Extormity Provides Clients with Apology Letter Template and Slide Deck
As its clients experience the Extormity Brand Promise (Expensive, Exasperating, Exhausting) during implementation and its painful aftermath, they are learning that this advertising tagline translates to a depleted balance sheet and the need to make painful cuts. Recognizing this is new territory for many of its customers, the gargantuan health IT vendor has prepared glossy material to help jittery hospital CEOs and practice administrators justify reductions in force, address angry employees and shareholders and cling to their jobs.
"We are up front with our clients about the fact that installing Extormity will force them to decrease patient volumes," said Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington. "What most of them fail to grasp is the downstream consequences of our painful implementation process - sustained revenue loss, clinician and support staff disdain, our lack of functionality for charge capture, and a pervasive sense of malaise and hopelessness that clouds operations."
"In response, our marketing and legal teams collaborated to develop an ‘apology tour' kit that includes stakeholder presentation material, a letter to employees that creatively explains austerity measures including layoffs and the cancellation of incentive compensation, and a video that creates the impression that one day, all of this will be worth it as evidenced by the smiles of actors portraying patients only too happy to have a central line," added Whittington.
Whittington went on to explain that developing this project was a real challenge for Extormity and underscores the company's support for healthcare executives who sign open-ended contracts. "Thanks to our 3X squared program, most of our clients end up paying at least three times the budget estimates in our SOWs in addition to all the ancillary fees we tack on," said Whittington. "Thanks to this and other Extormity innovations, we have experienced growth every year, quarter, month and day since we launched the company. Having never experienced financial hardship, it took real effort for us to empathize with our clients and create the content for this program."
Extormity Announces Oh Well Initiative, Plans to Interoperate with Itself
On the heels of the HIMSS conference, electronic health record vendor Extormity today announced that it will begin making its own solutions interoperable as part of what calls its Oh Well effort.
"It has become increasingly clear that interoperability is a buzzword we must pay attention to," said Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington from a corporate planning retreat in Monaco. "Our attitude is 'Oh Well' we clearly have to make a token gesture, so we are planning to make every Extormity application interoperable at distances up to 65 feet."
"What separates this initiative from other relatively banal announcements we have made it the past is the fact that this level of interoperability will no longer require complex and time-consuming integration," added Whittington. "The only customer requirement is a sizable check."
Extormity also announced that it has reserved more than 50 percent of the exhibit space for HIMSS14 in Orlando. "In the past, we have been low key at HIMSS, preferring to host lavish off-site parties," said Whittington. "Next year, we are doing an about face and we plan to own the conference. As attendees enter our booth, they will find themselves trapped in a maze that is all but impossible to escape without signing an agreement. However, there will be jumbo shrimp, cocktails and constant entertainment by 80's arena bands with at least one original member."
Electronic health record vendor Extormity today announced that nearly 75 percent of its existing customer base reports being dissatisfied, extremely dissatisfied or contemplating suicide based on the decision to implement the Extormity EHR solution. Further, Extormity expects nearly 40 percent of its clients to de-install their solution in 2013 and switch to another vendor.
Citing a recent study which indicated that nearly 20 percent of EHR users could be switching out their first choice EHR this year, Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington stated "We are ecstatic that unhappiness levels among our clients clearly outpaces the industry average."
"Even as analysts are expressing concern with these statistics, these findings have generated incredible buzz about Extormity - resulting in a disproportionate share of media attention," added Whittington. "Better yet, the focus on dissatisfaction levels has obscured questionable financial dealings, several catastrophic medical errors linked to flawed clinical decision support algorithms, and more breaches than you can shake a stick at."
While the projected de-conversion rate could be considered alarming, Extormity officials remain bullish on the company’s future. "While much of our installed base is fleeing the good ship Extormity, we are winning new clients at a record pace as providers head for the exits with other vendors who also made expensive empty promises," added Whittington. "When one considers early termination penalties, exorbitant costs for data conversion and the steep hourly rates we charge clients who are transitioning away from our EHR, we expect record profits which will fund the construction of our new corporate headquarters."
Incensed at Snub, Extormity CEO Announces Extormapalooza
On the heels of being rejected to present at the upcoming Health Datapalooza event intended to showcase HIT innovation, Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington today announced a competing event called Extormapalooza.
"While the teeming hordes assemble inside the beltway to fawn over the latest apps and self-importantly use the term 'big data' in every conversation, we will convene in Palm Springs for a 'sansabeltway' gathering," said Whittington.
"Our event will celebrate expensive and difficult to use health IT solutions that eschew interoperability, trample on privacy and view patients as unworthy of access to electronic information," added Whittington.
Taking a page from the Health Data Initiative Forum, the Extormapalooza will feature a developer challenge. "We will have a daylong event called the Cabanathon, which will take place poolside. Each participating organization will have a cabana, bottle service, and a misting fan, and we will award $10,000 to the vendor who is least willing to share electronic data with other participants."
"Lest anyone think the Extormapalooza will discourage interaction, our closing dinner will be followed by a collusion mixer where like-minded vendors can discuss strategies for maintaining high prices, stifling innovative start-ups, and ensuring escalating investments from lemming-like health systems," said Whittington.
