Without proper study and preparation, healthcare entities are less able to launch programs that make use of new technology for better care. Successfully modernizing may require multiple programs to do so, and the CIO of Kaiser Permanente, Dick Daniels, recently referred to multiple ways that his organization has attempted to address innovation. The organization has embraced new pilot initiatives that incorporate mobile devices and digital information, as well as other tools for keeping up with current trends.
Daniels outlined the values Kaiser Permanente has embraced in an effort to "consumerize" the healthcare experience for patients. This includes not just the use of familiar devices but also FDA-approved smart devices like glucometers that can be part of a sophisticated network, allowing the company to adjust information in an electronic medical record. Some of the projects that Daniels says are "in the works" involve videoconferencing and an online check-in system.
Outside of Kaiser's immediate activities, Daniels also referenced the importance of interoperability on a larger scale.
"On the point of interoperability, there is more work to do," he said. "We need the ability to come up with some common standards so the entire healthcare ecosystem can enable vendors to bring us products that work together with other vendor products. Members of the healthcare ecosystem must work together with vendors to express collectively what we are looking for."
The kind of assessment a provider will need before pursuing a major system change will differ depending on his or her goals. Whatever the need, specialized performance consulting from healthcare consulting firms will include professional-level analysis for operational, environmental and therapy systems assessments, among other services. Proper guidance will lead health networks to sustained improvements once a program has successfully taken root.