Neal Patterson is chairman of the board, chief executive officer and co-founder of Cerner Corporation, the world’s largest stand-alone healthcare information technology company, with more than $2B in revenues and more than 10,000 associates worldwide, including more than 6,500 associates in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Patterson grew up the second of three brothers who shared an outhouse and farm chores near Manchester, Oklahoma, roughly halfway between Wichita and Oklahoma City. When he started school, the young Patterson spoke so oddly that only his older brother understood him. His mother regularly drove him 50 miles each way to a speech therapist in Enid.
Starting with a single laboratory information system in 1979, by the mid-1980s, Patterson was investing in creating a suite of fully integrated, clinically focused commercial health care applications. Cerner entered the 1990s with a first-of-its-kind application set built on a common platform with real-time interactive decision support.
In the mid 1990s, Patterson presciently invested significant resources to rebuild the platform on client-server technology using a person-centric data model. During his multi-decade tenure, Patterson has led Cerner to invest more than $3 billion in R&D of health IT, and the solutions that Cerner has designed are deployed at more than 2,700 hospitals and used by 45,000 physicians in private practice.