Cerner Corporation and Hill-Rom, an operating company of Hillenbrand Industries, announced recently that they have formed a strategic relationship to integrate their technologies to improve and coordinate healthcare delivery, featuring Hill-Rom intelligent hospital beds that communicate directly with the Cerner Millennium(R) healthcare computing platform.“The hospital environment has become increasingly complex, with the nurse having to manage multiple IT (information technology) applications and sophisticated medical devices,” said Michael Gallup, vice president and general manager of Hill-Rom IT Solutions. “Our partnership with Cerner brings together two market-leading companies committed to transforming care at the bed-side by driving interoperability between applications and medical devices.” Efforts in the first stage of the partnership are focusing on the integration of Hill-Rom’s intelligent bed systems, such as VersaCare(R) and TotalCare(R), with the Cerner Millennium system. Utilizing the Cerner CareAware(TM) global device connectivity architecture, the intelligent bed is able to feed data, including patient weight, bed rail position and head elevation, to the Cerner Millennium system. Access to real-time information and automation of labor-intensive tasks not only furthers safety initiatives, but also allows clinicians to spend more time with patients. In addition, the relationship is expected to expand to integrate the Cerner CareAware architecture with other Hill-Rom IT solutions such as nurse call, asset management and NaviCare(R) Patient Flow. Likely integrations include Hill-Rom’s asset management software and the Cerner CareAware architecture to provide an enhanced solution to a hospital’s asset tracking needs – including asset tracking, utilization management and reduction of cross-contamination events. Integration with NaviCare Patient Flow and Nurse Call would complement the Cerner Smart Room, Cerner’s solution to improve patient care and clinician efficiency through advanced technology, by providing clients with enhanced communication, real-time patient tracking and intelligent task management for clinical operations. Both Cerner and Hill-Rom anticipate favorable responses from their clients to this endeavor. Cerner, with more than 6,000 clients worldwide, and Hill- Rom, with more than 250,000 intelligent beds and surfaces purchased since 1995, foresee a number of opportunities to integrate more closely each of their respective core and emerging businesses. “Cerner’s partnership with Hill-Rom is representative of the changing nature of the healthcare business,” said Bill Miller, vice president of Cerner. “As automation continues to increase in healthcare, so does the need to effectively manage the information generated by disparate medical devices. This partnership with Hill-Rom is one example of how the CareAware architecture creates a single source of truth for patient information in the electronic medical record incorporating data generated by medicaldevices.” In 2007, Cerner launched its Medical Device Certification Program, designed to facilitate the integration of information generated by medical devices into the EMR. A first of its kind in the industry, this program allows Cerner to work directly with medical device companies like Hill-Rom to develop drivers to seamlessly connect medical devices to the EMR.