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Weekender 4/16/21

April 16, 2021 Weekender 13 Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Digital health vendor K Health, insurer Anthem, and investment firm Blackstone form Hydrogen Health.
  • CHIME will integrate its Spring Forum into Vive, an annual health IT event it will co-host with the HLTH conference beginning next March.
  • Mayo Clinic launches Remote Diagnostics and Management Platform.
  • The VA reaffirms that it will not bring its second Cerner site live in Columbus, OH until it has completed a strategic review of the project and shared the results with Congress.
  • AI solutions vendor Olive acquires Empiric Health, which offers AI-powered surgical analytics software.
  • Google will conduct a user feedback study as it prepares to develop a consumer-facing health record tool similar to Apple’s Health Record app.
  • Microsoft announces that it will acquire Nuance in a deal worth nearly $20 billion.
  • HHS extends TeleTracking’s COVID-19 hospital operating data collection and reporting for a third six-month term.
  • US News & World Report highlights the legal efforts of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian to leave the 51-hospital Providence system, with a key issue being clinical standardization as enforced by configuration of Epic.

Best Reader Comments

I think this acquisition makes a lot of sense for Microsoft. The future is not on a mouse and keyboard, it’s voice control and augmented reality. There will be an exciting opportunity to integrate this with the Holo Lens which as far as I can tell is one of the more mature AR gadgets out there. When you pair Dragon + Holo Lens + Hey, Epic! and other types of integrations, you have the potential for a must-have product for certain types of providers. As others noted, this will be yet another reason for existing customers to adopt Azure and/or Azure AD. Azure AD identity integration is going to play a bigger role in healthcare consolidation than people realize. Managing healthcare user identities for external users and mergers is a PITA and Azure AD helps reduce the complexity quite a bit. Dragon can now bolt right on to that. (Elizabeth H. H. Holmes)

I would add that Cortana hasn’t been well received by the market, so picking Dragon’s voice rec is a nice cherry on top of the reasons you state. They may not plan to sell a lot of the standalone product, but adding underlying technology to their stack is appealing. The talent acquisition is also nice. (Jim)

If they are paying 14 times rev for Nuance AND they manage to get almost all the Nuance revenue into the Azure “bucket” AND revenue to Azure is more profitable than the rest of MSFT and bumps up overall market cap, can they mark this whole thing as a win by adding more to MSFTS market cap? (Matthew Holt)

Re: Hoag. A hospital in Orange County (with cash–rich patients who are willing to come up out of pocket to pay for healthcare) has more ability to consumerize healthcare and give patients every option and ultimately, deliver what the patients want. Providence has facilities that can’t do that. But does that really change the ‘standard’ of care? (ellemennopee87)

Raise your hand if you’d like to see the data use agreement for Google’s PHR (I say this while realizing I’ve turned over 90% of myself to them already). The portal is like the only thing about healthcare I enjoy. Seems like another PHR failure in the making. (Android user)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. W in Washington, who asked for a microphone, drawing tablet, ring light, and phone video stand for creating online lessons for her elementary school class. She reported last winter, “Beginning the school year remotely was difficult, but thanks to your help, my students have been performing to their very best online. My science classes have become familiar with Microsoft Teams, and have been working with Class Notebook (a version of One Note) specifically for science. This program has allowed for easy access to and organization of class notes and activities. Implementation has been so successful that I plan on going paperless for the majority of class activities for years to come. Being able to provide my students with high quality recordings, in which multiple screens can be viewed simultaneously, has been a blessing this year. The audio and visual quality of the content I can deliver has improved immensely with these items, and has helped our English language learners as well as special needs students to succeed in this new environment. I can’t wait to share these tools with students once we are able to meet in person in the classroom.”


Montefiore Hospital (NY) implements sleep pods that allow frontline workers to relax and energize. The HOHM pods, which are reserved via a tablet app, offer a massage chair, a privacy curtain that blocks sound, and a charging station.


Police bodycam video captures officers shooting a patient dead in the ED of Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital (OH). Miles Jackson, 27, struggled with officers who felt a gun in his pants that had been missed in an incomplete pat-down. Jackson said he would comply with commands to put his hands up but was scared the officers would shoot him, after which an officer took him down with a stun gun and he was then shot by multiple officers after his gun discharged. Westerville’s police chief says he has “concerns that warrant further review.” Jackson had been taken to the ED after being found unconscious of a suspected drug overdose in a car and was being arrested in the ED on outstanding warrants.


