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by Palash Gaur
Published on May 28, 2020

With an immediate need to increase the capacity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 detection, health care organizations have needed to respond quickly. PCR is a universally accepted test for detection of coronaviruses and is the most widely used testing procedure in virology labs for detection of novel viruses across the world. Cerner was at the forefront of the response to this challenge, having already released its COVID-19 solutions to accommodate the SARS CoV-2 assays and having made them available to all its clients worldwide.

In February, an existing Cerner client with the capacity to handle up to 1,600 samples per day reached out to Cerner to support it with its urgent need to significantly expand its testing capacity to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand for PCR testing.  Within a span of two weeks, the client and Cerner teams worked hand-in-hand to integrate additional PCR testing devices in the virology laboratory with Cerner Millennium® using CareAware iBus® architecture, bringing the testing capacity to 5,000 tests per day. With an average processing time of five hours and real-time data integration between the lab device and patient chart, this closed-loop integration helped increase COVID-19 readiness.

The client had also commenced the conversion of the majority of its non-critical beds to ICU beds with ventilator support to accommodate critical COVID-19 positive patients. With limited staffing levels and resources, the health care facilities were faced with the critical task of triaging nurse time. As an organization recognized nationally for digitization across its 13 hospitals, the real-time integration of ventilators with Cerner Millennium and CareAware iBus was already live in production at the client’s facilities. With Cerner’s configuration, the client was able to significantly increase ICU bed count and fully harness the benefits of real-time documentation from all connected devices for COVID patients.

This data is fed into the patient chart built-in Cerner Millennium for further processing. With integrated privacy and patient confidentiality, this data is shared with designated clinicians for additional review. This data is also being utilized by the Qatari government in their collaboration on COVID-19 research and development with other countries.


For information regarding Cerner’s content and assistance in light of the COVID-19, please click here.