Kaiser Permanente CEO Calls for 'Connected' Health Care

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 General News
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 Kaiser Permanente Chairman and ChiefExecutive Officer George Halvorson delivered an opening keynote address todayat the World Healthcare Innovation and Technology conference in Washington,D.C. In "Changing the Shape of Healthcare: Groundbreaking Innovations andtheir Impact on Healthcare Delivery," Mr. Halvorson set forth a vision for ahealth care system where data and connectivity enable patient-centered care.This new model will make it easy for caregivers to deliver the best,evidence-based care to every individual, keep people healthy, and best manageserious illnesses and chronic conditions.

"Health care has not been willing to use technology, and as a result thecurrent system does not provide critical linkages between physicians,hospitals, doctors and patients, or between caregivers and the scientificcommunity," said Halvorson. "Goal number one of health care reform should beto have a health care infrastructure that contains all of the data about allof the patients, all of the time. That functionality is needed to fuelmedical advances. Fully accountable data about care can transform the waythat it is delivered and improve not only the health of individuals, but ofentire populations."

A health care system that builds a continuous loop of information aroundthe patient should include electronic health data available to all physicianstreating a patient, as well as to the individual patient. This will speeddiagnosis and delivery of care. Information retrieval that took days, willtake minutes. Additional information about the most current science,treatment protocols, and prevention should be pushed to everyone involved in apatient's care, providing proven, actionable steps to improve health. Inaddition to enhancing the quality of health care, implementing electronicmedical records and other computerized tools will improve efficiency and areestimated to eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars of waste from the U.S.health care system.

Kaiser Permanente's current $4 billion investment in technology hasprovided a platform for a 21st century care delivery system, and is beginningto provide the data needed to make a dramatic impact on health:

-- In one pilot study, the organization was able to reduce coronary arterydisease deaths by 76 percent. Kaiser Permanente is now testing the sametechnologies and processes to tackle other chronic conditions.

-- Kaiser Permanente is building one of the world's largest DNA databasesto advance clinical research, and sees the opportunity to one day deliver anew level of information to doctors at the point of care.

-- The organization designed the Archimedes Model(http://archimedesmodel.com/), a full-scale simulation model of humanphysiology, diseases, behaviors, interventions, and health care systems thatwill predict risk factors and treatment benefits. Doctors will soon be ableto use this model to develop customized treatment plans for their patients.

"The future," Mr. Halvorson concluded, "is now." Find out more athttp://www.kp.org/future.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in1945, the program is headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanenteserves 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Todayit encompasses Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser FoundationHospitals and their subsidiaries, and the Permanente Medical Groups.Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 164,000 technical,administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and 14,000 physiciansrepresenting all specialties. The organization's Labor Management Partnershipis the largest such health care partnership in the United States. It governshow more than 130,000 workers, managers, physicians and dentists work togetherto make Kaiser Permanente the best place to receive care, and the best placeto work. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the Kaiser Permanente NewsCenter at: http://xnet.kp.org/newscenter.http://www.kaiserpermanente.org

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente

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