I just got back from spending the better part of two days at MEDITECH. Even though I have been a MEDITECH CIO for 11 years I had only been to Boston 1 other time. I just don’t feel like I need to talk strategy very often. I also feel guilty tying up executive time for a little 15 hospital chain in Wisconsin.
The MEDITECH campuses are beautiful. I suppose that is in part because founder Neal Pappalardo’s daughter is an interior decorator. There is tasteful art everywhere. My understanding is that MEDITECH has unintentionally done very well with real estate appreciation.
Anyone that states that MEDITECH is a closed system that is difficult to interface to/from is stuck in the 90’s, presumably listening the Spice Girls and using CompuServe on their 486. I have always been able to get the MEDITECH interfaces I need. But, the interoperability efforts they have underway really made me say “wow.” They are clearly adopted emerging standards in a way that they never have before.
We were supposed to go to dinner with the MEDITECH folks last night, but we decided to cancel out in order spend some time working (rarely are our clinical IT leaders in the same place). I felt bad about canceling, but I assumed the MEDITECH execs would appreciate their unexpected free time. Today I asked Howard Messing (President and COO) how he spent his free night instead of schmoozing customers. He told us that he installed a new distribution of Linux on one of his computers. I love that dude.
I asked Howard if I should read a business strategy into that. He told me that they are already running some Linux applications internally and have been playing with it. I don’t suspect there is a Linux option forthcoming for MEDITECH’s HIS customers. But Howard, feel free to take Microsoft out of the equation. We can split the savings 50/50.