Press Releases: National
March 26, 2012
Kaiser Permanente’s Diane Comer Named One of Computerworld’s Premier 100 IT Leaders
Senior vice president recognized for exceptional and innovative technology leadership
OAKLAND, Calif. — Diane Comer, Kaiser Permanente’s senior vice president and business information officer, health plan, was named one of Computerworld magazine’s 2012 Premier 100 IT Leaders. The list spotlights technology and business luminaries from a wide range of companies for their exceptional technology leadership and innovative approach to business challenges.
“Diane Comer is an extraordinary leader and an expert in the complex world of health plan IT,” said Philip Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer, Kaiser Permanente. “We are fortunate to have a leader with Diane’s technical knowledge, strategic vision and innovative management skills to lead our health plan IT work. Her accomplishments are making a real difference to our members, and to the future of Kaiser Permanente.”
Comer joined Kaiser Permanente in 2007 with more than 20 years of IT leadership experience. Working in partnership with health plan executives, she leads transformational programs to replace Kaiser Permanente’s national claims systems, contact centers, membership systems and other critical initiatives. She is also at the center of the work required for Kaiser Permanente to meet the requirements of health care reform, which range from updating benefits and product offerings to preparing for federal and state health care exchanges.
Diane Comer, senior vice president and business information officer, health plan
A recent accomplishment for Comer’s organization is the migration of Kaiser Permanente’s customer-facing portal, kp.org, to a new technology platform, which will be completed in 2012. In 2011, more than 68 million lab test results were made available online and patients made more than 12 million e-visits through kp.org. These numbers are expected to increase significantly as more people have access to their doctors and health information online and through mobile devices.
“Given the importance of this channel, we are migrating kp.org to a new technology platform so we can offer more features and functions and support even greater usage,” said Comer. “Our members are already seeing the benefits of this new platform, which optimizes access from smartphones and positioned us for the launch of kp.org’s new mobile application in January 2012.”
A key challenge for the migration of kp.org to a new platform is that the work needs to be done without affecting real-time transactions with millions of members. “The kp.org team is meeting this challenge extraordinarily well,” said Comer. “An advantage we have is that kp.org is configured to be continuously available via a mirrored-image data center, providing 24/7 availability. We also have structured kp.org operations and development processes with an eye toward protecting availability, such as building more capacity offline and focusing on quality and reliability.”
According to Comer, moving to an Agile development methodology, which allows for building new applications and upgrades incrementally, helped the team migrate the system in smaller steps. “That way it’s easier to manage the change and corresponding availability. We have also introduced automated testing, which reduces release cycle time.”
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- Computerworld Names Kaiser Permanente’s Lisa Caplan and Mike Brady to Premier 100
- Kaiser Permanente CIO Philip Fasano Named One of Computerworld’s Top 100 IT Leaders for 2010
Before joining Kaiser Permanente, Comer held senior management roles at Fireman’s Fund, a company of Allianz, in application development, enterprise architecture and IT strategy. At Fireman’s Fund, Comer led the delivery of multimillion-dollar technology programs and drove the automation of underwriting functions that enabled information from top underwriters to be leveraged across the organization.
Comer holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco and started her career in dance. “I started as a ballet dancer and ended up in IT,” said Comer. “There are interesting parallels between the two. When you dance a part in a large ballet production, you are completely aligned with a team. You know your role, and you succeed by watching each other and supporting each other. These are good practices in business.”
“The Premier 100 awards program shines a well-deserved spotlight on a stellar group of IT executives,” said Scot Finnie, editor-in-chief of Computerworld. “In today’s business climate, IT executives must act quickly to recognize and manage risks throughout their organizations. These 100 men and women have demonstrated an ability to make those clear-sighted decisions that help their IT organizations innovate and deliver business value. Whatever comes their way in 2012, these IT leaders have the skills, the savvy and the judgment to meet the challenge. We’re pleased to recognize their leadership and honor their achievements.”
The Premier 100 awards ceremony is one of the highlights of Computerworld’s annual Premier 100 IT Leaders Conference, held March 11–13 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix. The conference, attended by more than 350 influential senior IT managers, showcased honorees and other IT innovators as they discussed how to create competitive IT organizations. (More information available at www.premier100.com)
About the Premier 100
The Premier 100 program was created in 2000 to spotlight individuals who have a positive impact on their organizations through technology. These are individuals who manage internal IT organizations, mentor and motivate their IT teams and business colleagues, create a positive work environment, envision innovative solutions to business challenges, and effectively manage and execute IT strategies. Each year nominees are invited to complete a survey that addresses a number of topics, including their background and experience and their attitude toward risk and innovation. Using Computerworld’s IT Leader Index, which is a measurement of how closely an individual matches our definition of the IT Leader, we analyze the data. Each year, 100 honorees are selected to receive this lifetime recognition award. Information on previous honorees can be viewed at: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9065479/Premier_100_IT_Leaders.
Computerworld is the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers worldwide, providing peer perspective, IT leadership and business results. Computerworld’s award-winning website (www.computerworld.com), biweekly publication, focused conference series and custom research forms the hub of the world's largest (40+ edition) global IT media network. In the past five years alone, Computerworld has won more than 100 awards, including Magazine of the Year by American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) awards in 2010, the 2009 Best Blog from the Neal awards, and 2006 Best Overall Web Publication from ASBPE. Computerworld leads the industry with an online audience of over 3.5 million unique, monthly visitors (Omniture, September 2011). Computerworld is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events and research company. Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We serve approximately 8.9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.