Kaiser Permanente Colorado
A complex regional health system and plan provider achieves “any image, anywhere” interoperability and significant ROI.
Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO), a division of the nationwide Kaiser Permanente healthcare and nonprofit health plan organization, serves more than half a million members and employs thousands of staff, from physicians to administration.
With a care model that promises to deliver better care when it matters most, KPCO wanted to prioritize enterprise imaging. When done right, an effective enterprise imaging strategy streamlines costs and gives providers better access to imaging data, no matter their location.
Here’s how the organization delivered both cost savings and its vision of “any image, anywhere” care.
> Learn more | Enterprise imaging strategies in the new era of connected care
Challenge #1: Create an imaging strategy inclusive of external providers
KPCO is unique from its larger organization in that it doesn’t provide inpatient care. Rather, that clinical work is contracted out to partners, which creates multiple roadblocks in streamlined access to necessary medical images and other content.
Challenge #2: Enable interoperability, IHE protocols
“Our vision was to store, move and distribute all types of content in its native form,” said Sean Enners, director of clinical technology management for Kaiser Permanente. “We wanted to address hundreds of medical devices that produce clinical test results, and we wanted to make them readily available to the clinical teams to treat and diagnose. Standards — IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) — were really important to us.”
Challenge #3: Demonstrate ROI
While improving the health of patients and the communities they live in is mission-critical, so was making sure technology advancements contribute to cost savings.
“It was really important for our finance teams, our VPs, to understand that there would be some type of return on investment,” Enners said.
In its legacy state, KPCO faced a high total cost of ownership for 20 individual PACs, as well as lost time among staff as they tried to navigate multiple image viewers with various integrations and levels of support.
When KPCO selected Hyland Healthcare as a partner, these challenges became major opportunities.
KPCO implemented the Hyland suite of tools using the OnBase platform, which includes Hyland’s Acuo vendor netural archive (VNA) and NilRead enterprise image viewer, as well as other impactful modules.
“By consolidating all of the imaging and biomedical device test results, we’re able to provide a single view, a single interaction, for our caregivers to treat and diagnose our patients,” Enners said.
This digital transformation allowed KPCO to fully realize its goal of “any image, anywhere, whether you were inside our health system or being treated at one of our partner hospitals,” Enners said.
Hyland’s suite immediately impacted 22 departments across the health system environment, from cardiology and ophthalmology to gastroenterology, pulmonology and audiology.
“When we chose Hyland, interoperability was really one of our main focuses and really what we felt Hyland brought to the table,” Enners said. “They’re agnostic to different types of systems and solutions, and they really have the ability to ingest any kind of content, store it and then distribute or view it.”
When we chose Hyland, interoperability was one of our main focuses and what we felt Hyland brought to the table. They’re agnostic to different types of systems and solutions, and they have the ability to ingest any kind of content, store it and then distribute or view it.
— Sean Enners, Director of Clinical Technology Management, Kaiser Permanente
Implementing the Hyland suite paved the way for KPCO to integrate their external images, test results and internal care, so physicians and patients could get the real-time collaboration and care they deserve. It meant the entirety of the health system could share results back and forth, which helped eradicate silos and ease the delivery of high-quality healthcare.
On the ground and in the financial books, these improvements looked like this:
- Workflow efficiencies that achieve interfacing with modality worklists that go back and forth among systems and departments
- Significant savings, including over $9 million in net ROI and almost $500,000 in unplanned savings
- Frictionless interoperability that allowed KPCO to capitalize on the technology investments it had already made using the same interfaces and tools already in use
- A simplified tech stack that made for easier support and maintenance of the systems
Each of these enhancements helps to further the reach of KPCO.
“Our goal was to deliver an enterprise medical information strategy that provided for scalability, interoperability and real-time collaboration,” Enners said. “By doing so, we are able to save a significant amount of money and show our CFO that there were savings.”