Re­mem­ber­ing a health­care IT game-changer

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

A health­care game-changer and war­rior is no longer with us. Neal Pat­ter­son, co-founder and long­time CEO of Cerner Corp., was an icon and men­tor in the in­dus­try and will al­ways be re­mem­bered.

I have been in the chal­leng­ing arena of health­care in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy for al­most 2½ decades. I call it chal­leng­ing be­cause of the con­stant changes that have forced all of us to adapt and con­stantly re-in­vent our­selves. I faced some of th­ese chal­lenges as an ally to Neal and some on the other side as a com­peti­tor.

We won some bat­tles and lost oth­ers, but the chal­lenge is what made it fun, and Neal’s bril­liance pushed us to think harder to stay in the game.

The most im­por­tant thing is that we were al­ways driven by our shared mis­sion and pas­sion to do the right thing for our cus­tomers and the health­care in­dus­try. Ul­ti­mately, the cus­tomers and the in­dus­try al­ways won.

As we get older and wiser, we are all con­fronted by our own mor­tal­ity and re­al­ize that we are at an in­flec­tion point, where the only way to trans­form health­care is by lever­ag­ing our past ex­pe­ri­ences and join­ing forces with other game-chang­ers to make a dif­fer­ence. To­day we should carry Neal’s torch and to­gether ex­e­cute on our shared vi­sion. My friend, we thank you for mak­ing us bet­ter and join­ing your mis­sion and vi­sion. We will not dis­ap­point you!

Alan Portela Chair­man and CEO AirStrip San An­to­nio

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