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February 16, 2016 News 5 Comments

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Cerner reports Q4 results: revenue up 27 percent, adjusted EPS $0.61 vs. $0.47, beating expectations for both.  The company adjusted revenue projections slightly downward on lower bookings, with shares dropping 14 percent to below their 52-week low in early after-hours trading Tuesday. CERN shares were already down 21 percent in the past year.

Reader Comments

From Take the Cannoli: “Re: news. Why so little recently? Industry downturn?” We’re in the pre-HIMSS conference quiet period, where companies save their questionably interesting fluff “news” like fall squirrels stashing nuts in their cheeks, misguided into thinking that they’ll get more exposure by expelling their PR flatus during the conference. Nobody will be paying attention as piles of press releases go out all at once on Tuesday and Wednesday, screaming for attention but earning little of it in the self-congratulatory din. Maybe that’s how I could have gotten more sponsor support to expand the HIStalkapalooza invitation list – charge companies for 60 seconds on stage to read their overwrought press releases to the crowd like town criers.

From PointProf: “Re: CHI in Houston. Heard they had 50-hour Epic downtime. Wonder what the root cause was?” I saw some Reddit chatter that said it was a Citrix provisioning problem.

From Scuzi: “Re: ransomware. Breaking news tweeted from [publication name omitted].” They gushed their “story” out as “breaking news” early Tuesday evening, two-plus days after I wrote about it. I linked to the local newspaper that did the actual reporting whereas they didn’t, apparently hoping their readers won’t suspect that they’re just rewording articles from other sites. If you’re not doing actual journalism, at least credit your sources.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

I’m growing weary of the words “solution,” “platform,” “suite,” and maybe even “system” since those terms don’t really add any value over just “software” except to marketing people trying to tart up their product or salespeople trying to paint a grander image of their zeros and ones. I’m interested in opinions on this.


Susan Newbold, PhD, RN of the Nursing Informatics Boot Camp will be the celebrity guest in our Lilliputian booth (#5069) at HIMSS Tuesday from 10 until 11 a.m.

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Mrs. Spell’s North Carolina second graders are using the math stations we provided in funding her DonorsChoose grant request for small-group instruction. She added, “During my morning meeting about two weeks ago, my students were so excited to see the big brown box on the carpet knowing the ‘donors’ thought they were awesome again! I told them how much other people believed in them and that they wanted to share new math games and activities with them for their math rotations.”


This company obviously has a selectively keen eye for detail, spelling HIMSS wrong but doing the “little-i” thing that HIMSS puts on its logo but nowhere else.

I bet HIMSS is glad that keynoter Peyton Manning quarterbacked the Super Bowl winning team, but not so thrilled that he’s simultaneously being dogged by allegations of HGH use and sexual harassment that threaten to tarnish his carefully created public persona. Maybe he’ll exit the HIMSS stage thanking God and Budweiser again.


February 17 (Wednesday) noon ET. “Take Me To Your Leader: Catholic Health Initiatives on Executive Buy-In for Enterprise Analytics.” Sponsored by Premier. Presenters: Jim Reichert, MD, PhD, VP of analytics, Catholic Health Initiatives; Rush Shah, product manager analytics factory, Premier. Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation’s second-largest non-profit health system, knew that in order to build an enterprise analytics strategy, they needed a vision, prioritization, and most importantly buy-in from their executives. Dr. Jim Reichert will walk through their approach.

February 23 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Completing your EMR with a Medical Image Sharing Strategy.” Sponsored by LifeImage. Presenters: Don K. Dennison, consultant; Jim Forrester, director of imaging informatics, UR Medicine. Care coordination can suffer without an effective, cost-efficient way to share images across provider networks. Consolidating image management systems into a single platform such as VNA or PACS doesn’t address the need to exchange images with external organizations. This webinar will address incorporating the right image sharing methods into your health IT strategy.

