Cerners New Cloud-Based Technology Helps Rural and Critical Access Hospitals Reduce Costs, Save Time


Cerner Corporation has announced a tailored cloud-based technology offering, CommunityWorks Foundations, created to help Critical Access Hospitals across the U.S. reduce financial burdens. This new technology, geared toward smaller and rural hospitals, offers a fixed-fee payment structure with no up-front capital spend to help reduce costs and lengthy implementation processes.

CommunityWorks Foundations, a cloud-based version of the Cerner Millennium® electronic health record, is designed to expedite implementation with a six-month kick-off to go-live timeline and will make it easier for small hospitals to better serve their patients.

“Working with this segment of clients for more than a decade, we have evolved this cloud-based model to meet the various challenges community and rural health care organizations face,” said Mitchell Clark, president, CommunityWorks, Cerner. “CommunityWorks Foundations is the next evolution based on what we’ve learned from our more than 200 rural and critical access clients and the broader industry. It is built to help reduce financial barriers and better support communities that sometimes face challenges accessing the most innovative health care technology.”

Health care providers in small communities often face challenges such as geographic isolation, workforce shortages, educational disparities and diminishing resources that can make it harder to deliver high-quality care. The National Rural Health Association found COVID-19 has exacerbated these trends, with significant financial impact to these specialty hospitals – half of which were operating at a financial loss prior to the pandemic. Rural hospitals serve about 20% of all Americans, and Cerner is committed to providing technology and services to help individuals in all communities get access to quality comprehensive health care.

As with all hospitals deploying CommunityWorks, those using CommunityWorks Foundations will also leverage Cerner’s solutions and services designed to help improve clinical and business outcomes, the patient and provider experience and satisfaction while reducing physician burnout. CommunityWorks clients have seen success, with more than 70% of new clients beating baseline accounts receivable by 180 days post-implementation. These hospitals averaged 5.5% improvement in this area.1

With the successful early adoption of CommunityWorks Foundations at organizations like Macon Community Hospital, Cerner continues to demonstrate value to clients. Johnson County Hospital (JCH), an 18-bed Critical Access Hospital with two clinics located in southeast Nebraska, recently signed for CommunityWorks Foundations. Hospital leaders cite cost, ease of implementation and vendor support as top drivers behind the switch to Cerner.