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Cerner Boosts Digital Health, Monitoring Solutions Ordering in EHR

Cerner is building off its existing partnership with a digital health vendor to help its clients choose, manage, and deploy digital ordering and monitoring tools and applications.

Cerner Corporation is making it easier for clinicians to prescribe digital health technologies to patients within the EHR, the EHR vendor has announced.

The new capabilities will provide streamlined digital ordering and monitoring solutions, aiming to help health systems choose, manage, and deploy tools and applications while increasing remote monitoring and patient engagement.

These added capabilities stem from Cerner and Xealth’s August collaboration, which intended to boost patient care experience and enable patients to be active treatment participants throughout the healthcare process. Furthermore, the partnership intended to help clinicians integrate, prescribe, and monitor EHR-integrated tools for patients into a single workflow.

Cerner has now tapped Xealth to help health systems integrate digital therapeutics, smartphones, and mobile applications to target behavioral health, maternity care, chronic disease management, and surgery preparations. These solutions intend to boost patient outcomes and also help meet the influx of telehealth use.

“As digital tools are increasingly included in care plans, health systems seek a way to organize and oversee their use across the health system,” David Bradshaw, senior vice president of Consumer and Employer Solutions at Cerner, said in a statement.

“We anticipate the emergence of digital and therapeutic committees to govern digital tool selection similar to how pharmacy and therapeutic committees have historically governed medication formularies. Digital health has extraordinary potential to reshape the way we care for patients and, working with Xealth, we are answering the need and helping providers create more engaging and effective patient experiences,” Bradshaw continued.

Digital health technologies can streamline virtual care, offer remote monitoring, automate patient education, and support telehealth capabilities.

Furthermore, health systems with an integrated digital health program can respond more efficiently to their patients.

Banner Health, a Phoenix-based nonprofit health system, was one of the first health systems to integrate these capabilities.

“Banner Health is known for providing leadership and embracing technology to improve patient care in this rapidly transforming health care environment,” said Scott Nordlund, chief strategy and growth officer at Banner Health.

“Our patients expect to be treated like consumers. Mindful of that expectation, we are utilizing new capabilities and expanding our formulary to make digital health easier for our doctors to deploy and monitor. We are pleased that Cerner and Xealth hold the same beliefs as key partners supporting both our care goals and our mission to make health care easier so life can be better,” Norland continued.

Cerner said these capabilities would be available for its users in a specific area in the EHR system where clinicians can access clinical and financial metric applications.

In the August integration, users could order solutions and manage conditions in one EHR interface, such as behavioral health, maternity care, chronic diseases, and surgery preparation.

Post-integration, care teams could access patient health data, monitor patient engagement through the patient portal, and oversee its impact on the patient’s health.

The spread of COVID-19 forced developers to create an abundance of EHR-integrated tools to help ease virtual care, integrate telehealth, and automate patient education.

According to a recent KLAS report, Cerner exceeded client expectations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

KLAS researchers asked more than 170 healthcare professionals to rate their vendor’s reaction and support with the coronavirus on a 9-point scale. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said their vendor generally exceeded expectations. According to KLAS, vendors that received a high overall satisfaction rating before the pandemic scored higher during the pandemic.

Cerner customers scored the vendor an eight on the nine-point scale.

Respondents pointed at Cerner’s EHR optimization during the pandemic as a major positive.

“We have had the ability to modify the EHR, and that has been extremely impactful,” said an anonymous Cerner customer. “We have made hundreds of configuration changes to the Cerner product. We have completed hundreds of tasks that we haven’t asked for.”

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