-tory” by
Vince Ciotti

Episode # 46:

Part 3
© 2011 H.I.S. Professionals, LLC

Another Insider’s View
• As we saw the past 2 HIS-tory episodes, CliniCom was an amazing start-up vendor of bedside nursing systems, that pioneered RF telecom, bar-coding and handheld devices over 25 years ago. • After Don Gilchrist’s fascinating input last week, I received a treasure-trove of pictures and insights from another early CliniCom team member, Marjorie Rodell, who led software development: - “If you look at the CliniCare terminal (on right) you'll see a precursor to iPad 20 years earlier.” - (granted Apple’s software is incredible more user-friendly, but the basic device pictured on the right was amazingly prescient. The stylus is even reminiscent of Apple’s first breakthrough PDA – the Newton, killed by Jobs after Doonesbury mocked it’s character non-

Marjorie sum up the 3 main breakthroughs of CliniCom:
– “It is interesting to think back on this time when we had to provide the terminal device, the RF network and the barcoding methodology, because none of it existed then. We were the first to recognized that nurses were mobile. - There just weren't open mobile solutions then and we believed that you had to provide the whole solution. CliniCom had a patent on a frequencyhopping RF protocol, but getting it to work in hospitals without lots of interference was a real challenge – both to install and for ongoing support.”

Other CliniCom Insights
• “CliniCom had courageous, creative and loyal customers who were the visionaries and risk takers of that time. They stuck with us through the challenges with RF, barcode glue and early stage software glitches that would not be tolerated today and pushed us in directions that Peter Gombrich probably never dreamed of.

• Medication administration, as we found out, forced nursing and pharmacists in hospitals to cooperate in ways they were not accustomed to. For example, the specific times associated with QID had to be specified per nursing station. We also had a great sales team (see next page) and a great services team who made sure that those of us in development paid attention to our customer needs.”

CliniCom’s Sales Team
The one guy I recognize below is Brian Higgins, in the middle of the bottom row – he went through my PEP class at McAuto in 1981!

Bill Brehm’s Contribution
• As Don Glichrist mentioned last week, Peter Gombrich left CliniCom early, and Bill Brehm of Gerber-Brehm (IFAS) fame then led the way.
• Bill led ClinCom through an amazing growth spurt, resulting in its first profitable year in 1992. • By 1994, CliniCom had grown in 10 years to over 100 clients with an annual revenue of $35M, which caught the eye of…

Another Acquisition!
• …Charlie McCall of HBOC fame in Atlanta. HBO was riding incredibly high on its stock in the 90s buying up HIS vendors, and CliniCom became the basis of their “Pathways” line of clinical systems. • The “Pathways Care Manager” suite expanded on CliniCom’s emphasis on nursing functionality, which grew over time to encompass almost every aspect of nursing, from TPR, I&O, Assessments to Care Plans. • Eventually renamed “Horizon,” the pioneering nursing systems of CliniCom still run today in hundreds of hospitals who are reading the latest press releases on HERM, and wondering what’s on the horizon for this paragon of clinical systems.

Thanks Marjorie!
• So what’s Marjorie doing these days? I first met her when she was running the consulting division of the Sisters of St. Francis Health System in Indiana for CIO Bill Laker back in the late 90s. SSFHS was a heavy user of HBOC’s Pathways, and pushed it to its limits, just as Marjorie pushes her Kawasaki Ninja 250 (pictured below) to its! • Through her consulting firm, SMG Inc, she helps vendors learn from her many years at both CliniCom and HBOC/McKesson, where she led clinical software development, and can be reached at: • 970.948.5837

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