Case study: Cerner builds EMR, portal in small town

Cerner was looking for just the right environment to pilot-test its health portal and EMR: a town with less than 50,000 people, a single healthcare system and leading clinic and a wealth of broadband connections. It found its target in Winona, Minnesota, which now plays host to Cerner's IQHealth portal. The portal offers not only EMR access for professionals, but also consumer access to EMR data, PHR capabilities, physician visit scheduling functionality and a wealth of educational materials.

Winona had the idea profile. Back in the early 1990s, a non-profit that would become Hiawatha Broadband Communications had hooked up schools, government offices, homes and businesses across the 30,000-person town. Winona also had a dominant health system, Winona Health, which was eager to get on board.

Starting in 2000, Cerner began helping Winona Health digitize its paper records, creating a comprehensive system including everything from doctors' notes and radiology images to financial records. The portal gave access to all inpatient and outpatient records, as well as connecting to local pharmacies for e-prescribing. The portal also includes a drug checker allowing physicians to check for drug interactions. In the future, Winona Health wants to use the system to prospectively identify patients with chronic conditions such as depression and diabetes.

To find out more about the project:
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