5 key takeaways from Cerner's annual conference

Since Sunday, roughly 14,000 IT leaders convened in Kansas City, Mo., for the 2015 Cerner Health Conference, the vendor's annual gathering of associates, clients and delegates.

Neal Patterson, CEO of Cerner, addressed the crowd Tuesday, speaking of the importance of human-centered care, interoperability and updates on the vendor's recent contract to overhaul the Department of Defense's EHR system, according to a Kansas City Star report.

Here are five key takeaways from the meeting.

1. Mr. Patterson emphasized that health IT should be leveraged in such a way that individuals can take control of their care and cost decisions. "We need to keep the person in view of what we do or it goes for naught," Mr. Patterson said.

2. Interoperability played a central role in Mr. Patterson's remarks, and he highlighted the work being done by Cerner and other members of the CommonWell Health Alliance, which Cerner co-founded.

3. Mr. Patterson appeared to take a dig at top competitor Epic in regards to interoperability, calling the vendor "the black hole" of the health IT industry that is impeding efforts to achieving true interoperability, according to the report. He then said he hoped Epic will join the "open architecture" of fellow health IT companies.

4. During the meeting, Mr. Patterson announced a new contract with Geisinger Health System, in which the Danville, Pa.-based organization will use Cerner's HealtheIntent to advance population health initiatives.

5. Prior to Mr. Patterson's address, Chris Miller, program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, discussed the contract awarded to a team led by Cerner and Leidos. Mr. Miller said that when evaluating bids, the government's focus was on finding the best value for the government. Mr. Miller also outlined key challenges in the project, such as, "we have to operate in every time zone, in every theater (including battlefields) as well as local communities….We also have different populations — active duty plus families plus veterans," he said, according to the report.

More articles on Cerner:

13 healthcare leaders named 'Best-Performing CEOs in the World'
McLaren Health Care selects Cerner's EHR
Newly formed health collaborative to implement Cerner's EHR

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