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Unlimited potential: Perspectives on Cerner’s next 40 years

Published on 9/30/2019

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Cerner is celebrating its 40th year. We asked a few company leaders to share their perspectives on the milestone and our next chapter.

'The history of Cerner is strong, but the future is even brighter.'

Tracy Platt, executive vice president and chief human resources officer

I've been exposed to every part of the health care ecosystem through experiences in multiple global organizations in the industry.

I've seen firsthand, in many geographies, where affordability of care and access to care are significant barriers, along with infrastructure challenges that can't support even the most basic procedures.

These experiences left me wanting to make an impact on the access, quality and affordability of health care.

As someone who joined Cerner in the last year, what's most exciting to me is that we're in a key position to fill these gaps and take the lead in critical areas. For 40 years, Cerner has led the industry in digitized solutions and championing interoperable systems. This foundation has empowered clinicians to dramatically improve patient outcomes.

The needs of the health care consumer, client and market must remain at the center of everything we do. In my role, I strive to ensure that our organization has the necessary capabilities, culture and a global talent base that's empowered to fulfill those needs and create new value.

As Cerner works to better align around faster, more scalable innovation and our clients successes, we're focused on fostering a strong culture of innovation, inclusion and shared accountability. We want every associate to know they're valued, empowered to drive meaningful work and take the necessary calculated risks to innovate and accelerate our transformation.

From my perspective, Cerner is evolving into a health care intelligence company with a boundaryless mindset. We'll shape health care by making the sandbox bigger and extending beyond IT to find new ways to learn from and collaborate with strategic partners across the globe.

The history of Cerner is strong, but the future is even brighter. I'm energized by our unlimited potential to drive the next wave of health care innovation and to advance the access, quality and affordability of care.

'The opportunity is big, it's global and it's worth it.'

Emil Peters, president, Cerner Global

I still have the copy of "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss that my mother gave me when I graduated from high school. I've taken it everywhere with me since then, and on this 40th anniversary of Cerner, it was the first thing that entered my mind.

Cerner's first global client was in Ottawa, Canada, in 1985, just six years after the company was founded. By 1991, Cerner had clients and associates in Australia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the U.K. During the next decade, Cerner India launched, giving the company true 24/7 development and support capabilities.

Since then, Cerner solutions  have contributed to the improvement of health outcomes for populations across the globe. From statewide and provincial engagements to entire regions and nations, our vision and capabilities have provided value on six continents and in more than 40 countries. Every day, Cerner, and most importantly, its associates, are powering a new wave of understanding and advocacy for information-driven health and care across a wider and more varied landscape.

The concept of a seamless and connected world where everyone thrives is more pertinent now than ever before. With the overall cost of health care rising at alarming rates in every country, the ability to turn a global challenge into a global opportunity is something that we should all be proud and honoured to help deliver.

Cerner has the chance to shape not only health care, but also education, innovation, relationships and economic development. With these aspirational goals in mind, it's up to us to devise new strategies, platforms and delivery models to drive improvements in health outcomes and meet this generational challenge head-on.

The opportunity is big, it's global and it's worth it.

When my mother gave me that Dr. Seuss book as I moved to a different part of the country, I was being prepared to embrace the world in a different way. In my time with Cerner, I've seen new places, spoken new languages and met dear friends from many different backgrounds. I can only dream of what will be when the world approaches the health care transformation that Cerner started 40 years ago and continues to advance today. Until then, we'll all get to work together to achieve it.

'Cerner has the vision, data and technology to set the pace of innovation.'

Kimberly Gerard, senior vice president and chief of staff

I started my career at Cerner in April 2002 as a regional finance controller in the client financial operations group. During the past 17 years, I've held numerous roles within the company, stepping into my current position in January 2019.

As I've embraced the changes throughout my journey, it's been amazing to watch Cerner evolve and grow as well. Change has always been part of Cerner's culture, but the past decade has felt particularly significant with events like the introduction of meaningful use that accelerated the modernization of our health care delivery system on a massive scale. In this time, Cerner has significantly increased the digitization of health care and was awarded two of the industry's largest contracts with the Department of Defense (as part of the Leidos Partnership for Defense Health) and the Department of Veterans Affairs to align and improve their electronic health records.

Now more than ever, our ability to recognize the immense opportunity of our future, the change that's required and how quickly we must respond is crucial to everything we do. The next chapter will focus on helping our clients derive greater benefits from our digitized solutions. We're in the enviable position of being able to address the issues our clients are dealing with, such as rising health care costs, industry consolidation, value-based care payment reform, the heightened impact of consumerism and emerging technology, and the role of artificial intelligence.

Just as our clients face the challenges of balancing the business of health and care, Cerner is also focused on optimizing our resources, processes and technology to maximize efficiency, pursue growth and deliver greater value.

Today, we must be open to approaching everything differently. That's the key to empowering our associates and igniting their passion to solve challenges and relentlessly advance our clients' successes.

At Cerner, we say that health care is too important to stay the same. I believe this deep understanding of the importance of change will guide us in shaping care delivery. Cerner has the vision, data and technology to set the pace of innovation and truly change care for the better.

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