Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
With More Clients, EHRs Produce Stronger Products

With More Clients, EHRs Produce Stronger Products

As you know, Texas Tech Physicians utilizes Cerner for its electronic health record (EHR).  When Cerner adds new clients, it is positive for them, and I am glad to see that occur. There will soon be three big EHR vendors in our county— Cerner, Epic and All Scripts. When Cerner adds clients, this is positive for our practice because the more physicians that use the Cerner product and the more patient records they handle, the stronger the product becomes. This is the case since EHRs are constantly refined through upgrades and new releases. Our current version is far superior to earlier versions.

I was pleased to learn that Cerner (along with their partner Leidos) was awarded a $9 billion contract to be the EHR vendor for the U. S. Department of Defense (DoD), the military health system that is responsible for more than one million inpatient and 946,000 outpatient annual admissions at 55 military hospitals and 372 military medical clinics.

This contract will help us because Cerner will enhance its interoperability capabilities to support some fairly significant DoD needs. As you probably know, interoperability describes the extent to which systems and devices can exchange data and interpret that shared data. The end user has to quickly find what is needed with minimum hassle. The DoD has its own facilities, 50 percent plus of care provided to military personnel and their dependents is from local health care providers via Tricare.

The new system that Cerner will provide the DoD must be able to interoperate with systems outside of DoD (Tricare providers) to create a longitudinal patient record. A longitudinal recordis one that provides a comprehensive summary of the patient’s clinical experience, versus an encounter based account. Addressing the interoperability needs of the DoD will have broad reaching implications across the industry. With the DoD’s assistance, I believe that Cerner will successfully overcome many of the current interoperability issues we face today. It will be slow—but it eventually will happen.

Written by: Brent Magers, CEO