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by Karen Senior
Published on 23 March 2023

Oracle Health existed and worked with the NHS long before Oracle’s acquisition of Cerner. Karen Senior remains as Oracle Health’s strategic client director, and here she talks about the presence Oracle already has within the NHS, as well as opportunities for the future now that Cerner is a part of the organisation.

My role as the strategic client director involves looking after the NHS at Oracle, covering the breadth of the NHS at national level through to local level. Our healthcare technology and unrelenting focus on data means that we are uniquely positioned to enable healthcare providers to coordinate care across NHS Trusts, integrated care boards, and at a national level. Working across the entire Oracle portfolio offers me and my strategic client group colleagues a rare perspective on the delivery of healthcare from the back office right through to direct care for patients. The combination of Oracle’s enterprise platforms, analytics and, automation expertise with Cerner’s clinical capabilities gives a holistic data-driven view across the healthcare enterprise.

Since joining the healthcare arm of Oracle in November 2021, I have witnessed first-hand the increase of pace and transformation as Oracle commits to providing technology that can make a tremendous difference to the care of patients and staff, as well as enabling the whole healthcare enterprise. It is truly exciting to see where we are going. Healthcare IT and the benefits it brings to improving people’s health across the globe has always been my number one passion and joining Oracle was a natural step for me.

I am lucky to have a fantastic team of experts to call on from each of our lines of business and I draw on these people to help ensure we fully understand our business challenges and discuss any potential solutions that may help. In addition, we deliver a number of our services through our partner organisations, and I spend a lot of time with partners discussing how we can best help the NHS meet its current challenges together. This could be back-office modernisation initiatives, through to front-line digitisation and, with the addition of Cerner to our portfolio, federated data across health, clinical, and nonclinical. It’s great to be part of such a dynamic and diverse team with focus on improving the way we can deliver healthcare and improve the lives of both the patients and staff in the NHS.

The past decade has been transformational for Oracle from a healthcare perspective. The company has been involved in many healthcare initiatives and we have been pursuing our vision for national and global healthcare databases to improve patient care. For example, Oracle Healthcare Foundation (OHF) is a platform for healthcare organisations to integrate and analyse data from various sources. OHF includes a data model that supports data from a variety of sources, including electronic health records (EHRs), claims data, and clinical trial data. OHF also includes machine learning algorithms for predictive analytics and natural language processing (NLP) for clinical documentation. Another example is the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) for Healthcare, a cloud-based platform that provides secure, compliant, and scalable infrastructure for healthcare organisations. OCI for Healthcare includes tools for data integration, data storage, and data analysis, and also supports the integration of data from multiple sources.

In addition, Oracle has been involved in several initiatives related to federated data in healthcare, such as the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, which is a public-private partnership that aims to improve the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic through data sharing and analysis. Oracle has also been a participant in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase, which provides a platform for innovative technologies in the field of healthcare data exchange and interoperability.

Oracle's products and services, as well as our involvement in industry initiatives, demonstrate a commitment to federated data in healthcare and the importance of integrating and analysing data from multiple sources to improve patient outcomes.

The acquisition of Cerner affords great opportunity to expand our healthcare technology by integrating Cerner's EHR systems into our back-office software and hardware solutions. This will help healthcare providers better manage patient care, streamline operations, and improve clinical outcomes. There is also improved interoperability, with better data sharing and communication between healthcare providers, which will ultimately improve patient outcomes. Working with data that crosses the healthcare continuum to help inform the continued development of predictive analytics, population health management tools, and other healthcare technology solutions.