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Key Takeaway from the 2019 Cerner Health Conference

The global Electronic Health Record (EHR) market is currently valued at $31.5 Billion and growing at 6% per year.  According to KLAS research, Epic and Cerner dominate the market with a combined 85% market share among large, 500-bed U.S. hospitals.

In early October, Kansas City, home of Cerner’s global headquarters, was the location for the annual Cerner Healthcare Conference, which brought together nearly 14,000  healthcare industry leaders, practitioners, and Cerner associates from all over the world to discuss all things Cerner and the future of healthcare information technology (HIT).

We caught up with Jenn Hamilton, MHA, RN, CPHIMS, Sean McPhillips, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, MPA, MBA, and Jamaal Hussain, RPh, PMP and Michele Behme, RN, who all work on the project team at Columbus Regional Healthcare System (CRHS), and asked them to share key take away messages from the conference. Here’s what they had to say:

Jenn Hamilton, RN:  Hearing Cerner CEO Brent Shafer speak about how the partnership between Cerner and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will change the way EHRs are implemented and patient information is stored helped me envision the development of new consulting solutions to assist health-systems and physician practices tackle clinical transformation and end user clinician adoption.  One of the largest challenges facing existing Cerner clients is the push for hospitals to upgrade to newly unveiled model code levels. The effort required to install, build, test, and train is financially significant, and most healthcare organizations will need to classify this upgrade as a capital project and bring in external experts to help them on this journey.

Sean McPhillips, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, MPA, MBA: I was hoping to learn more about how Cerner CommunityWorks customers optimize the EHR post implementation and about FHIR (Fast Health Interoperability Resources) applications. While there was a lack of coverage in these areas, I was able to network extensively and discuss the contributions made toward implementing Cerner CommunityWorks and resolving post-implementation revenue capture challenges, including clinical and financial decision-makers at other health-systems.

Jamaal Hussain, RPh, PMP: The last Cerner Health Conference I attended was in 2004 and the conference has undergone significant transformation from a modest footprint and number of attendees, educational sessions, and vendor participation, to one of the largest Health IT vendor conferences. I appreciate being able to make our clients’ voices heard, communicate directly with Cerner leadership, and give candid feedback on improving aspects of the implementation experience. It was great to hear Cerner executives speak to goals such as reducing the burden of care, turning data into insight, and advancing data science in healthcare.

Michele Behme, RN: This was the fourth time I attended CHC19. One of the most notable changes in the conference has been the willingness of the vendor to acknowledge the experience and benefit of having consulting partners work jointly with clients. Also of interest was Cerner’s partnership with American Well, a leading virtual health technology vendor providing telemedicine solutions, and the work they are doing in the population health space with Salesforce to provide a clinical customer resource management (CCRM) tool. Both partnerships provide a holistic way to manage the health and the care of the patient beyond the hospital or clinic walls, at the point of care, when and where the patient needs it the most, fundamentally changing the way patients engage in their own healthcare.

As for what interested me, it was the focus on the HealtheIntent platform as a foundation driving many of Cerner’s strategic initiatives, whether around CCRM and Salesforce, Cerner’s new Consumer Poral Framework, or their Clinical Learning Health Network, and how it will better enable organizations to know and predict what will happen within a population and engage the person and their care team to take action.  It drove home the point that Cerner is helping to solve the Quadruple Aim and peripheral challenges we are facing in the industry.

Gregg Fajkus is VP of the Healthcare IT practice for Avaap. He has more than 20 years of experience including a deep background in clinical and revenue cycle systems in both the ambulatory and acute care environments. Gregg is a seasoned advisor with broad experience facilitating IT strategic planning processes, as well as planning and managing large scale clinical and revenue cycle system implementations.