The Picis Line

May 2018

Message from Marcus 

I had an interesting conversation with a staff member at Picis a few days ago. He had a genuine concern about an issue and I could sense he felt quite strongly about it. As I explored the details with him, he was exceptionally reluctant to “throw anyone under the bus”. That phrase has always frustrated me.

I have long been curious about why people are hesitant to use specifics to drive towards a solution. It’s a bit analogous to why people will let a friend walk around with spinach in their teeth. I’ve concluded that it springs from a sense of empathy. When you let someone know they have spinach in their teeth, there’s a momentary embarrassment; the person with the spinach is embarrassed; and the person doing the informing has to live in that moment with them. If that person is a friend, so goes the logic, you just feel bad for embarrassing them. So, it’s “kinder” to just not embarrass them.  But is it? What about all of the people who they will interact with after you that will see that spinach too? And what if no one says anything?

Let’s change perspectives – what if you’re the one with the spinach? All day long you walk around thinking everything is good, or great or awesome; only to find out later that there’s this huge piece of green foliage invading the smile you’ve been purportedly beaming all day. You were maybe having the best day ever, in your mind, only to realize later that you were the poster child for brushing after meals. Now that’s embarrassing! And that substantive embarrassment could have been avoided if your friend would have simply told you.

If you were my friend and let me do that all day, I would not be happy with you. Especially when the rationale you offer later is you “didn’t want to make me feel bad”. Please note, if your intention was not to embarrass me or make me feel bad, you failed!! Maybe my analogy is over simplistic, but, unfortunately, I’ve seen this manifest itself in numerous ways over my many years in the working world.

But back to the issue – I pressed the staff member about how he thought the conversation would flow if he had actually helped me understand who else in the business was involved; would we get to a resolution of this issue he was deeply concerned about? He reluctantly admitted that it probably would have led to a solution. What followed was a discourse on why taking that path was how we could best serve our customers and each other. The simple reality is no one “gets in trouble” when we are trying to resolve an issue. While Accountability/Responsibility/Ownership is one of our 10 Core Values, so is Understanding/Learning. By diving into the specifics together, myopically focused on finding resolutions, we are at our best! And we learn about how we can work better, smarter, more efficiently together. Challenges are opportunities for us to learn and understand and grow. When it comes to understanding challenges and finding solutions, there genuinely is no “bus” it’s just “us”.

Marcus Perez
EVP, Picis



Client Spotlight

VISN12 – Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

We are excited to announce that on April 17th, 2018, VISN12 Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) expanded their relationship with Picis and upgraded their ARK/CIS products to version 8.6. Lovell has completed a successful upgrade from version 8.2 to version 8.6. They have over 4 OR rooms and over 5 PACU beds. With our new Forms Builder feature and our most updated version we are confident that 8.6 will be a great improvement for Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center

About version 8.6: Previous versions did not allow users to customize their printouts. In version 8.6, using the Forms Builder feature gives the client the ability to develop their printout.

About FHCC:

FHCC is part of the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 12, which includes Jesse Brown VA Health Care System; Hines VA Hospital; North Chicago VAMC; Milwaukee VAMC; Madison VA Hospital; Tomah VAMC; and Iron Mountain VAMC. These facilities make up a regional health care system that provides a full spectrum of healthcare.

FHCC provides training in health services administration, audiology/speech pathology, biomedical engineering, dental assisting, medical technology, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, podiatry, psychology, social work and many other areas. Over 400 residents, interns and students are trained each year. 


What version of PICIS is compatible with Windows 10?

Windows 10 Compatibility was added in PICIS 8.6 MR2. Only 64-bit is supported, there is no 32-bit compatibility.

R&D Update


8.6 MR4 on going with main features:



Sepsis detection:

Picis 10

Entering the last phase of the new release of our clinical solutions: AM/PACU/ICU/CC Manager with a completely redesigned user interface including improved usability.


Released Smartrack Next 1.0.1 that addresses feedback received during beta testing

Professional Services

Did you know?

You can Auto Discharge patients? The purpose of this new feature is for the system to be able to automatically discharge patient records that have been left in the ‘Transfer’ state for too long.  This feature will alleviate the user from needing to manually clean up obsolete Transfers. The Picis ‘Customize’ application will provide the auto discharge configuration setting.  This setting will be an integer with a default value of ‘0’ signifying that auto discharge is disabled, and a positive value indicating the number of hours that an admission must be in transfer state before the auto discharge will happen.  The default value for any template settings in Customize for auto discharge will be ‘0’ (disabled).

