Kaiser Permanente inks multiyear cloud deal with Microsoft, Accenture
Kaiser Permanente announced Wednesday that it will work with Microsoft and Accenture to build out its cloud environment while eyeing new innovations aimed at improving consumer and provider experience.
WHY IT MATTERS
With 12.4 million members and more than 85,000 clinicians, Kaiser Permanente has a lot of incentive to find ways to improve how care delivery works for all of them.
Its cloud expansion aims to "deliver relevant digital experiences" for both those groups, enabling more nimble digital innovation. The need to adapt agilely to new patient expectations and new accountable-care imperatives will guide the collaboration with Microsoft and Accenture, according to Kaiser.
By scaling an array of new initiatives on the Azure-hosted platform, the health system says it's taking advantage of ever stronger cloud computing power and more expansive decision support analytics for care teams.
The focus is on giving Kaiser Permanente more timely and personalized care, officials said, with privacy and security top of mind.
"Kaiser Permanente's bold move to the cloud at speed and scale builds on its decades-long history of innovation," said Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, in a statement. "By collaborating with Accenture and Microsoft to re-platform digital assets and further leverage insights and intelligence, Kaiser Permanente is empowering their clinicians and patients to customize care with more and better data."
THE LARGER TREND
Kaiser Permanente has been a technology and process innovator for decades, of course, and the integrated delivery system has long been a model for innovation in patient outcomes and member experience.
Among its recent transformation initiatives was the launch this past September of a "virtual-first" health plan – which makes telehealth the foundational modality of care (with the option for in-person follow-up visits when they're needed, of course).
This past year also saw the inaugural matriculation at the new Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, which was conceived as a 21st century med school, focused on "data-driven care" and educating students with leading-edge augmented and virtual reality tools.
The re-platforming at Kaiser Permanente appears similar to another major cloud partnership at another world-class health system: the 10-year collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Google Cloud, which is focused on applying machine learning to the health system's huge datasets to solve an array of complex use cases. The process is already enabling new clinical insights during the pandemic.
ON THE RECORD
"Delivering personalized, accessible care through technology is crucial to meeting the needs of millions of Kaiser Permanente members across the nation," said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Commercial Business, in a statement. "By collaborating with Kaiser Permanente and Accenture, we're helping move the healthcare industry toward a cloud-driven future that will enable better care and advance innovation."
"This collaboration will help Kaiser Permanente better 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 Diane Comer, Kaiser's senior vice president and interim CIO.