Cerner Reviews

Updated September 10, 2014
Updated September 10, 2014
673 Reviews
3.6
673 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Cerner Chairman, CEO & President Neal L. Patterson
Neal L. Patterson
418 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Cerner takes a genuine interest in their employees and their families (work/life balance is important) (in 17 reviews)

  • Great place if you want to learn and are a quick study (in 33 reviews)


Cons
  • Indian employees are treated like slaves, and never think of work life balance at all (in 63 reviews)

  • In hand is less than expected, some times high workload you have to work for long hours, (in 58 reviews)

More Highlights

87 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    If they tell you that you have wait for a raise, you won't see it.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cerner full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Interesting work, you have a chance to influence how healthcare is delivered in the US, some coworkers are incredible, "work hard, play hard" culture is interesting. Stock has outperformed the market almost every year since it went public.

    Cons

    Too much reliance on rigid work plans are making the new crop of engineers unable to think outside the box for troubleshooting, too many in senior leadership aren't leaders, they just got promoted out of what they excelled at. Tend to get promised the world in a review for "next year", but those promises rarely get delivered upon. Always another "and" getting added to your job duties, but no additional resources are made available.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your production owners what they are worth. There's a reason there's so much turnover in that job...24/7/365 on call, tons more pressure and work, for a 3% raise? At best it's just a stop on the way to a higher paying job at a competitor, a client hospital, or anywhere else.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    All Work, No Play

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cerner

    Pros

    Great place to start out. Strong stock.

    Cons

    On-call 24/7. Training is useless.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have an understanding of what your team actually does. Most manager couldn't do or explain the most basic task of a system engineer.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Consider for a career start but don't plan to stay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Withheld  in  Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Withheld in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Easy to get hired as they have huge volumes of turnover in the KC area and other sites. Can get hired with little to no experience. Salaries can potentially be competitive depending on the position and how much of a crunch the department with the position is in.

    Cons

    Work environment and general experience can vary based on where you get hired so I am speaking only from my own experience. I worked in one of their IT Works sites which was very poorly managed. Long hours due to lack of planning or poor structuring with no thanks, compensation or reward for getting things done. Word was that nearly all the IT Works sites were like this and are generally considered a joke by the rest of the company. The helpdesk is also a miserable place to work I've been told and also suffered from very high turnover.

    Compensation may start off respectable (emphasis on "may") but expect 0-3% raises if you decide to stay year after year even if you put in the 60+ hour work weeks that are expected or sprung on you at the last minute. It was not rare to be told at 4pm on a Friday that we would be expected to work through the weekend. Management would then be absent from the extra hours and it was common to come in only to stand around and not know what we were there to do.

    Most of the management level people I encountered were clueless about nearly everything. Most knew very little about technology and had zero in the way of technical understanding which resulted in ideas or initiatives that were either unreasonable or flat out impossible. I suspect they are also trained to not listen to their employees and treat communication as a one-way street based on the behavior I encountered. Additionally they knew nothing about company structure and policies. Questions about how to fix a submitted time sheet or where to find information about benefits or corporate related material was almost always met by being told to ask someone else or to look it up on your own.

    In all honestly this is not a company I would recommend if you have a decent amount of professional experience and the career potential to work some place else. To sum it up I would compare it to a McDonalds or Walmart in terms of how it operates: Mostly staffed and operated by young, underpaid kids where it's very likely to be their first corporate job or laid off refugees from other companies just happy to have a paycheck again overseen by barely literate overzealous types who don't know the first thing about IT or managing but can recite the company cheer forwards and backwards and wouldn't think twice about getting the company logo tattooed across their chest.

    Final note, they had surprisingly poor health insurance for a health care company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lead by example. Understand that managing is a two way street not just what your employees do to make you look good. You have obligations to those below you as well. Try actually showing up to meetings and interacting with your team. It also probably helps to know what it is your department actually does and understand the work that your team does.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Exciting start, weird culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Delivery Consultant  in  Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Delivery Consultant in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The Gym at the WHQ is great!
    The benefits are very decent.
    Management/HR was very understanding and worked with me when I had to take short-term leave due to an emergency surgery.
    Plenty of travel opportunities.
    It is absolutely awesome to work with providers/hospitals/hospital staff!

