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Monday Morning Update 11/27/17

Top News

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CNBC reports that Amazon Web Services and Cerner will announce an agreement this week involving Cerner’s HealtheIntent population health management system, which is already hosted on AWS.

The new deal may involve allowing researchers to analyze HealtheIntent data using AI technology.

CERN shares led the S&P 500 in gaining 5 percent Wednesday afternoon after the article ran.

Reader Comments


From Dr. Scripps: “Re: Eric Topol, MD. Has been pushed out of his position as chief academic officer at the Scripps Healthcare System, where he reported to CEO Chris Van Gorder. He still practices cardiology at Scripps Clinic one day a week, but is no longer a member of the executive leadership team. He has joined The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), which shares the Scripps moniker, but is not part of the health system, which never adopted the ideas Eric has been evangelizing for years.” Eric’s LinkedIn shows that he left the CAO position in August 2017, moving into the role of EVP and professor of molecular medicine at the Research Institute.


From A Little BIrdie Told Me: “Re: Iraan General Hospital. They were implementing Athenahealth because of the cost model in the clinics and decided to put it into the acute side. I’m working on what the specific drivers were to go back to CPSI.” Unverified. The trend of CPSI customers going to Athenahealth and then returning quickly to the fold is close to astonishing, although it would be interesting to see what if any inducements CPSI gave them.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Just over half of poll respondents think the VA’s Cerner system will allow it to exchange information with providers outside the VA. Commenters note, however, that being able to exchange information doesn’t necessarily mean that the VA will actually make it happen.

New poll to your right or here: where did you do your online electronics shopping last week, if anywhere?


I limited my Black Friday shopping to getting a Google Home Mini and Chromecast to play around with, unable to resist the great deal Google was offering. I was tempted by an $800 Mac Air, but that device is so long in the tooth (especially the display) that it seemed like an unwise investment, especially since I recently paid less for a much better equipped Windows 10 laptop and my only interest was learning Mac stuff and running a couple of Mac-only apps. Actually, I went back Saturday for one more Black Friday weekend special – Amazon-owned Woot! has fantastic deals on Diamondback bicycles (inexpensive, but plenty good for someone like me who hasn’t ridden in years) that beat every price available plus $5 shipping, so the his-and-hers models are on their way.


A minimally Spanish-speaking friend is traveling in South America, so I checked out the much-improved, still-free Google Translate app. It can now be used with the mobile device’s microphone both ways – you set the to/from language (like English to Spanish), speak into it (“Where is the nearest bar?”) and it puts the translated text on the screen with an option to play it aloud with a natural-sounding voice for the other person to hear in their language. Then, you flip the languages and let the other person speak in Spanish, which you then see on-screen or hear in English. Google has improve the translation engine a lot, apparently, so it’s more conversational than before. A cool new option (via a Google acquisition) is the ability to translate written words on the screen by pointing the device’s camera at road signs, menus, etc. that then displays the English translation as an image overlay in real time. You can also download the language package so it can be used while offline.

This Week in Health IT History

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Last Week’s Most Interesting News


November 30 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Making Clinical Communications Work in Your Complex Environment.” Sponsored by: PatientSafe Solutions. Presenters: Steve Shirley, VP/CIO, Parkview Medical Center; Richard Cruthirds, CIO, Peterson Health. Selecting, implementing, and managing a mobile clinical communications platform is a complex and sometimes painful undertaking. With multiple technologies, stakeholders, and disciplines involved, a comprehensive approach is required to ensure success. Hear two hospital CIOs share their first-hand experience, lessons learned, and demonstrated results from deploying an enterprise-wide mobile clinical communications solution.

December 5 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Cornerstones of Order Set Optimization: Trusted Evidence.” Sponsored by: Wolters Kluwer. Updating order sets with new medical evidence is crucial to improving outcomes, but coordinating maintenance for hundreds of order sets with dozens of stakeholders is a huge logistical challenge. For most hospitals, managing order set content is labor intensive and the internal processes supporting it are far too inefficient. Evidence-based order sets are only as good as their content, which is why regular review and updates are essential. This webinar explores the relationship between clinical content and patient care with an eye toward building trust among the clinical staff. Plus, we will demonstrate a new evidence alignment tool that can easily incorporate the most current medical content into your order sets, regardless of format, including Cerner Power Plans and Epic SmartSets.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Behavioral app vendor Ginger.io pivots its business to become a technology-focused national medical practice that will provide therapists. The company, which had raised $28 million with its most recent funding round in late 2014, had struggled to get hospital customers in its previous model.

Philips acquires Analytical Informatics to enhance its PerformanceBridge Practice imaging department management system. The company offers applications for quality analysis, productivity, dictated report search, scanner utilization, peer review, undictated studies lists, image quality problem reporting, and real-time alerts.

Announcements and Implementations


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (GA) will spend $1 billion to build a replacement 446-bed hospital on a new campus on North Druid Hills.


University of Pennsylvania Health System (PA) will spend $3.9 billion on construction in the next five years, including $1.5 billion for a 17-story patient tower, updating other buildings, and adding a new Center for Health Care Technology that will house IT and other corporate functions.

UMass Memorial Medical Center (MA) goes live on Agfa HealthCare’s enterprise imaging platform.

Memorial Hospital (IL) goes live on Epic.

Privacy and Security


Cottage Hospital (CA) pays $2 million to settle state charges regarding two incidents between 2011 and 2013 in which patient information was freely discoverable in Internet searches. The hospital, which faced up to $275 million in penalties, has agreed to upgrade its security infrastructure and to hire a chief privacy officer.



Researchers find that only 21 percent of Florida physicians have registered for the state’s prescription drug monitoring program database, with lack of EHR integration being found as one significant factor. Use of the database to check patient opiate histories is voluntary, but submission of opiate prescription and dispensing data is mandatory.


A designer creates a virtual reality system to reduce death anxiety in terminally ill hospital patients by creating a sensation of leaving the body. He says,

The fear and experience of death is a neglected topic. If we began treating our anxieties surrounding death, it might mean the process of dying could become more comfortable. In the developed world, the majority of people die in hospital or a care home, turning deaths into medical experiences. But doctors are trained to save and prolong lives, not tend to our demise. They simply lack the tools.

China, following through on its ambition to lead the world in AI by 2030, announces plans to build an unmanned, AI-powered police station that can handle DMV-type issues such as administering driver exams and vehicle registration.


I wrote last week about the dedication of a new e-health center in India that admitted afterward that it had no actual doctors or staff, with outside workers brought in for the ceremony as pretend employees to impress the locals and the governor of Punjab. The center has closed four days after it opened after the lone doctor at the dispensary where it was housed “was found missing” (is that an oxymoron?) and even the dispensary itself has closed until a replacement is found.

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