Go to navigation Go to content

New Tiger Institute for Health Innovation aims to save Missourians $1 billion annually


Christian Basi

September 28, 2009

KANSAS CITY and COLUMBIA, Mo. — After more than a decade of collaborating on some of the nation's first efforts to develop electronic patient medical records, the University of Missouri (MU) and Cerner (Nasdaq: CERN) today announced plans to expand their collaboration by creating the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation that will pursue revenue-generating and cost-saving initiatives.

"We intend to leverage the collective capabilities and resources of Cerner and Mizzou to create a national model for excellent patient care, reduced health care costs, and leadership in next-generation health sciences and technology sector jobs," said University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee. "This enhanced collaboration will help us achieve significant hospital funding requirements while positioning us among the top health systems in the country for advanced patient-centered health care information technology."

Forsee said the new institute is a wholly owned university entity.

"The Tiger Institute is expected to have an estimated $100 million positive impact to MU through Cerner's investment, savings and future expected revenue through innovations created in this institute over 10 years," he said. "This is the largest capital investment from a corporation in this university's history," and added "it will be transformative because it will create one of the nation's most digitized health systems and in a few years begin to achieve up to $1 billion in annual economic benefit to the state."

Neal Patterson, chairman, CEO and co-founder of Cerner, added: "Cerner and the University of Missouri have a successful history as partners in innovation. The Tiger Institute is possible because of the close alignment between two Missouri organizations that want to see the latest technological innovations put into practice, that want the healthcare system to be more efficient and effective, and that want to contribute to the economic prosperity of our home state. This partnership will be held up as a model for the modernization of our current healthcare system."

Early Tiger Institute initiatives will include Cerner's capital investment in new software, services and personnel to support these inter-related areas:

  • Activities required to achieve stimulus funding for federal government-mandated IT compliance requirements for electronic medical records;*
  • Expansion of research and development collaboration between Cerner and MU that already has produced the supportive software and processes for the "Medical Home" model of care, an innovative solution for the treatment of chronically ill patients;**
  • Advanced analytics will support quality outcome initiatives throughout the health system;
  • Digital infrastructure that connects all of the University of Missouri Health Care (MUHC) hospitals, clinics and pharmacies—and then extends to health care providers in the Columbia area and across the state of Missouri. When this statewide automated IT health care information network is in place, Missourians could save up to $1 billion a year in health care costs.

The creation of the Tiger Institute is a testament to the achievements of the university IT staff, many of whom have worked with Cerner since the mid-90's to create electronic medical records, noted Harold Williamson Jr., MD, vice chancellor of the University of Missouri Health System. Under today's Memorandum of Understanding, all of these employees will either work with the Tiger Institute or with the university.

"Health care has not yet fully seen the benefits of information technology enjoyed by other sectors of the economy," Williamson said. "Information technology will play an increasing role in the practice of medicine in the future, allowing better value through improved quality and efficiency. Creating this collaborative platform to promote the creativity of our medical, nursing and health professions faculty will be invaluable. The institute will allow us to maximize our own use of information technology and to test new ideas – the appropriate role of an academic health center."

Underscoring the institute's goals, University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton added, "The very essence of a great research university is staying at the frontier of new knowledge and giving those we serve the benefit of that knowledge. The MU partnership with Cerner is a perfect example of our continuing mission: develop cutting-edge ideas and apply them to provide the finest care and service in the global health care environment."

Sherry Browne, former CIO of Ascension Health, will serve as the executive director of the Tiger Institute with an initial term of three years.


*The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides specific stimulus incentive payments for hospitals and physicians that obtain "meaningful use" of electronic medical records within a specified time. Following the stimulus period, penalties have been stipulated that will reduce federal (Medicare and Medicaid) payments to those institutions and doctors that fail to comply).

** In November 2008, MU and Cerner received national recognition from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives for their collaboration on the Medical Home project for managing chronic disease. Since its market release in April 2009, one site has fully implemented Medical Home with another currently implementing, and 25 others are in the process of evaluating it for their institutions.

About the University of Missouri Health System (MU Health System)
The University of Missouri Health System touches the lives of Missourians across the state in myriad ways — through the quality care provided at MU hospitals and clinics, the education of future health professionals offered by MU health sciences schools, the specialty services delivered by University Physicians, and through life-saving research. With more than 7,500 faculty and staff, the health system has an estimated positive economic impact of $2 billon. Patients from every county in the state of Missouri are served at hospitals and clinics operated by MU Health Care. Outstanding research, community service clinics and the education of tomorrow's physicians, nurses and allied health professions are provided by the health system's three health sciences schools – the School of Health Professions, the Sinclair School of Nursing and the School of Medicine. The health system also includes University Physicians, a group practice with more than 450 physician members.

About University of Missouri Health Care (MU Health Care)
University of Missouri Health Care's network of hospitals, clinics and telehealth sites reaches across the state of Missouri. Each year more than 20,000 patients are cared for in its hospitals and more than 500,000 patients are treated in its clinics. University Hospital and Clinics, Children's Hospital, Columbia Regional Hospital and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center are based in Columbia, MO. University Hospital offers the area's only level I Trauma Center and burn intensive care unit. Children's Hospital is mid-Missouri's only comprehensive pediatric facility with more than 30 specialties. CRH provides the area's most comprehensive medical team for women's health and houses the Family Birth center and Level III NICU. Dedicated solely to cancer, Ellis Fischel is the state's designated cancer center and offers the region's most comprehensive screening program. The health system also includes a long-term acute care facility, Missouri Rehabilitation Center, in Mount Vernon, MO.

About the University of Missouri (MU)
Founded in 1839 as the first university west of the Mississippi River, the University of Missouri is the state's premier land-grant, research and doctoral-granting university with 30,831 students currently enrolled. Among the faculty, more than 1,000 life scientists are making great strides in such areas as cancer treatment, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, aging, plant genomics, nanoscience, exercise physiology, autism, nuclear medicine and comparative medicine. More information is available at www.missouri.edu.

About Cerner
Cerner is transforming health care by eliminating error, variance and waste for health care providers and consumers around the world. Cerner solutions optimize processes for health care organizations ranging in size from single-doctor practices, to health systems, to entire countries, for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and for the health care commerce system. These solutions are licensed by more than 8,000 facilities around the world, including approximately 2,100 hospitals; 3,300 physician practices covering more than 30,000 physicians; 500 ambulatory facilities, such as laboratories, ambulatory centers, cardiac facilities, radiology clinics and surgery centers; 600 home-health facilities; and 1,500 retail pharmacies. The following are trademarks of Cerner: Cerner and Cerner's logo. Nasdaq: CERN. For more information about Cerner, please visit our Web site at www.cerner.com.