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News 5/25/18

Top News


A new KLAS report on hospital EHR market share finds that:


HIStalk Announcements and Requests


It’s last chance time for this week’s “Wish I’d Known” question. Apparently the number of people willing to complete the form for these questions is considerably lower than those who say they love reading the answers, leading to the possibility that I’ll just allow it to cross the rainbow bridge due to lack of participation.


June 5 (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often frustrate them because their matching functionality is primitive and the provider’s information is incomplete or outdated.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.

June 12 (Tuesday) 2:00 ET. “Blockchain in Healthcare: Why It Matters.” Sponsor: Quest Diagnostics. Presenter: Lidia Fonseca, CIO, Quest Diagnostics. Blockchain technology is gaining traction in many industries, including healthcare. It’s not only a hot topic, but is also showing promise with real-world applications. This webinar will share how blockchain may play a key role in the future of healthcare IT by helping to solve some of the industry’s challenges, distinguishing the hype from reality by discussing how it works, how it can impact healthcare providers, and its future application in healthcare IT.

June 21 (Thursday) noon ET. “Operationalizing Data Science Models in Healthcare.” Sponsor: CitiusTech. Presenters: Yugal Sharma, PhD, VP of data science, CitiusTech; Vinil Menon, VP of enterprise applications proficiency, CitiusTech. As healthcare organizations are becoming more adept at developing models, building the skills required to manage, validate, and deploy these models efficiently remains a challenging task. We define operationalization as the process of managing, validating, and deploying models within an organization. Several industry best practices, along with frameworks and technology solutions, exist to address this challenge. An understanding of this space and current state of the art is crucial to ensure efficient use and consumption of these models for relevant stakeholders in the organization. This webinar will give an introduction and overview of these key areas, along with examples and case studies to demonstrate the value of various best practices in the healthcare industry.

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

Here’s the recording of this week’s webinar, “Converting Consumers Into Patients: Strategies for Creating Engaging Digital Experiences People Demand.”

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Epic responds to the Illinois Procurement Board about Cerner’s claim that a conflict of interest was involved in University of Illinois-Chicago’s September 2017 choice of Epic over Cerner. Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner said in a May 21 letter forwarded to me by a reader that:


Prescription affordability and adherence solutions vendor ConnectiveRx acquires The Macaluso Group, a tech-enabled prescription benefits company based in Fairfield, NJ. This is the second acquisition for ConnectiveRx, which is also based in New Jersey. It bought competitor Careform in November 2017.


The tit for tat between Athenahealth and Elliott Management continues, with the investment fund sending yet another letter — peppered with quotes from analysts in favor of a sale — pressuring the EHR company to take its buyout offer seriously. Athenahealth reps have fired back with a letter of their own, stressing (testily, if you read between the lines) that they will take their time in reviewing Elliott’s offer. They also made it clear that Elliott’s prior offer was deemed by the board to not be in the best interest of shareholders.

Announcements and Implementations


Global health research network TriNetX announces GA of new analytics tools for epidemiologists and clinical researchers conducting observational and outcomes studies.


South Georgia Medical Center integrates Patientco’s new payment terminals with its Epic system.


In England, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust implements Allscripts Sunrise across its three hospitals.


KT, South Korea’s largest telecommunications provider, will install a telemedicine system on the trans-Siberian railway and connect six hospitals managed by state-owned Russian Railway to clinicians at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. The railway, which involves a seven-day journey, will be equipped with blood and urine diagnostic equipment, ultrasonography, a mobile EHR, and AI-powered chest x-ray interpretation.

Meditech partners with DrFirst, Imprivata, and Forward Advantage to add e-prescribing for controlled substances to its EHR software.



Gilad Kuperman, MD, PhD (New York-Presbyterian Hospital) joins Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as associate chief health informatics officer.


Consulting firm Evergreen Healthcare Partners hires Erica Neher (Kno2) as managing partner and VP of advisory services.

Government and Politics

The Senate passes the VA Mission Act, a $55 billion bill that will give vets more leeway to see private-sector providers, expand family caregiver stipends, and mandate a review of aging facilities. President Trump is expected to sign the bill soon.



Reaction Data looks at the five big health systems that are starting their own non-profit generic drug manufacturing company in an effort called Project RX. Sixty percent of provider respondents weren’t aware of the project, but 90 percent said customers will flock to it. Drug company respondents were negative, saying the health systems would be better off negotiating more aggressively with existing generic drug manufacturers. Payers are skeptical, predicting that hospitals will just keep whatever cost savings they generate without benefiting patients.

Kaiser Permanente researchers find that the combined information from EHRs and standard depression questionnaires predicts 90-day suicide rates better then PCP or mental health visits. The strongest predictors include prior suicide attempts, diagnoses of mental health issues or substance abuse, medical diagnoses, prescriptions for psychiatric drugs, hospital encounters, and depression questionnaire scores.


In an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff of the 250,000-plus mobile health apps now available for download, researchers at Bond University in Australia find only 23 published reports on evidence-based app effectiveness, leading them to conclude that just a tiny fraction of the apps are suitable for prescription by a doctor.


Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation reps advocate for adding social media update-like feeds to EHRs to keep better tabs on the status of patients in real time. “We’ve been treating the electronic health record as a communal trough of information that we all have to sift through when we don’t do that in any other part of our lives,” they write. “If you can subscribe to feeds about a football team, why can’t you subscribe to Mrs. Jones in room 328?”


A policy brief from the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation addresses data-based gaps that hinder the treatment of patients with chronic or acute pain. Recommendations for policy makers include:

A Datica survey finds that compliance, security, and privacy are top concerns for hospital CIOs contemplating cloud-based health IT purchases.


In the New Yorker, sociologist Allison Pugh takes issue with findings that show patients are more apt to be truthful about symptoms and concerns when speaking to avatars rather than with live caregivers. While AI may be better than nothing in some cases, she points out that patients will eventually slide into apathy if they don’t receive motivating pushback from human healthcare professionals.

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