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Intermountain to adopt Cerner's health information technology systems

By Joseph Conn
Posted: September 30, 2013 - 3:30 pm ET

Intermountain Healthcare has signed a deal to adopt Cerner's clinical and financial healthcare information technology software systems across its entire network of 22 hospitals and 185 clinics.

Terms of the contract were not announced.

Intermountain said in a news release that 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.”

Intermountain was an innovator in home-grown, computerized medical records and health informatics since the 1960s, said Gordon Moreshead, president of Informatix Laboratories Corp., a subsidiary of DSS, a developer of electronic health-record systems.

Cerner Chairman and CEO Neal Patterson reflected on Intermoutain's historic role in health IT in the news release. “Several decades ago, when I was just starting out, I would go to Intermountain to listen and learn,” Patterson said. “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.”

Dr. Homer Warner, first chair of biophysicis at Intermountain's flagship LDS Hospital, was in the “same generation” as Harvard's Dr. G. Octo Barnett, both pioneers in healthcare IT, Moreshead said. “They had some very good clinical protocols that they implemented with the use of the computer. I started at the VA in 1973 and they were going strong when I got there.”

In 2005, Intermountain entered into a much ballyhooed collaboration with GE to jointly develop a clinical decision support system of the future, only portions of which were released after five years of effort.

Cerner ranks fourth among vendors of complete EHRs for inpatient use among systems deployed by hospitals to achieve their meaningful-use objectives and receive payment under the federal EHR incentive payment program, according to CMS data, with 358 installations and a 10.7% market share.

“This alliance will help Intermountain to continue its focus on providing high-quality care,” said Dr. Charles Sorenson, president and CEO 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.”

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn

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