Cerner on Tuesday announced that it would launch a new C-suite role, naming Dr. Nasim Afsar, as its first chief health officer.
WHY IT MATTERS
Starting in January, Afsar will be tasked with leading Cerner’s efforts around product development that improves patient and provider experience. She’ll be in charge of quality and patient safety, regulatory compliance, actos realizados por representantes incapaces derecho mercantil healthcare policy, government affairs and continuous improvement organizations, according to the news release announcing her new role.
“We have not realized the full potential of healthcare technologies in supporting health, as well as providing early warning signs for chronic conditions and acute illnesses,” said Afsar in a statement. “I look forward to joining the talented team of leaders at Cerner to enhance our ability to care for patients and free our caregivers to focus on what matters most: the patient in front of them.”
Afsar brings deep leadership experience to the job, having served at major health systems in California. Most recently she was chief operating officer at UCI Health, where she also led ambulatory care and population health initiatives.
Prior to that, she spent more than eight years at UCLA, where she served as chief quality officer and associate chief medical officer.
Afsar is a past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine and serves on its board; she also served as associate editor of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
THE LARGER TREND
Cerner says Afsar’s “forward-thinking and ambitious healthcare strategies,” and expertise in quality, population health management, operations, finance, contracting, business development and strategy will be assets as she leads development of new technologies that enhance health and value to patients, communities and caregivers.
She is not the only recent hire at the company, of course. Two months ago, Cerner hired another UCLA (and Google Health and Geisinger) alum, Dr. David Feinberg, as its third CEO.
Not long after taking the job, Feinberg gave a speech in which he pledged company-wide improvements, promising to fine-tune its technology products to better serve patients and providers alike.
For too many patients, “healthcare is still broken: unaffordable, biased – and largely still based on acute care rather than prevention,” he said.
“We haven’t fully reached our potential,” said Feinberg. “Digitized records, for one, need to be usable. They need to be measured by how they enable caregivers to spend even more time at the bedside and less time at the terminal. Improving the usability of Cerner solutions is at the top of my list of things to get done.”
The hiring of Afsar as chief health officer appears to be a major step toward that goal.
ON THE RECORD
“I am thrilled that Nasim is joining our team to help us realize the true promise of what the EHR can bring. Technology must work better for caregivers and patients,” said Feinberg in a statement. “As an industry, we need to decrease the cost of care, improve quality and community health, give more time back to caregivers to spend at the bedside – and Cerner intends to be a key player in driving these efforts. I look forward to Nasim’s guidance and leadership.”
“I have dedicated my career to driving positive large-scale impact with the goal of delivering high quality care and health outcomes for our patients and communities,” said Afsar. “I am excited to continue this work at Cerner.”
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