Other hospital systems are working to catch up.  Just in the news recently was the pilot exchange of information between the VA and Kaiser.  Also the PHR, personal health records, from HealthVault will be due to come on line soon, so patients will be able to transfer the information to their established accounts.  I could this this would be very handy when a patient needs to see a physician out of network as all his/her records could be available on the web with the HealthVault, imported from the Kaiser My Health Manager site. Kaiser has 4 times the amount of patients using the online records.

When you look at the stats below, 3.6 million emails, quite a number and I would guess you can get an email response from your physician at Kaiser.  

Also, using the HealthVault can make it easier to get a copy of the records back to the Primary Care MD at Kaiser as well when returning.  I just added the fax feature to my account so that anyone even without technology can fax and send medical records to my account.  BD

OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today another milestone achievement in health   information technology, bringing the convenient and potentially life-saving technology of electronic health records to 22 hospitals serving 4.8 million members, the most hospitals using electronic medical records of any civilian hospital system in the nation. The latest count results from full inpatient implementation of Kaiser Permanente's EHR, KP HealthConnect(TM), in 12 Southern California hospitals. All of the region's 3.3 million members are covered by an end-to-end electronic health records.

With KP HealthConnect, virtually all Kaiser Permanente members areroutinely treated with an electronic chart in the outpatient setting. KaiserPermanente's 8.7 million members have access to My Health Manager(http://www.kp.org/myhealthmanager) -- Kaiser Permanente's personal healthrecord -- where they can manage their health online. Patients are empowered,with My Health Manager (http://www.kp.org/myhealthmanager) providing criticaltime-saving features, including online appointment scheduling and prescriptionrefills. In addition, users have 24/7 online access to lab test results,eligibility and benefits information, and even their children's immunizationrecords.

Kaiser Permanente not only makes the tools available, but provides the outreach and education needed to encourage its members to fully use thesecutting-edge services. New online tools, such as single visit activation and a revamped welcome page at kp.org have made patient access to online healthtools both easy and secure. The results of these and other efforts are alreadyevident.

-- More than 2.4 million Kaiser Permanente members now have access tosecure health information management features, an 11.9 percent increase fromthe prior year.
-- Using My Health Manager, Kaiser Permanente members viewed more than 10million test results and sent more than 3.6 million emails to their physiciansin 2007 alone.
-- The California Department of Insurance recently reported that KaiserPermanente, compared to its competitors, has more than four times thepercentage of members using its personal health record, My Health Manager

Related Reading:

Kaiser Permanente And Veterans Affairs Preview Electronic Health Record Interoperability

Kaiser launches kiosk project in Southern California

Kaiser Permanente and Microsoft Empower Consumers to Take Charge of Their Health Pilot program will allow voluntary data exchange from Kaiser Permanente’s market-leading personal health record to Microsoft® HealthVault™

Hospital Subsidies Are Off to a Slow Start with Electronic Health Records

Kaiser Permanente Has Most Hospitals in Nation With Inpatient Electronic Health Record

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