Kaiser Puts Patient Interaction in Cloud
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."