Thursday, May 09, 2013

Here Is A Fascinating Interview From The CIO of Kaiser Permanente. Interesting Perspectives.

This appeared a few days ago.

Q&A: Kaiser Permanente's CIO on Technology's Role in Redefining Healthcare

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , April 23, 2013

Healthcare is transforming, says Philip Fasano, CIO and executive vice president of Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest not-for-profit health plan and healthcare provider, with annual operating revenue in excess of $42 billion. He oversees 6,000 employees, who work to support the organization's 14,600 physicians. KP serves more than 8.8 million members.
I recently sat down for an extended conversation with him Fasano as he was making the rounds promoting his new book, Transforming Health Care, The Financial Impact of Technology, Electronic Tools, and Data Mining.In part one of our conversation, Fasano talks about technology's role in redefining healthcare, and why cloud computing isn't quite ready for the task.
HealthLeaders: What's the message of your book?
Fasano: It's really focused on being a bit of a call-to-action for the healthcare industry, and for the information technology industry to create the capabilities that will allow the industry to connect medical records, infrastructure, and ultimately create the capabilities that members find useful in managing their health, from a number of aspects: convenience, affordability, and availability of the system.
All of that is pretty much talked about in the book, from the EMR up, and from the EMR out to, from inside the system to patients and members and their interactions [as] consumers.
HealthLeaders: Technology's obviously very important, but I also hear that a lot of it is about organizational, leadership, managerial, and financial hurdles to overcome.
Fasano: In my opinion, there will be a rise of consumerism in healthcare in the United States, unlike what we've seen historically. We've seen so many other industries. I've been in the financial services industry and the healthcare industry deeply.
HealthLeaders: Who did you work for in financial services?
Fasano: Everyone from Deutschebank, Banker's Trust, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, and then basically came into healthcare.
HealthLeaders: So you made the rounds.
Fasano: I did, and at pretty senior levels. So I had the ability to both participate in the change that the financial industry went through, and also lead some of it. That was fun to do, but we're going through a lot of similar changes in healthcare at this point. But I will also say that they're fundamentally, foundationally more important, because they're really about our health. But consumerism is going to change the way healthcare has to really deliver its capabilities.
HealthLeaders: Does [consumerism] redefine what a healthcare system is, or should be?
Fasano: I think it redefines what healthcare could be and can be in this country. Clinical devices are getting so inexpensive, and they're so connectable now, that you can just see how that all converges, where the consumer really can take control in ways they just couldn't before.
From the standpoint of really having high-quality healthcare, and being the best in the world, something we should certainly aspire to, given how much we spend on healthcare in the United States, I think the tools are now present to enable that. It's really up to the industry, and the technology providers themselves, to really help us engage in that next wave of work that's really in front of us.
I would assert that the tools, done right, will enable the industry to take cost out of our cost structures. Even the simplistic issue of connecting medical record systems, so we don't have to take duplicate lab tests as we go from doctor to doctor, will make a material and meaningful difference in the cost structure. That can be redeployed in a lot of ways across the health system to really allow us to go through this transformation.
HealthLeaders: Where do you stand on the whole PHR issue? This is the idea that we have all this heavy lifting going on about health information exchanges, but maybe the better thing to do is to do what Google tried to do and failed, which was give everyone a personal health record and have that travel with the patient. Do you see that playing a big role still, or did that all peter out when the Google thing failed?
Fasano: I'll give you two points of view. One is, I think the Google thing failed for a reason. I don't think the technology industry or the healthcare industry was ready to really support that in the way that it needed to be supported.
The second point of view on this is, I think electronic medical records, given the content, is consistent with and from doctors, and really aligns with the treatment of patients, is the best resource for the start of PHR.
Lots more here:
Part Two is found here and covers even more issues.

Q&A: Kaiser Permanente's CIO on Predictive Analytics and Other Challenges

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , April 30, 2013

Given than KP runs a health system which covers a population close to the size of NSW and Victoria together - and they sure know how to do Health IT!
Must read stuff.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, the rise of consumer involvement in their own health care is a big story in the US, in many areas of the Australian healthcare sector is still being actively resisted. As always though, that's no universal, and there are pockets that are moving in this direction.

In the long term, shifting some of the responsibility for care back to the patient is one of the ways to reduce the ongoing growth of costs whilst also engaging the patient in their healthcare.