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February 4, 2021 News 7 Comments

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Netsmart acquires GPM, which offers a community-based long-term and post-acute care mobile EHR and care coordination platform.

Reader Comments

From Curious Jorge: “Re: reader survey. I appreciate the offer of a $50 gift card for completing your reader survey! However, you have awesomely enhanced my IT and informatics experience for years, so I should be sending you a gift card and a huge thank you! Please donate the card to your favorite charity.” CJ is a physician informaticist who completed my reader survey and was randomly drawn as a gift card winner. Their gracious deferral of the prize allowed me to fully fund – with matching money from my Anonymous Vendor Executive and other sources — the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. R in Sebastian, FL, who asked for a library of 30 take-home math and science books for her second-grade class. She sent a note saying, “Your kindness and generosity is warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated! It has been one of the most unusual and interesting school years I’ve had, so your donation to our project is an absolute bright spot that we really needed. The future scientists of the world will be so happy!”

From Journo June: “Re: journalist. Do you consider what you do as being one?” Not for most of what I do. I’ve explained to Katie the Intern that I see those who write health IT stuff as falling into three camps: (a) journalists interview actual sources and follow established technical and ethical standards to create original news, which I do when the situation warrants; (b) writers have a level of health IT education and leadership experience that gives their news callouts and opinions credibility; and (c) typists paraphrase the writing of others without even understanding it themselves, adding zero value except to give bored readers a redundant copy of useless material to waste time on. My example of the latter is those lame “best hamburgers in all 50 states” articles in which a junior nobody uses Yelp and Google to crib public comments and photos in dutifully cranking out worthless clickbait. Finding health IT typists would not be an onerous challenge.


From Code Slinger: “Re: programming. Should I be ashamed to admit that most of my health IT programming years involved dead languages like RPG and COBOL?” Absolutely not. Those are just the paintbrushes that your employer made you use. Unless you coded to someone else’s spec only, you are still an artist who understands logical thinking, user behavior, the use of brilliant algorithms to address real-life uncertainty, and how to visualize an alternate universe inside your head and turn it into reality. Programmers might have rolled their eyes at my self-taught, kludgy coding back in the day, but I made those bits and bytes howl in giving life to the software figments of my imagination. The most valuable skill isn’t knowing how you make the computer do what you want, but rather defining what you want it to do.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor Ettain Health, offering healthcare IT talent and consulting solutions. Services include IT strategy, vendor selection, pre-implementation planning, system design and build, training, activation and go-live support, help desk, and system optimization, as well as IT outsourcing and application management. Additionally, in response to COVID-19, Ettain Health delivers customized on-site and remote support services including vaccination rollout assistance to provide scheduling and registration through any EHR, training, project management, help desk, and portal support. Ettain Health is a division of talent solutions company Ettain Group, which has 21 US locations and annual revenue of $500 million, deep experience in Epic, Cerner, Meditech (including Expanse consulting certification), and other EHRs. It has a 25-year history of delivering talent solutions, employs more than 400 full-time health IT consultants, and has completed more than 500 EHR implementation projects. Thanks to Ettain Health for supporting HIStalk.

Listening: new from Lucero, country-tinged, heartfelt jangle rock from Memphis that kind of reminds me of Deer Tick because of the singer’s gravelly voice. Despite some 1980s influence, I wouldn’t call it either retro or trendy, just a distinctly American blend from a hard-working, middle-aged band that has been plugging away for 20+ years. I’m not a fan of country, but this is OK since they don’t wear silly cowboy hats and they aren’t bro-country working class posers who add exactly one pedal steel lick to a soulless, corporately written bubblegum pop song so they don’t have to compete on the actual pop charts. People who don’t roll their eyes at musicians wearing cowboy hats indoors must also think that AC/DC’s 65-year-old Angus Young spends his days in a uniforms-required prep school.