Extormity to Federal Health IT Leaders – "Take a chill pill, fellas."
Brantley Whittington, fictional CEO of make-believe electronic health record vendor Extormity, is urging Aneesh Chopra, Farzad Mostashari and Todd Park to tone down their optimism and exuberance about the clinical benefits and cost savings associated with implementing health information technology.
Whittington, speaking to reporters from the offices of a K Street lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., expressed dismay at the unbridled enthusiasm exhibited by White House, ONC and HHS officials. "For years, vendors like Extormity have worked hard to cultivate a healthcare IT culture that combines complexity with closed-mindedness, creating a pervasive and stifling sense of futility."
"Instead of the sober and staid leadership we are accustomed to, these gentlemen are inspiring new models of industry development," added Whittington. "The Direct Project is a great example of supercharged public/private collaboration designed to simplify the flow of health information without spending a dime of taxpayer money. This may benefit patients and providers, but the lack of convoluted infrastructure does little for the Extormity bottom line."
"While I have been known to muster up some counterfeit fervor for shareholder meetings, the consistent passion and zeal demonstrated by these officials is proving disruptive to those of us dedicated to proprietary and expensive solutions," added Whittington. "I suggest dialing back the levels on the gusto meter to preserve the status quo, stifle meaningful innovation and ensure consistent and sizable returns to a handful of large healthcare IT vendors."
Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington Caught On Tape
Expensive, exasperating and exhausting EHR vendor Extormity today released video footage of CEO Brantley Whittington speaking at HIMSS11.
Whittington, a fictional leader created as a parody of unsavory healthcare IT executives, was both gratified and mystified by the HIMSS invitation. "Given that I exist only to skewer the questionable practices of many in the vendor EHR vendor community, imagine my surprise when a credible organization asked me to deliver a closing address."
More surprised were conference attendees expecting to sleep through a dull academic session in order to earn continuing education credits. "I was able to convince several unwitting and somewhat narcoleptic CMIOs to sign long-term contracts for the Extormity EHR system," added Whittington. "As is our practice, these agreements include significant up-front fees, vague and misleading statements of work, and no means of termination."
Surrendering to the inevitability of standards-based data exchange, EHR vendor Extormity today announced the introduction of a new CCR/CCD information sharing module.
"We recognize that the healthcare community in general and patients in particular are interested in simplifying the movement of information, and that CCD, CCR and other acronyms beginning with CC are emerging as the defacto standards for achieving this," stated Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington from his fall retreat in Belize.
"Now, if a patient requests information from an Extormity provider, they will be given the option of CCR or CCD," added Whittington. "Our research indicates that patients who came of age in the 60's and 70's prefer CCR, and we provide them with a CD containing their greatest hits - including Bad Moon Rising, Who'll Stop the Rain, Born on the Bayou, Proud Mary and Green River. Our EHR downloads these popular tracks from the internet and burns them on a CCD while the patient waits."
"Those opting for the CCD format tend to be Catholic parents of children who attend public schools," according to Whittington. "As these kids do not get religious instruction as part of their school day, our CCD module generates a catechism document which can be printed or placed on portable electronic media, satisfying meaningful use patient education and church doctrinal teaching requirements."
Extormity clients will automatically receive the CCR/CCD module as part of their next scheduled upgrade and monthly fee increase.
Extormity Launches Social History Adjustment Algorithm
Electronic health record vendor Extormity today announced the launch of an embedded social history adjustment algorithm in its EHR. "Every provider knows patients are less than forthright about their social history, often misrepresenting alcohol and tobacco consumption, exercise frequency and intensity or recreational drug use," said Extormity CMO Dr. Sonny Bartram.
"This new module automatically adjusts patient-reported values, tripling alcohol intake, doubling the number of cigarettes smoked, and reducing exercise duration by two-thirds," added Bartram. "The system also adjusts for regional and patient-specific factors. For example, a rural patient wearing a baseball cap emblazoned with the numbers 24 or 3 will automatically be flagged as a user of chewing tobacco."
Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington hailed the new algorithm as an example of cutting-edge innovation. "This is the newest version of our Cookbook™ Clinical Decision Support engine, designed to save time, eliminate guesswork and turn physicians into modern-day keypunch operators."
Extormity Launches FIDO, the Invisible Fence for Health Information
Electronic health record vendor Extormity today announced the launch of FIDO, which Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington described as an invisible fence for medical data. "We've worked hard to perfect the art of tethering health information, but our customers have been grumbling that they want a bit more freedom - with FIDO, we give physicians and patients a fleeting sense of data sovereignty."
FIDO, which stands for Fettered Information/Deliberate Obfuscation, tips its hat at a jaunty angle to federal initiatives like the Direct Project and the Blue Button initiative. "We are actually working on our own blue button like module, but ours is going to be a Taupe Toggle," explained Whittington. "When patients flip the Taupe Toggle in Manacle, our shackled patient portal, they can download all of their data – albeit in an unintelligible format that cannot be viewed, stored, printed, parsed or shared."
