Primary Contact

In order to assign the “Primary Contact”, the provider MUST be associated with a Care Team.  This only has to be done once.  If you're having difficulty assigning 'Primary Contact', be sure that the provider is associated with a Care Team.  Instructions on how to assign yourself to a Care Team are below.

Changing the “Primary Contact”

1.  Open Physician Handoff and choose the Patient List (NOT Care Team List) that includes your patients,

2. From the drop-down menu at the top right, choose Primary Contact

3.  Select the patients you want to assign by clicking the boxes next to their names.  Then, find your name under 'Search for a Primary Contact' and hit 'Assign'.

Viewing of the “Primary Contact”

This field will now be seen in the BANNER BAR, to the far right.


Assign Yourself a Care Team

1.  From “Physician Handoff”, select the drop-down menu

2.  Select “Manage Care Team Providers”

3.  Select a service and select a team from the drop-down menus, then search for the provider to assign (i.e. your name).

Note:  There are some Medical Services (i.e. Hematology/Oncology, Hospitalist (for Santa Paula Hospital)) that will have no teams associated with them, but others (i.e. Internal Medicine, OB/GYN/Newborn, Surgery Orthopedics, etc.) that will have a number of teams associated with them (i.e. VCMC Inpatient Medicine Teams A, B, C, D and E; VCMC OB/GYN/Newborn and SPH OB/GYN/Newborn; VCMC Surgery and SPH Surgery; VCMC Orthopedics and SPH Orthopedics, etc.). 

Initial Population of the “Primary Contact” Field

The “Primary Contact” will be initially assigned from the “Admitting Physician” field on the “Admit to Hospital” and “Assign to Observation” orders.

I-PASS and Physician Handoff

To access the “Physician Handoff” and I-PASS, click the right arrow next to the patient name:


“Patient Lists” vs. “Care Teams”

1.  The "Care Team" concept is something new that Cerner has introduced that nearly completely changes the way in which teams are thought about in the hospital. The fundamental difference between a “Team” on Patient Lists and a “Team” with the new Care Team concept is as follows:

-"TEAMS" in the current patient lists (seen on Physician Handoff) are exclusive for patients -- you can only belong to one team (i.e. VCMC Inpatient Medicine Team A, and NOT VCMC Inpatient Medicine Team B or C or D (there are exceptions which I'll ignore for simplicity)).

- "TEAMS" in the sense of Care Teams are more about the PROVIDERS and the groups that they belong to -- and then those teams associate with individual patients. So, as a patient, you can now belong to "VCMC Inpatient Team A" care team, along with the "Hematology/ Oncology" care team and probably a whole bunch of other care teams. Providers will need to associate themselves with a Care Team, and then the Care Team will be associated with the patient. How exactly that will work in detail is not exactly clear (I don't think it happens automatically, but I may be mistaken.)

2.  Cerner is not (?yet?) changing anything with Patient Lists.  Therefore, residents are to continue to add patients to patient lists just like everyone has done from day 1, and print patient lists either from "Patient List" tab or from the "Physician Handoff" page.

3.  After we get over the initial growing pains with incorporating these changes into work flows, we may find that the Care Teams are better from a functionality standpoint, but it seems too early to tell if there should be a movement away from Patient Lists or not.


  • All templates, "autotexts", procedure notes, and other documents on these pages are intended as examples only.  Your documentation in the medical record should always reflect precisely your specific interaction with an individual patient.  Merely copying and pasting a prewritten note into a patient's chart is unethical, unsafe, and possibly fradulent.