Dr. Ted Eytan of Kaiser Permanente talks about the evolving role of the doctor.
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What I was saying is that because we’re a healthcare provider and we serve people at all points in their life, whether they’re at home or in their healthcare system, for us it’s just about empowering the patient. So we will leverage whatever is available and if that’s what members want to use, then we’ll make it available to them. And I think that information therapy is kind of a starting point, so as a physician you say, “Here’s where I want you to start looking and I completely encourage you to use whatever else is out there to help you get better.” I think the doctor is in the role of coach and mentor and guide, always there to answer questions, there to help you be good at managing your health in whatever it is that is. So whether it’s you say, “I’m using this Health 2.0 service,” the doctor should be able to say, “Well, I’m glad it’s helping you. Here are some ideas for you” or here’s some information the doctor can say, “Well, here’s how you can tell that it’s useful for you and here’s what I know about your health situation and this is why it applies.” I hope people take away that everyone is necessary, the problems are much bigger than whether it’s this piece of information or that piece of information. It’s that patient still want to be empowered and doctors still want to take great care of them. So avoid the, “It’s this person’s fault or that person’s fault” but figure out how people that don’t do the same thing should be working together to make sure the patient gets what they need. The debate—or not the debate—to conversation with e-patient Dave and Google and Beth was awesome because here were three different kinds of stakeholders talking about how they work together to make something work. Kaiser Permenante in the next year is going to be totally redoing their website on new infrastructure, so we are making sure that all the regions have all the functions this year and then what they’re going to see in the next year or two is a totally redesigned web screens. It means it’s going to be a lot more flexible, it’s going to bring a lot more data from a lot more places and we’ll have much more control over how things looks. So even though things are very easily used today, tomorrow it would be much more like other very flexible websites that are out there.
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