GE's acquisition of IDX led to more NHS work for Cerner

By Healthcare IT News
12:00 AM

LONDON – Cerner Corp. continues to edge its way into the United Kingdom’s National Health Service project.

The Kansas City, Mo-based healthcare IT vendor this week was named to replace GE Healthcare in the London region of the project.

The NHS Connecting for Health is delivering the National Program for IT to bring modern computer systems into the NHS, which will improve patient care and services. During the next 10 years, the program will connect more than 30,000 physicians in England to almost 300 hospitals.

A  spokesman for NHS Connecting for Health said NHS agreed in principle to permit BT to replace GE Healthcare's product with Cerner's Millennium product.

Other health record products planned for the London region are not affected at this time, the NHS said.

The London region is one of several into which the United Kingdom has been divided. Plans call for records to be shared over a “spine” connecting the various regions.

BT, the dominant contractor for the London region, issued a brief statement describing the planned transition as amicable, and expected to complete the switch from GE Healthcare to Cerner by fall. Requests for additional information from BT were not answered.

The switch was in part prompted by GE Healthcare’s acquisition of IDX Systems Corp., BT’s statement indicated.

“The arrangement between BT and GE Healthcare, which follows a routine post-acquisition review by GE Healthcare, is cordial and reflects the desire of all parties to ensure delivery to the NHS as the No. 1 priority,” the statement said.

A Cerner spokesperson said the company, as a subcontractor to BT, could not comment on the change, but noted Cerner’s long-standing commitment to bringing electronic health records to the United Kingdom.

About a year ago, Cerner was named to replace IDX Systems Corp. in the southern region of the NHS project. That piece of the project was estimated to be worth more than $400 million in sales. The exact value of Cerner’s share of the London contract was not available.

When the NHS contracts were originally let, Cerner was stung by its inability to secure any major portions of the massive U.K. project, which originally had an estimated pricetag of $11 billion.

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