Talking about Interoperability on Washington’s Newschannel 8

Newschannel 8 - 1

Today was my very first work with the media as an employee of The Permanente Federation. I was asked to support a national conversation led yesterday by colleagues George Peredy, MD, Simon Cohn, MD, and Andy Wiesenthal, MD, regarding interoperability of health records between Kaiser Permanente and Veterans Affairs, which I was happy to do.

The interview took place at Washington’s NewsChannel 8, in Rosslyn, VA, which also hosts ABC News 7 and the Politico organizations. As I was walked around the facility, they said I could snap photos of the newsroom, so I did, and they are posted here.

As part of preparing for the day, I reviewed some of the numbers around Kaiser Permanente member adoption of personal health records, and I have to say, it is really at a scale that is unfathomable (or at least at a scale I will need to begin fathoming) – almost 2.5 million members with access to secure features on, 300,000 new users in the 2nd quarter of 2008, 1.5 million secure e-mails sent to doctors, 4.2 million test results viewed online. There are on average 122,000 visits to every day – in the space of a week this may be as many outpatients as some health systems manage in a year.

I didn’t get asked information at that level of detail – it just reminded me that there’s a lot to represent in this organization. I did get asked about the demonstration that happened yesterday, by anchor Dave Lucas and he seemed very impressed at the potential breakthrough this could be for Wounded Warriors and patients everywhere. It turned out that Dave has good experience here – he said after the interview that he’s been a medical reporter for 15 years and knows how patients see the value of being connected to their information at the right time. I think the work demonstrated yesterday is a great step forward, and that it’s great to have people in media who work with patients and know what they expect to see in their health care system. We all improve that way.

I’m not sure if I’ll get access to video to post here or not, but in the meantime, thanks to everyone at NewsChannel 8 for the warm welcome (even at the front desk, where I got great coaching to “smile, and it’ll be all right.”), and for the chance to have a seat in the world-famous Goss’ Garage while I was waiting!

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