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Monday Morning Update 2/24/20

February 23, 2020 News No Comments

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HHS and ONC publish “Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burdens Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs,” meeting the requirement of the 21st Century Cures Act that HHS address government-imposed burdens on EHR use.

HHS was looking at strategies that could be achieved in 3-5 years and that HHS could implement under its existing or expanded authority or as a influencer.

I noted these specific items, although it’s not clear how HHS and ONC see themselves being  involved beyond calling out the status quo as undesirable:

  • Use existing EHR data to reduce re-documentation and work with stakeholders to promote clinical documentation best practices.
  • Streamline the prior authorization process via standardized templates, data elements, and transactions.
  • Improve EHR usability by aligning design to clinical workflow, improving the usability of clinical decision support, and improving the presentation of clinical data.
  • Harmonize basic clinical operation across EHRs.
  • Standardize medication information and order entry displays.
  • Optimize end user log-on.
  • Simplify scoring of the Promoting Interoperability performance category.
  • Standardize data mapping across systems and implement a standards-based API approach for HHS’s electronic administrative systems.
  • Consider a first-year test reporting approach for new ECQM clinical quality measures.
  • Improve interoperability between health IT and state PDMP programs.
  • Increase electronic prescribing of controlled substances.

CMS Administration Seema Verma said in announcing the report, “The taxpayers made a massive investment in EHRs with the expectation that it would solve the many issues that plagued paper-bound health records. Unfortunately, as this report shows, in all too many cases, the cure has been worse than the disease. Twenty years into the 21st century, it’s unacceptable that the application of health IT still struggles to provide ready access to medical records,  access that might mean the difference between life and death. The report’s recommendations provide valuable guidance on how to minimize EHR burden as we seek to fulfill the promise of an interoperable health system.”

Reader Comments

From No More Tangles: “Re: Atrium Health. It’s a bigger deal than the commenter says, pretty much a rip-and-replace. They are Cerner’s first and largest hosted customer and this was a big decision for them even beyond acquiring Wake Forest. They are almost entirely Cerner, with some miscellaneous Meditech and old McKesson. They were using Epic only for professional billing in a subset of their physician practices. Navicent also had an urgency to move and passed on Cerner for their long-term future and chose Epic.” Atrium Health released its 2019 financial report last week that showed a $284 million profit on $7.49 billion in operating revenue (not including that of its regional partners) and CEO compensation of $7.25 million.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests

We’re in that pre-HIMSS quiet period, where companies – wisely or not – hold their announcements for opening day, when they are likely to get lost among the others. It will therefore be light reading today.

HIStalk sponsors sent some cool write-ups for my HIMSS guide – descriptions of what their company does, what they will be demonstrating, fun giveaways and donations to charities, and in-booth events such as whiskey tastings, happy hours, podcasts, presentations, and Google Cloud’s “Build with a Googler.” I’ll make a downloadable PDF shortly.  I’ve done zero prep for the conference, but I’m starting this weekend by making a list of booths I want to visit from this list of 60 or so. You can text me during the conference at 615.433.5294.

Lorre wants to spice up our webinar calendar with new entries, so contact her and you’ll get a pre-HIMSS deal. Another sponsor thing I just remembered: fill out the form to be featured in my reader-requested Sponsor Spotlight. Hey, it’s free, so why wouldn’t you?


Most poll respondents have little faith in organizations keeping their health information private, but some trust medical practices and health systems.

New poll to your right or here: What would most entice you to interact with a HIMSS exhibitor that you don’t know much about?


March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Tools for Success: How to Increase Clinician Satisfaction with HIT Solutions.” Sponsor: Intelligent Medical Objects. Presenter: Andrew Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, chief medical officer, IMO. Dr. Kanter will explore how striving to achieve the Quadruple Aim (by focusing on the provider experience) can improve clinician satisfaction and population health needs while also reducing per capita healthcare costs. Attendees will learn how to set providers up for success with new technology, the potential unforeseen consequences of purchasing without the clinician in mind, and the factors that are critically important to clinicians who are using new health information systems.

March 4 (Wednesday) 1 ET: “Healthcare Digital Marketing: Jump-Start Patient Discovery and Conversion.” Sponsor: Orbita. Presenters: Victoria Petrock, MBA, MLIS, principal analyst, EMarketer; Kristi Ebong, MBA, MPH, SVP of corporate strategy, Orbita. Does your digital front door capture consumers who search for health-related information one billion times each day? Do you have actionable steps to convert them into patients? Do you understand voice and chat virtual assistants? The presenters will explore the consumer challenges involved with finding, navigating, and receiving care, discuss why healthcare marketers need to embrace conversational voice and chatbot technologies, and describe how new technologies such as conversational micro-robots can improve engagement.

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



World Wide Technology promotes Justin Collier, MD to chief healthcare advisor.

Privacy and Security

Queen’s Health Systems (HI) notifies 2,900 patients that their information was exposed by an employee who emailed an attachment to the wrong address.


A health reporter for The Atlantic writes up “the Uber for BS” of corporate buzzwords, calling out “stakeholders,” deep dives,” “optics,” “growth hacking,” “value-add,” and “synergy. She quotes an author who says people use buzzwords for the same reason they wear ties or Ann Taylor clothes to the office – to tell the world they are working. An anthropologist takes a more cynical view, saying that people use buzzwords when they aren’t really doing anything. Stay tuned for the HISsies “most overused buzzword winner – will it be “artificial intelligence,” “social determinants of health,” “cloud,” or “disruption?” I’ll circle back shortly after I’ve leveraged consensus in preparation for moving the needle among thought leaders.




Larry Tesler, who invented such computer functions as cut-copy-paste and search-replace in the early GUI days at Xerox, is Control-X’ed at 74.

Sponsor Updates

  • Meditech adds Staff Gateway, a Web-based HR solution portal, to its Human Resources Planning solution.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the Kaleidoscope Conference February 24 in Houston.
  • OmniSys will exhibit at the PDS Super Conference February 27-29 in Orlando.
  • EHealth Radio features StayWell President Pearce Fleming.
  • Vocera celebrates 20 years of innovation.
  • Spok creates an infographic titled “3 Challenges That Affect Care Team Well-Being.”

Blog Posts



Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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HIStalk’s Guide to HIMSS20

February 21, 2020 Uncategorized No Comments

Access EForms


Booth 3071

Contact: Cody Strate, VP of marketing

Access EForms converts frustrating, paper-based forms into Epic/Cerner/Meditech-integrated and tablet-enabled EForms that patients electronically sign. We’re a Meditech partner, and our technology powers Cerner’s new “Cerner Forms Suite.”    At HIMSS, we will put a particular focus on the paper-based informed consent problem that causes expensive delays/cancellations in the OR, frustrates the surgical team, and makes for a very poor patient experience. Our paperless, EHR-integrated Informed Consent solution feels like an inherent part of your clinician’s EHR experience, which promotes user adoption. In the end, we eliminate the paper, we reduce OR delays and cancellations, we improve the lives of the surgical team, and we improve the patient experience. Stop by booth 3071 and we’ll show you what’s possible with eliminating your difficult, paper-based processes.

Agfa Healthcare


Booth 3745

Contact: Miriam Ladin, director, marketing and communications – North America

We at Agfa HealthCare believe that the ability to optimize resources through a consolidated imaging management platform will become a competitive advantage for our clients. The CIO and IT functions typically support as many as 70 distinct  service lines that capture and consume medical imaging. Learn how to reduce complexity with a converged single platform technology and bring order and value to these disparate systems, workflows, and behaviors across the enterprise. We believe that consolidated clinical alignment will better enable high-impact, data-driven, cost-conscious care, compared to the complexity of maintaining multiple and redundant systems.

Visit Agfa HealthCare to discuss how to create a controlled environment for managing and sharing images, including a secure, single sign-on framework that provides context-controlled and audited access to data. The genuine, standards-based consolidation platform facilitates security hardening, thus reducing multiple points of security failure. Single platform technology arguably enables your team to guard fewer gates. Enterprise imaging enables accurate attribution of metadata to episodes of care, providing actionable information and a trail of documentation for use in revenue and risk mitigation gains. With patient safety in the forefront of quality care delivery, easy access to secure and accurate patient data becomes a necessity to clinical and fiscal excellence. Support busy clinicians with clinical confidence in the records they view and drive both their productivity and satisfaction.

Learn how to reduce complexity and TCO while you enjoy the virtual reality (VR) video experience in our Virtual Reality Lounge. Enter to win your own Oculus VR headset in booth 3745.

Black Book Market Research


To arrange a meeting, contact Doug Brown.

Contact: Doug Brown, president



Booth 2487

Contact: Ryan Hill, marketing manager

Bluetree was named the top-ranked Epic Systems Strategy, Support, & Implementations firm according to Black Book Market Research in August 2019. If you visit Bluetree’s booth this year and fill out a leaf, the National Forest Foundation will plant one tree in your name or your organization’s name. One daily grand prize winner will receive 100 trees planted in their name.


To arrange a meeting, contact Ray Costantini.

Contact: Ray Costantini, CEO and co-founder

Founded in 2014 and based in Portland, OR, is a leading healthcare automation company dedicated to modernizing direct-to-patient telehealth for healthcare systems with its AI-powered virtual-care platform, SmartExam. partners with premier healthcare organizations in North America, including three of the top five not-for-profit health systems in the United States. These partners offer SmartExam to more than 10 million patients who are seeking convenient urgent and primary care online. has been named the Leader in the “Forrester New Wave: Virtual Care Solutions for Digital Health” report, a Gartner Cool Vendor in Healthcare, a Vendor to Watch by Chilmark Research, and is the preferred choice of Avia’s Virtual Access cohort. is venture-backed by B Capital Group, Seven Peaks Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Oregon Venture Fund, and the Stanford-StartX Fund. For more information, visit

Capsule Technologies


Booth 2441

Contact: Sam Larson, head of global marketing

Capsule continues ‘making the complex simple and the simple insightful.’ Whether you’re considering unlocking the power of medical device data to automate clinical documentation workflows in critical care for the first time, interested in simplifying patient vitals acquisition and utilization for overloaded med-surg staff, or investigating ways to identify at-risk patients sooner hospital-wide, we can help you make change happen. Stop by our booth and speak directly with a representative to find out how our new Capsule Medical Device Information Platform can make the complex simple and simple insightful for your facility. The Capsule Medical Device Information Platform captures and contextualizes clinical data, providing real-time patient information that can facilitate early intervention and enable better clinical outcomes.



Booth 8200, kiosk 8200-45 and Booth 680, kiosk 680-09

Contact: Jason Roche, director, marketing

With 10 peer-reviewed publications, CareSignal is an evidence-based, remote patient monitoring platform without the headache of devices or apps. Standardized, automated text messages scale patient engagement and monitoring, collecting real-time patient-reported health data to prioritize patient intervention.

We will be raffling off hundreds of dollars worth of Visa gift cards each day for those who visit the booth and complete the demo.

CareSignal will co-host a CIO Reception Monday, March 9 from 5-7pm at Urban Tide in the Hyatt Regency Orlando. RSVP here.

The Chartis Group


To arrange a meeting, contact Gregg Mohrmann.

Contact: Gregg Mohrmann, director and Informatics & Technology Practice co-leader

Chartis provides comprehensive advisory services and analytics to the healthcare industry. With an unparalleled depth of expertise in strategic planning, performance excellence, informatics and technology, and health analytics, Chartis helps leading healthcare organizations achieve transformative results. Connect with us at HIMSS to learn about some of the results our clients have achieved in these, among other, areas: 

  • Using technology-enabled innovation to unlock new potential and accelerate digital transformation. 
  • Using ERP to improve margin, cost, satisfaction, and differentiation.
  • Harnessing the power of data and analytics. 
  • Leveraging the EHR to improve cost, quality, outcomes, and satisfaction. 
  • Ensuring IT, as a strategic partner, delivers high impact and high value.

CI Security


Booth 413

Contact: Vivian Zhou, healthcare program director

CI Security protects and defends healthcare organizations from cyber threats with HIPAA-compliant Managed Detection and Response solutions and expert consulting services. CI Security was founded by the CISO of a major city and a co-author of the HIPAA Security Rule because they saw a need for cybersecurity solutions built to protect and defend critical services, patient care, and protected data. Ten years later, CI Security is the MDR leader proven in healthcare, and has been recognized in Gartner Research’s Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services in 2018 and 2019. Hospitals and clinics trust CI Security to monitor networks 24/7, protect patient care and EPHI, and manage risk in a rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape. Find out more at

Clinical Architecture


Booth 1629

Contact: John Wilkinson, EVP, sales and partnerships

Clinical Architecture was founded in 2007 by industry veterans, clinicians, and informatics experts to deliver innovative solutions that maximize the effectiveness of healthcare. We work with industry-leading organizations, four of the top five health systems, leading EHR/HIE vendors, the Joint Commission, the CDC, and others to solve challenges around healthcare data quality, interoperability, and clinical documentation. Visit our booth (1629) to find out who the Informonster is, pose for a picture with him, and grab a stuffed version of the Informonster to take home with you.



