Cerner has provided a remote hosting service to hospitals for a number of years. I blogged about this back in February, 2010 (see: Comments about Cerner's Remote Hospital Option (RHO)). Here is a quote from that note:
...Cerner has been offering remote-hosting for at least ten years and well before Epic developed its current magic formula -- clients would pay top dollar for a relatively good EMR that was both installable and manageable. In fact, I believe that one of the reasons that Cerner got into the IT services and remote hosting business in the first place was because their software became too complicated to install and manage on a daily basis for many hospitals. In other words and for many hospitals, it Cerner wanted to sell it, they needed to install and manage it. This is not to say that such a service was not profitable for them.
Here's an excerpt from a recent note about a recent outsourcing deal between Cerner and Georgia Regents Health System in Augusta (see: Georgia Regents system taps Cerner for IT outsourcing contract):
Georgia Regents Health System in Augusta and health technology giant Cerner Corp. have signed a 14-year, $400 million agreement in which Cerner will take over the health system's information technology services. GR Health's 120 IT staff members will become Cerner employees..., a different approach than a traditional electronic health-record contract-for-service arrangement. Additionally, Cerner will partner with technology firm Philips Healthcare, an Andover, Mass.-based unit of Dutch conglomerate Philips, to find ways to integrate and interpret patient data. GR Health started working with Philips last year by shifting its biomedical equipment to the Philips brand.....Over the life of the contract, GR Health expects to save $70 million compared to what keeping EHR functions in-house would have cost. Part of those savings, roughly $10 million, will come from hosting its data remotely at Cerner's Kansas City, Mo., headquarters.....By freeing up capital, the agreement will allow GR Health to speed up its schedule for other projects, such as investing in new technology for its anesthesiology and oncology departments.
I have also previously discussed the Georgia Regents Health System agreement with Royal Philips (see: Georgia Regents Health System Signs Deal with Royal Philips). Here's an excerpt from that note:
This relationship strikes me as interesting. Here you have a global Dutch company setting up hospital collaborations across the world to study more efficient ways to deliver diagnostic and therapeutic inpatient and outpatient services. I wonder what both sides are getting out of these deals. Royal Philips competes globally with GE Medical and Siemens in the medical imaging business plus many other health related businesses.
I am thinking that two elements of Cerner's "beat Epic" strategy may be remote hosting of their EHR for hospitals and emphasis on Population Health Management (PHM) software which I blogged about recently (see: Population Health Management; Software Designed to Support ACOs). PHM is attractive to all of the ACOs that are springing up in response to the ACA. Cerner seems to be thriving financially so whatever the company is doing, including the options discussed here, seems to be working.