Police charge a 31-year-old South Florida Botox clinic nurse practitioner with anonymously calling two elderly women and convincing them to wire her $20,000 to help one of their relatives that had been injured. She was also charged with drug trafficking when the arresting officers found 170 pounds of marijuana in her apartment.


The local paper profiles LaVonne Smith (at left above), who just retired as IT director of Tomah Health (WI) after a 40-year career, 36 of which was spent in IT after she was drafted from the admissions department in 1985 to help implement the hospital’s first computer system. The health system went live on Epic in 2017.

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Currently there are "13 comments" on this Article:

  1. re: shooting in Ohio ER. I wish I could unsee the horror I just watched.

    That was the most unprofessional behavior I’ve ever seen from so-called professionals aka Police. Personally, I swear like a sailor but rarely at work and never AT anyone so the words aren’t offensive. Yet, my professional training taught me that using a perjorative like ‘dumbass’ to address someone along with the other expletives will likely escalate the situation.

    Police are not the military yet the more of these police brutality/shooting videos I watch, the more it feels like they think they are.

    • I completely agree. It’s entirely unprofessional as a public employee to ever address anyone in that way, no matter what they are doing. Your job is not to vent your frustration. It’s to stay calm and deescalate the situation. “Dumbass”. Contradictory instructions “drop the gun” vs. “don’t touch the gun”. Arbitrary use of violence for no notable goal other than to cause pain “I’m going to taze him” as he’s having a back and forth with the officers.

      I used to be one of the people who said “if you’re holding a gun” or “if you’re fist fighting cops” then your life would probably meet a predictable end at the hands of a cop and I wasn’t particularly sympathetic about it. After January 6 it became pretty clear to me that de-escalation is entirely the choice and burden of the police, and that it’s possible to walk away from almost any situation without the people involved shooting bullets. I’m in favor of completely redesigning these institutions. Being a construction worker is more dangerous than being a police officer (look it up), it’s time to drop the hero worship.

      • The never-ending, loud, angry yelling, the language, the name-calling.

        Unprofessional and entirely un-necessary.

  2. re: Shooting in Ohio ER

    Having watched the full 16 minutes of the video released (it’s on YouTube and it was released last week – which is when I saw it) prior to reading the NY Posts’ spin on things, and having at least a basic comprehension of what actually occurred here I’m not going to be doing any hand-wringing or whining about “unprofessional” behavior by the police in this instance. The only “unprofessional” behavior I was able to observe was that the EMS crews and attending staff did not bother to check the patient was not carrying weaponry and a danger to themselves and patients at the hospital, which is a not unreasonable thing to do when narcotics are involved.

    The officers performed a safety check rather than assume it had been done, and were totally gracious and casual up to the point where they realized he was armed and dangerous – you can see the look of concern in the officer’s face when he realizes it, and they are quiet up to the point where they attempted to secure the patient and he began resisting. Had the patient submitted to being handcuffed and the weapon removed, he would not have been shot. He chose to reach for the weapon in an attempt to use it – one officer is clearly trying hard to control the right arm reaching down the front of the sweatpants to prevent the weapon from being grasped, the other officer realizing that its going to be a fight in a confined area goes for the Taser (a “Less than lethal” device which has a proven track record of being incredibly ineffective, as is shown here). At that point the officer on the right loses his grip on the arm and they push forward trying to prevent the weapon from being brought to bear – they all begin to lose balance, and in that moment the “patient” gets hold of his handgun and fires at least one round *through* his sweatpants which narrowly misses the officer on the left at which point both officers (the one on the left being down on the ground at this point and in direct line of the “patients” handgun) attempt to bring their weapons to bear. The officer on the left manages to get off a couple of shots and scrambles out of the room – the officer on the right (who is wearing the body cam) attempts to shoot the “patient” and has a major weapon malfunction (which should not happen – ever!) which immediately saves the “patients” life – almost as if “God” was giving this moron a second chance. Having nowhere to go, the officer backs into the corner of the room and attempts to clear the malfunction. Then follows about five minutes of stand-off during which the “patient” is told NO LESS THAN 84 TIMES to remove his hand from the weapon, to not touch the weapon, to not attempt to raise his right arm with the weapon in it. The “patient” CHOSE to not comply. The “patient” REFUSED to simply open his hand and place it on his head – there’s a long period of prevarication and attempts at misdirection where he claims to be compliant but is clearly not doing so.

    Kudos to the doctor who attempted to jump in and do his thing – and equal kudos to the officers who prevented him from going into a small enclosed room before it was secured. Both acts were professional and in line with the oaths taken by those individuals.

