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by Cerner Corporation | Darinda Sutton | Amy Rosa
Published on April 23, 2019

Today, across the health care industry, hospitals and health care systems are seeking ways to optimize their electronic health records. Often, nurses feel they spend most of their time documenting in the EHR rather than caring for patients. 

In 2016, Cerner brought together a group of 12 clients to define the Essential Clinical Dataset or ECD. This collaborative of clients featured a cross section of community hospitals, academic medical centers and large health networks. With this ECD Collaborative, Darinda Sutton, vice president and chief nursing officer for Cerner Premier and Foundation, worked to define an ECD for industrywide use.


In a nutshell, the ECD defines the data elements that are essential to be documented by a registered nurse in the EHR when an adult patient is admitted to the hospital. The ECD decreases the amount of time that nurses spend on documentation and decreases the number of intake questions to only what is necessary and relevant. The ECD is EHR-agnostic and can be replicated across the industry to benefit the entire clinician community.


In this episode of Perspectives on Health and Tech, we are joined by Darinda and Amy Rosa, vice president and chief nursing information officer for Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Florida. Amy is a registered nurse with a doctorate in nursing practice and a master’s degree in medical informatics. They are here to talk about Baptist Health’s experience as a member of the ECD Collaborative and how the Adult Admission ECD is improving care team and patient satisfaction. Darinda and Amy answer the following questions:

  • What were the reasons for Baptist Health wanting to participate in the ECD Collaborative?
  • At the start of the program, Cerner extracted the adult admission and intake data elements from all 12 collaborative clients, including Baptist Health. What were the lessons learned about Baptist Health’s adult admission and intake processes from this analysis?
  • What changes has Baptist Health seen regarding care team satisfaction and patient health outcomes? What are the biggest benefits of the ECD?
  • How would an industrywide ECD impact health care overall?

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