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Healthcare Social Media Happenings

Posted on October 10, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Seems like each day I’m getting more and more involved in healthcare social media. Although, as I was preparing for the social media panel at the Digital Health Conference in New York City (Final day to register for the event is Friday.) I realized that I no longer think about social media. It’s just an integral part of what I do and how I interact with the people around me. It’s a really satisfying feeling to think about social media now just being a natural part of my life and my work.

Digital Health Conference in New York City
For those of you who can’t attend the conference in New York, you can still follow along through social media at #dhc12 and during our social media session we’ll likely use #dhc12sm. For those who say they’re not on Twitter, you don’t have to be to follow the Twitter stream. Just click the links and enjoy the tweets. I did this for Health 2.0 since I couldn’t make it to San Francisco and a number of people in the #health2con twitter stream commented on how following a conference on Twitter was better than being there in person. I’d say it’s almost better, not quite better.

New York City Tweetup for Digital Health Conference
There’s still real value in face to face, but Twitter and other social media can enable the face to face as well. In fact, if you’re in or around NYC, we’re doing a Tweetup on Monday, Oct 15th from 5-7 PM at The Half King. You can see all the details and RSVP for the event here. 16 people already on the list, and certainly many more will show that learn about it at the conference or on Twitter. Everyone’s welcome to come.

Hosting #HITsm Chat
I also got an invite to host the #HITsm chat this week. What that means is that you’ll find me tweeting at Noon EST on Friday about 4 topics with some really smart people in healthcare IT. Many people like to participate using the #HITsm Tweetchat page (I usually use Hootsuite myself). I encourage readers to carve out some time on Friday morning and join in. Twitter chats are a beautiful mix of information, connection and collaboration.

As this week’s moderator, I was responsible for picking the 4 topics we discuss this week. I tried to pull the topics from a few of the major headlines and innovations I’d seen and written about recently. I expect these 4 topics are going to drive some really interesting discussion. Here they are for those who want to know what to expect from Friday’s chat:

1: A few in congress called for a halt on EHR incentives. Is this politics or something more? Are their observations founded?

For more information on the letter from the congressmen and some industry reaction, seeCongressmen Want Halt on Meaningful Use Payments.

2: Allscripts is the 2nd EHR vendor to discontinue their small practice EHR(MyWay), is this a trend and what’s the impact?

The news came out late last week that Allscripts had chosen to discontinue their popular MyWay EHR and try and transition those users to the Allscripts Professional EHR.  This is the second time an EHR vendor has sunset their small practice EHR in favor of their “enterprise” EHR.  GE Centricity Advance was the first example of a small practice EHR being sunset.

3: Is the hospital bed the ultimate medical device monitor?  What other med device monitors do you see on the horizon?

In this interview, Casey Pittock of BAM Labs makes a compelling case for the possibilities of what can be done with new smart bed technology.  The hospital bed is a unique opportunity for device monitoring.  What challenges does it have and what other device monitors have a lot of potential for healthcare?

4: What do you think of the remotoscope which allows you to diagnose ear infections at home using your iPhone?

Georgia Tech and Emory university created a clip-on attachment and app for the iPhone which turns it into an otoscope.  It is still going through clinical trials, but has the potential to avoid office visits for ear infections.  The remotoscope software includes the option to send the picture captured to your doctor for review.

I hope to see many of you on the #HITsm Twitter chat and in person in New York City!

National Patient Identifier, Allscripts Discontinues MyWay, EHR Incentive Payments Stopped, and Remotoscope — Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on October 7, 2012 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

EMR and EHR

HIMSS Pushes for National Patient Identifier System

An estimated 14 percent of medical records contain incorrect patient information. Because of this, deadly errors can occur. In an effort to cut back on these errors, HIMSS is trying to implement a national patient identifier system. A single identifier isn’t going to solve problems, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Dr. Nick, CMIO of Nuance Talks About Their Acquisition of Quantim and J.A. Thomas & Associates

In this interview, Dr. Nick discusses an important string of acquisitions by Nuance. This is an interesting move by Nuance and Dr. Nick does a good job of describing the vision of Nuance going forward with these acquisitions and their view of how healthcare documentation will happen in the future.

EMR Thoughts

Allscripts May Sell Out To Private Equity Buyer & Allscripts to Discontinue MyWay EHR

It has been a really busy week for Allscripts. First came the news that Allscripts was considering a sell to a Private Equity Buyer. This news is harder to read since it could mean a big sell or it could just be posturing. In what I think is even bigger news is that Allscripts is discontinuing their MyWay EHR. This is a big move on Allscripts part. It’s a necessary decision by Allscripts because they have too many EHR software to manage, but it’s going to leave a lot of doctors and a lot of VARs scrambling.

