions CNIO Cheryl Parker writes on the topic of supporting the cognitive workload of clinicians with mobile technology.
  • Nordic releases the fourth installment of its video series on Epic’s Cupid application.
  • Navicure’s Amanda Brown posts a new blog on “The New Normal for Revenue Cycle Management in 2015.”
  • NVoq’s Debbi Gillotti writes a new blog post on how to “Drive Even More Value from Your EMR with SayIt 9.3.N
  • TT Data’s Phil Thames provides his executive viewpoint on industry predictions for 2015.
  • In a new white paper, Perceptive Software Principal Solution Architect Larry Sitka writes about vendor neutral archiving as more than just a place to store images.
  • MBA HealthGroup publishes a new blog on “Security Risk Assessment – Balancing Data Protection & Efficient Workflows.”
  • Medicity offers a new blog on “The 10-Year Interoperability Roadmap: How do We Get There from Here?”
  • Sean Biehle writes about “Extending Patient Engagement Beyond the Point of Care” in a new MedData blog.
  • MedAptus takes an Austin Powers tone in its latest blog, entitled “$375 Billion Dollars … mwwahahahahahaha.”


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

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Tim,
    Love the idea for the scholarships. It occurs to me that you don’t want industry shills wandering the halls. I would suggest issuing a little more guidance on who you will choose. I would rule out employees of vendors. I would love to read a blog post by someone with all of these characteristics:
    1) someone with a history of encounters with the industry – people with diagnoses!
    2) In addition, being a care giver for a parent or child would add more depth
    3) professional writing experience
    4) work history involving interviewing people

    Looking forward to the results!

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Reader Comments

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