Cerner, TMC reveal big health IT plan

At work on innovations aimed at changing healthcare
By Bernie Monegain
10:23 AM
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Truman Medical Centers and Cerner, both Kansas City-based healthcare giants, have launched a strategic partnership with the goal of transforming healthcare – not only in Kansas City but around the world.

Together TMC, an academic medical center affiliated with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, and Cerner will pilot innovations using health information technology.

The idea, officials say, is to promote opportunities to create and research advancements in technology to enhance cutting-edge patient care. The initiative will further support TMC's mission to provide quality, safe and customer-focused care in both of its hospitals and its growing number of clinics throughout the area.

As Cerner and TMC executives explain it, doctors, nurses and medical staff will benefit from technology designed to make their jobs easier and give them an advantage in treating patients. Having early access to the latest in healthcare technology will help set Truman apart.

[See also: Truman Medical Center achieves Stage 7 and Cerner in partnering state of mind.]

"We are excited to work with Cerner on this initiative for our patients and staff," said TMC president and CEO Charlie Shields, in a press statement. "The Cerner-TMC alignment will help our organizations learn from each other, innovate together and improve healthcare delivery for better health across the community and beyond."

Since 1992, the partners assert, TMC and Cerner have worked together to implement clinical information systems. With solutions based on the Cerner Millennium electronic health record architecture, TMC has improved patient outcomes, lowered costs and advanced care for thousands in Kansas City by reducing adverse drug events, hospital acquired pressure ulcers and central line-associated blood stream infections.

"Our enhanced relationship takes the concept of the learning health system and expands its boundaries beyond our region," Shields said. "Ultimately, we have the potential to impact care around the world, as we learn and progress together in Kansas City and then share our expertise with other Cerner clients, healthcare organizations and communities."

TMC will continue to benefit from Cerner's solutions, executives explained, while Cerner associates will benefit from the formalized and expanded health care experience program, which allows Cerner associates to work at Truman sites to experience firsthand how Cerner technology affects the healthcare environment.

The relationship will also align the TMC workforce to leverage the talent and resources of both organizations to help tackle the significant IT advancements of the next decade and beyond. TMC will benefit from improved access to staffing and training, greater flexibility of skills and resources, and the ability to expand its IT talent pool as needs change with regulatory demands.

"We couldn't ask for a better partner than Truman," said Cerner president Zane Burke, in a news release. "We share a common vision of how to engage community members in their health and we're excited to see how we can innovate together to improve health and care outcomes in our own community."

[See also: Cerner to add 16,000 jobs over 10 years.]