Neal Patterson, Cerner co-founder and CEO, died Sunday of complications from cancer. He was 67.
I was fortunate to spend time with Neal Patterson on a number of occasions during my ten years at Cerner. He was a visionary, an exemplary entrepreneur, and an incredibly driven leader. From the very beginning, his sole focus was to improve healthcare for everyone.
His passionate ideas were often based on his personal experiences as a patient and caregiver. For example, the death of his sister-in-law inspired the development of an automated sepsis detection algorithm. And his wife’s experience carrying her oncology notes between dozens of providers provided his motivation behind CommonWell.
It’s clear from the remembrances scattered across the internet today that he was well-liked and respected by the team of professionals he led. It’s also evident that he inspired his colleagues to make a positive impact on the healthcare industry. He was a great leader.
I also found that clients were pleased to spend time with Neal. He wasn’t just a vendor CEO to them. He offered a clear understanding of their business and a vision to help it grow. He will be greatly missed.