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Healthcare Informatics' Top 10 Most Popular Stories of the Year

December 30, 2014
by Gabriel Perna and Megan Combs
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The numbers don't lie...2014 had a lot going on. Our editor of reader engagement, Megan Combs parsed through the analytics and found the Top 10 stories of the year. They reveal a lot about the year that was health IT. There was major regulatory news, major mergers, and major mainstream health issues that seeped into the industry.

Here's a look at these “major” stories that defined 2014. See you in 2015!

  1. ICD-10, SGR Temporary Fix Passes House, Senate: In late March, Congress passed H.R. 4302, a resolution that extended the temporary patch to the doc fix (Sustainable Growth Rate) Medicare spending formula. Included in the bill was a provision that would delay the transition to ICD-10 another year.
  2. 2014 Healthcare Informatics Released: HCI's yearly list was released in May of this year, with McKesson reigning on top for the seventh straight year.
  3. How Community Hospital Used Health IT to Conquer MERS: Before Ebola captured the nation's attention, it was Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Senior Editor Gabriel Perna interviewed Alan Kumar, M.D. CMIO at Community Hospital, a 450-bed, regional tertiary care facility in Munster, Ind., which housed the first MERS patient in the U.S. The hospital used radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology and patient interaction notes in the EMR to ensure that he wasn't exposed to others and would spread the infection.
  4. Industry Exclusive: John Glaser, Ph.D. Reviews the Logic of the Cerner-Siemens Deal: The Cerner-Siemens mega deal was the biggest vendor news of the year, by far. In this exclusive, Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland interviewed John Glaser, Ph.D, the CEO of Siemens Health IT. Dr. Glaser, who will join Cerner when the deal closes in 2015, explained why the deal makes sense and where there are opportunities in the EMR market.
  5. An Overlooked Provision of H.R. 4302: The aforementioned H.R. 4302 wasn't just about extending the temporary doc fix or delaying ICD-10 one more year. As this article from Senior Editor Gabriel Perna explains, there was a provision that requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to define clinical decision support mechanisms, determined by various industry stakeholders, that will be used by providers prescribing advanced imaging procedures for Medicare patients.
  6. Cerner Buys Siemens Health IT Division for $1.3 Billion; Cerner's President Gives HCI an Exclusive: Cerner's $1.3 buy of Siemens raised a lot of eyebrows. The HCI team, lead by Associate Editor Rajiv Leventhal, broke this news and got an exclusive interview with Cerner President Zane Burke immediately after it was announced. Burke explained why it wasn't a defensive play against the industry heavyweight, Epic Systems.
  7. How Healthcare Organizations Turn Big Data into Smart Data: In January, Associate Editor Rajiv Leventhal interviewed Shane Pilcher of Bethel Park, Pa.-based Stoltenberg Consulting, to talk about the difference between big data and smart data, strategies for collecting the right data, and advice for physicians in getting on board with the movement.
  8. Medicare's Pioneer ACO Program Loses Three More Participants: In September, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that three more accountable care organizations (ACOs) dropped out of the Pioneer ACO Program. The departures left 19 ACOs remaining from the original 32. An executive at one of the ACOs that dropped out said CMS' program was “financially detrimental.”
  9. Epic, Cerner Leading Next Wave EMR Vendors: A report in March from the Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research detailed the strong grip Epic Systems and Cerner have on the EMR market. The two vendors are the top two next wave vendor systems for hospitals and health systems that are choosing a second EMR.
  10. Most Interesting Vendor: Cerner—Moving Outside the Hospital's Four Walls: In the annual “Most Interesting Vendor” series of articles, Associate Editor Rajiv Leventhal detailed Cerner's push to move towards more population health-based systems.