Automation Technology Increases the Accuracy and Speed of Surgical Preference Cards in Cerner EHR

Boston Software Systems collaborated with a leading regional health system on a series of process automation solutions and platform migration initiatives. The health system is comprised of three hospitals, an oncology treatment center, several multi-specialty centers and more than 150 access points which include urgent care, outpatient imaging, cardiac testing and other services, as well as a sizable academic health program. On an annual basis the health system performs over 24,000 surgical procedures.

As part of an EHR migration initiative, Boston Software Systems created a series of process automations for surgical preference cards. Surgical preference cards are the DNA of the operating room. When used properly, they provide a logical and detailed set of instructions for the positioning, supplies, and equipment required for surgical procedures. Purchasing staff also utilize cards to determine necessary items for procurement, as well as ongoing inventory levels necessary to support surgical caseloads.

Boston Software Systems Developed a Series of Automation Services for use via Cerner; Each Card Required a Minimum of 50 Steps:

  • Automations processed surgical facility location, generic or specific card type, multiple steps, based on pick list and individual item entries, with descriptions and necessary related fields
  • Automation steps progressed through segments, comments, reporting, and archiving

Additional Details:

  • Multiple machines were deployed to facilitate automations
  • Due to non-standardization of content, most cards were processed in multiple stages to capture all necessary data and maximize the use of automation technology versus manual data transfer


  • Surgical preference card data was transferred as a whole with direct ties to all surgical procedures 
  • Clinical and administrative interests were fulfilled across the organization
  • Our healthcare automation solution ensured 100% accuracy of migrated data vs.error-prone manual data entry 
  • Administrative burden, and budget resources were reduced, surgical workflows were improved

EHR migration initiatives offer the opportunity to maintain data integrity as health systems migrate specialty specific data into one common electronic health record. The outcomes result in increased patient safety, organizational productivity, reduced technical complexity and lower cost to the health system.

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