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Monday Morning Update 12/28/20

December 27, 2020 News No Comments

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Service sector business software vendor EverCommerce acquires Updox, which offers healthcare solutions for faxing, electronic forms, video chat, and secure messaging.

Updox had raised $16.7 million in debt financing and in a May 2017 Series B round.

Other EverCommerce healthcare brands include AlertMD (charge capture and messaging), CollaborateMD (medical practice billing software), AllMeds (EHR/PM), and ISalus (EHR).

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Most poll respondents are anxious to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at their first opportunity.

New poll to your right or here, inspired by Dr. Jayne’s comments: What was the physician wearing as their outermost layer during your most recent visit?


I didn’t post a Christmas day edition of Weekender where I provide a Donors Choose update, so here ‘tis. Readers funded the teacher grant request of Ms. V in New Mexico, who asked for a library of 18 books for her elementary school class. She reported in July, “A couple of the photos I posted are of the last day I was with my students this school year. They had earned a reading celebration and we turned our classroom into a huge reading fort (and they got to wear their pajamas). We read ALL day! Thank you so much giving my students wonderful books! They will be enjoyed by 100’s of students for years to come!”

Speaking of Donors Choose, reader Vicki’s generous contribution, when amplified by matching funds including those provided by my Anonymous Vendor Executive, fully paid for these teacher projects:

  • A second monitor for online teaching of Ms. S’s elementary school class in Los Angeles, CA.
  • Robotics and coding learning tools for Mrs. P’s K-5 girls’ coding program in New Orleans, LA.
  • Headphones for the remote learners of Ms. S’s elementary school class in Irving, TX.
  • Distance learning materials for Ms. S’s second grade class in Henderson, NV.


Meanwhile, for one more Donors Choose uplift in a thankfully ending year that could use it, here’s what Ms. S had to say upon hearing last week that HIStalk readers had funded her project with matching funds from my Anonymous Vendor Executive and San Diego Gas & Electric.

Lorre stayed busy pre-holiday, bringing three new sponsors on board on Wednesday 12/23 alone in what is normally a glacially slow time of year. Her thesis is that companies are anxious to get their 2021 marketing plans going, especially with the delay in the traditionally early HIMSS conference. Contact her if you have 2020 marketing budget that needs to be quickly rehomed in return for a full year of benefits.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.


  • Cerner announces four new rural hospital clients of CommunityWorks.



Arkansas Children’s Hospital promotes interim SVP/CIO Erin Parker, MBA to the permanent role.


UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics Professor Lex Frieden, MA is named the 2020 Katie Beckett award recipient for his lifelong work in disability advocacy, which includes playing key roles in development and passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


The COVID Tracking Project warns that COVID-19 tests, cases, and deaths will be underreported through the second week of January, when everybody gets back to normal work schedules. The only reliable daily stats will be hospitalizations, which are reported without interruption since hospitals don’t close for holidays. That number stood Saturday at 117,344, down slightly from Friday. One out of every 1,000 Americans has now died of COVID-19.

IHME’s latest COVID-19 model projects that US deaths will reach 567,000 by April 1 or 731,000 if states ease their mitigation mandates, estimating that planned vaccination timelines will save 33,000 lives. US deaths are at 332,000.


COVID-overwhelmed hospitals in Los Angeles County, CA are running out of oxygen and other supplies and their ambulance-arrived patients are waiting curbside for up to eight hours before being brought into overcrowded EDs. Southern California’s ICU capacity is at 0%, with peak, post-holiday travel hospital demand still likely a month away. 


Huntington Hospital (CA) alerts patients and families that it may begin rationing care in allocating scarce ventilators, ICU beds, and clinical staff to patients who are more likely to survive, as directed by a team that includes doctors, a community member, and a bioethicist. The hospital reminds the public that those resources are shared by patients with all medical needs, not just COVID-19.

Florida’s Department of Corrections removes daily prison-level COVID-19 case counts and testing numbers from its public dashboard right after two big outbreaks that involved more than 400 inmates. The department says it changed the dashboard because the information it contained was cumulative from the beginning of the pandemic and therefore was not helpful in monitoring new information, but didn’t explain why prison-level reporting was eliminated.

New York hospitals apologize for their vaccination teams giving COVID-19 vaccine to anyone who joined the line instead of limiting doses those workers who were on the high-priority list as was planned, eliciting protests from employees who observed that the queue included people who have been working from home and doctors who falsely claimed that they perform COVID-related procedures. According to one doctor, ”Clearly, we’re ready to mow each other down for it.”

The suddenly worrisome new coronavirus variants are likely already circulating in the US, going undetected since this country is #43 in the world’s percentage of cases that are analyzed genetically. The strain was discovered in Britain, which has sequenced 160,000 samples versus 51,000 here, and appears to be more contagious, including in children. Japan has barred entry to all foreigners through the end of January after the variant was discovered travelers from Britain.


The Washington Post describes conditions in a $31 million field hospital that was created in the former headquarters of a bank in Rhode Island. Most of the nurses are working under short-term agency contracts, IVs are delivered by gravity drip instead of electronic pumps, EHRs are not available, and patients summon help by ringing a bedside metal bell instead of pressing a call button. The hospital is run by Care New England Health System, whose nearby Kent Hospital is reporting that ED patients are waiting 2-3 days for a bed.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may earn UK approval this week as the company says that new data shows its product, like those of Pfizer and Moderna, is 95% effective. Initial trial results were clouded by underdosing of some patients due to a University of Oxford mistake in analyzing the strength of a vaccine batch. Epidemiologists question what the new data could be given that the trials are completed and no new signups are likely when competing vaccines are available instead of a test dose that has a 50% chance of being a placebo.



Sumner Regional Medical Center (TN) goes back to paper when the Nashville RV explosion on Christmas morning caused connectivity disruption.

A Connecticut OB-GYN practice pays $2 million to settle malpractice charges brought by a woman whose daughter was born with cystic fibrosis even though the practice told her that her genetic tests – including one for CF – were normal. The physician found that the test had never been ordered, which the plaintiff’s attorney believes was due to the difficulty involved in accessing lab results through the practice’s new EHR. 


England’s Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals creatively used their Vocera devices to make calls to Santa on behalf of their young ED patients on Christmas day, which were answered and followed with presents dispatched.


Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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