Cerner signs 7 new small hospital customers for CommunityWorks

The rural and critical access hospitals will deploy the cloud-based version of its Millennium EHR as the COVID-19 crisis spreads.
By Mike Miliard
10:24 AM

Clay County Medical Center

Cerner announced Monday that it has inked new contracts with seven new hospitals for its cloud-based CommunityWorks EHR, which is designed for community and critical access hospitals.

The company says the technology is well-suited for the unique needs of these small hospitals as they grapple with geographic isolation, workforce shortages and tight resources during the coronavirus pandemic.

Macon Community Hospital, which in March earned the distinction as Cerner's first-ever "virtual go-live," rolling out CommunityWorks with online assistance to help staff avoid exposure to COVID-19, is one of the seven new clients. The others are:

  • Clay County Medical Center, a critical access hospital located in Clay Center, Kansas, will upgrade with Cerner throughout its main hospital and four related clinics, with an eye on interoperability and patient and physician experience.
  • Coulee Medical Center, a Trauma Level Four CAH in Grand Coulee, Washington, will install CommunityWorks at its main hospital and a pair of rural clinics.
  • Odessa Memorial Healthcare Center, based in Odessa, Washington, will roll out the EHR across its 25-bed acute care facility and outpatient clinic to support providers and nurses as they work to streamline operations and improve patient care.
  • Opelousas General Health System, in Opelousas, Louisiana, is a Cerner client since 2016, but will switch to CommunityWorks to help its two acute and 150 outpatient facilities streamline IT operations.
  • Pike County Memorial Hospital, a CAH with four clinics in Louisiana and Missouri, has earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation multiple times.
  • United Memorial Medical Center, based in the Houston area, will deploy CommunityWorks across its four hospitals and four clinics in order to enable an integrated health record across its facilities.

In a recent interview with Healthcare IT News, Thomas Kidd, CEO of Macon Community Hospital, explained how Cerner's CommunityWorks met its unique needs – and how the cloud-based system was able to be implemented virtually during the pandemic.

"Our previous vendor lacked the integration across our hospital that we were looking for," said Kidd. “We were not able to gather the data out of our system that we wanted to in order to guide patient care and report on. We also had trouble with our previous vendor’s billing system and decided we needed a change.

"With our contract with the previous vendor running out near the beginning of the pandemic," he explained. "We needed to quickly implement a new system that would solve the challenges we had with the previous. This was even more crucial in anticipation of COVID-19. We needed to make sure we had the right system as quickly as possible.

"Considering social distancing and safety precautions related to COVID-19, our options were to delay our implementation or work to complete the process virtually," said Kidd. "We had confidence that Cerner, our IT staff and department leaders would rise to the challenge, getting our system up and running and clinicians ready to use it."

"The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of having access to the right information at the right time in order to support providers as they work to save lives," said Mitchell Clark, president of Cerner CommunityWorks, in a statement. "The flexibility and scalability of this delivery model allows for use across community hospitals of varying sizes, making Cerner a right-fit for these clients and many others across the country.

"We are very pleased to be working with these clients and look forward to providing the technology and solutions needed to drive increased efficiency and better outcomes for our clients in times of crisis and beyond," he added.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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