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Designing Healthcare Around Technology, Not Buildings

Posted on December 17, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If I were designing our system from scratch I would design it around technology, not buildings.

Nothing like a quote from Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente to get a new post started. Before I get the lynch mob of doctors coming after him for this quote, he also said something else right before suggesting healthcare should be designed around technology, not buildings:

That doesn’t mean more technology always means better care, it means we need to understand how technology can improve the care our wonderful nurses and physicians already provide.

At the end of 2015 as new regulations have largely calmed and most organization settle into the new EHR reality, let’s all take some time to think about how we can leverage that tech investment in a meaningful way (pun intended).

Unfortunately, the past half a dozen years technology has been a means to government incentive as opposed to a means of healthcare innovation. It’s time to stop the insanity and return to positivity when it comes to our discussion of the impact of technology on health care.

I was recently asked if I was passionate about health care and EMR or if I was more passionate about building a great blog network. My answer was simple. My core belief is that technology can have an impact for good on any industry. That’s what I’m most passionate about. I love to see technology transform something.

I’m sure that many would argue that technology has transformed health care. It just hasn’t transformed health care in good ways. I’d argue that regulations are what’s caused health care to transform in bad ways and technology is just the tool that can be used for good or bad.

It’s time we take back our IT in healthcare and make sure the transformation it provides is something great for patients and providers. When was the last time you thought about the transformative opportunity that technology provides? No doubt you have to deal with the operational challenges of today, but don’t forget to spend time thinking about where you want your technology to be tomorrow.

There are some examples. Take what Dr. Jimmie Vanagon is doing with his #ProjectedEHR. You’ve never met someone so excited about the way technology has enabled his practice and engaged his patients. We need more Jimmie Vanagon’s in healthcare showing us the right way to use technology for the benefit of patients and doctors and fewer regulations which strangle us.

“The Kaiser Way” – Kaiser Permanente’s Approach to Mobile Healthcare

Posted on June 24, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Kaiser Permanente is the healthcare provider I went to since the time I was born, until I went to college. Imagine my surprise when I headed off to school and discover that it didn’t even exist in the state I moved to. In my limited scope of knowledge, I think I thought Kaiser was the only healthcare provider out there!

Even though I’ve come to realize there is definitely more than one healthcare provider out there, I think I’ll always like Kaiser. My husband and I are back in Colorado, and are currently working to get a plan covered by Kaiser. As I’ve heard my parents talk about them, and seen some of the services offered, I’ve been impressed with what they have to offer, and how it seems like they’ve been very involved in mobile healthcare. So I wasn’t too surprised when I saw this article that talks about how Kaiser has made it possible for their patient’s to connect with their doctors via email.

In the article, Bernard J. Tyson, Kaiser Permanente’s Incoming Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said of this mobile app that “It’s something our members wanted, they have it and they love it.” I think that this goes to show that Kaiser is really trying to be intune with the changing healthcare world, and what their patients wnat. Since being launched, there have been 14 million e-visits, Tyson said, and members can access these visits through a free mobile app.

Patients are able to connect with their doctor through the app by emailing them questions, making appointments, and accessing lab results. It allows patients to decide whether or not they actually need to make an appointment, as well as build a stronger relationship with their physician. Kaiser has worked hard to ensure the safety of the patients using this app, as that is definitely a big concern across the board when it comes to mHealth.

Personally, I love the idea about being able to email your physician. Back in Utah, I was overall impressed with the patient portals that were available to me, but I was disappointed that it wasn’t easier to connect with my doctors. In fact, there was one instance where I tried to get in contact with a physician for over a month, just getting the run around from her assistants, and I eventually just gave up. The doctor seemed very on top of things, but her staff was not, and I always wished I had been able to just contact her quickly and easily through a method like the one that Kaiser has in place.

I won’t go over everything that is talked about in this article, but I highly recommend reading it. It sounds like Kaiser has a lot in store for the future. Tyson mentioned that the obvious next “natural progression” is for telehealth. I really found this article to be really excited, and I can’t wait to see what Kaiser has in store. Hopefully other healthcare systems will take note and follow in their suite.