Home » News » Currently Reading:

Monday Morning Update 4/25/16

April 24, 2016 News 9 Comments

Top News


Lockheed Martin lays off 200 IT employees in preparing for the $5 billion merger of its IT business with Leidos.

It’s called a merger rather than an acquisition because the companies are using a tricky Reverse Morris Trust so Lockheed can exit the IT business without paying taxes on its gain. A company creates a subsidiary, the subsidiary merges with another company to form a new company, and the new company then issues at least 50 percent of shares back to the original company’s shareholders.

Reader Comments


From Madison: “Re: Nordic. No more word of what happened with the Drew Madden sexual harassment and retaliation charges, but it looks like Nordic wanted a change. First they brought in a new CEO, moving Drew to president. Now he seems to be gone — he is no longer referenced on their page.” The LinkedIn profile of former Nordic President Drew Madden shows he left the company this month, with a tagline he added saying, “Honored and blessed to have worked for THE BEST company in the business!” A former marketing VP filed a complaint in 2014 against Nordic with Madison, Wisconsin’s Equal Opportunity Division, claiming she was fired for complaining about suggestive texts sent her by Madden, while Nordic says the VP willingly participated in such attention, their banter was lighthearted and not unusual for co-workers, and she was fired for poor performance. You can read what he said and she said.

From Finally: “Re: Epic. Heard they’re on a hiring freeze for roles they have been continually hiring for (implementation, development, etc.) for years. Seems like they overstaffed with optimistic thoughts of government deals.” Unverified. 

From Ben: “Re: Vail Valley Medical Center. Therapist steals medical records.” The Colorado hospital will inform 3,100 patients that a former physical therapist copied their medical records onto a thumb drive before leaving to join a new employer. The hospital says it has since added restrictions on how employees can copy patient files and adds that police are investigating.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


It was nearly an even split between poll respondents who would be concerned about their privacy if they were being treated for depression by an EHR-using provider. Some respondents commented that the real problem is the perception of mental health issues as a personal weakness. Tami summarizes well in saying, “Depression and mental needs to be treated more along the lines of cancer. If you can get help before it progresses too far, treatment can be easier and perhaps quicker. If you wait too long, it can be a death sentence. There are risks with every piece of data that leaves you.”

New poll to your right or here: what is the best answer for reducing the time doctors spend entering data into EHRs?

image image

We fulfilled the DonorsChoose grant request of Ms. Hamilton, whose Arizona special education middle school class asked for timers, books, and math games. She reports that the students are now competitively playing multiplication bingo and challenge themselves to beat the clock in completing their assignments.

image image

Also checking in is Mrs. Bierhals, whose Pennsylvania second grade class received programmable robot kits and an iPad Mini. She says, “The children have been using the items from the minute we received them. We have managed to build all the robots and programmed them to run on different frequencies. Since the weather is starting to break, we are planning on having Robot Races outside for the end of the year. Now we have to work on their driving skills.”

I think we’re entering the summer health IT doldrums, at least as evidenced by the paucity of significant, interesting news items.

I wasn’t much of a Prince fan, but like a lot of people who are jarred into paying attention only after someone famous dies, I’m learning what I’ve missed in appreciating 2004 video of an ultra-cool Prince leading a supergroup with his scorching guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”


Comcast, the “Most-Hated Company in America” that provides around half of the residential broadband connections in the US (under the Xfinity name) where many of its customers don’t have an alternative, finds a loophole around net neutrality to try to protect its cable and content businesses against cord-cutters who decide they only need a Roku box running Netflix or Hulu. The company is rolling out Internet usage caps that work like cell phone data plans in charging customers extra if they run over Comcast’s limit. Use of Comcast’s own Stream TV service doesn’t count since technically it uses Comcast’s wire but not the Internet, putting Netflix at a huge disadvantage. Comcast says the change is about fairness since customers who use less data pay less, but that’s not exactly true – nobody pays less and the best you can hope is to not get dinged extra for the same service. Complaints suggest that people are avoiding buying houses in areas where Comcast is the only source of Internet connectivity. Please, Google, put fiber everywhere.

