Cerner and CDW Healthcare Host Free EMR and Technology Contest

I’ll admit to being a huge fan of contests. What can I say? I love to win free stuff. I think everyone does. Plus, I love pretty much any competition. However, today when I read about the Cerner and CDW Healthcare EMR Technology transformation contest, something didn’t feel quite right. I’m sure it’s just an extension of the Cerner and CDW Healthcare EHR partnership, but let’s take a look at some of the details.

Sure, it’s great that they’re giving away $50,000 in EMR software and technology. They’re also partnered with Lenovo, Intel, EMC, Brother, Canon and Nuance. I like all of those companies for the most part and so the technology will be great. I’m just not sure winning a contest is the right way to decide to use that EMR software.

You can read more about the details at the contest website, but basically it will be in 2 rounds of judging. Here’s a description of the first round of judging:

Round 1 Judging: A panel of qualified judges comprised of representatives of each of the Sponsoring Vendors (Brother, Canon, Cerner, EMC, Intel, Lenovo and Nuance) will review and evaluate each eligible entry on the basis of the following criteria: (a) demonstrated need of Company for an electronic medical record application and an overall technology makeover(40 percent); (b) creativity of submission (20 percent); and (c) perceived ability of CDW Healthcare in conjunction with the sponsoring vendors, to improve productivity of entrant’s Company through installation of a medical record-keeping system and upgraded technology(40 percent).

The second round the vendor sponsors will do site visits to further evaluate your clinic. Not sure how this is going to work. Are they planning to select the clinic with the least amount of tech that will likely have a hard time implementing an EMR and going through all the changes? Or will they select the company who uses technology, but hasn’t yet implemented an EMR? The second clinic might be better prepared for an EMR implementation. Seems like all a marketing ploy without much thought for who they really want to award the prize to that will have the best impact.

I also think it’s interesting that they plan on parading the 3 finalists around at the HIMSS conference. Ok, maybe it’s not quite parading, but that’s kind of what it feels like. I looked through a lot of the official rules and didn’t see anything that forces you to implement the actual EMR. Seems like the form is simple enough to fill out that it might be worth getting all the technology for free. Plus, the free trip to the HIMSS 2010 annual conference might just be worth the entry. Then, you can have a chance to compare a whole bunch of EMR software. Not sure what Cerner will think about that, but maybe that’s the reward for not winning.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Marketing 101 – have a contest/giveaway and gather tons of qualified leads. The winning clinic isn’t really that important – selling to the ones that don’t win is.

  • Very true. Although, it’s interesting that they’re planning to parade the 3 finalists around at the HIMSS conference as well.

  • Thank you Russ, for your insight.

    This contest is just the same old run of the mill smoke and mirrors that stimulate peoples buying gene. It is no different than the “free weekend in Bali Bali” (to qualify you need to sit through 15 hard sell time share breakfasts).
    At Media Spiders, we customize and give away software that cost well over $250,000.00 to develop with every client. As far as the hardware, I think it is evident to even the most non tech offices that the trend today is to get away from heavy hardware and proprietary software. This is due to the ever changing requirements and planned obsolescence we have all experienced.

    I am currently working with a doctors office that had 5 years of historical records scanned and the previous provider saved them by Patient name. This is a huge liability to the practice, as it breaks several privacy law standards. We are actually printing out the files and re scanning as it is more cost effective than file conversion due to inconsistencies by the previous vendor. I could also see this happening with proprietary software.
    Items like this are rarely addressed due to a lack of experience on the buyers part. They get caught up in the big names and think they are safe choosing them to solve a very complex and ever changing set of problems.

    I would choose the smaller more personalized approach every time over the “canned solutions” meant to encompass every need for everyone.

    How many of those companies run your practice?

    Who knows more than you do about how huge changes in your current work-flow will impact your practice financially?

    Why change your work flow if you don’t have to?

    Whichever direction you go the choice should be a tool that enhances your process already and makes financial sense for your practice.

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