What Is Cerner EMR? A Guide to the Vendor’s Solutions

on March 29, 2016

For people like me who spend a lot of time thinking about medical software, it’s tough to imagine a world without Cerner’s suite of popular products. However, I realize it’s not everyone’s job to research, evaluate and compare health IT solutions—so here, I’ll provide the skinny on this vendor.

Cerner is a U.S.-based, multinational company that offers software, services, devices and hardware for medical practices, long-term care facilities, retail pharmacies and laboratories.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Cerner, including descriptions and screenshots of some of its most popular software solutions.

Simply click below to jump to a section:

Cerner Overview

Cerner EMR Systems

Cerner Practice Management Systems

Other Cerner Products and Services

Reviews of Cerner EMR

Cerner Overview: A Big Brand for Any Size Company

Cerner is considered a big vendor in the health IT industry. It has been recognized as a “leader” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports every year since 2011. Cerner serves large, multi-specialty health centers and small, single-doctor offices alike.

Here are some facts about the company:


Notable Acquisitions
Cerner’s large revenue is partly thanks to its $1.3 billion acquisition of former competitor Siemens Health Services, completed in February 2015. Nearly all of Siemens’ assets are now owned by Cerner, including the hospital information system i.s.h.med and the Soarian Clinicals electronic health record (EHR) system.

Some of Cerner’s other high-profile software vendor acquisitions include staff management solution Clairvia, behavioral health technology provider Anasazi Software and population health software vendor PureWellness.

High-Profile Clients
These high-profile health care providers are Cerner clients:

The Department of Defense (DoD). Cerner’s EHR suite will eventually replace the DoD’s legacy health IT system in its 55 hospitals, 350+ clinics and multiple military locations (e.g., ships and submarines). The transition will start at the end of 2016, and is expected to finish by 2022 or earlier.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). UPMC is a nonprofit health enterprise with approximately 60,000 employees, 20 hospitals and 500 doctors’ offices/outpatient sites. UPMC has been ranked among the top health systems in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Cerner EMR Systems

Electronic medical records (EMRs) make it possible to automate the clinical operations of a medical practice’s workflow, such as documenting diagnoses and medications. Cerner has an EMR solution to fit every type of health care provider.

To help you differentiate between them, here’s a look at some of Cerner’s most popular solutions:

Cerner PowerChart

Ideal for: Physician practices of all sizes; it supports more than 50 medical specialties.

Noteworthy functions: E-prescribing, lab integration, narrative reports, custom templates, chart search, Medicare eligibility verification, direct messaging and patient portal.

Deployment options: Cloud-based or on-premise.

Cerner CareTracker

Ideal for: Assisted living facilities, long-term care centers, retirement communities and special care units of all sizes.

Noteworthy functions: Point of care documentation, clinical intelligence capabilities and assessment alerts.

Deployment options: Cloud-based.

Cerner Millennium

Ideal for: Enterprise health care providers serving multiple specialties, such as large hospitals or behavioral health services providers.

Noteworthy functions: Medication administration documentation, audit reporting and lab/drug alerts.

Deployment options: Cloud-based or on-premise.

Cerner Practice Management Systems

Practice management software helps healthcare providers handle administrative and operational workings, such as appointment scheduling, billing and financial reporting.

Here are some examples of Cerner’s solutions for managing physician practices:

Cerner Specialty Practice Management

Ideal for: Small to midsize practices with 10 or fewer providers.

Noteworthy functions: Real-time insurance claims checking, payment posting and patient scheduling.

Deployment options: Cloud-based or on-premise.

Cerner PowerWorks Practice Management

Ideal for: Large practices and billing services companies.

Noteworthy functions: Provides insurance profiles during registration/charge entry and supports ambulance billing.

Deployment options: Cloud-based or on-premise.

Other Cerner Products and Services

One of the most prominent Cerner products is PowerChart Touch: a mobile app that allows physicians to use tablets and smartphones while treating patients. This is important, since mobile device integration is among medical software buyers’ top-requested functionalities, both for EMRs and practice management solutions.

PowerChart Touch is a Web-based app for iPads and iPhones that allows physicians to:

  • Review patient charts
  • Use voice dictation to make notes
  • Document allergies, symptoms and health histories
  • Draft and sign progress notes

Billing and Coding Services
A significant number of medical practices are researching Cerner for services other than software. Some practices are looking to outsource collections, so they can focus more on patient care and less on business operations. That’s where Cerner’s billing and coding services come in.

Cerner offers two types of revenue cycle outsourcing: Cerner RevWorks for Clinics and Cerner RevWorks for Hospitals. The main difference between these is the size of the target client. Both models can take over billing, reimbursement and accounting processes, such as:


Submit your practice’s charges through your EMR, and Cerner’s dedicated staff will ensure you’re maximizing collections and minimizing errors. According to Cerner RevWorks’ vice president, Scott Schmidt, medical practices can sign up to either automate their entire billing department or outsource a customized list of services.

For example: Maybe your staff still handles insurance verification for the practice, but RevWorks takes care of your payment posting.

Cerner EMR Reviews

Actual Cerner software users submit reviews for the PowerChart and CareTracker products to Software Advice’s website. Here’s what some of them have to say about their experience:

Are you researching other top medical software vendors besides Cerner? You can check out pricing, reviews and demos for over 300 different EHR systems, or make a 15-minute call for free advice at (855) 998-8505.

The purpose of this article is not to create an all-encompassing list of Cerner software products and services. Rather, it is to highlight some of the vendor’s most popular solutions, in order to better guide potential software buyers.

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