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Technology and the road to connected, personalised care in the Middle East


Clients presenting at the 2017 Cerner Middle East Collaboration Forum

THE HEALTHCARE VISIONARIES Cerner, technology and the road to connected, personalised care


The Middle East, in particular the UAE, is uniquely positioned to deliver a smart population health management system, with Cerner set to play a key role in linking up institutions and their pools of data


ome 30bn devices will be connected via the Internet of Things by 2020. In the space of five years, the world will have doubled its connectivity capacity in this regard. Come 2024, this will have doubled once more. The world is more connected than ever, and companies in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region are beginning to take advantage. According to SAP, MEA firms spent


$8bn on IoT in 2017. Services, from retail and transport to utilities and finance, are becoming more connected and personalised in smart city initiatives such as that being rolled out at breakneck speed in Dubai. “Healthcare has to become personalised too,� comments Michael Schelper, general manager for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait for Cerner Middle East & Africa. “We are used to personalised

Client winners and finalists of the 2017 Cerner Middle East Achievement & Innovation Award

services in almost every aspect of life. You can hail an Uber instantly at the touch of a button, so why should it be different with healthcare? If I want a consultation now, then I should be able to get that service on demand, and not have to wait until tomorrow or next week. “However, the question is how new technology can make this happen – does the consultant have to necessarily be a human being?

New technology is completely revolutionising healthcare and healthcare management.� Schelper has been part of this journey with Cerner since 2009, moving from consulting roles in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to a leadership position in the Middle East four years later. His role is to ensure that public and private sector clients hit their targets while collectively developing the

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LOSE THE INTERFACE, COMPLETE THE CYCLE HEI’s solutions are fully integrated with the Cerner Millennium platform which reduces the need for any other third party Revenue Cycle systems. A unique approach that reduces errors, streamlines workflows and increases patient satisfaction.

HEI Global Health is a strategically aligned team of healthcare information technology professionals offering a robust suite of software solutions and services regardless of geographical region or clinical venue while helping our clients meet rigid government and regulatory requirements.

COMPLEMENTING CERNER THROUGHOUT THE PATIENT JOURNEY HEI Global Health is a healthcare IT software and consulting firm that specialises in Revenue Cycle, access management and clinical implementations, customisations, data flow processes and best practices. HEI Global Health has been directly involved in these areas globally for the past 12 years. The majority of the associates in our company are former Cerner Associates (engineers, consultants, and managers) in the Revenue Cycle (Patient Accounting & Charge Services) and Access Management (Registration, Scheduling, Eligibility, EMPI, Medical Records (HIM), & Benefit Management) solution areas and have an average of 15-plus years’ experience in the healthcare industry. Our associates have directly contributed to Cerner Millennium® implementations and innovations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. HEI can additionally provide a uniquely global perspective to any project, regardless of geographical region or clinical venue. HEI Global Health’s expertise with Cerner Millennium® and its associated software solutions and architecture is unparalleled in the consulting industry. Armed with the depth of knowledge that can only be accumulated through years of experience, HEI can prepare an organisation to thrive in today’s health care information technology environment. JACY CONLEY, PRESIDENT, said: “In today’s ever changing healthcare environment the need to stay ahead of the curve is quintessential to the success of HEI and our partners. HEI utilises our industry knowledge, global experiences and our best in class solution architecture to ensure our clients have the appropriate tools to manage their organisations financial obligations successfully.” HEI and Cerner have worked very closely throughout the years to ensure their combined knowledge and solution offerings exceed the needs of their clients.

HEI was able to successfully implement Cerner’s largest patient accounting client (SEHA – Abu Dhabi Health Services) in the world that produces on average over 30,000 claims a day. HEI’s functionality allows Cerner’s patient accounting solution to work globally and provides the flexibility to adhere to any regional insurance and government regulations. HEI’s offerings within the Revenue Cycle workflow, complements Cerner throughout the entire patient journey by utilising integrated applications and components that provide enhanced functionality within the patient accounting and patient access solutions. HEI’s Revenue Cycle solutions are fully integrated with Cerner Millennium’s architecture which removes the need for any separate thirdparty applications and additional interfaces. MICHAEL POMERANCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF CERNER MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA, said: “HEI is and has been part of Cerner’s core strategy to bring state of the art Revenue Cycle solutions to the marketplace. Over the years working with them, they have brought Revenue Cycle expertise and seamless solutions which complement the existing Millennium framework giving end users the ability to work from a single user interface versus having to jump between applications.” Over the next few months, HEI and Cerner will be working diligently to ensure their two software platforms are able to communicate more seamlessly by utilising new services to increase their capabilities and offerings. With this innovative approach they will also be able to work with other disparate systems to communicate, exchange and utilise vital clinical and financial information. Moving toward the future, HEI will be expanding their capabilities of their software platforms by utilising artificial intelligence as well as data from Cerner’s population health platform to actively predict patient financial outcomes. |

healthcare systems of the future. “Healthcare is being disrupted, and we have to ensure we are the disruptors and not the disrupted,” he adds. “We have extremely visionary leaders among our clients and I am honoured to work with them and make that a reality.” A landmark year Cerner is a vital conduit in the journey towards smarter, consumer-led