    So the policemen “cursed” and called this low-life bad names? I for one am not going to fault someone for cursing or “being unprofessional” in a situation such as this – when lives are at stake, “professionalism” and decorum are a distant second to making sure you get home to your family at night. You ever deal with criminals or thugs? Sometimes cursing and being loud is about the only thing they understand – being polite and speaking softly only convey weakness to such people and carefully chosen words are NOT going to sway them. You all have obviously never had a gun fired in your direction from point blank range or been in a violent life-threatening situation.

    “Unprofessional”? The instant this criminal touched the weapon, and FIRED IT AT THEM, that officer was well within his rights to defend himself and dump the entire magazine into this guy – but NO, he stood backed into a corner with no clear line of sight to a guy with a gun for several minutes while they attempted to get him to comply. He had nowhere to safely go, and was basically in multiple lines of fire the whole time – and he didn’t go “kill crazy”, he just did his job.

    What the hell does January 6th have to do with any of this? NOTHING. What is wrong with you? Are you one of those people who actually thinks something “violent” happened on January 6th but turn a wilful blind eye to people who actively commit arson with Intent to Murder?

    I’m not the world’s biggest fan of how policing is done these days, but this “patient” was a career criminal who made a choice to escalate and become violent. There was no regard for his own or other people’s safety. He made the first choice to attempt to pull and fire on the officers. His life was spared by the statistically-unlikely intervention of a malfunctioning weapon. He then made the CHOICE to not relinquish the weapon and submit, and the situation demanded that the threat to every else’s safety be removed. The police attempted another Taser shot, which clearly did not incapacitate or subdue at all and he made the CHOICE to start waving that pistol around again – which forced them to take the most drastic action possible.

    …and yes, I’ve seen plenty of these type of videos in full, gory detail – and in the great majority of them (at least 95%) the police are justified in their use of force. I’m not saying there aren’t bad police (there’s bad in every profession and walk of life, and there’s just as many incompetents as there are geniuses – doesn’t matter if you have a PhD, MD, MS, or any other initial after your name), but from where I sit this was totally justified.

    Nobody goes out on a shift looking to shoot someone or take a life, the officers involved will be having nightmares about this for years to come – or at least some residual psychological damage – and it is always sad when a life is taken. But this person made his choices, and bad decisions or not, he paid for those CHOICES with the ultimate price.

    • So many words to describe the striking ineptitude, lack of training, and unprofessional behavior of the police officers.

      “trying hard to control the right arm”, “loses his grip on the arm”, giving contradictory instructions 84 times (!) – is this considered professional work?

      • OK, Superman. I get it. If you’d been there, you would have secured the scene effortlessly by just willing it so.

        Yes, I’d say that in this particular situation people acted about as professionally as they could given the circumstances. I’d love to see how well you’d be able to grab someone’s arm and completely control it when everyone involved has a sudden rush of adrenalin as the situation escalates from 0 to 60 in .5 seconds. Remember, the criminal you’re attempting to secure has lord knows what kind of pharmaceuticals in him and is probably neither completely lucid or susceptible to pain and is rather strong and fighting as hard as possible. Do this while in a confined area of about four by two feet without allowing said criminal to get a hold of a firearm (either the one in his pants or the one on your belt), trying to keep yourself and your partner out of any potential line of fire, and then tell me how well you’d do to come out of that alive and unhurt?

        Also, there were no “contradictory” instructions given – differing instructions, yes, but not contradictory. Nobody told him to grab the pistol, no one told him to wave the pistol about or fire it. There were several people issuing orders, and while the intent is the same in each one the wording and precise instructions were different – but again, this is a situation where everybody involved is in an adrenaline-infused state and very tense.

        Unprofessional? That would have been the case if one of the officers had summarily shot the criminal in the back of the head without warning or the police had simply dumped multiple magazines into this guy from the onset. That would have been the case if they had not attempted to secure the criminal, his firearm and just killed him outright. That would have been the case if they had not added to their own risk of harm by attempting “less than lethal” means. What if this guy had broken free and shot his way out of the ER? Would a pile of dead doctors, nurses, and patients make you happy? There is a reason that officers are trained to search people, secure them (handcuff them) if anything dangerous is found, and ensure that themselves and the public are safe from any threats presented by perpetrators.

        This criminal was given a five-minute extension of life by a malfunction – and he CHOSE to throw away that chance. There is nobody to blame but himself.

