Thursday, March 08, 2012

Kaiser Permanente Just Seems To Be Kicking EHR Goals One After Another!

The recent HIMSS Conference again showed what was possible with Health IT if you are serious about the issue.
First we have this:

HIMSS: Kaiser Permanente Receives Davies Award for Organizational Excellence and Stage 7 Health IT Awards

Justin
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has awarded Kaiser Permanente with two awards; the Davies Award for Organizational Excellence and a Stage 7 award for “Excellence in Health IT” for its Moanalua Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Davies Award recognizes “excellence in the implementation and value derived from health information technology,” with Kaiser Permanente named 2011′s sole winner.  ”The implementation of our world-class electronic health record, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, has shaped and improved how our physicians and care teams treat patients,” said Phil Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer, Kaiser Permanente.  ”The Davies Award recognizes the important role of health IT in improving care and the overall patient experience, the same goals we had in mind when beginning the KP HealthConnect project almost 10 years ago.”  Kaiser currently has the largest private-sector EHR system in the world.
More here:
and to really top it off we have this report.

Kaiser Permanente’s Big EHR Bet Paying Off

If the move toward digitizing the health system has been characterized by fits and starts, Kaiser Permanente’s multi-year, multibillion dollar effort to create an enterprise electronic records system is nothing if not persistent.
During a session at HIMSS12, Kaiser Permanente Senior Vice President and CIO Phil Fasano said with $4 billion spent thus far on the project, the gravity of the undertaking is evident. “Our CEO bet the company on EHRs,” he said. “This is a life-critical system that required a whole other level of attention from our I.T. organization.”
The system is known as KP HealthConnect and is based on software from Epic Systems Corp. A good part of the time and money spent of the project revolved around building an infrastructure to support it. Fasano proudly noted that KP data centers have won awards for their uptime, no small matter considering the anytime/anywhere nature of EHRs. “Investing in infrastructure is something that you can’t overlook,” he said.
Although the company finished implementation of the ambitious program last year, it will remain a work in progress. Fasano’s team continues to tweak and upgrade the system to accommodate new requirements such as mobility.  Nonetheless, the company can already point to some impressive metrics stemming from its EHR deployment, such as a 50 percent decrease in hospital stays for diabetics.
More here:
There is a lot more, but the bottom line in all this is that we are seeing even a huge investment in Health IT return benefits for the overall finances as well as the quality of care of the organisation that has deployed it.
This shows it can be done. Now how about Australia - which is only twice the size of KP in terms of population served - actually getting on with it!
All I needs is decent leadership and governance - and some money!
Dream on David.
David.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um, I'm not sure how you think it is possible to compare Kaiser Permanente to the Australian healthcare system. Kaiser Permanente is essentially a closed system. The Australian healthcare system most definitely is not.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Think major single payer, central control, fixed fees, doctors and staff being price regulated to some degree. More similar than you might think.

David.

Anonymous said...

Not at ALL similar, not even close. We have 8 states and territories, different Ministers, different budgets, different policies and procedures, Medicare Locals, GP Divisions (the name says it all), different legislative requirements (think end of life directives) different system vendors, different terminologies, a bunch of data silos, a primary care sector where participants provide health care under "small business" models, scheduled fees which vary enormously, different reimbursement rates for members of different health insurers, a smorgasbord of 'standards' (which are anything but standard...choose one, any one at all, which suits YOU!) KP get to say 'this is the way we do it here, do it this way or leave.' They get to say this to their customers (patients) as well. It has cost them billions to achieve what they have. How does AU investment stack up I wonder (on a per person basis)?

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

I see you have noticed just how bad the governance of e-Health is in Australia - to say nothing of some policy gaps etc etc.

KP - despite serving 9 million people - seems to have rather more policy directional clarity!

To me the bottom line is that with decent leadership and enough money you can have considerable success - something that seems to have eluded us so far!

David.

Anonymous said...

"KP - despite serving 9 million people - seems to have rather more policy directional clarity!"

Of course it does - as the previous commenter stated - Kaiser gets to say "My way or the highway". Good luck doing that in Australia. Every time anyone (or any organisation) tries to say we are going to do it "this way", they are told they are wrong or it needs to go through a public process or whatever.

Are you saying that you would accept it for the greater good, David, if this "policy directional clarity" were to deem the direction of eHealth with no input from the wider community? Because that is how Kaiser rolls, no doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

Yes but aside from the 8 states and territories, different Ministers, different budgets, different policies and procedures, Medicare Locals, GP Divisions (the name says it all), different legislative requirements (think end of life directives) different system vendors, different terminologies, a bunch of data silos, a primary care sector where participants provide health care under "small business" models, scheduled fees which vary enormously, different reimbursement rates for members of different health insurers, a smorgasbord of 'standards' .....it is almost identical.

Dr David More MB PhD FACHI said...

Remember KP operates in may US States too.

Anyway you can have the last word!

David.

InformaticsMD said...

Are you really getting unfiltered, objective information about Kaiser's system? Are they revealing the downsides?