This week I spent quite a bit of time at the very new and very fancy Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington DC. It’s next door to a very large medical office building (110+ docs) in which KP is showcasing its current integrated care model, and how far its come in its mid-Atlantic region. The Center is a pretty fascinating place–part tech and idea showcase and part meeting room. Certainly no other health care organization that I’m aware of has spent so much on a place designed to stimulate the imagination and enhance conversation–under the nose of the folks on Capitol Hill. I won’t get into here whether this is how money should be spent in health care but on balance I’m a fan. (FD KP is a sponsor of the Health 2.0 Conference I co-run). Instead I want to try to give you a feel for the place, and why it fits their vision and what it’s trying to demonstrate.
I took a tour with some colleague journo/blogger types led by the always expressive Robbie Pearl (CEO of the Permanente Groups in N Cal and now DC too–the airlines thank him!) and with Phil Fasano, CIO of the whole organization. Robbie is not shy in voicing his opinions (as you’ll see) and Phil occasionally trots out the voice of caution to reel in Robbie’s vision a tad. It was great fun.
What was also fun was the cocktail party at the grand opening. There I met three of my favorite DC-based ladies in health: Deven McGraw, Regina Holliday & Cindy Throop. So we’ll start with that fun video, and then there’s a whole lot more from the tour of the center after the jump. All these videos are pretty short.
After that fun and games, lets head to the tour. This is a series of videos of me and a few others testing out the displays, and listening to Pearl & Fasano, as well as asking them a couple of pointed questions.
But I’ll take the tour in order….after a quick thanks to Holly Potter, Danielle Cass, Ravi Poorsina & center boss Julie Norris who with a ton of their colleagues worked their butts off keeping hundreds of visitors informed and entertained.
First up, Robbie Pearl on the current state of the KP.org health record and why we shouldn’t have to put up with less; what he called the 19th century state of medicine. And I can assure that is on display in my wife’s OBGYN office every time I visit.
I asked Robbie about the impact of the KP My HealthManager system on the reduction in primary care office visits. He didnt quite jibe with the data Louise Liang showed at AHIP last year, but it’s for sure a big culture change. Pearl says that it leads to more, earlier care–but that it’s more effective and cheaper.
Next up some fun and games, as I get to use the Cisco Healthpresence system with Mark Scrimshire (@ekivemark of Healthcamp fame) playing patient.
Then there’s a video history wall, mixing KP history with medical and tech history. Listen carefully for my snarky remark about The Permanente Federation…
Next Robbie Pearl shows a mock exam room. This is really how it is in much of the KP Mid-Atlantic region and much of California. With real time access to specialists over video-consult. But not at my wife’s OBGYN (You getting a theme here?)
Back at the front of the center, there’s a huge video display wall. Currently dedicated to the “Everybody Walk” campaign.
After the fun and games–a quick conversation with Pearl & Fasano. First, why is Kaiser different to FFS medicine (you probably know the answer but Robbie’s going to tell you anyway!) and why they built the Center in DC.
And finally, what about Kaiser’s ability and likelihood to expand the model to new geographies? You’ll note that Dr Pearl and Mr Fasano have slightly different opinions on this one!
All in all, it’s a wonderful new way to show wellness initiatives and to get people to understand that medicine can be done another way. Will it change the conversation in DC? That’s another blog post for another day. But I encourage you to visit the center in DC (near Union Station) if you get the chance.