Meet the Bloggers at HIMSS

Just a reminder that a group of bloggers are going to be getting together one evening at HIMSS. This is our chance (and yours) to get to know the folks
we've been reading, quoting and linking to our blogs.

meeting Sunday evening after the HIMSS opening reception at
8:30 pm at an Irish bar Hennessey's Gaslamp, a few blocks from the convention
center. You can get directions (via a Google map) here. Since we eschewed sponsorship, everyone will be responsible for their own food and drinks.

You can see who's attending by clicking here, and you can add yourself to the list here.

Read More

Remote ICU Approach to Care Gains Acceptance

In what is a sort of watershed event, a paper published (full text $19.95) in the Journal of Nursing Administration by authors Rabert and Sebastian declare “virtual ICUs” or “tele-intensivists” as an accepted way to improve patient safety in most hospitals.

UPDATE: According to reader David (who is not as cheap as I am, and read the full text), the account in the paper above is Lehigh Valley using iMDSoft.

Read More

CPOE Adoption Disappoints

Modern Healthcare complained yesterday (reg. req.) about the miniscule adoption rate of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems. The recent hype about health care IT has attracted many new observers and participants (and some long term ones like Modern Healthcare) that don't seem to realize how expensive EMRs and CPOE is to buy and implement - it's not like most hospitals are rolling in cash these days.

Market figures vary from 4.1% (KLAS in 2004) to 2.5% (HIMSS Analytics). The 16th annual Modern
Healthcare Survey of Executive Opinions on Key Information Technology
Systems, to be published Feb. 13, reports that 11.5% of 601 respondents
claimed their organization had completed an enterprise wide CPOE
installation while another 24.1% indicated that a CPOE implementation
was under way - looks like wishful thinking to me..

HIMSS Analytics has outlined seven stages in a clinical IT adoption
staircase toward a fully paperless facility in which CPOE is but the
fourth stage. Davis says that while few hospitals have stepped up to
CPOE, far more are on the climb. Just 17% of hospitals have not reached
the first stage toward full IT implementation: having computerized
laboratory, pharmacy and radiology systems in place. But 22% of
hospitals do have these fundamental systems installed and another 48%
have achieved stage two, where these systems feed their information
into a central, clinical data repository. Stage three-electronic
clinical documentation of vital signs, nursing notes, care plans and
medication administration records-has been achieved by about 10% of

Beyond CPOE is stage five, a closed-loop medication
administration system, which has been reached by “only a handful of
hospitals,” according to HIMSS Analytics. Stage six-in which physicians
use computerized templates to fully document patient encounters-and
stage seven-IT nirvana, a completely paperless hospital capable of
connecting to other providers in the region through an information
interchange-are so rare they didn't produce a reportable percentage.

Health care IT adoption will increase when one of a number of scenarios plays out. First, EMRs and CPOE could be commoditized - possibly through some sort of Open Source movement, or government fiat - greatly lowering the purchase price. The feds could give each hospital about $25 or $30 million to buy CPOE and an EMR, which would still take several years due to planning and implementation time frames. Or the market could develop as it traditionally does, and take ten to twenty years to reach full penetration. In any event it will be an interesting ride.

Read More

HemoSense Announces Smokin' First Quarter Financials

I profiled HemoSense just last week. Today they announced Q1 results:

Total revenue for the fiscal 2006 first quarter was $3.4 million, an
increase of 112% from total revenue of $1.6 million in the fiscal 2005
first quarter. Domestic revenue was $2.8 million and international
revenue was $619,000, increases of 164% and 12%, respectively, over the
fiscal 2005 first quarter. Total revenue comprised $1.3 million in
revenue for INRatio(R) meters and accessories, reflecting 91% growth
from the fiscal 2005 first quarter, and $2.1 million in revenue for
INRatio test strips, an increase of 129% from the fiscal 2005 first

HemoSense reported a gross profit of $1.1 million
for the quarter, or 32% of total revenue, up from a gross loss of
$383,000 for the fiscal 2005 first quarter. This also marks a
significant improvement over the 12% gross profit margin in the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2005, which was the Company's first-ever quarter with
positive gross profit. The improvement from the prior year was
primarily due to higher unit sales and production volumes of test
strips and process efficiencies.

They still lost money for the quarter - operating as a public company, sales and marketing expenses, R&D - but they are coming right along. That $10 million private equity placement will help lengthen their “cash runway.”

Read More

Emergin to Dominate Connectivity Software at HIMSS

At last year’s HIMSS it seemed that Emergin was everywhere. Every time I turned around there they were, providing the connectivity middleware for both medical device vendors and others. This year will be no exception, with Emergin appearing in 16 different booths.

It has also been announced that Johnson Controls (who is making a big push to broaden their health care presence) has made a minority investment in Emergin. I’m still waiting for Johnson Controls to actually list health care as one of their vertical markets on their web site. Emergin also plays a critical piece in Cisco’s Clinical Connectivity Suite offering.

UPDATE: Someone from Johnson Controls was nice enough to provide me with a link to the health care section of their web site today. Thanks!

Read More