Kaiser Permanente appoints Diane Comer as new CTIO
Kaiser Permanente announced on Wednesday that Diane Comer would be the managed care pioneer's new chief information technology officer.
WHY IT MATTERS
Comer had been serving as interim chief information officer at KP since June 2020, following the retirement of Kaiser CIO Dick Daniels.
During that time, Comer oversaw a series of major IT initiatives launched to combat the COVID-19 public health emergency and kept an array of other enterprise-wide projects running.
The addition of "technology" to her CIO title reflects her management of a large portfolio of IT projects, and shows its central role in advancing the organization’s digital transformation efforts, according to Kaiser Permanente.
Those will continue to be prioritized, especially those focused on boosting the consumer and staff experience, and Comer will be tasked with leading the health system's IT team members – all 6,000 of them – as it puts digital transformation front and center.
Comer has deep experience in application development, project management, enterprise architecture, IT strategy and data center management. She'll report directly to Kaiser Permanente chair and CEO Greg A. Adams. She'll be tasked with rolling out new technologies to boost quality and reduce costs while improving return on IT investment.
Comer joined Kaiser Permanente in 2007. She was in charge of Kaiser Permanente’s Health Plan IT organization, where she implemented technology systems to support the Affordable Care Act and health insurance exchanges, built an enterprise-wide claims platform, stood up a telephony system that now supports a million calls a month, and helped ensure a smooth transition to ICD-10, according to the health system.
Before arriving at Kaiser Permanente, she held positions that including chief technology officer at Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.
THE LARGER TREND
Kaiser Permanente, with its myriad providers and not-for-profit health plan, serves 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. It's long been known as a leading-edge innovator in cost efficiencies, care innovations, clinical research, community health and more.
Among its recent technology news is a major multi-year cloud contract with Microsoft and Accenture, announced two months ago.
The goal is to "serve our members by providing our care teams with increased access to cloud-based services, which will enable them to deliver personalized digital experiences and make more data-informed decisions," said Comer when the deal was announced.
Comer's promotion isn't the only recent news in Kaiser Permanente's technology-focused C-suite. In 2019, the health system named Prat Vemana as its first chief digital officer. His mandate is to develop new technologies and processes for Kaiser's workforce and lead the digital transformation of its member experience.
ON THE RECORD
"Kaiser Permanente continues to reimagine ways to expertly, innovatively, and conveniently provide care for our members, and doing so during this time demands that we work with unprecedented agility and speed while always prioritizing equity, quality, and affordability," said Kaiser CEO Greg Adams about Comer's promotion.
"As we progress on this journey, I am pleased that Diane's innovative thinking, deep expertise, and intimate knowledge of Kaiser Permanente will drive our technology leadership. Our consumer-focused and data-rich capabilities are core to Kaiser Permanente's strategy and care delivery offerings, and I'm confident that Diane's leadership will continue to advance our mission."