Photo: Oracle Cerner
At the first in-person Cerner client conference since 2019, and the first since the health IT pioneer was acquired by Oracle this past June, Oracle Health Chairman Dr. David Feinberg offered a status report on some of the company’s existing and upcoming technologies.
“There’s been no time in Cerner’s history where we have been as capable and prepared and resourced to be your partner as we are today,” said Feinberg.
He noted the enormously challenging past few years, where physicians and nurses around the world cared for millions of COVID-19 patients in truly heroic ways.
“Heroes are supposed to have tools and superpowers that help them do their job,” said Feinberg. However, too often “the tools and the technology that we’re giving aren’t helping. They’re inhibiting.”
Healthcare delivery today is “rushed, transactional, reactive, impersonal,” he said. “And clinicians are overburdened with suboptimal technologies and inefficient workflows.
Over the past year or so, Feinberg said he’d visited some 200 provider clients on fact-finding missions.
“My visits go like this: I get to meet with the C-suite, and then I meet with the IT department, then the CNIO, the CMIO – and then the tour. Now, the tour is really nice, and all of you and I’m privileged. I love seeing your new wing, the cancer center, the photon beam.
“But I actually have another desire on these tours,” said Feinberg. “And so what I usually do is sneak away, and I go up to that person at the front desk in the ER that’s really busy, and I say, ‘Hi, I’m David from Cerner. How do you like our tools?'”
This elicited a small laugh from the audience.
“The feedback is mixed,” he said. “And a lot of the issues are immediately addressable. Some of its training. Some of its optimization. And some of it, we’re still working on.”
But the general state of affairs is familiar to anyone who works in a hospital: “Everyone is sitting or standing in front of a computer,” said Feninberg. “Very few people are tending to patients in an exam room or in a clinic. We have literally moved the exam room or the clinic to the terminal.”
Speaking at the previous, virtual Cerner conference in 2021, Feinberg said improving the usability of its electronic health records was a top priority.
“That has not changed,” he said Tuesday. “We are going to build a system that is intuitive, more open and more connected. We’re streamlining workflows across Millennium.
Another priority is modernizing its administrative tools, as evidenced by the release of the Cerner RevElate platform, he said.
And the company is also focused on improved interoperability to surface relevant, actionable data, said Feinberg. “We’re in the final stages of releasing Seamless Exchange.”
With the Oracle mega-merger, “we have the marriage of one of the world’s greatest technology companies with the global leader in the EHR space,” he said. “We’ve digitized the record. We’ve fixed legibility. We’re going to continue to work on usability – and together, Oracle and Cerner are going to allow you to care for your patients and communities like never before.
“We’re going to provide you with a cloud-enabled health platform that is intelligent, connected and interoperable,” Feinberg added. “We’re going to integrate the EHR into the supply chain. We’re going to integrate the EHR into human capital management and integrate the EHR into enterprise resource planning.
“And,” he added with a flourish, “it will be way, way, way less expensive than what you’re paying now for all those components.”
Feinberg offered some aspirational examples of the kinds of integration he’s talking about.
“Imagine a nurse is giving chemo for the first time. Just-in-time training is embedded in the EHR because the human capital management system knows this nurse and is connected to the EHR. Imagine your or schedule drives your supply chain because your supply chain management is connected to the EHR. Instead of wasted inventory, your schedule predicts what you will need. Imagine AI and video proactively notifying the nurse to help prevent falls and pressure ulcers.
“This platform will make use of all types of data, like social determinants of health and other outside factors like traffic or weather, to drive more inclusive actionable insights,” said Feinberg. “Not only is this possible in coming together with Oracle, I would say this is our moral imperative. It is an obligation”
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Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.
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