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Cerner Wins Prestige Hazelden Betty Ford Info Tech Contract  E-mail
Addiction Treatment Industry Newswire

03/04/2015 -ATIN - In one of the most prestigious contracts possible to land in the addiction treatment industry, healthcare specialty information technology provider Cerner (Nasdaq CERN) has snagged Hazelden Betty Ford as one of its latest clients. According to a press release issued today, the newly merged Hazelden and Betty Ford have selected Cerner to help the top non-profit enhance its capabilities in the booming electronic medical records area, implementing a new electronic health record for what is now the nation's largest non-profit addictions care provider. Healthcare for decades has been an information technology laggard compared to other industries and addictions and behavioral health a laggard within healthcare. Cerner is a huge publicly traded company with many thousands of employees and gets the vast bulk of its business from medical surgical institutions and physicians. And while it has a behavioral health oriented unit, Cerner can in no way be classified as a specialist behavioral health IT provider.

Addictions and Behavioral Health IT Specialists

Netsmart is the largest independent specialty behavioral health IT provider, dominating contracts to large state run institutions and having grown mostly by acquisition. There are only a very few players of note within the behavioral health and addictions IT space. The information technology player that has perhaps most focused on the tiny addictions space  - addictions accounts for about one percent of total medical spending - is Sigmund Software, whose first "beta" client over a decade ago was the equally prestigious Caron and whose client list since has been dominated by addiction treatment centers. There are perhaps a dozen specialty behavioral health addictions IT companies and most belong to the behavioral health IT association SATVA, The Software and Technology Vendors Association, including Cerner's specialty unit Cerner Behavioral Health Systems.

A Key Time for Hazelden Betty Ford

It should perhaps come as no surprise that Hazelden Betty Ford should seek at this time to upgrade and implement a new electronic medical record as it will within weeks roll out the first of its key Hazelden Betty Ford branded outpatient clinics in Santa Monica in Southern California. Hazelden CEO Mark Mishek has a lot riding on the success of the outpatient clinics, which are slated to open in other cities and states over the next couple of years. Partnering with the right info tech management company can make a big difference to the success of Hazelden Betty Ford overall in the future, but also particularly to the success of the key outpatient clinic rollout Mishek has so much riding on.

PLEASE READ our Special Report on medical information technology

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Ted Jackson

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