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • Maine becomes the second state to mandate electronic prescribing of narcotics.
  • Patient privacy finally trumps the demand for medical reality TV as New York-Presbyterian pays $2.2 million to settle HIPAA charges that it provided patient information to TV crews.
  • Parrish Medical Center (FL) says its IT payments spat with McKesson is endangering patients as the company stops providing drug database updates and threatens to pull its entire product line from the hospital.
  • The federal government launches a criminal probe of Theranos.
  • Court filings of MetroChicago HIE’s lawsuit against the defunct HIE vendor Sandlot Solutions show the HIE desperately trying to restore its Sandlot-housed data before the company closed its doors for good.
  • Canada’s Alberta Health Services says it will RFP a new system, expecting to spend at least $316 million to replace 1,300 mostly non-interoperable systems whose purchase it subsidized.
  • A Wisconsin jury awards Epic $940 million in its trade secrets lawsuit against India-based Tata Group.
  • VA CIO LaVerne Council hints that the VA plans to built a VistA replacement instead of buying a commercial product, telling Congress that a working prototype of a product she likens to Facebook and Google will be ready within a few months. She also confirms that she has placed the VA’s $624 million patient scheduling system contract with Leidos and Epic on hold while they test a homegrown product that will cost only one-tenth as much.


April 26 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Provider-Led Care Management: Trends and Opportunities in a Growing Market. ”Sponsored by HIStalk. Presenter: Matthew Guldin, analyst, Chilmark Research. This webinar will provide a brief overview and direction of the provider-led care management market. It will identify the types of vendors in this market, their current and longer-term challenges, product capabilities, partnership activity, and market dynamics that influence adoption. It will conclude with an overview of key factors for vendors and solutions moving forward.

May 5 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Reducing CAUTI and Improving Early Sepsis Detection Through Clinical Process Measurement.” Sponsored by LogicStream. Presenters: Jen Biltoft, director of quality improvement, SCL Health; Marla Bare, EHR architect, SCL Health. This webinar will describe how SCL Health reduced catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 30 percent in just three months through clinical process measurement. The SCL Health presenters will also share their plans for applying a similar process to the early detection of sepsis.

Contact Lorre for webinar services. Past webinars are on our HIStalk webinars YouTube channel.



Several CNET editors who bought Apple Watches but then stopped wearing them say it doesn’t really do anything useful, its apps are lame, it’s easier to just pull out a phone, and it’s too complicated. Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak isn’t impressed:

I worry a little bit about — I mean I love my Apple Watch, but it’s taken us into a jewelry market where you’re going to buy a watch between $500 or $1,100 based on how important you think you are as a person. The only difference is the band in all those watches. Twenty watches from $500 to $1,100. The band’s the only difference? Well this isn’t the company that Apple was originally, or the company that really changed the world a lot.



A JAMIA article says hospitals should not prohibit testing in their EHR’s production environment because test environments can’t perfectly mimic the live system’s interfaces and realistic patient data. I ran a poll in February at the suggestion of Dean Sittig, one of the authors, and 15 percent of respondents said they never allow creating test patients in production. The article offers these tips:

  • Test software changes in the test environment first, then enable the change in production for a small group of testers if possible.
  • Use distinctive names for test patients in the production environment, using a consistent prefix such as” ZZZtestingBWH345, OneTest” rather than cute names like “Santa Claus” or names like “Test” that actually exist as real patient names.
  • Create specific user accounts for testers and lock them out of making changes to non-test patients if possible, auditing their transactions to make sure they are performing only approved work.
  • Train downstream personnel on how to respond when they see the results of test patient transactions and notify them before testing starts.
  • Filter test patients from reports and data extracts.


The death of Prince at 57 caused folks to look back on a year-old research paper that analyzed the deaths of US pop musicians, finding that they die nearly 20 years younger than the rest of us, with the most common age at death being 56. The author even looked at deaths by musical genre, finding that gospel singers had a better quality of life while rappers are nine times more likely to die by homicide than the average person. Metal and punk performers were much more likely die by accident or to commit suicide.



The Rochester, MN paper notes that Mayo Clinic has nicknamed its Epic project Plummer to honor internist and endocrinologist Henry Plummer, MD, who created Mayo’s practice model in 1910. He also developed the clinic’s “one patient, one record” paper records system and the pneumatic tube delivery system to deliver them (it was the interoperability API of its time). Apparently he was well compensated (or well inherited) since he built Plummer House, his 300-foot-long, five-story family Tudor estate on 65 acres that features 49 rooms, 10 bathrooms, and nine bedrooms. His mark as an innovator carried over into the design of Plummer House, which when completed in 1924 had a central vacuum system, underground sprinklers, a security system, garage door openers, a heated pool, and the city’s first gas furnace.

Here’s the first of three “2016 HIS Vendor Review” summaries from Vince Ciotti and Susan Pouzar of HIS Professionals.

Imprivata creates a pretty funny video urging hospitals to “ditch your page boy.” I noticed immediately that for both patients pictured, their vital signs monitors are working great despite not being attached to them (perhaps there’s a wireless innovation there as well) and that the guy’s IV drip is not actually dripping into him. I noticed a few other mistakes at re-creating a hospital room – do you?

