How Cerner's new CEO Dr. David Feinberg plans to take EHRs to full potential: 5 insights 

As part of his strategy for leading Cerner, David Feinberg, MD, is focused on improving EHR usability and interoperability, he said during the Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR company's virtual event Oct. 12. 

Dr. Feinberg officially took the helm of Cerner Oct. 1, bringing more than 25 years of healthcare experience to the role. Prior to Cerner, Dr. Feinberg's leadership positions included serving as vice president of Google Health, CEO of Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger, and president and CEO of Los Angeles-based UCLA Health Sciences. 

Dr. Feinberg shared some of his top priorities as Cerner's new president and CEO during the company's Cerner Health Conference virtual event Oct. 12. 

Five quotes and insights from Dr. Feinberg: 

1. On why he chose to join Cerner: "To me, the best way to have a meaningful impact on healthcare is by working with people determined to build and use technologies that improve the lives of others." 

2. On why improving EHRs is at the top of his priority list: "Cerner, and frankly other EHR companies, have done an incredible job of automating processes and digitizing medical records for more than 40 years. In itself, that's a huge accomplishment. … But we haven't fully reached our potential. Digitized records, for one, need to be usable. They need to be measured by how they enable caregivers to spend even more time at the bedside and less time at the terminal." 

3. On why usability is only the beginning: "Usability is just the beginning. Not the true promise of the digital age. If healthcare is people caring for people, then our job is to provide caregivers with the tools that allow them to do their jobs. Records should help patients avoid unnecessary tests and medications because the record is so easy to find and understand. Records should help nurses and doctors avoid errors and suggest what treatments might be best." 

4. On need for interoperability with EHRs: "Records should allow all of you to understand the health of your community. Who is at risk? And what interventions are working? Records should predict. Records should help the world avoid or at least minimize the effects of the next pandemic. And all of this works only if we share your records with everyone you tell us to. If we use your records to improve your health, it could also improve the health of your communities and ultimately our world." 

5. On the need to fix interoperability and usability, or "noise," to reach EHR's full potential: "The noise remains. That's what we have to take to zero. Our technology needs to be reliable. It needs to be understandable. It needs to be complementary. It needs to enable, not disable. So the vision of using data to do more great things even faster hasn't changed. That's the brass ring. But to achieve that vision — fixing the EHR — is job No. 1. The pipes are laid, which is wonderful, but we have to make it easier to get the right information to the right people and the right time to eliminate that noise."


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