HIMSS14 will always be the “Year of Those Darned Mugs” for me because I overbought the giveaways and we kept moving heavy cases of them from one place to another in trying to entice people to take them. I was interviewing CloudWave President Erik Littlejohn today and he said, “You won’t remember this, but maybe seven years ago at HIMSS you had all those mugs to move …” and I knew exactly where he was going with that story. Three guys from our exhibit hall booth neighbor Park Place International volunteered to help Lorre haul in three heavy boxes full of mugs from her car that was parked in an OCCC garage that seemed like a mile away. Not only did they lug them in on their shoulders, they did it wearing their all-black booth finery under the punishing Florida sun. Erik was one of them. Above is the Darned Mug that sits on my desk, and all memories about it are bad except for those guys from Park Place (now CloudWave). Meanwhile, while we’re looking back, do you see any familiar reveler faces in the HIStalkpalooza 2014 video?


February 24 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Maximizing the Value of Digital Initiatives with Enterprise Provider Data Management.” Sponsor: Phynd Technologies. Presenters: Tom White, founder and CEO, Phynd Technologies; Adam Cherrington, research director, KLAS Research. Health systems can derive great business value and competitive advantage by centrally managing their provider data. A clear roadmap and management solution can solve problems with fragmented data, workflows, and patient experiences and support operational efficiency and delivery of a remarkable patient experience. The presenters will describe common pitfalls in managing enterprise information and digital strategy in silos, how to align stakeholders to maximize the value of digital initiatives, and how leading health systems are using best-of-breed strategies to evolve provider data management.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Nordic acquires Bails & Associates, which provides ERP consulting with specialization in Infor.


Patient experience platform vendor NexHealth acquires digital forms company Enlive. NexHealth’s EHR-integrated offerings include online scheduling, patient communications, telehealth, and virtual waiting rooms.


New Zealand-based cancer screening software vendor Volpara Health acquires CRA Health, a Boston-based Mass General spinoff that offers EHR-integrated breast cancer risk assessment and recommendations, for $18 million.

Change Healthcare announces Q3 results: revenue down 3%, adjusted EPS $0.34 versus $0.33, beating earnings estimates but falling short on revenue. The company’s $13 billion acquisition by Optum is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Medical research data management platform data vendor Flywheel raises $15 million in a Series B funding round. I’m fascinated that CEO Jim Olson’s education involves math and religion, and companies he has run include online gambling, supportive medical care, a family of youth ministries, and career exploration for young adults.

Consumer genetic testing company 23andMe will go public in merging with a Richard Branson-run SPAC in a deal that values the company at $3.5 billion.


  • Community Health Network (IN) chooses Jvion’s prescriptive AI to identity ACO members who are risk of deteriorating due to pandemic-deferred care.


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Carevive hires Bruno Lempernesse (Medidata) as CEO. He replaces founder Madelyn Herzfeld, RN, who moves to board vice chair.


Quil hires Kim McEwen, MA (Livongo) as VP of client delivery and Ashley Stevens (Imprivata, above) as VP of provider sales.

Announcements and Implementations

Mayo Clinic will work with Spok to enhance its Spok Go communications platform, including critical test results reporting, family and patient engagement, task management, and medical device integration.

Relatient announces a patient self-scheduling tool for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

LexisNexis Health Care develops a streamlined onboarding process for Epic’s MyChart, which uses the company’s Instant Verify and Instant ID Q&A for identity validation, to expedite vaccination appointment scheduling. 

Israel-based CLEW Medical earns FDA’s 510(k) clearance for its hemodynamic instability prediction solution for ICU patients.


Saudi Arabia’s health minister reviews the progress of the Epic implementation at King Fahd Medical Center, noting that the implementation was completed on schedule despite COVID-related challenges. 


KLAS’s non-US Best in KLAS report finds that telehealth has been massively expanded globally during COVID-19, but patients would also like to see consolidated patient portals, provider communication, and self-scheduling. Top ranked in the acute care EHR category are:

  • InterSystems TrakCare (Asia / Oceania)
  • Epic (Canada)
  • Epic (Europe)
  • MV Soul (Latin America)
  • Cerner (Middle East / Africa)


A KLAS Arch Collaborative report on large-practice ambulatory clinician EHR training finds that Epic and NextGen Healthcare lead on training quality; Epic, Meditech, and NextGen have the highest satisfaction with EHR personalization; and Athenahealth, Cerner, and Epic are strong at identifying users who need extra help. Most organizations say the EHR supports patient-centered care, with that list topped by Meditech Expanse, Epic, and NextGen. 


