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by Cerner Corporation
Published on October 9, 2018

On Tuesday, Cerner CEO Brent Shafer used his keynote speech to announce our latest effort in combating the opioid crisis, the Solutions Gallery opened its doors to clients, partners and associates;and a full slate of sessions covered the most current issues in health care. Here are some highlights.

The Cerner Podcast: Special #CHC18 Edition

In this special edition episode of The Cerner Podcast, we bring insights from the 2018 Cerner Health Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, where more than 12,000 attendees from across the country and the globe have come together to learn and network. Sit at the table with us as we have conversations with health care leaders, Cerner clients and industry influencers. We’ll be covering health IT trends and focusing on this year’s CHC theme of “Smarter Care.” 

In Tuesday's episode, you'll hear from Bill Conway, general manager of provider solutions from American Well; Kashif Rathore, Cerner’s Vice President of Interoperability; and Dr. Paul Fu, Jr., Chief Medical Informatics Officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. 

Make sure you return tomorrow for another special CHC episode of The Cerner Podcast.

Shifting demographics and economics in health care

Around the world today, there are 617 million people aged 65 and older; that population will count around a billion by 2050. In the U.S. alone, 10,000 people will turn 65 every day for the next 10 years. Health care cost per person over 65 is about three times more expensive than the average working age, which sets up a huge economic challenge.

“Our population is getting older and we're living longer, which is fantastic,” Shafer said,“but it comes with a cost, and we know that. One half of Americans have at least one chronic condition and that's often related to aging.”

Public policy

“We see the government having a greater influence almost every day on health care policy,” said Shafer. 

“In the U.S., the Affordable Care Act ushered in a new era of change. We moved over to this period of value-based care, and we’ve made progress, but we still have much farther to go.” 

For example, Shafer went on, there are still 28 million citizens who are not insured, and 12 percent of the population doesn't have access to essential services. On the health care provider side, there are workforce shortages, fewer hospitals and increased clinician burnout.

“It's hard to believe the pressure on the system,” Shafer said. “Health expenses will be 40 percent of the federal budget in the next ten years, and by 2024, 60 percent of all payer reimbursement will be funded by the government. There's a quest for better outcomes, and it's not going to go away. It is with us.The role of government plays a huge role in our future.” 

Technology disruption

Speaking on disruptive technology, Shafer compared health care to a modern-day land rush: “Big names, big players in technology are coming into health care,” he said as headlines from Amazon, Apple and Alphabet entering health care flashed across the screen. “We've collaborated with some of these companies in the past, and we think the time for thinking bigger is now.”

The next phase, Shafer said, will be in building networks that improve care across the full continuum. 

“Massive digital transformation is coming,” he continued.“The EHR is the foundational level for health care delivery. Cerner will become increasingly about the platform, and all this is unfolding as we speak.What are we after? A more human expression of this. Data that defines, intelligence that informs, care that connects and populations that prosper. That's our theme around smarter care. This is our intent. This is our direction. Let's think about the transformation in these terms.” 

Cerner’s client commitments 

Finally, Shafer closed by sharing some refocused commitments Cerner is making to our clients.

We will relentlessly advance our clients’ success

“We’re looking at things through your eyes,” Shafer says. “We're going to work with you to understand your goals and align with you. That's what we're here to do.” We heard from Truman Medical Centers’ Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy and Information Officer Mitzi Cardenas via video about her organization’s recent go-live with RevWorks, underlining this commitment.

We will make better health care experiences and outcomes our duty

In another video, Sir David Sloman, CEO of Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, discussed “the real focus on the patient and quality within the whole system.” He detailed how Royal Free is working with Cerner and partnering on health information exchanges. “The real prize is how we keep people healthy in the first place.” 

We will imagine, design and implement intelligent health networks

“Innovating for real world challenges means going beyond the EHR,” Shafer said. “We’re building on this with our partnership with Lumeris. We're working with you to take a comprehensive solution approach, and in this process, we're making wellness a priority.” We also heard from Banner Health President and CEO Steve Edwards on how his organization was working with Cerner to reinvent the health care system.

We will become the partner of choice for health care innovation

“Cerner is the platform for future innovation,” Shafer continued.“We have more than 500 partners today focused on keeping that foot on the pedal. Traditionally, innovation meant building it yourself, but sometimes it's faster to partner and move forward – and we have to move forward in a hurry. It's not just the technology. It's the relationships.” 

