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Monday Morning Update 4/19/21

April 18, 2021 News No Comments

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FDA excludes eight software functions that previously invoked its regulation as a medical device. The change was mandated by the Cures Act.

Reader Comments

From Poll Vaulter: “Re: HIMSS21. Will you be doing another poll about who’s attending or not?” No. Whatever value there was in asking unvetted poll respondents about their HIMSS21 plans has been exhausted now that we’re less than four months out. Go if you want or don’t, but decide for yourself instead of anxiously asking others what they are doing. But I will offer an alternative poll as I always do right before the conference – keep reading. The HIMSS21 exhibitor count is at 439, with most of the “real” booths being on Sands Level 2, where many spaces are listed as open on the floor plan. The list shows 83 first-time exhibitors. Here’s a question for you – I’ll be at the conference, so how should I cover it differently than before? Usually I just skip the education sessions and report on what’s happening in the exhibit hall, but I could conceivably be finished the first day unless the exhibitor number increases.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Poll respondents say that exercise and diet are by far the most important contributors to their overall health. Personal relationships finished a distant second and all of those expensive provider encounters ended up dead last. It would be fascinating to see if clinicians share this feeling that their services are not all that important in the big picture of health. Some readers wrote in “inherited genes,” which is no doubt true, but unlike the items I included, is not something a person can control, sort of like “not being hit by a meteorite as a child.” I’m surprised, to be honest, that exercise and diet was such a decisive #1.

New poll to your right or here: For those planning to attend HIMSS21: what is your #1 reason for going? I generously included an “NA – I’m not planning to attend” option for those instruction-ignorers who would be crestfallen at being denied the opportunity to click something.


Welcome to new HIStalk Platinum Sponsor the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). CHIME is an executive organization that is dedicated to serving chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 5,000 members in 56 countries plus two U.S. territories and over 150 healthcare IT business partners and professional services firms, CHIME and its three associations provide a highly interactive, trusted environment that enables senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate, exchange best practices, address professional development needs, and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care in the communities they serve. Some CHIME things you can do: (a) check the membership requirements and join; (b) complete the CHIME Digital Health Most Wired survey; (c) consider attending the hybrid CHIME21 Summer Forum June 16-17, 2021; and (d) add a calendar placeholder for the inaugural Vive annual digital health industry event, produced by CHIME and HLTH, on March 6-9, 2022 in Miami Beach, FL. Thanks to CHIME for supporting HIStalk.


April 20 (Tuesday) noon ET. “The Modern Healthcare CIO: Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World.” Sponsors: RingCentral, Net Health. Presenters: Dwight Raum, CIO, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Jeff Buda, VP/CIO, Floyd Medical Center. A panel of CIOs from large health systems will discuss how the digital health landscape is changing and what organizations can do now to meet future patient needs. Moderator Jason James, CIO of Net Health, will guide the panelists through topics that include continuum of care and telemedicine, employer-provided care delivery, consumerization of healthcare, and sustainability and workforce management.

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.


  • Banner Health selects Symplr’s Phynd for centralized provider directory, search, and scheduling for its health plan.


CDC reports that over 50% of American adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, 32.5% have been fully vaccinated, and two-thirds of senior citizens have been fully vaccinated. All Americans over age 16 are now eligible to be vaccinated.

In India, New Delhi reports a record 25,500 COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period as nearly one-third of people who are tested are found to be positive. The city of 20 million people has fewer than 100 available ICU beds and hospitals are running out of oxygen an drugs.

A New York Times review says that the government’s $800 million investment in convalescent plasma last year never paid off, as the celebrity pleas for donors and feel-good touting of the treatment in the pandemic’s early days ramped up use that yielded no evidence that it is effective. It  was used mostly in lower-income hospitals that couldn’t get better proven treatments, FDA narrowed its allowed use as negative studies accumulated, inventories are piling up, and some scientists want FDA to rescind its Emergency Use Authorization.

European travel restrictions are beginning to be lifted for vaccinated Americans, as France and Greece have said they will loosen them in the next week or two. In a related story, government officials warn that scammers are selling fake vaccination cards on Ebay and other site, made possible by the federal government’s decision to provide COVID-19 vaccination documentation on easily photocopied paper cards instead of using electronic systems. An HHS OIG agent says she is disturbed by the “flippant” attitude of people who could use phony vaccination cards to spread infection to high-risk environments such as nursing homes. Insiders say CDC was forced to give up on digital vaccination tracking and fall back on paper cards due to technical problems and time pressure. Vaccinations are recorded in state and local immunization registries, but no system allows business, schools, or other organizations to access those systems to spot a falsified paper card.


A drug company sues a medical journal, its editors, and the authors of several recently published research papers, arguing that the articles were based on faulty research and thus disparaged its painkiller drug.

Sponsor Updates

  • Cerner, Ellkay, Imprivata, InterSystems, Meditech, Optimum Healthcare IT, Quil, and The HCI Group sign on as sponsors of the inaugural Vive conference, which will take place March 6-9, 2022 in Miami Beach.
  • Nuance ranks first among the top large vendors in a new KLAS report, “Vendor Performance in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis.”
  • Pure Storage’s Pure-as-a-Service sees strong customer adoption across geographies, industry segments, and use cases.
  • Redox releases a new podcast, “Epic and Judy Faulkner’s Legacy with Forbes’ Katie Jennings.”
  • Besler features RxRevu CEO Carm Huntress in its latest podcast, “Achieving point-of-care price transparency.”
  • In Sweden, Region Kronoberg selects Sectra’s medical imaging solution as a cloud service.
  • Ospedale San Raffaele in Italy joins the TriNetX Network to expand its leadership position in gene therapy research.
  • Vocera introduces its first Environmental, Social, and Governance Framework.
  • Vyne Medical releases a new podcast, “The Future of Healthcare IT in a Post-COVID Era.”

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