Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kaiser Permanente CEO: Health IT Must Focus On Quality

Versel, Neil. "Kaiser Permanente CEO: Health IT Must Focus On Quality." InformationWeek, May 23, 2012.

From the article: "Health systems and policymakers mustn't lose sight of the big picture when discussing IT strategy and goals, believes the leader of the largest private healthcare delivery organization in the United States. "The goal is the care," advised Kaiser Permanente president and CEO George Halvorson. "The technology is a tool." … Healthcare systems should understand how they treat specific conditions, such as asthma, and then look for ways to improve the care, irrespective of cost, according to Halvorson. This may be easier for Kaiser than other healthcare systems--the Oakland, Calif.-based organization is both a health plan and a provider and it employs all of its physicians, so there is less pressure to churn out services and more incentive to save money--but Halvorson advised others to follow the advice of esteemed management consultant W. Edwards Deming.

"If something makes care better, then you use it and you don't look at the cost," Halvorson said. "Deming basically said you don't focus on costs, you focus on the most elegant process and nine out of 10 times, the most elegant process will cost less," he explained." Read more