Kaiser digital chief on the 3 waves of healthcare innovation, importance of digital-1st experiences

Even in 2016, 52 percent of visits to Kaiser Permanente were virtual. A leader in digital innovation, Chief Digital Officer Prat Vemana discussed how the system centers patient experience in its digital growth, VentureBeat reported Dec. 13.

Mr. Vemana sees healthcare innovation as happening in three waves, the first being the advent of EHRs, the second as digitization of physical processes and the third as a digital-first experience that puts the patient first.

The first and second waves still have many analog components and mostly center workflow issues, making the lives of medical professionals more streamlined. The third wave is what he is focusing on at Kaiser Permanente — a digital experience that focuses on patient experience. 

"We're starting with the patient and working backward," he told VentureBeat. "What we're shifting is how we can take the data and intelligence and make it valuable for patients to manage their own health and wellness."

To assist clinical teams, Mr. Vemana and his team created a pool of patient data and organized it effectively. He ensured that the team was interdisciplinary. 

"We started to bring physicians and technologists together to define the key results and metrics, train the teams, and align the use of data with our value-based care operational model," Mr. Vemana said. "Now we can assess a patient's condition, navigate them to the right intervention, and provide the right level of guidance."

He said that although the system is very successful at digitally enabled health, there is room for improvement. 

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