“Consumer centricity will be an inevitable focus for healthcare. We need to make sure that the right information is available at any point in time to provide the best care” MICHAEL SCHELPER General Manager for UAE and Kuwait, Cerner Middle East and Africa 8

healthcare provision in the Middle East. For more than 25 years it has connected people and systems at organisations of all sizes, supporting key clinical, financial and operational needs. The Cerner Millennium® electronic health record (EHR) stores data for tens of millions of people across the region, provisioning a single patient database that can be accessed instantly by participating healthcare providers.

“We live and work in the countries we serve, so we are all the more determined to transform healthcare for the better” ALAA ADEL General Manager for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Cerner Middle East and Africa

Last year, the Kansas City, USAheadquartered firm continued to grow its MEA footprint. “We’ve had a busy 2017 with our clients and our client list keeps growing, both on the public and private sector side,” explains Alaa Adel, general manager for Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Cerner Middle East and Africa. “For example, we added Kings College London UAE and also had a huge engagement with the Ministry of Defence in Saudi Arabia. We are very

proud of what we have helped these and other clients achieve over the past year, and look forward to hitting objectives for this coming year too.” Like Schelper, Adel is also a company veteran who joined in 2009 and is bringing valuable experience from Cerner operations in other parts of the world, notably the “mothership” in Kansas City, where he spent five years. Adel believes that private enterprise will, ultimately, lead the

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way in terms of MEA’s healthcare innovation and help governments realise this segment of their various visions for the future, whether it be UAE Vision 2021, Saudi Arabia vision 2030 or Egypt Vision 2030. “It is crucial that private companies and governments work together in making this happen,” he says. “I think that private sector innovation will be absolutely key in helping governments to get the best value from their healthcare expenditure. Public Private Partnerships are already proving to be a model of success in the countries we are working in.” From volume to value Another observation Schelper makes is that, generally, the regional healthcare space is moving from a volume to value-focused proposition. Sound financials, value delivery and patient outcomes now interoperate – this is no better demonstrated than by the widely-accepted view that clinicians need to spend their time on delivering best-in-class care and not be burdened with administrative tasks.

“In this respect, technology is absolutely the foundational, transformative vehicle,” Schelper states. “The UAE is in a unique position because its IT infrastructure is already very far advanced, and the mindset is there to take it a level higher. It is this foundation which will allow information to flow freely – we have the public sector on board and medical organisations are putting credible systems in place.” Indeed, the UAE is currently implementing a National Unified Medical Record, a central database that will allow institutions across the country to share medical data. “Consumer centricity will be an inevitable focus for healthcare,” Schelper adds. “We need to make sure that the right information is available at any point in time to provide the best care.” Trust in technology The requisite technology to deliver the likes of UAE Vision 2021 and Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 already exists. The largest obstacle to overcome,

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PROJECT SPOTLIGHT UAE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND PREVENTION A major conundrum facing medical institutions around the world is the rise of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria. Helping to combat this threat in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) is the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), which needed to increase the quality and quantity of its antibiotic testing. Enter Cerner’s ITWorks team. By adding new interfaces to its already-installed PathNet system at MOHAP’s Al Qassimi Hospital, clinical processes used to test antibiotics are now automated, saving the need to manually input data. Now, according to Cerner estimates, it takes just three to four minutes to run an AMR test. This has more than doubled Al Qassimi’s AMR testing capacity. Before the new interfaces the hospital tested on average just over 2,000 results a month. After implementation, that number jumped to a monthly average of more than 4,700 results. Such increases in testing capacity will allow MOHAP and its institutions to share vital information on AMRs, which could prove pivotal in achieving the WHO’s goals.

according to Schelper, is trust. “Trust is a hugely important word,” he says. “There is currently a sense of paranoia that we need to overcome about health data if we are to achieve this vision of a totally personalised, joined-up healthcare system. We cannot lock data away in a vault that nobody has access to.” The next step is for governments and health institutions to make the case for data sharing and convince consumers that their data will not only be safe, but could be the difference between life and death in an emergency. Schelper and Adel refer to how the likes of Apple have integrated biometric security layers into its products, like facial recognition and fingerprint scanners. This is highly sensitive data that consumers trust smartphone companies to manage – now is the time for that trust to be carried over to healthcare. “Without that, we cannot move forward,” Schelper insists. “We want world class healthcare, but what does it take to build up credibility? For me, it is transparency. At the moment

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“We have to overcome the paranoia that surrounds data governance and establish that trust in order to make this a reality. This will allow us to connect technologies and bring healthcare management to the next level” MICHAEL SCHELPER General Manager for UAE and Kuwait, Cerner Middle East and Africa

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there are discussions about who should own this data. It should be you. New technology such as blockchain will play a key role in ensuring that human beings own their own data and know where it is being shared.” Unrivalled expertise Cerner looks set to play a pivotal role in establishing the level of trust required to fully realise the benefits of new data sharing health systems across the region. Central to this, and what Adel calls the cornerstone of the business, is a pool of medical expertise both in-house and in partnership with clients. “Cerner has been around for nearly four decades,” he says. “We are leveraging all of the experience we have across the company to ensure our clients, both public and private, hit their objectives. We have a large number of clients that we are proud to call partners, and that network is helping to transform healthcare in the region. Cerner wants to make these government visions a reality.” Not only does Cerner provision

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PROJECT SPOTLIGHT KING FAISAL SPECIALIST HOSPITAL & RESEARCH CENTRE (KFSH&RC) Cerner’s association with KFSH&RC dates back as far as the late 1990s, when the Riyadh-based centre was investigating the need for a new Hospital Information System. Since then, the two parties have continued to pioneer in the space of healthcare technology. Indeed, KFSH&RC was the first client to implement Cerner Millennium® in 2000, and has since worked with the firm on several more phases, impacting areas including nursing and physical documentation, surgical departments, ICUs, radiology and a 300room upgrade called the Smart Room project. The Smart Room programme represents a continuation of 20-plus years of work. Designed to make hospital rooms serve as an extension of patients’ homes, the project involves granting access to care, information, entertainment and healthcare services at the touch of a button. The partnership has yielded significant benefits to date. Cerner Millennium® has helped to make diagnosis documentation more efficient – for instance, the number of positive Fecal Occult Blood results increased by 300% in three years, leading to lifesaving implementation of preventative cancer care.


its own EHR, its consultants’ analytical prowess also supports clients to make the most of the data contained within both its own and other providers’ systems. Among its 24,000-plus personnel are doctors, nurses, engineers, pharmacists, technicians and more, with over 300 expert associates stationed in the Middle East. But how is such an extensive network maintained? “This is best demonstrated by the fact that our attrition rate is under 3%,” Adel remarks. “We have offices around the world, and if someone has been at the company for 18 months they are given the right move all over our offices, whether it be the Middle East, UK, USA, Germany or Australia, to name a few. This is a big commitment and investment from Cerner, and a big incentive for employees to stay with us. We live and work in the countries we serve, so we are all the more determined to transform healthcare for the better.” Schelper agrees that local presence is what sets Cerner apart

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from other providers, facilitated by a recruitment policy that, over the past five to seven years, has strongly favoured locals over expats. The future of healthcare Asked what the coming years have in store, Schelper is adamant that the future of healthcare in MEA is extremely bright, not only for the citizens that benefit but also medical tourists, who will continue to provide important revenue streams for various countries. The vital next step is to apply intelligence to the mountains of data being gathered by EHRs and other systems. For the UAE, already an artificial intelligence pioneer and front-runner with IBM Watson, technologies like blockchain can provide the answer, and Schelper believes this will be in play by 2020. “At the moment we have a lot of health entities that contain data, and over time we need to connect those and bring them to the next level to inject intelligence into that


data collective,” he explains. “However, in order to reach the consumer we need a platform on top of the platform, what we call the Internet of Health and Life. This will provide the personalised experience that is so important. I want to be notified when my next vaccinations are due; that information should be integrated into my calendar. Further still, I want a drone to come to my office and drop off anything I need at a time that works for me. This may sound extremely futuristic and a bit like science fiction, but the technology to make this happen is there today.” Cerner has a unique opportunity in the MEA region, and Schelper and Adel’s next task is to help knock down the trust barrier that could stand in way. “We have to overcome the paranoia that surrounds data governance and establish that trust in order to make this a reality. This will allow us to connect technologies and bring healthcare management to the next level,” Schelper concludes.

A special event, in 2017, for associates celebrating 10 years of service with Cerner Middle East

Cerner Middle East raises 20,000 AED to provide Iftar dinner for 2,000 labourers in Ramadan 2017

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Cerner Middle East PO Box 500542, 3rd Floor Block B, Office Park Bldg. Tecom Zone, Dubai, United Arab Emirates T +971 5 549 86900 / F +971 4 434 2113

Cerner brochure – 2018  
Cerner brochure – 2018