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Say What?

Gary Baldwin, for HealthLeaders Media, April 15, 2008

Here in Chicago, I participate in a public speaking group, Toastmasters International. One of our goals is communicating without using clichés, jargon, and hyperbole. This is no easy goal for someone steeped in healthcare IT, as I am deluged with all three. By way of example, I offer the following excerpts from recent press releases. These appear in their raw, unedited form (with the exception of a hospital name I excised), bizarre capitalization and all. Welcome to my world of end-to-end, layered, and revolutionary solutions that are continuously enhancing quality improvement across the enterprise.

Complete and end-to-end
Perimeter eSecurity, the only provider of Complete Security On Demand, today launched their electronic Protected Health Information offering, ePHISecurity. ePHISecurity is the first and only on demand layered IT security solution for healthcare organizations. Entities covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 now have access to a complete, end-to-end security infrastructure, with over 50 pre-integrated security services, that traditionally only large healthcare organizations could implement and afford.

Gary’s comment: I am always delighted to read about industry firsts, especially in the area of “on-demand layered security.” However, I am a bit perplexed how, in the past, “only large healthcare organizations could implement and afford” the service. I thought it did not exist prior to this product announcement. But what do I know? Maybe it has something to do with the “pre-integrated services” part.

The industry’s first
Intellitactics SAFE is the industry’s first green appliance strategy for managing information security.

Gary’s comment: As you can see, information security is an industry booming with “firsts.” Intellitactics may have lost out to Perimeter in the race to be first with on demand, layered security. But it made up for that with the first “green appliance” strategy. Perhaps it means this works well with those nifty colored laptops you see.

Orchestration technology
Enwisen, the leader in on-demand workforce communications solutions, today announced that . . . has selected and gone live with Enwisen’s AnswerSource Onboarding solution—a leading onboarding orchestration technology that automates the three key components of onboarding: task management, forms management and socialization.

Gary’s comment: This is one of the most amazing sentences I have ever read. It manages to use the word “onboarding” three times. I must admit, however, that at first I thought “onboarding” was something for the airline or train industry. Then I got to the part about “socialization” and realized the error of my ways. This is software that automates etiquette. My late mother would have liked that—especially the “on-demand” part.

Revolutionary Technology
If you are looking to get a lead story on a Revolutionary Technology, read on. . .

For decades, Digital Dictation has been an indispensable, yet not-so-reliable technology—but that all is about to change forever. Dictation is a mission critical application for Hospitals…and if you don’t agree, try to disconnect a facilities Dictation Server. And while this is not a widely publicized topic, due to the fervor and attention that EMR garners, Dictation is integral to the Hospital providing Quality, timely care, and of course getting paid to do so. Technology that once was once unstable, unreliable and hardware intensive will now be fault-tolerant (to include disaster recovery) and scalable to accommodate the entire enterprise. This technological metamorphosis is being driven by BayScribe in partnership with VMware, the world leader in virtualization technology. Technology that used to cost $100,000’s to Millions of dollars will now be offered as a monthly license saving Hospital countless dollars annually AND provide unparalleled reliability. If you cover Dictation, EMR or Virtualization, this is BIG NEWS.

Gary’s comment: Naturally, I am intrigued by any technology that is revolutionary. Being a skeptical journalist, however, I am reluctant to assign that description to anything other than the wheel and the printing press. That said, since this product can save “countless dollars annually AND provide unparalleled reliability,” it may qualify. In any case, I’m for anything that can take some of the fervor away from EMRs and is fault-tolerant to boot. But keep reading. The business of revolutionary technology is highly competitive.

The revolution continues
I am writing to invite you to a free Webinar hosted by the Noblis Center for Health Innovation, a leading advisory group to health providers. Presented by RASMAS, a revolutionary patient safety service for recall management, this webinar will examine the challenges within product recall and alert notification management as well as explore the ways to continuously enhance patient safety as it relates to the recall supply chain.

Gary’s comment: OK, that does it! I am putting a stop to this. From now on, there will be only one revolutionary technology allowed per week, even if the quality enhancements transpire “continuously.” But wait, another press release just crossed the wire:

The revolution hits the bedside
Hospitals across North America have recently experienced an epidemic of medication errors. The solution to this problem and others are being found in a medication management system that is used in conjunction with electronic patient records via bedside terminals. These bedside terminals reference patient histories and medication interactions and then produce a barcode prescription label, instead of relying on handwriting. These new bedside terminals are LCD TV screens that can be connected to cable and the internet for patient access as well as being used by doctors to check x-rays, and see patient vitals, while also acting as a check on medication interactions and patient history. In addition, now patients [sic] the LCD TV screen hooked up to their bed, also functions as a PC/entertainment center. The touch screen enables patients to check e-mail, surf the web, IM friends and download a movie. Doctors also use this technology to better show patients X-Rays and test results.

Would you be interested in learning more about this revolutionary bedside system?

Gary’s comment: Here we apparently have a TV monitor that generates bar code labels and doubles as the gateway to the patient record. But what happens when the physician and the patient start battling for the remote? “Now, Mr. Smith, I need to show you your x-ray,” the doctor says. “Not now, doc. Can’t you wait until Baywatch is over?” Now in the era of consumer-directed healthcare, that’s enough to spark a revolution! I hereby rescind my one revolution per week rule. This is an industry in dire need of change after all.


Gary Baldwin is technology editor of HealthLeaders magazine. He can be reached at gbaldwin@healthleadersmedia.com.

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