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Cerner Flash Insights 2022 Cerner Flash Insights 2022
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Cerner Flash Insights 2022
Customers' Initial Perspectives on Big Company Changes

author - Coray Tate
Coray Tate
author - Sarah Verseman
Sarah Verseman
February 10, 2022 | Read Time: 6  minutes

Cerner clients and the healthcare industry at large believe Cerner is at a crossroads. In the past few months, Cerner has brought on a new CEO, pivoted in a new direction with their revenue cycle offering (RevElate), and announced their acquisition by Oracle. In addition to these recent changes, over the past two years, an increasing number of long-time Cerner executives have left. Amidst these changes, several clients have been forming contingency plans and say they cannot wait one or two years for more solid information. Many have reached out to KLAS seeking to better understand their peers’ impressions of these significant changes. This report—the first of several Cerner-specific reports KLAS intends to publish this year—is a summary of Cerner’s current performance data, collected over the past five years. It is supplemented with initial customer perceptions from 26 unique organizations, all collected after Cerner announced the move to RevElate in October 2021. In future research, KLAS intends to collect perceptions from additional customers and validate the impacts customer organizations have seen from the recent changes.

klas cerner research road map for 2022

New CEO Promoting Ownership, Urgency & Clinical Focus; Customers Still Uncertain about His Ability to Alter Cerner’s Trajectory

trend in overall performance scores 2017 to 2021Over the course of five years and three CEOs, Cerner’s overall KLAS performance scores have remained unchanged, and overall confidence in Cerner’s ability to deliver has declined. The customer experience is highly variable, as customers report Cerner has not been a consistent guide. Several customers have been highly successful, but they often state their success is due to their own efforts and has sometimes been achieved in spite of Cerner. As a result, most products score in the mid 70s (on a 100-point scale). Only a few products score in the 80s, while others—including Cerner’s revenue cycle solution—score in the 60s, indicating customers are encountering significant challenges.

what is your perception of cerners new ceoCerner’s new CEO, David Feinberg, will have to tackle key issues, including driving consistent customer success, changing Cerner’s history of broken promises and nickel-and-diming, and establishing Cerner’s new revenue cycle product. Customers believe Feinberg’s approach will be fundamentally different than his predecessors’ due to his clinical focus and straight-talking personality. Many respondents are optimistic about his appointment, though they indicate the outcomes remain to be seen. As customers look to the future, they wonder what products and services Cerner may discontinue as they refine their focus, what impact Feinberg will have on company culture, and how he will influence Cerner’s execution. A VP shared, “We are hoping David Feinberg can bring back usability to the providers and grow the system to match the way healthcare is growing and what we need. We need more technology related to the digital front door. We have to make things so health systems can do them with fewer people because we are clearly going to have a labor shortage forever. A technology company could play a big role in that. I hope Cerner fully leverages David Feinberg’s background and can really execute.”

“In the past, Cerner has simply tried to do too many things by ourselves. Going forward, we are going to change our approach and only focus on a small number of important high-value areas—some of which we plan to achieve by partnering with highly capable organizations we believe can help us achieve our mission, which is to improve the lives of others.” —David Feinberg, CEO of Cerner

Cerner’s New Direction for Revenue Cycle Generates Questions among Customers; Many Not Confident in RevElate Announcement

Customers have struggled with Cerner’s revenue cycle product for years. Despite the product repeatedly being rebuilt and renamed since its first go-live 23 years ago, customers report the functionality continues to fall short. Notably, since 2009, forecasted satisfaction with the product has steadily declined among customers in large, complex settings (1,000+ beds).

