David and Goliath — how Cerner beat out Epic

I think it makes a huge statement that the DoD (United States Department of Defense) chose Cerner as its EHR vendor.

NEMT CEO Linda Sullivan

As we all know, Epic has been the Goliath in the industry for the last five years, snapping up nearly every major hospital system seeking the best electronic health record solution possible. We also know they are not the least expensive. And what we have also have come to know is that they appear to have adopted not just the size of Goliath but also the mindset: “We’re the biggest and the best and you’re darn lucky to be working with us.”

Now I’m not sure I would call Cerner “David” in this scenario but it does feel a bit that way.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants,”

a large part of the message to the business-owner readership is to find the vulnerabilities of the behemoth and look to your strengths.

Assuming a level playing field in terms of functionality, in this case I believe Cerner’s strength is being good team players – approaching client relationships with the attitude that it’s a partnership. Along with that approach comes openness and willingness to share information and work with others in the sandbox.

Tom Sullivan writes recently in “Healthcare IT News” that “… the thinking was to pick the team that best demonstrated an ability to work with modular capabilities from other vendors …”

Cerner is setting itself apart by being a real team player in a contentious landscape. And given that the next frontier is interoperability they have positioned themselves well.

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