Booth 1021

Contact: Bryan Blood, EVP, sales

CloudWave is the healthcare cloud transformation company. We create solutions that embrace the full cloud continuum – from the Cloud Edge, to managed private cloud services in our OpSus Healthcare Cloud, to seamless federation with public cloud services. CloudWave’s focused portfolio of OpSus Healthcare Cloud services includes hosting over 100 healthcare applications, disaster recovery, systems management, security, backup, and archiving services. CloudWave architects healthcare IT solutions with the goal of operational sustainability. Our engineers and consultants have long-standing, successful track records designing and implementing solutions for hospitals. For more information, please visit

Collective Medical


Booth 8200-31 

Contact: Wayne Grodsky, chief revenue officer

Collective Medical empowers care teams to improve patient outcomes by closing the communication gaps that undermine patient care. With a nationwide network engaged with every national health plan in the country, hundreds of hospitals and health systems, and tens of thousands of providers, Collective’s system-agnostic platform is trusted by care teams to identify at-risk and complex patients and facilitate actionable collaboration to make better care decisions and improve outcomes. Based in Salt Lake City, Collective is proven to streamline transitions of care, improve coordination across diverse care teams, and reduce medically unnecessary hospital admissions. Learn more at

CompuGroup Medical


To arrange a meeting, contact Tillmann Schwabe.

Contact: Tillmann Schwabe, VP of sales, CGM US

CompuGroup Medical is one of the leading e-health companies in the world. With a revenue base of approximately EUR 717 million in 2018, its software products are designed to support all medical and organizational activities in doctors’ offices, pharmacies, laboratories, and hospitals. Its information services for all parties involved in the healthcare system and its Web-based personal health records contribute toward safer and more efficient healthcare. CompuGroup Medical’s services are based on a unique customer base of more than 1 million health professionals including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and other service providers in inpatient and outpatient facilities. With locations in 19 countries and products in 56 countries worldwide, CompuGroup Medical is the e-health company with one of the highest coverage among e-health service providers. More than 5,500 highly qualified employees support customers with innovative solutions for the steadily growing demands of the healthcare system. For more information, please visit



Booth 7950

Contact: Mark Mosebrook, senior director, EHR business development

Leading technology-enabled pharmaceutical services company that simplifies how patients get on and stay on complex medications. We work with biopharmaceutical manufacturers, EHRs, pharmacy systems, and others to help patients afford medications, increase adherence, and simplify the patient-provider experience. We do this by leveraging our technology-enabled services to accelerate speed-to-therapy, and by expertly navigating the complexities in accessing innovative therapies and improving outcomes. Based on our experience pioneering co-pay programs, managing awareness/adherence communications, and establishing a state-of-the-art hub service, we help customers overcome barriers to access and use so patients can experience better health. Visit us at booth 7950 to learn how we touch each critical stage of the patient journey.

Culbert Healthcare Solutions


To arrange a meeting, contact Brad Boyd.

Contact: Brad Boyd, president

Culbert Healthcare Solutions provides high-value, professional services focused on improving clinical, operational, and revenue cycle performance and the overall patient experience. Our experienced healthcare professionals help group practices and hospitals optimize technology and navigate the change-management process. For more information about Culbert Healthcare Solutions, visit

Cumberland Consulting Group


To arrange a meeting, contact Praneet Nirmul.

Contact: Praneet Nirmul, partner

Cumberland is a leading healthcare consulting and services firm providing strategic advisory consulting services, IT professional services, and outsourced managed services to clients in the payer, provider, and life sciences markets. We deliver solutions that advance the business of healthcare. Our comprehensive suite of services includes:

  • Advisory and IT strategy.
  • System selection.
  • M&A support.
  • Systems implementation.
  • Systems optimization and upgrades.
  • Application service desk.
  • Advanced maintenance support.
  • Advanced application support.
  • IT service desk.
  • Legacy systems support.

For more information on Cumberland, visit

Diameter Health

diameter health

Booth 7461

Contact: Tom Gaither, VP of marketing

Diameter Health identifies and fixes systemic clinical data quality issues so you can put clinical data to work to improve care and lower costs. Diameter Health automatically turns clinical information into a structured, clinical data asset optimized for use in downstream applications. Built on a foundation of hundreds of millions of patient records, deep clinical expertise, and adherence to national standards, our scalable, API-driven technology is the critical success factor for clinical data integration. Diameter Health will be part of a use case demonstration in the Da Vinci booth, 7972. Diameter Health President and Chief Strategy Officer John D’Amore and Health Current CIO Keith Parker will present “How to Tame Your Data Dragon: A Statewide Approach” on Wednesday, March 11, from 10–11am. Visit Diameter Health’s website and check out our video testimonials.

Direct Recruiters

direct recruiters

To arrange a meeting, contact Frank Myeroff.

Contact: Frank Myeroff, managing partner

For over 37 years, Direct Recruiters has been recognized as the relationship-focused search firm that assists top-tier organizations with recruiting, acquiring, and retaining high-impact talent for mission-critical positions. Direct Recruiters services clients across North America and has years of experience placing candidates internationally. What does relationship-focused mean to us? We get to know you, we have in-depth knowledge of your industry, and we understand our candidates, helping you make the right decisions that will positively impact your organization.



Booth 4071

Contact: Auna Emery, director of marketing communications

As a nationwide leader in healthcare connectivity, Ellkay has been committed to enabling interoperability for more than 15 years. With connectivity to over 50,000 practices across over 700 EHR/PM systems, Ellkay builds the data pipeline for hospitals, health systems, practices, EHR/PM systems, laboratories, payers, HIEs, ACOs, and other healthcare organizations. At HIMSS, Ellkay will demonstrate its innovative connectivity solutions. Ellkay is hosting happy hour at its booth, 4071, on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-6pm.



Booth 1585

Contact: Rich Robinson, director of marketing

With more than 20 years of experience solving the most complex IT challenges, Engage is an innovative IT services and consulting company with exceptional expertise in Meditech Expanse and other supporting technologies. With a unique IT delivery model, Engage has a proven history of delivering projects on time and within budget. Engage provides EHR and ERP implementation and optimization, support, cloud-hosting services (private, public, and hybrid) and consulting to more than 170 hospitals and clinics across the US. By developing long-term relationships, Engage helps customers achieve impressively high EHR adoption and satisfaction rates, along with reduced risks and total cost of ownership. Visit for more information. Visit us at booth 1585. Also, stop by our Bourbon Tasting with Pure Storage Tuesday and Wednesday from 3-5pm at booth 1529.

Ettain Group


To arrange a meeting, contact Dawn Wasson.

Contact: Dawn Wasson, senior marketing and communications manager

Ettain group is the talent solutions company that delivers recruitment solutions and managed solutions in five practice areas – technology, healthcare IT, digital, professional, and government. Ettain health, a division of Ettain group, is led by business, technology, and clinical experts with deep expertise to support our customers in selecting, implementing, and optimizing their IT investments. We are committed to providing customized solutions and connecting talent to meet the critical needs of healthcare customers nationwide. With expertise across Epic, Cerner, Meditech (certified Meditech Expanse consulting firm), and other majors EHRs, Ettain health is the partner you can trust to provide expertise and deliver and manage top talent across the full spectrum of healthcare IT projects.

First Databank


Booth 2559

Contact: David Manin, senior director of marketing

FDB is the leading provider of drug and medical device knowledge that helps healthcare professionals make precise decisions. With thousands of customers worldwide, FDB enables our information system developer partners to deliver valuable, useful, and differentiated solutions. We offer more than four decades of experience in transforming medical knowledge into actionable, targeted, and effective solutions that help improve patient safety, operational efficiency, and healthcare outcomes. For a complete look at our solutions and services, please visit

HIMSS Highlights:

  • FDB CDS Analytics – Introducing a new solution to evaluate and improve the efficacy of clinical decision support for meds and beyond.    
  • FDB Specialty Pharmacy Module – Interactive scripts – Coming in 2020 to Epic’s Coordinated Care Management.
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network Case Study – LVHN successfully leverages hyperkalemia and pharmacogenomics-related decision support content in FDB Targeted Medication Warnings.
  • Session: Friday, March 13 at 10:45am in room W300.
  • Meducation Receives Cerner Award – FDB’s SMART on FHIR app wins Cerner Open Developer Experience (code) Program Member Adoption Award.   
  • FDB Drug Info Now in Amazon Alexa – Drug information authored specifically for Alexa now provides answers to consumers’ medication questions.   
  • Wine Reception and $1,000 Amazon Gift Card Raffle – Join us for a glass of wine and a chance to win $1,000 Wednesday, March 11, from 4:30-6pm in booth 2559.

Get-to-Market Health


To arrange a meeting, contact Steve Shihadeh.

Contact: Steve Shihadeh, CEO and founder

Get-to-Market Health is a specialized consultancy focused exclusively on accelerating sales and driving revenue growth for our healthcare technology clients. We work with business leaders to simplify the complexity and unique buying patterns of the healthcare technology market. We help our clients overcome the challenges they face as they work to drive revenue and market innovation. We bring deep, broad experience and valuable network connections across multiple levels of the healthcare technology industry. The partners at Get-to-Market Health are industry experts, having worked at and with dozens of healthcare technology businesses ranging from small startups to large, established companies. We’ve helped private, seed stage, VC-backed, PE-owned, and public companies develop successful teams in all major commercial disciplines.

HBI Solutions


To arrange a meeting, contact Laura Kanov.

Contact: Laura Kanov, SVP, product strategy

HBI Solutions, a precision health analytics company, provides machine learning as a service to better predict, prevent, and personalize treatment before a condition becomes acute, chronic, and costly. Additionally, our acute surveillance and transition risk solutions help hospitals and health systems identify and mitigate event and utilization risk to reduce costs and improve outcomes. Come visit us in the InterSystems booth, 3301.

The HCI Group


Booth 4467

Contact: Chris Parry, VP of business and talent development

The HCI Group is a global leader in healthcare digital transformation. We are committed to improving healthcare globally through a combination of disruptive innovation, design thinking, and cost optimization. HCI offers a broad scope of digital transformation solutions in nearly 20 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Join us on Tuesday and Wednesday at 11am and 3:30pm at booth 4467 for insightful and practical 20-minute talks with Ed Marx. He’ll share a digital transformation model with expert guests who have helped cross-industry organizations around the globe with world-class human-centered and physical design.



To arrange a meeting, contact Brenna Davis.

Contact: Brenna Davis, marketing manager

HCTec is the trusted partner to more than 250 hospitals and healthcare systems across the US for highly specialized health IT staffing, project-based consulting, and application managed services support. With HCTec’s HIT solutions, hospitals are able to reduce operating costs, improve quality, and optimize labor forces.

Health Catalyst


Booth 2428

Contact: Sarah Stokes, marketing director, events

Health Catalyst is a next-generation data, analytics, and decision-support company committed to achieving massive, sustained improvements in healthcare outcomes. We are the leaders in a new era of advanced predictive analytics for population health and value-based care with a suite of machine learning-driven solutions, decades of outcomes-improvement expertise, and an unparalleled ability to unleash and integrate data from across the healthcare ecosystem. Visit us at booth 2428 to see how the Health Catalyst Data Operating System (DOS) — a next-generation data warehouse and application development platform powered by data from more than 100 million patients and encompassing over 1 trillion facts — can help improve your organization’s quality, add efficiency, and lower costs.

Healthcare Growth Partners


Booth 4490

Contact: Christopher McCord, managing director

Healthcare Growth Partners (HGP) is an exceptionally experienced investment banking and strategic advisory firm exclusively focused on the transformational health IT market. We unlock value for our clients through our Sell-Side Advisory, Buy-Side Advisory, Capital Advisory, and Pre-Transaction Growth Strategy services, functioning as the exclusive investment banking advisor to over 100 health IT transactions representing over $2 billion in value since 2007. With our focus, we deliver knowledgeable, honest, and customized guidance to select clients looking to execute high-value health IT, health information services, and digital health transactions.



Booth 2079

Contact: Dawn Burke, director of marketing
608.561.1844 x17

Healthfinch develops Charlie, the healthcare industry’s most trusted, most used prescription renewal delegation engine. Charlie’s unique combination of EHR-integrated technology and protocol content enables health systems across the country to deliver a better, safer patient experience while also achieving lower rates of provider burnout, improved quality metrics, and significant time and cost savings. Learn more at or at booth 2079.

Stop by anytime during exhibit hall hours to see a demo and get a “Charlie the Healthfinch” plush! Healthfinch will also host an in-booth happy hour at booth 2079 on Tuesday, March 10 from 4-6pm. RSVP for the happy hour here.



Booth 2533

Contact: Jim Watkins, VP

Healthwise has set the standard for patient education since 1975. Nonprofit and independent, we’re a trusted resource for health content, technology, and services. Discover new ways to connect with your patients and save your clinicians time. Stop by booth 2533 to learn how.  

  • Explore new longitudinal programs that digitally connect patients with education resources for critical health interactions, saving care teams time and strengthening patient engagement.  
  • See how savvy healthcare marketers are using plug-and-play health education to create rich digital experiences for patients in less than half the time it used to take.    
  • Preview how industry-leading medical illustrators are using 3-D animation to bring medical concepts to life in a way that’s engaging and easy to understand.

Hyland Healthcare


Booth 2759

Contact: Megan Phelps, global programs manager

Hyland Healthcare provides connected healthcare solutions that harness unstructured content from all corners of the enterprise and link it to core clinical and business applications such as EHRs and ERP systems. Hyland Healthcare offers a full suite of content services and enterprise imaging solutions, bringing documents, medical images, and other clinically rich data to the healthcare stakeholders that need it most. This comprehensive view of patient information accelerates business processes, streamlines clinical workflows, and improves clinical decision making.

Join us for daily happy hours in our booth from 5-6pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 3-4 pm on Thursday. Enter our drawing for a chance to win Apple AirPods.

Impact Advisors


To arrange a meeting, contact Keith MacDonald.

