Presentation: Blogs in Health Care; Council of Accountable Physician Practices

Eytan-Chcf Web2 2007-2

PDF: Web 2.0 for Planning, Communication and Change Management, Ted Eytan, MD

California Healthcare Foundation

Given at California Healthcare Foundation’s new headquarters, Oakland, CA

It was a busy week in California, starting with a visit to the California Healthcare Foundation’s new headquarters in Oakland, California. I was honored to lead a discussion on the use of “Web 2.0” (mostly focusing on blogs) in health care. This blog itself is an experiment, partially funded by the Foundation. I think the basic message is “If you don’t, they will,” and “being transparent and accountable as a health system can inspire confidence.”

I first gave this presentation with Andy Wiesenthal, MD, who leads the Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect project, at a User Group meeting for Epic Systems clients, later within my own health system, Group Health Cooperative, and now this public version.

I am a bit of an evangelist now of using Web 2.0 in Healthcare, and consider myself “very available” when it comes to the opportunity to give this presentation to other audiences. It’s been a great journey, as you can see in the slides.

We had a nice discussion about the value of blogging and transparency in different environments. The presentation is meant to be informational, without any particular recommendation for the philanthrophy community. Of interest, though, was a question posed about how to move to Web 2.0 in a large organization. My answer was, “Slowly” and “not to shock the system.”

What was really great was that Holly Potter, the Director of Communication for the HealthConnect project was in attendance, and her response was, “It would be nice to have the luxury of being that deliberate. We don’t have that option anymore.” Holly’s team supports a project that touches millions of lives. She related her experience as the person accountable for ensuring that the communities that are touched by this project have the most accurate information about it, all the time. It was very powerful to have Holly present in the discussion, in my opinion.

Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP)

Speaking of accountability, I was also fortunate to meet Nancy Taylor, the Executive Director of CAPP, which is an affiliate of the American Medical Group Association. The medical group I belong to, Group Health Permanente, is a member of CAPP, and these are the medical groups that are working to promote a health care system that is “more accountable to patients, consumers, and purchasers.”

I actually didn’t know about CAPP before I started this work, but as I look at the roster, it’s a who’s who of innovators in the personal health record / patient-centered care world.

This is not to say, though, that CAPP groups are the only ones innovating. As I discussed previously on this blog, there is a lot going on in smaller practices supported by the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians. At the same time, this consortium represents another nice touchpoint for those who ask, “Who can I talk to about implementing patient centered health information technology?”

Of course, in the shadow of the talk I had just given, I thought about which of these medical groups have blogs where they are communicating their work to the public. I don’t know the answer to that question (and if any of them are reading this, please post your comments here about that). I hope at some point to interact more with the Council and maybe discuss the opportunity to be even more transparent using Web 2.0 technology

I am wrapping up my time in California, with just a few more posts to go, and I wanted to again thank the California Healthcare Foundation and The Council of Accountable Physician Practices for their support of patient centered health information technology.


Ted Eytan, MD