Sponsor Updates

  • T-System will exhibit at ILHIMA Annual Meeting April 28-30 in Tinley Park, IL.
  • Verisk Health’s Sam Stearns and Molly Grimes contribute an article to Employee Benefit News on optimizing the value of maternity care.
  • Huron Consulting Group will exhibit at the Association of Information and Image Management Conference April 26-28 in New Orleans.
  • ZeOmega will host its Connections 16 client conference May 2-4 in Dallas.
  • Xerox will host a Google+ Hangout on population heath management May 5 at 1pm ET.
  • YourCareUniverse publishes a new white paper, “Addressing the Rise of Healthcare Consumerism & The New Marketing Reality.”
  • ZirMed will exhibit at the Radiology Business Management Association Summit April 24-26 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jennifer, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
More news: HIStalk Practice, HIStalk Connect.
Get HIStalk updates.
Send news or rumors.
Contact us.


View/Print Text Only View/Print Text Only

HIStalk Featured Sponsors


Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. Missing poll option: get physicians properly trained on the use of their system. It has always been strange to me that physicians train in their specialty for 10+ years, yet they won’t spend even a month training on how to use one of their most important tools…

  2. Thanks for sharing the link to the 2004 Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame video featuring Prince with his guitar solo of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Posted only days ago to that video: “That guitar, along with every female member of the audience, became pregnant that day.”

  3. Agree with Eddie. Physician training on how to use software as well as standardization will go a long way. Bonus if the physicians learn how to type.

  4. You can find all sorts of opinions about Apple Watch, Wozniak has been a consistent detractor (perhaps because he didn’t think of it, but then he was not a Mac fan either). I like mine and wear it regularly, but use it mainly for fitness tracking and notifications. For me it’s good enough at those tasks to enjoy wearing it in its current incarnation. A recent Watchly survey of people that had actually bought the watch (not paid CNET reviewers) found a high degree of user satisfaction. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rexsantus/2015/07/20/97-of-apple-watch-owners-are-satisfied-survey-says/#528e3dd22120
    Important to remember how the Apple iPhone was dismissed in its first incarnation, followed by yearly prophecies of doom as Apple became the most valuable company on the planet selling iPhones ( http://aaplinvestors.net/stats/iphone/iphonedeathwatch/ ) . Apple has a history of consistently evolving the products, and if the watch can become free-standing with its own cellular radio and better battery life, it will do well.

  5. In this update there is a post about the Nordic scandal (the first sex scandal since the creepy Epic video taping debacle) and a post about an Epic hiring freeze and people are talking about Apple Watch and central vac. As Mr. Hand would say “Are you all on DOPE??”

  6. Re – comment upthread: ‘sex scandal’ is a particularly weird way to describe a dude drugging and raping people, but whatever.

  7. Epic is by no means overstaffed. This time of the year hiring can be a little slow as the recruiters focus on the upcoming class of college grads.

  8. Regarding Comcast, when will companies learn that people do indeed have memories! You might be in control today, but you always have to think about the day when you lose that control. People will vote with their feet. If you have treated them fairly, then they will be loyal. If you have tried to squish their freedom of choice and forced them to accept what you have to offer, they will vote with their feet. It is really such a simple philosophy – treat your customers the way you would want to be treated. If you offer the best service at a reasonable price, you WILL be successful. When you catch yourself trying to force them into purchasing from you, it will NEVER end up in your favor.

Subscribe to Updates



Text Ads

Report News and Rumors

No title

Anonymous online form
Rumor line: 801.HIT.NEWS



Founding Sponsors


Platinum Sponsors

































































Gold Sponsors
















Reader Comments

  • Vaporware?: Which part is not factual? If I'm wrong, I'd be happy to stand corrected....
  • Martin Shkreli: This "article" is nonsense and brings down the quality of this website with unnecessary excitement regarding blockchains...
  • Craig Joseph, MD: I'm not struck by the infighting or backstabbing; that's par for the course at a complicated organization as you describ...
  • Another One: This comment by Vaporware is not factual....
  • Frank Poggio: This decision was a classic example of "The devil you know vs. the devil you don't..."...
  • Mr. HIStalk: The app used in the study was Medisafe. But I think the point is app-independent -- app use improved adherence a tiny bi...
  • Vaporware?: HIT, we need many many more people grinding this axe. If you really want me to regurgitate the laundry list of facts...
  • Mr. HIStalk: I should mention that I'm reading between the lines in assuming that, possibly incorrectly. The article says members sti...
  • John Yossarian: All the hullabaloo around UIC's Epic and Cerner mess is pretty pointless. And so are the Black Book and KLAS results. No...
  • Hold the Salt please: A study finds that app-issued medication reminders don’t help people with high blood pressure bring it down. Was t...

Sponsor Quick Links