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Monday Morning Update 3/15/21

March 14, 2021 News 4 Comments

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HIMSS opens registration for HIMSS21.

The full in-person conference costs $895 at the early bird rate, which includes the digital program, while digital-only registration costs $395.

HIMSS says the digital program will not be a duplication or live stream of on-site activities. It will contain “keynote-level conversations,” company announcements, education sessions, and networking opportunities.

Those who registered for HIMSS20 and intend to apply their credit to HIMSS21 need to click an individually emailed link to roll over their registration instead of registering again. The rollover email also interestingly notes that registrants must upload a headshot that will be printed on their badge, which I’m guessing is related to HIMSS20 registrations, which are not transferrable to another attendee.

The HIMSS21 exhibitor list shows 416 companies, 69 of them first-time exhibitors.

Meanwhile, HIMSS pays $2.8 million to settle class action charges brought by HatchMed and other HIMSS20 exhibitors who complained that they received no refund when the conference was cancelled. Lawsuit class members have two options: (a) apply a 50% credit of their HIMSS20 exhibitor fees to HIMSS21 and another 10% for HIMSS22; or (b) take a 20% cash refund of HIMSS20 fees along with a 30% credit of those fees applied toward HIMSS21 and 10% applied toward HIMSS22.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Vendors, you know what you should be doing to create better webinars and presentations: (a) focus on the value to attendees instead of pitching product; and (b) get a credible presenter who can demonstrate enthusiasm and knowledge. I feel sorry for marketing people who are tasked with checking the “we did a webinar” box, then have to strong-arm any available presenter to develop a program, create slides and notes, and then deliver a decent presentation. I think that’s why webinars often feature company salespeople as the key presenters, which is convenient but not exactly compelling to prospective attendees.

New poll to your right or here, in a repeat from several years ago: Which organization most often provides poor customer service in your personal experience?

Listening: Sandy Denny, the lead singer of British folk rock band Fairport Convention in the late 1960s. Her voice was angelic and her phrasing immaculate, but her life was tragic – her many self-harm injuries that resulted from a lifetime of behavioral health problems caused her physical pain and substance abuse that led to her death in 1978 at 31 years of age. She had little commercial success despite boundless talent, and while her song “Who Knows Where the Time Goes?” (which she wrote at 19) is often played at funerals, most people think it was written by Judy Collins because Collins covered it (her version is also excellent). Trivia: Denny sang “The Battle of Evermore” with Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin IV as the only guest artist the band ever recorded. Along similar musical lines falls Australia’s The Seekers, best known for their peppy movie song “Georgy Girl,” but better represented by “I’ll Never Find Another You,” in which I imagine Judith Durham and the band still elicit occasional listener tears 57 years later with a deceptively simple but strongly arranged song that was flawlessly executed without ego or technical assistance. It is a jarring but satisfying reality to hear the same youthfully exuberant foursome recreate their performance identically in their 70s.


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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Shares of insurer Clover Health, which went public via a SPAC merger on January 8, have dropped 46% since then versus the Nasdaq’s 1% gain, valuing the company at $3.6 billion.

India-based healthcare AI vendor Zasti will open its US headquarters in Loudoun County, VA.


PatientBond launches Insights Accelerator, which provides health systems and other providers with healthcare consumer market research and psychographic data for marketing.


Musculoskeletal exercise and health coaching app vendor Hinge Health acquires Enso, which offers an electrical nerve stimulation wearable for pain relief. Enso says 56% of its users experience immediate pain relief and 36% report improved physical function.

Announcements and Implementations

UCM Digital Health adds clinical content from UpToDate and Emmi to its virtual health platform using the Content-as-a-Service cloud model of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Crossover Health expands its health centers and virtual care for Amazon employees and their dependents to five regions in TX, AZ, KY, MI, and CA. The company was founded in 2010 by Medsphere co-founder Scott Shreeve, MD, who I interviewed about his long-ago career change in October 2019.


CDC reports that 106 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered of 136 million distributed, with 21% of Americans having had at least one dose and a remarkable 63% of those over 65 having taken their first shot. Over 14% of US adults have been fully vaccinated. High penetration of nursing home vaccination has pushed cases, hospitalizations, and deaths hugely down.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD says that the US’s aggressive vaccination program has greatly reduced the risk of variants that are causing big case upticks in Eastern Europe and Italy that have brought back lockdowns. He agrees with President Biden that July 4 gatherings will be safe to organize since vaccine supplies should be ample for everyone in April.

The New York Times looks at how buggy self-scheduling systems are slowing down COVID-19 vaccinations due to being used in ways that were not foreseen in their design, errors caused by the demand for frequent updates, lack of interoperability, the challenges of tracking two-shot administration, crashes caused by high demand, and lack of security in allowing appointment links to be shared and re-used. 


An NPR survey finds that the highest percentage of vaccine hesitancy is in Republican men and supporters of former President Donald Trump, while hesitancy among blacks is now even lower than that of whites. The idea that black Americans are unusually vaccine hesitant and thus will require extra convincing was disproven by this survey.

Two Johns Hopkins epidemiologists warn in a New York Times opinion piece that COVID-19 testing should not be scaled back in diverting resources from surveillance to vaccination. They say the volume of rapid antigen tests needs to be increased and the price reduced to support routine use in testing students, employees, and families considering a gathering.


HIMSS will move from its 33 W. Monroe headquarters in Chicago to a 30,000-square-foot space that it has subleased from Gartner Research at the 24-story River North Point building at 350 N. Orleans Street, the former Apparel Center that is connected by skywalk to the Merchandise Mart.

In Canada, CBC picks up the story of a military veteran who killed family members and then took his own life after a patchwork of EHRs failed to alert his new doctor about his psychiatric treatment in the military for proper follow-up. It notes that Nova Scotia is trying to move to a one patient, one record system, but is years away, as family practices use a single ER but hospitals run SHARE, Meditech, and One Concept systems that can’t communicate with each other. Experts note that even if the ideal system is implemented in Nova Scotia, providers still won’t be able to see a patient’s records from other provinces. 


UCHealth CMIO CT Lin, MD provides a fascinating look at how workers at a drive-through vaccination site optimized their processes (UCHealth wrote a playbook on how to do mass vaccinations). He describes using Epic’s Rover smartphone app for mobile documentation, but EHR use also created problems – other Epic-using facilities sometimes charted vaccine administration on the wrong patient, so their shared data incorrectly said they had already received shots when they showed up. I can heartily endorse the “problem line” approach he describes since I used it at the final HIStalkapalooza – we moved people who were having problems (like showing up without being invited) to a dedicated table to keep the main line moving. We can only wish that airlines (remember them?) took this approach instead of allowing all available ticket counter or gate staff to frown together in puzzlement over a single monitor while everybody in line scowls.

Sponsor Updates

  • The local paper profiles the experience of four InterSystems interns.
  • The McBee CareThreads Podcast features Kim Elsberry, senior director of population health at Netsmart.
  • Spirion joins the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association.

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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. What a way to begin a Monday morning by listening to the Seekers’ I’ll Never Find Another You and Sandy Dennis’/Judy Collins’ Who Knows Where The Time Goes. I especially remember spending hours in my dorm listening to Judy’s version (an album I still have) while studying for an upcoming “Medical Record Science” (as it was called in those days) exam! Yes – Who knows where the time goes……………….

  2. Does the industry still need HIMSS? Who really has the time or inclination to attend in any format offered?

  3. Thanks for the reference. “I’ll Never Find Another You,” has poignant relevance for me in the tragic loss of my fiance. The Seekers were a must hear in my early teens.

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