10 things to know about Cerner

Here are 10 things to know about Kansas City, Mo.-based Cerner, one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world providing health IT solutions, services, devices and hardware.

1. Neal Patterson, Cliff Illig and Paul Gorup founded Cerner in 1979; its name, according to the Cerner website, is derived from a Latin word meaning "to discern." Today, Mr. Patterson serves as chairman of the board and CEO, while Mr. Illig serves as vice chairman of the board. Cerner employs more than 24,000 people worldwide.

2. The company's technologies are licensed at more than 25,000 facilities in more than 35 countries. A few recent contracts include Lynchburg, Va.-based Centra Health selecting Cerner for its five hospitals, more than 50 ambulatory and long-term care facilities and health plan, and the Department of Defense awarding a $74 million data hosting contract to Leidos, Cerner and Accenture for the DoD's EHR.

3. Cerner is currently building its seventh campus. Dubbed the Innovations Campus, the development is projected to reach $4.5 billion and will house 16,000 Cerner employees. Each of the 15 streets on the Kansas City-based campus' road system will be named after a healthcare or technology leader.

4. In 2015, Cerner reported revenue of $4.4 billion. In an annual list of the top 100 health IT companies based on IT revenues, Healthcare Informatics named Cerner the second highest earning IT vendor after Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Optum. Cerner also claims the largest market share in the EMR industry, according to a Kalorama Information report.

5. In the third quarter of fiscal year 2016, Cerner reported a revenue of $1.185 billion — a five percent decrease compared to the $1.28 billion it reported in Q3 FY 2015. However, Cerner officials expect the company's growth in the revenue cycle management sector to negate this trend. Speaking of the revenue cycle business: In September 2016, Cerner appointed Jeff Hurst as the first-ever senior vice president of revenue cycle management and president for RevWorks, Cerner's revenue management services unit.

6. Cerner's loyalty rankings increased from 88 percent in 2015 to 96 percent in 2016, and 95 percent of its clients advocate for peers to purchase Cerner products, according to the 2016 Black Book Inpatient EHR Surveys. However, not all customers have been pleased; Vancouver Island Health Authority facilities in Canada made headlines after physicians reverted to using pen and paper to complete orders soon after Cerner implementation, claiming that the EHR system randomly lost, buried or changed orders for drugs and diagnostic tests.

7. Cerner has been the target of four lawsuits regarding employees' overtime wages. The latest lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges help desk workers who offer technical support were expected to work at least 48 hours a week, but they did not receive overtime pay. In another lawsuit, two former Cerner employees allege that the company miscalculated overtime pay for potentially thousands of workers.

8. One of Cerner's core initiatives is interoperability. The company is a founding member of the CommonWell Health Alliance, a nonprofit and independent organization focused on developing and deploying interoperability solutions. Cerner's website offers the Interoperability Ticker, an interactive map that tracks clinical transactions, pharmacy transactions, health information exchanges and Cerner interoperability solutions in use across the country.

9. Cerner is the most-used certified health IT vendor reported by hospitals participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Based on ONC data from July 2016, 1,029 hospitals report using Cerner's EHR technology; this is 76 more hospitals than the second most common health IT vendor that hospitals report, which is Meditech.

10. Cerner's CEO and cofounder, Mr. Patterson, has also been in the news, as he has continued to stay involved in the company's operations despite his 2016 diagnosis of soft tissue cancer. In November 2016, he made a surprise speech at the Cerner Health Conference in Kansas City, during which he discussed his personal journey through the healthcare system, saying: "I realized God had a sense of humor: He put me in a place undergoing an EHR conversion."

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