Cerner and Omnicell partner to spur interoperability

By Mike Miliard
10:48 AM

Omnicell and Cerner have announced a partnership meant to drive interoperability between the two firm's technologies, allowing Omnicell products to bi-directionally connect with any Cerner electronic health record.

The alliance aims to decrease implementation costs, time, and maintenance for shared clients, while providing new clinical workflows to enhance efficiency and patient safety, officials say.

Together Cerner and Omnicell will seek to streamline medication and supply management processes throughout the healthcare enterprise, drive down hospital costs and improve care by reducing the complexity of care delivery and ensure complete and accurate data capture throughout the medication administration and management process, as well as perioperative care, officials say.

Don Mabe, associate vice president inpatient pharmacy at Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare System, called the partnership "a positive step towards the future of integrated healthcare." Together, Omnicell and Cerner can provide "critical steps to bringing enhanced patient safety and improved workflows to our facilities," he said.

CareAware iBus is a Cerner solution that connects medical devices bidirectionally to any electronic health record to support the entire care process. By integrating with CareAware iBus, Omnicell products will provide access to information and enable transformative workflows, previously unavailable through traditional interface standards, officials say.

The joint development plan provides for connectivity to the CareAware iBus for the entire Omnicell G4 platform of products: pharmacy automated dispensing cabinets (ADCs), supply ADCs, Anesthesia Workstation, Controlled Substance Management System (CSM), Anywhere RN, and Savvy Mobile Medication System.

"CareAware iBus ensures that providers can not only connect medical devices to the EMR quickly but also better drive clinical workflow," said Randy Lantz, vice president of engineering for Cerner DeviceWorks. "We are also exploring the opportunity that partners, like Omnicell, can leverage Cerner’s remote hosting capability."

Cerner and Omnicell have a development roadmap including new capabilities that will take advantage of information available through direct device and system interoperability to the CareAware iBus, officials say. The planned functionality focuses on patient-centric medication and supply management processes, rather than the logistics of the items being managed, which is a more common practice today.

“This collaboration shows the power of two companies coming together to address the evolving needs of healthcare providers," said Nhat Ngo, executive vice president of strategy and business development at Omnicell. "Interoperability is an absolute must in today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment."