In time for the CST project’s largest go-live at Vancouver General Hospital (November 5), a new version of CST Cerner was recently rolled out to sites live with this electronic health record system. It’s in use at 45 sites and nearly 300 clinics across Providence Health Care (PHC), Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). This includes our recently Cycle 7 clinics, which went live on October 3.

The CST Cerner upgrade was completed in August to enhance performance, complete bug fixes and allow for future system improvements. This is part of continuing to modernize care in BC through the CST project. (Read about the benefits of the CST Project here)

This upgrade focused on keeping the system running efficiently behind the scenes as CST Cerner continues to roll out to new sites. Staff may have noticed minor updates to how CST Cerner connects with other systems like Sunquest or Excelleris, and may even have found that it runs a little faster.

Upgrades are an intensive but important undertaking

“With every CST go-live, we add new functionalities to CST Cerner, which then have to be tested whenever we upgrade the system. In the lead up to this latest upgrade, we completed 90 system tests to ensure that after making more than 10,000 enhancements and updates, the system would work as expected,” said Amr Kabesh, CST Technical Director. “We found a small number of issues, which is normal given the complexity, and worked hard with colleagues from Oracle Cerner to escalate and resolve these, as needed.”

To illustrate the scale and complexity of this project, the first upgrade to CST Cerner took place in summer 2019  impacting just 3,000 users across ten sites within Vancouver Coastal Health, including Lions Gate Hospital. Since then, we’ve grown to almost 30,000 users with major facilities such as St. Paul’s Hospital, BC Cancer – Vancouver, BC Children’s Hospital and BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre now using the system. Vancouver General Hospital will be joining soon.

A feat made possible through collaboration

This latest upgrade required collaboration with site-based Clinical Informatics teams across the three health organizations. While it was an initiative led by the CST project team, the expertise and support of the site Informatics team members was invaluable.

“In terms of full system updates, this is the largest one that we’ve accomplished in partnership with Clinical Informatics across acute care, community, emergency, outpatient, mental health, maternity, oncology, and other key areas,” said Lori Campbell, Senior Manager, Clinical Informatics, CST. “We are always improving how we work together. The upgrade was another great example of what happens when we join forces.”

British Columbia one of first regions to use latest software

“We are one of only three regions in Canada and the largest active program to use the latest version of Cerner software,” said Ryan Gerard, Chief Transformation Officer, CST. “Periodic system updates are an important strategy for staying current as we continue the rollout of CST Cerner to modernize care in BC.”

“It’s an achievement made possible thanks to the efforts of CST Design teams, our health authority partners and the incredible teams involved in testing,” added Ryan.  “These upgrades help recognize our common goal for our citizens: to create a standard system that works for all health authorities. I also want to extend an enormous thanks to the Technical teams and Clinical Informatics as well as our partners at Oracle Cerner. Their outstanding work over the past year made this happen in time for Vancouver General Hospital’s CST project go-live.”

 The overall number of CST Cerner users is set to increase from ~30,000 to more than ~40,000 with the CST project rolling out to more than 70 facilities across Vancouver Coastal Health, Provincial Health Services Authority and Providence Health Care. Learn more: