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April 1, 2021 News 6 Comments

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HIMSS acquires SCAN Health, which offers healthcare supply chain traceability events, a supply chain maturity scale, business case competitions, and design competitions.

The company, which is funded by the Canadian government, is hosted by the University of Windsor’s business school.

SCAN Health was launched in 2017 with a four-year, $1.6 million government grant that ended this year.

HIMSS Analytics was one of SCAN Health’s partners and financial supporters.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

Today’s best Internet meme — April 1 is the only day on which Americans will question whether something they read on the Internet might be untrue.


I took advantage of some special Donors Choose matching funds and those of my Anonymous Vendor Executive to fully fund these teacher requests:

  • A financial literacy kit for Ms. P’s fifth grade class in Fayetteville, NC.
  • Mice and headphones for Ms. G’s elementary school class in Sharon, WI.
  • Science and math materials for Ms. H’s elementary school class in Houston, TX.
  • Hands-on math tools for Ms. M’s elementary school class in Houston, TX.

I took a short, solo, family-related trip this week, the first time I’ve been on an airplane in quite a while. Every person I saw was appropriately masked, all flights were full (one was even oversold with a $900 offer to take a flight three hours later), and the airports were jammed with restaurant lines that looked 100 people long. It was like before COVID, which actually felt pretty good. People-watching yielded two instances where teen passengers showed up in pajamas, which reminded me of that years-ago fad where college students would head out to restaurants at 2:00 on a weekend afternoon in their PJs for breakfast. I have a feeling that the pent-up demand for travel, restaurants, and entertainment and sports events is about to explode as more people get vaccinated. Here’s a tip for Southwest passengers with Group C boarding who are doomed to a middle seat – take the seat between two folks who are conversing, or where one of them is a child. It’s almost always two family members, one of whom will move to the middle so they can sit together and leave you with the aisle.


April 21 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Is Gig Work For You?” Sponsor: HIStalk. Presenter: Frank L. Poggio, retired health IT executive and active job search workshop presenter.  This workshop will cover both the advantages and disadvantages of being a gig worker. Attendees will learn how to how to decide if gig work is a good personal fit, find the right company, and protect themselves from unethical ones.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

The Center for Health Affairs sells its CHAMPS Oncology business, which helps providers with cancer registry participation, to clinical data solutions vendor Q-Centrix.

Acute telemedicine technology and solutions vendor SOC Telemed completes its $194 million acquisition of competitor Access Physicians. 


  • University Hospitals of Cleveland will implement Epic, according to a reader-forwarded internal email. It will replace Allscripts Sunrise.
  • Southwest Medical Center (KS) chooses Healthcare Triangle for cloud disaster recovery services.



Matthew Smith (Ensocare) joins Kno2 as VP of sales and strategic partner alignment.


Sharecare hires David Guthrie (PatientPoint) as CIO/CISO.


Walmart Chief Medical Officer Tom Van Gilder, MD, JD, MPH will leave the company next month.

Announcements and Implementations

Samsung integrates GetWellNetwork’s solution with its healthcare-grade smart HTVs, eliminating the need for external hardware.

Netsmart is named the highest-satisfaction behavioral health ambulatory EHR vendor by Black Book Research, which also found that only 18% of respondents feel they are technically ready to engage electronically for care coordination, patient record exchange, and population health. 

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will use Google’s Care Studio EHR search tool, expanding a pilot project that started at Ascension.

Audacious Inquiry publishes a guide to the new CMS Conditions of Participation requirement for hospitals to send ADT notifications to the community providers of those patients.


Results from the ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine indicate that protection lasts for at least six months and it works against the South African variant. It was also found to be 100% effective in the small number of trial participants that were 12 to 15 years years old. The study has raised no safety concerns, clearing the way for eventual full FDA approval beyond the vaccine’s Emergency Use Authorization.

CDC reports that 21% of US adults have been fully vaccinated, as have 51% of those 65 and over, as 100 million people have received at least one dose.

Nursing homes report that COVID-19 cases are down 98% and deaths down 95% from their peak on December 20. The CMS data does not break out totals by vaccination status.


FDA issues Emergency Use Authorization two at-home, antigen-based COVID-19 rapid tests that don’t require a prescription, Quidel’s QuickVue At-Home and Abbot BinaxNOW. The tests are intended for serial screening, where an individual who does not have COVID-19 symptoms needs to be tested several times. FDA’s decision took nearly a year, keeping the tests from being sold when they could have had a major impact. Availability and price have not been announced and it’s not clear how self-test results can be used to prove COVID-19 status.

