Kaiser Permanente announced today that every medical facility within the health system is now equipped with Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, the largest private sector electronic health record in the world. Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Oakland, Richmond and Vallejo in Northern California are the most recent facilities to complete the final phase of electronic health record implementation, which includes bedside documentation, clinical decision support and bar-coding for medication administration.
KP HealthConnect provides care teams with access to patient information and the latest best practices all in one place to further enhance patient safety and quality care while increasing convenience and coordination. The comprehensive health information system securely connects more than 8.6 million people to their physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, personal information, and the latest medical knowledge. Combined with Kaiser Permanente’s integrated approach to health care, KP HealthConnect helps facilitate collaboration among both primary and specialty care teams.
“KP HealthConnect helps ensure that our care teams have the tools they need to deliver high-quality care and the best patient experience possible,” says Andrew M. Wiesenthal, MD, SM, associate executive director at The Permanente Federation. “The electronic health record has proven results in helping us improve the management of chronic conditions and encourages the use of preventive medicine. This milestone is one that we have looked forward to for years, and it is extremely rewarding to have watched an idea, that was questioned by many, turn into a reality.”
In addition to increasing communication and data sharing among care teams, KP HealthConnect also empowers patients to manage their own health. My Health Manager on kp.org provides secure access to a personal health record that includes shared access to the KP HealthConnect clinical record and tools designed to help members connect to the people and services they need to stay healthy. Through My Health Manager, Kaiser Permanente members have timely access to their lab test results, medication information and refill capabilities, summaries of their health conditions, and other important health information at just the click of a mouse. The technology also allows members to securely e-mail their doctor, often saving them the inconvenience of having to go to a physician’s office, or wait on hold to speak with a doctor on the phone. More than 3 million Kaiser Permanente members are using My Health Manager, with more than 27 million logins to the system documented in 2009 alone.
Kaiser Permanente has a 50-year history of leadership in electronic health records. Recognizing that health information technology is critical to clinical performance improvement, including patient safety, Kaiser Permanente began the implementation of KP HealthConnect in 2004 to support patient care and service. The health care provider completed the implementation of personal health record tools known as My Health Manager in 2007. By April 2008, Kaiser Permanente had completed implementation in all outpatient settings throughout each of Kaiser Permanente’s eight regions.
Earlier this week, the Health Information Management System Society honored Kaiser Permanente for their hospital-based implementation. HIMSS Analytics created the EMR Adoption Model to measure health IT adoption across all 2400 hospitals in the US. By the end of 2009, 39 hospitals were recognized for achieving the highest state of implementation; 24 of those are Kaiser Permanente hospitals. With the final implementation of KP HealthConnect, it is expected that many, if not all, of the remaining Kaiser Permanente hospitals will be recognized as Stage 7 hospitals in 2010.
The full implementation of KP HealthConnect in both inpatient and outpatient settings paves the way for further information sharing that will improve the future of health care for years to come. Integrated electronic disease registries already draw on KP HealthConnect data to provide a patient-centered view of various chronic conditions that helps to facilitate the delivery of recommended care, and researchers are looking to the data as they embark on comparative effectiveness studies funded by the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Kaiser Permanente is also working with other health care organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, to determine ways to securely share patient information from KP HealthConnect through the National Health Information Network when patients are under the care of multiple health systems, and provide permission for record sharing. This data sharing helps reduce redundancies and ensures that each care team treating the patient has the complete, up-to-date clinical information necessary to provide quality care.