What will be the big news stories in HIT for 2011? I’m sticking my proverbial neck out with the following predictions:

1.      KLAS Names Epic Best PACS Vendor – In accepting the award, Judy Faulkner humbly thanked the Salt Lake City-based think tank and vowed to start work on this new module immediately. In a related story, dozens of large IDNs and AMCs signed contacts for the new system for undisclosed sums …

2.      Stimulus Funds Terminated – The Republican-led Congress repealed the Obama administration’s ARRA legislation, ending hospital chances to receive billions in promised federal funds. The new Speaker of the House stated “The program had the desired effect of creating jobs in the vendor community in 2010, so why should we add to the Federal deficit in 2011 by paying hospitals?”

3.      Hospital Achieves HIMSS Stage 8– Memorial Hospital announces it has achieved HIMSS Stage 8 status. When asked how he could achieve a stage not yet defined, Fred Fibber, Memorial’s CIO replied “We have always believed in being an early adopter, and thank our CEO, Ned Naïve, who provided executive leadership for this project, as well as our former CFO who funded it, Bill Betweenjobs.”

4.      Drummond De-Certifies CCHIT – In a surprising move, Drummond announces it has de-certified CCHIT as an authorized source of EHR certification. This follows CHHIT’s endorsement of InfoGard, who had recently denied certification to ICSA, which had just been certified by SLI. When asked for comment, an ONCHIT spokesman replied “Whaa??”

5.      Dell Acquires Argentina – In a move sure to shake up the HIT landscape, mega-vendor Dell announced it has entered into formal negotiations to acquire the country of Argentina. Price was not announced, but Dell shares closed up 2,479 points. When asked why it was acquiring an entire country, a Dell spokesman stated “Because we can…”

6.      Meaningful Abuse – ONCHIT adds 74 new requirements for achieving MU in 2011 as part of reduced HITECH Act funding. One item in particular has caught the attention of CIOs: the requirement for hospitals to spend a minimum of $10 million each on outside consulting firms for a Clinical Transformation. When asked for comment, a spokesman for the National Association of Information and Vendor Experts (NAÏVE) replied “We want to create a financial transformation for our industry.”

7.      Meditech Release 8 – close on the heels of the announcement of Release 6 in 2010, Meditech announced the plan to create Release 8 in the near future. When asked why they skipped Release 7, a Meditech spokesman said: “The implementation line for Release 6 is so long that we wanted to start early planning for Release 8 to avoid the long lines expected for Release 7.” Several hundred Magic clients immediately made deposits to reserve their place in line.

8.      HIMSS 2012 Deferred – In a surprise move, HIMSS announced the postponement of its 2012 annual conference due to the long lines at HIMSS 2011, which caused many attendees to not be able to return to their facilities in time to pre-register for the following year’s event.  HIMSS will now be a bi-annual conference, allowing more time for travel, hospitality suites, dinners, cruises, golf outings, private parties, and other educational events.

9.      ICD-11 – CMS announces the latest generation of International Classification of Diseases, Version 11. When asked what improvements it will make over ICD-10, scheduled to be implemented in 2013, a spokesman replied: “We are responding to numerous requests from HIT vendors who need another excuse to over-charge their clients for government regulatory requirements over-and-above their already egregious charges for routine software maintenance.”

10.  HIS Pros Terminate Vince Ciotti – In an expected move, Bob Pagnotta, co-founder and president of HIS Professionals, LLC, announces he has accepted the resignation of Vince Ciotti, former director of marketing and public relations at this HIT consulting firm for “personal reasons.” When asked for comment, Mr. Ciotti stated “What??”



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