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2 september 1987


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2 september 1987

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2 september 1987

  1. 1. 30 Years Ago In H.I.S.-tory by Vince Ciotti © 2017 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC, all rights reserved News from September 1987 and lessons for today
  2. 2. September 1987 in H.I.S.-tory • It’s amazing to think that HIStalk has been on-line for over 10 years, leading to the “This Week in Health IT History” column, with headlines each week from 1, 5 and 10 years ago. • This has inspired me to dig back into my paper files, disk drives and HIS-tory series from a few years ago to find out what was big news as far back as 30 years ago, and what lesson apply to today. • My sources are as complex as our industry: - PERIODICALS –pioneering print journals founded by industry great Bill Childs. - DATA BASES – created by Sheldon Dorenfest, the research maven in H.I.S. - FRIENDS – H.I.S. pioneers willing to share embarrassing stories of their early days. - MEMORIES – while I still have them… Bill Childs Sheldon Dorenfest
  3. 3. Gutsy Editorial • Bill pointed out how other vendors like Tandem, Digital (DEC), Texas Instruments and Convergent Technologies offer more powerful hardware at far lower costs. Shows the power of marketing over technology: IBM was the name in computers in the early years, just like today Microsoft totally dominates the business PC world (do any hospitals not have Windows & Office on their thousand of devices?) and Apple now totally owns the personal PC world (what “i” do you own: pod, pad or phone?). • In his opening page editorial of Healthcare Computing & Communications, Bill Childs had the courage to question IBM’s huge dominance of the hardware market so long after their near-monopoly of mainframes in the 60s and 70s.
  4. 4. People News • Can one have a better background that starting with the mainframe leader IBM, then the shared giant McAuto, and then the minicomputer IHC whose MED/38 ran on IBM’s System 38? Despite the impressive-sounding interview, a year later IHC sold MED/38 to GTE (gee…), who renamed it MedSeries4, then sold it to SMS. What happened to Scott? He went to Sunquest next, which was a leader in LIS systems along with Cerner back then, and later joined a new acronym firm named after its founders: Kent Gale, Leonard Black, Adam Gale and Scott. What a KLAS act! • Feature story was an interview with Scott Holbrook, who started his career at IBM and McAuto, then joined IHC (Intermountain Health Care) in 1977, becoming VP of their mini-based MED/38 in 1986.
  5. 5. HIS Conferences • Believe it or not, HIMSS was a relatively new and small player in the HIS conference market back then. The places to go back then were: • ECHO – Electronic Computing Health Oriented which was IBM’s healthcare user group, held at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, one of my favorite destinations. Speakers were all IBM users gushing about their 370 mainframes and System 3X minis. • AHA – The American Hospital Association’s annual convention which allowed all vendors to have booths and meet hospital prospects. How big was it? Would you believe 5,500 registrants and 481 exhibits! Not bad considering HIMSS today is “only” ≈45K…
  6. 6. People In The News • This one hurts: back in 1987, I was fired as “President” of the MedTake division of MicroHealthSystems. I use quotation marks because I had only a handful of direct reports, my main job being sales, which I flopped at. • The circled picture and story on the right shows how Bruce Sherr succeeded me, and did very well. Ironically, he followed in my footsteps at SMS in the 70s, and then at HIS Inc. in the 80s. Today he’s Director of Biz Development at iSirona, a NantHealth Company. Wanna try consulting next, Bruce?
  7. 7. More on IBM • So how long did IBM’s dominance last? Interesting question if you’re wondering how long today’s leading vendors might last: – Just a few years later in 1993, IBM hit a record high annual income of ≈$40B, however it’s bottom line was an $8B loss! – Since its founding in 1911, IBM had never laid off a single employee, and by 1993 they had ≈400K FTEs. The poor bottom line prompted the dismissal of ≈100K employees, and IBM gradually moved back into the black. Today, most of its revenue comes from “services” – cloud hosting & consulting... • After Bill’s opening critique, this piece extolled IBM’s power & dominance. Easy to believe when they had 45% of all hospitals per Dorenfest’s 1987 Guide...
  8. 8. Advertiser Index • So just how long does the typical HIS vendor last? To give you an idea, take a look at the list of vendors advertising in the September 1987 index at the back of Computers in Healthcare magazine and see if you can recognize any? Are any of the 31 vendors listed still running under the same name today – 30 years later?
  9. 9. Only one: Sunquest! • And they had a fairly complex history of M & As: – Founded in 1979 by PA Pathologist Sid Goldblatt, they battled Cerner for LIS dominance for 2 decades. – After an IPO in 1996, Sunquest was acquired in 2001 by Misys and renamed as their “HSD” division. – In 2007 they were acquired by Vista Equity Partners. – In 2012, Sunquest was acquired by Roper and now battles SCC for leadership of the dwindling LIS market…
  10. 10. Today’s Leading Vendor Longevity • Sorry the print below is so small, but it’s a graph of the life cycle of today’s leading vendors, which is so long it stretches Excel! • The colors change as their ownership does, so the 4 most stable vendors below all have solid colors in their long timeline bars: – Meditech = 48 years old, founded in 1969 by still-CEO Neil Pappalardo. – Epic = 38 years old, founded in 1979 as HRC by still-CEO Judy Faulkner. – CPSI = 38 years old, founded 1979 by Denny Wilkins & Kenny Muscat. – Cerner = “only” 37 years young, founded as PGI in 1980 by Neal & Co.
  11. 11. Next Month • Some fascinating ads & articles from October 1987 HIS rags: – The leading clinical system vendor and CPOE pioneer TDS withdraws from the lucrative DoD procurement process. – The upcoming ASCP/CAP convention caused dozens of LIS vendors to run ads and be profiled in feature articles. – Creation of the HL7 standards for interfaces, defined by a committee of HIS experts that first met in March of 1987. – A number of fascinating vendor ads that show just how far the IT industry has come (and gone) in these thirty years… • Hope you enjoy jumping back to these early days of HIS-tory – glad to share any of your memories or feedback: Vince Ciotti HIS Professionals, LLC 505.466.4958