HIT Newser: Black Book Rankings Not So Unbiased?

flying cadeucii Black Book: Not so Unbiased and Relevant?

Black Book Rankings announces that it will change its EHR survey methods and remove ballots cast by provider organizations that serve as resellers/VARs, and/or channel partners. The organization reviewed previous surveys and discovered that 33 hospital resellers had cast EHR satisfaction and loyalty ballots for 740 physician practices, and that 93% of the physician practices and small hospitals felt obligated to only select the EHR offered by their hospital.

Well, duh! I have always been a little suspect of Black Book’s survey method since their findings are often so different than the rankings from KLAS. If I were a vendor with a website that proudly displayed a high ranking from Black Book, I think I would quietly remove that reference, at least for now.

Epic Opening App Exchange

Epic Systems is launching its own app store, giving outside companies the ability to market applications that work with Epic’s EHR. According to former Nordic Consulting CEO Mark Bakken, the app store will “open the floodgates” for anyone who knows Epic and wants to get their products in front of Epic clients quickly.

Politically it’s a savvy move, since Epic wants to continue dispelling those rumors that its system is closed and lacks the interoperability of some of its competitors vying for the DoD’s $11 billion EHR contract.

CDC: EHR Adoption Up in EDs and OPDs

The CDC reports that EHR adoption in emergency departments jumped from 46% in 2007 to 84% in 2011, and EHR use in outpatient departments grew from 29% in 2006 to 73% in 2011.

Obviously the EHR incentive program has helped spur adoption, though the CDC notes that as of 2011 only 14% of EDs and 16% of OPDs had EHR technology to support nine Stage 1 core set objectives. The authors also point out that the study is limited in its estimate of overall hospital readiness for Stage 1 MU because the study measured only nine core set objectives of the 14 required and EDs and OPDs were the only departments included.

The Argument for More Behavioral Health Data in Stage 3

Officials from an IOM committee argue that HHS should have providers beef up details of patients’ socioeconomic status and behavioral health as part of Stage 3 MU. The authors argue that the information would provide more patient-centered, accountable care and allow for more accurate diagnoses and treatments.

While it’s hard to argue the benefits of a more complete patient record, look for privacy and security advocates to provide some pushback, as well as providers who are already feeling overburdened by current documentation requirements.

Apple Watch Won’t Watch Your Health

Apple is stripping much of the health-related features from its Apple Watch because of failures during testing.  The first version of the watches, which will start at $349 when they debut next month, will not include heart-rate monitoring or blood-pressure testing, but don’t rule out those technologies for future models.

Show Me the Money

  • Atheer, a technology company developing a smart glasses platform for the O/R, raises $8.9 million in Series D financing.
  • Castlight reports Q4 EPS of ($0.17) compared to last year’s ($1.79), beating estimates by $0.05. Revenues were up 182% to $14.5 million versus estimates of $13.2 million. Despite the strong performance, Castlight’s stock price fell 25% Friday upon guidance that projected Q1 and 2015 results would miss analyst forecasts.
  • HealthStream Q4 results: revenues up 22% y/y, but missing estimates; EPS of $0.09 versus $0.06 were in-line with expectations.

Wheeling and Dealing

  • North Carolina’s Mission Health will implement QlikView and Qlik Sense for guided analytics and self-service visualization.
  • Wisconsin’s Holy Family Memorial announces plans to implement Cerner EHR in the second quarter and complete its activation in 2016.
  • Gothenburg Memorial Hospital in Nebraska goes live on Cerner March 9.

New Blood

  • The MGMA names Halee S. Fischer-Wright, MD president and CEO. She currently serves as CMO of Centura Health System’s St. Anthony Health Campus in Westminster, CO.
  • Patient engagement and analytics solution provider NavisHealth appoints former Beacon Partners EVP Jon Mello COO.


  • KLAS releases a new report which concludes that the “competition between Epic and Cerner is closer than it has been in years.” Good to know, but anyone in the HIT world who wasn’t aware that Epic and Cerner currently dominate the acute care space has been living under a rock.
  • A Texas man is charged in federal court for his alleged role in a $1 million fraud scheme in which a Dallas-area hospital paid for the purchase of an MRI from co-conspirators posing as Cerner employees.
  • The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Center for Health Insights and Truman Medical Center will use de-identified patient data supplied by Cerner to gain insight on local healthcare and on ways to improve care.
  • Surescripts predicts a 400% increase in electronic prescriptions of controlled substances in 2015, to at least five million.