Are EHR vendors becoming Population Health corporations?

An interesting article surfaced in Healthcare IT News that suggested that executives at some healthcare software vendors want to transform themselves from generically being deemed as an EHR vendor and become a Population Health company like Cerner’s CEO Zane Burke told Healthcare IT News. 

Being able to access data relevant for patient care should be possible regardless of the format it is presently in or whether it is in an EHR,  national database or in pdf format. 
The constraints that “EHRs” are presently may not allow for this functionality  (yet). The article goes on to state that providers are also moving towards precision medicine, accountable care management, chronic care management and value based reimbursement. 
Movement for many on the ground is still in the initial stages and only those provider organizations with deep pockets and the ability to leverage collaborative working relationships with solution vendors can think about moving forward with all of the initiatives mentioned above in a meaningful way. 

Truly Epic! R&D Spending sensation 


In a story published on September 13th , 2016 by Healthcare IT News (HIT News), Epic Systems’ founder Judy Faulkner  ( just ‘ Judy’ to many in the Healthcare IT world) revealed that Epic invested something like 50% of its operating expenses on research and development, outstripping all organization in and out of the Healthcare IT ecosystem. 

HIT News verified through federal filings that Cerner spent 19%, Allscripts spent 34% and athrnahealth was at 10%. Google spent 45% of its operating expenses on R&D  (or $12 billion) and seemed to be the closest when it came to a percentage of operating budget. 

The thought that ran through my mind was ” Has this translated to better and more efficient and streamlined patient care at Epic’s customers versus provider organizations that have implemented a competing product? I’m all for R&D and believe that it’s really what makes America great  (I don’t think we’ve lost the ‘greatness’ since 1776 when the Founding Fathers declared independence, but that’s another story for another day). The technology of the 21st century has indeed been spurred by American innovation and ingenuity  (Facebook,  Twitter and the entire world of Social Media). R&D brings us medicines that have been life changing to many and previously were inconceivable even in the latter part of the 20th century, but with the cost of patient care rising and many Americans wondering how to get them within reasonable limits anymore, does this only add to our costs in the patient community or will it be the savior of millions and have a lasting impact for the country and the world. Makes you think. …

Omaha, Omaha, Yay Putin?

As always, the opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else’s. 

What a wild ride this year has been so far. As my son and I watched the Broncos -Panthers game, it dawned on me that I’ll never hear the famous words from the just retired Peyton Manning anymore. The young next generation QB on the Broncos team though didn’t do too badly though and seemed to keep his cool as he faced the Panthers and end up getting the better of them in the end. Flipping to the wacky Presidential election we’re going through, apparently Vladimir Putin is the new standard of excellence in leadership. 
I always look at our nation’s Declaration of Independence and focus on the words “We the people ” in the Constitution therafter, in the 18th century, those were indeed revolutionary words to even think about,  let alone write as a declaration. 

In our world we need to think ever more about empathy and healthcare as never before. Working at Healthcare Providers for some time now, I see the need for a better more efficient and effective way to care for people and believe truly that a combination of collaborative project management, appropriate resource allocation and technology that enhances patient care and safety has the ability to transform patient care in a positive way. 

I’ve also seen of late, the return of racist elements I’m society that were previously kept at bay which disappoints me greatly. 

Stay focused on the real substance of the world, the care and empathy that we all should have to better understand the human connection that makes us live a more harmonious existence. 

If you’re reading this blog post, just look around you and realize all of the good that is in your life and appreciate the ability to be able to give more of yourself for causes such as better patient care through information technology. 

Go get ’em!

HIMSS16 Recap

Opening Keynote
Opening Keynote

From the opening keynote of HIMSS16, I’m always enthralled with the size of the event and what the HIMSS team based out of Chicago has to work on all year to make the event a great one. From making sure that the speakers are great to working on the logistics and the events within the event, it is a spectacle like no other. This time, I had a few newbies to the event that were more enthralled than I was (which is certainly something to behold). I must say though, that the opening keynotes were interesting as the audience first heard from Sylvia Matthews Burwell, Secretary of Health & Human Services and Michael Dell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dell Inc who spoke in a “fireside chat” between him and Mark D. Barner, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Ascension; Chief Executive Officer, Ascension Information Services. Right after the opening keynote, we went to the vendor area on the first floor for the reception that allowed us to mingle with the smaller vendor booths, which for startup organizations or those that wanted to have conversations with their potential buyers, was a great idea by HIMSS. Kudos to whomever thought of it.

Interoperability Showcase
Interoperability Showcase

The Interoperability Showcase this year, which was what I was most eager to see, didn’t light up my interest as it had done last year. During my conversations with the team at HIMSS at the HIMSS Spot location (it’s usually located at the center of it all), I understood that the conference had probably attracted somewhere around forty three thousand people which is on par with what I had expected.

HIMSS Spot
HIMSS Spot

On Tuesday March 1st, one of the first sessions I attended was titled “Actionable Analytics: From Predictive Modeling to Workflows” which was presented by the awesome team of Ari Robicsek, MD (Vice President, Clinical Analytics) & Chad Konchak, MBA, (Director, Clinical Analytics) from Northshore University Health System in Illinois. They really fired up the imagination of the audience when they were able to show the progression of flu on a map on the screen that had the audience very impressed with the work that they did. This session was so packed that there were people sitting on the stairs as it was so in demand. From sessions on analytics, process improvement, Office365, constructing a new hospital organization from the ground up where Sajid Ahmed, CHCIO, (Chief Information & Innovation Officer, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital) in a neighborhood that needed it badly presented a great story of personal and community achievement in”A Connected Hospital and Connected Community Partnership”, visiting the exhibit hall and getting in some networking while we were at it, this conference was one to remember. Oh and the DeLorean below was one that I’d like to take back to Monday, February 29th, 2016 and try and go to HIMSS16 over again and try and see some of the sessions that I would have liked to if I was able to be two places at once!

Back to HIMSS16 DeLorean