Citing a need to increase efficiency and innovation, Adventist Health St. Helena has outsourced 200 jobs to Cerner, a health care technology company based in Missouri.
Those 200 employees were part of the hospital’s revenue cycle and clinical applications teams — those who work on patient billing — according to hospital spokesperson Jill Kinney.
The decrease in jobs represents a 17.6 percent decline in staff. The hospital, located in Deer Park just outside St. Helena, now employs 936 people compared to 1,136 before the change, officials said.
Cerner hired all 200 staffers at comparable pay and benefits to what they earned as hospital employees, said Kinney.
“We’re glad the same people will still be working with us,” said Kinney. “They are still part of our family.”
The new Cerner employees remain at their same job locations on the St. Helena hospital campus, said Kinney.
When asked how much the hospital would save by transitioning the jobs to Cerner, Kinney said she didn’t have a number readily available.
“It’s not a cost-savings initiative,” said Kinney. “It’s about working more efficiently (and) speeding up innovation.”
Kinney said the last time the hospital made such a change was years ago when the facilities department was outsourced, and that was “not to this extent.”
As of this week, “We don’t have any other areas under consideration,” for such outsourcing, she added.
The latest outsourcing was announced on Jan. 4 and implemented over about a two-week period, Kinney said.
“Adventist Health and Cerner have a longstanding strategic alignment and shared goal to further improve the quality of care and the patient experience using technology and more coordinated services,” said a news release.
“This expanded partnership helps to create a seamless experience in a patient’s entire health journey, and positions us to innovate quickly and at scale so that our mission can continue to grow and benefit our communities,” said Scott Reiner, Adventist Health’s chief executive officer.
Kinney said the change was well received. “We’ve been working with Cerner for years,” she noted. The company was already providing the platform used for the technology behind the electronic medical records system used by St. Helena Hospital.
“We are committed to working together to help Adventist Health advance its care transformation journey,” said Jeff Townsend, executive vice president and chief of staff for Cerner.
“We also have an opportunity to create an even more dynamic workforce where associates feel empowered to generate new ideas and innovate new ways of doing things.”
“We are excited to take this next step forward together as we continue to improve patient outcomes with a clinically‐driven revenue cycle,” said Zane Burke, president of Cerner.