Contact: Keith MacDonald, VP and client relationship executive

Impact Advisors is a nationally-recognized healthcare consulting firm that is solving some of the toughest challenges in the industry by delivering strategic advisory, technology implementation, and performance-improvement services. Our comprehensive suite of digital health, clinical optimization, and revenue cycle services spans the lifecycle of our clients’ needs. Our experienced team has a powerful combination of clinical, revenue, operations, consulting, and IT experience. The firm has earned a number of prestigious industry and workplace awards, including Best in KLAS for 12 consecutive years; Healthcare Informatics HCI 100; Crain’s Chicago Business Fast Fifty; as well as “Best Place to Work” awards from: Modern Healthcare, Consulting Magazine, Becker’s Hospital Review, and Achievers. For more information about Impact Advisors, visit

Legacy Data Access


Booth 1473

Contact: John Hanggi, director, business development

Running old applications just to get to the data? STOP – We need to talk! For organizations retiring or replacing healthcare systems, Legacy Data Access offers the industry’s most comprehensive set of software tools and solutions for working with data from retired systems. Our solutions provide comprehensive functionality for the storage, access, management, and reporting of retired healthcare data. No time-consuming, labor-intensive, and risk-filled data conversions are required. The data is seamlessly accessible in its original format, with no loss of detail or integrity. Please visit us to discuss how we have successfully retired 304 different healthcare applications – a total of 863 applications.

Giveaways include key chains and the best dark chocolate in the exhibit hall. Drop a card for a chance to win one of three AirPod Pros.



Booth 2131

Contact: Brian Grant, senior director, marketing

Medhost has been providing products and services to healthcare facilities of all types and sizes for over 35 years. Today, more than 1,000 healthcare facilities nationwide partner with Medhost and are enhancing their patient care and operational excellence with its clinical and financial solutions including an integrated EHR. Additionally, its unparalleled support and hosting solutions make it easy for healthcare facilities to focus on what’s important – their patients and business.

At HIMSS 2020, Medhost will showcase its comprehensive and cloud-based technology solutions that include but are not limited to EHR, EDIS, general financials and revenue cycle solutions and services, patient engagement, and ambulatory integration solutions.

Giveaway: Thought Leaders Wanted! Visit Medhost at booth 2131 and record a podcast with us. For each podcast recorded, we will give away a $25 gift card. Sign up for a 15- to 25-minute slot today and share you expertise about HIT and the healthcare environment in a guided interview.



Booth 3128

Contact: Stephanie Fraser, director of communications and media relations

NextGate is the global leader in healthcare identity management. With over 250 customers in five countries, our solutions are deployed at the world’s most successful organizations and HIEs. NextGate will have two exciting in-booth events this year: 

  • Whisky Tasting on Tuesday, March 10 at 4:30pm: Join Whisky Librarian Dr. Nick van Terheyden for a four-flight whisky tasting as he takes us through an introduction of Scotch Whisky Regional Styles. Register to secure a Glencairn whisky glass (first 50 people). We will also raffle off a bottle of whisky and a whisky dictionary.    
  • Let’s Talk About a National Patient Identifier on Wednesday, March 11 at 1pm: Join our expert panelists Ben Moscovitch, Pew Charitable Trusts; Julie Dooling, AHIMA; and policy wonk Mark Segal for an engaging discussion on patient matching and universal patient identifiers.    

Stop by our booth to enter for a chance to win two backpack giveaways filled with a hoodie and $50 Amazon card, or pre-register for our whisky tasting for a Glencairn whisky glass and a chance to win a bottle of Scottish whisky.



Booth 2879

Contact: Samantha Tiller-Schenck, experiential marketing manager

Healthcare organizations are challenged to deliver higher quality care at a lower cost. Our award-winning team provides health IT staffing, advisory consulting, and managed services that result in a stronger business with better patient outcomes. Stop by for open and direct conversations, meet new CEO Jim Costanzo, and learn how Nordic has evolved to better serve you. If that’s not enough, we’ll also have a custom tea blend gift that may help calm the common stresses of HIMSS.

Obix by Clinical Computer Systems


Booth 7273 and 8300

Contact: John Murray, key accounts manager

Embracing Mothers and Babies Throughout Birth – The Obix system is a clinician-focused software solution supporting integration, compliance, communication, and patient care. The clinical decision-support features and tools promote critical thinking by reinforcing experience and knowledge. Tour a smart hospital where the Obix system is monitoring a patient in the Labor and Delivery room, inside the Intelligent Health Pavilion. Also at HIMSS, Obix and Epic will demonstrate the exchange of data in real time in the Interoperability Showcase’s Maternal and Newborn Health use case.



Booth 8300-29

Contact: Maira Alejandra, media relations manager

OptimizeRx is a digital health technology company, connecting life sciences, payers, providers, and patients using the largest point-of-care communications platform and disease-specific digital health frameworks. The cloud-based solutions support affordability and adherence efforts directly within the provider workflow, as well as after the patient leaves the care setting, providing a true omni-channel treatment experience and advancing positive outcomes. Come see us in action at the Interoperability Showcase.

Optimum Healthcare IT


To arrange a meeting, contact Larry Kaiser.

Contact: Larry Kaiser, VP, marketing and communications

Optimum Healthcare IT has a dedicated meeting space (MP122). If you are interested in learning how our services can help your organization meet its healthcare IT needs, please visit and contact us today!



Booth 2006

Contact: Cristina Christy, senior events manager

PatientKeeper’s EHR optimization software solutions streamline physician workflow, improve care team collaboration, and fill functional gaps in existing hospital EHR systems. With PatientKeeper as the “system of engagement” complementing the EHR, physicians can easily access and act on all their patient information from PCs, smartphones, and tablets. At HIMSS20, visitors can see demos of the complete range of PatientKeeper’s physician workflow applications, as well as the new Clinical Communications Suite, which enables care team members to securely communicate anytime, anywhere, through HIPAA-compliant messaging with embedded patient context. PatientKeeper is used by more than 70,000 physicians at hospitals and health systems across North America.

HIMSS giveaway: PatientKeeper will raffle off one Apple Watch each day to a qualified visitor who watches a demo at booth 2006.



Booth 3721

Contact: Bob Abrahamson, VP, marketing

PCare’s interactive patient engagement solution helps healthcare providers educate and collaborate with patients across the care continuum. The PCare open platform integrates with existing EHR systems, patient portals, and mobile health applications to connect patients and caregivers. PCare is the partner healthcare organizations trust to improve care quality, patient outcomes, and financial performance.

Visit PCare at the Spectrum Enterprise “Powering Innovations Across the Continuum of Care” booth, 3721, to learn about the PCare approach to patient engagement across the continuum for value-based organizations.



Booth 4346

Contact: Guillaume Castel, CEO

PerfectServe’s unified platform for clinical communication and collaboration helps physicians, nurses, and care team members improve patient care. The PerfectServe and Telmediq solutions automate communication-driven workflows, eliminate non-clinical tasks, promote nurse mobility, and engage patients in their own care, resulting in quicker time to treatment and enhanced patient safety. The Lightning Bolt provider scheduling solution automatically generates optimized shift schedules to reduce burnout and increase patient access. PerfectServe’s scalable, cloud-based solutions allow 135,000 physician users and 230,000 nurse users to focus on delivering the best patient experience possible.

Visit the PerfectServe booth to learn more about our leading Clinical Communication & Collaboration, Nurse Mobility, Provider Scheduling, Contact Center, Answering Service, and Patient & Family Communication solutions. Book a meeting and find more information at



Booth 1775

Contact: Rebecca Jones, content marketing specialist

Phynd 360, an innovative provider data platform, serves as health systems’ central hub for all provider data. Phynd enables optimization for provider data – people, places, and services – in EHR, marketing, and claims systems via platform tools for provider enrollment, management, outreach, and search across the enterprise. Phynd is a member of the Epic App Orchard. Phynd clients include some of the most progressive and innovative in the country, with seven of the top 20 “Best Hospital Honor Roll” hospitals, as ranked by US News and World Report, using the Phynd platform to power their provider data. Phynd serves as a vital enterprise data platform for digital marketing teams seeking to optimize their digital front door experience for consumers. It offers real-time provider enrollment into Epic and other EHRs, used by patient access and registration teams to eliminate the dual, never-ending streams of provider data maintenance and claims tickets backlog. 

Schedule a short appointment with Phynd, and we’ll reward you with a $100 Starbucks gift card!



To arrange a meeting, contact Ryan Sciacca.

Contact: Ryan Sciacca, director of sales
800.587.4989 x2

PMD provides healthcare teams with a suite of powerful, intuitive, mobile software that streamlines communication, enhances productivity, and increases revenue. With PMD’s mobile communication, data capture, and care navigation platforms, healthcare teams finally have an elegant and simple technology to streamline communication and revenue cycle workflows while maximizing efficiency and collaboration. PMD interfaces with all major EHRs, hospital systems, and medical billing systems, enabling the efficient sharing of data and cutting down on medical errors. PMD is committed to developing the best solution and providing superior customer service. Visit our website or contact us today for more information or to schedule a free workflow consultation.

Prepared Health


Booth 4126

Contact: Monica Ginsburg, marketing manager

The Prepared Health platform simplifies senior care coordination. We empower hospitals and health plans to:   

  • Build post-acute and home care networks – organize high-quality providers across the care continuum.      
  • Enable real-time communication – smarter care transitions and coordination at every level of care.     
  • Activate home-based insights – leverage predictive models to increase healthy days at home. 

“Create Value for the Buyer and the Innovator to Support Emerging Technologies,” session 319, will be held on Friday, March 13 from 10:45-11:45am. Speakers include innovation leaders from Jefferson Health, an 18-hospital system with nearly $6 billion in revenue; and Ashish Shah, CEO of Prepared Health.



Booth 421

Contact: John Skowlund, VP of business development

The QliqSoft team is excited to share many new patient and provider communication technology solutions at HIMSS20. Stop by booth 421 to participate in:

  1. Customer conversations – Hear from our customers, such as CAN Community Health and the University of Florida, about how QliqSoft solutions deliver results.    
  2. Education sessions – Let our customer success team share all they have learned in the field. Subjects include chatbot use cases, operational effectiveness, the personification of technology, and more!   
  3. Build your own bot: Earn your Build-a-Bot certification – You’ll leave with some sweet QliqSoft swag and your custom bot that you can take home and share with your team.    
  4. Demo for donation – We’re donating $100 to CHIME for each CHIME member who stops by booth 421 to build a bot or demo any other QliqSoft product.   
  5. Bots and Brews (Wednesday, March 11 at 4pm – booth 421) – Join us as we raise a toast to our most engaging team member, Quincy. Bring your healthcare chatbot questions. Bring your healthcare chatbot ideas. Let’s see where the conversation takes us.



Booth 2193

Contact: James Kanka, VP of marketing

Come chat with us at HIMSS, booth 2193, and learn what makes Relatient different. Customer feedback recently made us the 2020 KLAS Category Leader in Patient Outreach, for a platform that can flex to your needs and offers robust PM/EHR integration.

Swing by to enter for a chance to win in our promotions and giveaways.

Relatient’s CTO, Kevin Montgomery, is co-presenting an Essential Conversation with Oklahoma Heart Hospital’s Jonathan Minson to talk about “Achieving Patient Engagement in a Mobile-First Market.” Don’t miss out on a chance to participate in this discussion about changing patient expectations, healthcare IT dynamics, best practices for patient engagement, and insight from Oklahoma Heart Hospital, which is using patient engagement to save close to $1 million annually. This session will take place Thursday, March 12 at 1pm in room W303A.

ROI Healthcare Solutions


Booth 1213

Contact: Brent Prosser, VP, sales

ROI Healthcare Solutions is a trusted EHR, revenue cycle, and ERP consulting firm dedicated to the success of hospital and health systems across the US. Our goals center around driving cost savings, user adoption, business transformation, system performance, and operational excellence. ROI is a KLAS award-winning partner, with a unique approach to working with clients. We use old–fashioned communication, relationship cultivation, deep knowledge, and integrity to create successful on-time, on-budget outcomes. Our role varies from project to project; we are well equipped to assess, implement, upgrade, support, and staff for technology- and process-related engagements.

Our team is excited to meet with you at HIMSS this year in Orlando. We will have several raffles (wireless headsets, speakers, and more). Come by the Georgia Pavilion in Hall A for face-to-face time with our industry experts. Also, join us for a reception in our booth on Tuesday at 4:30 pm.



Booth 2579

Contact: Derek Kiecker, solutions adviser, team lead

Spok representatives and senior executives will be on hand to show you how Spok is pioneering a new era of care collaboration. Our cloud-native, clinical communication platform gives hospitals the best in security, agility, and breadth and depth of services. Please stop by our booth to learn more about how Spok can help you achieve your hospital’s mission. 

Spok will select one $500 gift card winner per day, at random, and notify them via email. Starbucks gift cards will be distributed in the booth following your demo, while supplies last. Spok will also host a social media contest: Tweet tagging @Spoktweets and using #HIMSS20 for your chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card each day of HIMSS20.



Booth 3521

Contact: Eileen Faas, marketing manager

StayWell is a health empowerment company that uses the science of behavior change and technology-driven programs to help people live healthier, happier lives. At this year’s HIMSS, StayWell will reveal its latest advancements in its health management solutions that connect the digital health universe among multiple points of engagement.

Using high-touch, high-tech solutions to present a progressive yet balanced approach to managing health risks, StayWell’s newest updates integrate the latest achievements in AI, interactive learning, and online health engagement to improve care, enhance provider knowledge, and advance care management.

