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July 9, 2019 News 5 Comments

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Providence St. Joseph Health will convert a Seattle-area hospital to a “hospital of the future” in partnership with Microsoft. The organizations hope to improve the EHR, use technology such as natural language processing and machine learning, and help big employers lower their healthcare costs.

PSJH will make Microsoft products its standard for cloud (Azure), productivity (Office 365), patient engagement (Dynamics 365), and collaboration (Teams).

PSJH hired Microsoft enterprise commerce executive B.J. Moore as EVP/CIO in January 2019.

Reader Comments


From Back Up the Truck: “Re: stocks. Which of the IPO shares on your poll would you buy?” I don’t buy, recommend, or own health IT stocks since I wouldn’t feel good about being both a financial and a journalistic participant. I’m scrupulous about conflicts of interest – sponsors (whose ads are clearly identified) get no editorial privilege and I don’t advise companies, accept paid speaking gigs, sell “sponsored articles,” or run any other business. I hope I’m never desperate for cash or ego strokes to the point that I have to turn shill or shameless self-promoter since we’re already loaded with those.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Just a reminder – I turned Vince’s HIS-tory series of 1,300 slides into a single, searchable PDF. Download it, open it in your favorite PDF reader, and look back on decades of health IT history. You’ll enjoy reminiscing if you worked in the industry pre-2000, and if you didn’t, you’ll benefit from reading about company successes and stumbles that hold lessons for today.

Listening: The Pretty Reckless, New York City-based hard rockers led by former actress Taylor Momsen. It’s more than a vanity project – Momsen colors her decent but unspectacular vocal range with a lot of inflection, which is interesting in the mellower and acoustic tracks, much better when they rock it out.


July 18 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Healthcare’s Digital Front Door: Modernizing Medicine’s Mobile-First Strategies That Are Winning Patient Engagement.” Sponsor: Relatient. Presenters: Michele Perry, CEO, Relatient; Michael Rivers, MD, director of EMA Ophthalmology, Modernizing Medicine. Providers are understandably focused on how to make the most of the 5-8 minutes they have on average with a patient during an exam, but what happens between appointments also plays a significant role in the overall health of patients. Modernizing Medicine is driving high patient engagement with best practice, mobile-first strategies. This webinar will describe patient engagement and the challenges in delivering it, how consumerism is changing healthcare, and how to get started and navigate the patient engagement marketplace.

July 25 (Thursday) 2:00 ET. “Meeting patient needs across the continuum of care.” Sponsor: Philips Population Health Management. Presenters: Cindy Gaines, chief nursing officer, Philips Population Health Management; Cynthia Burghard, research director of value-based healthcare IT transformation strategies, IDC. Traditional care management approaches are not sufficient to deliver value-based healthcare. Supplementing EHRs with advanced PHM technology and a scalable care management approach gives health systems proactive and longitudinal insights that optimize scarce resources in meeting the needs of multiple types of patients. This webinar will address the key characteristics of a digital platform for value-based care management, cover the planning and deployment of a scalable care management strategy, and review patient experience scenarios for CHF and diabetes.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Pharmacy technology vendor OmniSys acquires Strand Clinical Technologies, which offers a clinical services documentation platform for pharmacists.


Precision medicine technology vendor GNS Healthcare raises $23 million in a Series D funding round led by Cigna Ventures, increasing its total to $77 million.


  • CPSI subsidiary TruBridge signs the first two clients for its Chronic Care Management service, in which the company enrolls the patients, coordinates their care, and issues bills.  


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ONC’s Deputy National Coordinator Jon White, MD will leave the agency to take a research job at the Salt Lake City VA. Replacing him is ONC Executive Director Steve Posnack, MS, MHS.


Cerner hires Tracy Platt, MS (Medtronic) as EVP/chief human resources officer.


Revenue cycle technology vendor ESolutions hires Chris Hart, MBA (Experian) as VP of product and strategy.


Perot Systems founder and two-time presidential candidate Ross Perot dies at 89.

Announcements and Implementations


Patient payments platform vendor Patientco adds apps to Epic’s App Orchard to support self-service payments via MyChart for patients and Epic-integrated payment processing for provider staff.


Solutionreach announces GA of SR Intake for mobile and web-based patient registration.

Providers at Providence St. Joseph Health are using the EHR-integrated prescription cost transparency service of Gemini Health to offer their Blue Shield of California patients lower-cost drug alternatives when appropriate. Sausalito, CA-based Gemini Health was founded in 2014 by former PDR Network CEO Edward Fotsch, MD. Other industry long-timers on the executive team are Mickey McGlynn, Andrew Gelman, and Roger Pinsonneault. 