EMR, EHR and Healthcare IT News

HIMSS Opposes Call for Suspension of EHR Incentive Program

We’ll be writing some more pieces soon on the members of Congress that are calling for a halt on the HITECH Act and payment of EHR incentives. However, this was HIMSS’ response to the request to halt EHR incentive payments. It’s not a surprising response, but I do like the data that HIMSS provides to the conversation. Most people see this move as a political one, and not necessarily one that puts the HITECH EHR incentives at risk.

Hospital EMR and EHR

Smart Bed Technology Interview with Casey Pittock of BAM Labs 

Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Bam Labs was recently interviewed over at Hospital EMR and EHR. BAM Labs created the Smart Bed, a mat that is placed under a person’s mattress that can measure heart rate, breathing rate, and motion. Pittock discusses how it was created, the accuracy of it, and how providers can interact with the data.

Meaningful Health IT News

Attending Health 2.0? Donate Your Old Smartphone

If you have plans to attend Health 2.0 next week, be sure to bring along any old smartphones. Health eVillages will take the device and load onto it different medical materials and sent to doctors that are in third world countries. There are sites for Health eVillage in the countries of Haiti, China, Kenya, and Uganda, with plans to expand to more.

Wired EMR and EHR

The Naivete of mHealth

There are many mHealth creations coming out at a rapid pace. At first glance, these innovations seem incredible and life-changing. However, without supporting documents and proof of the effectiveness, the money and time that goes into implementing certain technologies might not be worth it. This post talks about a home monitor for CHF, and although it’s a great idea, unless a patient is really dedicated to following all the alerts, it may not be effective. Technology needs to be reliable and proven to work before it should be recommended for use.

Smart Phone Health Care

Remotoscope – Diagnose Ear Infections at Home Using Your iPhone

Many children get ear infections, and it’s no fun taking them to the doctor if the diagnosis of one is uncertain. Luckily, a new tool has been invented to help parents and physicians diagnose from home. The tool is a detachable clip that turns a smart phone into otoscope, and parents can take a picture of their child’s eardrum to send to their physician for further analysis.

Meaningful Use Does Not Ensure Solid EHR Company – Meaningful Use Monday

Posted on April 30, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

For those of you who don’t follow all the inside EHR “baseball” that’s happening right now with Allscripts, you might want to check it out. If you use one of Allscripts various EHR software (do they have 6 EHR softwares now? I lose count) then you really want to pay attention. Here’s my cliff notes version of what’s happened for those who don’t want to research the details. Half the Allscripts board left and so did the CFO. It appears it was an Eclipsys departure with the previous Allscripts board members and CEO Glen Tullman remaining. After this happened the stock (MDRX) plummeted.

While to those inside the EMR world will realize that this isn’t a death knell for everything Eclipsys related, many who don’t know how important the Eclipsys software is for Allscripts could easily see this a different way. Of course, in the heartless world of publicly traded companies and CEO’s doing what they can to prop up stock price, you never know what action they might take next.

The best evaluation I saw of the Allscripts situation is that it is very likely that Allscripts and Glen Tullman will use this stock drop to start making even more drastic moves. For example, we all know that they don’t need that many EHR software and so none of us should be surprised if they choose to sunset 1 or more of their EHR software. Yes, that’s right. Your EHR software isn’t safe even if you buy it from a large EHR vendor like Allscripts (see also when GE ceased operations of Centricity Advance).

Think about it from Allscripts perspective. It takes A LOT of extra resources to ensure that multiple EHR software products are even just meeting the meaningful use and certified EHR requirements let alone actually creating innovative new EHR software features. Cutting out an EHR software will provide a huge cost savings to Allscripts going forward.

Why is this the topic of Meaningful Use Monday? I think this is an incredibly important topic related to meaningful use, because I can already see the physicians and practice managers hitting my website if Allscripts chose to cease their Allscripts MyWay EHR offering (I have no indication that Myway is gone. I’m just speaking hypothetically). I’m quite certain that many physicians and practice managers will wonder how an EHR vendor could sunset or stop developing an EHR software that is certified for meaningful use.

It’s quite simple: Meaningful Use and EHR Certification are NO guarantee of an EHR software’s long term viability.

I have a section in my EMR selection e-Book about ensuring the viability of your EHR vendor. I’ll admit that it’s not an easy task and is more art than science given our limited information about MANY EHR vendors. However, it’s worth considering the long term plans of an EHR vendor and a particular EHR software in that vendor’s quiver. Although, meaningful use and EHR certification do nothing to help you in that regard.

One final warning: we’re just at the start of EHR vendors going out of business, EHR vendors being bought by larger vendors, EHR software being closed down, EMR software being sunset. I give it another year before the Tsunami of EHR software mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, fire sales hit our shore. Although, the early warning signs are there and so we should prepare for the oncoming wave. The challenge is knowing where you can find high ground.