Summit Healthcare


Booth 5558

Contact: Christine Duval, marketing manager

We’re here to help you tackle any integration or automation challenge your organization is facing! Stop by to see our Robotic Process Automation (RPA) offerings LIVE. You will also have the chance to experience the company’s other advanced systems integration, automation, and business continuity offerings. These include Summit Exchange, which enables hospitals to manage systems integration at an enterprise level; and Summit All Access, the powerful, Web-enabled platform for 24/7 data exchange and availability. Attendees will also be able to explore the possibilities of utilizing Summit All Access as a business continuity tool in the event of planned or unplanned downtime, as well as resolving patient matching and duplicate record issues with the new Summit EMPI, powered by Dedalus.



Booth 2030

Contact: Komita Primalani, director, marketing events

HIMSS20 invites health IT stakeholders to “be the change,” and Surescripts will be showing up with lots of practical guidance on transforming healthcare interactions for the better. From helping patients get affordable medications to navigating the shifting landscape of interoperability and information sharing, we’ll partner with experts from across the Surescripts Network Alliance to dig into some of the biggest developments in health IT. Visit us at booth 2030 to find out how we can make an impact together.



To arrange a meeting, contact Rodrigo Martinez.

Contact: Rodrigo Martinez, chief growth and clinical officer

TransformativeMed is thrilled to once again attend HIMSS – such an exciting venue to learn about the latest and greatest in technology. We’re already providing EHR-embedded solutions that are solving some of today’s most challenging problems – physician burnout, satisfaction, and efficiency, thus enabling better patient outcomes. We’d enjoy connecting with our current and future clients. Our specialty-specific clinical workflows are rich in content by specialty, intuitive to the clinician’s natural workflow, and deeply embedded in the EHR. Our disease-specific workflow platform provides the care team with disease-specific workflows such as diabetes management, thrombolytics, etc., enabling more effective management of their patients across the care team(s). We will also have a CHIME focus group on Tuesday, March 10 from 4-5:30pm on the next generation of mobility for the health system and clinician.



Booth 1421

Contact: Tina Newman, events director

Waystar provides next-generation, cloud-based technology that simplifies and unifies the healthcare revenue cycle. Our platform removes friction in payment processes, streamlines workflows, and improves financials for providers in every care setting. Waystar has scored Best in KLAS for claims and clearinghouse every year since 2010, and has earned multiple #1 rankings from Black Book surveys since 2012.

Waystar is proud to introduce Hubble, its new AI + RPA platform. We look forward to sharing how Hubble can help our clients achieve more efficient workflows, fewer rejected claims, and a better bottom line. Stop by booth 1421 to see a Hubble Demo!

Zen Healthcare IT


Booth 8145

Contact: Brian KIsanov, solutions manager

Zen Healthcare IT is 100% focused on the challenges associated with moving data through the healthcare ecosystem. We simplify interoperability by bringing our expertise together with our Gemini Integration as a Service Platform. Designed for big or small healthcare messaging problems, Gemini offers a very flexible platform to meet a wide variety of healthcare interface needs. Zen’s clients include providers, hospitals, HIEs, healthcare vendors, agencies, and payers.

Interested in learning more about the national trusted exchange networks? We will have our EHealth Exchange/Carequality experts in the booth to answer your questions. Zen is a Carequality Implementer and has onboarded many healthcare organizations to IHE-based exchange.

Weekender 2/21/20

February 21, 2020 Weekender 2 Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • Publicly traded patient survey company NRC Health falls victim to a ransomware attack.
  • Atrium Health confirms that it will replace Cerner and other systems with Epic.
  • Indian Health Services says it will replace its RPMS system, which is based on the VA’s VistA, with one or more commercial EHRs.
  • Cerner promotes Don Trigg to president and expands John Peterzalek’s customer relationship role to include services, consulting, support, and hosting.
  • Health Catalyst announces plans to acquire Able Health.
  • New York’s Department of Health says Glen Falls Hospital tried to cover up $70 million in lost revenue that was caused by a “catastrophic” Cerner billing system rollout in documents it filed in exploring a potential affiliation with Albany Medical Center.
  • Merged interoperability vendors Rhapsody and Corepoint make Lyniate their corporate name.
  • China uses virtual visits and app-based medical consultations to address COVID-19.
  • HHS OIG finds that lack of CMS oversight allowed companies to capture the information of Medicare Part D beneficiaries from its database for potential use in telemarketing scams.

Best Reader Comments

HHS is basically acting as the caricature of a bad middle manager. Micromanaging EHR vendors despite the fact that they themselves have not been successful in performing the mandated task (Medicare Part D database, DoD project, etc.); no clear line between why they’re asking you to do something and the task itself; and ignoring both internal evidence (their own OIG) and external evidence (public comments) that contradicts their stated goal. (Elizabeth H. H. Holmes)

CPSI mentioned in their earnings that they are seeing less interest from Cerner in the small hospital market and they can sell at a higher price now that Athena is gone. (What)

Once Carolinas made the transition to Atrium, the process of implementing Epic was coming, as the other system that was acquired was running Epic. It’s not really a rip and replace like AdventHealth. It was a merger of Epic and Cerner and they determined that they wanted Epic as the integrated system. (Associate CIO)

What the authors get wrong [in urging that EHR vendors not be allowed to offer continuing medical education] is trying to compare the pharmaceutical industry to the EHR industry. With pharma, there’s a direct relationship between the pharma activity and the opportunity to influence the decision maker. If a pharma company offers CME at a fancy hotel in a desirable location, I can learn about their drug and go home to my practice and prescribe their drug immediately. With EHRs, that isn’t remotely possible. Physician input into the healthcare IT budgeting process certainly is not a direct relationship, and in most organizations, at best can be considered something we may influence but rarely have purchasing authority. (Mark Weisman)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. L in Wisconsin, who says of the programmable robot mouse kits her class received, “Thank you so much for supporting this project! The materials arrived so quickly! My students were really excited to see the boxes arrive. We opened them together and they were gleeful when they saw the mouse robots. We spent about 20 minutes together to learn how to program the mouse robot. There was a lot of excitement. On Friday, I placed them in our robot centers. My students had a great time setting up mazes for the mouse. They then programed the mouse to reach the cheese. They still needed reminders that if the code didn’t work. They needed to start over a try a different code. With time they will get better at it.”


The newspaper of a Shawnee, KS high school profiles sophomore Madison Vosburg’s Cerner Scholar Experience, where she is working on fine tuning Cerner’s voice assistant Gina. She works at Cerner every school day from 1 to 3 p.m. and hopes the experience will help her land a technology job, maybe even at Cerner.


An uninsured freelancer couple who live part-time in Mexico describe their experience with having the husband’s ankle repair surgery in Tijuana for $2,000 instead of the $27,000 quoted at NYU Langone. The private practice surgeon assured the wife that his clinic was safe, his infection rate low, and his success rate high, and when asked whether a higher-priced clinic would do a better job, he said, “It’s just a foot.” The couple had qualms about the building’s shabby exterior, its lack of air conditioning, and the surgeon’s use of epidural anesthesia instead of general. The surgeon became gruff when they called him for better post-op pain control, but he explained afterward that he was frustrated at the clinic’s undertrained employees and Americans who keep showing up wanting opioids. The couple says they were sometimes frustrated with cultural differences that left them unsure how to proceed or unable to communicate with staff, but are happy with the outcome. Their doctor admitted that Mexico is like the US – you get better medical care if you have money.

A former hospital pharmacy technician pleads guilty to stealing 13,000 pills, mostly opioids, from the hospital. She found a loophole in the automated dispensing cabinet’s software that allowed her to withdraw meds for a closed unit and then delete the administration record, which bypassed the system’s tracking function.

A home inspector finds jars of human tongues stored in a house’s foundation, later determined to have been placed there by a former University of Florida professor and dental researcher who forgot them when he moved out.

In Case You Missed It

Get Involved



Morning Headlines 2/21/20

February 20, 2020 Headlines No Comments

Cloudbreak Health Attracts $10M Growth Investment

Telemedicine and medical interpretation vendor Cloudbreak Health raises $10 million, increasing its total to $25 million.

Cyberattack on NRC Health sparks privacy concerns about private patient records stored by US hospitals

A ransomware attack forces patient survey company NRC Health to shut down its systems, including client-facing reporting portals.

Indian Health Service CIO Gets Ready to Update One of Government’s Oldest Systems

Indian Health Service CIO Mitchell Thornbrugh says its VistA-based RPMS system will most likely be replaced by a commercial EHR next year.

Second big health system drops Cerner EHR

The Kansas City business paper confirms earlier HIStalk reports that the 40-hospital Atrium Health system will replace Cerner with Epic.

News 2/21/20

February 20, 2020 News 4 Comments

Top News

image image

Cerner promotes Don Trigg to president and John Peterzalek to chief client and services officer.

Trigg has been with the company for 18 years. He will head up the company’s clinical EHR, RCM, and strategic growth businesses.

Peterzalek’s client relationship responsibilities will be expanded to include services, consulting, support, and hosting. He will also be charged with establishing a client success office. 

Former president Zane Burke left the company in November 2018 and was named CEO of Livongo a month later. Cerner assigned his responsibilities to 17-year veteran Peterzalek under the chief client officer job title, but did not say at that time who, if anyone, would be named president.

Reader Comments


From BigJimbo: “Re: NRC Health. Has had a malware attack and data breach – call transcript attached. Wondering why this isn’t in the news yet. It’s also interesting that it says it isn’t technically a HIPAA breach but rather a security incident.” Monday’s call transcript says the publicly traded Nebraska survey company – a business associate of many health systems — was affected by a ransomware attack on February 11 that disabled 40% of its servers even though the company shut its network down quickly. They claim the event isn’t legally a reportable breach, which is true only if no patient data was involved  — HHS has specifically said that ransomware is a reportable HIPAA breach if patient information is encrypted because that constitutes impermissible disclosure, unless the company can prove that it was not otherwise exposed (which I don’t think any company has ever been able to do since hackers are always anonymous).

From What’s Up @ Forte?:Re: Forte. We’re implementing its clinical trials software. They were acquired by Advarra last fall. I hear from my implementer that they are losing several senior people.” I don’t know, but will invite readers to respond. The company’s leadership page has dropped from 26 to 12 people, but nearly all of the 12 were part of the larger team.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


I’d like to get more responses to my once-yearly reader survey – especially from provider readers so that the sample is representative – so please take a couple of minutes to fill out the form. Responses tell me about reader jobs and experience, which HIStalk features they like or don’t like, and what changes they would like to see. I’ll summarize the results in a few days and draw for one or more $50 Amazon gift card winners.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Department of Health officials discover that Glens Falls Hospital (NY) tried to cover up nearly $70 million in lost revenue due to a “catastrophic” Cerner billing system rollout when the hospital applied for approval to affiliate with Albany Medical Center. The hospital attributed its revenue losses to fewer surgeries and Medicare patients instead of admitting that its billing system didn’t work properly for nearly two years.


Vyne acquires dental practice EDI claims processing and revenue cycle services platform vendor Renaissance Electronic Services.


Telemedicine and medical interpretation vendor Cloudbreak Health raises $10 million, increasing its total to $25 million.


  • Beaumont Health (MI) selects patient referral and self-scheduling software from Blockit.
  • Capital Health (NJ) will switch from Aprima, Athenahealth, and Cantata Health to Cerner.
  • MUSC Health Lancaster Medical Center (SC) will implement tele-ICU software and services from Advanced ICU Care.



image image

Newly merged health data integration vendors Rhapsody and Corepoint rebrand as Lyniate. The new company promotes Scott Galbari to CTO and Sonal Patel as chief customer success officer.

Announcements and Implementations


CoverMyMeds integrates its prescription app with Epic MyChart, allowing patients to see the status of their prior authorization requests and to review the cash price and discount coupon alternatives.


Mille Lacs Health System (MN) implements Medhost’s cloud-based EHR.

Government and Politics


VA officials reveal that Verizon is providing 5G capabilities at its hospital in Palo Alto, CA, while Microsoft and Medivis are supplying surgical visualization tools that incorporate augmented reality and AI. Surgeons wearing Microsoft’s HoloLens glasses can tap into detailed medical images and a patient’s medical record while using Medivis’s interactive 3-D modeling software during procedures. CMIO Thomas Osborne, MD sees medical education for staff and patients as the next use case for the combined technologies.


Indian Health Service CIO Mitchell Thornbrugh says its VistA-based RPMS system will most likely be replaced by a commercial EHR next year. He is open to a multi-vendor approach and hopes to achieve interoperability with the VA’s VistA replacement,  Cerner.


A new KLAS report on healthcare business intelligence and analytics names the “A-List” as Tableau (the most-considered vendor), Health Catalyst, and Microsoft. It says Microsoft’s BI solution is surging now that it can be packaged with Azure, while KLAS seems puzzled about why Dimensional Insight isn’t better known among prospects since it has the highest overall performance, a high retention rate, and a 100% “would buy again” from customers. KLAS finds that IBM and SAP “have become almost irrelevant in current purchase decisions” because their tools and their willingness to partner with customers lag the market.

Privacy and Security


Hackers are using COVID-19 hysteria to their advantage, sending fake emails from WHO and the CDC that warn them that the virus has reached their city, then direct them to phony websites that ask for their personal information.



Vanderbilt University engineers develop a tool to help researchers analyze diagnosis codes and EHR data simultaneously, allowing them to uncover connections that may help in earlier disease detection and management.


