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Monday Morning Update 6/12/17

June 11, 2017 News No Comments

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Cork University Maternal Hospital and University Hospital Kerry in Ireland report significant added expense as a result of their implementations of the nation’s first Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System. The initial $39.2 million price tag has increased by $785,000 in Deloitte consultancy fees, with millions more expected as 17 additional hospitals prepare to go live on the Cerner-powered system over the next several years. Ireland’s Health Service attributes the over-budget, delayed implementations to a lack of expertise on the part of its clinical and business staff.


Ireland experiences similar woes with its eHealth project, which is “not in a good place,” according to Chief Scientific Adviser Mark Ferguson, adding that the project is moving forward with several initial pilots to help alleviate patient concerns about  the digital storage of PHI. The project will ultimately include the launch of a nationwide EHR, unique identifiers for patients, and capacity for genome-sequencing.


Providers at University Hospital Limerick are particularly depressed with projections that eHealth implementation at their facility could take up to 10 years. The hospital uses a number of different data-sharing systems, and is still plagued by an inefficient paper record-keeping system. “We have many, many computer systems in the health service,” says the hospital’s founding president, Ed Walsh, “but they don’t talk to each other. [The health service is] consumed by inefficient bureaucracy, which is based on a Victorian paper system. And until we move that, we won’t be able to move the resources necessary to provide the healthcare that the patient requires.”

Reader Comments


From Kiwi: “Re: Orion Health’s financials. It seems to be letting an error by HCIT go uncorrected. Their Healthcare Informatics 100 listing cites $193 million in revenue in 2016, but reported financials show a different story (and the company is publicly traded). If my math is correct, the New Zealand dollar has moved between being worth about $.68 to $.74, making their earnings anywhere from $140M to $152M in 2016 and even less this for FY 2017.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

The anonymous vendor who donated $500 to my project to fund DonorsChoose teacher grant requests in return for mentioning a survey they’re interested in tells me they’ve almost hit the 100-response mark, which will trigger a second donation even bigger than the first. Providers, please click here and spend just a few minutes to help a classroom in need. Thank you.


Over 75 percent of survey takers would consider switching systems if their vendor became involved in a situation akin to that of EClinicalWorks. It’s All Good contends, however, that “the basis of the allegations/settlement is not a reason to switch. There were defects. They’ve been fixed. But …  a switch could be considered because such a settlement could force the company into insolvency. Or at least support and innovation will suffer as the company tightens its’ proverbial belt so it can pay the fine.” Ross Martin wonders if this will be the tip of the health IT iceberg – one that’s similar to finding out VW wasn’t the only carmaker to game the emissions compliance system. He suspects that, “in the context of the Great Meaningful Use Land Grab of 2009 and the spend-stimulus-fast development of certification criteria, we will find a good amount of fudging among the vendors. Even vendors who complied with the letter of the reg are nowhere near enabling the plug-and-play level of interoperability we need.”

New poll to your right or here: Do you take research studies into consideration when making health IT purchasing or clinical programming decisions? Given the Washington Post’s piece last week on the tendency of journalists to make headlines out of studies they don’t truly understand and/or that are poorly designed in the first place, I’ve been wondering if hospital executives look at them with the same skeptical eye that I do. Your comments, as always, are appreciated.

I decided early on to have only two HIStalk Founding Sponsors, spots held by Medicity and Nuance since around 2007 or so. Nuance’s new marketing crew has decided that sponsoring HIStalk doesn’t interest them, meaning that their Founding spot is therefore available to the first company who commits to taking it over. Contact me at mrhistalk@gmail.com to grab Nuance’s premiere ad position on the page along with the usual Platinum sponsor benefits. Thanks to Nuance for supporting HIStalk for 10 years.


Welcome to new HIStalk Gold Sponsor ZappRx. The Boston-based company solves the inefficient workflow and time drain involved with prescribing specialty drugs. Its platform modernizes the multi-step, manual prescribing process – often involving multiple platforms – to automatically populate prior authorization information, obtain digital patient consent, track prescriptions, and communicate bi-directionally with the specialty pharmacy, reducing administrative burden and improving team collaboration without resorting to phone calls. Patients get their critical therapy faster and more accurately with complete transparency. Practices can estimate their time savings using the company’s online calculator – the average prescription order requires just three minutes of provider time with ZappRX. Thanks to ZappRx for supporting HIStalk.

