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From HIMSS 4/14/15

April 14, 2015 News 11 Comments

From Thinking Ahead: “Re: HIStalkapalooza. How can we sponsor next year’s event?” Contact Lorre. I think this year’s sponsors feel they got their money’s worth since it let them have a “party within a party” that offered cool exposure that impressed prospects, but didn’t cost them much since the fixed costs were spread over several sponsors. I question my sanity in assuming so much work and financial risk just to throw a free party where I don’t know all of the attendees, but for at least one evening per year, it almost seems worth it. I haven’t fully decided about doing it again next year.

From Donnie Brasco: “Re: Epic. Announced that Care Everywhere is free until 2020. The $2.35 per patient per year Epic to non-Epic exchange fee was eliminated. Haven’t heard start date or other details.” Epic was taking in only a tiny bit of revenue anyway, and given the negative (and often inaccurate) press as well as the occasional Congressional scorn, it’s a smart move to just waive the small fee rather than defending it.

From GE Hellcare: “Re: Centricity Enterprise. Announced as retired during HIMSS. No more inpatient EHR. They haven’t decided whether to sell it to another company or retire it.” I hadn’t heard that, but then again it’s not exactly a force to be reckoned with either way.

From Tom Terrific: “Re: MedCity News referring to HIStalk as ‘the National Enquirer of health IT.’ I may never read that site again!” I was peeved that a snarky report that recapped HIStalkapalooza made it sound like HIStalk is some kind of tabloid journalism site that isn’t respected or trustworthy, which seems a bit ungrateful given that the writer enjoyed their evening at my expense and filled some of their news space recapping the Jonathan-Judy portion of it (which, now that I think of it, sounds a lot more like ‘National Enquirer’ celebrity gossip masquerading as news than anything I write). I’ll compare experience, issues analysis, news relevancy, and rumor accuracy with anyone.

From Lincoln: “Re: Allscripts. I heard UCI is dropping Sunrise for Epic, the last of the UCs to do move there.”

Centura Health SVP/CIO Dana Moore’s dance card is filled for his 10 until noon time slot in our booth Wednesday, but if you’re willing to donate $500 to DonorsChoose to get 20 minutes of his undivided attention, Dana says he’s willing to stick around later. Remember that we also have an anonymous vendor that is matching that amount, so each 20-minute taker sends $1,000 to underserved classroom projects. One vendor’s executive says she doesn’t really have anything to pitch to Dana, so she’ll use her time to teach him how to make balloon animals. See Lorre in the booth Wednesday morning.

News: the Senate passed the SGR doc fix bill late Tuesday without ICD-10 additions, requiring only the President’s signature to avoid cutting doctor payments (at the expense of adding another $141 billion to the deficit).

Announcements That Are Kind of Interesting

  • Arcadia Healthcare Solutions announces $13 million in new funding.
  • InstaMed offers its payment network customers the ability to charge patients using Apple Pay.
  • Identity management vendor CrossChx raises $15 million.

Today’s Conference Notes


We had The Walking Gallery in our booth this afternoon. Each painted jacket tells a story of suffering and loss amidst a struggle with a sometimes uncaring, bureaucratic, paternalistic, or inefficient medical establishment. You should care because it’s about patients and we’re all a patient at one time or another – working in healthcare doesn’t protect you or your family from its problems.


Our favorite attorney Steve Blumenthal (on the right) hung out in the booth today and handed out swag. He tried to get approval to give away little bottles of whiskey since his company is in Nashville, but being lawyers, they scotched the idea (no pun intended) fearing mass litigation from conference attendees who might injure themselves in an alcoholic stupor. He made himself a badge labeled “HIStalk Booth Babe” that featured a silhouette of a reclining obese male (he’s pointing at it in the photo). He says he’s pretty funny for a lawyer but it’s not exactly a high bar, so I’m not sure if the “bar” part was an intentional pun.  


I still haven’t received any of the HIStalkapalooza photos or video folks were taking for us, but here’s a great band shot from Nordic. Guys loved those red dresses. I should have Lorre check the band’s rider and production details to see if they intentionally installed a hair-blowing fan to make the angelic-sounding ladies look more model-like – I noticed their tresses were undulating fetchingly in the apparently intentional stage breeze.

