Kaiser Permanente Launches Web-based Program for Medical Care
Kaiser Permanente on Wednesday launched a program for its 3.2 million members in Northern California that allows them to view lab results and other medical information online, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The HealthConnect program already allows members to select physicians, make appointments and order prescription refills via the Internet. Beginning Wednesday, patients also will be able to access test results on a secure Web site (Kasler, Sacramento Bee, 11/16). Patients also can e-mail their doctors to obtain answers to routine, non-urgent medical questions and typically receive an answer within two days (Khanh, Knight Ridder/Contra Costa Times, 11/17).
Kaiser currently is converting to electronic health records at the South Sacramento and Elk Grove sites. Next year, it will do the same at other Northern California sites including Sacramento and Roseville, according to Kaiser spokesperson Paul Vetter.
The $3.3 billion program is being phased in at select locations in the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Colorado, Kaiser officials said.
According to the Bee, the program is expected to save Kaiser $500 million annually once it is fully operational nationwide in about 2008 (Sacramento Bee, 11/16).