Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cerner makes its moves beyond software

The North Kansas City-based company is vaulting beyond computer software in three key areas:

--Connecting hospital medical devices to patient electronic medical records to improve safety and efficiency.

--Coordinating health benefits for other companies to help them cut costs, boost workers' health and raise productivity.

--Crunching life science data to help determine the safety and effectiveness of drugs and medical treatment plans.

These endeavors occupy about 635 Cerner employees, a small part of the company's more than 7,600 workers around the globe, including more than 4,800 in the Kansas City area.

But the employee numbers belie the significance that Cerner attaches to these ventures.

"We are transforming ourselves from an IT company to a health-care company," Cerner president Trace Devanny said recently. "Extending our capability beyond information technology flow to that of the entire health-care process is a natural extension of our business."

Since its founding in 1979, Cerner has pushed the envelope of change. With the zeal of a cyber-missionary, it has sought to convince hospitals, doctors and other health providers to dump paper records and replace them with Cerner software. Despite frequent stock gyrations, steadily growing business testifies to Cerner's success. The company logged $1.52 billion in revenue last year, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.

Original Article Posted HERE

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