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Q&A: Kaiser Permanente's CIO on Predictive Analytics and Other Challenges

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 30, 2013

So I would expect this activity of connecting electronic medical records and health information exchange to start accelerating and accelerating as a consequence of the technologies that have been created at CCC.

The desire of all of us [is] to do what we think is absolutely critical, and I'll just sum it up in one statement: Every citizen of this country should have the right to have their medical record present when being treated by a physician, and that shouldn't be a privilege. Currently, it is a privilege. So by connecting medical records in the fashion I think a lot of us are focused, [we] will actually fulfill that vision of medical records being available.

HealthLeaders: I take it you were supportive of the governance role the government is playing.

Fasano: I think the government has a real responsibility to create guardrails. I think the healthcare industry has the responsibility to really connect. Connected health is better than discrete health. Connected health allows every physician to practice to the best of their ability, because they have all the information about all the patients all the time.

Lacking that, physicians [are doing] doing the best they can. It's a best effort, but it's not to the best of their ability, because they just don't have all the information. It's only what you can remember when you sit in front of your physician, and you manage to tell them about your health history, if you and they have a new relationship at that moment.

HealthLeaders: What are the other takeaways from your book and calls to action?

Fasano: This whole concept of mobile health has emerged, but the concept of digital health, which is in my opinion a broader topic—that is really bringing together the clinical devices, the mobile devices, at a price point that just about every consumer over time will be able to afford.

In my opinion [that] will start to enable this monitored life, if that's something we choose, where we can fully embrace our responsibility[for] our own health, but also have the benefit of having physicians, [and] clinical staff following some of our conditions, so that they can help keep us of track as well.

HealthLeaders: So the call to action is to be more involved in mobile health? I know a number of providers are becoming entrepreneurial. Kaiser has some of its fingers in that too.

Fasano: We do.

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