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January 19, 2020 News 3 Comments

Top News


Epic decides to stop pursuing integrations with Google Cloud based on a lack of customer interest, according to a CNBC report that adds that the EHR vendor will instead focus on AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Cerner made a similar decision last year.

An anonymous Epic customer believes health systems will be reluctant to use a cloud service that conflicts with the underpinnings of their EHR vendors – a concern that may end up swaying Big Tech’s market share.

Reader Comments


From Butterfly: “Re: Ascension. Another major RIF at Ascension beginning this week. Rumor is 1,509 associates this time around. However, in marked contrast to the one in June 2018, affected employees are being treated with respect and dignity. The layoffs are not about budget this time, they’re about transformation.” Chatter at TheLayoff.com confirms the news, to some extent: “I was part of the June 2018 IT layoffs (there was about 400 or so {nationwide} of us at the time). Yesterday, several of my former colleagues were also laid off in the Saginaw and Grand Blanc, MI areas…. I know of a couple who were there at least 20 years and have heard several desktop repair techs were let go too. A lot of people are leaving on their own and I’m told it’s a toxic environment.” With regard to it being about “transformation,” it’s interesting that this round coincides with fall-out from the news that the organization signed over patient data to Google.


From Tuvalu: “Re: Timing of final interoperability rule. This article, a follow-up to Tommy Thompson’s op-ed arguing against proposed data-sharing requirements for economic reasons, leaves me wondering when the final rule on information-blocking will drop.” The comment period for the rule closed in June. If HHS is true to form, they’ll likely release it around HIMSS.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Over half of poll respondents are optimistic that their employer’s business will improve over the next 12 months.

New poll to your right or here: Will your hospital employer’s decision to purchase cloud services be impacted by your EHR vendor’s relationship with that service? Feel free to share the reasoning behind your response by leaving a comment (anonymous or not).


January 29 (Wednesday) 2:00 ET. “State of the Health IT Industry 2020.” Sponsor: Medicomp Systems. Presenters from Medicomp Systems: Dave Lareau, CEO; Jay Anders, MD, MS, chief medical officer; Dan Gainer, CTO; Toni Laracuente, CNO. Despite widespread adoption of EHRs, healthcare professionals struggle with several unresolved systemic challenges, including the lack of EHR usability, limited interoperability between disparate systems, new quality reporting initiatives that create administrative burdens, and escalating levels of physician burnout. Join the webinar to learn how enterprises can address current industry roadblocks with existing market solutions and fix health IT’s biggest challenges.

Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Columbus, OH-based Aver raises $27 million in a Series C round led by Cox Enterprises. The company has developed software that enables providers and payers to calculate bundled prices based on past claims.


  • University Health System in San Antonio, TX selects wayfinding app technology from Gozio Health.



Shannon Sartin joins CMS as CTO within the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. Sartin comes to the position after a two-year stint as director of digital service at HHS/CMS, a rewarding yet Devil Wears Prada-like experience she recaps here.

Announcements and Implementations


The Regional Medical Center (SC) implements tele-ICU software and services from Advanced ICU Care within its intensive care and coronary care units.


UF Health Jacksonville (FL) leverages the Loopback Rx Platform from Loopback Analytics to help its pharmacists improve medication adherence.

Government and Politics


Efforts by Surescripts to dismiss the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against it come to naught, with the company’s motion being turned down by a federal court. The FTC filed a suit last April accusing the company of illegally monopolizing the e-prescribing market in the areas of routing and eligibility.



Researchers determine that wearables may have an important role to play in future efforts to predict and react to flu outbreaks. An NIH-sponsored study of 47,000 Fitbit users in five states found a correlation between the percentage of those with elevated resting heart rates and increased sleep levels and weekly flu outbreak data provided by the CDC. 

Sponsor Updates


  • Nordic staff volunteer at The River Food Pantry.
  • MDLive CMO Lyle Berkowitz, MD appears on the local news to discuss the value of telemedicine during flu season.
  • Meditech will host the 2020 Northeast Nurse Leadership Summit January 22 in Canton, MA.
  • Waystar and Relatient will exhibit at the Healthpac Annual Users Meeting January 23-25 in Savannah, GA.
  • NextGate will exhibit at the IHE NA Connectathon 2020 January 20-24 in Cleveland.
  • Netsmart expands its work with Health Homes of Upstate New York to include real-time care notification alerts through its CareManager software for people entering and exiting correctional facilities.
  • ROI Healthcare partners with MedPower to offer mobile training and analytics.
  • Wolters Kluwer CEO Nancy McKinstry appears on Harvard Business Review’s podcast.
  • Bluetree publishes a new case study, “UMC develops real-time monitoring tools to improve patient outcomes and reduce penalties.”

Blog Posts



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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Government and Politics are forever part of health technology, however, I am constantly irritated with the government mandated monopoly granted to the AMA. I will go out on a limb to state that at some point the defense for Surescripts will raise the AMA situation and draw comparisons. It would be delightful to see that play out.

  2. Interesting that Epic distances from Google due to lack of customers’ interest and Meditech signs up with Google. Two of the best with complete opposite decisions. Perhaps lack of interest from healthcare entities reported by Epic stems in part from the 2018 Google data breach and the 2019 discovery of unsecured Google server with records of 1.2 billion people.

    • Bill – That and I believe that when Cerner walked away from Google it was because Google wouldn’t disclose how it would use the data, whereas AWS was “Transparent” (Cerner’s words, not mine) in how the data would be used. Make’s sense that Cerner and Epic would say no to Google.



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