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Weekender 7/17/20

July 17, 2020 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Congressional Democrats criticize HHS for issuing a no-bid, $10.2 million contract in April for developing a hospital bed and supply tracking database to TeleTracking Technologies, the Pittsburgh-based hospital equipment and bed tracking vendor.
  • Cerner and Epic delay their return to campus.
  • Athenahealth renames its Centricity product line to AthenaIDX.
  • University of California Health uses de-identified patient data from its Epic system to create a database for COVID-19 treatment research.
  • Fax machines are part of a broken data system that is impeding US coronavirus response.
  • Amazon will conduct a health center pilot with primary care service provider Crossover Health.
  • A KLAS report on pediatric practice ambulatory EHRs names PCC as the clear leader.

Best Reader Comments

At Epic, we used to spend 6-8 months documenting current-state workflows and gathering current-state documentation so that the customer could translate into their own system. Again, customers pushed back (well, probably mostly executives who were on the hook for cutting checks) on the amount of time we spent on the early phases of the implementation where little “visible” results were being made. The implementation methodology continued evolving and cutting out more of the customization steps in favor of more expedited and less expensive installs. This gets the system live faster, but with less customization. There are cons to this, but there are actually many pros to this as well. (HITPM)

Being familiar with some of the events and people that encouraged Epic to become the Marine Drill Sergeant, it wasn’t really how Epic wanted to do things, it was initially customer demand (Kaiser made some strong suggestions, and one Kaiser executive in specific had some….issues) and then some pretty drastic personnel mismanagement in response to the 2007-2008 economy. (Guy M. Fay)

[On Athenahealth renaming the former GE Healthcare Centricity products to AthenaIDX] I’m sure the programmers GE laid off really appreciate that homage. (IDXreturns!)

[On HHS changing hospital COVID resource reporting databases] Is this even the problem space that this company is in, with only 15 or 20 positions open how are they able to take this project on? Awarding a 10 million dollar no bid project in April, 75 days ago, and turning it on with 2 days notice is plain and simply not going to work. I don’t even believe it is intended to work. I do believe there is a desire to further politicize data to obfuscate the current state of the epidemic. (AnInteropGuy)

I personally buy “The One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard for all of my new managers. The book offers simply and practical advice for managers. The initial version was published in 1982. (Shaun Priest)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. C in Kentucky, who asked for LEGOs to help her fourth graders develop science, math, and engineering skills. She reported in February, “Thank you so much for your amazing donation to our classroom. The LEGOs have been and will continue to be utilized in so many ways in our daily instruction. Obviously most of my kiddos love playing with LEGOs so these have allowed me to include a fun and engaging morning “tub” or center to our stations. I have used them and will continue to use them to help students have a better understanding of fractions. We are able to count the circles on the tops and create equivalent fractions. We can also use the pieces to add and subtract fractions as well as see why it is important to have like denominators when adding and subtracting fractions. I have also allowed students to get creative and use them to build things.”


Residents of a nursing home in England that is closed to visitors entertain themselves by recreating classic album covers from The Clash, David Bowie, and other musicians. Here’s a cultural teaching point, from me after reading a Twitter comment that surely the residents have never heard of The Clash – “London Calling” was released more than 40 years ago in 1979 and lead guitarist Mick Jones is now 65, so let’s not picture today’s nursing home residents hepping to Cab Calloway.

A 29-year-old mental health counselor in New York City whose household income is $22,500 describes the stress involved with owing nearly $300,000 in student loans as she continues her studies to earn a PhD.


Two New York doctors rig app-powered cellular walkie talkies targeted to kids to allow families to speak to isolated patients any time they want without exposing employees who would otherwise be setting up video chats. The app allows multiple people to contact the patient through the single device they have. The hospital developed a disposable casing so the devices can be reused. The devices cost $50 plus $10 per month for cellular service, and for kids, they include real-time GPS tracking, geofencing, playback of missed messages, and voice commands.


In Virginia, a physician assistant is fired after a black patient who suffers from anxiety and PTSD asked her about a Confederate flag he saw on her wall during a virtual visit, after which she adjusted her camera, told the patient he was seeing things that weren’t there and was paranoid, and doubled his sedative dose.

In England, Queen Elizabeth II knights Captain Sir Tom Moore, aka World War II veteran Captain Tom, who at 100 years of age hoped to raise $1,000 for NHS by walking laps around his garden in return for the health system saving his life and ended up generating $40 million in donations. Captain Tom holds two Guinness World Records – one for fundraising and another for being the oldest person to chart a #1 song in the UK for “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” performed with singer Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir.

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  1. Yet you miss the critical end of that sentence ---- "..yet they have ALL the LEVERAGE IF there were any…

  2. The VA project involves dozens of billions of taxpayer dollars, a big industry vendor, and a lot of people who…

  3. KLAS expressed the hospital count by rounded percentage, as follows including those I didn't mention originally: Epic 35.9 Oracle Cerner…

  4. There are other vendors out there with even fewer hospitals, I think athenahealth has some. And then there are still…

  5. I want to start off by saying excellent content and to continue with that theme I feel organizations should implement…


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