It All Started with Dorenfest…• I was working for the HIS pioneer Sheldon Dorenfest back in 1984,when he ran a well-attended annual seminar for hospitals and HISvendors that gave a vey insightful review of the HIS industry:– Market size, vendor review, leading products by segment, etc.• One of the many vendor attendees that year was a gentlemannamed Peter Gombrich, new to the HIS field, but a very smartengineer and eager to learn every aspect of the HIS industry.• Peter stayed awake during all of our presentations, even mine(during which I sometimes dozed)• A few days later, he showed upat our offices in Northbrook insuburban Chicago and signed adeal with Shelly for us to study theidea he had for a radically newproduct for the mid-80s.
Impressive Background…• We were just winding down the sale of Sentry Data to CDC, so Igot assigned to the project – Peter liked my SMS experience, soerroneously thought I might help him build an equal success…• The more I learned about Peter, the more impressed I was withhim; check out his background:– BS in Electrical engineering and MBA from University of Denver– Held various sales & marketing positions with Medtronic andBeckman Instruments, both supply giants in those days…– Co-founder of St. Jude Medical, one of the largest heart valvecompany in the world, back when valves were a daring idea…– Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of IntegratedMicrocircuits, an outgrowth of St. Jude from 1980 to 1984• So even though he was turning to us for advice in penetrating theHIS market, the man knew his stuff!
Sad Beginnings…• The roots of Peter’s idea for a breakthroughproduct are a sad testimonial to all toohuman side of healthcare:– Decades before the 2000 IOM report on“To Err Is Human” and medication errors,– Peter had a relative who suffered from, adrug mis-administration in a hospital, andhis product idea was to use the latest intechnology to prevent them in the future.• To appreciate Peter’s genius, you have to go back to 1984 andremember how crude medication administration was back then- The concept of a “unit dose” had only started to becomepopular- Most nurses administered drugs with none of the Med Rec,eMAR and BMV of today. Indeed, MARs were totally paper.
A Deceptively Simple Idea• In today’s high-tech world of ubiquitous Web access via WiFi, it’shard to remember how daring a concept like this was back in1984:– A handheld device (decades before PDAs & i-everything…)– For nurses (who in 1984, had but a single CRT for Order Entry)– To bar code their ID badge (when UPC copes were just starting)– Then the patients wrist band (which were all typed by hand)– And the Unit Dose med being administered (w/manual labels)• These 3 data elements were thentransmitted via radio frequency to• Plexus Microcomputer in the datacenter, where a program checkedwhat the doctor had ordered,• And sent back a red or green lightto tell RNs if it met the 5 rights!!!!
Now For The Business Plan…• Shelly and I were very impressed by the concept, andwrote a report for Peter pointing out the enormouspotential (which he already knew) and a few drawbacks:– Bar codes were not placed on Meds in advance byPharmaceutical companies back then, so printingthem in the Pharmacy and affixing them on every unitdose would be an added cost to hospital buyers…– I had a hard time explaining to Peter that he neededto offer installation too: a team of pros to go out tohospitals and lead them through the whole process.• It seemed obvious to me from my SMS background as an ID– Plus the fund a customer service center, trainingdepartment, technical writers for documentation,etc.• Again, from my personal contributions to SMS’ early days…
ProductLaunch• Peter charged ahead, andthe ad on the right showsthe amazing splash ad thatgraced the pages of HISmagazines back then:• Nurses were thrilled tofinally get a productdesigned specifically forthem, and the leads cameflying in, handled by ateam of sales pros like:– Mike Meyer & Brain Higgins– Both of whom from McAuto
So Whatever Happened?• So did Peter Gombrick strike it rich again?• What ever happened to him after CliniCom• Did anyone buy the amazing new CliniCare?• What became of the both company & product?• Stay tuned for the answers next week when we’ll cover the growthof this amazing breakthrough thanks to a HIS-tory Heroine:– MARJORIE RODELL - an amazing lady as smart & hard-workingas she is pleasant to work with (and look at!), whose consultingfirm SMG provides help to vendors, and who promises to digthrough her archives from when she worked at both CliniComand the HIS vendor that eventually bought it.• Anyone else have any CliniCom stories to tell? Please call or write:– Vince Ciotti: 505/466-4958 email@example.com