Cerner's third-party apps draw crowds at annual conference

Cerner's third-party apps draw crowds at annual conference

At the end of the day Wednesday, Tate Gilchrist was surprised he had not lost his voice, given all the questions he had fielded at the Cerner Annual Conference 2017 that ends Thursday in Kansas City.

Gilchrist is a senior business developer for open platform services at Cerner.

His work entails a lot of talk about third-party apps – and it seems like every conference attendee wanted to know more.

“For the first time ever, we’re able to, at scale, demonstrate how Cerner is working with third parties to take their technology and put it inside our EMR workflows so our providers can have choices and be able to use the applications that they choose to use,” Gilchrist told Healthcare IT News.

The technology that makes it possible is “SMART on FHIR.”

“SMART on FHIR” is very much a buzzword in the industry right now,” Gilchrist said. “It’s an open standard. It’s also very disruptive and innovative. It’s something everyone wants to talk about. We’ve had demos, we’ve had presentations, we’ve had interactions adhoc with more clients than I can count,” he said. “We’ve had conversations with other Cerner employees to show them what is possible so they can get back to their Cerner client and say you know there are some things that are possible, you know, we should check them out.”

Across the country, there are more than 13,000 users of third-party applications.

The No. 1 application is one developed by First Data Bank called “Meducation.”

“It’s in production at several of our sites now,” Gilchrist said.

The app makes it possible for providers to look at a foreign application as it sits almost natively inside of the Cerner EMR and to determine what the patient’s medication list is and then print off patient education about that medication – in different languages and fonts.

While Cerner has not developed any of these applications, it has developed the underlying technology that supports and facilitates third-party companies to build applications, Gilchrist said. “When they build the application, we use the technology – it’s technology that is freely open and available to the entire client base.”

At the end of the day, Gilchrist said he and his team were happy to share what “we’re doing in our little business unit.”

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com

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