Now, Where Were We?• We left off last week’s episode with what I thought were some of the best and worst names HIS vendors ever gave their products: – Best = SMS’ ACTIon, UniFile, Command, Invision, Allegra… – Worst = McAuto’s alphabet soup: HFC, HDC, MHS, PCS, HPC• This week we start with a classic company & product name, sent in by Tracy Gibbs, at PeaceHealth (TGibbs@peacehealth.org): – “I worked for this vendor for many years so I am partial: • PHAMIS LastWord. – It was a little corny, but many of us really loved it.”• Tracy has hit on both a great company and product name, both which represent a fascinating tidbit in HIS-tory all their own…• Here’s where they came from, and how both morphed over time:
In-PHAMIS?• Phamis stands for Public Health Automated Medical Information Systems, developed in the 1970s by the US Public Health Service for its national system of hospitals and clinics by – Dr. Malcolm Gleser, Chairman & Founder • It kept track of the medical records of merchant seamen in the Seattle area, who, in a pathetic paraphrase of Ricky Nelson’s Travelling Man, had a “chart in every port!” –• As one of the first “E.H.R.s,” it enabled caregivers to see a sailor’s complete medical history via telecommunications (no web then!).• PHAMIS sold very well, eventually claiming over 100,000 MD users through its long array of prestigious clients, including notables: - Mayo Clinic (Minn), Thomas Jefferson (PA), Montefiore (NY)…• Sold to IDX in 1997, who were in turn sold to GE in 2005 for $1.2B!
The Last Word in Casting Care… • PHAMIS’ product name is equally fascinating: what would you call a system that was the “last word” in HIS circles back in the ‘70s??• And what would you name it at IDX, in order to to cast it as the ultimate in patient care? • Two hot names for two hot products in their day… So what would you name it today now that it’s the center of GE’s little city of acquired HIS products? • Indeed, the GE name game continues right to this day as GE’s acquired products were all re-named: • MedicaLogic’s “Logician” MD EMR became Centricity Practice EMR • Millbrook’s practice management system (Registration, Scheduling & 1500 bilings) became Centricity Practice Management System • And don’t forget Centricity Cardiology, Centricity RIS/PACS (ex- Stentor), Centricity Pharmacy (formerly BDM), etc., etc., etc.
Just What Does A Name Tell You?• In the IT industry, it is natural for a product name to give some indication of the technical capabilities inherent the device. Computers have usually been assigned model numbers that vary in direct proportion to the size and power of the CPU, e.g.: – IBM’s products ran the whole range of digits in the 60s/70s: • Series 1 = a small 16-bit mini introduced in 1976 • System 34, 36 and 38 were increasingly powerful minis • AS/400 = whew, three digits, must be far more powerful! • 4300/30XX = mainframes with four digits – whoopee!• In fact, these IBM computers can’t hold a candle to the most powerful computer name in HIS-tory: Data General’s MV series of minis: • Starting with the lowly 6000 series, they grew into 10000, then 20000, and eventually the most powerful of all:
The True Relationship Between aProduct’s Name and its Capability: (this page left blank intentionally)
Some Extreme HIS Names• Let’s look at some of the strangest/weirdest names in HIS-tory: – “Xtenity” – (sic! – weird, huh?) It was what Phillips called their version of Judy’s EpicCare that they tried to sell to community hospitals in the mid 2000’s. Needless to say, none bought it…• Speaking of Epic, they have some interesting names for their suite of HIS applications: • “Resolute” billing (we’re gonna get paid!), • “Beaker” LIS (careful with that specimen!) • Other Epic weirdies: Cadence, Willow, OpTime, ASAP, Cardiant, Radiant, Prelude… • How about the longest name in HIS? • IBM’s “PCS/ADS/PA” = Patient Care System/Application Development System/Patient Accounting - 8 words!
The “Re-Name” Game• An interesting bit of recent H.I.S.-tory is the various names Meditech has used to describe it’s latest and greatest successor to their “Magic” HCIS, itself supplanted by “Client Server” (the quotes are right from their contract – guess they knew a MUMPS- based system with a Windows front-end was hardly 3-tiered!?): • It started out as “Focus,” the name for this hot new system announced at their MUSE user group meeting in Dallas in May, 2008. Nice name, but I bet dozen of other firms use that name, so it was changed to:• Release 6.0 – now that’s more like what you’d expect from a techie company – though a bit cold and meaningless to non-IT folks, unless you knew Magic and C/S only go up to release 5.X.• Meditech Advanced Technology (MAT) the latest moniker from Boston, although will it be finished before Magic & C/S hit 5.9?
Most Name Changes in H.I.S.-tory?• That award would have to go to the family of leading HIS systems that got bought and sold like hot cakes in the 80’s mini-revolution. They started out simply enough with pretty good names each: – JS Data – a very fitting name for John Saco’s pioneering mini – Dynamic Control – a cute oxymoron for this IBM SYS 38 HIS – IBM’s PCS/ADS - mainframe-based clinical & financial system• The fun began when they were acquired by a series of HIS firms whose own name changes can give you a headache, let alone how they re-named these systems repeatedly, right up to today: Original Baxter Spectrum IBAX HBOC McKesson JS Data Alpha Series 3000 IBAX 3000 Series 2000 Series DCC Delta Series 4000 IBAX 4000 Series 2000 Series IBM PCS Omega Series 5000 IBAX 5000 HealthQuest Horizon• Maybe that’s why Horizon was sunset – they ran out of names!?
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