    Cons

    First and foremost: the culture. It is almost like a culture of fear. One of the things I remember most about my first day during their Onboarding training was "don't mess up for x reason, or you will always be remembered for x..."

    Very much a cult of personality culture as well. Many young people which was nice , but very strange in that it seemed "cult-like" with some people (very hard to describe, and I do not mean to say that this carries to all employees, just a general sense and my opinion).

    It is a literal TON of information to digest during the first few months, and it is not easily understood the first time through. I would estimate that 70 percent of what I learned in the first couple of months at Cerner were not used in my day-to-day job after the fact.

    You are expected to always be billable (for good reason-you are being paid to ensure that Cerner meets its quarterly goals), however I found that the ways in which managers would try and promote this were fairly unethical at best, and downright lying to clients in terms of work accomplished at worst.

    I felt that I could not perform my job adequately with the information I was trained with within a few months of learning the material. It is very difficult to try and learn when you are trained for things which you will never use, and are then expected to immediately know how to build code for a completely different solution.

    Most of the day consisted of answering emails and building out different solutions for clients, and becoming increasingly frustrated at the Wiki pages that you are expected to utilize for literally almost everything pertaining to your job build-wise. Very frustrating as I feel that I learn better in a social environment and this wasn't used enough in my opinion.

    Compensation was initially average, however the annual raises are awful. It is completely up to your manager who you may or may not see in the office (I saw mine about once or twice a month). Therefore, depends on your personal relationship with your manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I believe your long-term goals are great (especially with population health!), however I believe that the culture is not conducive to an atmosphere where you feel valued. The annual raise/review was very poor.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    It was good until some manager doesn't like you or you grow past the "desired age range"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cerner full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You gain a great insight into Healtcare and if you work "client facing" you get to see more of what Healthcare is for the nurses and doctors that work each day for their patients. You can gain a technical background if you are clinical and a clinical perspective if you are technical.

    Cons

    It seems that most of the people that survive the longest are the non boat rockers. The conformist to the work culture. If you are a pro company person you will do well. But that may be at the expense of your clients. Timelines to implement their systems are strenuous to say the least.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would suggest that from the beginning when clients are designing their systems that you spend more time in helping them design a system and before they are ready to Go Live plan on optimization of the original design and adjusting the system to better facilitate the clinical resources that will be using it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    False Advertising, both to prospective employees as well as clients

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Kansas City, MO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Kansas City, MO

    I have been working at Cerner full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great health insurance, onsite clinics are very convenient
    casual dress

    Cons

    work life balance is almost non-existent
    pay not as comparable to other similar companies
    lack of integrity when dealing with clients. It's all oversell and under deliver, leaving clients unsatisfied and damaging trusted relationships
    Highly stressful environment
    unwritten rules and hierarchy that you learn the hard way
    disorganized
    very high turnover... hire out of college work you to death for two years and then bring in the next batch
    Maybe the top 5% of associates rise to the top, and when they do they rise quickly. Everyone else slaves away hoping for recognition and promotion but it's rarely attained no matter how many years put in.
    Every team is understaffed, each person handling way more than one person can manage effectively and not getting paid to reflect the workload. This causes disorganization and sloppy half-complete outputs. I feel like Cerner is always scrambling to clean up the messes they are always making instead of setting realistic client and project expectations and then delivering quality results.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    slow down, the company is growing too fast and there is widespread lack of control, consistency, discontent and organization. Lower your turnover.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Okay place to start, terrible place to finish...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer

    I worked at Cerner full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    If you don't want to work hard, they don't seem to care (people constantly missing deadlines for 18+ months and no corrective actions taken)
    You can get some decent experience
    Flexible work hours outside of "crunch time"

