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October 21, 2021 News No Comments

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center finds that immediately releasing lab results to the patient portal, as required by the Cures Act, was associated with a doubling of the number of patient-to-clinician messages that were sent immediately afterward.

The percentage of patients that saw their results before their provider had reviewed them jumped from 10% to 40%.

The report didn’t investigate whether patient questions about their results drove the increased messaging.

VUMC delayed release of results to patients based on test sensitivity and complexity until January 2021, which it met Cures Act requirements.

The authors question whether the unintended consequences of immediately sending results to patients, such as patient wellbeing and clinician workload, outweigh the benefits. 

Reader Comments

From Dolla Bill: “Re: executive compensation. Obscene and pointless – you can only spend so much.” Business ambition is another ultimately pointless diversion in the continuum of birth to death since we all know that hearses don’t pull U-Hauls. We all strive in our own ways to earn “gone, but not forgotten” status even though the legacy we create – other than our children – usually fades away after one generation no matter what we leave behind.

From Periodically Panned: “Re: new health IT publications. Seen these? New HDM and something from Modern Healthcare.” Health Data Management has been resurrected as part of a South Carolina non-profit health collaborative, while Modern Healthcare owner Crain Communications has announced a “digital media brand” that rolls up some databases it bought via an acquisition this summer. I didn’t see anything on either website that hasn’t been amply covered elsewhere and most of their content would have been irrelevant to me personally, but it’s the opinion of a potential audience rather than mine that counts.

From HLTH on Wheels: “Re: HLTH21. What have readers said about the conference compared to HIMSS?” I haven’t heard from anyone who attended, but I’m interested as well, especially with regard to sponsors and the exhibit hall since those are what make or break a conference. Most of the social media comments I saw were from folks who focused on socializing or attending celebrity panel discussions for which in-person attendance seems to add little value over virtual viewing. Perhaps academically focused attendees could research the validity of the oft-repeated conference-goer claim that the networking alone makes in-person attendance worth it (they don’t usually add “to my employer, who is paying the cost.”)

From Rx Wrangler: “Re: Walmart and Surescripts. I heard that incorrectly barcoded medications caused medication reconciliation errors this past weekend, similar to incidents from 2014 in which special characters in a drug database caused prescriptions to be listed incorrectly. Have you heard anything?” I haven’t, but reports are welcome.

From Cricket: “Re: high-cost patients. See this Twitter thread from Jay Parkinson, MD, MPH.” I like it. Jay postulates that nearly all VCs are seeking investments that address the 5% of Americans that consume 50% of healthcare costs, but the reality is that improving their situation won’t move the needle much on overall costs because those people in the 5% fall into three groups:

  • Those who are chronically sick whose situation can be improved with interventions. That might reduce overall cost 3% at best.
  • Those who have an unpredictable incident, such as an accident, who will go back to being low spenders the next year.
  • Those who are dying expensively. It’s easy to predict who they are, but there’s little ROI to intervene because the health system is geared to take advantage of heroic Western medicine by making huge profits from their final months.


October 28 (Thursday) 1 ET. “A New Streamlined Approach to Documentation and Problem List Management in Cerner Millennium.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Deepak Pillai, MD, physician informaticist, IMO; David Arco, product manager, IMO; Nicole Douglas, senior product marketing manager, IMO. IMO and Cerner announce the launch of the IMO Core CSmart app, an in-workflow offering to improve clinical documentation and problem list management in Cerner Millennium. The presenters will review the challenges and bottlenecks of clinical documentation and problem list management, discuss how streamlined workflows within Cerner Millennium can reduce clinician HIT burden, and demonstrate how IMO Core CSmart can help clinicians document with ease and specificity, improve HCC coding, and make problem lists more relevant. Additional sessions will be offered on November 17 and December 1.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

Hackensack Meridian Health becomes one of the first health systems to use Google Workspace and Chrome OS devices (3,000 Chromebooks and Chromeboxes running Citrix) across its clinical and business environment. The health system will also deploy Google Cloud’s AI/ML solutions for screening and disease detection.

AI Visualize sues Nuance and Mach7 Technologies, demanding royalties for what the company says is infringement on its image-sharing technology patents. AI Visualize has a minimal web presence and seems to employ mostly patent attorneys.

Venture funds operated by investment firm Carlyle invest $430 million to take a majority position in clinical trials management and analytics platform vendor Saama.


Microsoft announces enhancements to Cloud for Healthcare:

  • Microsoft Forms has been integrated into Bookings so that schedulers can collecting patient information while scheduling virtual visits.
  • Microsoft Teams adds a Waiting Room so that virtual visit patients can receive messages and notifications providers can send from their queue view.
  • Providers using Cerner PowerChart can launch virtual visits from the patient portal or SMS with no patient app download required. Multi-participant virtual visits will also be supported.


  • In the UK, NHS Wales chooses Australia-based Citadel Health’s Evolution VLab software for pathology, replacing three separate systems that manage 35 million tests each year.
  • Blue Shield of California will move toward real-time provider payments using AI/ML tools from Google Cloud.
  • Pharmacy benefits management company Vivid Clear Rx chooses Banjo Health’s prior authorization management solution.



Hospital medical equipment tracking system vendor Cohealo hires Tom Cady (Kareo) as SVP/COO.

Announcements and Implementations

An InterSystems-sponsored study finds that 80% of surveyed health system executives don’t trust the data they use to make decisions. Half of the respondents say that lack of data integration and interoperability is the biggest barrier to achieving their strategic data analytics priorities.

The Vaccine Credential Initiative and The Commons Project will hold a webinar next week on using SMART Health Cards as a digital vaccination certificate that includes well-known speakers such as Andy Slavitt, John Halamka, Micky Tripathi, and Aneesh Chopra, 

Government and Politics

A federal court rules that the insurer for HIMSS20 has to cover the organization’s settlement with exhibitors of the cancelled conference.


The Department of Defense’s program to use smart watches and rings to predict COVID-19 infections ends, with its former program manager blaming DoD’s sluggish innovation processes. A team that included Philips Healthcare ported a previously developed algorithm that mined EHR data to predict illness to commercially available wearables as a “check engine light” indication that something unusual is happening. The program manager says the big problem was that DoD needs to categorize projects to determine which regulations apply (is it a weapon, a platform, or a system?) and it could not decide if the tool was a medical device.

Sponsor Updates

  • EVisit launches the Change Healthcare Podcast featuring co-founder and CEO Bret Larsen and co-founder and CTO Miles Romney.
  • The Surescripts White Coat Award recognizes a dozen healthcare leaders for improvements in e-prescription accuracy and patient safety.
  • Everbridge launches its Unlocking Resilience Podcast with an episode featuring William Shatner, “Resilience Makes the Leader.”
  • Vyne Medical publishes a podcast titled “Connecting with Today’s Consumer: A Closer Look into the State of Healthcare Consumerism.”
  • Jvion publishes a new whitepaper, “Smart Healthcare: The AI-Enabled Patient and Population Healthcare Journey.”
  • Lyniate names Shelley Wehmeyer (Cerner) director of product marketing.
  • Meditech congratulates customer Kingman Regional Medical Center (AZ) for on receiving Health Current’s 2021 Health IT Innovation Award.
  • Nuance will present at the CHIME Fall Forum October 27-30 in San Diego.

Blog Posts


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