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January 21, 2020 News No Comments

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Amazon files trademarks for “Amazon Pharmacy” in the UK, Canada, and Australia. It’s a move some see as indicative of the company’s global plans for PillPack, the online prescription drug delivery company Amazon acquired for $753 million in 2018 and rebranded to an Amazon company late last year.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


I had a technical hiccup when publishing this week’s poll, so I’d like to give readers another chance to respond. Comments (anonymous or not) are appreciated.


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


Health Scholars raises $17M in a Series B round. The Westminster, CO-based company has developed virtual reality-based medial training and simulation software and programs for hospital and public safety personnel. Co-founder, President, and CMO Brian Gillett, MD is still a practicing emergency physician with US Acute Care Solutions.


Socially Determined, a social determinants of health analytics startup based in Washington, DC, raises $11 million in a Series A round. 


  • Banner Health (AZ) signs a five-year contract with EVisit and VeeMed for integrated ambulatory and acute care telemedicine services.
  • Steward Health Care expands its Meditech deployment with the addition of 18 facilities across Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Utah.



Kernie Brashier (Payspan) joins urgent care health IT vendor Experity as CTO.


Tenet Healthcare names former Oracle EVP Joe Eazor president and CEO of Conifer Health Solutions.

Announcements and Implementations


Fulton County Medical Center (PA) will move from Greenway to Meditech Ambulatory in early February.


Experity announces GA of Experity 2021, software that combines EHR, practice management, RCM, and updated coding capabilities from Practice Velocity and DocuTap, which merged to form the company last year.

Privacy and Security


In Nebraska, Great Plains Health CIO Brandon Kelliher says the hospital has nearly fully recovered from the November 25 ransomware attack that forced it to pen and paper for several days, and to cancel some services and appointments. Primary clinical systems including Epic were back up and running in less than two weeks. The hospital ended up having to rebuild 290 of its 360 servers.



Researchers at UC San Francisco determine that physicians prescribe fewer opioids when default settings related to the preset number of opioids are adjusted downwards in the EHR.


Mayo Clinic Platform President John Halamka, MD shares a high-level overview of Nference, a new project that will turn patient data into de-identified data that analytics partners can then use to generate new insights. Halamka stresses that “this is the perfect balance of agility, innovation, and privacy protection. I’ve worked in many organizations and not experienced a design that has so many safeguards against data leakage.”


Cape Fear Valley Health (NC) apologizes to 17 rape victims after billing them for their forensic medical exams, an action prohibited by state law. The health system blamed the patient classification and billing error on its conversion from Cerner to Epic last May.

Sponsor Updates

  • Avaya names William Madison (Masergy Communications) VP, North America cloud sales.
  • Bluetree adds Emily Tempels, Brian Redig, and Paul Haney as executive partners.
  • Burwood Group will sponsor the HIMSS 2020 Cybersecurity Forum January 24 in Irvine, CA.
  • Nuance makes Dragon Medical One available in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
  • Spok adds Advocate Aurora Health CIO Bobbie Byrne, MD to its Board of Directors.

Blog Posts



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Reader Comments

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