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February 14, 2013

Cerner alliance with McKesson is hinted

Information technology sources say interoperability goals are fueling discussions between two of the three big vendors of health care data systems.

Health care information technology trade media are buzzing about reported discussions between Cerner Corp. and McKesson Corp.

The two vendors of electronic health records systems are said to be working on a data “interoperability” deal that would make it easier to share some health records.

An alliance, first reported on Tech Target’s SearchHealthIT.com, could position the two companies against Epic Systems, the largest vendor in the electronic health records field.

Both Cerner, based in North Kansas City, and McKesson declined to comment on the report, which was attributed to unnamed sources.

Currently, the three companies have separate proprietary platforms.

Interoperability is a key aim associated with the national health care law designed to lower medical costs. The idea is that more easily sharing patient records among hospitals and doctors’ offices would reduce duplication of services and increase accuracy of care.

The initial report of the possible alliance was in a copyright online article by Don Fluckinger, news director at SearchHealthIT.com. It said “the deal is still in progress” and an announcement might be expected at the Health Information Management Systems Society 2013 annual convention, set for March 3-7.

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