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patient with provider

by John Glaser
Published on October 1, 2019

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Key takeaways:

  • Cerner’s strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) will empower the development of the next generation of electronic health records and achieve a new level of care delivery and medical discovery.
  • Cerner will only leverage health data in ways that respect the rights of patients and their caregivers, and in accordance with applicable privacy laws.
  • Cerner knows that trust is the core of the patient-provider relationship, and this confidence shouldn’t be jeopardized over concerns of data misuse.

Cerner recently announced a strategic collaboration with AWS that, among other things, will empower the development of the next generation of electronic health records. The new iteration will be cloud-based and allow Cerner to use artificial intelligence technologies to significantly enhance the provider-patient relationship and reveal health insights that were previously undetectable by traditional methods of analysis.

The work with AWS will help Cerner achieve a new level of care delivery and medical discovery. It’s the level of care quality, efficiency, access and safety that we all envision when we talk about the transformation of health care.

When we add personal health information to the equation on a large scale, though, we understand it may raise questions about how that data could be used. Cerner already has robust measures in place to protect our clients’ data against hacking and theft as well as address data ownership.

Respecting patient and caregiver rights

Following the collaboration with AWS, Cerner will continue to honor these guidelines:

  • Patients own their data.
  • Our clients, health care providers and payers will remain custodians of their data.
  • Our job is to support our clients in being good custodians.
  • We’ll remain transparent in all that we do.

Our practices will keep supporting these principles in a manner consistent with data ownership laws that clearly define the rights of patients, clients and Cerner. Specifically:

  • Cerner won’t permit other organizations to use patient or client information without their consent.
  • Cerner won’t mine data for the purpose of assessing organizational or physician performance without the client’s consent.
  • Cerner will use the data to enhance services so that it streamlines support and makes software more efficient for the user.
  • Cerner will only leverage health data in ways that respect the rights of patients and their caregivers and in accordance with privacy laws.

Knowing our code of behavior around data rights will stay the same, what does this mean for the collaboration between Cerner and AWS and how we work together?

Sharing accountability

As part of the AWS shared responsibility model, it’s important to understand the roles that Cerner and AWS play. Cerner is responsible for building secure applications. AWS, on the other hand, manages and controls the components from the host operating system and virtualization layer, down to the physical security of the facilities in which the services operate.

Security and privacy are top priorities for AWS. It’s one of the main reasons Cerner chose AWS as its preferred cloud provider. With AWS, Cerner always maintains complete ownership and control of its data. We have the ability to encrypt, protect, move and delete data, all in alignment with our security policies, as well as those of our clients.

AWS’ extensive security technologies, 24x7 monitoring and alerting, and rigorous attention to all aspects of securing its infrastructure services are designed to ensure that Cerner’s data can only be used by Cerner.

Advancing health care, safeguarding data

In the context of protecting information, Cerner will use appropriate methods to support research, measure comparative effectiveness and conduct post-market surveillance. We’ll only take these steps, though, with the consent of the custodians of the data, and in compliance with the regulations that govern research and patient privacy.

For example, the Cerner Learning Health Network helps providers work together on advancing medical discoveries and identifying best practices. By working with AWS, this effort will further empower clinicians to identify the characteristics associated with the greatest treatment success rates – all through the use of blinded patient data.

We know trust is the core of the patient-provider relationship. And, this confidence shouldn’t be jeopardized over concerns of data misuse. Cerner also knows that no part of our mission is more important than safeguarding patients’ personal health information.

By joining innovative forces in health care data and technology, Cerner is in position to achieve our mission to relentlessly deliver faster, more scalable and secure solutions to clients and patients across the globe. Learn more here.