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Kaiser Permanente Identifies Key Elements in Successful Health Care Information Technology Implementation
Date:3/10/2009

New Data Shows a Comprehensive Technology Infrastructure Improves Efficiency, Patient Engagement and Satisfaction; Highlights Adoption Trends

OAKLAND, Calif., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Two Kaiser Permanente studies published today in Health Affairs show that a comprehensive electronic health record can increase consumer convenience and satisfaction and provider efficiency while maintaining clinical quality and that connecting patients directly with their care providers and giving online access to important medical information was critical in adoption of online tools.

The papers were published just two weeks after President Barack Obama signed into law a $789 billion stimulus package that includes $19 billion earmarked for health care IT. The two studies could help answer questions about how best to maximize that investment to improve the U.S. health care system.

The first paper, The Kaiser Permanente Electronic Health Record, Transforming and Streamlining Modalities of Care, examined the impact of KP HealthConnect(TM), Kaiser Permanente's comprehensive health information system, on ambulatory care patient contacts, including outpatient, urgent care, emergency department visits, scheduled telephone visits and secure patient-physician e-mail messaging. The study was based on Kaiser Permanente's 225,000 members in Hawaii and found that between the implementation of KP HealthConnect in 2004 and 2007, office visits per member decreased 26.2 percent, total scheduled telephone visits per member increased nearly 900 percent. Secure e-mail, which began in late 2005, increased nearly six-fold by 2007.

In addition to the convenience of fewer office visits and the benefits of faster resolution of health issues, e-mail messaging and scheduled telephone visits saved consumers the often overlooked out-of-pocket expenses for travel, parking, and time lost that would otherwise be spent at work or
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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