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News 5/26/15

May 26, 2015 News No Comments

Top News

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HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell awards $112 million to seven regional cooperatives as part of the EvidenceNOW initiative. The funding will enable the cooperatives to provide quality improvement services including EHR support to up to 300 primary care practices in 12 states, potentially impacting the cardiac health of nearly 8 million patients.


Webinars

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May 27 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Introducing Health Catalyst Academy: An Innovative Approach for Accelerating Outcomes Improvement.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: Tommy Prewitt, MD, director, Healthcare Delivery Institute at Horne LLP; Bryan Oshiro, MD, SVP and chief medical officer, Health Catalyst.  The presenters, who are graduates of Intermountain’s Advanced Training Program, will introduce the Health Catalyst Academy’s Accelerated Practices program, a unique learning experience that provides the tools and knowledge for participants to improve quality, lower cost, accelerate improvement, and sustain gains.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Forbes takes a loose look at executive compensation in six different healthcare sectors, with pharma taking the top spot and healthcare IT vendors shoring up the middle. (Judy’s salary at always-private Epic is not included.) All told, close to 150 healthcare executives across 30 different companies took home nearly $960 million in annual compensation.


Announcements and Implementations

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Morrow Family Medicine (GA) rolls out the NeighborAide smartphone app to help caregivers, family members, and friends stay connected to elderly and chronically ill patients. The NeighborAide team includes Jim Morrow, MD of MFM, HBOC/McKesson veterans Robert Connely III and Alok Mathur, and U.S. Coast Guard veteran and elder care expert Dusty Gunn.

EHNAC announces it will develop an accreditation program for data registries to ensure they meet the security and privacy obligations expected of all organizations that handle protected health information.

Varian Medical Systems and Flatiron Health partner to develop EHR, data analytics, and decision-support software for cancer care providers.

Amazing Charts launches an online partner community to offer its clients access to third-party services that integrate with its platform.


Government and Politics

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The latest Meaningful Use payment figures show that close to 429,000 EPs have received about $11 billion in incentive payments.

Connecticut’s state Senate passes a bipartisan bill that funds the development of a HIE for the state, replacing its failed $4.3 million first attempt.

Minnesota passes legislation exempting solo physicians from the state’s EHR implementation mandate. Minnesota was previously the only state that did not give physicians the choice to opt out of EHR adoption. Perhaps the exemption will help alleviate the state’s rising levels of physician burnout, largely attributed to paperwork and EHRs.


Telemedicine

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Minnesota becomes the eighth state to adopt the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Interstate Medical Licensure Compact. Formation of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission was triggered several weeks ago when Alabama formally adopted the compact, reaching the FSMB’s goal of seven-state participation. The commission will meet later this year to discuss the compact’s management and administration.

Representatives Glenn Thompson (R- PA) and Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduce H.R. 2516, the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2015, which would expand access to telehealth services for veterans by authorizing VA clinicians to practice medicine across state lines without running afoul of state or local regulations.


Other

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Frustrated with having to wait 10 days for a new debit card in the mail, cross-stitcher Keith Clark creates a homemade one, which he then promptly sends to his bank to show how quickly it can be done. His idea seems like a grassroots movement in the making for consumers eager to have their Social Security numbers removed from their Medicare cards before 2024.

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The University of Utah installs dorm-like sleeping pods at the Lassonde Institute, its incubator for new business, so that entrepreneurial students can go from REM cycle to revenue generation in the blink of an eye. Developed by the Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign, each 7x7x7 pod features a bed, closet, bookshelves, and medicine cabinet. The strategically placed living areas certainly bring new meaning to the idea of work-life balance.


Sponsor Updates

  • Versus Technology offers a new blog recapping client Community Hospital’s presentation at HIMSS15 on technology’s role in containing MERS.
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks with Greenway Health’s Paula Kepes, vice president of talent, about the company’s hiring plans at its locations in Atlanta and Carrollton.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects exhibits at the 2015 International MUSE Conference May 26-29 in Nashville, TN.
  • NextGen client ENT and Allergy Associates (NY and NJ) receives a HFMA 2015 MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle.

Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

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Population Health Management Weekly Wrap Up 5/22/15

May 22, 2015 News No Comments

Top News

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Xerox acquires the Berkeley, CA-based Health Communities Institute for an undisclosed sum. Xerox will integrate HCI’s SaaS platform, which aggregates data from patient visits, healthcare claims and community-level assessments to help providers better understand community demographics, risk factors, and disease distribution, into its Midas+ Juvo Care Performance analytics platform. The HCI management team and employees will remain with the company.


Webinars

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May 27 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Introducing Health Catalyst Academy: An Innovative Approach for Accelerating Outcomes Improvement.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: Tommy Prewitt, MD, director, Healthcare Delivery Institute at Horne LLP; Bryan Oshiro, MD, SVP and chief medical officer, Health Catalyst.  The presenters, who are graduates of Intermountain’s Advanced Training Program, will introduce the Health Catalyst Academy’s Accelerated Practices program, a unique learning experience that provides the tools and knowledge for participants to improve quality, lower cost, accelerate improvement, and sustain gains.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Just-launched Persivia acquires Alere Analytics from Alere Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The story gets interesting when you consider that the husband and wife team of Mansoor and Fauzia Khan, MD founded DiagnosisOne and then sold it to Alere Inc. in 2012, which in turn rebranded it as Alere Analytics. The duo, who founded Persivia, worked for Alere Analytics as CEO and CMO, respectively.

Welltok acquires predictive analytics company Predilytics for an undisclosed sum. Welltok will likely incorporate the new company’s tools into its CaféWell health optimization platform.

The Advisory Board compiles a growing list of job titles and descriptions related to burgeoning population health management roles in a new digital library.

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Bon Secours Health System (MD) Executive Vice President Mark Nantz cites population health management as one of the driving forces behind the organization’s decision to enter into a joint venture with Westchester Medical Center (NY). In addition to integrated services in the Hudson Valley area of New York, the organizations will work together to improve care for their most vulnerable patients via population health management initiatives. No mention was made as to how their respective Epic and OnBase EHRs will aid in the effort.


Announcements and Implementations

TMA PracticeEdge, the IT services and consulting arm of the Texas Medical Association, signs a multi-year partnership agreement with population health management company Innovista Health Solutions. The agreement will enhance PracticeEdge’s ACO services for physicians with Innovista’s care coordination and population health tools, among others.

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Practice Fusion partners with the American Urological Association to launch an overactive bladder population health management analytics dashboard. Available via Practice Fusion’s EHR, the tool will recommend OAB screenings, and aggregate and compare patients being treated for OAB with similar patient populations of other Practice Fusion clinicians. Pharmaceutical company Astellas providing funding for the initiative.

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The Center for Primary Care (GA and SC)  implements the Central Worklist chronic-care management program from population health management firm Kryptiq. The center will use the tool to coordinate care, capture consent, and track and bill for CCM-related Medicare services.


People

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Healthways Executive Vice President and CFO Alfred Lumsdaine steps in as interim president and CEO for Ben Leedle Jr., who has stepped down.


Research and Innovation

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The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation releases a report on the role IT plays in population health management and public health, noting that “the greatest value for chronic disease population health interventions can come from better use of clinical data from provider EHRs.” The report also points out that, “Without a mandate or clear agreement on the role for either providers or public health officials for chronic disease population health, it is difficult to identify logical data sharing processes or principles that are relevant across jurisdictions.” 


Other

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The CDC releases a map of the most “distinctive” causes of death in all 50 states, based on calculations of the standardized mortality rate for 136 causes of death. In addition to highlighting the population health issues each state’s public health agencies should focus on, the graphic also highlights national variation in how deaths are recorded.

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Funny for your Friday, courtesy of @iclindberg


Sponsor Updates

  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks with Greenway Health’s Paula Kepes, vice president of talent, about the company’s hiring plans at its locations in Atlanta and Carrollton.
  • PerfectServe hosts its annual Customer Advisory Panel gathering today at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dallas.
  • Intelligent Medical Objects will exhibit at the 2015 International MUSE Conference May 26-29 in Nashville, TN.

Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice  updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

5 Questions with Kian Raiszadeh, MD CEO, SpineZone

May 21, 2015 News No Comments

Kian Raiszadeh, MD is founder and CEO of SpineZone, a clinic-based operating system for back pain that includes a treatment protocol and software platform for managing patients through the lifecycle of back pain – from prevention and inception to resolution and recovery. The system is used by 120 patients a month across four SpineZone clinics in San Diego. These clinics have served as test sites to perfect the system’s clinical protocols and software platform. It is in the process of integrating scheduling and billing technologies from Athenahealth into the third generation of its home-grown EHR.

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What role do analytics play in SpineZone’s treatment plans?
Analytics is central to the success of SpineZone. We have a treasure trove of data from all of the clinics that have been using the SpineZone system over eight years. Each additional back-pain patient adds data to our system, which in turn helps improve the diagnosis and treatment for every patient after them. Our analytics experts, academic researchers, data scientists, and PhDs are also helping us publish our results and build a clinical outcomes predictor. We exemplify the moniker “data-driven healthcare.”

All of the equipment patients use is set up to quantify strength, so we truly live by the phrase, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure.” We also track behavior by both patients and providers, and this is one of the main levers for impacting outcomes.

What coordinated care initiatives are currently underway?
All the medical groups who are seeing value from SpineZone are ACOs and IPAs (Independent Physician Associations) who are incentivized by the ACA to provide efficient, outcomes-based care. The teams running SpineZone consist of a multi-disciplinary team of providers ranging from PAs, PTs, MDs, and surgeons so each patient entering the system will get the appropriate level of service in each of their 20 visits. We require that “SpineZone Certified” providers are tightly integrated in treating back-pain patients, and we have very precise measurements to determine how successful each is.

Is SpineZone looking at utilizing telemedicine, wearables or apps in any of its treatment plans?
Absolutely. Currently, SpineZone has the technical ability to monitor patients over videoconference and we are testing use cases for how this can keep patients engaged in their back-pain recovery and lower costs for organizations using our technology. We are currently evaluating a posture sensor wearable from LumoBodyTech called the Lumo Lift, which provides patients with vibration reminders to correct their posture. Additionally, we are jointly working on a clinical study proposal for providing Lumo Lift posture sensor to SpineZone patients.

Do you foresee greater importance being placed on behavioral health in terms of healthcare IT innovation and government regulations?
Behavioral health is critical to account for and is one of the four pillars to treating patients with the SpineZone treatment protocol: Strength, Posture, Flexibility, and Behavioral Health. There is a wealth of knowledge, which we incorporate into our system, around the psychology of pain. We continuously strive to improve our screening and treatment of patients with concomitant anxiety, depression, and other behavioral health issues.

What do the next five years look like for the business?
Within the next five years, our system will be expanded to medical groups treating back pain throughout the country. We will own the non-operative as well as the post-surgical aspects of back pain, then we will expand our system to manage to all orthopedic conditions. Our plan is to also manage other chronic diseases and we are in talks with practitioners treating diabetes and obesity.


Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

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HIStalk Practice Interviews Ken Comée, CEO, CareCloud

May 21, 2015 News No Comments

Ken Comée is CEO of CareCloud.

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Tell me about yourself and the company.
My focus over the past 20 years has been on working with high-growth tech companies, particularly those who are at an inflection point, helping them scale their operations and evolve into market leaders. I’ve been working with CareCloud for the past three years now, and have had a front-row seat to the unique opportunities we have ahead of us. My role as CEO is centered on bringing my experience in these situations to help accelerate our potential.

How do you and Albert Santalo plan on working together? What will next steps be for the company with this new leadership structure?
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Albert over the past few years. Albert will continue being the entrepreneurial visionary he’s always been, and he remains the chairman and founder. He and his team have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. For me, I’m really impressed with the opportunities emerging in healthcare. It’s an exciting time, and I look forward to continuing to work with Albert as we drive the industry forward through a cloud-based and open platform.

Can you give us specifics about what the new investment of $15 million will go towards?
We plan to enhance our product offerings and to continue providing a world-class customer experience. We’re laser-focused on helping healthcare organizations successfully navigate the myriad regulatory and business challenges they face. CareCloud is, and always has been, committed to building the premier platform in healthcare.

