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March 22, 2016 News 6 Comments

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AHIMA petitions the White House to support development of a voluntary national patient identifier. Patients who opt in would be able to choose their own identifier. The petition will earn an official White House response if it gets 100,000 signatures by April 19. It calls for removing a late-1990s HHS funding restriction that prohibits the department from working on a national patient identifier.

Reader Comments

From Suzie HR: “Re: Cerner. A 20+ year SMS/Siemens/Cerner employee gets terminated after six months of personal leave taken for treatment of stage 4 colon cancer. Wonder if Neal Patterson is worried what will happen to him during his cancer treatment?” Unverified.

From Helium: “Re: Epic 2015 upgrades being delayed. Not true here. We’ve discussed the fixes coming out from Epic with our technical lead at Epic and will take them when released. We are still on track for our mid-May upgrade to their latest version (v2015).” Unverified, but this is from a non-anonymous CIO who asked not to be named.

From A Friend: “Re: Epic. Notified their customers Friday that they have become aware of a major security hole and would be distributing emergency SU’s (Epic jargon for patches) soon.” Unverified.

From Dueling Banjos: “Re: your comment about flame-related FHIR puns. It hit my funny bone as I was reading your news update while riding BART. I was having such a good, hearty laugh over that comment that the man next to me thought I was crying and asked if I was OK. Thank you for making my day!” 

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor HealthCast. The Boise, ID-based company offers enhanced sign-on solutions that provide fast, secure access to EHRs and other software. That includes enterprise single sign-on that has a 100 percent success rate in integrating with applications; proximity card-based VDI access; and two-factor authentication for DEA-compliant electronic prescribing of controlled substances via biometrics or tokens. Physicians report that they save up to 45 minutes per day with fast-user switching, click-reducing automated workflow, and remote and roaming access to their systems. The company’s patented Qwik-Start helps community-based physicians who admit patients infrequently and therefore don’t necessarily remember their user IDs and passwords to log on to hospital systems using biometrics-activated proximity badges. Thanks to HealthCast for supporting HIStalk. 

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Vivian, who is a member of Mr. Chen’s robotics team in Massachusetts, emailed her thanks for funding their DonorsChoose grant request for pizza gift cards for feeding the team on evenings and weekends while they prepared for competition. She says, “We are so grateful that you helped us out! We needed energy to keep us going as we were very charged on getting the robot built for our competition. We have learned so much about mechanical engineering, software engineering, teamwork, and how to run the club as if it is a small business. Your donation has enhanced our learning and made it so much more enjoyable!”


None scheduled soon. Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.

Here’s the video from last week’s webinar, “Looking at the Big Picture for Strategic Communications at Children’s Hospital Colorado,” sponsored by Spok.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Denver-based CirrusMD, which offers a white label app that allows consumer users to send messages to on-call and ED doctors, raises $1 million.


Practice Unite and Uniphy Health will merge to offer secure messaging and collaboration solutions under the Uniphy Health name.


In the UK, Wirral Partners chooses Cerner’s HealtheIntent for population health management.



Indiana University Health names Mark Lantzy (Gateway Health) as SVP/CIO.


Andy Grove, the former CEO and chairman of Intel, died Monday at 79.

Announcements and Implementations



Apple announces CareKit, a developer’s framework for creating personal health apps for the iPhone. Its first four modules will support health to-do lists, symptom logging, a dashboard to map symptoms to the to-do lists, and an information sharing function. The company says early adopters are using CareKit to build apps for Parkinson’s patients, post-surgery progress, home health monitoring, diabetes management, mental health, and maternal health.

23andMe integrates with Apple’s ResearchKit, allowing developers to create apps in which study participants can upload their genetic testing results from their iPhones. It also allows researchers to offer 23andMe testing at their own expense to expand study access to non-23andMe customers. 

Privacy and Security


A cybersecurity firm finds that the public website of Ontario, Canada-based Norfolk General Hospital has been infecting its visitors with the TeslaCrypt ransomware. Hackers gained access to the site via an exploit in its outdated Joomla content management system.

Methodist Hospital (KY) recovers its systems from a ransomware attack that lasted several days, saying that it was able to regain access without paying the demanded ransom.

Two California hospitals owned by Prime Healthcare Services have been hit by an unspecified cyberattack that sounds like ransomware. The hospitals are working to restore their systems and the FBI is investigating.


Ruby Memorial Hospital (WV) goes into lockdown mode for several hours after unspecified malware affects its clinical and security systems.


A doctor in Canada is punished for overbilling and for keeping inaccurate electronic medical records, the latter of which he blames on not understanding the EHR of the practice he joined. He told the tribunal that he failed to change a pre-populated EHR template, but later switched EHRs.

JAMIA issues a call for articles on the safety of health IT, with manuscripts due June 1.

Expedia offers patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the chance to experience their “Dream Adventures” in which Expedia dispatches teams carrying live-streaming 360-degree cameras to display the adventures the children request in a virtual reality room installed at the hospital. 

Sponsor Updates

  • Besler Consulting releases a new podcast, “Compliance pitfalls and how to understand RAC findings on your discharge status.”
  • Burwood Group will exhibit at the AONE 2016 nursing leadership conference March 31 in Fort Worth, TX.
  • Elsevier launches a history of medicine site to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its Medical Clinics clinical review publication.
  • CTG will exhibit at the 2016 Annual Health Care Symposium April 1 in Costa Mesa, CA.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. #JAMIA call for papers

    Does this call mean that manuscripts describing and documenting the lack of safety of health IT will be rejected?

  2. From Helium: “Re: Epic 2015 upgrades being delayed. Not true here. We’ve discussed the fixes coming out from Epic with our technical lead at Epic and will take them when released. We are still on track for our mid-May upgrade to their latest version (v2015).” Unverified, but this is from a non-anonymous CIO who asked not to be named.

    It’s not like Epic is mandating delaying the releases, it’s that organizations are delaying them seeing as there are so many issues with the release. Two more rounds of fixes for 2015 expected to come in March and April, so upgrade in May makes sense.

  3. Always funny to me that we apply 2015 updates in 2016 (or later)… And we wonder what’s “wrong” with healthcare IT… Maybe we need to expect a bit “more”?

  4. Well, if you always release your 20xx version in the 4th quarter of 20xx, you can pretty much expect no one is going to do all the work of upgrading to it until 20xx+1. Are you really suggesting that this is what’s “wrong” with healthcare IT? It seems like a simple name change in their versioning would solve your concern.

  5. The vast majority of healthcare IT shops are still on Windows Server 2008. So should we also expect “more” from Microsoft? Maybe IT shops should pride themselves on effective process and adaptability over version numbers. Just a thought.

  6. Since we’re still in the first few innings of the cloud game there is a lot of hold backs at every IT institution/business. On the horizon also are the new “serverless software solutions” from the cloud. It could be wise to put software/hardware purchases as a “must have can’t wait” requirement before placing any orders!

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Reader Comments

  • Obfuscator: This sounds like a cry for help. I don't know how I can help, but here's some resources with which I'm slightly familiar...
  • Samantha: I read all of these and Im at a total loss. I want out so bad but Im a mother of 3 and a wife and sister. Ifeel so compl...
  • Ed Chung: As one of the couple dozen companies sending a petition to HIMSS, I'll just say that some large companies (some very lar...
  • Lazlo Hollyfeld: Re: Optum Buying Navihealth "Optum are the healthcare Borg. Now they add Navihealth's service and technological disti...
  • RobLS: "Cynical Blowhard Healthcare IT Blogger" After a quick Google search, I've finally figured out your real name, Mr. Ti...

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