UMC taps Cerner for 10-year EHR stint

January 26, 2015 in Medical Technology

University Medical Center, based in Lubbock, Texas, has signed Cerner to a decade-long deal to expand and enhance its existing Cerner electronic health record system.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Under the agreement, the Cerner team will align the EHR and clinical IT teams at UMC, Tech Physicians of Lubbock and UMC Physicians Network Services – PNS.
UMC, Tech, PNS and Cerner have worked together for more than a decade.

Now, they will further implement the shared digital patient record, automate additional clinical workflows including endoscopy and oncology and create a single communications platform across the three organizations.

The new solutions, new platform and new workflows will bring an even deeper level of continuity of care as well as position UMC for the future of healthcare including changes anticipated with health reform and regulatory requirements, according to Cerner executives.
“We had a difficult time keeping up with the demand for IT services as an organization, and, of course, to do more with less and really bend the cost curve associated with IT spend as a whole for the organization,” UMC’s CIO Bill Eubanks told Healthcare IT News.

“We really needed to find a different way to do business and really move away from the transaction relationship that we had that had a lot of overhead and took a lot of planning and forethought, and move to something that would allow us to be more agile and free-flowing to meet the demands that seem to be coming faster and faster every day,” he added.

In Eubanks’ view, it is also critical that separate organizations work closely as a team.

“In our case that’s UMC, Texas Tech Physicians and PNS,” he said. “With Cerner, our providers are better able to serve patients across all three entities.”
Cerner and UMC will organize a value creation team to facilitate several projects each year to proactively assess risk, review processes and identify innovative ways to improve outcomes.
“Cerner, UMC and Texas Tech all share a common passion about transforming care, and this collaboration truly aligns our goals to enable value creation initiatives such as sepsis reduction and the reduction of readmissions,” said Michelle Roseman, general manager, Cerner.

Roseman said among the projects Cerner and UMC would takcle would be workflows that have not yet been automated, specifically those around oncology, endoscopy and care management across the enterprise. Also planned are other types of performance improvement kinds of projects, such as identifying ways to improve general processes and looking more holistically at quality IT and clinical workflow to optimize and enhance those processes.

Working on the initiatives will be a team of 50 members from UMC, Texas Tech Physicians and PNS. Several full-time Cerner associates will be embedded in Lubbock to serve as liaisons and knowledge experts, supported by a Cerner team in Kansas City, Mo., dedicated to the project.

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