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November 5, 2020 News 1 Comment

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The Nashville business paper reports that healthcare integration technology vendor Bridge Connector will close its doors less than three months after completing a $25.5 million Series B funding round.

The company has obtained $45.5 million in total funding. 

Bridge Connector is reportedly laying off 160 employees, effective in 60 days. It claims to have 750 live customer sites.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Brilliant and timely: I heard about “webinar dining room” vendor EatNGage from a HIMSS chapter presentation. Webinar or online meeting presenters pay booking fee plus $25 for an entree and beverage to be delivered to each attendee, after which the registrant is sent a link that displays their restaurant delivery and menu options. The company says that providing lunch reduces no-shows dramatically and more closely simulates the usual onsite sales activities. BMC, for example, found that webinar attendance jumped from 28% to 95% and attendees stayed connected throughout the event because they were eating during the presentation (that reminds me of my college roommate’s pragmatic dating methodology, which was to always invite girls for dinner because “hey, they gotta eat.”) The per-meal price includes food, delivery, tax, and tip. I suspect that in some areas the only dining choices (if any) will be dull pizza places or low-quality chains, but maybe not. The system also offers an option to provide meals only for specifically designated attendees, like the hottest prospects.

Listening: new 1970s-style acid, experimental guitar from Tom Morello, formerly of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. Interesting guy: he graduated from Harvard and moved to Hollywood, where he had to support himself as a stripper. He also worked in the office of US Senator Alan Cranston, but got in trouble for telling a constituent who called to complain about Mexicans moving into her neighborhood, “Ma’am, you’re a damn racist.” He also does fantastic, folky protest songs under the name The Nightwatchman, including this spectacular 2012 song “Save the Hammer for the Man” with Ben Harper. And for head-nodding and air-drumming, you can’t beat RATM, which will supposedly reunite for a world tour next year.


HIMSS updates its conference webpage to indicate that HIMSS21 registration will open in January. It includes a FAQ, most of which involves endless reciting of its “no refunds” policy. They are using OnPeak for hotels again, and even though they say registrations can be cancelled or changed through July 12, HIMSS20 attendee bad blood is sure to make folks think twice before sending OnPeak money again. Hotels still show available rooms on Expedia, but at higher rates – the Venetian is $365 plus an appalling $51 per night resort fee, while HIMSS and OnPeak have it for $229 with free WiFi and no resort fee required (or $25 per day if you are stuck in 1995 and can’t live without a newspaper and in-room phone calls for your fax machine). Weather should be a balmy 113 degrees or so, with the desert humidity boosted by vagrant urine and porn slapper sweat.


HIMSS21 exhibitors, take note of these rules, sternly enumerated but most likely enforced only if booth neighbors complain:

  • All activities must take place inside the purchased booth space, with no spillover into the aisle and no noise exceeding 75 decibels. A sound level meter costs just $20 on Amazon, so I could have fun endlessly reporting violators.
  • Anyone wearing a vendor badge who enters another vendor’s booth without permission will have their badge revoked and their employer will lose all their exhibitor points.
  • Giveaway items must have the company’s logo attached.
  • Speakers must face into the booth, not into the aisles (please don’t mess with my aisle-facing magicians).
  • Exhibitors can’t use speakers or PA systems, which I don’t see working at all since nearly every in-booth presenter has to use them to be heard by dozens of people.
  • Exhibitors are “required to remain in their own booth space” at all times (so how do they get there, then?) and run around the hall wearing attention-gathering items, such as flashing lights.
  • Cameras and video equipment are not allowed on the show floor (careful, HIMSS TV and all those would-be YouTube stars filming videos that nobody will ever watch) and companies that take photos of anything other than their own booth will be docked exhibitor points. I applaud getting rid of the aisle-clogging audio and video productions, although I don’t think that will happen.
  • “Circus-like activity” is not allowed, and “clothing must be worn at all times (including tops and bottoms).” The exhibit hall might be the only place in Las Vegas that will be free of circus-like activity and half-naked performers.


November 11 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Beyond the Firewall: Securing Patients, Staff, and the Healthcare Internet of Things.” Sponsor: Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Presenter: Daniel Faurlin, head of network solutions for healthcare, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. The biggest cybersecurity risk for healthcare IoT isn’t the objects themselves, but rather the “network door” they can open. This network infrastructure-oriented webinar will address overcoming the challenges of architecting a network to provide security, management, and monitoring for IoT, devices, and users using ALE’s Digital Age Networking blueprint, a single service platform for hospital networks. Digital Age Networking includes an autonomous network, onboarding and managing IoT, and creating business innovation with automated workflows. Specific use cases will describe enabling COVID-19 quarantine management, contact tracing, locating equipment and people, and ensuring the security of patients and more.

November 12 (Thursday) 5 ET: “Getting Surgical Documentation Right: A Fireside Chat.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Alex Dawson, product manager, IMO; Janice Kelly, MS, RN, president, AORN Syntegrity; Julie Glasgow, MD, clinical terminologist, IMO; Lou Ann Montgomery, RN, BSN, nurse informaticist, IMO; Whitney Mannion, RN, clinical terminologist, IMO. The presenters will discuss using checklists, templates, the EHR, and third-party solutions to improve documentation without overburdening clinicians. They will explore the importance of surgical documentation in perioperative patient management, the guidelines and requirements for surgical documentation and operative notes, how refining practices and tools can improve accuracy and efficiency, and the risks and implications of incomplete, inconsistent, and non-compliant documentation.

