Kaiser EHR System Is Stalled, Employee Says

By Stacy Lawrence  |  Posted 2006-11-08 Print this article Print

An e-mail from an IT staffer at Kaiser Permanente alleges dire technical and fiscal problems with its electronic medical records systems; shortly after, the company's CIO resigns.

Shortly after a Kaiser Permanente project supervisor circulated an internal e-mail to more than 180,000 employees denouncing the company's electronic health record system and the alleged financial waste associated with it, Kaiser's CIO has resigned.

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan has been praised as being advanced of its peers when it comes to rolling out its large-scale EMR system, dubbed HealthConnect.

But in his e-mail to fellow Kaiser employees, project manager Justen Deal alleges that the company is stalled and that the current system is not scalable.

He argues that Kaiser's EMR system, based on technology from Epic Systems, has reached its limit and cannot handle current user demands let alone a further rollout.

"Can we continue to support the existing users? No. And we can't continue to roll out the system," said Deal in an interview.

According to Deal's memo, "outages have increased from just over 9,000 user hours per month in June to over 59,000 last month."

In an internal e-mail to staff following the e-mail incident, Kaiser's chairman and CEO George Halvorson responded that the system is available 99.5 percent of the time.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Kaiser EHR System Is Stalled, Employee Saysu

Stacy Lawrence is co-editor of CIOInsight.com's Health Care Center. Lawrence has covered IT and the life sciences for various publications, including Business 2.0, Red Herring, The Industry Standard and Nature Biotechnology. Before becoming a journalist, Lawrence attended New York University and continued on in the sociology doctoral program at UC Berkeley.

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