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Monday Morning Update 4/30/18

April 29, 2018 News 3 Comments

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DoD officials reassure legislators that the MHS Genesis roll out will pick back up with West Coast facilities in 2019, and that full deployment by 2022 is still achievable. Implementation of the Cerner-based system had been paused for several months to deal with issues at the program’s four pilot sites, including problems with e-prescribing, referrals, log-in time, and training. The DoD has been sharing its experiences with VA officials on a regular basis to prepare them for their own Cerner roll out, provided a contract is signed in the coming months as some still optimistically expect.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


The contract drama playing out in Illinois hasn’t swayed the majority of poll respondents to think more positively about the parties involved, though Cerner does have a slight lead in a vendor-to-vendor matchup (an outcome one reader has attributed to ballot-box stuffing). At this point, I have to wonder how in-the-trenches end users feel. Email me if you happen to work at the health system, or have experienced a similar situation at another organization and would like to share your thoughts – anonymously, of course.

New poll to your right or here: Have recent privacy headlines impacted your interest in consumer genetic testing services? It seems we live in a time when data breaches are par for the course, and signing away your data rights just to trace your ancestry doesn’t give people as much pause as it should. I could offer a number of response options, but I’m keeping it simple with just three in hopes that you’ll explain in the comments why your interest has waned, stayed the same, or increased.


Check out reader responses to “What I Wish I’d Known Before … Creating, Defending, or Managing a Hospital IT Budget.” While I can’t say I’m surprised by any of them, I can say I appreciate the advice of “realistic contingency” from a reader’s college professor.


This week’s question seems timely given the plethora of headlines surrounding government officials who are being shown the door through media (and Twitter) pressure.


May 9 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “How to Make VBC Work for You: The Business Case to Transform Into the Health System of the Future.” Sponsor: Philips Wellcentive. Presenters: Mason Beard, co-founder and chief product officer, Philips Wellcentive; Scott Cullen, MD, principal, ECG Management Consulting; Seema Mathur, director of strategy, Sage Growth Partners. How well is your organization funding its transformation to VBC? This free webinar explains how to achieve ROI as your organization transforms to meet the future. You’ll learn how VBC is impacting healthcare system management, three strategies for funding your transformation, and what the healthcare system of the future will look like.

May 24 (Thursday) 1:00 ET. “Converting Consumers into Patients: Strategies for Creating Engaging Digital Experiences People Demand.” Sponsor: Healthwise. Presenters: Antonia Chappell, director of consumer solutions, Healthwise; Josh Schlaich, senior product manager, Healthwise. Nearly three-quarters of US adults use a digital channel to manage their health and the internet to track down health information. It’s clear that consumers have come to expect online interactions as an integral part of their overall patient experience. In fact, the Internet may be the first way people come in contact with your organization. They have more choice than ever on where to get healthcare services, and their decisions are increasingly influenced by how well organizations connect with them in the digital space. This webinar will show you how to create engaging digital and web experiences that convert casual consumers into patients and keep them satisfied throughout their entire patient journey.

May 29 (Tuesday) 1:00 ET. “Increase Referrals and Patient Satisfaction with a Smarter ‘Find a Doctor’ Web Search.” Sponsors: Phynd Technologies, Healthwise. Presenters: Joseph H. Schneider, MD, MBA, FAAP, retired SVP/CHIO, Indiana University Health; Keith Belton, VP of marketing, Phynd. A recent survey found that 84 percent of patients check a hospital’s website before booking an appointment. However, ‘Find a Doctor’ search functions often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated. Referring physicians need similarly robust tools to find the right specialist and to send the patient to the right location. Attendees of this webinar will learn how taxonomy-driven Provider Information Management improves patient and referrer satisfaction by intelligently incorporating the provider’s location, insurance coverage, specialty and subspecialty, and services offered that can be searched via patient-friendly terms.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Erlanger Health System (TN) attributes its third quarter $4 million shortfall to a 10-year, $100 million Epic implementation that kicked off with inpatient services last fall. The system held off on billing during November as it worked through software issues, ultimately writing 30 million lines of code to resolve 15,000 workflow problems as part of an expected stabilization phase.

