National Health IT Coordinator Dr. David Brailer on Tuesday at a health IT conference in Oakland, Calif., praised Kaiser Permanente's new $3.3 billion electronic medical records system and encouraged other providers to replicate it, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Kaiser's medical information system, HealthConnect, is part of a 10-year initiative to store patient data in a single format. The secure system allows Kaiser members and medical staff to track medications, patient information, lab results and other data through the Kaiser Web site. When Kaiser patients are admitted to a nonaffiliated emergency department, their records can be accessed once security clearance is granted to the ED physician, the Tribune reports.
HealthConnect already has been implemented at Kaiser's Colorado facilities and is scheduled to be integrated in Northern California in September.
"The way Kaiser has gone about doing this is a great learning experience for other providers," Brailer said. "They've brought consumers into the process and made sure they are designed into the system." Brailer added that although small physician practices probably lack the resources to implement such a comprehensive system, they can nevertheless implement some of its components.
Brailer's office on Oct. 1 will choose six developers to assemble prototypes for medical information sharing, privacy and security, the Tribune reports (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 8/3).