The Kaiser Permanente organization has just announced the results of a very promising coronary artery disease (CAD) care management pilot program, one that encompasses the smart use of information technology. The pilot program, whose results were announced by George Halvorson, the organization's chairman and CEO, at a briefing held in Washington last Friday by the Alliance for Health Reform, involved linking CAD patients with teams of primary care doctors, cardiologists, nurses, and pharmacists, using an EHR and an advanced clinical care registry. The results have been quite extraordinary: patients enrolled in the program within 90 days of a heart attack have an 88 percent reduction in their risk of dying from cardiac disease; the percentage of patients meeting their cholesterol goal rose from 26 to 73 percent; and the number of patients screen for cholesterol went from 55 to 97 percent. Naturally, Halvorson praised clinician and executive leaders in Kaiser's Colorado region who married strong IT to coordinated, personalized chronic care. This is the kind of result we can--and in my humble opinion--should aspire to. We all know that chronic illnesses are surging through the roof, and that innovative care management models are desperately needed; and that intelligently implemented IT can be a very powerful facilitator. Put together, innovative care models and strong IT are an unstoppable combination. Our magazine is dedicated to unearthing and publicizing excellent initiatives. I look forward to hearing about many more like this one.
Read Anthony Guerra's Interview with Kaiser Permanente CIO Phil Fasano