Oracle Cerner in the headlines: 10 recent moves

From EHR go-lives at multiple health systems to EHR outages, here are 10 updates on Oracle Cerner's operations, software products and partnerships reported by Becker's in October.

  1. Oracle has changed some PTO benefits for certain Cerner employees who are classified as hourly. Prior to Oracle acquiring Cerner, employees had access to flexible PTO, acquiring up to 25 days for those who had worked at the company for more than 10 years, but that will now change for hourly employees. According to Oracle's benefits page, hourly employees with tenure of three years or less will receive 13 PTO days a year, and those with more than three years' tenure will receive 18.

  2. The Department of Veterans Affairs' Oracle Cerner EHR pharmacy services experienced an outage Oct. 6. The outage, which caused the service to be unavailable for outpatients between 8:35 a.m. EDT until 6:19 p.m. EDT, was caused by an application package coding issue. During the outage, patients were unable to fill prescriptions orders through Medication Manager Retail, a retail pharmacy module that forms part of the EHR system.

  3. Omaha, Neb.-based Methodist Health System extended its contract with EHR vendor Oracle Cerner for another 10 years.

  4. Winnsboro, La.-based Franklin Medical Center will receive $41,640 to upgrade its Oracle Cerner EHR system. The hospital is upgrading its Oracle Cerner system to meet government regulatory requirements related to data collection on medical diagnoses.

  5. Hospitals in the United Kingdom reported that an outage took its Oracle Cerner electronic health records systems offline. On Oct. 11, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust staff were told not to use the EHR system due to a technical issue affecting Cerner. This caused hospitals, a part of the Trust, to revert to downtime procedures, including paper charting.

  6. On Oct. 13, the Department of Veterans Affairs said it is delaying any further implementation of its problem-plagued Oracle Cerner EHR until June. The VA had previously delayed EHR deployments until January but said it has discovered several additional technical and system issues that need to be resolved, including latency, slowness and problems with scheduling, referrals and medication management.

  7. The Department of Veterans Affairs notified 41,500 patients that their care may have been affected due to the delays in the rollout of its Oracle Cerner EHR system. Patients may have had medications, appointments, referrals or test results delayed due to the postponed deployment of the system. The VA began mailing letters to the affected patients Oct. 12.

  8. Validic, a digital health company, is partnering with Oracle Cerner to bring Validic's remote patient monitoring technology to Oracle Cerner clients. Validic's technology can directly integrate into Oracle Cerner's EHR system.

  9. Oracle Cerner was awarded two task orders worth $956 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue modernizing the VA's EHR system. The first task order has a value of $906 million and will be awarded over a 27-month period. The second task order has a value of $50 million and will be awarded over a three-year period.

  10. Oracle is in discussions with banks to increase the size of a $4.4 billion loan. The company will use the loan to refinance the debt used to fund its $28.4 billion acquisition of Cerner. Oracle can increase the value of the loan up to $6 billion. 

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