Kaiser Permanente Ranked Among Top Innovators on InformationWeek 500 List

Leading health care provider recognized for improving care through health IT innovation

Sep 22, 2011, 17:51 ET from Kaiser Permanente

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente ranked No. 34 on this year's InformationWeek 500 – a list of the top technology innovators in the U.S. One of only six health care organizations to rank among the top 50 companies on the list, Kaiser Permanente is a pioneer in developing and implementing innovative health IT solutions that improve quality, access to care and convenience for its nearly 9 million members.

With its electronic health record, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, fully deployed in all medical offices and hospitals, Kaiser Permanente leads the private health care systems in e-connectivity. Kaiser Permanente participates in a number of programs with health care leaders to demonstrate the potential of health IT when data is shared among providers.

"When we use technology in innovative ways that solve real-world challenges, the patient wins," said Philip Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer of Kaiser Permanente. "We continue to build on our industry-leading electronic health record with innovations like our mobile health vehicle, a small but fully equipped medical center on wheels that lets us bring care to the community; predictive analytics that allow patients to see their risk factors and take action in partnership with their physician; and telemedicine which allows patients to connect with specialists regardless of location, via video, often on the same day. The IT innovation we strive for has one goal in mind, and that's to make lives better."

The InformationWeek 500 distinguished Kaiser Permanente's telemedicine services as one of 20 Innovative IT Ideas to Steal. When Kaiser Permanente physicians use video to conduct virtual consultations with specialists, it can significantly reduce patient wait times, decrease the need for secondary specialty appointments, and support better health outcomes through faster treatment.

KP HealthConnect makes these virtual visits possible by delivering comprehensive health information to specialists conducting the video consultations. Preliminary studies show that Kaiser Permanente's telemedicine initiatives increase access to health care services, while enhancing patient convenience and satisfaction.

"In most of America, it can take days, even weeks, for a patient to see a specialist," notes Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. "Even then, once the appointment finally occurs, the specialist may not have all the information needed to ensure maximal quality and patient safety. In contrast, at Kaiser Permanente, our telemedicine services enable us to provide rapid specialist consultations and seamless coordination of care. Supported by our comprehensive electronic medical record, specialists can provide high-quality medical care on the spot. Patients don't have to go to sleep wondering, 'What is wrong with me?' as they wait for a consultation with a specialist. The convenience and peace of mind this kind of rapid response offers patients is invaluable and a true glimpse into the future of health care."

Kaiser Permanente has successfully deployed telemedicine services in dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology, oncology, and other specialties in several regions including Northern California, Hawaii, Colorado, and the Mid-Atlantic States. Telemedicine pilots for other specialties such as psychiatry, wound care, neurology, and congestive heart failure, are currently underway in every region.  

"For 23 years, the InformationWeek 500 has chronicled and honored the most innovative users of business technology," said InformationWeek Editor In Chief Rob Preston. "In this day and age, however, being innovative isn't enough. Companies and their IT organizations need to innovate faster than ever before to stay a step or two ahead of their customers, partners, and competitors. This year's ranking placed special emphasis on those high-octane business technology innovators."

InformationWeek identifies and honors the nation's most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices of America's best-known companies. Top winners have included:  The Vanguard Group, CME Group, Conway, National Semiconductor, Kimberly-Clark, Hilton Hotels and Unum. The InformationWeek 500 rankings are unique among corporate rankings as it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders.  

Additional details on the InformationWeek 500 can be found online at www.informationweek.com/iw500/.  

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About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.8 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.

For information, contact:
Randi Kahn
GolinHarris for Kaiser Permanente
703-522-0280
rkahn@golinharris.com

SOURCE Kaiser Permanente