Oracle’s Cerner Acquisition Sets Stage For EHR Upgrade

Oracle's historic $28.3 billion acquisition of healthcare IT service provider Cerner has the industry's top minds wondering if Big Tech's foray into electronic health record (EHR) enhancement will truly improve the provider experience for nurses and physicians. This monumental health IT transaction, which is also the biggest-ever deal for Oracle, will, according to Oracle co-founder, Chairman, and CTO Larry Ellison, "provide our overworked medical professionals with a new generation of easier-to-use digital tools that enable access to information via a hands-free voice interface to secure cloud applications."

Ellison's optimism extends to the pledge of "zero unplanned downtime in the medical environment" for Cerner customers. Oracle's trifecta of Autonomous Database, Voice Digital Assistant user interface, and low-code development tools will help move Cerner to its Gen2 Cloud. Cerner's CEO, Dr. David Feinberg, said falling in with Oracle is "an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate our work modernizing electronic health records, improving the caregiver experience, and enabling more connected, high-quality, and efficient patient care."

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While the lack of EHR usability is a long-standing complaint of care providers, the technology's rapid advancement means augmenting its data incorporation capabilities has taken up more developmental resources than its improving convenience of use warrants. This harsh truth of EHR presents a unique challenge for IT leaders as well as clinicians and is something Oracle will have to grapple with going forward.