A Black Book survey finds that health system CFOs are increasingly taking responsibility for cybersecurity and related purchasing decisions.

Allscripts offers users of the retired Microsoft HealthVault a data export to its FollowMyHealth app.

Medsphere adds CloudMedx-powered AI capabilities to its EHR.

TriHealth goes live on Kyruus Provider Match for Consumers to provide visibility to its network. 



Two family medicine doctors at University of Missouri Health Care convene monthly “EMR Happy Hours,” where they provide Cerner documentation efficiency tips for a handful of attendees.


Fast Company profiles hospitals that are testing the Moxi nurse helper robot, which can run errands, deliver lab specimens, and fetch supplies. EHR integration allows rules-based behavior, such as delivering cleaning supplies to a newly vacated patient room. Its inventors programmed in hourly hallway walks after patients kept asking for selfies. Moxi is sold by Austin, TX-based Diligent Robotics, which was started by two robotics PhDs. One of them is an expert on “social intelligence,” in which robots are programmed to behave in ways that make humans comfortable, such as making eye contact when roaming hallways. 


An electronic musician being seen in the ED is stunned by the racket emitted by call buttons, IV pumps, elevators, carts, and, most notably, medical equipment alarms. She has joined a group that is working on creating medical alarm sounds that are quieter and more easily differentiated, quoting Florence Nightingale: “Unnecessary noise is the cruelest absence of care.” An anesthesiologist / musician who served on the committee that developed the standard for medical device alarms in 2006 – categorized into “the six ways people die” – has publicly apologized for the “terrible” sounds the group chose but is working on new ones. Another expert is working on CareTunes, which translates patient vital signs into an electronic dance music-type melody that becomes dissonant as their condition worsens.

Sponsor Updates

  • Gartner names Clearsense as a “2019 Cool Vendor in Digital Business Transformation in Healthcare.”
  • Georgia Hospital Health Services endorses CarePort’s care coordination solution.
  • AdvancedMD publishes a new e-guide, “Untangling Large Group Techno-Spaghetti.”
  • Artifact Health will exhibit at the AHIMA CDI Summit July 14-15 in Chicago.
  • Frost & Sullivan recognizes Avaya with its 2019 Contact Center Vendor the Year award.
  • Bluetree will exhibit at CultureCon July 17-18 in Madison, WI.
  • CoverMyMeds Account Coordinator Michael Ward sings the national anthem at the Cleveland Indians game.
  • Diameter Health will exhibit at the NCQA Digital Quality Summit 2019 July 16-18 in Boston.

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Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. Another hospital of the future!!!
    Seems they pop up every 10-15 years. Kinda like locusts. Last one big one I remember was back in the 1990’s at the InfoMart in Dallas. I believe IBM had one in the 1970’s, Technicon in the 80’s, HDS in the 90’s, and Apple and their Healthcare 2000 video. Guess we were overdue for the new one.

    Twenty years from now if someone as industrious as Vince Ciotti wants to write the next history of EMR/HIS all they will have to do is take Vince’s power points and put in the new vendor names. I hate too say it but after 40+ years in the healthcare IT world…information technology can’t reform health care. People created this mess and only people (not computers, or software, or AI, or blockchain) can fix it.

    …now I think it’s time to sell my MS stock

  2. Thank you for putting Vince’s HIS-tory in one file, awesome idea!

    A companion document I really enjoyed is the “History of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society” document found here: https://www.himss.org/sites/himssorg/files/HIMSSorg/Content/files/HistoryHIMSS_January2013.pdf . Apparently nothing of note has happened since that time, which I pretty much agree with.

    A couple of my personal highlights: Listening to Steve Jobs in 1993 (4,400 attendees) as a keynote speaker after he was kicked out of Apple and pushing his NeXT computer and Bill Gates speaking in 1995 (10,000 attendees) about this healthcare-ish vision which would become “Windows DNA” four years later.

  3. FWIW, Columbus Regional Health will go-live on Epic at their inpatient hospital later this month. I think the date is July 20th. This is another Cerner loss; the hospital used Cerner for several years but physicians never liked it and it was virtually never implemented in ambulatory settings. CRH implemented Epic for their ambulatory practices a couple of years ago after years of docs harping about it (Epic is pretty big in nearby Indianapolis so most CRH physicians had at least word-of-mouth info about Epic). An announcement about the go-live in on their home page at http://www.crh.org

  4. Kudos to Dr. Belden and the MU team for their EMR Happy Hours. We did something similar back in 2007 but our sessions were called Provider Idea Exchange or PIE sessions. In addition to a hearty serving of workflow tips and tricks, physicians were also treated to a variety of pies and baked goods from small-town bakeries near our community hospitals. It was very successful – maybe we should have written an article!

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