Cerner sets sights on data liquidity, easing IT burden on clinicians in next-generation tech

Cerner was founded in 1979 to develop clinical IT systems and has grown into a global EHR company serving U.S. hospitals and the VA.

"For more than 40 years, Cerner has been a global leader in investing, implementing and operating technology for electronic health records," said Will Mintz, Cerner's chief strategy officer. "The company has one of the largest collections of health data in the world, with thousands of care providers interacting with Cerner technology each day. Our next chapter will pioneer a new era for healthcare."

The company is focused on harnessing its global scale and data application to solve big issues in healthcare. It's working to make data more useful and valuable for scientists and researchers as they strive to better understand underlying illness, chronic conditions and clinical complications. Data is also crucial for medical decision-making and innovations.

Cerner is on the forefront of partnerships with big technology companies. It expanded its partnership with Amazon Web Services during the pandemic and is developing a virtual scribe using Amazon Transcribe Medical and working with AWS to rapidly deploy the Cerner Command Center dashboard to clients in the cloud.

"Whether it's partnering with our federal partners to form health information exchanges, collaborating with Amazon/AWS, or making investments in global companies, Cerner has an open platform and is making tremendous strides in accelerating healthcare innovation," Mr. Mintz said.

Throughout the pandemic, Cerner has worked with providers to reduce strain on technology infrastructure, identify at-risk patients and provide data-driven decision support for front-line caregivers. It's helped to boost hospital capacity, determine surges and the spread of COVID-19, manage resources and identify potential bed shortfalls.

Cerner also increased telehealth capacity and functionality, sometimes helping health systems manage a hundredfold more virtual appointments. It partnered with the federal government to develop health information exchanges and worked with the CDC to provide health systems and academic research centers with access to deidentified patient information to support epidemiological studies, clinical trials and medical treatment for COVID-19 patients.

"It's no surprise this year's global pandemic has underscored the increasing importance of providing a more complete picture of the patient and relevant insights into patient care," said Mr. Mintz. "Cerner has been focused on how intelligence and interoperability is not only delivering masses of data where it needs to go, regardless of origination, but is also making it more usable to help solve challenges."

The company sees the next generation of EHRs focusing on data liquidity to make patient and consumer data more accessible, portable and consumable regardless of where it originates.

"With Cerner technology advancements and focus on what data can do for healthcare, we are enhancing the ability to access and exchange data between our clients and any organization," said Mr. Mintz. "Cerner is taking interoperability beyond connectivity to true usability by creating a single, longitudinal record that ultimately is useful in any care venue."

EHRs of the future will need to give time back to clinicians. Physicians spend more than 16 minutes per patient with the EHR on average, and most schedule just five minutes for patient appointments. Cerner aims to give time back to clinicians with technology that streamlines processes.

The company partnered with Phoenix-based Banner Health to eliminate 500,000 alerts from the system, which supports patient safety and alleviates alert fatigue among pharmacists and providers. In Indiana, St. Joseph's Health and Indiana University are testing Cerner's most recent voice-assisted technology, allowing clinicians to complete a range of tasks using voice command instead of manual documentation.

"Cerner is committed to innovating new tools and EHR enhancements to increase clinician satisfaction and the joy of practicing medicine," said Mr. Mintz.

 

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