New Cerner patent hints at company's efforts to move beyond EHR products

Cerner Innovation, a subsidiary of the Kansas City, Mo.-based EHR vendor, was granted a patent on Jan. 7 for a device that identifies inadequacies in blood samples before they get processed, Kansas City Business Journal reports.

The blood sample detection patent was originally submitted Dec. 31, 2015. The device aims to address issues with automation, which the company claims has resulted in the failure to provide an accurate prescreening method for identifying defective blood samples.

"…improperly labeled specimens, improperly collected specimens and specimens with various types of sample interference are commonly processed in current automated systems," Cerner stated in its patent, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "Accordingly, (the) current system often process(es) defective samples, resulting in sample errors and/or inaccurate results."

The new patent is Cerner's latest move to diversify its portfolio from a strictly EHR-based company, according to the report.

Last August, the company partnered with hospitality and senior living real estate company LifeCenters to develop centers for primary care, pharmacy and fitness opportunities for senior communities across the U.S. Cerner also recently expanded its partnership with Amazon Web Services to create a digital scribe that will help address EHR documentation burdens for clinicians.  

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