“We’re More Aware of People’s Time”: Seeing the impact of an integrated personal health record at Kaiser Permanente Georgia

Kaiser Permanente Georgia Glenlake Medical Office

Glenlake Medical Office, Kaiser Permanente Georgia Region

Kaiser Permanente Crescent Medical Office

Crescent Medical Office, Kaiser Permanente Georgia Region

Yesterday was day 2 of 2 of my Gemba walk at Kaiser Permanente, Georgia Region.

The quote in the title of the post came from Pearl Spencer, RN, when I asked her what the impact was of real-time delivery of most test results to patients via their personal health record (My Health Manager, on kp.org) which is the case within this health system.

Prior to the advent of the personal health record, when a patient was being seen in the medical office and needed a lab test, the test would be ordered, they would go to the lab, and then they would come back to the waiting room, to be called back in when the test was completed and the physician was ready to see them.

Now, because tests are shared with patients on kp.org in real-time, some are finding out that results are ready via “tickler” e-mails being sent to their smartphones while they are waiting, even before the physician has seen the result, because they are with another patient.

This has resulted in a change in workflow – they now advise patients up front how their health care team will respond to the questions about their test results and are prepared for a quicker turnaround, to respect the patient’s time. As Pearl said to me, in any other doctor’s office (without a personal health record), teams typically prepare for results to be delivered to patients in 3 days to several weeks. In her team, they prepare for delivery in hours, or even less.

So it’s happening – the personal health record is changing patient expectations, and health care teams are innovating in response. This finding excited me so much I tweeted it right away…. And, I got this Tweet back, from Jason Bahn, MD. I happen to love that the real life experience of a nurse serving patients using next generation tools can have such an impact.

Is there any reason that any patients in any care system shouldn’t experience this awareness of their time on the part of their care teams?

Overall, I learned a ton, and this is going to be (a) a great start to learning more and (b) great foundation for the work I will do, when I can always think about what weighs on people’s minds as I support them.

With gratitude to the members and health care teams at Southwood, Glenlake, and Crescent Medical Offices at Kaiser Permanente Georgia for the great teaching, and their medical and nursing leadership for creating the learning environment for all involved.


This is great – perfect example of technology bringing the health care system to patients – on their terms – rather than the age-old expectation that patients go to the health care system on the system's terms.


Glad this idea came across intact over the blog. It's great to see it and hear it in real life. As you and your organization become more curious we can probably arrange process walks for you, so you can tell the same story. Keep up the great work that you're doing,


Ted Eytan, MD