A Surescripts survey of 1,000 consumers finds that physician-initiated conversations at the point of care about prescription prices can dramatically improve medication adherence rates:

  • 55% of respondents believe these discussions help them with affordability.
  • 50% say the were more satisified with their doctor and more likely to remain with them.
  • 41% say they’ve referred friends to their provider because of those conversations.


Wired profiles BlueDot, a Canadian company that has developed an illness outbreak and tracking app that identified the COVID-19 outbreak several days before WHO and the CDC. The app also accurately predicted that the virus would spread from Wuhan to Bangkok, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. The app, which was developed by an infectious disease specialist, takes in data from global news reports, airline ticket sales, and animal disease outbreak reports and applies an AI-powered disease surveillance algorithm to extract relevant information. Customers include governments, businesses, and public health organizations.

Sponsor Updates


  • HCTec staff help Azalea Trace Assisted Living residents celebrate Valentine’s Day.
  • OptimizeRx adds a hub-enrollment solution to its point-of-care prescription savings software, giving providers and patients immediate access to forms for specialty drug support programs.
  • EClinicalWorks will exhibit at the CPCA Quality Care Conference February 20-21 in Irvine, CA.
  • Phynd recaps its 2019 growth, which included adding six new health system clients of its enterprise provider data management platform.
  • The Tampa Bay Business Journal recognizes Greenway Health Chief Legal Officer Karen Mulroe as one of its 2020 Top Corporate Counsel Honorees.
  • Healthwise will exhibit at the 2020 ANIA SoCal Annual Conference February 21 in Los Angeles.
  • InterSystems announces enhanced open-source availability for its IKnow Technology.
  • The Chartis Group publishes a new white paper, “Orthopedic Care Delivery Transformation: Is Your Health System Prepared?”
  • Spok adds new capabilities to its Spok Go cloud-native clinical communications software.

Blog Posts



Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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EPtalk by Dr. Jayne 2/20/20

February 20, 2020 Dr. Jayne 6 Comments


I’m all about the data, but I’m not happy to have been faked out by this year’s influenza numbers. We were lulled into a sense of hope by what appeared to be an early peak followed by a decline in flu cases, only to have a second (and higher) peak.

To date, there have been 26 million cases of influenza and 14,000 flu-related deaths, including 92 children. We’ve been seeing a lot of influenza pneumonia in the practice and I’ve just about washed all the skin off my hands. I hope we start to see the end of this soon. Everyone’s keyed up about COVID-19, but few average people are aware of how many people influenza kills each year.

I had a chance to connect with a colleague who lives in Taiwan and who was looking for in the trenches commentary on what people in the US think about COVID-19. He and his family have battened down the hatches for the most part and his children’s school is closed until the end of the month as a precaution. Fortunately, he telecommutes to a job in the continental US, so his livelihood hasn’t been impacted. He’s going to keep me posted from the man on the street perspective as the situation unfolds.

It’s definitely starting to get interesting at work, as we are having difficulty with supplies that typically originate in China, including masks, gowns, and other disposable sterile supplies such as staple remover kits. Fortunately, we have a good stock of standard surgical instruments that can be autoclaved for sterilization, so it’s just a question of shifting to that workflow. Nothing beats a good pair of precision surgical scissors from Germany, so I’m not complaining.

Based on the flu and COVID-19, I expect to see an increase in vendors at HIMSS selling supplies to keep the workplace safe, including washable keyboards, touchscreen covers, sterilization carts, and more. I haven’t received any mailings from them or invitations to any booth events, so if you’re in this part of the industry and you’re not strutting your stuff, you might be missing out. I enjoy touring all the booths that have practical items to promote and aren’t just full of buzzwords and the stuff of pipe dreams. If you have something cool for us to check out, drop us a line and let us know your booth number. We’ll do our best to make it by.


For a while, I was doing quite a bit of consulting around Patient-Centered Medical Home, so I spent a lot of time on the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) website. That business kind of died down and I drifted away, so I was happy to be drawn back by their involvement in the pursuit of Natural Language Processing. Their recent blog covers NCQA’s efforts to convene a NLP working group to help them explore how the technology can be used for quality measurement and reporting. The group includes representatives from Apixio, UPMC, and Wave Health Technologies.

The working group is focused on approaches to ensure that data generated from NLP is accurate. It plans to work toward developing a standard for validating NLP data. Since the working group is vendor focused, NCWA will be running parallel meetings with an independent advisory panel that includes NLP experts and researchers who will also weigh in on the potential validation model. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on their work and how it might impact frontline clinical organizations.

I recently caught up with a vendor friend to talk about their strategy for the new Evaluation & Management coding guidelines that will come into play in 2021. The guidelines are designed to allow physicians to be paid without the onerous documentation they had to do in the past, which theoretically would allow vendors to tailor their clinical documentation to the actual clinical scenario rather than allowing physicians to bill at the highest level possible. I’m looking forward to not having to do more of a Review of Systems than is actually relevant for the visit and to writing notes that are closer to “Strep: Penicillin” than to the multi-page nonsense we generate today. I hope multiple vendors are looking at ways to make documentation easier as well as more coherent.

Time to “Ditch the Disk” in healthcare. Various tech leaders are encouraging the healthcare industry to move beyond CD-ROMs and make sharing images as easy as sending a text message. The task force meets every few months and looks at ways to improve the process. My organization burns an incredible number of discs every month and I’m sure they wind up in piles at patients’ homes, so I’m all for it.


I’m excited to report that readers are responding to my plea for pre-HIMSS shoe shopping tips. Apparently Jeffrey Campbell boots come highly recommended, with one reader noting “I have three of these…  I can even wear them with a broken toe.” That’s high praise indeed. I’m disappointed they don’t have them in my size in the red and blue snake pattern, because they’d be perfect for my upcoming trip to Washington, DC. A little bird told me you can sometimes find them on third party sites, so I’ll have to check them out. I definitely need something comfortable because I’m going to be hitting all the military memorials with a group of Honor Flight veterans.


Another reader recommends Irregular Choice, saying, “My artist sister is obsessed, and I am tempted to peruse their men’s section for the show floor.” I was completely blown away by their creations, especially the Muppets and Disney options. If I had an endless shoe budget, I could definitely go crazy there.

Good luck on your HIMSS prep. As usual, I’ll be on the lookout for the best reader footwear (both shoe and sock varieties). Will your shoes make the hall of fame or the hall of shame? What are your other favorite sites for awesome shoes? Leave a comment or email me.


Email Dr. Jayne.

Morning Headlines 2/20/20

February 19, 2020 Headlines No Comments

Maven Raises $45 Million in Series C, One of the Largest Funding Rounds for Female-led Women’s and Family Health Company

Maven raises a $45 million Series C round of financing led by Icon Ventures, bringing the virtual clinic company’s total raised to nearly $90 million.

Former Chief Technology Officer of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Join LifeOmic

Former HHS CTO Ed Simcox joins precision medicine software vendor LifeOmic as chief strategy officer.

Global Interoperability Leader Rebrands as Lyniate

After merging in 2019, healthcare data integration vendors Rhapsody and Corepoint rebrand as Lyniate, and promote Scott Galbari to CTO.

HIStalk Interviews Adam Wright, PhD, Director, Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center

February 19, 2020 Interviews 1 Comment

Adam Wright, PhD is professor of biomedical informatics and director of the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN.


Tell me about yourself and your new job.

I’m a professor of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I also direct the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center, or VCLIC. As a professor, the main part of my job is research. I get grants, write papers, and teach. I teach a lot of the students in our biomedical informatics and medical school courses. Then I also do some service. I help direct the decision support activities here at Vanderbilt, trying to make sure that we have good alerts and other decision support tools and that we’re not unnecessarily burdening our users.

What are the best practices in getting clinician feedback when developing and monitoring CDS alerts?

You need to involve clinicians when you are developing any alert that will affect them. There’s this tendency for orthopedic surgery to say, “We should ask anesthesia to respond to this alert. We should really tell those guys what to do.” That’s almost never the right answer. It almost always works better when users are involved in the development of an alert.

I’m also a huge fan of using data. We have enough data in our data warehouse to forecast ahead of time when an alert will fire, who it will fire to, and which patients it will fire on. Looking at the data is often really illuminating. We’ve just been dealing with some alerts here at Vanderbilt that were firing in the operating room and suggesting giving a flu shot to a patient who’s in the middle of surgery. That’s just not a timely moment to give a flu shot.

You can figure that out after it’s live, but you are better off looking at some data and guessing what’s going to happen. Then making sure that you’ve added all the proper exclusions and tailoring to make sure that it’s firing for only the right people. That’s the most important thing in building the alert and designing it to not frustrate people.

Once it’s live, you need to, on almost on a daily basis, look at your alerts and see how often they are firing, who they are firing for, and trying to figure out if some users are particularly likely to accept an alert or particularly unlikely to accept an alert. There’s this classic problem where alerts fire for patients who might be on comfort measures only. That may not be appropriate for a lot of alerts. Or there’s a particular user type, like a medical assistant, who may not be empowered to act on an alert, but is receiving it anyway. We have found that by looking at the data, we can add additional restrictions and exclusions to the logic until we get the alerts to the right person at the right time.

We have a goal of between 30% and 50% acceptance for our alerts. We don’t always get there, but we see in the literature a lot of places that are at 1% or 2% acceptance for alerts. That is almost certainly a problem, because then people get fatigued and start tuning the alerts out.

Are hospitals comfortable including a “did you find this alert useful” feedback mechanism, knowing that they are then obligated to take action accordingly? Or to allow clinicians who don’t find an alert useful, such as a nephrologist who is annoyed at drug-renal function warnings, to turn them off?

We have a policy here that we are trying to build feedback buttons into all of the alerts. When you see an alert, there’s a little set of smiley faces in the corner. You can vote whether you like the alert a lot, not too much, or not at all. You can click to vote and you can type in a comment. I try to respond to all of those quickly and try to understand the person’s thinking, their rationale.

We were worried that people would use the feedback comments to to grumble about alerts or how they don’t like the EHR. In fact, people tend to give thoughtful comments about why the alert didn’t apply to a patient or it didn’t fit well in their workflow.

We got another one about a week ago about influenza vaccinations. Some clinics don’t stock the flu shot. They don’t have it in their refrigerator, so they can’t give it. We had some conversations with our leadership about whether we should start stocking and administering the flu shots in those clinics, but decided that wasn’t going to be practical. We were able to then edit the alert so that it doesn’t fire for those people.

I agree that some alerts that might make sense for a primary care doctor or hospitals that wouldn’t necessarily make sense for a specialist who really knows that area. It’s futile to show an alert to somebody who says they don’t want it and our data suggests that they are unlikely to accept it. We have to  target our alerts to people who are likely to be willing to accept them.

It’s almost a false sense of security. If we are really worried about renal dosing for medicines and we know that we have an alert that doesn’t work, we shouldn’t just congratulate ourselves for having a renal dosing alert. We should consider more carefully what workflows we have and what additional protections we could put in place to make sure that patients with impaired renal function get the proper medicines rather than congratulating ourselves for having an alert that we know doesn’t do anything.

Default ordering values are important, as emphasized again in a recent study that demonstrated reduced opioid use when default prescribing quantities were lowered. Do you account for this by assuming that physicians aren’t paying attention and will most often accept whatever comes up by default, or is more complex psychology involved?

We had an admission order set that had cardiac telemetry checked by default. We saw that people were ordering telemetry on almost all of the internal medicine patients when they used that order set. We were getting feedback that in many cases, it wasn’t appropriate. As an experiment, we kept it in the order set, but switched it from being checked by default to being unchecked by default. We saw a huge reduction in the number of patients who were ordered cardiac telemetry.

We worried about the risk of that. We did some analysis to see if patients were either having more bad cardiac events or even just if people were then ordering cardiac telemetry the next day or later in the visit, like they somehow missed it in the admission. What we saw was that there was no increase in cardiac problems. There was no pattern where people were ordering delayed telemetry.

You have to be thoughtful about this. You have to get clinical feedback from users. You have to understand what the risks are. I am a huge fan of measurement. We made this change and we measured it the next day. If we had seen that there was a problem, we would have felt confident that we could quickly roll the change back and analyze it. We felt safer knowing that we would be able to monitor it.

In terms of the psychology, some of it is just being on autopilot. You’re admitting a lot of patients, and the computer in some ways seems to almost speak for the institution. The computer is telling you, “We generally recommend that you order cardiac telemetry for patients like this.” That may not be what the builder of that order set intended when they checked it off, but that’s the message that is getting communicated to the intern or PA. They’re likely to trust that that’s the standard of care, that’s the practice here. I’ve seen that again and again. People are willing to trust defaults.

I don’t think it’s laziness. I don’t think it’s that they don’t read it. A lot of things in medicine are soft calls. You might just want to do what people usually do. Seeing something checked or not checked in an order set is an easy way to think that you’re getting a read of the organization’s standard practice.

Your two most recent jobs have been with huge health systems that were among the last to switch from a homegrown EHR to a commercial product in Epic, and both institutions were known for programming their self-developed systems to give clinicians extensive, documented guidance for making decisions upfront rather than punishing them with warnings when they did something wrong. Does Epic give you enough configuration capability provide similar order guidance capability?

Both organizations had for decades developed and used their own electronic health record and CPOE system and then switched to Epic in the last few years. I had a lot of anxiety about that switch. We were used to having the total control that comes with having developed your own software. We could literally pull up the source code of the order entry screen and change it to do whatever we wanted.

I would say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of levers we have and customizations that we have available to us in Epic. They have thought through most of the common use cases and built some hooks so that we can even go so far as to write custom MUMPS code that changes the way things work.

