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Kaiser Permanente CDO on well being care digital transformation

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Most leaders who speak about a digital transformation like to focus on firms constructing innovation from the bottom up. Tesla is a typical instance.

Prat Vemana, the chief digital officer (CDO) for the built-in well being system and insurer Kaiser Permanente, prefers to speak concerning the Mercedes-Benz EQS — the all-electric sedan from a world-famous car model.

“It’s about taking a standard enterprise mannequin and getting ready to guide in a digital world,” mentioned Vemana, beforehand the chief product and expertise officer at Dwelling Depot and a keynote speaker on the upcoming VentureBeat Buyer Expertise Summit. “Mercedes took one of the best of what they’d, one of the best of what electrical autos supply, and went to market with the absolute best expertise in electrical.

For Vemana, the important thing query for firms within the midst of digital transformation — in well being care or different verticals — shouldn’t be learn how to construct a Tesla. It must be learn how to construct an EQS.

Getting into well being care’s third wave of digital transformation

As Vemana sees it, digital transformation has occurred in three waves in well being care. Digital well being information (EHRs) had been the primary wave, whereas the second was the digitization of bodily processes — equivalent to writing prescriptions and sending them to the pharmacist or serving to a affected person who contacts the decision middle to schedule the proper of appointment.

In each the primary and second waves, although, there are nonetheless analog processes. Many EHRs aren’t built-in, so well being techniques fax information forwards and backwards. Not all prescriptions will be processed and never all appointments will be scheduled with out a cellphone name.

What’s extra, Vemana mentioned, the second wave of innovation is essentially centered on workflow optimization inside well being care organizations. It helped scientific workers lookup data or helped payers handle claims and detect fraud. It didn’t deal with the affected person.

The third wave is a digital-first expertise that additionally places the affected person first. “What we’re shifting is how we are able to take the information and intelligence and make it invaluable for sufferers to handle their very own well being and wellness,” Vemana mentioned. “We’re beginning with the affected person and dealing backward — it’s about me, my household well being, and my medical situations. That’s what we’re clearing a path for.”

Transferring from information to intelligence to help affected person care

Not surprisingly, information and analytics play an necessary function on this third wave of digital transformation.

Three information sources assist to know what’s occurring to a affected person and whether or not it’s critical, Vemana mentioned. There’s the non-public information, which comes from EHRs, insurance coverage claims, and, more and more, from a number of patient-generated sources. There’s the operational information, which permits scientific workers to see how others with the identical medical situations on the identical facility had been handled. And there’s the medical information that defines what medical situations are and the way they differ.

Having the information is one factor, however with the ability to use it’s one other. “The factor I realized from retail is that utilized intelligence is a very powerful factor,” Vemana mentioned. “Are you able to apply the intelligence for real-time resolution help? That requires connections between the information and the digital properties,” which incorporates the EHR in addition to different scientific functions.

To assist scientific groups derive intelligence from information, Kaiser Permanente has created a knowledge lake in Microsoft Azure, centered its infrastructure on information marts, and hosted its analytics instruments within the cloud. The important thing to getting this arrange in place was an emphasis on collaboration, Vemana mentioned.

“It’s not unusual to see well being care get buried within the waterfall methodology and look forward to accredited enterprise circumstances. So we began to convey physicians and technologists collectively to outline the important thing outcomes and metrics, practice the groups, and align using information with our value-based care operational mannequin,” Vemana mentioned. “We got here collectively to resolve the issue. Now we are able to assess a affected person’s situation, navigate them to the proper intervention, and supply the proper stage of steering.”

Driving a greater expertise earlier than a go to even occurs

Again in 2016, former Kaiser Permanente CEO Bernard Tyson mentioned digital visits accounted for 52% of all visits to the well being system. On the top of COVID-19, that quantity spiked to 80%. Kaiser Permanente stands out amongst its opponents — a latest survey discovered that just one in 4 well being techniques have not less than 25% of sufferers utilizing telehealth in 2021.

Nonetheless, Vemana sees room for enchancment. “We’re very profitable at digitally-enabled well being, and it’s actually a blessing,” he mentioned. “However when you have a look at the exercise, the vast majority of it’s the post-visit expertise.”

It’s necessary for sufferers to have the ability to entry lab outcomes, view go to notes, or conduct a follow-up with out going to the workplace. However Vemana says he sees extra worth in offering steering earlier than the go to — just like the EQS, what’s already working properly, and making use of it in a brand new approach.

“In the present day’s system is adherence and compliance. That’s transactional,” he mentioned. “How can we transfer that to an expertise? If I’ve bronchial asthma, I do know I have to see a physician each six months. However what does my surroundings appear to be? What meals ought to I keep away from? How can I dwell higher figuring out extra about my situation? That’s what we’re migrating to. Once you’re far more conscious of your total well being, we are able to flip that into a greater expertise.”


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