Dick Daniels has been appointed executive VP and CIO of Kaiser Permanente after serving as interim CIO since September.
Daniels, 60, replaced Philip Fasano, who was hired to be executive VP and CIO for insurance giant American International Group. His appointment is effective immediately.
Before stepping into the interim role, he served as Kaiser's senior VP of enterprise shared services and earlier as senior VP of information technology for health plan and hospital operations. He's also held information technology leadership roles at Capital One and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Healthcare IT executives received a wake-up call this month when hackers gained access to the personal information of more than 80 million Anthem members. Daniels emphasized that cybersecurity requires a multifaceted approach and said that Kaiser would continue to watch its own perimeter, encrypt removable data and educate employees about changing their passwords and recognizing phishing attacks.
“These hackers are continuing to change their tactics. What we have to continue to do is monitor our systems, and we continually look at what we need to do to protect the information.” It's not limited to a single kind of protection, he said.
Kaiser was an early adopter of electronic health records and is engaging an increasing number of patients through virtual visit technology, which includes mobile services, secure messaging or video. Moving forward, Daniels wants to enhance Kaiser's mobile app and other services by adding digital membership cards, express mobile check-in and expanding its virtual visit technology to include more video appointments.
Members engaged in approximately 11,000 video visits in 2014, according to a spokeswoman. More than 4,000 physicians were participating as of December.
If any health system wants to improve technology services available to patients, the nation will have to get better at sharing patient data, Daniels said.
“The members that we have and the people who acquire healthcare in this country move around, and there's no guarantee that a given customer or member is always going to be in one of our facilities, depending on what might happen to them,” he said. “So we need to have this ability to freely exchange information to better take care of people.”
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