HIStalk Practice readers have expressed skepticism about CareCloud’s operational performance given the change in leadership and history of investments. How would you counter that skepticism?
It’s not uncommon for a company that is scaling as fast as we are to experience some growing pains. I’ve seen this storyline play out a few times and it’s almost expected given the circumstances and where we are today as a company. Regarding the recent investment, the current funding climate favors companies in CareCloud’s enviable position. We’re doing really well, and if the first quarter of 2015 is any indication, we’re poised to see incredible momentum throughout the year, especially as we help more and more large medical groups move onto the cloud.

What healthcare IT tools do you see as essential to the success of physician practices? How is CareCloud making a play in this space?
The suite of solutions physicians need to excel at clinical, financial, and administrative operations continues to expand. What we’re seeing is customers increasingly asking for flexibility and freedom of choice. CareCloud has always believed that too many vendor options are overly restrictive – essentially forcing medical groups to agree to an entire package up front and adopt all of their services. We don’t believe this all-or-nothing approach is the right solution; rather, we want to offer our customers an ecosystem of options that extends our core product suite. The cloud is really the only way to make that seamless integration experience a reality.

How do you foresee the partnership with Marshfield Clinic Information Services progressing?
We’re really excited about the tremendous potential of this partnership. It just makes sense to us on so many levels. MCIS brings its incredible clinical solutions, including its physician-designed EHR, patient portal, and population health management tools. CareCloud contributes our core strengths surrounding workflow and operational efficiencies.

Have you had any provider feedback related to the scaled back Meaningful Use criteria, particularly pertaining to the lowered patient engagement threshold?
We have not heard strong reactions either way, and we still believe patient engagement remains essential.

Where do you foresee taking CareCloud in the next five years?
We see our largest customers dealing with a whole host of challenges & opportunities. Our goal is to help them meet and exceed their business and operational needs by leveraging the premier cloud-based platform for healthcare.

Do you have any final thoughts?
It’s amazing what CareCloud has managed to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I’m honored and elated to take the helm of this young growth company, one that Albert and his team have built and positioned so well. The mission of the company remains to deliver beautiful software that is easy to use and powerful rather than burdensome and complex. My charge going forward is to make CareCloud operationally excellent, accelerate our growth, and continue to drive us toward future innovations as yet unseen in the industry.


Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice  updates.
Contact us online.
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JennHIStalk

News 5/20/15

May 20, 2015 News No Comments

Top News

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Ohio-based Updox secures a $3.5 million line of credit from SaaS Capital with which it will add more features to its secure messaging and CRM solution for physicians. The company received Edition 2 ONC-HIT Modular Certification for Direct Secure Messaging last month.


Webinars

Here’s the video and Twitter recap from Tuesday’s webinar with Imprivata, which featured tips on how to prevent phishing attacks at healthcare facilities, as well as lessons learned from Yale New Have Health System.

May 27 (Wednesday) 1:00 ET. “Introducing Health Catalyst Academy: An Innovative Approach for Accelerating Outcomes Improvement.” Sponsored by Health Catalyst. Presenters: Tommy Prewitt, MD, director, Healthcare Delivery Institute at Horne LLP; Bryan Oshiro, MD, SVP and chief medical officer, Health Catalyst.  The presenters, who are graduates of Intermountain’s Advanced Training Program, will introduce the Health Catalyst Academy’s Accelerated Practices program, a unique learning experience that provides the tools and knowledge for participants to improve quality, lower cost, accelerate improvement, and sustain gains.


Acquisitions, Funding, Business, and Stock

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Beverly Hills, CA-based National ACO taps consulting firm Risarc to manage its participation in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, including oversight of its population management metrics for quality improvement.


Announcements and Implementations

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Reno Sparks Tribal Health Center (NV) selects NextGen’s EHR, PM, and EDR to replace its “end-of-life” software system and prepare for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and transition to ICD-10.

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The Palm Beach County Medical Society endorses the HealthFusion MediTouch EHR for its 1,400 physician members in Florida.

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ADP AdvancedMD launches patient and administrative kiosk apps, plus corresponding electronic check-in and consent forms.

