Recap Time• We have now finished 52 episodes of H.I.S.-tory,which for you math mavens out there, just about usesup the year that Mr. HIS-talk kindly gave me to expandon my HIMSS presentation in these weekly slideshows.• So in these final few episodes, we’re going to recapsome themes that cross over all 4 epochs (main,shared, mini & micro), starting this week with:• The many names vendors gave their HIS products:– What vendor had (and still has) the best productnames, and the few times even they screwed up!– What vendor had the worst names in HIS-tory– What a name can (not) tell you about a product– Some amazing product re-naming “games”
The Best Product Names• Hands-down, my alma mater, Shared Medical Systems (SMS),had (and sold to Siemens) the best product names in HIS :– Hot, positive, up-beat, ear-catching, techie, punny…• Starting back in the 70s when they relied on VP of Marketing JohnMarshall for names, whose product managers came up with:• What else do you call a single data basesystem, released in an era of VSAM files?• When UniFile didn’t respond too well(imagine system response times on 1200baud lines!), it was re-morphed into:• Focus – with more canned reports and less“indexed” fields clients could sort on, then• Command – what a powerful, take-chargeADT/Census system that must have been!
More SMS Winning Names• And who can forget “ACTIon” – SMS’ name for HBO’s “MedPro”– Now honestly, which name turns on your buying juices more?• And in the 80’s, SMS really hit high gear, with hot product namesthat amazingly defied the reality of the product they represented:– UNITY – now that’s a name for a product that is the synthesisof two disparate platforms: a DEC mini-based front end forclinicals, front-ending a shared IBM mainframe for financials!– EXACT – the name for a re-packaging of SMS’s convolutedpricing formula that competitors knocked for “nickel-diming”clients with optional units and per-page report pricing…– INDEPENDENCE – hot new name for re-packaging of the same basic software it hadbeen selling for years, but offered now oneither an inhouse or shared basis. Appropriatename for a company from Philly, home of:
Some Not-So-Hot SMS Names• But even the marketing mavens in King of Prussia were notimmune to an occasional slip-of-the-tongue, to whit:– In the mid-80s, SMS responded to the growing turnkey-miniexplosion by acquiring a red-hot San Fran-based firm:Computer Synergy – not a bad name in its own right, agreed?– However, SMS had been building it’s own ACTIon mini-system,and it first combined the two to create a poor product & name:- The Spirit Choice – not sure who dreamed thatone up, but it was a bad a name as the mixedproduct was an HIS! Typically, SMS listened to themarket and cleaned up both the name/system:- Allegra – a much better, simpler name, and abetter simpler system that sold well for over adecade until sunset just before Y2K.
An SMS “Classic”• As it winds down its life (now that Soarian is finally programmedin something more than PowerPoint), we just must pay tribute toone of the best product names in H.I.S.-tory, also from SMS:–Invision! Launched in 1989, Invision clinicals were asenormous an advance technically, as the name was leadingedge from a marketing and psychological perspective:• Invading the market,• A vision into clinical data,• New, unheard of before,• A radical & exciting concept…• How angry those Malvern-ians musthave been when a common householdproduct manufacturer stole most of itsletters for their eponymous product:
Worst HIS Product Names!?• When the mini revolution hit, Mac acquired & renamed several:– LabCom (Dr. Hick’s excellent, high-end LIS system)– RadCom& PharmCom – can’t remember where McAutobought these two systems, but the “Com” suffix sure was• So who won the other prize for the worst HISproduct names? My other alma mater: McAuto.• I guess the airplane parent gave them thepredilection for acronyms, but look at this array:• HFC = Hospital Financial Control• HDC = Hospital Data Collection• HPC = Hospital Patient Care (shared)• PCS = Patient Care System (Tandem)• MHS = Mini-Based Hospital System• MRII = Medical Records (2ndversion)
Stay Tuned…• Next week we’ll cover some moregreat/horrid product names and someweird twists in how we talk about ourHIS-es:– Does size (in a name) really matter?– What’s the longest name in HIS-tory?– Modern/weird app/module names.– The “re-name” game (if you can’tafford to re-write it – re-name it!)• So what’s your most & least favorite HISproduct names? Send me yours and I’llblame you: firstname.lastname@example.org