We have generally been able to find ways to implement things. They might happen at a slightly different point in the workflow or they might look a little bit different than the user expected, but I would say that it’s rare that we come up with a piece of clinical logic that we are not able to faithfully implement in Epic. I was pleasantly surprised. I was actually quite nervous about this and it went better than I thought it was going to.

How do you approach EHR configuration knowing that changes may take more clinician time or increase their level of burnout?

The EHR gets a lot of blame for burnout, and some intrinsic properties of the EHR contribute to burnout. But I also think there’s a lot of regulatory, quality, and safety programs that are implemented through the EHR. The EHR gets blamed for having to enter all this information or to sign the order in a certain way, but some of that is triggered by external forces, like how we get paid for healthcare or how we report quality.

I generally don’t like it when I am asked to implement decision support purely for an external reason, such as because some regulator or somebody else wants us to do it. I would rather partner with clinicians who are likely to have to actually do the work, asking them if are there alternative workflows that we didn’t think of that could achieve the same regulatory goal and meet our obligation to our payers and regulators without  burdening people with point-of-care, interruptive pop-up alerts.

As we  move toward value-based payment, where we’re paid to take care of a patient over the course of a year, we have more opportunities to use things like registries and dashboards. We can have a care manager or a navigator do some of the work, or send some messaging directly to the patient, instead of popping up a message at the beginning of the primary care doctor visit and forcing them to answer a question right then.

One of the things that I’ve tried to do everywhere I’ve worked is to look at requests such as, “Please build a new interruptive pop-up that affects user X.” We go one step backwards and say, what’s going on that makes you think we need to do that? Have we considered all the options before we do this last-ditch effort of interrupting somebody in the middle of their visit?

What are the most pressing informatics priorities at Vanderbilt?

Physician burnout is certainly one of them. We are hearing increasingly from our users that they are spending a lot of time outside the clinic writing notes and finishing their documentation. We are also adapting the EHR to new care models, like value-based payment and telemedicine. We’ve been working on some new approaches for patients to get care either at home or at satellite sites that are not right here in downtown Nashville that might be more convenient to them. There’s been a lot of work trying to get the EHR to do that.

I also have a big interest in academic informatics. Eighty percent of my job is working as a professor. We started this new VCLIC, the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center. One of the goals of that is to help us navigate this transition from a self-built EHR to Epic. There’s a lot of things that we used to know how to do. How do we get data out of our system? If we have a new idea for a medication prescribing workflow, how can we pilot it in the EHR? Some of that knowledge went away when we made the transition to Epic.

The goal of VCLIC is to make people at Vanderbilt say, it’s easy to interface with EStar, which is what we call Epic here. Whether that means getting data out of the system or putting a new intervention in the system. I want people in the informatics department, in clinical departments, or the pharmacy to be able to know how to get the data and know how to do stuff.

We call it paving the road. Getting access to the data warehouse might be based on bumping into the right person or getting a favor. We want to figure out, what are the requirements to get access? What training do you need to have? What do you need to do or sign to acknowledge the privacy issues? How do you protect the data? Then make it clear to people how they can interact with this new commercial EHR in the ways that they were used to in interacting with our self-developed EHR for the last couple of decades.

Do you have any final thoughts?

This is an exciting time in the field of informatics. We got through this hump of adoption of EHRs. Most doctors and most hospitals are using EHRs. There’s a growing sense that we are not getting everything we expected or hoped out of that investment.

The good news is that achieving adoption was one of the hardest parts. Now we need to be thoughtful about using data, engaging with users, getting feedback, and making smart decisions about how we can improve the EHR so that we get the value out of it in terms of improved patient outcomes and reduced costs that we were hoping would appear.

Some people are in a moment of despair about EHRs. I’m actually in a moment of real excitement. We have everything lined up to be able to give value. We just need to be smarter about how we do that.

Morning Headlines 2/19/20

February 18, 2020 Headlines No Comments

Health Catalyst Announces Agreement to Acquire Able Health, a Leading SaaS Provider of Quality and Regulatory Measurement Tracking and Reporting

Health Catalyst will acquire Able Health, which offers quality and regulatory measurement tracking and reporting tools.

VA Reveals Industry Partners for First 5G-Enabled Hospital

Technology and services from Verizon, Microsoft, and Medivis power the VA’s 5G-enabled hospital in Palo Alto, CA.

Amazon Care, the company’s virtual medical clinic, is now live for Seattle employees

Amazon goes live with its virtual Amazon Care clinic for its Seattle-based employees and their dependents.

Cerner Announces Leadership Changes Focused on Increasing Alignment with Client Success

Cerner promotes Don Trigg to president and John Peterzalek to chief client and services officer.

News 2/19/20

February 18, 2020 News 6 Comments

Top News


China’s COVID-19 containment efforts include requiring online and physical pharmacies to capture the ID card information of anyone who buys over-the-counter fever or cough medicine and send their identity to the government for follow-up.

Meanwhile, China’s state-run news agency says 5G and AI-driven chatbots are allowing doctors to provide virtual visits to help prevent and control the epidemic.


Several China-based mobile healthcare app vendors have banded together to make 10,000 clinicians available to provide free online medical consultation. Nearly 100 Internet hospitals are offering online diagnosis.


Universities are providing support to frontline workers using videoconferencing.

Services are also offering psychological hotline support for fatigued doctors and nurses.

Reader Comments


From Tally Ho: “Re: Health Data Management shutting down. That just leaves the former Healthcare Informatics as an independent, dead tree health IT publication.” I don’t know anything about any of them since I’m not a reader, but the former Healthcare Informatics has apparently undergone some corporate gyrations, too. Private equity-backed Endeavor Business Media was formed in 2017 to buy trade publications and has accumulated a bunch of them, including Healthcare Informatics (which it bought, along with its summit meetings business, from Vendome Group, which closed its doors immediately afterward) and Health Management Technology (from NP Communications). It merged those publications, both of which had been publishing for 40 years, into Healthcare Innovation. Its focus now is on events that include Hosted Buyer Summits, the sales-oriented concept it gained from another acquisition. Googling for background reminded me of the once-hot thing Institute for Health Technology Transformation (IHT2), which was acquired by Vendome in 2013 and went missing shortly afterward.

From Ben Gender: “Re: your People section. I know women are getting new jobs, but they aren’t equally represented in HIStalk. I went through eight months of posts and 70% involved men.” I publish every health IT hire I see as long as (a) the new job is VP level or above; and (b) the person has a connection to the industry. In other words, it’s not a new CFO who came over from a poultry processing plant. I look at all new hire announcements as well as scouring my LinkedIn connections for unannounced job changes, so if I’ve missed anyone, it’s because nobody announced anything and I was short on omniscience.


From Promo: “Re: my job. Loved it, lost it, looking.” I’ve never lost a job that I loved through adverse circumstances (layoff, reassignment, management conflict, etc.) because those key issues had already made me anxious to bail and I just needed someone else to pull the trigger. More common, I suspect, is accepting a promotion to a job you’ll eventually hate (for many technical or clinical folks, that means all levels of management) instead of staying with one you love and for which your talents are more appropriate. I’m annoying in always bringing up the Peter Principle – you get promoted until you finally reach a state of unhappy incompetence, then get stuck there because there’s no graceful way to go back down the ladder.

From Inferior Consultant: “Re: HITECH. Twitter users remind is that it’s the 11th anniversary of the $35 billion HITECH program and ask whether its 11 principles of health IT are being met.” Here are the mandated ONC responsibilities and my grade on each.

  1. Ensures that each patient’s health information is secure and protected, in accordance with applicable law. B. We’ve had some big breaches, but most were due to organizations not following accepted standards.
  2. Improves health care quality, reduces medical errors, reduces health disparities, and advances the delivery of patient-centered medical care. C. The potential benefits remain mostly a work in progress. The best ONC can do is to encourage use of technology that can support these goals, but it’s really up to providers to voluntarily act in the best interest of patients in the absence of incentives for doing so.
  3. Reduces health care costs resulting from inefficiency, medical errors, inappropriate care, duplicative care, and incomplete information. D. Providers who use technology sub-optimally and who refuse to share patient information have prevented any significant improvement in these goals and costs obviously continue to rocket out of control.
  4. Provides appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care. A. Providers don’t always use the information, but it’s there.
  5. Ensures the inclusion of meaningful public input in such development of such infrastructure. F. I don’t know that patients contributed much to the EHR discussion, but I doubt they were clamoring for patient portals.
  6. Improves the coordination of care and information among hospitals, laboratories, physician offices, and other entities through an effective infrastructure for the secure and authorized exchange of health care information. F. The standard called for actually improving the outcome, not just making technology available that providers ignore because of competitive data hoarding. This was an admirable but naive goal in assuming that providers will do the right thing rather than the most profitable thing.
  7. Improves public health activities and facilitates the early identification and rapid response to public health threats and emergencies, including bioterror events and infectious disease outbreaks. A for the outbreak part (Flint water crisis), but we lag most of the developed world in addressing public health and no amount of technology will change that. Our health system, like our national health, is awful if you’re poor.
  8. Facilitates health and clinical research and health care quality. A. Quality measurement hasn’t done much to improve our expensive, underperforming health system, but research capabilities have improved a lot (which unfortunately gives drug and device companies even more widgets they can shamelessly overprice).
  9. Promotes early detection, prevention, and management of chronic diseases. B. I’m almost willing to give an A here, but our fragmented, misaligned healthcare delivery system hasn’t improved chronic disease management as much as it could have, especially in “populations” rather than “patients.”
  10. Promotes a more effective marketplace, greater competition, greater systems analysis, increased consumer choice, and improved outcomes in health care services. F. EHRs and aggressive billing algorithms allowed rich health systems to get richer, suppress competition, and become even more brazen in their pricing practices.
  11. Improves efforts to reduce health disparities. F. This will happen only when it affects the bottom line of providers.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Thanks to the reader who alerted me that I forgot to enable the “multiple answers” option on this week’s poll. I’ve fixed it and reset the results, so please vote again.


I’m not sure why I thought about HBOC’s legendary book-cooker Charlie McCall today, but assuming he’s still alive, he is now 75 and presumably still a federal inmate for his role in our industry’s version of Enron. Here’s one of his Florida houses that I ran across while Internet snooping. It’s for sale at $10.8 million if you’re flush. Former McKesson CEO Mark Pulido — who pushed through the $14 billion HBOC acquisition despite investor resistance and surely regrets letting Charlie snooker him — sits on Inovalon’s board, was chairman and CEO of Ability Network through April 2018, and is now focusing on making great Cabernet with his wife at Pulido-Walker Cellars (fun fact: the label on the $240 bottles contains an apothecary symbol – Pulido was raised in Tucson, AZ and graduated from University of Arizona as a pharmacist). I started to Google stalk Charlie’s HBOC lieutenants Al Bergonzi, Jay Lapine, Richard Hawkins, etc. but realized that I don’t really care after all these years. I’m sure they’ve done well because that’s how wealth redistribution works for rich guys – you take their money and five years later they’ll have it back.


I was Googling for clueless companies that tout their participation in the “HIMMS” conference when I found this clever web page from Relatient. Well played, although a nitpicker would note the missing “and” in the HIMSS name.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Health Catalyst will acquire Able Health, which offers quality and regulatory measurement tracking and reporting tools.


  • I’m never sure whether a health system’s decision to not fire its vendor with a contract extension constitutes a “sale,” but either way, Intermountain Healthcare extends its agreement with Cerner. They must have renewed early since the original 10-year agreement was signed in late 2013.

Announcements and Implementations

Meditech announces Expanse Patient Care, a customizable mobile app for nurses and therapists that includes access to bedside verification, clinical decision support tools, patient assessments, and patient record review.

India-based Manorama Solutions will integrate Allscripts DbMotion with its EHR software. A quick glance at the company’s name in the headline made me think that it was an entirely different sort of business.



I was looking at future HIMSS conference dates and was surprised to see that Chicago – where HIMSS is located — is back in the mix for 2023 after failing miserably twice before (Strike 1 for HIMSS12 was the high cost of dealing with indifferent McCormick Place union workers, Strike 2 for HIMSS19 was finding that RSNA got lower hotel room rates). That pushes HIMSS23 back to the more blizzard-friendly dates of April 17-21, several weeks later than usual. I enjoyed Chicago last time because I rented a house near the White Sox’s Guaranteed Rate Field (what a horrible name), took Lyft back and forth to McCormick Place, and steered clear of the sterile hotels and overzealous glad-handers in favor of a quiet neighborhood that was near Greek and dim sum places. It was HIMSS09 (the year that both Cerner and Meditech elected to pass on exhibiting, as I recall) when the land bridge leading to the opening reception showed near-whiteout conditions on April 5. Coat check folks made mint.

Radiologists who work for big tech companies launch a “Ditch the Disk” campaign in touting image sharing that goes beyond CDs (spoiler: they work for companies that stand to make money from disk-ditching).


Researchers question whether smartphone-based research studies, such as those powered by Apple’s Research app, can ever provide generalizable results since so many participants drop out. Most of the eight studies that were reviewed could not get an ethnically and geographically representative sample of participants. The biggest drivers of ongoing participation were (a) having the study recommended by a clinician; (b) being paid; (c) being diagnosed with the condition being studied; and (d) being at least 60 years of age. The authors recommend that studies start in soft mode for the first week or two so that early dropouts won’t affect the result. They also note that a positive outcome is that researchers can study the dropouts to figure out why people in general aren’t interested in participating in research projects.