"FIDO is all about creating, and then enforcing, boundaries," added Extormity CTO Oliver Brindle. "We now allow clients to move data between our servers, their PCs and even iPads. But if they attempt to share data with an HIE or another vendor, an error message is generated and a mild electric shock is administered. After two or three jolts, our clients are not only reluctant to exchange a CCD, they are quite docile at contract renewal time."
"We remain committed to giving the impression that we are complying with the spirit of emerging data sharing requirements," said Whittington. "When pressed to demonstrate this capability, we use the words provenance, breach and PHI in a single sentence, which never fails to spark a diversionary policy discussion."
Extormity Launches Ad Supported EHR
Electronic health record vendor Extormity today announced the launch of "Maximally Invasive", an electronic health record system supported by personal ads. "Max represents a significant departure from our traditional client-server EHR designed to siphon practice revenues directly from customers," stated Extormity CEO Brantley Whittington. "Since we have driven so many cash-strapped physicians into the arms of acquisition-hungry hospitals, we decided to launch an EHR that taps a new revenue stream."
Dr. Alan Kincaid, a family physician in Omaha, is an early adopter and fan of Max. "While ordering a CBC and a lipid panel, I simultaneously found a SWF AL SD who is into FTA - I'm not sure what that means but we are meeting for coffee next week," says Kincaid. "In just 8 hours, I used my new Extormity EHR to chart three physicals and a case of strep throat, and I used the ad module to find a handyman who does drywall repair, locate a remanufactured carburetor for a Porsche I'm restoring and purchase a first pressing of The Beatles Revolver album."
Maximally Invasive also enables clinicians to see context specific ads that benefit patients as encounters are documented. "I was able set up a date for one of our patients at-risk for diabetes with a fitness instructor who described himself as hot, healthy and into grueling workouts," added Kincaid. "According to my Extormity sales rep, this qualifies my practice as a medical home. The only real problem I have noticed is that the e-prescribing module defaults to a scrip for medical marijuana from a distributor in San Francisco."
Extormity CEO Whittington vigorously defended Maximally Invasive when asked if the presence of advertising in the EHR might be distracting to clinicians. "Our labor intensive EHR turns cognitive thinkers into clerical functionaries. As ads pop up frequently, it gives physicians something interesting to read while typing instead of listening to boring patients incessantly drone on about health problems." When also asked if Maximally Invasive will be ONC-ATCB and CCHIT certified, he expressed surprise, saying, "This is about our earnings and ad revenues, not the alphabet."
Whittington Wisdom From HIMSS11
In this Extormity Alert, CEO Brantley Whittington shares his observations from the recent HIMSS11 conference.
While actually attending HIMSS and walking the show floor this year dramatically reduced my time on the tee box, it was instructive to rub elbows with the HIT hoi polloi and reinforce my disdain for fraternizing with the little people. After a recuperative week in Monaco, I would like to dispense a few pearls of Whittington wisdom.
Speaking of small fry, we did identify several attractive acquisition targets — upstart innovators that can be purchased for a song and stripped of their assets. We will then claim that their incompatible legacy systems are seamlessly integrated on a solitary platform — one that has more tentacles than an irradiated monster squid in a Japanese B-Movie. We are going to call this portfolio the Extormity Singularity, which refers to billing for each of these disparate solutions on a single invoice.
While Extormity did not exhibit at HIMSS, we had a lavish invitation-only suite at a nearby luxury hotel where I met one-on-one, Corleone-style, with Extormity clients and prospects. Several of them mentioned MIE and NoMoreClipboard, two up and coming SaaS companies who have the unmitigated gall to bill their solutions as affordable, interoperable and even flexible. Needless to say, we will embark on a hostile takeover of these EHR and PHR pests.
Recognizing my radiant permanence in the HCIT universe, HIMSS invited me to speak at the new HIT X.0 “conference within a conference.” Given the exclusive nature of this opportunity, I took to the stage where I announced the launch of Manacle™, a shackled patient portal. While many of our competitors offer tethered portals, we were concerned that the tether label connotes some degree of leeway. With Manacle, the restrictions are clear — patients are only able to view a highly redacted version of their health information. We protect patients from knowing too much about their maladies, as we don’t want to burden them with disturbing knowledge. Extormity is a patient-centric organization, which means the patient is a prominent stock photo in our corporate brochure. If you like being tethered, you’ll love being shackled.
I also visited the Interoperability Showcase, a fantasy land very appropriate for the conference’s Orlando location. In this fairy tale theme park, data flows magically from vendor to vendor in a standards-based fashion, penetrating the proprietary fortresses erected by Extormity and its like-minded brethren. Idealistic vendors who embrace interoperability are able to imagine, at least for a few days, that we will actually duplicate the free flow of data on behalf of patients out in the marketplace. I bought a T-shirt and had a pint of butter beer.
Will I attend HIMSS next year? Given the Vegas location for 2012, I will no doubt secure a villa and gamble a slice of our 2011 profits at the baccarat tables in the high roller room at the Wynn. See you there.