About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect® Electronic Health Record
Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect® is Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive health information system, which includes one of the most advanced electronic health records available. It securely connects 9 million people to their health care teams, their personal health information, and the latest medical knowledge, leveraging the integrated approaches to health care available only at Kaiser Permanente. In March 2010, we completed the implementation of KP HealthConnect in each medical facility — 533 medical offices and 37 hospitals. The system facilitates communication between members and Kaiser Permanente professionals to help make getting well and staying healthy easy and convenient.
The development, implementation and maintenance of KP HealthConnect represent a multi-billion dollar strategic investment for Kaiser Permanente. It improves patient safety and quality of care by providing access to comprehensive patient information and the latest best practice research in one place.
We’re already seeing advances in the way we prevent manageable diseases from becoming life-threatening crises. In one pilot study, Kaiser Permanente was able to reduce coronary artery disease deaths by 76 percent. Now we are testing the same technologies and processes to tackle other chronic conditions. Kaiser Permanente is building one of the world’s largest DNA databases to advance clinical research, but we also see the opportunity to one day deliver a new level of information to doctors at the point of care.
KP HealthConnect also coordinates patient care between the physician’s office, the hospital, radiology, the laboratory and the pharmacy — and it helps to eliminate the pitfalls of incomplete, missing, or unreadable charts. The fully implemented system has enabled us to streamline and retire many outdated systems. KP HealthConnect directly or indirectly supports the majority of our hospital and health plan operations nationwide.
In addition, KP HealthConnect is an innovative tool that enables Kaiser Permanente to deliver high-quality, safe and efficient care in new and unique ways. The system supports the organization’s commitment to preventive medicine by giving clinicians access to the latest treatments and protocols to make sure its members receive the right care at the right time.
“We met with Kaiser when they were in the planning stages of KP HealthConnect. From the beginning I’ve been impressed with how well-planned this gigantic effort is,” says James Walker, MD, FACP, chief medical information officer and director of the EHR Safety Institute with Geisinger Health System. “They have carefully balanced the needs and perceptions of all eight of their regions. Kaiser Permanente’s vision of having a system that includes careful ways of including local flexibility is a well-thought out, well-executed approach to balancing standardization with flexibility.”
All of our members have access to portions of their KP HealthConnect record via My Health Manager on kp.org, including the ability to securely email their doctors and view most lab test results online. In 2011, our members exchanged more than 12 million secure emails with their care givers and securely viewed more than 29 million lab test results online.
According to Kaiser Permanente research, secure patient-physician email messaging improves the effectiveness of care for patients with diabetes and hypertension. The study, published in Health Affairs in 2010, showed that health information technology improves quality of care scores. The study observed 35,423 Kaiser Permanente patients in Southern California who had diabetes, hypertension, or both. It found that use of secure patient-physician messaging in any two-month period was associated with statistically significant improvements in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) care measurements. Results included 2 percent to 6.5 percent improvements in glycemic, cholesterol, and blood pressure screening and control.
This year, Kaiser Permanente made its electronic health record accessible by smartphone with the launch of its mobile-optimized website, m.kp.org, as well as apps for Android and Apple smartphones. Now all 9 million Kaiser Permanente members now have 24/7 access to their medical information and health management tools anywhere in the world from their mobile devices.
KP HealthConnect includes bedside documentation, clinical decision support and bar-coding for medication administration. The system’s full implementation 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.
We are sharing our findings and best practices that a comprehensive electronic health record can increase consumer convenience and satisfaction and provider efficiency, while maintaining clinical quality. In addition, we found that connecting patients directly with their care providers and giving online access to important medical information is critical in the adoption of online tools.
KP HealthConnect is the largest private deployment of an electronic health record in the world. With the exception of a few government-deployed systems (the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs), there are few models for a health care information technology (IT) project this broad in scope.