Oracle revitalizes EHR

Oracle unveiled new capabilities for its next-generation EHR Sept. 18 at the company's conference in Las Vegas.

The Oracle Health EHR Platform is built on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and outfitted with data security and access to artificial intelligence technology. The company said in a news release that customers would be able to adopt the platform's capabilities without reimplementing the EHR in a "modular fashion" at their convenience.

Some of the upgrades will be available within the next 12 months, according to the company.

At the company's earnings call Sept. 11, Oracle CEO Safra Catz said the company is facing "near-term headwinds" to Cerner's growth rate amid the cloud transition for its EHR. The legacy customers of Cerner, which Oracle acquired last year, are moving from licensed purchases to cloud subscriptions. Oracle is also working on getting Cerner to the same operating margin as Oracle.

The company hopes the transition will improve customer performance and security, as well as the patient experience. The revamped EHR platform will have patient self-service options to enter information on their own time and access their health data. The idea is for healthcare providers and patients to access the data and information easily while reducing redundancies and errors. Patients can also schedule their own appointments, check on lab results and more with voice commands.

"Our goal is to deliver one of the industry's best, most functionally rich EHR systems to reduce wasted time, eliminate redundant processes, and add value every step of the way for practitioners and patients they serve," Travis Dalton, executive vice president and general manager of Oracle Health, said in a news release. "These enhancements are another step forward in our mission to improve the patient experience by connecting the healthcare ecosystem in a way that enables providers to deliver more efficient and effective care."

Oracle Health plans to make clinical and financial resources, including vitals, appointments and orders, available through application programming interfaces, and lean into interoperability with partners, customers and vendors. The first set of APIs will be available to developers for testing in the public sandbox before the end of the year, and others over the next 12 months.

In addition to the revamped EHR platform, Oracle announced new generative AI services for healthcare organizations, including a digital assistant for clinicians to reduce their manual workload.

In recent years, Cerner has lost market share to Epic amid health system acquisitions and EHR consolidations. Cerner has 24.9 percent of the hospital market, compared to 35.9 percent for Epic and 16.3 percent for Meditech. But Larry Ellison, chief technology officer of Oracle, is bullish on the new platform. He said during the Sept. 12 earnings call that Cerner is expected to be awarded two new contracts totaling more than $1 billion and for the first quarter of the 2024 fiscal year, the company reported an 8 percent revenue increase to $12.5 billion.

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