CDC reports that 33.9 million of the 56 million COVID-19 vaccine doses that have been distributed have been administered (61%).

A new Census Bureau survey finds that only 51% of unvaccinated Americans will “definitely get” COVID-19 vaccine. Herd immunity is not guaranteed when 24% of people say they probably or definitely won’t take the shot, not even counting those who want it but may not end up getting it.

Physicians who have been performing fast-result COVID-19 testing in their practices are eliminating that service since insurers sometimes pay them less than half of the test’s cost. Federal law requires insurers to cover the cost so that testing is free to patients, but does not define how reimbursement is calculated and doctors are prohibited from billing the difference to patients.

Newly elected Missouri state representative and medical clinic operator Patrica Derges is indicted on 20 counts for selling patients fake stem cell treatments after claiming on local TV that they cure COVID-19. She is licensed as an assistant physician, having graduated from a Caribbean medical school without being chosen for a residency.


AMIA opens a CEO search a year after the resignation of Doug Fridsma, MD, PhD. EVP/COO Karen Greenwood has been serving as interim.


A reader says this story has Weird News Andy written all over it. A man falls asleep listening to music on his AirPods, then wakes up with a dry throat and just one AirPod. An emergency endoscopy turns up the second one, which he had swallowed. 

Sponsor Updates

  • CHIME names Capsule CEO Hemant Goel a Healthcare Hero for outstanding service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Kyruus announces significant core business momentum in 2020 as it accelerates expansion into the payer market.
  • Everbridge announces that the State of West Virginia has administered nearly 100% of first-round doses using the company’s Vaccine Distribution software to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • The Race to Value Podcast features The HCI Group Chief Digital Officer Ed Marx.
  • Medicomp Systems CMO Jay Anders will present at Health Datapalooza February 18.
  • NextGate receives the United Kingdom National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Essentials certification.

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Currently there are "7 comments" on this Article:

  1. Brilliant comments about programming in what some consider “dead” languages… MedSeries and other AS/400 apps are still running RPG, Change’s HealthQuest is still running COBOL. Some developers who shifted from COBOL to other languages are the most gifted artisans I’ve encountered.

      • I always wanted to learn Delphi or Clipper and my hospital played with Powerbuilder. Some folks were hot to be assigned to Rexx or Smalltalk projects only to see those languages fade quickly. And of course IBM’s Visual languages like COBOL.

    • A “dead” language (a proprietary one at that!) put food on my table and a roof over my head for 31 years until I was laid off in 2014.
      Although that effectively ended my coding career, I was able to apply all of the software life cycle best practices to become a Product Analyst in which I design the look, feel, and flow, and have a team of ‘modern’ developers do the magic

    • Ah do decleah! Words of praise and poetry for ancient technologies! You have set my heart aflutter!

      There was an article about languages (human languages, not computer languages) that I read a long time ago. It was likely published in Discover magazine.

      One fascinating statement they made in there, which I believe is broadly true of computer languages as well. It turns out that ALL human languages are equally expressive. A few words more or less may be required to communicate a given idea, but any idea can be expressed.

      In computing you are often dealing with an entire network of limitations, not just linguistic boundaries. Thus it’s rarely pointless to upgrade a dev environment. But this does take some of the edge off of, using a legacy language.

  2. Thanks to the WNA fan for sharing the Air Pods story. Now I have one more reason to refuse my kids the gift of overpriced, easily lost, (and now I know) easily swallowed headphones.

  3. I look forward to telling Lucero’s bass player about your post when I next see him at our local taproom.

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

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

  3. Dr Jayne is noticing one of the more egregious but trivial instance of bad behavior by allegedly non-profit organizations. I…

  4. To expand on this a bit. The Vista data are unique to Vista, there are 16(?) different VISN (grouped systems)…

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