Recap Time• We have now finished 52 episodes of H.I.S.-tory, which for you math mavens out there, just about uses up the year that Mr. HIS-talk kindly gave me to expand on my HIMSS presentation in these weekly slide shows.• So in these final few episodes, we’re going to recap some 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 product names, 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 John Marshall for names, whose product managers came up with: • What else do you call a single data base system, released in an era of VSAM files? • When UniFile didn’t respond too well (imagine system response times on 1200 baud 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-charge ADT/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 names that amazingly defied the reality of the product they represented: – UNITY – now that’s a name for a product that is the synthesis of two disparate platforms: a DEC mini-based front end for clinicals, front-ending a shared IBM mainframe for financials! – EXACT – the name for a re-packaging of SMS’s convoluted pricing 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 had been selling for years, but offered now on either an inhouse or shared basis. Appropriate name for a company from Philly, home of:
Some Not-So-Hot SMS Names• But even the marketing mavens in King of Prussia were not immune to an occasional slip-of-the-tongue, to whit: – In the mid-80s, SMS responded to the growing turnkey-mini explosion 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 that one up, but it was a bad a name as the mixed product was an HIS! Typically, SMS listened to the market and cleaned up both the name/system: - Allegra – a much better, simpler name, and a better simpler system that sold well for over a decade until sunset just before Y2K.
An SMS “Classic”• As it winds down its life (now that Soarian is finally programmed in something more than PowerPoint), we just must pay tribute to one of the best product names in H.I.S.-tory, also from SMS: – Invision! Launched in 1989, Invision clinicals were as enormous an advance technically, as the name was leading edge 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 must have been when a common household product manufacturer stole most of its letters for their eponymous product:
Worst HIS Product Names!?• So who won the other prize for the worst HIS product names? My other alma mater: McAuto.• I guess the airplane parent gave them the predilection 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 (2nd version)• When the mini revolution hit, Mac acquired & renamed several: – LabCom (Dr. Hick’s excellent, high-end LIS system) – RadCom& PharmCom – can’t remember where McAuto bought these two systems, but the “Com” suffix sure was
Stay Tuned…• Next week we’ll cover some more great/ horrid product names and some weird twists in how we talk about our HIS-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’t afford to re-write it – re-name it!)• So what’s your most & least favorite HIS product names? Send me yours and I’ll blame you: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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!?