The Washington Post reports that despite dire predictions, some of the country’s richest health systems boosted their incomes in 2020, reporting big surpluses that were increased even more by federal COVID-19 bailouts. Baylor Scott & White Health reported its biggest-ever operating margin as it booked $815 million in profit for 2020, aided by $454 million in taxpayer-funded relief. UPMC tripled its 2019 margin with an $836 million profit that includes $460 million in bailout funds, while Mayo Clinic’s predicted $3 billion revenue loss ended up being increased revenue and a $728 million profit, including $338 million in bailout funds. Big health systems are either lousy at forecasting or good at manipulating politicians.

People who have had COVID-19 need just a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine to reach maximum immunity, researchers find.

A Baltimore company that manufactures both J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines as a subcontractor ruins 15 million doses of the one-shot J&J product when its workers confuse the two products and mix them together. The company, Emergent BioSolutions, was called out last year for selling the federal government $626 million worth of COVID-unrelated national stockpile items, such as anthrax vaccine, that consumed more than half of the stockpile’s budget during high demand for PPE. The most recent US anthrax attack was 20 years ago, when five people died, and the stockpile contains enough doses for 10 million people. The company bought the vaccine patent from the State of Michigan, then raised prices to the federal government six-fold, as that product plus smallpox vaccine increased its revenue to $1.5 billion as it used its clout to halt the development of better and cheaper vaccines by competitors. President Trump had appointed one of the company’s former consultants to run the office that oversees the stockpile. The company’s market value is over $4 billion. 

In England, a study of discharged COVID-19 patients finds that they were admitted four times as often and died eight times more frequently compared to the control group. The rates of respiratory disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease were higher and not limited to elderly patients. Nearly 30% of the discharged patients were readmitted and 12% of them died.

Houston Methodist will give its 26,000 employees until mid-April to either get at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine have their religious or medical exemption approved. The health system says 83% of employees have been vaccinated and it is mandatory for new employees. The American Hospital Association says it expects most hospitals to hold off from making vaccination mandatory until FDA gives them its full approval instead of Emergency Use Authorization.

Sponsor Updates

  • Vyne Medical launches a podcast series, with the first episode covering “The Future of Healthcare IT in a Post-COVID Era.”
  • Utah Business names Health Catalyst CEO Dan Burton “CEO of the Year 2021.”
  • Wolters Kluwer Health is named publisher of the American College of Medical Quality’s “American Journal of Medical Quality.”
  • InterSystems joins the Vulcan FHIR Accelerator Program to expand interoperability in life sciences.
  • Black Book Research
  • PerfectServe’s Optimized Provider Scheduling powered by Lightning Bolt achieves top customer satisfaction rankings in the latest Enterprise Physician Scheduling report from KLAS.
  • President Bill Clinton will keynote the Everbridge COVID-19: Road to Recovery Executive Summit May 26-27.
  • Azalea Health Innovations integrates its AzaleaONE EHR with PatientPing for event notification.
  • G2 names Halo Health a leader in its “Clinical Communication and Collaboration Grid Report for Spring 2021.”
  • The HCI Group releases a new “DGTL Voices with Ed Marx” podcast, “How IT Saves Lives.”
  • Imprivata and Emerging Global Technologies partner to bring innovative digital identity technology to healthcare providers in the Middle East.
  • Kyruus publishes a new case study, “How Baystate Health Increased Online Accuracy and Access with a Comprehensive Provider Data Foundation.”
  • LexisNexis publishes a new white paper, “Knowledge-Based Authentication Simplifies MyChart Patient Portal Enrollment.”
  • Meditech publishes a new case study, “Princeton Community Hospital improves response time and physician efficiency with Meditech Expanse and Teknicor.”
  • Medicomp Systems releases the first episode of its “Tell Me Where It Hurts” podcast with Jay Anders, MD.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. How can Houston Methodist make the vaccine mandatory before it’s been fully FDA approved (as opposed to emergency use approval)?

  2. University Hospitals is replacing both Allscripts Sunrise on the acute side, and Allscripts Touchworks on the ambulatory side. Collective cheers from Providers reportedly heard as far away as adjacent states. People say the grass is always greener, but they aren’t Allscripts customers. Good riddance.

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