Cerner Corp. and Truman Medical Centers have expanded their long-standing relationship.
About 100 information technology employees at Truman will now become employees of Cerner, the fast growing health-information technology company based in Kansas City. Shane Kovac, a spokesman for Truman, says the idea is to create a “living-lab”-like environment with the idea of improving overall population health.
“It allows them to come into the hospital, embed themselves in the whole system, really understand what is going on with health care at a very narrow level down to the main person, and really start to develop those innovations through IT that can help move health care forward and really change the future of health care,” Kovac says.
Truman, which serves many low-income, high-risk patients, and Cerner have been partnering since 1992. The hospital uses Cerner-developed software and was recognized last year for its use of health information technology to improve patient outcomes.
Kovac says the expanded relationship with Cerner followed months of research, evaluation, discussion and planning.
Earlier this year, Truman said it had entered into an unusual three-way collaboration with Cerner Corp. and the University of Missouri-Kansas City to mine medical information amassed by Cerner over the last 15 years from more than 47 million patients. The data is scrubbed of personal identifying information.
Combining the Cerner data with an NIH-funded software application called i2b2 – short for Informatics for Integrating Biology and Bedside – will enable medical researchers to understand considerably more about Truman’s patient population.
The newly expanded relationship with Cerner “takes the concept of the learning health system and expands its boundaries beyond our region,” Truman President and CEO Charlie Shields said in a statement. “Ultimately, we have the potential to impact care around the world, as we learn and progress together in Kansas City and then share our expertise with other Cerner clients, health care organizations and communities.”
Editor’s note: KCUR is licensed by UMKC.
Dan Margolies, editor of the Heartland Health Monitor team, is based at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies.