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June 24, 2011
Why Do All the Great People Leave First? Posted by Tim Tolan   The market must be changing. Our inbound call volume from candidates ready to bail

Why Do All the Great People Leave First?

Posted by Tim Tolan

The market must be changing. Our inbound call volume from candidates ready to bail from their current employer is ratcheting up like the 11th hour on a Jerry Lewis Telethon. It's only been a week in the New Year but it's been quite noticeable. Ring, ring, ring is sort of what it sounds like.

And, as Billy Mays (God rest the pitchman's soul) would say: “But wait, there's more.” I seem to get more and more calls from candidates that just can't take it anymore. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired and are ready for a change. Some are willing to take less compensation just to get out of their current environment. That's pretty sad.

And there's more. These are not your average run of the mill C players ready to head for the exit doors. Oh no. These are the very people that carry the load for many of the organizations they are working for: A and B players. Yep. They do all the work and they can't wait to pull the trigger and bolt. Why you ask? Employers have had an unfair advantage in this down employment market. Employees have had to suck it up and take whatever their employer dished out. Well the tides-are-a-changing, and I see a major wave of candidates just waiting for the HCIT hiring frenzy to begin to run from their current situation. And run they will.

(To read this posting in its entirely, visit

EMR? We have an iPhone App for that …

Posted by Pete Rivera

With very little fanfare EPIC released Haiku. It is a free iPhone application that allows users to access their EPIC system and obtain schedules, patient lists, health summaries, test results and notes. After so many blogs about how healthcare is the “late adopter” to most technologies, along comes EPIC and does something about it.

This post is not about a plug for EPIC. It is about a plug for any company that is willing to challenge the industry to capitalize on technology that already exists in the marketplace and develop portals to their systems. Maybe we take a jaundiced eye at “portability” because so many systems tried to deliver a handheld device for physicians in the past. We had issues with synching to the device, with the weight or power consumption of the device. Now we have a company that side steps all those issues and reaches out to clinicians that are already using a multipurpose device. Free download? Why not? Just like viral videos, it is all about word of mouth. Get physicians excited about something and they will talk about it everywhere.

Getting users an application that they can use, how they want to use it and weave it into their personal workflow… that is what Healthcare Informatics is all about.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold - The Dirty Little Secret Behind Many Niche Job Boards

Posted by Gwen Darling

Job boards. What immediately comes to mind? Most people will say Monster and CareerBuilder, which are, without a doubt, the goliaths of the job board industry. Many people in IT are also familiar with Dice, and The Ladders, which take a more targeted, sophisticated approach to the job board business. All of these resources have their share of pros and cons, but the complaint that many job seekers have with these “monster” job boards is just that - the sheer size of the platform can make a job seeker and/or an employer feel quite insignificant and frustrated, as they wade through the millions of job postings and/or resumes.

Enter the niche job board market. Savvy entrepreneurs, recognizing the need for a more targeted experience, have launched niche job boards to help attract, with pinpoint precision, candidates and employers who fit a very specific demographic. Ready to leave it all behind for a job in the beautiful Caribbean? There's a niche job board for you. Do your friends tell you that you should have been a comedian? There's a niche job board for you. And speaking of leaving it all behind, are you sick and tired of those dry cleaning bills? There's a niche job board for you.

It all sounds great, yes? So what could be the possible downside to such a targeted resource? Well, here's where the dirty little secret part comes in. Many niche job boards are actually a beard for recruiting companies to attract and then poach the best candidates. Technically, I guess, there's nothing illegal about this practice - these companies have simply adopted a “Don't tell if they don't ask” approach. And to be honest, when I first was exposed to this type of recruiting setup (in the travel nursing industry) I thought it was quite clever - talk about getting a leg up on your competition! But the longer I'm directly involved with both candidates and employers, the more I realize just how misleading, unfair and unethical this practice is from both sides of the hiring equation.

(To read this posting in its entirely, visit

Crows and Pajamas - Your Vendor Can't Always Troubleshoot Your Implementation

Posted by Joe Bormel, M.D.

There's often a flighty, Crow-like quality attributed to vendors. Pest-like, eating grain that's not theirs, feeding on carrion, even killing the weak to feed their own growth. The comparison can be very dark. Crows are well known to be at least a nuisance, and possibly a public health hazard. Such negative imagery has long been part of the rap on vendors.

As we all know, identical language has been applied as a faceless generalization to consultants and, when seen as uncaring, hospitals and health systems. Ditto for doctors.

But crows are a necessary part of the ecosystem, demonstrate positive behaviors, and are only a menace when their behavior is exclusively self-serving. Again, just like people, organizations and that dreaded “V” word.

American Crows are very social, sometimes forming flocks in the millions. Inquisitive and sometimes mischievous, crows are good learners and problem-solvers. They're also aggressive and often chase away larger birds including hawks, owls and herons.

There are some lessons that come out of this “Crow Stuff” that can help us all work more effectively and successfully together. It boils down to reasonable and shared expectations. The caw or crowing sound they make needs to be interpreted in context. Vendors do have important obligations to their clients. And when a vendor seems to disappoint with a hoarse, raucous caw, saying that they cannot help with an implementation challenge, it may be true. You need to plan accordingly, and well ahead of time.

(To read this posting in its entirely, visit

HMS Acquires MedHost

Posted by Vince Ciotti

Nashville-based HMS, a leading player in the small-hospital total HIS space, has acquired MedHost, a major player in ED systems.

We recently assessed a hospital using MedHost in its ED, and it was a stunning implementation. When you sign on to the system, you get a floor map of your ED, with color buttons representing patients, green for recent admissions, yellow and red for those staying over hospital-set time parameters. Wonderful workflow analysis to design the system around hospital policies and procedures. This hospital saw a HUGE jump in ED revenue due to improved capture and coding of charges, which fall out automatically from routine activities. Really slick!

Added to HMS' recent acquisition of an un-named ambulatory EMR system, HMS is now well-positioned to challenge small-hospital market-leader CPSI with a very robust suite of products, well-timed to enhance “meaningful use” of both an acute, ED and practice EMR.

Rival Healthland (formerly Dairyland) has also recently re-written its ED module, so these two players are now well-positioned to help small hospitals across the spectrum of care.

Are you a provider-side executive, physician, consultant or analyst interested in doing your own blog for HCI? If so, e-mail Mark Hagland at [email protected].

Healthcare Informatics 2010 March;27(3):10-12

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