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May 1, 2017 Headlines 12 Comments

How science fares in the US budget deal

Congress passes a bi-partisan budge that will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, including a 6 percent bump in NIH funding, and additional funding earmarked to establish a telehealth center of excellence.

Vanderbilt is a case study for the dreaded EHR conversion

Modern Healthcare profiles Epic’s $214 million implementation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as it prepares for its November go-live.

VA partners with Department of Energy on big-data initiative to improve health care for Veterans

The VA is partnering with the Department of Energy to develop supercomputing capabilities that will analyze health and genomic data to help the VA improve its suicide prevention programs.

Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove talks about his decision to step down, time at the helm: Q&A

Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove announces that he will retire from his position by the end of the year.

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Currently there are "12 comments" on this Article:

  1. Would love to hear some feedback on the trend of Epic installs requiring 1,000s of consultants for go-live support. If the system actually that nuanced that you need a literal army of consultants combing the floors? Is the $214M the cost of Epic, or the cost of the entire project inclusive of implementation, training and go-live support?

  2. More and more of these types of stories about layoffs and poor financial performance from Epic shops meanwhile the lionization of Judy continues in the press. I’m awaiting her knighthood. On the data and analytics side where a lot of the improvement could come they continue to project more capabilities than they have.

  3. Hate to burst your bubble – Epic probably makes only 15-20% of those astronomical figures you see. Other vendors (like mine – hardware) sometimes have a larger take than that.

    • That’s probably why Epic got into the consulting business. I wouldn’t cry for them. Software has better margins than the hardware vendors.

      • Not crying for them at all. Selfishly happy that I never see a single person on this site go rabid about the fact that my servers, storage, and network infrastructure account for a lot more of that figure than EPIC licenses and fees. Though that’s pretty applicable to any vendor where you’re replacing all their systems and all the employees need to be in that system.

        Also funny no one complains about hundreds of millions most hospitals spend every few years constructing new buildings. Those numbers (even in the case of Vanderbilt) dwarf my hardware or EPIC software. I guess it’s not newsworthy to throw stones at other areas of massive questionable expenditure.

  4. Hey guys – automation reduces dependence on people.

    Reduced dependence on people means fewer people.

    Fewer people means less cost.

    Less cost leads to lower prices.


    1600 people x 175,000.00 (typical salary / benefits / office space / pension / parking / etc.) = 280,000,000 PER YEAR! The gift that keeps on giving.

    Time for people to wise up and understand what this is all about.

    Saving money through automation is a wonderful thing when we can get more for less. Yes it hurts when it adversely affects someone we know or work with.

    But, please, enough of the righteous indignation.

    And, is an army to cover go live worth it – likely so. Hard to argue with results.

    • What happens to all the goods and service providers (grocery stores, coffee shops, gas stations, clothing merchants, etc.) when those 1600 people no longer have an income to pay for things? Layoffs don’t just affect a single person. The money going into their pockets is recirculating through their surrounding environment. When those 1600 people are geographically clustered, it could be devastating.

        • I don’t have a single answer to give you, there are a lot of factors that play into the bonkers “retail” cost of providing medical care, and I only know about a few of them. My point was nothing more than to say that its facile to say that layoffs are only painful on an individual level. They can have a devastating ripple effect, and a drive to reduce costs in Area A (of any industry) will inevitably have some dire consequences for Areas B, C, and D. Automation looks cool on a balance sheet, but the impact to our country requires a reckoning with what we value as a civilization.

          Heavy stuff. I might go buy that panda bear bamboo village block set after all.

      • This is making the assumption that 1600 people are being thrown out in the street. The article talks about voluntary buyouts – not only will these people get some money, many of them will likely be able to do something they enjoy. The impact on the community may actually be positive.

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