Kaiser Permanente Software Pilot to Collect Detailed Patient Histories
Kaiser Permanente plans to begin testing a new software program tomorrow that will gather detailed patient medical histories to determine genetic risk of heart disease, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. Developed in conjunction with Family Genetix of Oxford, England, the software will be tested at the Pediatric Lipid Clinic in Oakland. The program, which asks patients questions about all blood relatives within two generations, may take patients up to three hours to complete, a change from the "traditional" few minutes that physicians normally spend asking about family histories. Kaiser is also planning to post the questions on a Web site, with access available at its Health Education Center. While the current program covers only heart disease, Kaiser expects to expand the program to other "genetic-related" ailments such as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. Dr. John Mann, a consulting physician with the project, said, "We are headed toward a totally new model of medical care. The classical way of a patient and physician coming together won't work anymore." The system can also alert physicians to the "latest discoveries and treatments" for a disease. Dr. Paul Tang of Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which is installing a similar program, noted that the system can also save physicians time. He said, "The physician-patient time is so precious, we'd like to offload the patient-history collection process to outside the exam room" (May, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, 5/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.