November 16 (Monday) 1 ET. “COVID-19 and Beyond: A CISO’s Perspective for Staying Ahead of Threats.” Sponsor: Everbridge. Presenter: Sonia Arista, VP and global chief information security officer, Everbridge. While hospitals worldwide work to resume elective care amid COVID-19, they’re quickly adapting and responding to a variety of emerging risks that have tested their resilience, including a surge in cybersecurity and ransomware attacks. This webinar will highlight emerging IT vulnerabilities and best practices designed to help hospitals anticipate and quickly mitigate cybersecurity risks. A former hospital CISO will share her expertise in responding to high-impact IT incidents and mitigating risks during critical events given the “new normal” that COVID-19 has created.

November 18 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Do You Really Have a Telehealth Program, Or Just Videoconferencing?” Sponsor: Mend Family. Presenters: J. D. McFarland, solutions architect, Mend Family; Nick Neral, national account executive, Mend Family.  Healthcare’s new competitive advantage is telehealth, of which a videoconferencing platform is just a small part. This presentation will describe a comprehensive patient journey in which an organization can acquire new patients, reduce check-in time, reduce no-shows, and increase patient satisfaction, all using virtual care. Health systems did a good job in quickly standing up virtual visits in response to COVID, but telehealth and the digital front door are here to stay and now is a good time to re-evaluate tools and processes that support patient scheduling, digital forms, telehealth, and patient engagement as part of a competitive strategy.

November 18 (Wednesday) 2 ET. “Leveraging a Clinical Intelligence Engine to Solve the EHR Usability Crisis.” Sponsor: Medicomp Systems. Presenter: Jay Anders, MD, MS, chief medical officer, Medicomp; David Lareau, CEO, Medicomp. Healthcare is long overdue for a data makeover. Clinician burnout is fueled by inaccurate, inconsistent, and incomplete clinical data, but that can be improved without scrapping existing systems. The presenters will describe the use of tools that work seamlessly with EHR workflows to deliver actionable data, improve interoperability; support the clinician’s thought process; and improve usability for better decision-making and accurate coding.

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


  • Micro-hospital Cabot Emergency Hospital (AR) will implement EPowerDoc’s emergency department information system.



Joann Kern, RN (State of Maine) joins Vesta Healthcare as chief product officer.

Announcements and Implementations

Meditech launches Virtual On Demand Care, which allows patients to choose “see a provider now” from the Expanse patient portal or app to launch a video chat. 

Cape Cod Healthcare goes live on Epic.

Hackensack Meridian Health goes live on Kyruus ProviderMatch for Consumers.

Black Book names Nuance as the top vendor in medical speech recognition and AI technologies.


The US reported nearly 103,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the first time daily new cases have hit six figures. Another 1,097 deaths were reported that day, increasing the US total to 241,000.


Iowa reported 4,706 new cases in 24 hours with test positivity rates at 44%. Illinois had 9,935 new cases and 97 deaths.

The New York Times looks at providers who are charging “COVID fees,” claiming that they need to recoup the cost of PPE and increased sanitation. Some state attorneys general say such fees are not legal based on consumer law or insurer contracts. Dental practices are using them most often, and dental insurance leaves patients to pay everything that isn’t specifically covered, such as an extra $15-$25 for the cost of PPE used in a cleaning. One assisted living facility charged residents a one-time $900 fee for masks, cleaning supplies, and meal delivery. AMA has asked Medicare to pay $6.57 for PPE, which is much less that some providers are charging.



The founder and former CEO of oncology patient relationship management software vendor Navigating Cancer sues Merck’s innovation fund — one of the company’s investors — for pushing her out in what she says was gender discrimination that was intended to turn the company into “a boys’ club.” Gena Cook says that Navigating Cancer, which has raised $44 million, received an attractive acquisition offer from a competitor of Merck, but Merck blocked the sale. She also claims that Merck’s board rep wanted to decrease the influence of competitor-owned Flatiron Health by moving Navigating Cancer into data products and away from patient care technology.

River Hospital (NY) shuts down its email system indefinitely following increasingly frequent hospital ransomware attacks.

Vermont’s governor sends a National Guard cyber response team to help University of Vermont Health Network inspect each of its end-user devices for malware. UVM Medical Center, which has been offline since October 25 and is is open for urgent medical needs only, is asking patients to bring their own previously printed visit summaries and prescription containers to their appointments.


A Cone Health (NC) dermatology practice was apparently taken down by malware clothing.

Sponsor Updates

  • QliqSoft posts a recording of this week’s webinar titled “Enhanced Patient Access with Chatbot Supported Scheduling.”
  • Authority Magazine features Experity SVP of Product Management Kim Commito on how its technological innovation will shake up healthcare.
  • Fortified Health Security releases a new video, “A Few Thoughts on Ryuk, Trickbot, and the Joint Cybersecurity Advisory.”
  • Elsevier partners with the Canadian Association of Pathologists to provide their members access to ExpertPath, a diagnostic decision support system for pathologists.
  • The I Don’t Care Podcast features NextGate CTO Dan Cidon and his take on interoperability challenges.

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. RE: Bridge COnnector. Stunning news, I was traveling last week and woke up to the news this morning. This has got to be one of the more epic startup failures since CareSync went bust a couple of years ago. Good luck to all those affected.

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  1. Agreed, The VA is using CCDAs today for outbound communication and they started with C32s back in 2012. Looked at…

  2. Part of my attitude relates to an experience I had. And this was within a single HIS. I wanted to…

  3. For what it's worth, the VA currently releases C-CDA (or HITSP C-32...my memory fails me) via eHealth Exchange and has…

  4. Unfortunately, I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It is important that they get this right for so many reasons,…

  5. Going out on a limb here. Wouldn't Oracle's (apparent) interoperability strategy, have a better chance of success, than the VA's?…

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