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8 client stories that inspire the next era of health care

Published on 1/6/2020

Estimated read time:  8 minutes

From accountable care organizations to top academic research institutions and critical access community hospitals, Cerner’s clients represent a diverse group of industry leaders dedicated to transforming the future of care. We’ve compiled some of our favorite stories from the past year that show how organizations are moving the meter in health care and achieving great results through collaboration and innovation.

1. Banner Health earns renowned Davies award for urgent care integration efforts and more

In 2018, Banner Health earned a HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award, a prestigious industry honor that recognizes high achievement in using health information technology to improve patient outcomes and value. This was awarded after Banner Health showcased improvements in three areas.

First, Banner staff saw an opportunity to improve safety and reduce waste and costs by decreasing unnecessary blood transfusions during hip and knee replacements. The staff was also able to deliver highly reliable virtual care while integrating point-of-care service into a longitudinal health system at more than 40 newly acquired urgent care centers. The EHR implementation allowed staff to transfer important clinical data from the longitudinal record so patient information can be accessed at any visit or site.

“With teams of physician leaders, engineers, informaticists, IT specialists and data analysts all working together toward a common goal, we’ve created an integrated electronic health record (EHR) platform and achieved sustainable, industry-leading outcomes.” 

– Dr. William Holland, vice president of care management and chief medical informatics officer, Banner Health

2. New research tool helps plan future care by alerting providers of those at readmission risk

Now that most health care organizations have moved from pen and paper to EHRs, health systems face a new opportunity: incorporating machine learning to improve patient care. However, figuring out the best ways to use billions of data points can be difficult.

For the last several years, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) applied machine learning to data with on-premise resources, now, the health system has taken the next step of leveraging Cerner’s cloud-based environment for the work. By using machine learning data to more accurately predict which patients are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital, CHOC providers can take proactive measures to reduce the likelihood of readmission.

“When Cerner approached us to be the development partner with HealtheDataLab™, we quickly said ‘yes,’ because we knew what its power would likely do. Cerner did all the heavy lifting. While it took several months of a lot of hard work, we’re now reaping the benefits.” 

 – Dr. William Feaster, chief health information officer, CHOC Children’s

3. On-site health center helps Toyota employees save money while becoming healthier, more productive

An increasing number of Toyota Industrial Equipment employees and their family members are taking advantage of a new on-site health center. Toyota's health center, managed by Cerner, provides a range of physical and occupational therapy services at a low cost for employees.

In addition to these services, the health center also offers primary care, urgent care and a pharmacy. Providing those services in a convenient location helps employees stay on top of health issues without taking too much time off from work. The on-site pharmacy at the health center not only saves time but money as well. The pharmacy offers heavily discounted over-the-counter and prescription medications. The on-site pharmacist helps Toyota keep health plan costs down by ensuring employees are aware of generic prescription options which can help them save on medications.

"A lot of people that work at Toyota are doing physical labor jobs. It's important for them to get back. We're the piece that helps them build up strength, decrease pain and focus on the things they need to be able to do again."

– Brock Gorman, occupational therapist, Toyota

4. Canadian health system streamlines provider workflow in effort to reduce alert fatigue

Alert fatigue can negatively impact clinician wellness as they find themselves faced with unneeded warnings. In response, the staff at London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London in Ontario, began reducing unnecessary drug alerts for pharmacists across London and regional partner hospitals. The total number of drug alerts fell by 41.5%.

To help determine which drug alerts didn’t need to fire, staff turned to Lights On Network®, which provides health organizations with data to discover how clinicians use Cerner solutions.

“Our team is always looking for new ways to engage with clinicians and end-users to improve the system. I’m always surprised that every time I go into Lights On, there’s always something new. It’s not a stagnant solution; it’s always changing and improving.

– Carrie Milligan, performance measurement consultant, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London

5. Creating healthier lives for children through population health management

Children at Washington, D.C.-based Children’s National Health System are leading healthier lives after meeting a goal to improve quality outcomes by 10% in four out of six categories: asthma, cardiomyopathy, diabetes, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease and sickle cell disease.

The system’s population health initiative is one of the latest examples of how Children’s National, a Cerner ITWorks℠ client, accomplished this population health goal by using HealtheIntent℠. The platform provides a snapshot of the patient population and provides reports that show patient care gaps. To get a complete picture of the patient population, Children’s National implemented HealtheIntent across its practices that used different EHRs.

“With this information for our providers in both the pediatric primary and specialty care environments, we can start to answer the question, ‘Where are the opportunities to improve children’s health?’”

 –  Dr. Brian Jacobs, former vice president, chief medical information officer, chief information officer, Children’s National

6. Virtual visits offer quick, convenient access for patients while avoiding the waiting room

Instead of relying solely on in-person office visits, health systems are offering virtual health care visits to provide care when and where patients need it. Consulting company Accenture found in 2019 that 49% of patients expect video conferencing, up from 36% just three years before.

Staff at Christiana Care in Newark and Wilmington, Delaware found a way to use Cerner solutions to offer virtual video visits to employees and their family members through a pilot program.

“There aren’t enough primary care clinicians to meet all of the primary care needs of a community. As we thought about reimagining primary care, one of the innovative ideas that emerged was a virtual primary care practice.”

 – Dr. Janice Nevin, president and CEO, Christiana Care

7. MU Health Care reduces unnecessary blood transfusions with clinical decision support

Blood transfusions have the power to save lives. But when used inappropriately, they can harm patients, generate excessive costs and waste an important, limited resource. Armed with studies showing up to 40% of transfusions in the U.S. are unnecessary, University of Missouri Health Care leaders saw an opportunity to improve patient safety and reduce costs by implementing a red blood cell (RBC) transfusion clinical decision support alert.

Nine months after embedding the alert into the EHR, staff at the Columbia, Missouri-based ITWorks client reduced the health system’s overall RBC transfusion rate by 13.34%, saving approximately $195,000 in acquisition costs and avoiding between $505,000 and $1.14 million in indirect costs for things like transfusion administration, patient blood testing and overhead.

"We always want to support our providers in delivering evidence-based care. When you're working with a procedure as common as a blood transfusion, there's an opportunity for small changes to make a big impact."

– Dr. Emily Coberly, medical director of transfusion services, MU Health Care

8. Advanced member engagement helps Geisinger Health wellness participants reach BMI goals

Since 2007, Geisinger Health and Plan has offered a health and wellness program (myHealth Rewards) to its 30,000 employees to reduce health care costs and help employees take control of their health. At the end of 2016, however, Geisinger's leadership team realized that nearly 4,000 employees hadn't been successful in completing the myHealth Rewards program. The population included individuals who were disengaged or did not meet their wellness program targets. Of this population, more than 80% hadn’t met their body mass index (BMI) goal.

To increase participation in myHealth Rewards, Geisinger implemented Cerner's Health Navigation Services and personalized engagement strategy to encourage employees to fully participate in the program. As a result, 82% of the employees who were a part of the advanced member engagement program began taking steps to participate in wellness activities. Of those who participated, 37% successfully met all myHealth Rewards requirements, including 1,210 employees who did not meet their goals in 2016. More than 590 employees successfully completed the program for the first time in three years.

"Cerner's personalized engagement approach helped our most disengaged employees succeed in myHealth Rewards — many for the first time ever."

– Allison Hess, vice president – Health, Steele Institute for Innovation, Geisinger

Learn how our clients are increasing quality of care, reducing waste, and lowering costs by visiting our Client Achievements page.