February 03, 2011
Bringing healthcare IT to communities of all sizes
USA Today recently ran an article highlighting a federal stimulus program developed to bring broadband Internet access to rural areas of the country. President Obama reinforced the importance of this initiative in his State of the Union address last week as a requirement for attracting and keeping business in the United States. The ability for businesses in rural areas to send and receive information as quickly as their urban counterparts is vital to their continued sustainability and ultimately to the livelihood of their communities. But it’s not just about businesses; it’s about improving access to education and healthcare as well.
The healthcare industry has been most significantly impacted by ARRA in terms of Medicare and Medicaid incentives available to physicians and hospitals for the “meaningful use” of qualified EHR systems. But for many hospitals in rural communities, these incentives are not even possible without sufficient connectivity options. The USA Today article quotes Vermont resident Val Houde in saying that companies “don’t care about these little pockets of places.” At Cerner, we do care, and we are pleased that the government has also recognized the needs of rural communities. We are committed to improving the health of communities of all sizes. Cerner CommunityWorks is a division dedicated to critical access and community hospitals in smaller communities, and our mission is to ensure that smaller hospitals are able to provide the same quality of patient care that larger hospitals are able to provide, meeting federal guidelines for Meaningful Use and achieving other HIT benefits.
The CommunityWorks offering delivers Cerner Millennium software in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, making the software both affordable and accessible for smaller hospitals. We are able to leverage our proven world-class facilities and resources to remotely host and manage the software, reducing the need for hospitals to invest in hardware or additional skilled IT resources. The included upgrades and application management allow for a predictable total cost of ownership that is especially important for hospitals with limited resources and budgets. CommunityWorks clients are able to take advantage of the complete integration for which Cerner is known, across both acute and ambulatory venues and across clinical, ancillary, revenue cycle, and enterprise resource planning solution sets.
Beyond just automating individual hospitals and other care venues, Cerner is also focused on connecting information across communities and towns of all sizes. As a result of ARRA, there is more momentum around interoperability and personal health records, a key focus at Cerner. It is vital that hospitals, clinics, rehab facilities, and home care facilities are all able to share information and ensure providers have the most up to date information about the patients they serve, regardless of the setting where healthcare takes place.
CommunityWorks continues to grow and is evidence of Cerner’s long-term commitment to hospitals and communities of all sizes.
Eric Geis is the Director and General Manager for Cerner CommunityWorks, which focuses on the critical access and smaller community hospital market. He is responsible for sales, implementation, long-term support and relationship aspects for Cerner clients. Geis has been at Cerner almost 10 years and spent a majority of his time on the consulting side doing implementations for all types of clients. Before coming to Cerner, Geis worked as an e-commerce consultant at a dot com company and managed the university web team in graduate school. Geis holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo.