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Weekender 7/6/18

July 6, 2018 Weekender 1 Comment


Weekly News Recap

  • England’s NHS announces December 2018 availability of a new app that will allow all citizens to book doctor appointments, order prescription refills, manage chronic conditions, and make calls to its 111 non-emergency medical helpline
  • AMIA publishes the inaugural issue of its Gold Open Access journal that will showcase the best informatics research and applications
  • UK-based private equity firm Hg will buy Orion Health’s Rhapsody healthcare integration technology business and 25 percent of its population health unit
  • Rock Health’s midyear funding review says digital health investments are growing and are attracting more experienced investors, but IPO activity is down as companies remain privately held longer
  • CNBC reports on “why telemedicine has been such a bust so far”
  • T-System President and CEO Roger Davis resigns

Best Reader Comments

For those of us out in the field working with telehealth and its various service lines, we know it is a success. Children and adults are getting the care they desperately need but cannot access, stroke victims live normal lives and when tragedy strikes, and you find yourself in the ICU it is telemedicine that helps get home quicker. Telehealth and telemedicine isn’t a narrow service for treating common complaints and sniffly noses as the writer only references. (Michelle Hager)

A significant problem that I’ve encountered is that many smaller practices and physicians don’t make plans for what they will do with their paper records when they retire. Regulations vary from state to state, but they are often responsible for maintaining and providing access to patient records for 10 years from the last patient visit and i some cases up to 25 years or more for minor patients. Storing large volumes of paper records for that amount of time is fraught with risk and expense and the records may outlive the physician and become a burden for his or her family. (Greg Mennegar)

Our company provides, as an employee benefit, Dr. on Demand for a $5 payment. It’s been excellent and especially helpful as a first step to determine whether an in-person visit is necessary. They don’t just triage — in many cases, they also diagnose and prescribe, which is a great saving of time and money for us. (Judy Volker)

I don’t know if I’d call the DoD question to Zane a zinger. Kind of “oversight 101.” The response was brilliant in a way, since you can’t perjure yourself if you never answer the question. (Ex Epic)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits

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Ms. S reports from North Carolina on the document camera and screen capacitance pens we provided for her second grade class per her DonorsChoose teacher grant request: “The document camera is such a simple yet versatile learning tool, but unfortunately with budget cuts, the math department is not allotted any. This is such a great gift. While the pictures might not have the normal wow factor that most project pictures do, please rest assured that this piece of technology is making a difference in my students’ lives. The ability to see what math skill I am demonstrating on a larger screen is much easier than trying to have all of the kids crowd around me as they try to see. Surprisingly, the styli are a crowd pleaser. They truly love that little added something.”

The Wall Street Journal chides itself for occasionally using clickbait-type headlines, providing lessons for all writers to avoid writing headlines that:

  • Try to sound mysterious
  • Promise readers a secret they will learn only if they click
  • Ask a question, especially one that the article itself may not answer
  • Do not match the tone of the story or that don’t assure readers that the story contains the promised details


A Science report finds that drug companies are paying after-the-fact compensation to members of FDA’s advisory committees who recommend whether a drug should be approved, with members who passed initial conflict of interest checks being rewarded afterward with jobs, research grants, and speaking roles. A majority of review committee doctors received at least $10,000 from a drug company whose product they approved, with seven of them earning more than $1 million.

Tennessee’s attorney general unseals details about the state’s lawsuit against OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, which contains details such as:

  • 80 percent of the company’s OxyContin business came from repeat users
  • Purdue kept hard-selling doctors who were known to be diverting drugs out of state or whose licenses were restricted due to overprescribing
  • The company was warned about overdoses, muggings outside a pharmacy linked to a particular doctor, a high-prescribing clinic that had no medical equipment, a doctor’s waiting room overseen by an armed guard, practices whose parking lots were filled with cars with out-of-state plates, and standing room only waiting rooms.
  • Tennessee prescribers ordered 104 million tablets of OxyContin from 2008 to 2017, the majority of them for high doses.


Researchers using MRI confirm our male suspicions that wearing a tie (especially one that is tightly tied with a stylish Windsor knot) restricts blood flow to the brain, which might explain why some of the dimmest people imaginable hold jobs that require their wear. It’s fun to question commonly accepted standards – why should men have to drape decorative cloth around their necks to project sincerity and authority? My observation is that for small to medium companies, guys who wear ties work for guys who do not – I’ve been to investor pitch-a-thons and you could easily tell who had money versus who needed it because the former were dressed like they just left a satisfying lunch at Golden Corral.


Apple celebrates the tenth birthday of its App Store and the impact it has had on developers, mobile-first businesses, gaming, in-app purchases, streaming, and health and wellness.

The author of a biography of martial arts movie star Bruce Lee – who died mysteriously 45 years ago – speculates that he was killed by heatstroke after dubbing dialog for “Enter the Dragon” in a studio whose noisy air conditioning had to be turned off, compounded by the recent removal of his armpit sweat glands to prevent on-screen sweating.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Re: Greg Mennegar’s comment about small practices where physicians don’t make plans for what they will do with their paper records when they retire.

    What Greg writes is true. However, the issue does not only involve paper records but electronic records. Storing any analog or digital medical record to meet a state’s storage regulations is always fraught with risk and expense. A good HIM professional or records manager should be contacted when providers retire, move out of state, merge with another facility, etc.

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