The local paper questions whether Cerner will meet its obligation to add retail stores to its $4.5 billion, 290-acre South Kansas City, MO Innovations Campus as required by its $1.63 billion incentive package. Cerner says it is struggling to attract developers that can meet the tax break’s requirement that they be owned by women or minorities and that they pay a prevailing wage. Cerner wants to amend the deal so it can sell off the retail part of the property and give up the incentives. A Cerner VP admits that the company had “total ignorance” about the process. The only development so far is a Hampton Inn and a Taco Bell, while locals who were anxious to gain access to restaurants and stores in return for the city’s diverted money still have to leave town, along with the Cerner employees who hit the Interstate to go home elsewhere without contributing to the local economy or culture.

Four hospital patients in Montana sue Ciox Health, claiming that the company overcharged them for copies of their medical records. The state caps charges at $0.50 per page for paper copies plus a maximum of $15 for retrieval. Ciox Health billed one patient $902 last fall, which included the allowed per-page and retrieval fees plus $56.80 in shipping even though the records were delivered electronically. The hospitals involved were also named in the lawsuit.

A South Carolina physical therapist who was fired for falsifying patient records for services he didn’t perform blames his heavy workload and faulty software that forced him to make entries on incorrect patients. The state has fined and reprimanded him.

Sponsor Updates

  • Strata Decision Technology CEO Dan Michelson will offer “Tales from the Trenches” at Matter February 26 in Chicago.
  • The Chartis Group’s Center for Rural Health releases the 2020 Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals and the 2020 Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals.
  • Diameter Health launches a new customer portal.

Blog Posts



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Morning Headlines 2/18/20

February 17, 2020 Headlines No Comments

Google to restructure Cloud business, with some roles eliminated

Shortly after closing its $2.6 billion acquisition of analytics startup Looker, Google announces layoff plans within its Cloud business as part of an overall restructuring that it says will help it better compete in five markets, including healthcare.

TTUHSC El Paso, TTP El Paso partner with Paso Del Norte Health Information Exchange

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and its physicians group have joined the Paso Del Norte HIE.

TapestryCare completes Series A Financing Led by Sopris Capital

Skilled nursing facility telemedicine company TapestryCare will use a Series A investment to expand into home health.

Curbside Consult with Dr. Jayne 2/17/20

February 17, 2020 Dr. Jayne 3 Comments


It was a wild and crazy weekend, as I got to experience what it was like to get rained on with 100,000 of my closest NASCAR friends. The race was postponed, so I get to do it again Monday, minus the presidential visit and military flyover since I doubt they’re going to send Air Force One and the Thunderbirds again.

I’ll be spending a lot of time in airports trying to get home due to the changes. When I fly, I usually try to catch up on continuing education or read something for my book club, because it doesn’t matter as much if I get distracted versus trying to do actual work. Most of my continuing ed journals are in the realm of emergency medicine or primary care, so I was happy to run across an interesting read in the healthcare IT arena.

A couple of days ago, a “published ahead of print” manuscript authored by some prominent clinical informaticists made some waves. Appearing in the online version of the journal Academic Medicine, it addresses the idea of commercial interests in continuing medical education, and how electronic health record vendors play a role.

Looking back 20 years, there was a great deal of continuing education that was sponsored either directly or indirectly by pharmaceutical companies. During medical school, pharmaceutical representatives would bring breakfast to a session with the not-so-subtle title of “Drugs and Donuts.” They would talk about their products and when they should be used, and I don’t doubt this led to heavy prescribing of the products.

A few years later, this evolved to a more subtle sponsorship of our Grand Rounds lunchtime lectures, where it was obvious who was paying for the steaming pans of sweet and sour chicken and what drug they sold. The reps no longer addressed the crowd, but were available to detail folks afterwards and hand out promotional items. At my school, some of these sessions were accredited for formal continuing education credits and the objectivity of the program was addressed, but others were much looser.

As the authors note, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) won’t give accreditation to commercial entities that produce, market, resell, or distribute health care goods or services used by or on patients. However, they will accredit academic institutions and other bodies who want to provide credit for courses they sponsor, and those institutions can accept pharmaceutical funding.

For now, ACCME doesn’t categorize EHR vendors as commercial interests and thus provides them accreditation to deliver continuing medical education. The authors note, “Like pharmaceutical company-sponsored CME events, EHR vendor activities, which inherently only focus on use of the sponsoring vendor’s EHR system despite its potential intrinsic limitations, can lead to physician reciprocity. Such events also may inappropriately influence EHR system purchases, upgrades, and implementation decisions. These actions can negatively influence patient safety and care.” They continue to “call on the ACCME to recognize EHR vendors as commercial interests and remove them from the list of accredited CME providers.”

I’ve had the opportunity to attend CME sessions put on by multiple vendors. They vary greatly in their content and how much general education is given versus how much it is really just a veiled training session. Some of the best sessions I’ve been to revolve around newer models of care delivery such as Patient-Centered Medical Home, Chronic Care Management, or Transitional Care Management. A good session will include an in-depth discussion of how the programs benefit patients, what they entail, how to bill for them, and what outcomes you might be able to glean from using them. Only a small percentage of the session is actually learning how to document the program in a given EHR. Bad sessions are little more than click-by-click directions for how to use the EHR, with CME provided to entice providers to attend when they otherwise didn’t participate in training.

I fully agree that being able to execute a workflow well in the EHR is beneficial to patients, as their data is more likely to be documented accurately and comprehensively. That doesn’t necessarily make a class worthy of continuing education credits, but I’ve seen it done.

The authors go on to explain why EHR vendors should be considered commercial entities. They note, “Even though the 21st Century Cures Act excluded EHR systems from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) oversight they should be considered medical devices similar to pacemakers, insulin pumps, and CT scanners, which are all under the purview of the FDA. No other commercial device or technology is used more often by physicians and other health care professionals than EHRs.”

One of their major points is that when EHR vendors sponsor CME sessions, they focus only on the vendor’s system and its benefits without mentioning competitor options. “Because every EHR system has intrinsic limitations, attendees are not adequately trained on alternate ways to solve problems… Instead of learning best clinical informatics practices and challenging the vendor to improve its product, attendees are presented with only the vendor’s worldview, which may result in their suboptimal or inappropriate use of EHR products or services on patients.”

One of their comments particularly resonated with me: “EHR vendors focus physicians’ attention on future enhancements to their systems so physicians may miss opportunities to implement available solutions that are more congruent with the needs of their patients, organizations, and the community.” I’m still waiting for an enhancement I requested back in 2006, despite the fact that other vendors include the request in their core functionality. Because the vendor kept promising it, there was no way my employer was going to fund an alternative solution.

The authors made some outstanding points, which was to be expected since several of them are leaders in the American Medical Informatics Association. This fact prompted a statement from AMIA noting that the article wasn’t reviewed or endorsed by the AMIA board of directors. Regardless, the AMIA statement calls on the ACCME to “recognize and consider the potential for bias when HIT vendors offer education to health care professionals” and goes further to urge ACCME to define EHR vendors as “commercial interests” in the same way that pharmaceutical or device manufacturers fit the definition.

AMIA states that although education on the use of EHR products is appropriate and relevant, it may not be appropriate for continuing education credit. The AMIA board asks CME organizations to “establish rules and processes by which they may support certified CME in a manner that is independent and unbiased,” just like drug and device companies must.

Knowing what I know about the ACCME, it will likely be some time before they respond to these calls to action. I’ll be curious whether they make a decision or whether they take it under advisement for further review. For many physicians who stay current in their specialties, it’s not hard to accrue all your required CME hours without relying on vendor-sponsored hours. Many of my colleagues have two to three times the number of mandatory hours simply but doing what they’re already doing to further their knowledge for patient care. I’ve got a couple of friends on vendor CME committees, and I’ll reach out and report back on what they have to say.

What do you think about EHR vendor-sponsored continuing medical education credits? Leave a comment or email me.


Email Dr. Jayne.

Readers Write: Is Healthcare Ready for a New Era of Transparency?

February 17, 2020 Readers Write No Comments

Is Healthcare Ready for a New Era of Transparency?
By Miriam Paramore

Miriam Paramore is president and chief strategy officer of OptimizeRx of Rochester, MI.


It’s not only patients who are demanding greater transparency around healthcare costs. It’s physicians and state and federal government officials. In just one year – January 2021 – a new federal rule will go into effect that requires all hospitals to post standard charge information, including discounted cash prices, payer-specific negotiated charges, and charges for at least 300 “shoppable” services, such as imaging, lab tests, and outpatient visits.

The rule, and associated rules for insurance companies, point to a new era of transparency driven by deepening healthcare consumerism. Increasingly, patients will be armed with data that allows them to guide their healthcare decisions in coordination with their healthcare providers, ultimately leading to more patient-centered care.

But this transparency also changes the patient-provider relationship. It’s never been more important to give both patients and doctors tools to navigate care options efficiently, allowing them to work together to make the best healthcare decisions, personalized to each patient.

The hard truth is that out-of-pocket healthcare costs for consumers continue to soar, creating notable financial burdens for patients and negatively impacting medication adherence and clinical outcomes. Amid continued growth of high-deductible health plans, deductibles alone rose 26% in 2019 from 2008, and expenditures are expected to continue to rise in 2020. Consequently, patients increasingly look to their providers for financial guidance and assistance.

Consider the impact of treatment cost on the day-to-day interactions between physicians and their patients. In May 2019, dermatologist Jack Resneck Jr., MD, chair of the AMA Board of Trustees, testified before Congress in a hearing on high drug prices about the experience of one of his patients. He noted that the wholesale price of the patient’s medications had quadrupled in price over the past 15 years. Faced with a pre-deductible PPO copay of 40%, the patient made the choice to stop his treatment. It’s stories like this one that contribute to rising healthcare costs.

Non-optimized medication therapy, including non-adherence, is linked to $528 billion in potentially avoidable healthcare cost. Notably, the vast majority of patients discuss healthcare costs with their doctors, according to a recent survey of 642 physicians across a variety of specialties. Doctors want patients to take medication that works for their health and their pocketbooks, and they know that one is often dependent on the other.

In the same survey, doctors indicated an overwhelming willingness to engage in these cost conversations with patients. Eighty-six percent of physicians surveyed indicated that they are comfortable discussing health care costs with patients, and over 90% believe they have a role to play in discussing healthcare costs with patients.

So how does the healthcare industry make these conversations part of standard practice? New platforms that build on healthcare providers’ existing electronic health records to streamline the reams of data – pharmaceutical options and costs, drug compatibility and patient adherence – are an important piece of the puzzle. Physicians need access to the data the pharmaceutical industry maintains, such as pricing and saving opportunities, while in the examining room with patients. Digital communication pathways that provide these resources to physicians will facilitate informed discussions that will ultimately drive a patient’s decision to follow through on recommended treatment.

Greater transparency is better not only for patients, who will have the opportunity to work in concert with providers to get the healthcare they can afford, but also for doctors, who will have access to the drug cost information their patients are requesting and to increase the likelihood of their patients following through on recommended care. Doctors already know that discussing drug cost is essential: 73% of physicians in the survey indicated that they feel the patient’s responsibility for cost is important when making a prescribing decision.

Digital tools are poised to facilitate this new era of transparency and improve healthcare outcomes and patient and physician success rates. Let’s make sure we encourage their implementation in time to move seamlessly into a patient-centered healthcare future.

Morning Headlines 2/17/20

February 16, 2020 Headlines 1 Comment

Feds probing how personal Medicare info gets to marketers

HHS OIG finds that CMS’s lack of oversight of its Medicare Part D eligibility database has allowed companies to submit millions of inquiries to harvest the personal health information of Medicare beneficiaries, potentially for use in telemarketing scams.

Innovaccer, the Leading Healthcare Technology Company, Raises $70 Million From Tiger Global, Steadview Capital, Dragoneer, Westbridge, Mubadala and M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund)

Patient records aggregator Innovaccer raises $70 million in a Series C funding round, increasing its total to $120 million.

Flywire Acquires Simplee to Transform Healthcare Payments Experience

Payments company Flywire acquires healthcare payments platform vendor Simplee.

Monday Morning Update 2/17/20

February 16, 2020 News 3 Comments

Top News


HHS OIG finds that CMS’s lack of oversight of its Medicare Part D eligibility database has allowed companies to submit millions of inquiries to harvest the personal health information of Medicare beneficiaries, potentially for use in telemarketing scams.

OIG looked at 30 pharmacies that are heavy users of the system – which processes E1 transactions that verify prescription eligibility — and found that 98% of them weren’t filling prescriptions for the patients whose information they retrieved. Those 30 providers submitted nearly 4 million eligibility verification transactions from 2013 to 2015.


Four of the pharmacies allowed outside telemarketers to use their provider numbers to do their own patient lookups. One provider had agreements to provide patient data to six marketing companies, who used that provider’s ID to submit 100,000 E1 transactions. An unnamed pharmacy management software company’s access was blocked after it responded to a CMS questionnaire.

HHS OIG has launched an investigation that it says will include several providers.

The report recommends that CMS (a) monitor providers whose E1 transaction volume is high compared to the number of prescriptions they submit; (b) issue guidance to remind users that E1 transactions cannot be used for marketing; and (c) make sure that only pharmacies and other authorized entities are submitting E1 transactions.

In a possibly related story, Surescripts terminated network access to healthcare data vendor ReMy Health last fall, claiming that the company was requesting patient and insurance information using the NPIs of providers who hadn’t treated those patients and then selling the information to drug marketing websites, including Amazon’s PillPack pharmacy. ReMy Health’s website is offline and former president Aaron Crittenden’s LinkedIn says he left the company this month and now serves as a business consultant for prescription discount vendor GoodRx.

