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by Dr Kristina Bystrom | Magnus Ericsson | Wissam Diab
Published on January 27, 2021

Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Ajman (SKMCA) recently approved the roll-out of Cerner Millennium® to replace the legacy system at Rashid Centre for Diabetes & Research (RCDR), thereby achieving SKMCA’s vision of having a single health care information system across all its facilities.


RCDR is a JCI-accredited unique center of excellence that combines compassionate and modern diabetes, obesity, and endocrine care with high-quality research and professional education. RCDR aims to be the leading all-inclusive comprehensive diabetes care center in the region. As part of this aim, RCDR has partnered with Cerner to develop the first electronic health record (EHR) registry in the Middle East and a guided workflow focusing on patient-centered care.

Achieving this milestone during the pandemic

The project started in April 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, and was completed by August. This was made possible by RCDR adopting innovative modes of communication, adhering to the additional safety measures, and working remotely with the extended Cerner team.

The transition was carried out smoothly and aims to enhance the quality of care, patient safety and experience at SKMCA facilities.

Looking at the transition with new lenses

With RCDR being a center of excellence with a specific multidisciplinary pathway and seven different clinics, the informatics clinical excellence approach encompassing people, process, technology, and the value was applied to strategize and define the six pillars below:

Clinical excellence

The strategy focused on establishing the required playbooks, including specialty-specific content for all the clinical care areas at RCDR.

Continuum of care

A robust multidisciplinary workflow was established, enabling the clinicians to collect the required information with a centralized view to manage their patients.

Transition of care

A centralized referral-tracking component was established to allow the sending of referral requests to other care providers based on a patient’s condition for the necessary transition of care.


The diabetes registry allows diabetic patients to enroll automatically from the EHR documentation with the necessary clinical information. It provides a single view with precise and specific information on diabetic care for registered patients, serving as a focal point of care.

RCDR is a research center established to gather, analyze and publish research in the field of diabetes care. The system was designed to capture essential elements of clinical data that will be used for research.

In addition to operational and clinical reports, the system supports thorough studies and analysis of patient data to measure and forecast trends of diabetes prevalence and its treatment. Custom dashboards were created depicting the clinical and quality KPIs.

Walking the talk

Bearing in mind that replacing the existing system will be challenging, and would require huge efforts from all the stakeholders, the Cerner team developed and applied a systemic change management plan to support users as they navigate the novel system while maintaining the utmost service levels.

In order to ensure a smooth and successful transition, Cerner sought guidance from the SKMCA executive leadership on nominating a dedicated project team made up of subject matter experts from RCDR, to execute project activities during the pandemic. Changes were communicated throughout the project to all stakeholders, engaging them in the added value of this project.

Planning to succeed

The SKMCA IT team, devised a plan to identify issues and risks proactively and to continuously seek feedback from the impacted stakeholders. This feedback was channeled through the Cerner team to apply and validate changes promptly before signing off.

A comprehensive training needs assessment was conducted with focused agendas, and training was delivered to all the end-users based on their role and job responsibilities, making sure they had the required knowledge to use the system. We have initiated the mock go-live event, replicating the actual go-live experience ahead of time to proactively identify and address any gaps in knowledge, communication, integration, etc.

Adapting to the recent change, the pandemic and beyond

SKMCA, RCDR, and the Cerner teams were engaged throughout the transition week to support and provide a safety net. This ensured that the usual RCDR services were not disrupted.

As of today, Cerner is working closely with the RCDR management to identify potential areas of improvement through continuous feedback, the execution of necessary changes, the enhancement of workflows, and the improvement of the care experience. The parties are actively learning from these new experiences and discovering innovative ways to successfully support SKMCA achieve its mission and vision.

The RCDR project is an example of how the strategic alliance with our esteemed partner has helped showcase what is possible through creativity and dedication.


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