Kaiser Replaces Head of Electronic Records Project
Kaiser Permanente on Monday announced that Philip Fasano will take over the leadership of its $4 billion electronic health record project, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Fasano, a former CIO at Deutsche Bank Group and JP Morgan Chase, will replace Bruce Turkstra, who since 2003 has directly overseen the creation and development of Health Connect and just four months ago was tapped to replace Kaiser's previous CIO, J. Clifford Dodd.
The announcement is "the latest sign of turmoil" for the EHR project that has been dubbed a possible national model, according to the Times (Costello, Los Angeles Times, 2/27).
Concerns about Kaiser's EHR program led the California Department of Managed Health Care to request information, which is a first step before a possible formal investigation. Internal Kaiser "Availability Trend" reports found that over nine months in 2006, the Health Connect system was available 88% of the time on certain days and less than 80% in some locations.
Experts say the project's availability rate is very low, as the industry increasingly is aiming for systems with availability 99.99% of the time. There were nearly two dozen reported instances where the system's unreliability might have risked patient safety between Feb. 27, 2006, and Nov. 5, 2006, according to the report (California Healthline, 2/15).
Kaiser executives said that Fasano's hiring was not related to recent problems with Health Connect and that the EHR system will be fully deployed in two years (Los Angeles Times, 2/27).
Fasano will start work as CIO immediately, according to Kaiser CEO George Halvorson (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 2/26).