Virtual doctor visits take off at Kaiser

By Jeff Rowe
11:53 AM

In 2013, Kaiser Permanente conducted 10.5 million patient-doctor visits via e-mail, telephone or video tools, and in a new report the organization discusses some of the ways those visits took place.

For example, a secure e-mail service allows users to attach images (such as a digital picture of a rash, for instance) in a message to a Kaiser dermatologist. In 80 percent of those cases, the dermatologist was able to offer a definitive diagnosis and prescribe without an office visit. No doubt, part of the reason for KP's success stems from the fact that all the participants - doctors, patients and payers - are part of the Kaiser network, but there's much for other organizations to learn.

At the same time, still to be determined, says Robert Pearl, MD, executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, is "the overall impact of new technologies on cost."

This post originally apeared on HIMSS Future Care.