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December 2, 2021 News 2 Comments

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The VA revises its Cerner implementation timeline to restart the project in early 2022 and complete the rollout in 2024 (click graphic to enlarge).


The VA will also create two new positions to oversee the project, a program executive director for EHR integration and a deputy CIO for EHR.


It named VA executive Terry Adirim, MD, MPH, MBA to the PED position.

A VA update on lessons learned includes:

  • Creating an EHR sandbox for clinician training.
  • Optimizing the rollout schedule within VISNs.
  • Assessing the capability of Cerner’s patient portal.
  • Convening a safety summit this month to review how the VA will collaborate with local clinical stakeholders on informatics issues.
  • Addressing issues raised at Mann-Grandstaff.
  • Implementing a new management and governance structure.
  • Finalizing a data strategy between VA and DoD.

Reader Comments

From Long-Timer: “Re: Fruit Street. You blasted them back in 2014 for their tactics. I have health IT people asking me almost weekly if this guy is legit. Google his or the company’s name to see some history.” LT is referring to a reader who said they received an unsolicited LinkedIn invitation to become an advisor to a telehealth company that I didn’t name (Fruit Street Health) in return for being allowed to buy shares and to earn a percentage of sales they facilitate. Fruit Street CEO Laurence Girard, 29, previously ran telehealth company Prevently until they fired him and then went out of business, after which he offered its investors free shares in Fruit Street, which offers digital diabetes prevention, weight loss, and general telehealth. All of Girard’s ventures focus on getting doctors to invest. He quickly put up COVIDMD.com early in the pandemic, offering Salesforce-powered telemedicine visits only for Medicare and cash-paying patients, but that web address now forwards to Fruit Street Clinic. He wrote an article in late 2019 declaring “shame on these investors” who accuse startup founders of being fraudulent or running a Ponzi scheme (he had a few of those), suggesting that the company add a non-disparagement and non-disclosure clause to its stock purchase agreement that call for immediate payment of $10,000 in liquidated damages. His attorney wrote in 2014 that the primary business strategy of three companies he founded (Nutritas, Prevently, and Welliko) was to sign on physician investors, make them his key advisors, and then make money from patient software use and physician software licensing. His now-deleted website provides fascinating reading  — he was involved romantically with the CTO who then tried to take over the company, he accused one physician investor of destroying Prevently by calling Girard’s mother a terrible parent and sending investors his baby pictures, he didn’t have enough money to pay student loans and buy groceries after being fired, and he called one investor a “loan shark” whose Mexican billionaire investors were only interested in tax benefits. The “physicians as investors” strategy isn’t illegal or necessarily unethical, so my takeaway here is that his gripes against just about everybody he worked with is a rare insight into what it’s like trying desperately to save a struggling startup. I imagine that quite a few physician software company investors have discovered that it’s not quite as glamorous or as satisfying as they expected to try to demonstrate knowledge and insight outside of their own field. 

From Promotional Consideration: “Re: job changes and promotions. Some of those you mention don’t include links to the announcement.” I see many of them in my LinkedIn feed, where 3,000 nice industry folks have connected with me and thus I’m able see their otherwise unannounced job changes and news. You can do the same – I accept all connection requests from health IT people. LinkedIn’s news feed is increasingly junked up as it attempts to turn into a business-focused Facebook Junior, but I still find it useful, although I really wish it would allow me to suppress seeing items that my connections have liked or commented on since that’s where the irrelevant noise originates (but of course that’s how Facebook Senior does it in getting users addicted via their baser emotions). 


December 8 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “What Lies Ahead for the EHR’s Problem List.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: James Thompson, MD, physician informaticist, IMO; Deepak Pillai, MD, MBA, physician informaticist, IMO; Jonathan Gold, MD, MHA, MSc, physician informaticist, IMO. The EHR problem list can be cluttered with redundant, missing, and outdated diagnoses, and displays don’t always help clinicians process the available data correctly. The presenters will discuss how improvements in creating, maintaining, and displaying problems could reduce errors and decrease the cognitive load of clinicians while continuing to optimize reimbursement.

