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.