Reader Comments


From Nightly Job: “Re: Atrium Health. Confirming that it is moving to full Epic in replacing Cerner and other systems. No announcement was made, but kickoff meetings start this week.” I assume that replacement includes Macon-based Navicent Health, a longtime Cerner user that Atrium Health acquired last year. Atrium Health has nearly as many hospitals and employees as AdventHealth, which announced last week that it will also replace Cerner with Epic.

From Bicuspid: “Re: clinical software implementation and upgrades. What are some best practices for getting go-live user feedback and providing updates?” I can only speak from my personal experience, but here you go:

  • Make it easy for users to communicate with someone who understands their software and job. Traditional help desk triage isn’t good for that since users don’t want to get stuck in the call queue knowing that the person they’ll get probably can’t help them.
  • Get support people out of the war room and onto the floors to interact with users. Assign each person an area to cover and have them do a twice-daily walk through to seek feedback. An “ask me” brightly colored T-shirt or vest helps.
  • Meet with key groups at their shift change so you can catch two sets of users at once to hear issues and communicate status. You’ll know things have settled down when there’s little left to talk about.
  • Send  a daily or twice-daily email that includes a description of newly reported problems, closed problems, and issues that are being investigated that require more examples. This lets frontline people know that problems are actively being solved and calls attention to the issues they may experience. It also saves everybody time in avoiding duplicate problem reports.
  • Assign each problem a severity and include the new/open/closed count in the daily email.
  • Include user tips in the daily email update, which you glean from support calls and observed issues
  • Put together quick Camtasia videos showing how to perform specific functions that seem to be misunderstood and link to them from a website or the update emails. This is a good way to show users any configuration changes they will experience (night shift and offsite employees are otherwise hard to reach).
  • Get problems to the vendor or any other groups promptly and keep your own record of what was reported, who’s working in it, and when resolution can be expected.

From Piney Woods: “Re: [medically related site name omitted.] They haven’t shut down yet like Health Data Management, but they are cutting back on conference coverage and have started running vendor propaganda pieces for cash, which they swore they would never do.” I’ve decided that Epic is to health IT news sites as Craigslist was to newspapers. They have marginalized or killed off a lot of software companies that advertised, and since Epic doesn’t run ads for the most part, that leaves a big void for sites that until recently had all kinds of cash-waving vendors jockeying for eyeballs. Sites with high expenses or an unattractive audience of non-decision makers will have to shrink for sure now that the Meaningful Use gold rush is over. Some of the health IT sites are so inexpertly done that I’ve always marveled that they commanded advertisers even in boom times, but this particular somewhat related one is the only site I envy for its quality, the community it has created, and the smart way it monetized that audience without shamelessly pimping itself out.

HIStalk Announcements and Requests


Only 40% of poll respondents think employers use their employee wellness programs and apps to rid themselves of workers who incur high medical costs. Alex says we overestimate employers since they probably don’t even remember that they offer wellness programs until contract renewal time. T. Morris says companies would be stupid to risk being called out for such behavior, but another respondent’s firsthand experience is that companies target employees with cancer or even those who have taken maternity leave. Realistic CIO says self-insured employers surely track their high-utilizer employees and/or family members, but most aren’t heartless enough to shed that cost as much as they would probably like to do so.

New poll to your right or here: Which organization would you trust to keep your identifiable health information private? (you can check more than one).

Listening: new from Violent Soho, a long-time Australian hard rock outfit that sounds remarkably like prime time Pixies and thus elicited my frantically unskilled air drumming. Spotify’s “Fans Also Like” option led me to the just-reunited Children Collide, which also sounds good.


None scheduled soon. Previous webinars are on our YouTube channel. Contact Lorre to present your own.

Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock


Patient records aggregator Innovaccer raises $70 million in a Series C funding round, increasing its total to $120 million.


Payments company Flywire acquires healthcare payments platform vendor Simplee.



Julie Murchinson, MBA (Health Evolution) joins Avia as executive in residence.

Announcements and Implementations

Dimensional Insight  partners with Stoltenberg Consulting to offer a service desk performance visibility and accountability analytics.

HIMSS announces COVID-19 related plans for the conference:

  • HIMSS is working with foreign registrants who have to cancel because they will be in China within 14 days of the conference and can’t get into the US.
  • They are asking hotels and the convention centers to adhere to CDC and WHO disinfection procedures.
  • Orlando health systems will provide input on the conference’s emergency response plan.
  • Three medical offices will be operated in the convention center, one of them dedicated to attendees who have flu-like symptoms.


London’s Royal Free Hospital blames a Cerner upgrade error for the non-delivery of 30,000 letters to patients and doctors over six months, with the hospital convening an internal inquiry into whether patients were harmed as a result.


The local paper covers the use by Medical City Dallas’s use of robots from Diligent Robotics for deliveries.


I was surprised when a reader told me that Health Data Management has shut down abruptly after 25+ years. Parent company Arizent — which renamed itself from SourceMedia a month ago – recently restructured under a new CEO, who replaced the whole executive team and announced plans to move beyond B2B publications. Arizent is owned by Observer Capital, whose initial holding was Jared Kushner-founded publisher Observer Media. I’m puzzled that they’re closing the HDM doors instead of selling, although maybe they tried and found no takers. They’re also killing off Information Management magazine.Fun fact: Bahrain-based private equity firm Investcorp paid $350 million for SourceMedia in 2004, split off the business unit that assigns banking routing numbers in 2009, sold that business for $530 million in 2011, and then sold the rest of the company in 2014. I’m sure Lorre will make it easy for any interested former HDM advertiser to become an HIStalk sponsor.


An article in Academic Medicine calls for EHR vendors to be treated like drug companies in not being allowed to offer accredited continuing medical education. The authors say EHR vendors could use CME events to influence doctors who are involved in EHR decisions.

Psychologists and public health experts explain why people all over the world are unreasonably scared of COVID-19 – which has infected just a handful of Americans and caused just 1,100 deaths worldwide – when plain old flu killed 34,000 Americans last year and 61,000 the year before. They say human brains evaluate threats irrationally:

  • Press coverage of COVID-19 fatalities makes it seem like a big, dangerous problem, when in fact 98% of people who have it are recovering.
  • Flu creates the opposite perception, where people underestimate the danger because they only see people who recover uneventfully.
  • The human mind is conditioned to pay the most attention to new threats, not longstanding ones like flu and automobile accidents.
  • Upsetting imagery, such as city lockdowns and overcrowded hospitals, makes the risk seem higher.



Sponsor Updates

  • The local business paper profiles MDLive’s role in treating flu patients.
  • Meditech provides decision support and guidance for COVID-19.
  • HealthPartners enlists Patientco for Epic-integrated payment processing.
  • Netsmart will exhibit at the GA Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Annual Conference February 19-21 in Athens.
  • Clinical Computer Systems, developer of the Obix Perinatal Data System, will exhibit at the AWHONN California Section Conference February 20 in Long Beach.
  • Redox releases its latest podcast, “Healthcare Data Privacy Rights with Attorney Matthew Fisher.”
  • Spok publishes an e-book titled “How to improve clinician experience through better communications.”
  • Relatient will exhibit at the HFMA Region 5 Southeastern Summit February 18-21 in Charleston, SC.
  • TriNetX offers turnkey protocol and site feasibility analyses on a per-study basis.

Blog Posts

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Mr. H, Lorre, Jenn, Dr. Jayne.
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Weekender 2/14/20

February 14, 2020 Weekender No Comments


Weekly News Recap

  • CVS talks up its in-store HealthHubs in its earnings call, saying its Aetna customers are interested in engaging with health navigators and its pharmacists can review a patient’s medical issues using both pharmacy and claims data.
  • CPSI’s Q4 results beat expectations as the company says it is benefitting from Athenahealth’s withdrawal from the inpatient market and Cerner’s declining interest in selling to small hospitals.
  • AdventHealth, which operates 67 hospital and ED facilities, announces that it will drop Cerner and several other EHRs and systems and replace them with Epic.
  • The VA pushes back its planned March 28 Cerner go-live at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center (WA) until at least the end of April, saying integration isn’t ready.
  • Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance announces that it will shut down on February 14.
  • Imprivata’s private equity owner is reportedly preparing the company for sale at a price in the $2 billion range.
  • An article whose author includes the AMA’s burnout expert calls for EHRs to report standard efficiency metrics using their log data, including measures of how doctors spend their time.
  • Nuance says in its earnings call that it will roll out its ambient clinical intelligence “exam room of the future” for five medical specialties in Q2.

Best Reader Comments

Another government response to the proposed interoperability rule that doesn’t actually address any of the privacy concerns that the letter / follow-up post contained. If he’s going to talk about walking the walk, then they need to be seriously pushing for HIPAA to be expanded in a way that accommodates the environment they’re trying to create.(Ex-Epic Chiming In)

This isn’t the first time it’s been reported that Cerner did that pricing. Same thing happened at University of Illinois Chicago. They had such an old / customized version of Cerner that it was reported that the cost to basically rebuild Cerner and modernize it was the same cost or close to it as moving to Epic. Keep in mind that Cerner’s revenue on actual licenses for Millennium is minimal at best (check the earnings report). Their largest cash cow is their consulting organization. (Associate CIO)

Nurses were “rescheduling” the patient’s meds on the Medical Record to an hour later to avoid those [late med reason question] popups. This disguised the problem of how often medications were actually being given late. Sometimes it takes empathy and seeing the problem with your own eyes before we can really make things better. More data collection does not always make a better metric and can sometimes miss the mark. (Robert Buehrig)

Those metrics look decent for ambulatory usage. You really only want EHR vendors to expose these metrics rather than try to operationalize them because you don’t want the EHR vendor to decide how much of your time you should spend writing notes. That means that it’s going to be up to your management to respond to those metrics. (What)

I do worry that the metric of “undivided attention” suggests that ANY attention the doctor pays to the information about the patient in the record is considered to be not in the patient’s best interest. One could imagine taking that to an unproductive extreme. I suspect that most patients these days are counting on the doctor’s taking the time to become informed about their care. When I go to my internist, I am counting on his putting it all together and coming up with a plan. He can’t do that without breaking eye contact with me, and I am OK with that. (Andy Spooner)

Watercooler Talk Tidbits


Readers funded the Donors Choose teacher grant request of Ms. H in Pennsylvania, who asked for a new table for her elementary school class. She reports, “Thank you so much for our new table! This year we are lucky to have 22 students in our class, but were we pretty cramped at the old furniture that we have. Little by little I have tried to trade out our furniture for newer and more spacious materials. Thank you for being part of our growth!”


An Illinois pediatrician who committed suicide last fall left a note that suggested he regretted falsifying medical records over a 10-year period for parents who didn’t want their children vaccinated. Van Koinis, DO practiced holistic medicine and was sought out by parents who needed falsified vaccination records to allow their children to attend school. The sheriff warns that the ambiguity of the doctor’s note may also mean that he didn’t give vaccines even when the parents assumed that he did.


Corpus Christi, TX police arrest a hospital’s on-duty ED doctor for public intoxication after witnesses reported that he was belligerent and walking around the ED’s public area wearing only underwear.


Overworked clinicians in Wuhan, China are shaving their heads to make it easier to don makeshift hazmat suits and are using adult diapers to save bathroom break time. China has only two doctors per 10,000 people and many of them do not have degrees. Hospitals are running out of medical supplies, protective suits and masks, and food. Some doctors have been assaulted by people who were upset about wait times, while others reported that the hospital’s entire supply of N95 protective masks had been seized by hospital executives for their own use. 

CDC mistakenly tells a San Diego hospital that several of its patients had tested negative for Covid-19 even though the samples of three of them had not yet been processed, allowing them to be returned to military base quarantine. One of the patients was later found to be infected. CDC blames an unspecified labeling error that may have been caused by the hospital’s assignment of phony patient names to protect privacy.

Kenya has spent $625 million since 2015 to lease diagnostic medical equipment from companies like Philips and GE, but more than one-third of the machines are sitting idle in hospitals that don’t have radiologists to operate them. Critics say the government should have spent the money on clinics and midwives, speculating that diverting the money into procurement contracts gave health officials a chance to line their pockets. Hospitals say they weren’t asked about their needs and in some cases received unneeded duplicate machines. The health ministry refused the auditor general’s request to review the contracts.

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Morning Headlines 2/14/20

February 13, 2020 Headlines No Comments

CVS Health beats on fourth-quarter earnings and revenue

CVS Health reports Q4 results: revenue up 23%, adjusted EPS 1.73 vs. $1.68, beating Wall Street expectations for both.

Carevive Systems raises new financing round with Philips and Debiopharm to accelerate advances in cancer care delivery

Oncology-focused technology company Carevive Systems raises a Series C round of financing led by Philips Health Technology Ventures and Debiopharm Innovation Fund.

Computer Programs and Systems (CPSI) Surpasses Q4 Earnings and Revenue Estimates

CPSI announces Q4 results: revenue down 2%, adjusted EPS $0.78 vs. $0.78, beating Wall Street expectations for both.



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Reader Comments

  • Jennifer: I think you are correct that Hyatt is the problem, not OnPeak or HIMSS. We booked rooms at 2 hotels for HIMSS. I notic...
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  • IANAL: Because he is clearly a good salesman....
  • Don: Ok, here's the truth, Ed Marx and Chris Belmont have probably created some of the biggest disasters in healthcare techno...
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