Talking to HealthyWomen about the benefits of Health Information Technology for Women

About a week ago I was contacted by Diane Gage-Lofgren’s ( @dianelofgren ) team at Kaiser Permanente asking if I would spend time with the Corporate Advisory Board of HealthyWomen (online at who were meeting in Washington, DC. I always say, “If I can walk to it, I’ll do it,” so I happily went, and gave the presentation in the slides below.

The welcome was warm and the commitment is strong – if you take a look at the history of HealthyWomen (the thing I always do, and kudos for developing this part of the site well), you can see the spirt of innovation that created this organization, in a similar way to the way Kaiser Permanente was co-created by Sidney Garfield, MD.

If you’ve seen me present recently, several of the images will look familiar to you; however, there are some updates worth pointing out (I love the expression I heard last week, “Don’t change your message, change your story often.”):

  • Image #2 : Note the baby-drawer from the 1950’s era hospital room, an innovation of Sidney Garfield, MD, who learned of the advantages of breastfeeding and mother-baby bonding in an era when this was very much not the norm.
  • Image #4: I grabbed data about a single month of e-mails – besides the number sent to providers at Kaiser Permanente (almost a million), almost 2/3 of KP physicians across the United States wrote to a patient electronically. 11,310 other providers did. As a frame of reference, there are approximately 40,000 registered nurses at Kaiser Permanente. This tracks the data reported recently by the Center for Studying Health System Change. It also respects the idea that this is not “patient-physician e-mail,” it’s “patient-care team e-mail.”
  • Image #5 : This is the first time I have broken out caregivers, or “act for a family member” users of It’s nearing 300,000 and growing steadily. Health Information Technology service has to be patient AND family.
  • Image #7: HEDIS (national quality) measures are out for 2010 (measuring 2009). This year, Kaiser Permanente Georgia is #1 in the United States (not within Kaiser Permanente, within our nation) in breast cancer screening, at a rate of 90%. The top tenth of health plans in the United States averaged 77 % in 2009. As with previous years, every region of the United States where there is a Kaiser Permanente health system reports KP as #1 in that region for this measure.
  • Images #8-10 : The new platform, which includes a pregnancy center (launched across the United States already) and new pharmacy center (coming soon). Showing that the information within is linked to the care team (messaging, appointing, test results), and includes at the top of every page family access; it’s no longer a silo within the site.

I love what Elizabeth Battaglino, RN, the Executive Director of HealthyWomen said to me in a message afterward – “I look forward to the day when women can expect that type of personal support and care from all their providers.” It made me glad to bring the message to this group of accomplished leaders that women should expect this type of personal support and care, now. So that’s the message, I am looking forward to the stories about how we made this happen for every woman in every care system.

Enjoy and let me know of any questions / thoughts in the comments below!

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Ted Eytan, MD