        I’m not making excuses for the police, and I certainly don’t condone violence on their part where it is not warranted (there are bad apples and yes, they need to be pruned) – but don’t mistake this particular instance as an example of “unprofessional police behavior”. I’ve seen entirely too many instances where the police weren’t paying enough attention, were trying to be politically-correct, or were worried about people’s “feelings” and wound up paying the price for it with severe injury or death. Every death is to be lamented, but again, this guy made many bad CHOICES and wound up paying the consequences of those.

    • I hope none of you “outraged” cowards never need the police to protect you. They have people wanting to kill them every day…and you’re upset they used a few bad words? My God, this country has lost its way. Sad that this site has become a forum for the offended to post their views anytime they feel the need to be heard.

      • @Ned Flanderes – Thanks for weighing in.

        It’s not about a few unsavory words – it’s about learning how to NOT shoot someone to get them under control.
        When the police stop acting like they are at war with Joe Citizen, particularly when he has brown skin, I’ll be happy to have a discussion about where I’ve gone astray and lost my way. The data is not on your side.

        • Ned Flanders is right. BTW…you should check your data again…on cop shootings. The real data does not support your anti-cop opinions. You’ll be the first to call the cops to help you when someone illegally parks on campus.

  3. “Are you one of those people who actually thinks something “violent” happened on January 6th” yes I have eyes and watched the bear mace being sprayed directly into officers eyes, skulls and bodie being smashed with blunt objects, people being smashed in doors, and yet not one of the people assaulting an officer got shot. Just Babbitt when she went through the door. It is insane how people like you are trying to whitewash the massive violence against law enforcement. You seem to like to do research. Go check how many officers had to go to the hospital that day. If you can’t see the obvious parallel to the disproportionate use of police violence against black people then I really can’t help you. If you really think that all you have to do is “comply” and you won’t die, you haven’t been paying attention.

    “getagriponreality” username checks out. If you think that asking police to stay calm when doing their job is too much, no wonder you’re willing to give them a pass on so much more.

    • Again, what does January 6th have to do with this incident? Nothing. What does the “disproportionate level of violence against black people” have to do with January 6th? You don’t make any sense.

      You condone and approve of violence against police officers when it suits you, and consider the outright murder by a police officer of an unarmed Capitol protestor to be “professional” act. How interesting. It’s also interesting that aside from a few random acts of violence that the great “crimes” 99% of those arrested for “rioting” are charged with are misdemeanors for disorderly persons and trespassing (after being ushered in through the outside doors *BY* the police). Nobody in that crowd was armed with a firearm, there were no firearms seized at the Capitol that day. I must have missed the people armed with weaponry, the burning and pillaging resulting in a smoke-shrouded blackened wasteland, the complete destruction of the Capitol building, the bodies piled up in the halls, blood all over the floors and walls, and the outright massacre of politicians that is the hallmark of 99% of the “Insurrections” that have occurred throughout history. But that is neither here nor there, and this is not the place.

      The police in this case *were* completely calm, even relaxed, until this criminal decided he didn’t want to be arrested and have his illegal weapon taken from him. If you are being arrested, or detained, or stopped and given a lawful order being compliant *DOES* keep you alive. The numbers available in many government publications bear this out. This particular instance was pretty cut and dried, and no – it had nothing to do with race, socio-economic status, or whatever other bizarre illusions you have. How many EMTs and Police Officers have died trying to help addicts (of any race) because they didn’t secure the situation? The answer is far too many – and this could have been yet another example of that.

      • @getagriponreality – I see where you’re coming from and you make some salient points yet I cannot let your arguments about professional behavior go.

        The police in that video were not calm and relaxed when it mattered most. Can we at least agree that once the handcuffs are on, the suspect is pretty much ‘done’? What is a guy in handcuffs going to do? It seems to me what we saw is the police responding to their own ineptitude with yelling, perjorative name-calling, and disrespect. They screwed up and they knew. Professional behavior includes doing your job. As such, if you’re going to remove handcuffs, make absolutely sure there’s nothing left in the waistband. I’m not sure why/how that’s a difficult concept to grasp. In healthcare, we like checklists even in critical, life/death circumstances we’re asking ourselves ‘ What are the right steps?’.

        I believe that the responses you received to your way-too-long diatribe is simply a call for the police de-escalate situations, just like we do in BH wards, ERs, and clinics all over the world. You call the dead man a lowlife and imply that all some criminals respond to is yelling and cursing and aggression and you ask us, your readers, if we’ve ever been in the same situation as the police. I can tell you that with years under my belt in a downtown Detroit ER, I’ve seen some stuff but no, I’ve never been part of a police presence.

        Now I ask you – if you know first hand that ‘lowlifes’ sometimes only respond to yelling, cursing, and name-calling, have you ever tried the opposite?

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