Southeast Texas Imaging implements business intelligence tools from Zotec Partners, including Comprehensive Zotec Analytics and Reporting.

WebPT chooses NobilityRCM to handle the revenue cycle component of its EHR and PM systems for physical, occupational, and speech therapists.

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CollaborateMD launches a patient payment portal and integrated credit card processing.

Forerun Inc. joins the ADP Advanced MD Marketplace to offer ADP PM clients its UrgiChart EHR for urgent care.

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Kareo unveils an EHR app for the Apple Watch. Features include appointment reminders and information, secure messaging, agenda, pre-set messages, and “glances” at key practice metrics.


Government and Politics

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Twelve patient advocacy groups write to CMS on behalf of the Coalition for Better Care, urging it to include Meaningful Use as a quality measure in Next Generation ACOs, a criteria the agency dropped earlier this year. The authors also point out the importance of primary care: “We believe that the most successful ACOs will be grounded in comprehensive and well-coordinated primary care – a truly patient-centered medical home. As CMS evaluates Next Generation ACO applicants and considers future evolution of the program, these core elements must be a driving force.”

Don’t forget: EPs who wish to apply for Meaningful Use hardship exemptions must do so by July 1. Exemptions are available to providers who show they couldn’t comply with the program’s requirements because of circumstances beyond their control.


Telemedicine

Fruit Street Health taps Validic to integrate wearable devices and applications into its telehealth software, PHR, and video-conferencing platform.

The Broadband Opportunity Council seeks comments from all interested parties who would like to “share their perspectives and recommend actions the Federal Government can take to promote the deployment, adoption, and competition for the use of broadband technology.” Established two months ago by President Obama, the council includes 25 government agencies who are working to better understand the barriers to and opportunities of broadband adoption, particularly in rural communities. I can only assume that telemedicine will tie into the council’s future reports and projects. Comments are due June 10.

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The Connecticut Senate passes a bill establishing standards for telemedicine, including prohibiting physicians from using it to prescribe controlled substances and requiring that the telehealth provider give records of the interaction to the patient’s primary care provider if consent is obtained. The standards also state that providers offering telemedicine services to people in Connecticut would have to be licensed here, but wouldn’t be required to have a physical office in the state. The measure would also require insurance plans to cover telemedicine services.


Research and Innovation

A Surescripts report finds that just 1.4 percent of physicians prescribe controlled substances electronically, despite the fact that the ability to do so is now legal in 49 states and 73 percent of pharmacies are ready to receive them.

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An AmericanEHR Partners report breaks down EHR use by vendor and practice size. Given that the report would cost me $499 to dig into, I can only share high-level nuggets: Practice Fusion holds the most market share within solo practices, while Epic and Allscripts have a hold on the most end users.


People

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Jonathan Scholl (Texas Health Resources) joins Leidos as health and engineering sector president.

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The American College of Physicians appoints Daniel “Danny” Sands, MD (Society for Participatory Medicine) to the new Advisory Board of its Center for Patient Partnership in Healthcare.


Other

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Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra points out what many healthcare technophiles may not want to admit: FitBits and other wearables won’t turn the obesity epidemic by themselves. Healthy eating should be the first step in a weight-loss program – not plunking down hundreds of dollars on the latest smart gadget.

Vermont Information Technology Leaders President and CEO John Evans lays out the ways in which the state’s HIE is improving care coordination and access to health data across the state. The VHIE collects and indexes health data from 17 hospitals and over 170 other healthcare locations, and works with three of the state’s ACOs and its Blueprint for Health chronic disease management program.


Sponsor Updates

  • ADP AdvancedMD explains “What the Meaningful Use deadline means for your practice” in a new blog.
  • Culbert Healthcare Solutions offers a new blog on “Improving Population Health using Epic’s Healthy Planet.”
  • Microsoft blogs about its experience demonstrating nVoq’s SayIt speech-recognition solution on Surface Pro 3 tablets at HIMSS.

Contacts

JenniferMr. H, Lorre, Dr. Jayne, Dr. Gregg, Lt. Dan

More news: HIStalk, HIStalk Connect.

Get HIStalk Practice  updates.
Contact us online.
Become a sponsor.

JennHIStalk

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