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Q&A: Kaiser Permanente's CIO on Technology's Role in Redefining Healthcare

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 23, 2013

Healthcare is transforming, says Philip Fasano, CIO and executive vice president of Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest not-for-profit health plan and healthcare provider, with annual operating revenue in excess of $42 billion. He oversees 6,000 employees, who work to support the organization's 14,600 physicians. KP serves more than 8.8 million members.


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HealthLeaders: What's the message of your book?

I recently sat down for an extended conversation with him Fasano as he was making the rounds promoting his new book, Transforming Health Care, The Financial Impact of Technology, Electronic Tools, and Data Mining.In part one of our conversation, Fasano talks about technology's role in redefining healthcare, and why cloud computing isn't quite ready for the task.

Fasano: It's really focused on being a bit of a call-to-action for the healthcare industry, and for the information technology industry to create the capabilities that will allow the industry to connect medical records, infrastructure, and ultimately create the capabilities that members find useful in managing their health, from a number of aspects: convenience, affordability, and availability of the system.

All of that is pretty much talked about in the book, from the EMR up, and from the EMR out to, from inside the system to patients and members and their interactions [as] consumers.

HealthLeaders: Technology's obviously very important, but I also hear that a lot of it is about organizational, leadership, managerial, and financial hurdles to overcome.

Fasano: In my opinion, there will be a rise of consumerism in healthcare in the United States, unlike what we've seen historically. We've seen so many other industries. I've been in the financial services industry and the healthcare industry deeply.

HealthLeaders: Who did you work for in financial services?

Fasano: Everyone from Deutschebank, Banker's Trust, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, and then basically came into healthcare.

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