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Cerner's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic

by Cerner Corporation

Published on 3/27/2020

As a leading global health care technology company, Cerner has an important responsibility — to help protect the health and safety of associates, our clients around the globe and their patients and the well-being of our communities.

For the past several weeks, Cerner’s COVID-19 Taskforce, dedicated to making clinical and business continuity decisions globally, has been working around the clock to help support a healthy, safe workplace for associates and clients. Additionally, Cerner’s Infection Control team routinely and proactively works with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and government sites worldwide to understand and monitor the threat of disease outbreaks.

As a company, we have taken steps to enhance and introduce new technology offerings, waive license fees for expansion of hospital beds, join with other companies to offer virtual health solutions, provide associate assistance and offer community support globally. 

Client Support

We understand that many of our clients are at the forefront of this global pandemic and are being pushed to extraordinary limits. From electronic health record to telehealth solutions, Cerner has expanded its technology to meet the needs of clients during this unprecedented time:

Cerner has developed a site dedicated to clients on the company’s response to COVID-19, HERE.

Increase virtual care offerings for clinicians and consumers – Cerner is empowering clients to use telehealth to help give patients access to care while at home, and within the acute care setting, to help mitigate the impact and spread of the virus.

Relieve some stress out of care delivery – In addition to supporting clients and patients via virtual care, Cerner is assisting clients worldwide as they work to quickly implement emergency efforts for large volumes of COVID-19-positive patients.

For clients hosted in our data centers, Cerner continues to deliver stable, scalable and secure services to each of our clients around the world. In 2019, Cerner delivered 99.99% service availability and 99.78% incident-free time for remote hosted clients.

Screen, monitor and treat patient populations for potential cases of the virus – After the first reported cases, Cerner developed and pushed a COVID-19 update to Cerner Millennium® to help health systems actively manage the ongoing threat of the virus in communities.

Clients of Soarian® solutions including Clinicals, Financials and Scheduling can access strong communicable disease screening tools to help monitor patient populations for the virus. 

Cerner continues to release software updates to support the unique care needs during the pandemic. For example, all Cerner HealtheIntentSM clients now have access to a collection of new dashboards and offerings to help clients track trends and manage patients presenting and testing positive with COVID-19 symptoms.

Cerner is also supporting hospitals and health systems as they quickly establish field hospitals and surge locations in places like parking lots, hotels and previously closed health facilities. Cerner teams are working around the clock to help setup secure digital infrastructure to allow clients to have the ability to triage and document each patient regardless of where they are treated.

Business Continuity – Cerner has business continuity plans in place and had a smooth transition to worldwide remote work. We are maintaining our service to our clients.

Cerner believes in a seamless and connected world where everyone thrives. Our leadership remains committed to guiding Cerner and our stakeholders through this global threat.

Workforce Support

Associates worldwide have been educated on best practices to prevent transmission, and Cerner is continually monitoring the WHO, CDC and government recommendations worldwide. Cerner has implemented policies to address the physical, mental and financial well-being of associates including:

Remote Work Policy – To help reduce the potential exposure and transmission of COVID-19 in our communities globally, and based on updated guidance and data, Cerner associates who can work remotely must do so until April 30, 2020. The Cerner COVID-19 Taskforce will continually reassess and communicate new guidance as needed. As a global company, Cerner will likely determine return dates regionally, reflecting input from local governments, health organizations and local leadership.

Limited offices will remain open for associates whose work requires being physically present, and Cerner is implementing social distancing strategies to help reduce the risk of exposure.

Additionally, daily online activities, tools and resources are provided for associates to help focus on their mental health, stay physically active and connect with fellow associates and clients while working remotely. 

Pandemic Time Off – In order to protect the financial health of associates who are unable to perform their work because of the pandemic due to a quarantine, department or office closure, Cerner has instituted an emergency Pandemic Time Off policy. The policy was expanded to provide salary continuation to clinical associates who are called, or volunteer, to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This assists Cerner's highly trained associates with serving their communities without fear of losing income.

Counseling Services – Associates have no-cost access to confidential counseling services for themselves and their dependent family members.

Travel – Cerner restricted associate travel globally, including a temporary halt of all international and non-critical travel.

We understand that as a health care technology company our work to support health systems across the globe must continue. We’re working continuously to evaluate the best decisions for our associates and clients and making decisions accordingly.

Community Support

Cerner’s clients and associates live and work in communities across the globe and community support goes beyond a single geographical area. While Cerner and its foundation – First Hand – are prepared to expand services and contributions as the needs of populations evolve, you can learn more about assistance already provided to communities in the United States, United Kingdom, India and more.

Visit Cerner and First Hand’s dedicated response site, HERE.