Want to see the big HIMSS conference keynoters? Plan on sticking around longer than you should since HIMSS backloads the big guns – George Bush is at 4:30 Wednesday and Karen DeSalvo isn’t until 8:30 Thursday morning after everybody who has real work to do is already back doing it.

I remember when vendors weren’t allowed to offer food from the exhibit hall, not even packaged candy. Now you can get just about everything – I’ve had margaritas, mini hot dogs (the sauerkraut was smelling up the adjacent booths), and of course the amazing scones from MedData – my favorite was on tap today, peach with passion fruit icing. Seriously good. I would have had a second one with my HCI-provided beer except they ran out. MedData even delivered some scones to our booth. I’ve heard a scary rumor that Las Vegas doesn’t allow ovens in the exhibit hall and that’s a problem for next year’s scone supply.

Tip: if you want to take UberX back to your hotel, they can’t pull into the taxi loop at the door and the app won’t let you call a car – instead, walk a block or two to the right and then place your Uber request. Even with surge pricing I was able to get back to Bridgeport for $13 this afternoon.

I meant to check out NantHealth since last year I couldn’t figure out what they do even after the booth people tried to explain it to me (clearly they didn’t really know either). I haven’t found their booth so far.

The companies that seem to be on a growth rocket ride, at least from their conference presence, include Access and CoverMyMeds. I’m sure there are others, but those made my radar.

Speaking of growth, here’s a project for all you analytics people. Get copies of the HIMSS exhibitor guide from the previous couple of years. Assign weighting factors to each vendor in the exhibit hall that are both positive (bigger booth, more desirable location, consecutive years of exhibiting) and negative (dropping out of exhibiting or taking a smaller booth). Who is trending up or down? Who stopped showing up at all? How many first-timers returned? How many companies shot their financial wad on one big HIMSS presence and then sank without a trace?

I took a look at Medhost’s YourCareEverywhere, which is sort of a patient portal for hospitals that run its systems. It looked pretty good.

I thought Marshfield Clinic had given up trying to turn its CattailsMD ambulatory EHR into a commercial product, but they’re back with a new cloud-based version. I watch part of a demo and it looked OK but nothing special. I don’t know why with all the EHR vendors out there someone would buy from a provider, but Farzad was checking it out, so maybe it’s cooler than I thought. They only ever sold 34 Cattails systems and now those users have to move to the new one.

PeraHealth says it has grown a lot and they list a bunch of big-name academic medical centers as customers for its Rothman Index patient early warning system.

The Anthelio folks say they’ve grown a lot. I liked them.

I got a quick look of PerfectServe’s slick Synchrony secure communication app. They’re planning to expand it to cover nurses.

I sat through part of a demo of Oneview Healthcare, which offers a cool tablet-controlled in-room patient display where patients can order meals within their prescribed dietary restrictions, input questions that employees are prompted to answer, view educational material (which can be prescribed by clinicians), and a lot more that I couldn’t stay to see. It’s worth a look.

It was bad enough that the exhibit hall is divided into two wildly non-linear sets of booths, but today I found that way down on one side is a real no-man’s land housing the cybersecurity, disaster recovery, and HX360 tracks. You go through some depressing loading dock type doors into what looks like a truck garage and there are a bunch of nondescript booths, mostly free of people, energy, and buzz (although the Leidos cybersecurity speaker had a pretty good crowd). I felt bad and strolled through all the aisles trying to raise spirits by just having a visitor poking around, but the reps had mostly already flatlined their interest and were counting down the minutes until quitting time. I figure some of the products back there surely have a chance to be eventually successful, but the HIMSS setup as so awful that it was creepy just hanging around back there, so I bailed. Here’s how remote it was: there were a ton of empty soft couches, tables, and chairs with no takers. Haul that messy barbeque sandwich there at tomorrow’s lunch and you’ll have a place to eat it instead of spilling it on your shirt and shoes.