This Week in Health IT History


One year ago:

  • Connecture, a technology company that builds online health insurance marketplaces, acquires ConnectedHealth, a benefits technology platform that helps employers choose health plans.
  • Cerner launches a one-year pilot study that will help determine whether patient’s genetic data can play a motivating role in promoting behavior change.
  • The VA fires three more administrators within the Phoenix VA Health Care System for “negligent performance of duties and failure to provide effective oversight.”
  • In light of voided test results and potential CMS sanctions, Walgreens ends its relationship with Theranos, closing all 40 of its Theranos Wellness Centers in Arizona.
  • South Australia looks for a spokesperson to reassure the public that its over budget, behind schedule 80-hospital Allscripts EHR implementation is still a worthwhile investment.

6-12-2012 9-34-40 PM

Five years ago:

  • Private equity firm TPG Growth acquires critical care systems vendor iMDsoft.
  • NIH and the National Cancer Institute announce grants to fund development of tools that empower consumers, patients, and/or their providers.
  • A CareFusion site from which medical equipment firmware updates are distributed is found to be loaded with malware, triggering a Department of Homeland Security investigation.
  • Steve Larsen, the federal government’s most powerful health insurance regulator responsible for consumer protection and insurance exchanges, quits to become EVP of Optum.

Ten years ago:

  • IBA is considering suing CSC and Connecting for Health after CSC blocked its bid to acquire ISoft.
  • The Northeastern Pennsylvania RHIO shuts down.
  • DoD’s AHLTA EMR system (formerly CHCS II) is running in 138 military treatment facilities.
  • Henry Schein tries to expand its medical software line with an offer for Australia’s Software of Excellence International.
  • The South Australian Department of Health launches big upgrades of its patient and nursing systems.

Weekly Anonymous Reader Question


Last week’s results: Would you recommend to someone that they switch careers to health IT?


This week’s survey: What characteristics made the worst doctor you’ve ever had so bad?

Last Week’s Most Interesting News

  • The VA announces it will shut down its VistA EHR and join the DoD in implementing Cerner Millennium.
  • HHS appoints Bruce Greenstein CTO.
  • Athenahealth acquires Praxify Technologies for $63 million.
  • The Health Care Industry Cybersecurity Task Force releases its report to Congress.
  • HHS alerts providers that the WannaCry ransomware attack is still causing problems for several US hospitals.


June 22 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Social Determinants of Health.” Sponsored by Philips Wellcentive. Presenter: David Nash, MD, MBA, dean, Jefferson College of Population Health. One of the nation’s foremost experts on social determinants of health will explain the importance of these factors and how to make the best use of them.

June 29 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Be the First to See New Data on Why Patients Switch Healthcare Providers.” Sponsored by Solutionreach. As patients pay more for their care and have access to more data about cost and quality, their expectations for healthcare are changing. And as their expectations change, they are more likely to switch providers to get them met. In this free webinar, we’ll look at this new data on why patients switch and what makes them stay. Be one of the first to see the latest data on why patients leave and what you can do about it.

July 11 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET.  “Your Data Migration Questions Answered: Ask the Expert Q&A Panel.” Sponsored by Galen Healthcare Solutions. Presenters: Julia Snapp, manager of professional services, Galen Healthcare Solutions; Tyler Suacci, principal technical consultant, Galen Healthcare Solutions. This webcast will give attendees who are considering or in the process of replacing and/or transitioning EHRs the ability to ask questions of our experts. Our moderators have extensive experience in data migration efforts, having supported over 250+ projects, and migration of 40MM+ patient records and 7K+ providers. They will be available to answer questions surrounding changes in workflows, items to consider when migrating data, knowing what to migrate vs. archive, etc.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre for information on webinar services.



Michael Hyder, MD (Southcoast Health) joins Clearsense as president. He will also take on the role of EVP of healthcare delivery at sister company Optimum Healthcare IT.


Apple hires Sumbul Desai, MD (Stanford Center for Digital Health) to join its healthcare team in an unidentified role.


Arik Anderson (Terumo Cardiovascular Systems) joins smart inhaler company Adherium as CEO.

Government and Politics


In a first for the FDA, it asks Endo Pharmaceuticals to stop selling Opana ER – an opioid that has become a favorite among drug users who have taken to crushing it and injecting it or snorting it. If Endo fails to withdraw the drug voluntarily, the FDA will force its removal by revoking its market approval. “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits,” says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD “not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse.”


The Secretary of the Navy recognizes Naval Hospital Bremerton (WA) sailors for the parts they played in an ongoing process-improvement program that has so far reduced the Patient Administration Medical Records Division workload by 40 percent, and saved $156,400 and 7,300 man hours a year. In their downtime and with little prior coding know-how, the sailors developed a Medical Records Data Automation Program that now automates the daily operations of the hospital’s medical records department. MRDAP will soon serve as a transition program between the hospital’s Composite Health Care System and the forthcoming Cerner-powered MHS Genesis system. Cmdr. Robert McMahon, Director for Administration, refreshingly adds:

“What is most impressive is these young sailors had no fear of failure and despite no personal or monetary gain they continued to capture the ideas of their coworkers to improve workflows in their department that benefited everyone. Promoting innovation is like growing grass. Sometimes you already have the soil, water and sun. All that is needed is a safe and supportive environment to grow.”


