Kaiser Permanente's digital chief Prat Vemana on the 3 principles guiding his pandemic response digital strategy

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Prat Vemana, chief digital officer at Kaiser Permanente, recognizes the power of drawing on patient data to help drive the next wave of digital healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Nov. 16 Forbes report, Mr. Vemana, who joined the Oakland, Calif.-based health system in August 2019, explained how data will support the next wave of digital in healthcare, which is elevating telehealth beyond just a capability to an experience that challenges physical visits.

With the next wave of digital healthcare in mind, Mr. Vemana's goal for Kaiser Permanente is to use digital capabilities including video, phone and chat to create a framework to personalize patient's interactions and experiences with the health system.

"If telehealth is here to stay, what does it mean for us to make it more effective and a true experience?" Mr. Vemana said. "That's the bigger wave of change that we're going to see. It's a huge pivot that we are looking to make. This will allow our members to get a different mindset than if the system were not available. This is the most exciting time healthcare is going to be in when it comes to digital."

Three factors that have guided Mr. Vemana as he leads Kaiser Permanete's digital strategy in response to the pandemic:

1. Adaptive leadership has allowed the health system to innovate with their digital strategy and adapt to challenges posed by the pandemic rather than fight against them. Working together gives the organization a stronger chance at solving complex issues.

2. Team empowerment gives employees the space and time to create solutions more freely and without having a set list of instructions on how and when to solve the problem.

3. Purpose and vision that employees want to buy into and support. It's important to give people access to the right tools, technologies and support so they can move independently within the organization while helping their teams succeed.

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