Interview with Allscripts President and Xerox Executive VP About $500 Million Hosting Services Contract

Posted on April 29, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many of you probably already saw the announcement of the $500 million contract that was signed between Allscripts Healthcare Solutions and ACS, A Xerox Company, to provide hosted IT service for the Allscripts’ Sunrise Enterprise Suite. Considering the size of the contract, I thought it would be interesting to do an interview to learn more about the Allscripts and ACS (Xerox) relationship.

The following is an email interview with Lee Shapiro, President, Allscripts and Chad Harris, Executive Vice President and Group President, ACS Healthcare Provider and IT Applications Solutions. They duck a few of the questions, but provide some information about their relationship that I think’s useful and interesting.

Lee Shapiro, president, Allscripts

What percentage of Allscripts Sunrise Enterprise Suite customers use the hosted model vs. in-house servers?
There are approximately 50 remote hosted clients.

Why did Allscripts choose to outsource the hosting after having the infastructure in place?
As the payment paradigm in healthcare shifts and our clients’ growing and complex needs around new regulatory requirements continue to evolve, ACS, A Xerox Company will support Allscripts as it scales to deliver service levels required for diverse healthcare settings.

Immediately ACS will begin to focus on standardizing and optimizing our operational processes, help to manage our Service Level Agreements on system availability and enhance our recovery and security capability.

This alliance also helps us deliver faster client case resolution. Longer term, it will enable us to deliver a richer toolset, broader set of monitoring capabilities, access to geographic data centers and new services. Allscripts will still have a remote hosting business and will continue to manage all aspects of the alliance and client relationships. Data is always available whether it is remotely hosted or not.

Do you expect to outsource the hosting of MyWay and other Allscripts hosted EMR products to ACS down the road as well?
Allscripts is always evaluating options to provide the best service support for its growing and diverse customer base.  Right now, our ACS alliance is the best solution to meet current and projected needs.  We will continue to evaluate.

Are you concerned that customers will have issues with having to work with two large companies?  Instead of “one neck to ring” they will have multiple companies that can point the “proverbial finger” at the other.
Allscripts is excited about this partnership and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We will continue to manage the client relationship at every level, including sales and support and will also provide our healthcare industry domain expertise in partnership with ACS’s world class remote hosting infrastructure.  This is a single solution for our clients.  It is an exciting combination.

What share of the 96 providers using these remote hosting services are hospital versus ambulatory?
Allscripts has not entered to an agreement with ACS on ambulatory.


Chad Harris, executive vice president and group president, ACS Healthcare Provider and IT Applications Solutions

Describe how the transition of hosting will occur for existing customers.
The transition of hosting services will be seamless for Allscripts customers. From a governance perspective, Allscripts will continue to have a direct relationship with hosted clients, handling overall client relationship management activities including fielding service requests and projects, reporting, invoicing, and sales support.

ACS, A Xerox Company, will run and maintain the current systems by assuming responsibility for day-to-day technical delivery and data center operations, and supporting Allscripts in its continued service of new and existing hosted customers.

As part of the arrangement, ACS maintains the existing Allscripts data centers under what is commonly referred to as a facilities management agreement.  ACS will optimize the data center footprint and technical environment overtime under a structured long term plan involving no impact to the clients.  Additional capacity will be provided to support growth and expansion via ACS’ global data center and operations network.

ACS will introduce industry standard best practices, new tools and other forms of automation, as well as additional services including advanced recovery to improve service excellence, performance and reliability of the hosting operation.

Will Xerox be bringing their expertise in printing and scanning to this relationship as well or only their hosting operations?
While Xerox technology is not specifically part of the current hosting engagement, ACS is investing in a Healthcare Innovation Lab for Allscripts to evaluate integration of new technologies, cloud computing solutions and  client-specific deployment and testing initiatives. In addition, ACS and Allscripts will form an Innovation Council to evaluate future technologies and work processes that will help Allscripts support the changing needs of providers.

After the recent Amazon cloud hosting outages, what’s ACS and Allscripts doing to make sure similar outages don’t occur?
The Allscripts application environments are critical patient care systems and as such require an architecture that supports a very high level availability and performance. Under the new hosting partnership, ACS will work with Allscripts to maintain and improve application uptime and operational resiliency through a high availability architecture and advanced recovery capability. High availability is achieved through the deployment of failover technology, or methods, that ensure system availability and transaction protection. The most common configuration utilizes the active/passive clustering approach.

The Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM) application is cluster aware and is configured in a clustered environment. ACS utilizes the high availability clustering supported by SCM application servers to ensure that all single points of failure are resolved and the application can quickly return to service after a loss of the primary server