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Cerner Expands R&D Hub to Improve Population Health Management

The Irish government will support the growth of a Cerner R&D hub centered on improving population health management.

MEDITECH, Cerner, and Epic recently announced new projects.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Cerner recently announced plans to significantly expand its Dublin research & development (R&D) hub to improve the population health management and health data analytics capabilities of its EHR systems and health IT tools for European clients.

According to TechCentral, Cerner has created 50 new jobs focused on heightening its R&D efforts abroad.

The Irish government and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Ireland will assist in supporting the hub. Cerner stated it will focus on developing advanced predictive algorithms for its population health management platform — HealtheIntentSM — to improve patient health outcomes for populations and communities.

These advancements will promote proactive health rather than reactive health and assist providers with delivering preventive care. By helping providers to better manage patient health conditions, Cerner will help its European clients reduce hospital stays, lower morbidity rates, and cut hospital readmissions.

“I am delighted to see Cerner expand its Dublin operation with the creation of 50 high quality R&D jobs,” said Enterprise & Innovation Minister for Business, Heather Humphreys. “This is an exciting announcement, which enhances Ireland’s capability in the healthcare IT sector. I wish the company every success in the exciting times ahead.”

READ MORE: Cerner, Lumeris Partner for EHR-Agnostic Value-Based Care Solution

The R&D team will join Cerner’s existing intellectual property (IP) development team. Cerner is recruiting software engineers, software architects, designers, and data visualization developers to aid future projects.

“Cerner have had a permanent presence in Ireland since 2007,” said Cerner Ireland Senior Director and General Manager Matthew Pickett. “Supporting our global clients in the transformation of health and care services and the improvement of their populations’ wellbeing.”

“When seeking a European location in which to further build upon Cerner’s rapidly growing capabilities in Population Health Management, the expansion of our existing Dublin team was a natural step,” he continued. “Projects resulting from this new investment, supported by IDA Ireland, will enable the delivery of smarter, better care for citizens and healthier populations across the globe.”

Catholic Health Initiatives to launch Epic EHR implementation

Elsewhere in health IT news, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) recently announced plans to begin an Epic EHR implementation at three hospitals, thirty clinics, and one physician’s office across its network.

Health IT solutions and services provider CTG will assist with the implementation at two Chattanooga-based hospitals with a total of 405 beds, as well as 30 clinics across Tennessee. CTG will also assist with the system launch at CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia and CHI Memorial’s Georgia-based medical office.

READ MORE: Epic EHR Implementation Contributes to Drop in Income at VUMC

“CHI is a leader and a forward-thinker in the healthcare industry,” said CTG President and CEO Bud Crumlish. “They are committed to creating healthy communities and providing exceptional care, rooted in a profound respect for human dignity, which dovetails perfectly with the healthcare industry’s transition to value-based care.”

“None of that can happen, however, without the ability to connect providers and share patient information easily across the healthcare continuum,” he continued. “We are proud that CHI has selected CTG to help them continue this mission by assisting with their Epic implementation.”

The go-live is slated for the second quarter of 2019.

The Epic launch is part of a larger mission to ensure CHI Memorial’s entire network exists on a single, standardized, comprehensive Epic EHR across facilities.

“CHI is known for its commitment to continually enhance the quality of care they provide to their patient populations, while also identifying operational efficiencies that allow the organization to control costs,” said CTG Healthcare Solutions Vice President of Sales Robert Barras.

READ MORE: MEDITECH Extends CommonWell Interoperability to OH Hospital

“Due to the size and complexity of the implementation, CHI required a partner that could help them make the transition in phases with minimal disruption to their operations,” he added.

By extending its Epic EHR system to an additional 34 locations across its network, CHI intends to boost care coordination across the continuum of care, identify gaps in care, and drive improved patient health outcomes. Providers also hope to reduce duplicative testing, lower clinicians and operational costs, and deliver higher quality care to CHI patients.

Fort Madison Community Hospital completes MEDITECH EHR replacement

Iowa-based Fort Madison Community Hospital (FMCH) recently swapped the Greenway EHR system at its clinic services for a MEDITECH EHR system to unify its clinics with its hospital services, which already operate on a MEDITECH system.

FMCH decided in early 2017 to integrate its Greenway and MEDITECH EHR systems into a single, comprehensive health record by converting entirely to MEDITECH. The 18-month EHR replacement process required an investment of $2 million and went live July 1.

 “We felt it was the right time to make this investment into our future,” said FMCH CIO Shane Tapper. “By integrating our electronic health record systems into one, we will be able to provide better continuity of care leading to improved safety.  It facilitates communication between the clinic and the hospital care teams.”

“Patients will now have one record that includes both their clinic visits with our FMCH providers and any services provided on the hospital side which includes emergency room visits, radiology tests, laboratory tests and inpatient stays,” he continued.

In addition to converting to a new, integrated system supported by MEDITECH, FMCH also updated the system.

“We had a team of employees throughout the organization dedicated to working on this project,” said FMCH CEO Jeremy Alexander. “The amount of effort and commitment they’ve put forward has been amazing to witness.”

The switch to a single, integrated MEDITECH system will support patients across the continuum of care and give patients access to a patient portal for more active engagement with providers.

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