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Monday Morning Update 2/20/23

February 19, 2023 News 12 Comments

Top News


The VA postpones its planned July 2023 Oracle Cerner go-live at its Ann Arbor, MI facilities until later this year or early in 2024.

The service region is concerned about “how well EHRM would interact with VA Ann Arbor’s vital medical research mission.”

Reader Comments

From AT: “Re: pet peeves with service industry words and phrases. ‘I appreciate you,’ following my thanking you and leaving you a tip, which suggests that we are like-minded, decent people even though you have no way of knowing that. Second is thanking someone with ‘of course,” implying that I’m either too stupid to know the obvious answer or should not have even said thanks.” I will admit that even my curmudgeonly self has no problem with either of these, especially ‘I appreciate you’ that I first heard among polite Southerners who likely meant it. “No problem” is much worse in my mind – should I feel relieved that my thanking you for doing the job for which you are paid isn’t a bother? Others that bug me at least a little:

  1. “Yeah-no” or “no-yeah.” Why do people think that appending these opposites adds emphasis?
  2. “Curated.” Unless you are observing nature or some random phenomenon, everything you experience was “curated” by someone.
  3. “It is what it is.” This phrase is intended to convey a philosophical acceptance of immutable circumstances, but most people who use it seem more inarticulate than profound.
  4. “I could care less,” said by people who mean that they could not care less.
  5. Marketing emails that contain “hope you are well” (should I tell you if I’m not?) and using the flabby “please don’t hesitate to call me” as though I not only require an invitation to call, but I have to do it quickly.
  6. Starting a sentence with “know,” as in “know that I am here for you.” Just say what you want me to “know” and I’ll know it without being ordered.
  7. “Now,” “presently,” “today,” or “at this point in time.” It’s always now unless you indicate otherwise.
  8. “Build out” as an unnecessarily wordy way to say “build.” Build it out and they will come?
  9. “Simplistic” means a dangerous oversimplification, which is not at all synonymous with “simple” and does not take an adjective such as “too simplistic.”
  10. I won’t even bother with “reimbursement” as a financially appalling and less-forthright euphemism for “payment.”

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Most poll respondents felt cared for during their most recent clinician encounter. However, some of them left comments indicating that while the physician did a good job, they are moated off by the bureaucracy of hospitals, insurers, indifferent front desk staff, and a preoccupation with following mandatory workflows.

New poll to your right or here, following up on last week’s musing: Do you have to pay to park at your primary work site? I’ve only ever had to pay at one employer, an academic medical center. Parking lots are assigned by seniority, so new hires get stuck parking far from their work sites and sometimes extend their workdays for free during waits for shuttle buses both ways. You are also buying access to a garage, not a reserved spot, so your day starts by looking at taillights of your co-workers who are fighting for the same first available spots. The university defended its parking policies by saying that students would otherwise be leaving cars all over the place, but of course those students were also customers who were paying many thousands of dollars each year on top of parking fees. Even worse was charging patients and visitors to cruise dark garages looking desperately for a space as they ran late for appointments, often forgetting how to find their car after leaving, and then being stuck in the exit’s pay line while trying not to forget the clinician’s instructions. My personal gripe was that when I drove in to see a doctor on a different campus as a patient, I theoretically could have been issued a ticket because my permanently affixed sticker (they didn’t use hang tags back then) made it appear that I was parking inappropriately in a spot that was reserved for patients, not to mention that they stopped validating. This is a good marketing lesson – no matter how much good patients get from their visit, the first and last thing they encounter is an impersonal, frustrating parking experience, which you don’t see at CVS and suburban medical buildings that share a plaza with Home Depot.

I get frequent emails from teachers whose Donors Choose grant requests were funded by reader donations along with matching money from my Anonymous Vendor Executive. Here’s a new one from Mrs. S in California:

My amazing scholars not only use, but enthusiastically ask for “Fun Friday” every single week in order to explore the STEM materials YOU helped provide for them! They are building worlds using their imagination, and solving problems as they arise while using the engineering design process. They utilize critical thinking skills, and collaborative skills to learn science through creative fun spaces. Never were so many rowdy 5th graders ready to get their hands moving and brains working so late on a Friday afternoon. Thank you for giving them that that joyful opportunity!


February 28 (Tuesday) 1 ET. “Words Matter: Simplifying Clinical Terms for Patients.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenters: Whitney Mannion, RN, MSN, senior terminologist, IMO; David Bocanegra, RN, nurse informaticist, IMO. The language of medicine can be confusing and contradictory to patients, challenging their ability to prepare for a procedure or pay their bills. This webinar will explore how the words that are used to communicate – online, in print, and in person – must be chosen carefully to allow patients to comprehend their diagnoses, treatments, and care plans. The presenters will also describe how the ONC Final Rule for the 21st Century Cures Act will make clinical and technical language more directly accessible through patient portals.

March 7 (Tuesday) noon ET.  “Prescribe RPA 2.0 to Treat Healthcare Worker Burnout.” Sponsor: Keysight Technologies. Presenters: Anne Foster, MS, technical consultant manager, Eggplant; Emily Yan, MPA, product marketing manager, Keysight Technologies. Half of US health systems plan to invest in robotic process automation by the end of this year, per Gartner. The concept is evolving to help with staff burnout and physician productivity. The presenters will introduce RPA 2.0, explain how to maximize its value, demonstrate how to quickly start on RPA 2.0 and test automation in one platform, and answer questions about healthcare automation.

