Mr. H chastised me last night for not providing adequate trinket and fashion updates, so I’ll start out with the really important stuff.
Fashion: a lot of function over fashion, especially given how sprawling the convention center is. Thankfully ,there are some golf carts (sponsored by RelayHealth, I believe) that will take you from one end of the center to the other. However, a few brave souls would make my mother proud and have worn some stylin’ pumps. I think I saw particularly lovely pair at either the eClinicalWorks or Sage booth.
Trinkets: I am looking over my stash of goodies collected yesterday. The pocket-size Sudoku game, courtesy of MPV, should be fun. The horse beanie baby was from Zirmed (they are based in Lexington, hence the horse theme). The wad of money pictured above is actually a tightly wrapped tee shirt with a $1,000,000 bill on the cover (the lady at Intuit booth told me I’d look like a million bucks in the shirt). The exercise tube from IntegrityRehabGroup doubles as a water balloon launcher (you can never have too many of those.)
In addition to all the goodies I picked up, there are far more items that I have failed to win, such as iPods, iPod Touches, a Caribbean cruise (courtesy of Capario), a car (from Navicure), and a Tiffany’s necklace (a transcription service – don’t recall the name).
Monday afternoon I noticed a three-deep crowd in front of the SRSsoft booth and was impressed that so many people wanted a demo. Turns out they were giving out $500 and you had to be present to win (I didn’t win, but a very excited woman was being hit up to take her crowd to dinner.)
I’ve asked many folks for their impression of the meeting thus far, and what they think the buzz is. The down economy seems to be a big concern, with practices feeling the crunch more than ever (lower reimbursements, lower patient volumes, higher overhead). Vendors have said that, unlike years past, they don’t have people asking for demonstrations with the intent to actually make a purchase decision in the near term. The EMR vendors especially have mentioned this. On the other hand, several vendors claim the best thing about the meeting is the opportunity to network with other vendors. I saw perhaps half a dozen booths that had a vendor name displayed but the vendor was a no-show. Sign of the economic times, I suppose.
I did see some new technology worth a mention. Last month Intuit announced the launch of Quicken Health Bill Pay and yesterday Allscripts announced it signed on as a reseller. Essentially Intuit pulls A/R data from a practice’s system and as soon as a patient owes money, they are sent an e-mail. The patient can click on the e-mail to find easy-to-understand details on what is owed, what insurance paid, and what procedures were done. Then, they can pay online. The service is $25/doctor/month. It’s very user-friendly, in the same way Quicken or Turbo Tax is. Good stuff.
McKesson is announcing today Bright Note Technology, which works with their ambulatory EMR products to help populate the chart note. The aspect that sounds particularly intriguing is that it works with Dragon Naturally Speaking and actually translates the dictation into searchable patient data. I’m heading over to the Nuance booth this afternoon to check it out.
I also looked at a product called Shareable Ink, which is a new company started by PatientKeeper co-founder Stephen Hau. Their product uses a digital pen to capture billing and EHR data on a printed form. Using wireless or Bluetooth technology, the data can then be uploaded into a billing or EHR system. I think the product has the potential to be a hit with specialties such as anesthesia and ER, where doctors are still clinging to their paper records.
Off to check out some educational sessions this a.m. By the way, if you see one of the HIStalk sponsor signs, please be sure to tell the vendor thanks for their support!