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HL20: George Halvorson—Expectations for Success

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 11, 2013

Looking back at his influence on healthcare, Halvorson says he doesn't "feel I need to provide more steerage there." He's paved the way.

He lists at the top of his accomplishments his push to create Kaiser's electronic health record, a $4 billion investment that now links all health information with laboratory tests and images, pharmacy, and physicians' notes, all in one place that any provider can access instantly in any Kaiser setting.

"That was a path we weren't on when I got to KP, although we were building pieces of it. We weren't looking at our opportunity to build an interconnected system, and people didn't believe it could be done, that the idea we should be completely internally paperless and interconnected was impossible because no one had ever done it. We were used to all those systems being in unrelated silos."

For example, each imaging center only had information about the images it created for just those patients who received imaging services at that center, and those images often required manual transport to be reviewed.

"Now, we connect the imaging system into the overall medical record, the whole thing is electronic, and so we can electronically flow a digital x-ray directly to the room a doctor is in, to any specialist in our system, or wherever the patient ends up."

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