COVID-19 will spark more data analytics use in healthcare, Cerner CEO says

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely push healthcare organizations to fully leverage capabilities surrounding data analytics and help them draw sharper insights into population health, according to Brent Shafer, CEO of Cerner. 

In a May 12 interview with Business Insider, Mr. Shafer highlighted the Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR vendor's efforts to help its healthcare provider clients during the pandemic. Cerner, which manages about 250 million patient records globally, hosts about 3 million users on its systems daily, according to Mr. Shafer. 

"We often say that, in a way, healthcare is mostly digitized — because we were one of the companies that helped to make that happen," Mr. Shafer said. "On the other hand, it's like the foundation is there, the wiring has been laid, but often it's not utilized to its fullest extent." 

In April, Cerner began offering select health systems and research organizations access to de-identified COVID-19 patient data to support the development of epidemiological studies, clinical trials and medical treatments for the disease. One of the company's health system clients in Seattle also used data on Cerner's platform to help other providers with their COVID-19 response. The health system was able to share some of its emergency department protocols with a larger group of providers managing COVID-19 patient surges. 

"I think healthcare groups around the world will show more interest in really using the capabilities around data analytics," Mr. Shafer said. "So that they can then anticipate what's coming, anticipate the needs, and look at the health of populations in a more organized way than we have in the past." 

More articles on data analytics: 
How hundreds of hospitals are teaming up within their states to tackle COVID-19 data silos
Many COVID-19 contact tracers aren't reporting in real time
New York City teams up with Salesforce on COVID-19 contact tracing program

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