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Weekender 1/7/22

January 7, 2022 Weekender 6 Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Stryker announces that it will acquire Vocera for $3 billion.
  • Vera Whole Health signs a deal to acquire Castlight Health for $370 million.
  • Nomi Health acquires Artemis Health for $200 million.
  • Babylon Health acquires Higi.
  • Report: IBM is again trying to sell Watson Health for $1 billion.
  • Symplr will acquire Midas Health Analytics Solutions from Conduent for $340 million.
  • Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of four counts of investor fraud.
  • Health systems report labor problems caused by underpaying employees due to the weeks-long, ransomware-related downtime of payroll system vendor Kronos.

Best Reader Comments

Thanks for noting the important role that pathologists have had in developing health information systems. I’m not a pathologist but, during my training, I had the privilege of working with Dr. George Gantner, the St. Louis City and County Medical Examiner, who was a giant of forensic pathology. It was only many years later when I got into medical informatics that I learned he was also involved with the evolution of the Systematized Nomenclature of Pathology (SNP) into SNOMED! (Path Fan)

I wonder how many end users these unmanaged [Higi] kiosks have. They seem to function as a fancy gadget for the sales team to trot out as an add on to another service. (IANAL)

What I see is that people who work from home feel they are more efficient at the expense of others who now have to fill in the gaps for them. 5 minute conversation across cubes to get something done, now requires emails being sent for a potential reply next day responding to questions with more questions. Some people are very good at that (responding to questions with questions) and very efficient. (Robo Writer)

There was a statistic from several years ago about the “cost” of interruptions for programmers, and the surveyor calculated that it costs 28 minutes of productivity for each interruption, due to mental context-switching. If we’re going to go down that spoke, I’d be curious to see how people’s answers correlate with the type of work they do. I would bet that people whose jobs are task-oriented find WFH (theirs or their colleagues) difficult while people who work in programming, research, or other types of work that require silence and long stretches of uninterrupted thought are having a much better time in an isolated environment. (HIT Girl)

Holmes: There’s a lot of talk about the “fake it until you can make it” mind set of Silicon Valley startups. Boo-hoo when VC firms and high net-worth individuals fall for a con. Her downfall was outright lying about the accuracy of critical medical tests. Time for jail when you knowingly and repeatedly put patients lives at risk. (AnotherDave)

I truly believe Epic is the best solution in the market. My only concern is that Epic is most innovative when responding to Cerner development. I’m worried a one horse race will slow down the pace of improvement. Meditech just isn’t a strong enough threat to spur Epic on to greatness. We need more competition to prevent stagnation. (Competition Please)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of STEM science teacher Ms. K in S. Ozone Park, NY, who asked for programmable robots for her elementary school class. She reports, “Having a Blue-Bot Robot in my STEM classroom makes a huge difference! Students have been learning how to code. Blue-Bot lights up and makes sounds. You can see inside of it, which the students all really love. Thank you so much for giving me the chance to expose my students to cool robots like this one and for them to have such a great time!”


Hospital employees refer to a newborn as “the Tesla baby” whose parents rushed to the hospital with their Tesla placed in autopilot mode so the father could assist his laboring wife during the 20-minute rush hour drive.

Lake Superior State University publishes its annual list of annoying and overused words and phrases whose use should be banned:

  1. Wait, what?
  2. No worries.
  3. At the end of the day.
  4. That being said.
  5. Asking for a friend.
  6. Circle back.
  7. Deep dive.
  8. New normal.
  9. You’re on mute.
  10. Supply chain.

My nominations for next year:

  1. I did a thing.
  2. Hold my beer.
  3. I don’t usually post personal stuff on LinkedIn, but …
  4. I am humbled to announce …
  5. Hack.
  6. Imma.
  7. Leverage.
  8. Utilize.
  9. Unpack.
  10. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

A state hazmat team is called in to decontaminate the ED of Falmouth Hospital (MA) when discharged patient immediately overdosed outside the hospital, was brought back to the ED for treatment, and made seven police officers and staff members with whom he was fighting dizzy from fentanyl dust.


A federal grand jury indicts the physician-owner of several rural North Carolina ENT clinics for fraudulently billing Medicare for $46 million worth of balloon sinuplasty surgeries, making her the top-paid provider of those services in the US even though her practices were not in a major metropolitan area. Anita Jackson, MD — whose LinkedIn lists degrees from Princeton, Stanford, and Harvard; played a key role in Durham County’s COVID-19 response; and was appointed to the state’s Medical Care Commission – promised patients they would owe no co-pay and also re-used the single-use devices without their knowledge, according to the charges.


The Seattle and Vancouver hockey teams donate $10,000 to 22-year-old crisis hotline intervention specialist Nadia Popovici, who urged a Vancouver equipment manager to see a doctor about a mole she saw on his neck that appeared cancerous. His doctor removed a melanoma that could have killed him within 4-5 years. The Vancouver Canucks tracked Popovici down via social media and brought her to a game to give her a $10,000 scholarship to medical school, which she will attend in the fall once she decides which of the two that have accepted her to attend.

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Currently there are "6 comments" on this Article:

  1. I fully endorse your list of annoying words. Does anyone understand what it means to be humbled? The people that use that phrase are neither humbled nor humble, I lose a bit of respect anytime I see those posts.

  2. Only thing more annoying than those phrases is putting a period after bullet points that aren’t sentences…. Amirite?!?!

    Has to be an intended meta annoyance: Look, my list of annoying things is annoying! Wheeee!!! It’s the weekend! Boing boing boing….

    • The AP Stylebook standard is that all items in a bulleted list end with a period, regardless of whether they are phrases or sentences.

      The most trendily annoying non-business word I would like to see go away is “charcuterie,” aka Lunchables for the pretentious.

      • The bigger issue is that charcuterie used to be more special and often had a paté on it. Now it’s just some simple sliced meat and a few cheeses that they add a French name to and charge $20 a serving.

        100% agree that “hack” should be eliminated. It’s almost never used in an accurate way.

        • I’ll second that notion. Most offerings are just a cheese and/or meat board and it’s called a charcuterie, which should at a minimum have some accompaniments.

          I’ve been over the term charcuterie for some years, ever since ordering off a menu listing “charcuterie $[too much money] (w/ accoutrements +$5)” and being snidely informed they aren’t “uh·koo·tr·muhnts”, but rather “a·kou·troe·ma” (this was neither a French restaurant nor somewhere nearly fancy enough to justify the superiority complex). On the bright side I was no longer annoyed at the price since I was more focused on reminding myself that, while perfectly sized for a nostril, the tiny pickles should not be shoved up anyone’s uppity nose.

          Although now I find myself wondering how they spelled it since that would make a difference. Even if they were technically correct due to the spelling I feel like that’s just doubling down on the pretension.

      • OK, I really can’t let this one go.

        “Lunchables for the pretentious”?? Lunchables consist of the following:

        – Either Cheez-Wiz or American cheese;
        – Some kind of off-brand Ritz cracker;
        – Bologna or pepperoni sticks or similar.

        And the tiny little kids versions of these, typically only have 2 out of the 3.

        I’ve had many lovely charcuteries. When you’re not that hungry, a charcuterie and a nice beer can be just the right choice. It’s an adult light meal with lots of variety. Charcuterie has a lot in common with a Spanish Tapas or even an Asian Dim Sum.

        One of the unspoken ingredients here is conversation and being with friends and family. These are social occasions with food sprinkled in for seasoning.

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