Cerner DoD EHR contract, mHealth ROI HIT Squad topics

In this podcast, SearchHealthIT's HIT Squad discussed Cerner's DoD EHR contract and whether mHealth delivers ROI and health IT security.

As part of a tech partnership that recently snared what is likely the biggest EHR contract ever -- a potential $9 billion agreement with the Department of Defense (DoD) -- Cerner Corp. executives were understandably confident.

Cerner President Zane Burke asserted in a second-quarter earnings conference call that federal scrutiny of the DoD EHR contract, for which Cerner will partner with systems integrators Leidos Inc. and Accenture, constituted "the most objective and comprehensive evaluation of technology platforms and solutions ever conducted."

SearchHealthIT news writer Kristen Lee, part of the SearchHealthIT HIT Squad, reported on the conference call; she talked in this podcast about Cerner's prospects in the wake of winning the DoD EHR contract.  Her summation: those prospects look good, really good.

The DoD contract's initial period is for $4.3 billion, but Burke said it could potentially grow to $9 billion over 18 years.

Later in the podcast, part one of a two-part package, SearchHealthIT news and features writer Shaun Sutner talked about a news analysis he wrote and pair of videos he and Lee produced at the mHealth + Telehealth World conference in Boston earlier this summer.

In the video with David Inns, CEO of GreatCall Inc., Inns argued that higher insurance costs are driving consumers to manage their own healthcare more and the trend has traditional healthcare providers worried. In the other video, Miami Children's Health System Chief Medical Information Officer Jacques Orces, D.O. said he's had success with an mHealth app from vendor HealthGrid, which delivers what he calls "soft return on investment (ROI)" in terms of increasing patient satisfaction.

As for the ROI of mHealth and telehealth in general, Sutner concluded it is unclear -- even though advocates for the technologies tout better medical outcomes than with traditional procedures.

Also in the podcast, Lee related what she learned reporting a story from the conference about health IT security.

Among the lessons: providers should evaluate third-party vendor security; use multifactor authentication, network segmentation and containerization, encryption and tokenization; and appoint senior leadership with sole focus on security.

Let us know what you think about the story or the DoD EHR contract; email Shaun Sutner, news and features writeror contact @SSutner on Twitter.

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