Healthcare app development company Medable creates Synapse, a cloud-based tool that enables providers to launch CareKit apps for their care teams.

Privacy and Security


After Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center (NY) and its contractor IHealth sent threatening cease-and-desist letters to the author of DataBreaches.net (who let them know that their PHI was exposed due to an improperly configured server), the hospital tucks tail and asks her to go through the 500 mb of data she used in her original investigation to let them know which patients were affected. The audacity of the request, which did not come with an apology and with which she refuses to comply, prompts her to offer this advice:

  • Don’t rush to send legal threat letters. What your mother taught you about catching more flies with honey than vinegar appears true here, too.
  • If you wouldn’t send a legal threat to the New York Times over their reporting, don’t send one to me. This site may be small, under-funded, under-staffed, and under-appreciated, but with the support of great law firms like Covington & Burling, this site will always fight back against attempts to erode press freedom or chill speech.


  • St. Mary Corwin Medical Center (CO) switched From Meditech to Epic in April 2017.
  • Perry Memorial Hospital (OK) will switch from Evident to Athenahealth in August 2017.
  • Jefferson Regional Medical Center (PA) is switching from Omnicell to BD Automated Dispensing Cabinets. The conversion process started last month.

These provider-reported updates are supplied by Definitive Healthcare, which offers a free trial of its powerful intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and healthcare providers.

Innovation and Research


A survey of executives from 104 healthcare organizations points to AI as the next big thing when it comes to transforming the way the industry interacts with patients: 84 percent believe AI will “revolutionize” their encounters with healthcare consumers, while 72 percent report already using virtual assistants. Their interest in AI will likely fuel their near-term efforts to better understand what consumers want even before they articulate it. Eighty-one percent feel organizations should shape digital health tools based on patient preference rather than their own. A similar percentage believe those that understand the motivations behind consumer behavior will ultimately win the day.




McKesson CEO John Hammergren drops the price of his $22 million compound in San Francisco by $6 million after watching it sit on the market for a year. The solar-powered estate consists of a main house with six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms; a sports complex with tennis, bocce, racquetball, and squash courts, plus a gym, rock climbing wall, steam room, sauna, yoga center, and spa; and a carriage house with a five-car garage, car wash station, and banquet hall. The accompanying pool and spa have their own pool house.

Sponsor Updates

  • QuadraMed, a division of Harris Healthcare, will exhibit at the MaHIMA Annual Conference June 11-13 in Boston.
  • Salesforce publishes its “2017 Connected Patient Report.”
  • Kyruus wins the “Best Healthcare Big Data Platform” Award from MedTech Breakthrough.
  • CRN names Impact Advisors to its 2017 Solution Provider 500 list.
  • Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) helps to christen Conduent’s new global headquarters in New Jersey.
  • Gartner names AdvancedMD a leader in its FrontRunners for Mental Health Quadrant.
  • Encore publishes a new white paper discussing the role of data governance in the shift to value-based care.

Blog Posts


Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne, Lt. Dan.
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Reader Comments

  • Code Jockey: Mr. H - this is a response to 'Really' but I'm not sure how to respond to his post. Also, this is a note for both you an...
  • Clarence: From my experience 7 years as an Epic employee and then 4+ years integrating 3rd party clinical content/software into EH...
  • meltoots: I take issue with one thing in this. The ACR AUC system is ridiculous for specialist physicians. I am a board certified ...
  • Really: Come on Code Junkie... Would any software company on the planet let you take their code, do a minor modification and ...
  • Code Jockey: Sigh.... Code Corrections - the origin of this conversation was a statement by someone that Epic clients were creating t...
  • WhatstheretoWonder: Fairly clear that the ambitions were crushed by unchecked capitalism and Republican waffling on doing the necessary chec...
  • Woodstock Generation: Re: Mr. HIStalk's response to Post-Acute Pat - Mr. HIStalk, you couldn't have said it better about today's healthcare i...
  • It'sNotYouIt'sMe: I also at some point "consented" to give my bank and credit data to Equifax. If you asked the average person when they s...
  • Michael: Re: WSJ article - "without the patient's knowledge or approval." All of the patients consent to give their DNA for resea...
  • DataPlay: If Allscripts flames out of the inpatient market, does that kill their data play as well? I know roughly who buys inpati...

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