trend in forecasted satisfaction with cerner revenue cycle 2009 to 2021

how confident are you in cerners new revenue cycle solutino revelateCerner’s pivot from Cerner Patient Accounting (CPA) to RevElate as their primary revenue cycle product has prompted uncertainty and skepticism among customers, and many report having more questions than answers about the new solution. RevElate is built on elements of Soarian Financials, which Cerner acquired in 2015, and customers wonder why Cerner has chosen the Soarian platform as the foundation for RevElate when CPA has been Cerner’s focus for the past 6 years. Customers rate Soarian Financials in the 60s and explain that the product often takes years to get to a place where it works effectively. As a result, they question whether their experience with RevElate will be any different. A VP explained, “The Cerner RevElate direction makes sense, but I need to see Cerner deliver now. I have seen poor code and broken products in Cerner Patient Accounting. I want to know whether those parts of Cerner’s delivery will be fixed in the new product. I want to see the Cerner RevElate product be a reliable solution based on vetted, high-quality code. I have not seen that yet from Cerner.” Additionally, since RevElate is built on the Soarian platform, it will lack native integration with Cerner’s Millennium EMR platform. Because the healthcare industry has largely moved away from this standalone model, Cerner will need to demonstrate that RevElate can still be a competitive, optimal solution.

trend in soarian financials performance score soarian financials vs other cern financial products 2010 to 2022

Oracle Acquisition Adds New Layer of Complexity to Cerner’s Future

In December 2021, Oracle and Cerner jointly announced Oracle’s plan to acquire Cerner in 2022. In past research, KLAS has collected customer impressions of mergers and acquisitions (see our Strategic M&A report from 2019). Findings show that when acquisitions go well—which happens about 40% of the time—it often leads to improved loyalty and evangelism among customers. Conversely, when acquisitions go poorly—which happens about 42% of the time—customers are twice as likely to leave their vendor. KLAS will continue to interview Cerner customers to share their perspectives and measure Cerner’s performance.

About This Report

The data in this report comes from two sources: (1) KLAS’ standard performance data for healthcare software, and (2) a supplemental evaluation tailored to gather initial customer perceptions of Cerner’s recent changes. Interviews for performance data were collected over the past five years; interviews for the supplemental evaluation were conducted over the last three months.

KLAS Performance Data

Each year, KLAS interviews thousands of healthcare professionals about the IT solutions and services their organizations use. This report draws from hundreds of interviews that were conducted over the last five years using KLAS’ standard quantitative evaluation for healthcare software, which is composed of 16 numeric ratings questions and 4 yes/no questions, all weighted equally. Combined, the ratings for these questions make up the overall performance score, which is measured on a 100-point scale. The questions are organized into six customer experience pillars—culture, loyalty, operations, product, relationship, and value.

customer experience pillars

KLAS Supplemental Data

To supplement the customer satisfaction data gathered with the standard evaluation, KLAS also created a supplemental evaluation to delve deeper into several questions specific to customer perceptions of Cerner. KLAS interviewed 26 unique customer organizations (31 individual respondents) using this evaluation, which asked respondents (1) how they perceive Cerner’s new CEO, (2) what they hope the new CEO will do, (3) how confident they are about the new revenue cycle solution, and (4) what Cerner needs to do to boost customer confidence.

Sample Sizes

Unless otherwise noted, sample sizes displayed throughout this report (e.g., n=16) represent the total number of unique customer organizations interviewed for a given vendor or solution. However, it should be noted that to allow for the representation of differing perspectives within any one customer organization, samples may include surveys from different individuals at the same organization. Ratings from these individuals are aggregated in order to prevent any one organization’s feedback from disproportionately impacting a solution’s score.

Some respondents choose not to answer particular questions, meaning the sample size can change from question to question. When the number of unique organization responses for a particular question is less than 15, the score for that question is marked with an asterisk (*) or otherwise designated as “limited data.” If the sample size is less than 6, no score is shown. Note that when a vendor or product has a low number of reporting sites, the possibility exists for KLAS scores to change significantly as new surveys are collected.

author - Sarah Hanson
Sarah Hanson
author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
author - Joel Sanchez
Project Manager
Joel Sanchez
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.