It Takes More than an Electronic Health Record to be Most Wired

From human resources to health records, Kaiser Permanente uses technology to improve care and value for members

OAKLAND, Calif., July 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente's California hospitals were named on Hospitals & Health Networks magazine's Health Care's Most Wired 2014 Survey list today, recognizing the health care organization's use of IT to improve all aspects of its operations, ultimately improving care and value for members. 

Kaiser Permanente Logo.

This is the second consecutive year Kaiser Permanente has been on the list, which measures technology integration across the health care spectrum — infrastructure, procurement, human resources, security, clinical quality and safety, patient access, care continuum and health information exchange.

"Our members experience the benefits of technology through their electronic health record and their personal health record firsthand," said Phil Fasano, executive vice president and chief information officer, Kaiser Permanente. "Our behind-the-scenes technology is less apparent, but it has a profound impact on the overall member experience, the effectiveness of our employees and the efficiency of our operations. These technologies rarely get the spotlight, but they translate to value for our members."

Hospitals & Health Networks' magazine received 680 surveys this year, representing 1,900 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all hospitals in the United States.

"Kaiser Permanente had more than 1 million patients with early versions of electronic medical records by 1970," said Edward Ellison, MD, executive medical director, Southern California Permanente Medical Group. "Today, Kaiser Permanente continues to embrace technology to transform health care. Our mobile and web platforms allow patients to connect with our care teams and engage in managing their own care as never before. It's as exciting to witness our advances in robotic surgery as it is to see the innovative ways we use our IT systems to help patients manage their chronic conditions. The benefits of being wired show up in our clinical quality, patient safety, prevention models and the high level of service we offer our patients."

Among the survey's key findings this year for all Most Wired hospitals:

  • Nurses and physicians share best practices for patient safety and use checklists at more than 90 percent of Most Wired organizations.
  • To help consumers make better decisions about their health care, standard measures of individual hospital quality performance are reported and publicly available. Nearly half of Most Wired organizations share this information on their websites and 86 percent provide quality scores to clinical leaders on a regular basis as part of their performance improvement initiatives.
  • Nearly 70 percent of Most Wired hospitals use tools for retrospective analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving the quality of care and reducing the cost of care delivered.

"Our comprehensive electronic health record and our vast array of mobile and video applications have allowed us to reduce the chances of our patients dying from cardiovascular disease, cancer and systemic infection by as much as 30 to 40 percent, compared to doctors and hospitals without this technology," said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO, The Permanente Medical Group. "The greatest advances in the 21st century in improved quality outcomes have been from information technology. The beneficiaries are patients and their families."

Kaiser Permanente is widely recognized for its leadership in harnessing health IT to improve quality and care delivery. Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, the health care organization's electronic health record, is one of the most robust and sophisticated systems in the nation. It securely connects more than 9.3 million people to their health care teams and their personal health information — taking advantage of Kaiser Permanente's integrated approach to health care.

KP HealthConnect gives providers the tools needed to improve the quality of the care and service delivered to members. It helps ensure patient safety and quality care by providing access to comprehensive patient information and the latest best practice research in one place.

"The Most Wired data show that shared health information allows clinicians and patients to have the information they need to promote health and make the most informed decisions about treatments," says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. "Hospitals, their clinicians and their communities are doing tremendous work to enhance their IT systems in ways that support care and delivery improvement, and patient engagement goals."

Kaiser Permanente's patient portal, My Health Manager on, is directly connected to KP HealthConnect. By providing members with 24/7 online access to their health information and critical, time-saving tools, including online appointment scheduling, prescription refill and secure email messaging with doctors, Kaiser Permanente empowers members to manage their health care and the health care of their family members.

More than 4.4 million members are registered for My Health Manger on In 2013 alone, members:

  • Sent 14.8 million emails to physicians and other care providers
  • Viewed 34.5 million test results online
  • Refilled 14.8 million prescriptions online
  • Scheduled 3.7 million appointments online.

Kaiser Permanente members can access these same features through the convenience of their mobile phones. Since its launch in 2012, Kaiser Permanente's flagship app has been downloaded more than 1 million times on iPhone and Android devices.

The Permanente Medical Group is the governing board of the largest medical group in the nation with 8,000 physicians serving 3.5 million members in Northern California.

The Southern California Permanente Medical Group has 6,030 partner physicians and provides medical care to 3.7 million Kaiser Permanente members in 13 geographic areas from Kern to San Diego County.

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 currently serve approximately 9.3 million members in eight 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:

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Ravi Poorsina
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Amanda Wardell
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente