While all other industries have embraced the digital era, healthcare seems to be still playing catch-up. In this, Kaiser Permanente is an anomaly. Kaiser Permanente is a leader in healthcare technology—technology has been at center stage in Kaiser Permanente since it first started using computing to improve healthcare results in the 1960s. Today, Kaiser Permanente is an integrated health care delivery system with 10 million members and about 200,000 employees.
Kaiser rolled out the first electronic medical records (EMR) system in the inpatient setting in 2005, and it was fully deployed in all regions and medical centers by 2010. Electronic medical records at Kaiser Permanente include not only the health plan view of the data but also pharmacy, insurance claims, hospital, and provider views. In addition, Kaiser Permanente manages many transactions in a member-centric online web portal available at kp.org.
To leverage the immense amount of EMR data, domain-specific data warehouses have been developed over the last decade. However, with the increase in volume, velocity, variety of data (clinical, genetic, behavioral, social, environmental, and device), a new way of storing, cataloguing, searching and provisioning was recently developed. Running analytical workloads on this platform works wonders. However, the challenge is to make this 200,000-employee company data driven, break the silos, and develop a collaborative culture.
Taposh Roy, Rajiv Synghal, and Sabrina Dahlgren offer an overview of Kaiser’s big data strategy and explain how other organizations can adopt similar strategies.
Taposh Roy is a technical data science executive and advisor with a passion for turning data into actionable insights, meaningful stories, and awesome products. He has a unique combination of product, technology, and strategy consulting, data science, and startup experience. Taposh is a consumer-focused, machine-learning and data science geek.
Rajiv Synghal is principal of big data strategy at Kaiser Permanente. Previously, he held delivery and architecture roles in Fortune 100 organizations, including Visa and Nokia, and startups, such as Kivera. An accomplished strategic thinker and adviser to senior management on issues around growth, profitability, competition, and innovation, Rajiv is equally adept at presenting value propositions to top management and doing deep dives with fellow engineers. Rajiv is the rare kind of technology professional who carries within him the pragmatism of business urgency and the will to find a way to solve a problem no matter what it takes. He has demonstrated an uncanny ability to learn and teach new concepts, easily adapt to change, and manage multiple concurrent tasks. Rajiv is currently advising a number of startups in the big data space that are developing technologies to provide strategic solutions to challenges in the healthcare field.
Sabrina Dahlgren is a director in charge of strategic analysis at Kaiser Permanente. Her expertise ranges from statistics and economics to project management and computer science. Sabrina has 20 years’ total work experience in leadership and analytical roles such as vice president of marketing and product development and CRM manager and customer segmentation in technology companies including Vodafone, among others. Sabrina has twice won the Innovation Award at Kaiser, most recently in the category of broadly applicable technology for big data analytics.
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