Vídeo de HIMSS 2010: Kaiser Permanente termina programa electrónico del expediente de la salud

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | March 16, 2010
Kaiser Permanente's 50-year journey to set up an electronic health record system has reached a major milestone: at the HIMSS 2010 conference in the beginning of March, the nation's largest integrated health delivery system announced it had finished implementing its KP HealthConnect program, bringing all of its 8.6 million patients and hundreds of physicians into the electronic age.

"It feels pretty good," Andrew Wiesenthal, M.D., associate executive director of The Permanente Federation, told DOTmed News when we met with him at HIMSS.

(Click on the video below to see an excerpt from our interview.)

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Dr. Andrew Wiesenthal for Kaiser Permanente at HIMSS 2010

Kaiser, a integrated health system comprising doctors' offices, hospitals and pharmacies, claims all 431 medical offices and 36 hospitals, including recent additions in Oakland, Richmond and Vallejo, Calif., are plugged in, connecting patients to doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

The electronic health record software, licensed from Epic and first deployed in late 2003, lets patients send secure emails to their doctors and also access lab results, medication information and other health data online.

Not a Technology Project

But getting the system up wasn't, of course, easy. Dr. Wiesenthal says one of the biggest lessons they learned from implementing the EHR was that "it's not a technology project. It's a personnel management project," he says. "If you don't understand that, you will short-change yourself."

This point was borne out by the bottom line, according to Dr. Wiesenthal. He notes that less than half of the costs of setting up the electronic health system came from actually purchasing and installing hardware and software. The rest came from training and on account of lost productivity as staff took time to get adjusted to using the new programs. But this was something Dr. Wiesenthal said Kaiser expected and budgeted for.