An Epic Loss for Cerner and GE
Mayo Clinic announces it will replace its existing Cerner and GE systems with Epic’s EHR and RCM system.
The prestigious Mayo Clinic name and clinical reputation make the win especially sweet for Epic, which is in the running for the DoD’s $11 billion EHR contract. Analysts estimate that Mayo will pay Epic “hundreds of millions” over the next several years.
Google Glass Confusion
Earlier this month Google announced the end of its Glass Explorer program and sales of its existing version of Glass. Many mainstream publications carried “Glass is Dead” headlines, which is certain attention-grabbing, though not entirely true.
Individual consumers had the option to pay $1,500 to purchase Google Glass through the now-defunct Glass Explorer program. Enterprise businesses, such as HIT vendors Augmedix and Pristine, are still able to buy the existing version of Glass through Google’s Glass at Work program. In other words, if you’re interested in using Google Glass in a healthcare setting, that option is still available through a Glass at Work partner.
Meanwhile, Google says it is working future versions of its Glass product – though no one is saying when the next release will be.
AAFP Urges Relief from Administrative Burdens
In a letter to the ONC, the AAFP urges greater focus on population health management, care coordination, and patient engagement. The letter, written in response to a request for public comments to the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, also stressed the need to ease the administrative burden that physicians face.
ONC Adds a Chief Information Officer
In a letter to staff, ONC head Dr. Karen DeSalvo names Dr. Michael James McCoy as the agency’s first chief health information officer, tasked with leading interoperability efforts and the development of clinical policy for standards and regulatory matters.
Last month the ONC released its HIT 10-year strategic plan, which stressed the need to improve interoperability between systems. The appointment of a physician with experience in developing HIT standards sounds like a pretty good place to start.
Physicians Elevate EHR Certification Concerns
The AMA and 35 physician specialty groups send a letter to the ONC’s Dr. Karen DeSalvo urging changes to the EHR certification program in order to increase product usability, interoperability, and safety. The organizations also recommend decoupling EHR certification from the MU program; a re-consider of alternative software testing methods; and, increasing education on EHR implementation.
And so the EHR frustration continues with the voices getting seemingly louder. Up on the Hill, AMA lobbyists are undoubtedly sharing the story with sympathetic legislators in hopes of some sort of mandated relief.
Congress to Consider Interoperability Bills
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) will introduce legislation requiring interoperability to be standard for EMR certification. Meanwhile Michael Burgess (R-TX) is working on a bill that would require HHS to determine whether health systems are sharing clinical information that is used to coordinate care.
Critics, such as CHIME, claim the bills would be useless without a national patient identifier.
Wheeling and Dealing
- The UAE Ministry of Health rolls out Cerner’s online patient portal, allowing residents of Dubai and Northern Emirates to communicate with their providers and access their clinical records.
- Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare will spend three years and $54 million transitioning 14 hospitals from McKesson’s EMR to Epic.
- The 350-provider Tulane University Medical Group goes live on eClinicalWorks Care Coordination Medical Record platform for population health management.
Show Me the Money
- Technology company Roper Industries acquires Strata Decision Technology, a provider of a cloud-based analytics and performance platform for the healthcare industry. Strata will operate as part of Roper’s medical segment.
- Ringly raises $5.1 million Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Ringly has developed a ring that connects to the wearer’s smartphone and sends customized notifications using vibration and light. The company says there are no healthcare apps yet, but it could still be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for anyone who wants to impress a tech-loving sweetheart.
- NextGen parent company QSI announces Q3 EPS of $0.16, beating estimates by $0.12. Revenue was up 13.4% to $123.42 million, beating estimates by $2.09 million.
- Alexandria Estate Equities plans to raise $20 million to build digital health companies from scratch in San Francisco.
- Orion Health adds Cheryl McKay and Pam Stout as nurse executives with its consulting services team, and Richard Swafford as director of clinical consulting.
- Cerner and the University of Missouri Health Care open a patient-centered technology-enabled clinic which is expected to serve over 100,000 outpatients this year.
- EpicCare Ambulatory and Praxis earned the top satisfaction scores in a small AAFP survey that looked at why physicians are switching EHRs and the impact of change. Thirty-nine percent of physicians claim they are not happy with their new systems and cite revenue, productivity losses, and traumatizing EHR transitions.