85. meditech part 3

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  • 1. H.I.S.-toryby Vince CiottiEpisode #85:Meditech Part 3The products: from MUMPS to 6.0 2012 by H.I.S. Professionals, LLC, all rights reserved.

2. MUMPS You may remember leaving Dr. Octo Barnettsbrilliant programming team in MITs Lab of ComputerScience using early DEC PDP minicomputers todevelop one of the very first time-sharing systems. The software was MUMPS, for MassachusettsGeneral Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System. True to form in the IT industry, MUMPS evolved over time with several iterations, with different names:M pretty easy to figure that acronym out,MUMPS-11 for the DEC DPD-11 minicomputer,DSM - Digital (DEC) Standard Mumps, andISM Intersystems MMacMUMPS a version for the Apple Mac OS. 3. MIIS Offspring When Neil & Co. formed Meditech in August of 1969, they startedwith MUMPS as their programming language and wrote systemsfor a number of clients offered in a time-sharing basis, including: Auto parts distribution, hotel chain reservation, international oilfirm, a cola company the Hong Kong Telephone company! Circa 1071, they renamed their variant of MUMPS as MIIS,short for MEDITECH Interpretive Information System. In 1973, their clients covered a wide array of industriesincluding a Court Case Tracking and Parole Reporting System forthe New York City Criminal Justice Department (might havebeen helpful had the Allscripts suit against NYCHHC lasted) MIIS also used to write Meditechs first product for theHealthcare industry, a propos considering Dr. Barnetts LCS 4. Cape Cod Hospital whose Pathologist elected to go with Meditech in 1970 to write a Lab system running via a teletype machine over adial-up phone line via an acoustic coupler, time-sharing on a DEC PDP- 15 running at the Meditech facility in nearby Cambridge. Who was this daring Doctor? The name OToole should ring a bell with long-term reader of HIS-talk, as his son, also named Bill,is a regular contributor from hisOToole Law Group (781/934-7400) inDuxbury, Massachusetts. Cape CodHospital eventually went inhouse on aDG Eclipse C330 minicomputer, addinga full array of LIS apps: microbiology,anatomic pathology and blood bank. 5. Its Magic! Around 1979, Meditech announced thelatest language: Magic, this one with noacronym. As the story goes, programmerswere themselves amazed at how code was generated by virtue ofthe screen design in the era of 3GL or 3rd generation programminglanguages of the late 70s. Programmers designed screens andwhen they were done, they hit File and the code to create thescreen was generated automatically like magic!Cute story For sure, Magic sold that way, as Meditech expanded far beyond itsoriginal LIS roots to gradually add every app a total HIS needed: - 1970s = ADT, Pharmacy, Accounts Payable & General Ledger - 1980s = Billing & AR, Orders/Results, Case Mix, & Abstracting. In 1985 they introduced NPR no, not that NPR, but Non-ProcessReports, a Magic variant that generated reports much faster 6. The New Thing Hard to remember how the client/serverconcept rocked the IT industry back in the90s as every new vendor/product jumpedon the multi-tiered bandwagon that used powerful PCs as servers(instead of the old mainframes and minis), ODBC-compliant databases like Oracle & Cache,and PCs with GUI front-ends (thinkWindows 95), all connected via Local Area Networks like Novell. It was a bit of a stretch for Meditech to describe Magics hard-wired CRTs as C/S, so in 1994, Meditech released itsClient/Server system, the quotes coming from their agreementswhere their attorneys probably wanted to carefully qualify whatthey meant by the term. Check this odd press release from Nov.94: 7. Did It Sell? Did Meditechs Client/Server sell? Just like like a well, you get the picture. By 1999, Meditech announced its 100thClient/Server (C/S) system client! By that time, Meditech had about 700 UShospitals on its Magic NPR platform, plushundreds of LIS-only (their original marketremember), over a hundred clinicals only(viz: HCA/Columbia), plus 100+ internationalsites, but C/S grew rapidly as Meditechstressed it in all their new system sales. To their credit, they did not sunset Magic,and to this day, somewhere around 600 UShospitals still run it as their core HIS,hundreds having attested for Stage 1 MU. 8. Round Three Like so many HIS vendors (think McKessonsParagon), Meditech rode the C/S wavethroughout the late 90s and early 2000s,before Neil and Company came up with: Focus, er Release 6.0, err Meditechs Advanced Technology (MAT) Oh, whatever they call it The point is itsnew, its better than C/Sor Magic, and if youhad any brains (or the money) youd buy it! And thats just what hospitals have beendoing, in droves, for the past several years.Whats so much better about 6.0? Well, ifMagic and C/S only go up to release 5.6, thenMAT is .4 better or about 10% more, right? The point is, its the latest & greatest, period. 9. Meditech 3 Generations LCSMUMPS MIIS Magic So there you have it: how Meditechs 3Client Server platforms evolved over their 40 year HIS-MAT tory. Will be fun to see how they play out: Will Magic & C/S ever get a release #higher than 5.9? (Client/Server is at release 5.6.4 already) - What will they call it after MAT/Release 6.0 hits release 6.9? Ah well, maybe one of your readers will fill in the blanks by then Meanwhile, whats in store for next week? Well be covering how Meditech achieved such amazing growth to where they are in 2,300 hospitals worldwide, and the primary HIS for about one out of five hospitals. Thanks much to several un-named sources for help with this week, who wished to be remain un-named. Any more volunteers??