The auto discharge configuration setting will be added to the templates in the ‘Preferences’ tab of the Configuration Parameters screen.

Contact our support team for more information!


Visiting customers and giving their system a HealthCheck is always very enlightening. It is interesting that some of the recommendations are the same for most customers. One of the recommendations that is common amongst most SmarTrack customers is around the family board. Most of the SmarTrack customers have a big board out in the waiting room for the patient’s family members. Usually, the Patient ID is the number generated by SmarTrack. There are several options when selecting the Patient ID. My favorite is the combination of patient initials and date of birth. For example, my patient ID would be SuTh0813. That is the first two initials of my last name, the first two initials of my first name, and my month of birth and my day of birth. I like this patient ID because it is HIPAA compliant, as well as easy to locate on a family board.

While visiting customers one of the first things I notice about the family board is that all the patients are on the board starting first thing in the morning. My recommendation is to NOT display the patients that have not yet arrived. Typically, if the patient has not arrived, neither has the family. Displaying only patients that are in the perioperative process will keeping the scrolling to a minimum and family members can find their loved one among fewer patients. Several customers have changed their family boards and have had great success with patient and family satisfaction.

SmarTrack Next with the Family Portal will be the next generation of patient and family satisfaction with texting notifications and web access to track the family member through the perioperative process.

Contact your Customer Success Manager or Theresa Sullivan at to schedule a HealthCheck.

Innovation Zone

What is innovation?

We’ve all head the term innovation or “to be innovative” but what does it really mean?

Innovation isn’t simply the new buzzword in corporate America, innovation has been around for as long as recorded history. It is important that we properly define the term and apply it appropriately though. Often people confuse innovation with invention. Sometimes, innovation leads to the need for an invention and many times an invention will lead to new innovations.

One of the most disruptive examples of innovation in our lifetime would be the introduction of the internet. Recently my teenage son told me that he didn’t really think technology or the internet had that much of an impact on our daily lives. After pondering his statement for a few minutes, I realized that he doesn’t know what it was like before the internet. He’s never had to buy an Atlas map to take a road trip. He doesn’t know the risk of having your note intercepted by a teacher and read out loud to the class. He never sat by the boom box for hours waiting for the local radio station to play the new hit song, while holding your finger just above the record and play button, hoping the DJ doesn’t talk over the beginning of it. He simply pulls up iTunes, sends a text or launches Google Maps without giving it much thought.

Was the internet invented so we could listen to music, get real-time driving directions or pass notes without getting caught? No, though these innovations are a byproduct of an invention. Someone thought to themselves, “There’s got to be a better way”. They started with a goal in mind. How do I leverage new technological breakthroughs to deliver music to the masses in a faster, less costly way?  The result, after what I’m sure were many iterations and improvements in technology is a near real-time release of music from artists direct to their fans.

So what makes an idea innovative? An innovative idea is an idea that stems from a curiosity or an interest in improving a process or solution. Innovative ideas typically challenge the status quo. They tend to be iterations to existing processes that become outdated or obsolete.

At Picis, we have adopted a culture of innovation. We encourage and empower our team members to challenge the status quo. We ask that everyone take a step back and ask if this is the best process? How can we improve on this process or solution and make it better? We’re working to engage our clients and users and ask how they use our solutions, what can we do to deliver more value and solve more of their problems.

Are you applying an innovative mindset in your daily activities? Does your organization work to drive new innovations? If so, we’d love to hear examples of how innovation has improved the lives of your coworkers, your patients or your processes. Feel free to send an email to if you have ideas, questions or want to share examples of innovation within your organization.

Michael Earley
Director of Initiatives, Picis


CAB Corner

We have decided to change the format and now we will have a CAB Community from the Picis side as well as the customer’s side. We have gathered stakeholders from all departments and formed a committee that will join the CAB calls. If you would like to be on the Customer Advisory Board please email We plan to start up in June!

Harris Corporate News

Save the Date!

Will you attend? Let us know here


Upcoming Events

TPK (Trays, Packs and Kits Dictionary) Webinar

Tuesday, May 22nd at 9 am PST / 12 pm EST

Register here

VA Events 

Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthesists Annual Education Meeting – Long Beach, CA – May 17-20th

VA Vendor Conference – Nashville, TN – June 6th

Contact Jeanine Genseal ( to learn more!

Thank you for reading and see you next month!

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