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Intermountain and Cerner announce strategic partnership

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September 27, 2013 -- With a shared vision to improve quality and make healthcare costs sustainable, Intermountain Healthcare and Cerner Corporation are announcing a multi-year strategic partnership.

Drawing on Intermountain’s pioneering leadership in quality improvement and data analytics and Cerner’s expertise in information technologies, the multi-year partnership will implement the Cerner electronic medical record and revenue cycle solutions across all of Intermountain’s hospitals and clinics.

“This alliance will help Intermountain to continue its focus on providing high quality care,” said Charles Sorenson, MD, president and chief executive of Intermountain.  “It will help us prepare for a future where we must focus even more on providing the best possible care for our patients at a cost that is sustainable.”

Cerner is the best-positioned supplier of clinical information systems to accelerate key functionality available to Intermountain’s clinicians now while building on Intermountain’s legacy of innovation to support the delivery of high-value care in the future. With Cerner’s investment in modern technology and open exchange of data, Intermountain has selected a partner that shares its vision of transforming healthcare to enhance quality and efficiency.

Broader than the intent and efforts of U.S. healthcare reform, both companies are committed to an approach that focuses on involving everyone in achieving better health – hospitals, physicians, patients, insurance companies, and others. Both companies know that advanced information technology will play a critical role in achieving that vision. Intermountain has been a leader for over four decades in the development and use of clinical information systems to improve care.

“Several decades ago, when I was just starting out, I would go to Intermountain to listen and learn,” said Neal Patterson, chairman and chief executive of Cerner.  “Intermountain has a globally recognized focus on systematically working to increase quality and decrease cost.  Intermountain’s vision around Shared Accountability represents the future of healthcare.”

Understanding that the future of healthcare requires us to make meaningful changes, leaders from both organizations are committed to finding ways to advance the science and practice of medicine and to improve patient care. Moreover, Cerner and Intermountain have been nationally recognized as innovation leaders, receiving acknowledgement in 2013 by Forbes and InformationWeek, respectively, as two of the most innovative companies in the U.S.

The collaboration between Intermountain and Cerner will look to fully leverage Intermountain’s important work, including its industry-leading clinical processes and data warehouse.  It also will seek to build a new set of tools for a post-fee-for-service world in areas such as activity-based costing.  Several key Cerner leaders and staff will relocate to Salt Lake City, Utah, to be led by Cerner executive vice president Jeff Townsend, to join with Intermountain’s executives in driving this collaboration.

“Over the last year, I have had a chance to spend time with Neal and the Cerner team,” said Brent James, MD, chief quality officer at Intermountain.  “We share a common vision to improve care for populations of people.  This partnership will accelerate our efforts to provide core functionality to our caregivers as we create new innovations to transform healthcare. By integrating the Cerner system with our electronic data warehouse, we will continue to drive improvements in healthcare quality.”  

“Intermountain has a rich history of IT innovation dating back to Dr. Homer Warner and his pioneering work in using computers for sophisticated storage and analysis of clinical data,” said Jeff Townsend, executive vice president at Cerner.  “It is an honor to have an opportunity to join with Intermountain’s leaders to accelerate quality and cost innovations that will improve care for the region and the nation.”

Intermountain’s selection of Cerner was the result of a comprehensive yearlong decision-making process.  Intermountain looked at a range of criteria, including clinical and financial functionality, innovative culture, and important population health-related benchmarks such as supplier commitment to the open interchange of information.

“Healthcare is in the midst of tremendous change as the industry transitions from being paid for volume on a fee-for-service basis to value measured by our clinical outcomes and our success in improving the health of a community,” said Bert Zimmerli, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Intermountain.  “I am excited about working with a partner who shares our vision and commitment to constantly raising the bar and asking ‘how good can we be?’  This decision is not so much about the present, but is much more about the future and what will help create a model health system that is best for our children and grandchildren.”


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