December 9 (Thursday) 1:30 ET. “Cone Health: Creating Extreme Efficiencies in Surgical Services.” Sponsor: RelayOne. Presenters: Wayne McFatter, RN, MSN and Sharon McCarter, RN co-directors of perioperative services, Cone Health. The presenters will discuss how they have empowered the entire surgical care team, including vendor representatives, to get real-time access to surgery schedules and case requirements in the palms of their hand. RelayOne CEO Cam Sexton will also present the findings of a recent study of 100 hospital leaders regarding their operating room optimization plans for 2022.

December 14 (Tuesday) 1 ET.  “Using Cloud to Boost AI and Enterprise Imaging.” Sponsor: CloudWave. Presenters: Larry Sitka, MS, VP/CSIO of enterprise applications, Canon Medical Informatics; Jacob Wheeler, MBA, senior product manager, CloudWave. Enterprise imaging has remained a holdout of data center complexity despite the benefits the cloud offers. The presenters will discuss innovative ways to reduce complexity and lead with disruptive technology using AI, enterprise imaging, and the cloud.

December 15 (Wednesday) 1 ET. “Improve Efficiency, Reduce Burnout: Leveraging Smart Clinical Communications.” Sponsor: Spok. Presenters: Matt Mesnik, MD, chief medical officer, Spok; Kiley Black, MSN, APRN, director of clinical innovation, Spok. The presenters will identify the technologies that most often contribute to clinician burnout, then explain how improving common clinical workflows can help care teams collaborate better and focus on what they do best—taking care of patients. They will describe how a clinical communication and collaboration platform can automate clinical consults and code calls to alleviate burnout.

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

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Nordic acquires S&P Consultants, whose 90-person team focuses on providing Cerner-related services. The business will continue to operate under its existing name. S&P co-founder and COO Steve Pratt died in 2020.

HealthStream acquires Rievent Technologies, which offers a continuing medical education management  platform.

Omnicell will acquire specialty pharmacy management services vendor ReCept Holdings for $100 million in cash.

A private equity firm takes an unspecified “significant stake” in clinical documentation technology vendor Iodine Software that the company says values it at over $1 billion. Iodine acquired ChartWise Medical Systems and Artifact Health this year.

Private equity firm Carlyle Group will acquire government health IT vendor CNSI from its private equity owner.

Digital consulting firm West Monroe acquires Carbon Five, which offers product management, digital design, and software engineering. West Monroe’s health system offerings include building data-driven operations, developing patient access centers, creating digital products, assisting in M&A, and developing cybersecurity plans.

Wall Street executives urge JPMorgan to cancel its annual healthcare conference that is scheduled for January 10-13, expressing concerns that San Francisco is unsafe for attendees and questioning whether in-person attendance is necessary. The 2021 version of the conference, which usually draws 20,000 attendees plus thousands more who conduct business in neighboring restaurants where captains of industry rent tables rent for hundreds of dollars per hour and sleep in hotels that charge up to 10 times their usual rates, was moved online because of COVID-19.


  • Northwell Health will implement Playback Health’s patient engagement system, which allows patients to receive, replay, and share information from their visits. A co-founder is Lenox Hill Hospital neurosurgery chair David Langer, MD, who was featured in the Netflix documentary “Lenox Hill.”
  • Remote care automation vendor Datos Health will integrate its system with provider EHRs using technology from Redox.



Jeremy Warner, MD, MS (Vanderbilt University) will join Brown University’s Center for Cancer Bioinformatics and Data Science.


Massachusetts-based health plan Health New England hires Casey Hossa, MBA (Cardinal Innovations Healthcare) as CIO.


Graphite Health hires Ryan Smith, MBA (Intermountain Healthcare) as COO. Intermountain was one of three health system founding members of the company.


Shaun Priest (Clearwave) joins ReportingMD as chief revenue officer.


Rob Lazerow (Advisory Board) joins Health Evolution as SVP.


Clinical data repository vendor Smile CDR hires Shane McNamee, MD (Peraton) as CMIO.


Jessie Minton, MS (University of Oregon) joins Washington University in St. Louis as vice chancellor for technology and CIO. She succeeds interim Stephanie Reel.


Nursing informatics pioneer Virginia Saba, EdD, MS, MA, RN died November 20. She developed the Clinical Care Classification System of standardized nursing terminology for electronic documentation.  

Announcements and Implementations

An ISMP Medication Safety Alert further explains the previously described problem in which three pharmacy data sources sent Surescripts incorrectly formatted medication history instructions, which caused problems such as “take 1 1/2 tablets daily” being sent to the network as “take 112 tablets daily.” Surescripts helped the three data sources fix their problem, removed their medication history response messages until they implement a permanent fix, and offers health systems and technology vendors a report of their impacted patients.

The International Medical Informatics Association publishes a history of informatics.

IT critical event management platform vendor Everbridge launches a Digital Operations Platform that offers analytics-driven decision-making, alert suppression, cross-functional communication, and out-of-the-box integration.

Intelligent Medical Objects collaborates with Amazon Web Services to offer AWS customers migration of their clinical data using IMO’s terminology technology, regulatory code mapping, and semantic normalization.

Zoom is accepting beta customers for its integration with Cerner, which includes notification of patient arrival in PowerChart, clinician sharing of test results and documentation, sending links to additional attendees, and placing patients in the Waiting Room for continuity between multiple caregivers in a visit.

UK-based digital triage and remote consultation solutions provider EConsultHealth will expand its capabilities by using InterSystems IRIS for Health.

CVS Health will work with Microsoft on consumer tools, use of Teams and Office, task automation using Azure cognitive services, expanded use of cloud solutions, and working with technologies such as HoloLens.

Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech launches a podcast series in which AVO Christine Parent interviews experts and leaders on the subjects of digital transformation, cloud technology, quality, and care delivery.
  • InterSystems announces the availability of HealthShare 2021.2, the latest version of its HealthShare suite of connected health solutions.
  • Lumeon publishes a new report, “The New Productivity Era for Perioperative Care.”
  • Divurgent publishes a new white paper, “Choosing an Activation Partner: Key factors in selecting a high-performing at-the-elbow support partner for your EHR implementation.”
  • Fortified Health Security names Eamon Mulholland incident response specialist.
  • Citrix’s Tech Fusion Podcast features Goliath Technologies Director of Product Marketing John Grant.
  • Lyniate publishes a new case study featuring MedUSA, “Driving 600% annual growth with Lyniate Rhapsody.”
  • Butler Health System (PA) improves access and relationships using Meditech’s Expanse Virtual On Demand Care.

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Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Thank you for honoring our dear Dr. Virginia K. Saba. She was a colleague, educator, mentor, and friend to many. Her influence is international. Her work will carry on through the multitude of nurses and others she has mentored. Dr. Saba promoted her Clinical Care Classification to the very end. Her legacy also will continue with two named awards that she endowed administered by Sigma and AMIA.

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  1. Part of my attitude relates to an experience I had. And this was within a single HIS. I wanted to…

  2. For what it's worth, the VA currently releases C-CDA (or HITSP C-32...my memory fails me) via eHealth Exchange and has…

  3. Unfortunately, I can't disagree with anything you wrote. It is important that they get this right for so many reasons,…

  4. Going out on a limb here. Wouldn't Oracle's (apparent) interoperability strategy, have a better chance of success, than the VA's?…

  5. Dr Jayne is noticing one of the more egregious but trivial instance of bad behavior by allegedly non-profit organizations. I…

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