    Cons

    If you do work hard, they don't seem to care
    It's a revolving door, more people have left the company than are currently working there
    Health insurance costs a ridiculous amount when you include the enormous deductible
    Management in some orgs will lie directly to your face to "motivate" you to work hard and meet deadlines
    They'll hire a bunch of nearly useless contractors for 3x the normal salary of a developer, the contractors will then drag the entire team down with their terrible code, and then when it comes time for a raise the developers that actually contributed to success will be left high and dry
    Compensation is a complete joke once you have 5+ years of experience
    They would rather replace talented and experienced engineers with someone that costs less money and takes 3 times as long to implement anything

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees are not robots. If you want to keep talented and hard working people, you should probably consider paying them more than peanuts to work those 70 hour "crunch time" weeks. If someone can walk out the door and immediately get a 35% or higher raise at another company in an area with comparable cost of living then you're doing something wrong.

    The only reason I can find that any developer stays at Cerner longer than 5 years is because they're either too lazy to look anywhere else, or no one else will hire them. The architects and future leaders of Cerner are just lazy and/or incompetent engineers (in most cases, there are rare exceptions).

    Get rid of dead weight. If everything a developer does causes the rest of the team to lose time fixing it, he/she needs to go elsewhere.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mandatory unpaid overtime.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer  in  Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Some flexibility on start of workday (7-9am), depending on what position you are in. Co-workers are friendly and helpful. Occasional social events lighten the atmosphere. Pay is a bit on the lower end of competitive but their entry requirements are not so steep as other places.

    Cons

    Extremely rigid hourly requirements, and over 40 hours/week an unwritten prerequisite to any promotion. Mandatory unpaid overtime whenever numbers are due so that higher-ups can look good (you get a bagel, though...), about 12 days/year at +2 hours/day.

    Insufficient training for very technical positions. Specifically, no training on software architecture of enormous code base before being required to find bugs in said software.

    They play the bait-and-switch game with job positions via overly-broad job titles (I applied for a software development position and got a customer support position, both of which have the title Software Engineer).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mandatory unpaid overtime should be for emergency situations only. If there is a chronic need for more work than ordinary hours can provide, that is a reason to hire more people, not wring more work out of the existing people.

    Either don't ask for placement preferences from newly-hired employees, or actually take those preferences into serious consideration.

    Don't use the same job title for drastically different positions.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Decent place to start, not a place to stick around

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer  in  Kansas City, MO
    Former Employee - Systems Engineer in Kansas City, MO

    I worked at Cerner full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - They will hire you with no experience
    - There are some good people who work there
    - You will learn a fair amount, mostly about Cerner products

    Cons

    - Underpaid
    - Overworked
    - Undervalued

    Basically, you are sacrificed for the good of the company. They invest relatively little in their knowledge infrastructure, training, or general business policies and procedures. The result is an unpleasant work experience that leads to their extremely poor employee retention.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managers are also victims of larger policies within the company, so I would tell managers to hold out for something better. Now, if I were talking to executives or those who can actually make decisions, I would tell them to adopt a longer view. Employees are assets, but more to the point, they are a liability. Devaluing and hemorrhaging your employees will erode your company more than losing that extra few million saved by not investing in training, better knowledge repositories, maybe a couple more employees to balance workload. You have a self-identified retention problem. Do something about it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    The change of jobs every 18 months means often leadership lack experience in the space they lead.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Cerner full-time

    Pros

    Some great high energy co-workers. If you are a young professional good opportunities, just be prepared to work very long hours and often being treated less than respectfully.

    Cons

    My experience is that while the organization feels they are the best they over promise to clients. Leadership don't like to address or often admit when there are problems. There are mixed messages to teams regularly leaving them without clarity in direction. I am certain there are exceptions to this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The best thing the leadership team could do is to provide stable Execs so the teams have mature, experienced leaders to consult with and address problems in leaders promptly.

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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