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  • June 16 2011


    Enterprise 2.0: Making health care social

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    On June 16th, Brice Jewell, Senior Manager of Cerner's social business initiatives, was featured in an interview with InformationWeek's The Brainyard. In the interview, Brice shares some of the successes and challenges of introducing social business tools to Cerner's clients and associates and how these efforts are furthering Cerner's mission to contribute to the improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities.

    Cerner is taking bold steps to run some of its core functions on enterprise social software and seeing some early signs of success. Their use case is an excellent example that other large companies in regulated industries can learn from, but it also mirrors some of the challenges I hear from customers around adoption and integrating social software into the mix of legacy applications and processes. I had a chance to catch up with Brice Jewell, who heads up Cerner's social business initiatives under a program they call "uCern" which is built largely on Jive SBS and Atlassian Confluence.

    Brice Jewell will be speaking June 21 on the Cerner use case for social software at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston.

    Steve Wylie: Brice, can you tell me what uCern is?

    Brice Jewell:With uCern, Cerner is on a mission to connect all members of the Cerner Network with the people and information they need, when and where they need it, to improve health delivery and the health of communities. Our vision is to leverage mass collaboration to innovate and reduce the time between discovery and adoption of new ideas that can improve how our clients provide healthcare, as well as Cerner's own business operations and products. We're enabling teams to work differently using new behavioral and technological approaches.

    Wylie: Where are you seeing specific improvements in your operations?

    Jewell: (Jewell cited several areas of improvements, as follows.)

    • Reduced support volume: While issues including personal health information have to stay inside our help desk software for compliance reasons, moving non-critical, more general issues out to uCern helps keep our support analysts focused on critical issues, ensuring the answers to common questions are available in uCern, and enabling our clients to get answers to questions faster through self-service. Support analysts have built hundreds of videos on uCern to support common tasks which have contributed to a 6% reduction in software support issues due in part to uCern. Additionally, people who are active on uCern have logged 13% fewer issues to the help desk. Our goal is to keep driving down the number of issues that go to help desk tickets. 
    • Improved customer engagement: We're using uCern to engage with clients outside of regular meetings to avoid a lot of back-and-forth email exchange, to make our client meeting time more productive, allow the conversation to continue even when the meeting ends, and to ensure those who couldn't attend the meeting have a chance to participate. Doing so allows us to cover so much more in our client meetings, before, during, and after, and allows us to save thousands in printing materials out and distributing thumb drives to share files.
    • More efficient information sharing: Our human resources department, for example, is also using uCern to share information on health and wellness plans and enable quicker answers to questions. This is in contrast to old auditorium-style communications and mass emails. And through uCern they also get tremendous feedback from crowdsourcing new ideas and allowing people from all over the business to weigh in and make suggestions.
    • Better product design & product innovation: We're using uCern to get feedback on early prototypes from many clients simultaneously by showing wireframe mockups of new features and functions. For this part of uCern we're using Balsamiq for Confluence. Doing so allows us to improve the quality of designs and speed up the process of getting customer feedback on our latest developments.

    Read the full interview at InformationWeek's The Brainyard.

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