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More Americans Aware of Digital Health Options; Use of Health IT Increases
Date:6/12/2008

Clear Need for Continued Industry Commitment to Health IT Privacy and

Education

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- As consumer options for online health management expand, there is a need for concise and understandable information to demonstrate how these complex technologies contribute to better health and added convenience. Wide-spread adoption requires that all Americans must feel secure in the use of these empowering services for their health care. To accomplish this, there is a growing need for strong and uniform standards for protecting personal health information regardless of where the data is stored. Kaiser Permanente believes that IT is a critical driver in reforming our nation's health care system and is a recognized leader in health technologies.

Kaiser Permanente, through independent market research company StrategyOne, conducted a nationwide survey between May 8-11, 2008 to gauge Americans awareness and perceptions of electronic health records. Key findings indicate that Americans are using some of the basic online tools for health information.

-- 65 percent of respondents have gone online to learn about a medical

condition, and 38 percent have used their insurance company's online

tools to learn more about their care, up from 29 percent in 2007.

-- The research also revealed that Americans continue to have concerns

about privacy and thus require assurances from all parties that store

personal data that information is secure.

-- 47 percent had a preference for doctors who use EHRs and 61 percent

had a preference for insurance companies who employed EHRs.

-- 51 percent agreed that health IT should be a top priority for the next

president to ensure that all Americans have access to their own

personal medical records electronically. Kaiser Permanente is leading

the way to make this vision a reality.

As America celebrates National Health Information Technology Week, the health care industry and the nation as a whole must seize the opportunity and do much more to tell the personal success stories of health IT and ensure all Americans can use electronic medical records and other digital health management tools with confidence. This is a key component of bringing real change to America's health care system. Kaiser Permanente, through its electronic medical record Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect(TM), the patient portal My Health Manager, and a just announced strategic relationship with Microsoft to integrate the new HealthVault platform, is leading the effort to make health information technologies available at all points of care.

"Data is a cornerstone tool for transforming care delivery and a critical driver in reforming our nation's health care system," said George Halvorson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. "Doctors should have access to information about all of their patients all of the time. And patients should be able to take a more active role in tracking and managing their own health information online. But if we do not empower both patients and doctors to use these tools, then their great benefits may not be fully realized."

KP HealthConnect is the world's largest civilian electronic medical record, with all of its 8.7 million Kaiser members. Furthermore, all of Kaiser Permanente's 13,000-plus physicians now have electronic access to their patients' medical records in every one of Kaiser Permanente's 421 medical offices and clinics, and 34 hospitals.

The newly announced Kaiser Permanente strategic relationship with Microsoft gives consumers another level of access to their health information and enables them to integrate personal electronic health data from multiple sources into one secure repository using Microsoft's new HealthVault platform. For Kaiser Permanente, the move extends the functionality of its already successful My Health Manager tool currently used by its employees and members by enabling other health data to be imported into their personal health record.

Kaiser Permanente not only makes the tools available, but provides the outreach and education needed to encourage its members to fully utilize these cutting-edge services. New online tools, such as single visit activation and a revamped welcome page at kp.org have made patient access to online health tools both easy and secure. The results of these and other efforts are already evident.

-- More than 2.2 million Kaiser Permanente members now have access to

secure health information management features, an 11.9 percent increase

between Q4 2007 to Q1 2008.

-- Using My Health Manager, Kaiser Permanente members sent to more than

1.3 million emails to doctors and provides, viewed more than 3.8

million lab test results online, and submitted nearly 800,000

prescription refill orders.

-- The California Department of Insurance recently reported that Kaiser

Permanente, compared to its competitors, has more than four times the

percentage of members using electronic health records.

"This research shows we need to continue to demonstrate the value of health IT to the consumer, as organizations such as Kaiser Permanente are doing. The challenge for our industry is to adopt the technology that has been widely discussed, but not yet fully utilized for all," said James Hereford, executive vice president, Group Health Cooperative and a board member of the Center for Information Therapy. Group Health is a health services organization that both insures and provides care for over 560,000 consumers in Washington state and Idaho.

About the Survey

This survey was conducted by StrategyOne, an independent public opinion research company, on behalf of Kaiser Permanente. Data were collected via telephone among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 American adults, 18 years of age and older, using a random digit dialing (RDD) methodology between May 8-11, 2008. The overall margin of error for this survey is +/- 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is America's leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a not-for-profit, group practice program headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente serves 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses the not-for-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 159,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and 13,000 physicians representing all specialties. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the KP News Center at: http://xnet.kp.org/newscenter.

About StrategyOne

StrategyOne is a full-service, strategic consulting firm that employs opinion research and advanced media analysis tools to craft evidence based communications strategies for its clients. With offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Atlanta, London and Paris, StrategyOne offers its clients service on a global scale and with a global perspective. We have conducted custom research across the globe among myriad target audiences ranging from CEOs to the unbanked, CIOs to toy buyers, Baby Boomers to GenY movie pirates, delivery room nurses to cardiologists, retired military officers to leaders at environmental NGOs, Kenyan opinion leaders to American site selectors, port authority directors to auto enthusiasts, and Ohio voters to Washington opinion elites.


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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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