Kaiser Puts Patient Interaction in Cloud

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-04-08 Print this article Print


Kaiser Permanente Puts Patient Interaction in Cloud

In March 2009-during the height of the recession-Kaiser Permanente, one of the largest health care providers in the United States, struck a $500 million, seven-year outsourcing agreement with IBM to take over its electronic health records system.

Since then, a new need for cloud-computing services has led to more business between KP and IBM. Carlos Matos, director of technology integration for KP's IT group, said that a number of functions that formerly were handled inside the data center are now being performed in the IBM cloud.

These include the KP Website, which handles patient interactions regarding health advice, appointments and cancellations; patient records and imaging; physicians' records; health plan and insurance transactions; regulatory and audit processes; and other services.

"Our biggest issues have been around security and compliance, as you might imagine," Matos said. "Even though we took a very secure private-cloud implementation approach, our security people still deemed that as being an untrusted environment. So the checks and balances are there, as they should be.

"We're in the process of working through it, but it's a journey that has greater benefits versus traditional IT delivery."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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