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Weekender 11/8/19

November 8, 2019 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • A study finds that only 10% of discharged hospital patients look at their medical information online afterward.
  • CompuGroup Medical is rumored to be a bidder for Agfa’s health IT business.
  • The VA makes patient records available on Apple Health Records.
  • A federal court orders behavioral EHR vendor ZenCharts to pay rehab EHR vendor Kipu Systems $19.5 million for stealing its trade secrets.
  • University of Rochester Medical Center will pay $3 million to settle OCR charges involving loss of two unencrypted mobile devices.
  • Google announces that it will acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion in cash.
  • CMS delays implementation of a requirement that hospitals publicly share their negotiated contract prices.
  • Allscripts announces Q3 results that beat Wall Street expectations on adjusted earnings, but fell short on revenue.
  • Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center will bring registration and billing back in-house two years into a seven-year agreement with NThrive, which will eliminate 839 jobs in central North Carolina as a result.

Best Reader Comments

If you listen to the [Allscripts earnings] call, it is pretty clear that the Wall Street folks don’t buy it. They made Rick say twice that there wouldn’t be any increase in R&D spending due to the Northwell agreement. (TheyDidn’tBuyIt)

Most of the article [a physician’s New York Times complaint that Epic’s screen messages aren’t empathetic] could be rephrased as “I find my HIM department annoying.” (Iam)

I don’t consider myself an old fogey. but “pop-ups would float into view as small islands of empathy?” Seriously? In a NYT piece? Millenials these days, am I right? (CynicalIguess)

Epic has “unintelligible medical notes?” Nope, Epic has no such thing. I don’t think it has achieved sentience yet (thankfully). Talk to your co-workers who wrote the notes. “Urgent, intimidating, and tinged with allegation?” She’s looking for comfort and empathy from a computer system? (AC)

Everything about this op-ed by this physician is what is wrong with this country at this point. How in the world do people get through their day-to-day lives if every word that crosses their screen is “offensive” to them? It’s absurd. There are plenty of things wrong with EMRs in today’s world, but guess what — colors and “word choices” are not one of them. Not everything is about offending you, it’s simply just a word that by definition means something whether it hurts your feelings or not. Get over yourself. (EMR Snowflakes)

Would Epic benefit from having a better UI and more clinicians actively involved in software and workflow design? Absolutely. But the idea that “deficiencies” is something that Epic dreamed up and foisted upon their users? Come on, Epic configuration is heavily controlled by your own organization. You want Epic to be nicer to you? Talk to administrative and operational leadership at your organization. I’m sure they could ask IT to write an alert to pop up once a week to say “Great job!!” which everyone would then complain about being distracting and adding clicks. (AnonZ)

The authors rail against profit-seeking entities. Very slippery slope. No margin, no mission. Physicians can certainly fulfill their sense of moral mission and alignment in volunteer work, free clinics or other worthy ventures. Those skills are needed everywhere. (FreeMarkets)

Facebook design is meant to maximize engagement so that they can deliver the most ads. Do you want to maximize engagement with your EHR or do you want to make eye contact with the patient? (Lookatme)

One example that we started at a previous organization is to make sure there is a hyperlink (or text in the alert) that shows with each BPA (pop-up alert) which links to the decision-making body that approved it. Typically, it has a colleague on the committee that they know and can email directly or ask them about it. This provides accountability to the alert committee as well as the operational leaders that may have come up with the “software solution to a peopleware problem.” (David Butler)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits

Actor Will Smith creates a clever and disarmingly funny video as he undergoes his first colonoscopy. He said, “They said you can’t get to 50 million followers on IG without showing your butt.” Afterward, he finds that he had a pre-cancerous polyp removed during the procedure. He urges, “There’s a certain amount of commitment and embarrassment involved with being healthy. You just gotta do it, man.” I don’t watch many movies and thus have only seen Smith in “Independence Day,” “Men in Black,” and “The Pursuit of Happyness,” so I have to say this is my favorite of his films.

The former Hewlett-Packard Enterprise worker who shut down Oregon’s Medicaid computer system in October 2016 in retaliation for being laid off is sentenced to a year of home detention, 500 hours of community service, and four years of probation.

Fedscoop notes that HHS has two people who claim to be its chief data officer – one within the CTO’s office, and the other being the CIO, who says he is acting in that role until he can hire HHS’s “first chief data officer.”

A Pennsylvania nursing home assistant is arrested for taking photos of deceased residents and sharing them with with friends and co-workers. Stephanie Thomas says she took the pictures because her former boyfriend “liked that kind of thing,” but friends to whom she texted photos said she has an “obsession with death” and police examination of her phone turned up pictures of dead animals.


A woman takes an after-work photo of her twin sister, a labor and delivery nurse who had worked 53 hours in four days, and posts it on Facebook with description of what the nurse deals with in a typical work day. She took the picture as her sister broke down after a day in which she helped deliver a stillborn baby. The post has earned 225,000 likes, 23,000 comments, and 133,000 shares. Her sister’s post explained what was going on:

Have you guys ever really thought about what a labor and delivery nurse sees? They see great joy in smooth deliveries and healthy moms and babies. They see panic and anxiety when a new mom is scared. They see fear when a stat C-section is called. They see peace when the mom has support from her family, because not all new moms do. They see teenagers giving birth. They see an addicted mom give birth to a baby who is withdrawing. They see child protective services come. They see funeral homes come. Did you know that they have to make arrangements for the funeral home to come pick up the baby? I didn’t either.


A 57-year-old nurse adopts a 27-year-old man after he is ruled ineligible for a heart transplant because he has no family to care for him. He was in and out of hospitals for weeks, often discharged to a men’s shelter because he had nowhere else to go. Piedmont Newnan Hospital (GA) gave PACU nurse Lori Wood its President’s Award for going above and beyond for patients. She had known Jonathan Pinkard for just two days before suggesting that she become his legal guardian. He hopes to return to his office clerk job next month.

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Reader Comments

  • Grant: "Because in 14 years of attending, I never once saw actual research, just a bunch of cherry-picked stats provided by a ...
  • Dr. Z: If you want to hear a physician's response to the CBS Epic Story, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoQs162Yw...
  • Kermit: Wow, that's some first class writing, Mr. H. Thanks for an entertaining morning read. The tips are pretty good too....
  • Woodstock Generation: Re: Give me some advice Absolutely this is a conflict of interest! Shame on the state health system hiring Vendor A...
  • HIT Girl: Holding HIMSS during what is normal flu season seems like a bad idea generally. Last year all but I think three of the p...
  • Silence Dogwood: When you read the original response, it seems logical and has practical advice, and is actually educational. Here's ano...
  • CancelHIMSS: If being stuck on a luxury boat or fancy hotel is bad, can you imagine the nightmare of being stuck in a HIMSS conferenc...
  • El Jefe: Re HIMSS and COVID-19. It’s sound judgement to cancel the dang thing. To suggest that it’s too late ... tell...
  • HIT Girl: Compassion and the human element absolutely exists on EMR development teams. I've been part of that environment, at mul...
  • Bill Grana: Thanks for this commentary and I am in complete agreement. I had a similar (but less complex) patient portal experience...

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