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Cerner's approach to the COVID-19 pandemic

Published on 6/2/2020

As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cerner’s work continues to support health care providers across the globe, its workforce and communities. More than ever, health care providers are seeing how data and technology make a difference in preparing for, responding to and recovering from COVID-19. Cerner stands ready to provide the support needed.

Rapid response for Cerner clients 

As the world navigates the ‘new normal,’ Cerner is committed to helping its clients. From surge recommendations to recovery planning to telehealth solutions, Cerner has made real-time decisions to advance technology to meet the needs of health systems during this unprecedented time.

  • Telehealth: With the urgent need to care for higher volumes of patients while limiting exposure, the demand for virtual visits has increased exponentially. Cerner has equipped clients to quickly increase their telehealth capacity and functionality—in some cases, increasing virtual appointment throughput by much more than 100-fold. These offerings help patients receive care without going into a facility and enable physicians to check in with their patients from anywhere, helping to limit the risk of exposure for both parties. It also supports in-hospital care by providing the technology for providers to remotely monitor admitted patients, further helping to limit exposure to the virus and saving valuable PPE resources.
  • Re-focusing resources: Clients have had to readjust and re-focus their workforce where they need them most. Cerner has offered temporary IT services,eLearning and remote end-user training to help them make these transitions.
  • Sharing best practices: COVID-19 has brought many lessons along the way. Cerner is connecting clients from around the globe to share best practices and learn from one another. 
  • Patient data: Health systems have been inundated with requests for tracking surges, COVID-19 positive tests, bed capacity and more. Cerner has been working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to advance data sharing to ease the burden on those at the front lines of COVID-19. Cerner also joined with Amazon Web Services to provide access to de-identified patient data to health systems and academic research centers to support epidemiological studies, clinical trials and medical treatments related to COVID-19.
  • Easing the financial burden: To support health care organizations dealing with increased workload and surge capacity concerns, Cerner has offered solutions and services and waived, reduced and deferred certain fees related to COVID-19 expansions. 
  • Field hospitals and surge locations: Cerner has helped implement technology in field hospitals and surge locations around the world, including in Madrid, London, Dubai, Seattle and New York City — many built within two to three days. Cerner’s COVID-19 Surge Capacity Guide provides best practices and recommendations for providers, governments and other stakeholders who are developing strategies to prepare for and respond to the surge of testing and treatment demands associated with the virus. 
  • Recovery solutions: As health care organizations seek to financially recover from the impact of COVID-19 and define their new normal, Cerner is providing our clients with solutions, recommendations and best practice learnings from clients around the world.

Supporting the health of our associates  

Over the past several months, Cerner has addressed the physical, mental and financial well-being of associates including: 

Remote Work– To help reduce the potential exposure and transmission of COVID-19 in its communities globally, and based on government guidance from around the world, Cerner quickly enacted remote work, with mandated telework for associates whose jobs could be done remotely. Starting on May 18, Cerner began a limited re-entry to Cerner offices for fewer than 10 percent of its worldwide associates. The Cerner COVID-19 Taskforce is continually reassessing and communicating new guidance as needed and has implemented additional physical distancing guidelines during its limited re-entry to the office to help reduce the risk of exposure. 

Cerner has also made the transition to virtual onboarding, training, events and recruiting through the end of 2020, including the announcement that Cerner Health Conference will be virtual for the first time in Cerner’s history.

Associate well-being – While working remotely, Cerner is providing associates with daily resources, including online fitness and mental wellbeing activities and tools to encourage physical and mental health in these challenging times. Associates have access to toolkits and confidential counseling services for themselves and their dependent family members. Cerner has also enabled several technologies to support associates connecting with one another virtually.

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 or 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. 

Travel – Cerner restricted associate travel globally, including a temporary halt of all international and non-critical business travel. On May 18, Cerner associates began traveling for client work that cannot be done virtually.

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 adjusting our guidelines accordingly. 

Giving to the communities where we live, work and thrive 

Cerner and its supported charitable foundation, First Hand, are committed to supporting COVID-19 relief efforts around the world with particular focus in areas where Cerner associates and clients live and work.  Cerner and First Hand have contributed more than $500,000 to COVID-19 community relief initiatives. Read more about how Cerner is giving back to our communities here.