February 24 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Is Big Data a Big Deal … or Not?” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenter: Dale Sanders, EVP of product development, Health Catalyst. Hadoop is the most powerful and popular technology platform for data analysis in the world, but healthcare adoption has been slow. This webinar will cover why healthcare leaders should care about Hadoop, why big data is a bigger deal outside of healthcare, whether we’re missing the IT boat yet again, and how the cloud reduces adoption barriers by commoditizing the skilled labor impact.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Vizient (the former VHA, UHC, and Novation that were combined in November 2015) completes its acquisition of the MedAssets SCM and Sg2 segments. Pamplona Capital Management announced in November 2015 that it was acquiring MedAssets for $2.7 billion but would keep only its revenue cycle management business, merging it with Pamplona-owned Precyse.


Under Armour says its wearables business brought in $53 million in revenue in 2015, driven by its $560 million acquisitions of fitness apps Endomondo and MyFitness Pal. That company had $4 billion in revenue in 2015, 88 percent of that from clothes and shoe sales and 1.3 percent from Connected Fitness.

Privacy monitoring system vendor Protenus, started in 2014 by two Johns Hopkins medical students, raises $4 million, increasing its total to $5.4 million.


For-profit hospital operator Community Health Systems announces Q4 results: revenue down 2.4 percent, EPS –$0.66 vs. $1.12, sending shares down 22 percent Tuesday. The company blames the results on a weaker flu season in 2015 and lower volume in its former HMA facilities in Florida. Above is the one-year share price chart for CYH (blue, down 72 percent) vs. the Dow (red, down 10 percent).


Imprivata reports Q4 results: revenue up 18 percent, adjusted EPS –$0.09 vs. -$0.04.



Saint Anthony Hospital (IL) and Cookeville Regional Medical Center (TN, above) renew their IT services contracts with McKesson.

The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services (NY) chooses Netsmart’s CareRecord EHR.


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T-System promotes Robert Hitchcock, MD to chief strategy officer and Robin Shannon, RN to chief product officer.

Announcements and Implementations

A Black Book survey finds that hospitals using Allscripts, Cerner, and CPSI are the most loyal to their vendors. Black Book is murky about its methodology, saying only that it surveyed “2,077 crowd-sourced, hospital users” of unspecified job titles using unspecified selection methods. The company unconvincingly claims that it needed to create a loyalty index since metrics for customer affinity, repurchase intent, and client recommendations weren’t good enough to “understand the complexities of EHR customer behavior and underlying motivating forces” and that it “helps hospitals and physicians make better decisions based on customer insights,” not mentioning that dreaming up some new poll gives it something new to sell.


Iatric Systems launches Analytics on Demand, which includes pre-built dashboards for quality measures, Meaningful Use, sepsis, and readmissions that are driven by mapped EHR data.

Wolters Kluwer Health announces the release of Health Language Enterprise Terminology Management Platform that standardizes and normalizes clinical, claims, and administrative data.

HCI Group will provide education and consulting services for organizations that want to improve their HIMSS EMR Adoption Model scores, named as the first EMRAM Global Education provider of HIMSS Analytics.

Government and Politics

A Forbes op-ed piece by Bill Frist and Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH triggered by the Flint water crisis observes that  the US ranks low in health and well-being despite spending $3 trillion each year on health, calling for Public Health 3.0 in which health professionals take civic leadership roles and business leaders participate in community health. It adds, “Our ZIP codes are a more accurate determinant of health than genetic codes. As a society, we have a collective responsibility to ensure that we are providing the conditions needed to make the healthy choice the easy choice for all members of our communities.”

Privacy and Security


Magnolia Health Corporation (CA) notifies employees that “an unidentified third person impersonated our CEO” in obtaining an Excel worksheet that contained their personal information, including Social Security numbers and salaries.



A PICU medical director in Canada spends the day working as an RN in his unit. He summarizes, “As a physician I think we take for granted that we write an order and the work just gets done … After my day as an RN, I am going to suggest that all the residents who train on our unit do the same. I think there is a huge opportunity to learn how each person on a unit contributes to the care of one patient … RNs spend more time with patients than we as physicians do, having an understanding of how they care for a patient and experiencing a completely different view can only make us better physicians.”


The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA opens an exhibit titled “Innovations in Healthcare,” sponsored by El Camino Hospital (CA).

