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FAQs

General

What is the Cerner Open Developer Experience?

Cerner’s Open Developer Program (code) is leading health care innovation by opening our heath system ecosystem to create new health care technologies and applications. We believe that not all great ideas can, or should, come from within the four walls of Cerner, and strive to create innovation through collaboration with stakeholders based on trust and respect.  

The technological foundation of code are standards-based APIs, which today are on built on SMART on FHIR standards. Utilizing these Cerner Ignite APIs℠ allows us to rapidly scale and better support our API-enabled innovation and health care market. Third party and client developers will find that this approach means that there is great extensibility in the applications that are developed and can be more easily transferable. 

In addition, code also works with proprietary APIs, which operate with our Population Health APIs. While a powerful force in innovation, proprietary APIs don’t offer the scalability and repeatability like standards-based APIs. We currently enable with Cerner health system clients, but are evolving the process to make them open and accessible to all within code. Our team is open to conversations with developers interested in Population Health APIs and would encourage you to email us at code@cerner.com.  

Cerner believes strongly that innovation and collaboration is fostered best through openness and transparency. We’re opening up health system ecosystem because we want to give you, the developer, the ability to explore its potential beyond what we have already done. You can use the breadth and detail of the health information technology available through our APIs to create mashups, mobile apps, visualizations and other data-consuming applications that will provide an added dimension of user experience for Cerner clients.

Today there are more than 25 FHIR resources with functionality ranging from recreate, update and search. For more specific detail, please reference our documentation

At this time, Cerner does not provide hybrid models for FHIR resources. If you have a resource you feel should be included, please contact us at code@cerner.com.  

The most seamless way for clients to integrate HealtheIntent’s population health features into user workflows is through Cerner Ignite APIs for HealtheIntent. HealtheIntent APIs are used to deliver population health information directly into the software your clinicians, administrators and analysts already use every day. You can choose and customize capabilities to add to users’ existing workflows, eliminating the need for them to log into separate web applications.

With HealtheIntent APIs, you can present patients’ longitudinal records, registries and measures, HCCs and other outcomes from across your ecosystem at the appropriate point in the user experience. HealtheIntent APIs are available to enhance any workflow in any system, regardless of vendor. 

Learn more about Cerner Ignite APIs for HealtheIntent by reviewing the documentation

If you are interested in integrating your population health initiatives across your ecosystem, please contact us through our uCern Group (accessible only to Cerner associates and clients). 

The details of your use case determine whether you should connect to the HealtheIntent APIs, Cerner Millennium FHIR APIs, or a mix of both. Both sets of APIs can be used to build reusable, portable SMART applications, but the data returned by HealtheIntent APIs is based on multiple sources of health care data that are aggregated and combined into a single longitudinal record per patient. This includes core clinical resources such as Medication, Condition, Immunization, and so on, as well as resources that represent clinical intelligence such as registry measures, risk scores, or hierarchical condition categories (HCCs). HealtheIntent APIs are most appropriate to use when you want to expose longitudinal information to a user, either for purely informational purposes or to drive some action in the system where the user is logged in.

Note that because the patient record in HealtheIntent is automatically constructed from many independent data sources, no HealtheIntent APIs allow you to write directly to the core clinical resources like the Cerner Millennium FHIR APIs do; however, some of the HealtheIntent intelligence resources do support write actions. Furthermore, because HealtheIntent is not an electronic health record (EHR) platform, no HealtheIntent APIs trigger discrete activities that occur strictly in the context of the legal medical record, such as ordering, scheduling, or billing. The most powerful applications combine both HealtheIntent APIs and FHIR APIs, leveraging the broad data set and automated intelligence exposed by HealtheIntent APIs to drive discrete actions in the EHR using FHIR APIs.

Finally, note that applications or integrations built using HealtheIntent APIs are portable to only health systems or other organizations that use the Cerner HealtheIntent platform.

Cerner Ignite APIs for Millennium is another piece of a broader toolkit, which we make available to Cerner clients for custom app development, building on the long tradition of integrated options for clients. For information, including how to get started with our APIs, visit our uCern Group (accessible only for Cerner associates and Clients)

We want you to be as creative and as innovative as possible with the ecosystem. The only thing we ask you to do is to comply with our Terms of Service.

Currently we are working with global client base to support SMART on FHIR apps. At this point, we are still building infrastructure and plan to be live with several global clients in the near future. Check back for the latest updates.

Development / Operations

What is the process by which my app goes from idea to live deployment?

The developer process we support is largely self-service, and each developer seems to move at their own pace and time-frames can vary from vendor to vendor. The same actions are taken to ensure validation for new apps, as well existing legacy app with prior experience with Cerner and/and other EHR organizations.

For more information, please read our access and fees.

Legacy apps need to be built against our FHIR platform, thus the process is the same as a non-legacy in order to showcase on the app gallery.

The validation process has fove main categories of focus, which verify that your solution provides our clients with a great experience: security, functionality, user experience and operations. This process can take 10 to 14 weeks to complete, but the actual duration varies based on the complexity of your application, the number of issues identified in the process and the responsiveness of your team. The following flowchart shows the overall validation process:

Validated apps represent a commitment between Cerner and your company to ensure that we give our clients high quality applications that are secure and reliable.

Business

Does Cerner sell my app?

You are solely responsible for the sale and implementation of the integrated application produced. For more information, please see our Terms of Use.

Vendors receive support both during the integration and validation process. In addition, Cerner coordinates with program members after validation with initiatives that connect vendors with potential clients.

At the kickoff call, Cerner associates will share marketing and co-branding opportunities available to vendors once their apps are validated.

Technical

Where is Cerner SMART App Development Tutorial?

This tutorial will walk you through creating an app in Cerner’s SMART on FHIR ecosystem. After completing this tutorial you will know how to: 

  • Create a basic SMART on FHIR app. 
  • Self register an app with Cerner. 
  • Run an app in Cerner’s SMART on FHIR sandbox. 
  • Self register an app with SMART Health IT
  • Run an app in SMART Health IT

Yes, we require that you have a public GitHub account.

We have created a self-registration console to allow any developer to be able run a SMART app against our development environment. Navigate to our code console, if you don’t have a Cerner Care Account, go ahead and sign up for free. 

Any developer can post a question to the community using our Google group.

In addition, our code learning lab is an annual event led by Cerner engineers. Click here for a sample agenda.

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