JS Data Legacy• Long-term readers of HIS-talk and this HIS-tory series may rememberthe story of JS Data (see episodes 26 & 27 on our web site atwww.hispros.com) one of the pioneering turnkey minicomputervendors that dominated the small hospital market in the 70s & 80s...• It surprised me to learn that the letters “JS”in JS Data came from the firm’s founder, JohnSacco, who was kind enough to fill me in onthe gory details from the inside about howhe, Ron Young and a team of hard-workingstaffers including Bev Frascati made the firminto such a success that giant Baxter-Travenolacquired them as part of their tri-umvirate ofproducts for small (JS Data), medium(Dynamic Control Corporation) and large(Stonybrook Systems) hospital systems.
40 Years Later…• Fast-forward a few decades later, and John Sacco turned out to bethe manager of the Epic project at UCLA Medical Center, wheremy daughter was working as an RN informaticist… small world!• Well, it gets even smaller as this year thewife & I celebrated the 40th anniversary ofour honeymoon in 1972 by flying toEurope and re-tracing our steps back then.• Amazingly, it turns out John has retired toNice, France (very nice actually!), and wehad the pleasure of dining with John lastnight (10/23/2012) in Nice, at a little bistrohe frequents so often the owner knowshim on a first name basis. Here we arepictured on the right, savoring some fineFrench wine from the Cote D’Azur!
Mr. “Nice” Guy…• Why retire in Nice, France, you might ask, for a guy who grew upin Rhode Island where he built JS Data in RPG on an IBM SYS 32?• Here are a just few reasons from our dinner conversation:– No cars! Nice, like so many European cities, is completelyaccessible by foot or public transportation, so the (high) priceof gas & diesel over here is pretty darned irrelevant…– Exercise! John walks everywhere in this picturesque town, sohis health is super even after years of illnesses in the US…– His wife! Unfortunately out of town the night we dined, Mrs.Sacco is a Brit, more at home on the continent than back here.– Scenery – check out this beach view from nearby St-Tropez:
“What’s a nice guy like John,doing in a place like Nice?”And the most surprising reason of all for we HIS vets:• Healthcare – seems John had a series of illnessesin the states before he retired, and found Europeto be a far better place for treatment/payment.Now, it helps that as a foreigner John is outside ofthe state-run system, so he just pays cash, period.No deductibles or in & out of system MDs…- He even received a doctor visit at hisapartment in Nice (near the old port picturedon the left) for an injection – when was thelast time any of you ever had a home visit?- He says the MDs there have minimal staff forbilling and admin stuff, so there costs arequite reasonable, even with the Euro factor.
Very Sad News…• Last week I was terribly saddened to learnfrom Ed Scott, VP of Sales & Marketing atKeane (now NTT Data) of the passing ofanother HIS-tory hero: Ed Meehan.• Ed had worked at Keane for over 30 years,where we worked with him on a number ofsystem selection projects over the years.• I remember him fondly as always being positive and upbeat, withnever a nasty word to say about anyone, include competitors I’msure he was tempted to lambast, but yet never said a nasty word...• Ed started at Keane circa 1980, during the days of Ray Paris, whoheaded up their Health Services Division and spent much of his timein the challenging world of sales & marketing. He is pictured abovein Keane’s booth at the HIS Buyers Seminar we held in NJ in 2000.
Sad News, continued…• Ed was a hard-workingguy who actually knewKeane’s HIS systems likethe early UNIX-basedThreshold, later EZ-Access (PatCom) &Insight (First Coast), andtoday’s Optimum(w/iMed EMR) in detail.• Here he is at Keane’sbooth at the HIS BuyersSeminar we held in 2008held in Las Vegas,Nevada, hard at work asusual…
Gone But Not Forgotten…• I spent a pleasant time with Ed on thephone just a month ago getting his insidescoop on the many systems Keane hadacquired over the years (episodes 62thru 68), as well as it’s acquisition, firstby Caritor, then by NTT Data.• Ed actually left the Health ServicesDivision for a while when Caritor boughtKeane, while he worked in theircorporate marketing for a few years.• He actually retired from Keane altogether for a short while whenNTT Data bought them, but then re-joined the firm to work inimplementations at some very lucky clients who had his personalattention. Like so many old HIS salts, Ed just couldn’t stay away fromthe day-to-day action…
Stay Tuned…• For more details on Ed and his many accomplishments at Keane,contact Larry Kaiser, Marketing Manager at NTT Data, who ispublishing a special tribute to Ed in their November 1 newsletter:– Lawrence.Kaiser@nttdata.com• Meanwhile, I’ll be a little late on mynext HIS-tory episode due to this 40thanniversary trip with the poor lady whohas been stuck with me for so long…• So with Mr. HIS-Talk’s kind permission,I’ll do a piece next week on howtechnology has evolved in the 40 yearssince our first & latest Europe trips – notso much in HIT, as in common, everydaythings like cars & boats & planes...