John Windom, VA's Executive Director for the Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization (OEHRM), spoke in a video about leveraging the strategic partnership with Cerner. “When you bring two entities that are as committed as Cerner is – that's a phenomenal partnership. Our veterans are going to be well taken care of in the future.”

Be current and stay current 

Finally, Shafer closed with a request for attendees and clinicians in the auditorium. “In the spirit of partnership, I'd like to ask for one commitment from you this week: Your organizations chose you to come to CHC, and they're going to listen to you when you come back. I'd ask you to deliver one message: Get current and stay current. Be that squeaky wheel. Your patients deserve the best experience, and they deserve it as soon as they can possibly get it.”

Fighting the opioid crisis

In his keynote address at #CHC18, Cerner CEO Brent Shafer announced Cerner's new suite of advancements intended to help our clients win the battle against the opioid epidemic. This Opioid Toolkitwill be available to all clients.

Furthering the conversation, Dr. Marvin Seppala of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation detailed how the opioid crisis stems from a brain disease that some people are more predisposed to than others. He stated that his organization has a significant opioid treatment strategy that helps improve patient engagement and outcomes. The plan incorporates group, education and individual sessions; evidence-based medicines as part of treatment protocols and intensive care management in outpatient settings.

“It’s real easy to see this crisis as someone else’s problem, but it’s all of our problem in medicine,” he said. 

Prescription management monitoring programs are being used by a diversity of organizations to address opioid misuse. CMIOs from urban, rural and academic health organizations gathered to share their strategies to increase provider adoption, get data more efficiently and provide better patient care. The session touched on how state-issued mandates on reporting requirements are increasing the demand for EHR solutions that offer quick access to relevant prescription information – timely given CEO Brent Shafer’s announcement during his morning keynote.

Favorable metrics from the presenting organizations included a 20 percent increase in drug reports viewed, six percent reduction in total opioid prescriptions over a three-month period and 100 percent monthly increase in prescription drug monitoring queries per month.

At the CHC Executive Program, Russ Branzell, President and CEO of CHIME, provided health system leaders with an update on the organization’s policy efforts to help address the crisis. The CHIME Opioid Task Force advocates to create awareness and provide data for medical research to fight opioid abuse.

“This is everywhere and it’s personal for just about everyone,” Branzell said. “We’ve all seen the numbers.”

Solutions Gallery provides experiential learning

Following last night’s reception, the Solutions Gallery opened today for the first full day of exhibits offering 90,000 square-feet of forward-thinking innovations aimed to support and advance the daily workflows and long-term goals of Cerner clients.  

Improving the consumer experience in health care

Cerner Strategic Advisor David Bradshaw showcased Cerner’s consumer engagement solutions and compared the health care industry’s opportunity to improve the consumer experience to the game-changing developments brought on by companies like Netflix and Uber. Susan Collins, vice president of strategic partnerships at Salesforce, expressed excitement about the collaboration between Cerner and Salesforce. She also talked about how customer relationship management (CRM) engagement benefits both patients and providers. 

“Just as we use technology in other industries to facilitate relationships and build engagement, I think we are going to see that in health care,” Collins said. 

Care Aware Connect encourages better communication

Speakers from Lawrence Memorial Hospital discussed the organization’s successful implementation of Cerner’s CareAwareConnect 3.0 mobile solutions and shared practical techniques on how other health systems can do the same. He said the solution has made communications within Lawrence Memorial more efficient and effective and their employee survey revealed that the solution has become an asset in improving workflows.

“We chose this [platform] in addition to the med scanning and the whole thought was that this would be in the best interest of the patient and the care team,” said Marcus Scarborough, chief medical information officer at Lawrence Memorial.

Cerner standard content boosts patient safety

A team of nurses from San Francisco-based Dignity Health shared their story of leveraging Cerner standard content to incorporate infectious disease risk screening, travel history, multi-drug resistant organisms and patient isolation into their infectious disease workflows. This has resulted in better management and control of the spread of global pandemics such as Zika. 

“This solution provides a benefit to multiple care providers to prevent and control infection by clearly displaying the isolation,” said Krystal Jones, a registered nurse at Dignity Health.

 

For more from CHC18, check out our Twitter Moment.