The Wall Street Journal ran a front page story
the other day about Kaiser Permanente and how a 22-year-old turned the company's $4 billion electronic medical record (EMR) project into a public freeway pile-up by sending a company-wide email challenging the effectiveness of the project and whether the CIO had conflicts of interest. While CEO George Halvorson - whom I interviewed a few years ago on the topic of EMR - answered in another email the next work day essentially dismissing Justin Deal's analysis, the company's CIO resigned
earlier the same day without a public explanation. Not long after this incident, Computerworld (disclosure - I used to contribute to the publication in years past) had its own reporting
based on a leaked 722-page internal document that corroborated many of Mr. Deal's complaints about the system, called HealthConnect by the company.
Ironically, Mr. Deal first sent his complaints to Kaiser's compliance officer and to the board of directors:
Kaiser's assistant general counsel sent Mr. Deal a letter saying that "a thorough investigation" found no evidence of misconduct by the executives, nor of a "disastrous failure" of the HealthConnect project.
And yet there was this internal report. In either case it's clear that the board has some problems. Either it knew of the system issues and ignored them - which would seem like criminal negligance if patient health was affected - or it was incapable of
Labels: board, compliance, electronic medical records, Halvorson, healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, whistleblower