“The future of health”: Emil Peters

12 December 2014

Patient-centred care offers opportunity to achieve balance between quality and cost

Healthcare is too important to stay the same. That’s our motto at Cerner, and the underlying belief that drives our 30-year track record of commitment and innovation. As we work to help combat the industry’s ongoing struggle to simultaneously promote healthcare quality and decrease healthcare costs, patientcentred care has emerged as an area of focus for clinicians, administrators and solution providers alike. It is a model that offers promising potential to help a dedicated and compassionate industry make strides in meeting both critical goals.

The concept of patient-centred care is steadily gaining traction in practice. The strategy emphasises communication and collaboration between clinicians and patients, an approach believed to strengthen relationships and contribute to reduced utilisation of potentially unnecessary tests, medications, referrals and admissions. By involving patients more proactively in the planning and shaping of their own care, patients become more vested, involved participants who may achieve improved outcomes at a lesser cost. Engaged patients, too, are patients who express greater satisfaction with their healthcare experiences.

Through our decades of initiatives to help improve healthcare, we have always believed processes should centre on the person. That principle drove our development of the Cerner Millennium unified electronic medical record, which creates and maintains a single, comprehensive record for every person who undergoes a healthcare encounter and makes it available to complete teams – scheduler, nurse, doctor, allied health provider, pharmacist, and so on – independent of care venue.

Our next challenge – our next responsibility – was to provide solutions that link the person into the process, solutions that enable patient-centred care while continuing to foster a seamless path of information-sharing and communication that preserves efficiency and effectiveness. Members want additional points of contact with healthcare providers and easier access to useful health information. They want to take an involved role in managing their health online. We created HealtheLife to answer those needs.

With consumer-oriented solutions like HealtheLife, providers and their staff can improve communication and enhance patient relationships. This contributes to efficiently achieving optimal health outcomes. Such solutions promote patient-centred care with capabilities including:

  • Sending appointment reminders
  • Providing new patient registration forms
  • Sharing lab results and EPR data
  • Conducting asynchronous e-visits
  • Sharing documents and images

Incorporating technology solutions to link patients with providers strengthens their collaboration and offers efficiency and convenience. It is an approach that enables secure messaging, supports prescription management and facilitates appointment scheduling, and billing and payment. It is a healthcare strategy that streamlines care and administrative processes for patients, providers and administrators, fostering optimal outcomes at an optimal investment.

In keeping with Cerner’s longtime position on healthcare, patient-centred care promotes “whole person” care and patient empowerment. From communication and collaboration to coordination and compassion, it is an approach ripe for harnessing technology to increase access and smooth administrative functions in order to maximise the human touch so critical to effective healthcare. We look forward to continuing to do our part in creating solutions that strengthen patient-centred care. We believe it is an approach our industry challenges currently demand, and we are excited to see it realise the potential we believe it holds.

Emil Peters, Vice President and Managing Director, Cerner Limited UK

This blog was taken from an article written for the brochure that accompanied Reform’s major health conference on the 2 December 2014.



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