This week, The New York Times hailed Kaiser Permanente as being “the kind of holistic health system” encouraged under the Affordable Care Act. With an extensive health IT infrastructure, Kaiser has seen the coordination and quality of patient care improve over the last 10 years. While Kaiser is continuing to fine-tune its delivery of care, including ways to bring costs down further, the Times attributes some of the organization’s success to its integrated system and its “head start” when it comes to using health technology:
In the last five or so years, Kaiser has also been using the information to identify those doctors or clinics that excel in certain areas, as well as those in need of improvement. The organization has also used the records to change how it delivers care, identifying patients at risk for developing bed sores in the hospital and then sending electronic alerts every two hours to remind the nurses to turn the patients. The percentage of patients with serious pressure ulcers, or bed sores, dropped to well under 1 percent from 3.5 percent.