How a $56 billion healthcare delivery system is putting the consumer first

When it comes to renting movies, going shopping, or making bank deposits, Tad Funahashi observes that consumers have gotten used to apps and online services that eliminate hassles and waiting. Remember the Friday night Blockbuster run? Netflix nixed that errand.

But when it comes to getting seen by a doctor, it’s as if the digital revolution never happened. Funahashi says that Kaiser Permanente, the non-profit healthcare delivery system based in Oakland, Calif., is working hard to change that. In a recent talk at the Chief Innovation Officer Summit, Funahashi explained how Kaiser is exploring the ways that video doctor’s visits, diagnostic dashboards, and smartphone photos can be used to reduce office visits and keep patients healthier, as well as how Kaiser is creating innovation funds and new partnerships.

Funahashi, an orthopedic surgeon and the Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer for Kaiser’s southern California region, also discussed how Kaiser is trying to change a corporate culture built around the physician, rather than the patient. Instead of having Kaiser executives explain to MDs what ought to change, he says, “We need to get doctors to talk to doctors about how the practice may have to change.”

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