Cerner to showcase Apple collaboration at HIMSS18, president Zane Burke says 

The EHR maker will also be featuring innovations in longitudinal health records, cloud services, machine learning and more to help customers manage value-based contracting.

“We’ll showcase our collaboration with Apple to make health records available at your fingertips in the Apple Health app,” said Cerner President Zane Burke.

HIMSS18 will be a pivotal one for Cerner in many ways. It’s the first with new CEO Brent Shafer, who has big shoes to fill as the first outside hire to lead the company since founder and longtime CEO Neal Patterson passed away last summer.

And it comes as the company has arguably more big projects on its to-do list than ever, including the massive ongoing MHS Genesis project for the U.S. Department of Defense and the upcoming contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs – to its continuing innovation on any number of fronts, from consumerism to the cloud, interoperability to artificial intelligence.

“Recently, Cerner and Apple worked together to make personal health information accessible on a consumer platform, and we’re working with a range of partners and clients to turn up the heat on the conversation about interoperability,” Cerner President Zane Burke said. “We’ll showcase our collaboration with Apple to make health records available at your fingertips in the Apple Health app.”

Burke added that Cerner will also be offering a look at virtual health solutions that empower individuals to manage their health via telemedicine and remote monitoring technologies as well as intelligent solutions for hospitals as they adjust to rising costs and value-based care.

“We’re at a pivot point with the digitization of health information, and we are redefining the idea of ‘care.’” Burke said. “We’re moving from managing patient encounters to providing for the well-being of populations.”

Cerner is particularly focused on the growing clout of the healthcare consumer and is committed to activating and engaging patients to be more proactive in their own health. Central to this work is the agility and speed offered by cloud technology, and Burke said Cerner continues to work with leading companies in industries other than healthcare to build on its own cloud-based offerings.

Cerner’s founding membership in the CommonWell Health Alliance – which was first announced five years ago at HIMSS13 – is one way to help innovate on the interoperability front, he said, and the company is committed to the co-creation of an open platform for innovation by leveraging FHIR standards through its work with the Argonaut Project.

More fluid data exchange, particularly with the DoD, was a major driver for the contract Cerner was awarded for the VA’s new EHR this past June, of course. Although the contract is currently on pause while MITRE does an independent assessment of its specifications, Burke said the VA project ultimately will “not only create seamless care for our nation’s veterans, it will also fundamentally change interoperability in the commercial healthcare space — something we are very excited about.”

Population health management is another imperative in the era of value-based reimbursement, and it’s another area “where Cerner continues to grow,” he said. “Providers need data that is actionable at an individual and community level to improve care. Cerner is uniquely positioned, through our cloud-based platform HealtheIntent, to pull all those data points together, aggregate and normalize the data and feed it back into the workflow for clinicians to act on.”

And analytics to help mine that data for the most useful insights are fast-evolving too – largely driven by lightning-fast advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, which “remain a key focus for Cerner,” said Burke.

He pointed to early efforts such as the Cerner HealtheDataLab technology, which offers a secure environment where researchers and data scientists can “query de-identified data, extract and transform data sets in research-ready formats, build complex models and algorithms and validate findings in a single elastic environment.”

Cerner is in Booth 1832.

Source: Cerner to showcase Apple collaboration at HIMSS18, president Zane Burke says | Healthcare IT News

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House balks at $10 billion price tag for VA-Cerner EHR project | Healthcare IT News


VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, testifies at the House VA Committee meeting on Thursday. Credit: YouTube

VA Committee Chair Phil Roe was also concerned that the amount doesn’t cover maintenance or the cost to update the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the new platform.

As the time draws near for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to sign its EHR contract with Cerner, Congressional members are growing increasingly concerned over not only the $10 billion price tag, but that the agency will need to keep the legacy system in place, perhaps indefinitely.

“While the EHR modernization effort is necessary, it is very expensive,” House VA Committee Chairman Phil Roe, MD, R-Tennessee, said during the Thursday hearing on the VA’s 2019 budget requests.

“The contract with Cerner alone has a price tag of about $10 billion and that doesn’t even include the costs of updating infrastructure to accommodate the new EHR, implementation support or sustaining VistA up until the day it can be turned off,” he continued.

In fact, Roe is concerned that the VA’s legacy EHR may never be completely gone.

“After visiting Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, recently, I’m not even sure you can ever turn VistA off,” Roe said.

President Donald Trump released his proposed FY19 budget this week, which earmarked $1.2 billion to get the project with Cerner off the ground. VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD put the potential Cerner contract on hold in January, pending an independent review of Cerner’s interoperability capabilities.

While Roe applauded Shulkin’s move to ensure interoperability, he’s still not certain the project can be successful.

“It’s unthinkable that VA could potentially spend billions of dollars on a project that doesn’t substantially increase the department’s ability to share information with the Department of Defense or community providers,” Roe said. “But that’s exactly what could happen if VA fails to proceed in a careful deliberate manner.”

In response, Shulkin stressed that the agency is taking the modernization very seriously.

“We have to make sure that we can be interoperable with dozens of different health systems out there,” said Shulkin. “And that’s a challenge that frankly the American healthcare system hasn’t figured out yet… We think VA can help lead this for the whole country by making this interoperable.”

Shulkin recognized the agency’s track record of failed IT projects – the Government Accountability Office recently reported that the VA likely wasted at least $1.1 billion on multiple EHR modernization attempts – and understands that this EHR replacement must work.

Given the size and scope of the project – there are more than 130 versions of VistA operating right now – Shulkin said the legacy system will need to be maintained over a 10-year implementation period.

To account for that, Shulkin is requesting Congress provide the VA a separate account to fund the project. The account would provide the VA with the necessary funds for maintaining VistA and implementing the Cerner EHR, and would provide transparency to where those funds are going.

The VA is expected to sign the Cerner contract in the next few weeks, after the vendor reportedly passed its independent assessment.

Source: House balks at $10 billion price tag for VA-Cerner EHR project | Healthcare IT News