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Oracle Corp. is updating its Fusion Cloud suite of cloud-based business applications with a set of new capabilities focused on the healthcare sector.

The company announced the enhancements today at its annual CloudWorld event in Las Vegas.

Fusion Cloud is a suite of software-as-a-service applications that organizations use to manage their supply chains, generate revenue forecasts and perform other core business tasks. The suite is an important component of Oracle’s cloud strategy. Oracle reported in September that revenue from its cloud application business had increased 43% year-over-year last quarter, to $2.7 billion.

The healthcare sector, the focus of today’s updates to the Cloud Fusion application suite, is also an increasingly important focus area for the company. Oracle last December inked a deal to acquire healthcare technology provider Cerner Corp. for approximately $28.3 billion. Cerner sells software that healthcare organizations use to manage electronic patient records.

Streamlined workforce management 

The first component of the Fusion Cloud suite for which Oracle announced enhancements today is the Cloud HCM application. Organizations use Cloud HCM to coordinate their human resource management operations.

Cloud HCM is set to receive features that will make it easier for healthcare organizations to schedule employee shifts. When scheduling shifts, organizations such as hospitals must take into account a number of regulations that are specific to the healthcare sector. Oracle says the upcoming features will make it possible to carry out the task faster and with less manual work.

Oracle’s Cloud HCM application also provides other features for healthcare organizations. A capability called Grade Step Progression will enable healthcare organizations to more easily manage worker compensation. Additionally, healthcare organizations can now use a Cloud HCM feature called Oracle Dynamic Skills to identify skills gaps and develop training programs for addressing them.

“Oracle Cloud HCM can help healthcare organizations better support their workforce,” said Chris Leone, executive vice president of applications development at Oracle’s Cloud HCM business unit. “With intelligent, scalable, and secure applications, we can help these organizations address their most complex staffing challenges by automating administrative tasks so workers can stay focused on better patient experiences.”

New financial analytics tools

As part of its Fusion Cloud suite, Oracle provides a so-called enterprise performance management application called Oracle Cloud EPM. The application enables companies to more efficiently perform financial tasks such as tracking operating expenses and creating quarterly budgets. Like Cloud HCM, Cloud EPM is receiving a set of new healthcare-focused features as part of the update that Oracle announced today.

Oracle is adding analytics capabilities that will make it easier for healthcare organizations to identify important data points in their financial records and other business information. According to the company, the capabilities will ease the task of detecting “trends, anomalies, forecast bias, and variations.” Oracle has also equipped Cloud EPM with a set of pre-built analytics dashboards and reports geared towards common use cases in the healthcare sector.

“With industry-specific planning capabilities in Oracle Cloud EPM, healthcare organizations can embrace best practices and leverage innovative technologies to enhance insight, optimize planning and forecasting, reduce costs, and improve patient care,” said Matthew Bradley, the senior vice president of applications development at Oracle.

Supply chain optimization

Cloud SCM is an application in the Fusion Cloud suite that organizations use to manage procurement and a number of related tasks. Today, Oracle debuted new features for the application that will reduce the amount of manual work involved in sourcing medical supplies.

According to Oracle, new product catalogs accessible through the Cloud SCM interface will make it easier for procurement teams to find and purchase supplies. To further save time for users, the company has added a tool that can automatically reorder items when inventory is running low. The latest release of Cloud SCM also promises to streamline a number of other tasks, including the process of managing supplier rebates. 

“With Oracle Cloud SCM, we are delivering new solutions that are purpose-built to give healthcare organizations the supply chain stability and confidence they need to improve patient outcomes,” said Rick Jewell, Oracle’s executive vice president of applications development.

Another set of features added to Cloud SCM focuses on medical equipment that healthcare organizations deliver to patients’ homes. According to Oracle, the features will make it possible to more efficiently monitor such equipment and ensure that it’s properly maintained.

Photo: Open Grid Scheduler/Flickr

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