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


  • University Hospitals (OH) will work with Premier’s PINC AI Applied Services on projects related to real-world data, prospective research, clinical trials, and the use of natural language processing for early disease identification.

Announcements and Implementations


A Wolters Kluwer Health survey finds that while most patients prefer receiving educational materials from their providers, they often end up looking online because they have left an encounter with unanswered questions.

Government and Politics

Two Idaho state lawmakers co-sponsor a bill that would make it illegal to administer MRNA vaccines.


Romania investigates five doctors who are accused of faking diagnoses, or intentionally inducing cardiac problems with medications, as an excuse to charge for implanting into their patients medical devices that they had removed from dead people.

Sponsor Updates

  • CTG publishes a new case study, “Healthcare System for Children Transforms Their Data Management Strategy with CTG’s Help.”
  • Meditech will present at the 2023 AHA Rural Health Care Leadership Conference February 19-22 in San Antonio.
  • RxLightning’s MedAccess ecosystem solves specialty medication enrollment problems while relieving healthcare burnout.
  • West Monroe announces Strategic Workforce Optimization with Work 4D, which analyzes a company’s work and aligns it to the most appropriate type of talent – employees, contractors, outsourcers, or automation. 
  • Sectra wins four awards for customer satisfaction – 10 consecutive years of winning in the US.

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Currently there are "12 comments" on this Article:

  1. I sometimes use “no problem” in place of “you’re welcome.” It’s not the direct reason I use it, but it’s possibly coming from Spanish where that’s the literal meaning of the standard “de nada.”

    • I dislike the “no problem” response because it seems to say the action I found valuable enough to thank you for was, to you, inconsequential. Perhaps something I could/should have done without any help. Better to say, “my pleasure” or “glad I could help.”

      • To me that seems to be interpreting “no problem” in the least charitable way possible. Most who use it simply mean “it wasn’t an undue burden on my part, think nothing of it” (similar to “de nada” as Sam mentioned). It’s simply a way to reassure the “thanker” that thanks is appreciated, but not required.

        On a side note, I’ve always found “You’re welcome” to be a strange and inaccurate way of replying to thanks. What are you welcome to, my assistance? That’s obvious. Does it mean you’re welcome to my assistance now and in the future? That can’t be right either; my assistance is dependent entirely on the circumstances.

        Despite the inaccuracies inherent in most languages, humans are remarkably good at inferring meaning despite the literal interpretation of many phrases.

        • “You’re welcome” is indeed an odd acknowledgment (and “you’re very welcome” suggests varying degrees of earned welcomeness). At least it’s not “don’t mention it” (wait, I already did) or “any time” (how about 3 a.m. Wednesday?)

          Today I learned that “hello” and “hi” weren’t commonly used words until the telephone was invented. People said “hello” only to express surprise or ask for attention, but Thomas Edison preferred that word when answering. The telephone’s inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, preferred “ahoy.” Early phone etiquette advocated the business-like use of “that is all” to end a conversation rather than “goodbye,” which is a contraction of “God be with ye,” which is probably more religious in nature than many users intend.

          More worldly or pretentious folks should also know that “ciao” was slang for “schiavo,” which is Italian for “I am your slave.” I also have to fight the urge of replying to someone saying “can I help you?” with “I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.”

  2. Adding to the pet peeves list:
    Can we get rid of “KK” or K in texts? I mean how hard is it to type “OK” or give a thumbs up?
    Can we stop using “humble brag?” It’s perfectly appropriate to share an accomplishment or milestone or good news without the fake humility phrase.
    Does every job announcement on Twitter need to say, “Personal news …?” Just post your new job for goodness sake.
    And for every sales pitch that says, “Bringing this back to the top of your inbox.” Oh, great. More clutter. I deleted you a week ago. So now I get more emails to delete.

    • I bet I get five emails each day from PR people who are always “circling back” or “bringing this back to the top of your inbox.” Apparently the sender expects their spam to be acknowledged else at the threat of re-spamming. Or those PR folk who send unsolicited email wanting coverage for their client, then end with “let me know either way,” a sense of obligation that I certainly do not feel. Lack of response speaks (or should speak) volumes.

  3. A bunch of these “pet peeves” are regionalisms, and I guess people are entitled to dislike them but it strikes me as snobbery. There is no one correct way to speak, from accents to local idiom — all part of life’s rich pattern, etc. etc. I agree with Dr. Gonzo, you have to go out of your way to interpret most or all of these as a personal affront; they are all little niceties, just small pieces of human interaction that smooth out the grind of the daily horror of our existence. Take them in the spirit in which they are given, i.e. with minimal to no concern. I assure you, the person saying “no worries!” after bagging your groceries will forget about you within seconds, so there’s no point in ruminating on their hidden agenda in having said it; they have none.

    • Yeah, I have to agree.

      Personally, I like a bit of regional flavour in my interactions. Sometimes it’s just the personality of the individual.

      My Mom, when she was of advanced age, went on a tirade over people asking “How are you?” I had to step in and remind her that 99% of these are simply rote interactions. Most people aren’t looking for a gory enumeration of your problems; they are simply trying to be polite and greet someone in a socially appropriate manner.

      You quickly go to a dark place if you invest a lot of time thinking about these stereotypical exchanges. I promise you, the other party hasn’t spent that same time. Thus you wind up imputing meanings that were never there to begin with.

      • This exchange reminds me of the following quote attributed to the writer/poet Arthur Guiterman:
        “Don’t tell your friends about your indigestion. ‘How are you’ is a greeting, not a question.”

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