I saw a display that offered, in large letters, a “Wellenss Kiosk.” I didn’t have the heart to snap a photo to run here.

Speaking of food, we had a great CMIO lunch today in Bistro HIMSS in the Lakeside building near the exhibit hall. The buffet was really good, the lake view was nice, and it was comfortable and reasonably quiet. Anybody can stroll up and buy lunch for $24. Thursday’s menu sounds excellent and we have a handful of leftover tickets, so maybe I’ll buy someone lunch if I’m in the mood. The CMIOs seemed to enjoy getting together today with Lorre.


Cerner takes direct aim at Epic on one of its booth signs.


This prize must have had the nerds salivating.



Clever badge ribbons.


I thought I might learn something about the just-announced IBM Watson Health, but this guy was way over my head with P53 genetic variants.

HISsies 2015 Winners

The winners are here.

More Wednesday. I’m taking a look at products claiming to be innovative for patients and families. Let me know if there’s anything else I shouldn’t miss.

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Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Open knowledge that UCI is being forced to convert to Epic. They were a long term TDS/Eclipsys/Allscripts client and choose to upgrade to Allscripts for their next generation system back in ~2007. Other UC hospitals went with Epic (UC Davis – converting off Invision – millions and millions and millions spent, CIO fired, Deloitte fired – new CIO dragged it back from the dead with more money and is now the chief UC cheerleader for Epic. UCSF went with GE… 10+ million dollars later and a new CEO, they were pushed by Davis to go to Epic. Grateful they were for a system that worked, although not as flexible as they hoped. UC San Diego spent many many years converting off Invision to Epic. Not sure what they had in ambulatory care but of course pro fee billing drives all of this. UCLA had a hodge podge of self developed systems and many many physicians with a hankering to do programming on the side, for their specialty. Not long ago, brought in ex- Deloitte employees and previous Epic hospital executives, and started to convert to Epic. Close to being done now.

    On the surface, not much financial sense for UCI to convert. 95% done with Sunrise implementation. But Epic proposed the ‘combine data centers/run a sister hospital’ option and the Regents were eager to show some intent of saving money by closing the UCI data center and forcing them to run from… Davis or maybe UCLA. Allscripts, through it’s legacy systems and Sunrise, has a history of allowing hospitals to customize (alot). UCI has lived that since 1983. Gonna lose some of that. Possible the old guard who installed back in the day will be happy to retire and hand off.

    Likely will be a rough conversion. Epic will prevail and those who stand in the way will be retired before they know it.

  2. National Enquirer? LOL. Must be a 1% worried about the masses learning too much. Oh well! Keep up the work. Some in the trenches appreciate it.

  3. Many health is the 2084 space. Just ask when you enter and the area. I found the executives very informative knowledgeable and was very impressed Bob Watson CEO was very generous with his time meeting with me in their meeting place room. I left very excited about the direction of the company. It is truly the next generation and I think the time is now for this solution. They also have some payers that have bought into reimbursement Always need to make sure you can make money. I would suggest resders find time to learn about NantHealth. .

  4. At UCLA, it was a race to install Epic before the old system collapsed which it did shortly after the Epic go-live, they shut down legacy early.

  5. I beg to differ, your link doesn’t work (USPTO seems to expire links), but if you search better you’ll see that Epic has trademarked “CARE EVERYWHERE” serial number 78417889 since June 28, 2005.

    Curiously, the YOURCAREEVERYWHERE mark is registered to YourCareUniverse, Inc. (is that Medhost?) serial number 86505953 registered on January 16, 2015. I’m not a lawyer but to me it seems infringing as it’s in the same field.

  6. …”way over my head with P53 genetic variants.” Interesting isn’t it? Always seems that healthcare IT is one extreme to the other… Either we’re going after incredibly complex problems (that may or may not “help” our healthcare dilemma) or we’re still pushing paper in some crazy bassackwards Rube Goldberg machine. Come to think of it… Same as the rest of healthcare… We’ll spend bazillions on edge cases and close down diabetes outpatient clinics, all to “save money”…

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