Our Point of View
April 15, 2009
CEO George Halvorson Delivers Keynote at World Health Care Congress
Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO George Halvorson is a leading presenter and speaker this week at the sixth annual World Health Care Congress in Washington, D.C.
Halvorson gave two presentations on Tuesday at the congress, which gathered close to 2,000 health care executives, policymakers and thought leaders in the field. He also is scheduled to give a keynote address Thursday about the infrastructure of health care in the United States.
In a session Tuesday about consumerism, Halvorson stressed the importance of personal behaviors and choices, and that the United States not only needs panel management tools and information technology support, but also at the consumer level a national culture of health. He shared a number of advertisements from Kaiser Permanente’s Thrive campaign, including the ad “When I Grow Up,”, which highlights Kaiser Permanente’s successes increasing the rate at which its members get mammograms.
Halvorson stressed the importance of “right care,” and not rationing care, in a session Tuesday about the advancement of electronic medical records. He also stressed the importance of system interoperability as it regards electronic medical records.
Thursday’s keynote session about infrastructure is expected to include questions from the audience. Halvorson was expected to share, as an example of how health care’s infrastructure needs to grow and evolve, a recent Kaiser Permanente success involving dramatic improvements in cardiac care among members in Colorado. Kaiser Permanente Colorado has significantly reduced the mortality rate for patients with heart disease, which is the nation’s number one killer for both women and men. Using team-based medical best practices and computer-supported care registries, doctors and clinical care teams reduced overall mortality by 76 percent and cardiac mortality by 73 percent.
Joining Halvorson in giving presentations at the World Health Congress were: Jack Cochran, MD, executive director of The Permanente Federation; Kaiser Permanente Chief Information Officer Phil Fasano; and Simon Cohn, MD, associate executive director of The Permanente Federation.
Dr. Cochran and Fasano joined noted health care speaker Scott Shreeve, MD, in a Kaiser Permanente-sponsored symposium titled “Building the 21st Century Health System” . The symposium was moderated by Matthew Holt, author of The Health Care Blog.