From the Athenahealth earnings call, which sent shares down 11 percent on Friday:

  • The company expects to continue to rely on its core ambulatory and growing small-hospital markets.
  • Management team and board member Dave Robinson and Chief Product Officer Kyle Armbrester have both left the company, with an ongoing search for a president progressing apace.
  • CEO Jonathan Bush admits the company hasn’t done much with market share: “We are good at getting our clients’ patients back, when it’s time for them to come back. But new work needs to be done to get net new market share for our clients. I believe I mentioned when we were talking about the cost guarantee a couple of calls ago that someday I wanted to have a market share guarantee.”
  • Bush also points out that the company’s coordinator and inpatient software may have been brought to market too early.
  • Sales and marketing spend may have been cut too drastically, though the company isn’t scrambling to adjust its budget yet. Its strategic overhaul of staff and spending is nearly complete.
  • With regard to a national patient-centric medical record, Bush said that the “ability to be integrated in to all the hospitals in the country, all the labs in the country to present whether it’s a pharmacy, clinical staffer, pharmacy based staffer or virtual physician or an emergency room doc, with a complete picture of a patient regardless of where they’ve gotten their care is a power position that no one has right now in the country, no one. We believe we will attain that position.”
  • The company’s lighter bookings season has given Bush’s team time to reassess the way it assigns customer success managers and on-boards new clients. “We’re getting much more instrumented,” Bush stressed; “we are working very hard on the number of days associated with ramping up some ones’ collections to full volume after they go live.”
  • Bush attributes churn to ambulatory M&A: “We’ve seen as groups get consolidated up in to bigger networks, if the bigger network is on competitive product, decision might be to go on to one platform, and that has tended to be the biggest driver of churn.”
  • Bush says, “Epocrates is crushing it. Docs on the app are increasing and the appetite to feed a content is increasing, the ability for us to manage content, serve it up in a modern way for our advertising customers is improving and the energy is just electric. I can’t tell you how proud we are after such a long road.”
  • Regarding recent layoffs and reductions, Bush says that “[a]fter-surgery recovery is a big deal, even if the surgery is life saving and Athena certainly inflicted surgery upon itself in the fourth quarter of last year. So attrition and cultural confidence, engagement, belief that there is not some other shoe looking to drop, these are the kinds of things that are the prime focus for me and my team right now.”


  • Cape Fear Valley Health System (NC) will replace two Cerner systems with Epic beginning in Summer 2019.



Athenahealth SVP of Network Services Jonathan Porter takes on the role of chief product officer.

Privacy and Security


In Montana, Billings Clinic notifies 934 patients of an email data breach that may have compromised patient names, birth dates, phone numbers, and some medical information.



In the UK, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt brings in Eric Topol, MD to lead a review of how to best train NHS staff on using new technologies including AI, digital health, robotics, and genomics. NHS is in the middle of its 100,000 Genomes Project, which aims to use genetic sequencing and big data to develop precision medicine programs.


A new study in JAMIA finds that health system adherence to the ONC-funded SAFER (Safety Assurance Factors for EHR Resilience) guides developed in 2014 is lacking. Researchers found that only 25 recommendations were fully implemented at the eight health systems who participated in SAFER self-assessments. The study’s authors conclude that national policy programs are needed to ensure proactive SAFER assessments become a best practice.


In his latest “Doctors Gone Wild” segment, Weird News Andy recounts the arrest of Georgia family practice physician Marian Antoinette Patterson, MD who threatened to slit the throats of her employees, and cut another’s head off for use as a hallway bowling ball. Her other unsavory activities, which some have attributed to intoxication but WNA thinks also exude a hint of physician burnout, include throwing water on employees and tearing her diploma off the wall and stomping on it.

Sponsor Updates

  • Surescripts will exhibit at the MicroMD User Conference 2018 May 2-3 in Warren, OH.
  • Vocera Communications will host its first Chief Experience Officer Roundtable April 25-26 in San Francisco.
  • WebPT publishes a new guide, “Retention, Please: Why Patient Dropout is Killing Rehab Therapy Practices – and How to Stop It.”
  • KLAS recognizes LogicStream Health as a high performer in its latest report on clinical process improvement.

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Did Erlanger really write 30 million lines of code in less than a year? How many programmers did they have? We had hundreds of coders and we wrote a fraction of that.

  2. I would love to see the powerpoint that explains how an 8-week pause on GENESIS in January 2018 leads to resuming the rollout in 2019. Cue the press release where Mr. McCallie celebrates “we’re on schedule.”

  3. The whole Erlanger article makes no sense. There’s no way they wrote that much code, especially since it would have been Epic doing any of the coding for any enhancements. And the part about Epic recommending they hold all bills is just flat out wrong unless there was a major change in the recommendations in the last 2 years.

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  1. I share your concerns about a lot of similar projects, but I think this one's an outcomes comparison thing, not…

  2. "Ascension Via Christi sent several ICU nurses home after they raised concerns about inadequate staffing." Nice. That'll show em.

  3. Thank you for sharing the full HIStory file. What a great tribute to Mr. Ciotti. “Those who cannot remember the…

  4. "Epic will roll out a “patients like this one” type tool to its users in Indiana this summer. It will…

  5. I don't see Cerner winning employee satisfaction surveys. I can't see VHA pivoting to Epic. It's going to be some…

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