Big companies are mining data about their employees to target health messages, identify those with poor credit scores those who may not take their medications, and even to identify women who may be planning pregnancy by looking at their birth control prescription records or snooping into their search history on employee wellness sites. Prominently mentioned are Castlight Health and Welltok, which aren’t bound by laws that prevent companies from analyzing the personal health information of their employees. Health management company Jiff tailors its wellness programs by employee personality type, deciding which of them will likely require a premium discount to participate in fitness programs. 

Great Lakes Health Connect will provide $250,000 in assistance to connect providers in Flint, MI and Genesee County to its network, earmarking $100,000 to link 40 physician offices, $90,000 for a dedicated implementation consultant, $50,000 for an analytics engine, and $10,000 for training.

Detroit’s Care Bridge care coordination system for patients who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid isn’t working one year into the program scheduled to run three years, with lack of IT standardization and competitive concerns among its participants blamed as possible roadblocks.


Lightning takes out the fire and alarm systems of Australia’s Robina Hospital, which apparently had no redundancy plan for its Ascom system. The hospital says it has moved the server to another site, thereby scorning the “lightning never strikes twice in the same place” fallacy.

Sponsor Updates

  • Besler Consulting publishes the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Special Report.
  • The local paper highlights Clockwise.md’s online check-in app in its coverage of a new Carolinas HealthCare Systems urgent care facility.
  • CoverMyMeds Director Scott Gaines joins the BioOhio Board of Trustees. 
  • Extension Healthcare nominates the winning University of Maryland Medical Center for two Intelligent Health Association awards.
  • The HCI Group releases a video on three things to consider during Cerner go-live planning.
  • Consulting Magazine interviews Huntzinger Management Group CEO and founding partner Robert Kitts.

Blog Posts


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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Had the same thought Suzy Q ReUs had when I was reading the Black Book article; what the heck are “crowd-sourced, hospital users”?

  2. I know he needs to fluff up his retirement, but really? How much do you think he got paid for making the “Budweiser” comment?

  3. You think you’re tired of solution, platform, suite and system? Try writing about “software” regularly in a way that promotes said “software” without using these terms. First, an integral component of marketing is tarting things up, so just saying “software” over and over does not work, especially as it lulls the reader into an impenetrable stupor. (Sidebar: Apple sells software and hardware, but how often do they actually use those terms?) Second, the goal is to tell people what the software can do for them. Terms like system and platform imply, in a not totally incorrect way, that the software can be a platform for additional software that becomes genuinely helpful and enhances the care process via a broader system.

    Yes, marketing and advertising are annoying and silly to the critical thinker, but the strategies used endure because they work. Cars are not just cars, they are lifestyle vehicles and ego boosters. Clothes are not just clothes, they are means of self expression. Food is a form of luxury. Even the enlightened consumer most cynically aware of these strategies can’t help but be influenced by them sometimes. If this stuff didn’t work at least a bit, there would be no historical memory of Edward Bernays, David Ogilvy and, yes, Don Draper.

    Of course, that’s all in other industries. Product promotion and healthcare are strange bedfellows, perhaps as evidenced by your apparent discomfort with terminology that appears beyond the pale. Some people are expert at this, and some are not, but this is often a game of one-upmanship. If that guy is saying glowing, over-the-top stuff about his product, I can’t say, “We have software, too.”

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Reader Comments

  • BeenThere: Edit.. Your blog will be missed. Always great insights. They were appreciated!...
  • BeenThere: You blog will be missed. Always great insights. They were appreciated!...
  • Mr. HIStalk: That's not overly picky at all! (although I'm saying that as an overly picky grammar curmudgeon). Solstice: the exact...
  • debtor: I'm spending my own money to go to HLTH. I go to JP Morgan almost every year and HIMSS every couple of years. This year,...
  • Obfuscator: Not to be overly picky, but isn't Spring an equinox, and not a solstice?...
  • HIT Girl: I'm glad I know have a description for what I have experienced in two jobs now, "Moral Distress". I am not a clinician,...
  • Vendor Insider: Spring equinox, not solstice....
  • The Druid: Mr. H, Check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_equinox Apparently the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere and...
  • st: shoptalk - goldenglobe hip happening NRF - oscars old , manufactured HLTH , HIMSS ...do the math... -retail and ...
  • Susan Hassell: You can't simply pile on more work and expect employees to not be stressed. How about not reducing FTEs until you implem...

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