HIMSS 2012 – Optum, Glenn Keet

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Dr. Howard Rollins, EHRtv AIMS specialist and medical consultant, interviews Glenn Keet, SVP Business Development of Optum.

Category: HIMSS12, Tradeshows
Date: March 23, 2012
Views:2,929 views
Information:

Amy Monagan: Hi I am Amy Monagan with EHRtv. We are at HIMSS 2012 in Las Vegas. Today I am with Glenn Keet, the Senior Vice President of Business Development for OptumInsight. Glenn, thank you for taking the time to be with us today.

Glenn Keet: You are welcome. Pleasure to be here.

Amy Monagan: Can you tell me a little bit about your role in HIEs?

Glenn Keet: About 17 years ago, a gentleman by the name of Ray Scott and myself started Axolotl and we did Health Information Exchange before it was called Health Information Exchange. So we have been building out those models for now 17 years and about a year-and-a-half ago Axolotl got acquired by OptumInsight. So now our solution is part of OptumInsight.

Amy Monagan: Okay fantastic. Can you tell me a little bit about what is going to be new and on the horizon for HIEs?

Glenn Keet: Sure there is actually a lot of things moving and changing with the market as it grows. A couple of interesting developments. One is the Direct Project and this is what the ONC is mandating that the State Health Information Exchanges utilize and in fact begin with and what Direct is, it is the ability for point-to-point exchange of information by physicians, to physicians much like what a fax machine did but doing it over the internet in a secure way. So it’s a very simple straightforward way for physicians to get into Health Information Exchange by being able to move electronic information from one place to the other securely.

Amy Monagan: Okay.

Glenn Keet: And the other is connecting the Health Information Exchanges to the consumers, or the patients now. Largely HIEs have been about connecting the professionals in the hospitals and the reference labs but the latest trend is now to expose that to the patient so that they can interact.

Amy Monagan: Okay can you tell me a little bit about how this would affect physicians’ workflow or how it might affect their office?

Glenn Keet: Traditionally physicians spend about 70% of their nonclinical time doing communications and administrative things about their patients and that’s – that’s very costly. They can see fewer patients because of that. Health Information Exchange enables them to be more efficient in dealing with those, in moving records, connecting and communicating with patients so they have more time to actually treat patients, which they got into medicine to do at the beginning.

Amy Monagan: How are you working to connect information to the government agencies?

Glenn Keet: Well one example of that is connecting to the Veteran Administration. They have a project called the Vler and through another ONC sponsored project called CONNECT; we can now exchange information securely back and forth with the VAs that are within the regions of the Health Information Exchange. So the VA can access data that’s on the HIE and similarly authorized users from the HIE can access information that’s in the VA. So many of our military personnel end up being treated at the VA, but they also get seen in private practices and that’s traditionally been a problem for that data to move back and forth and now we are able to do that and we’ve done that in a few of Health Information Exchanges to date.

Amy Monagan: It sounds like HIEs have really grown over the years and they are really transitioning that gap that’s always been there?

Glenn Keet: I’d say that’s true for sure. When we first started Axolotl, we had to explain what we did and people would ask us why would you want to do that. Around 2004 people stopped asking why would you want to do that. They began to see the light. And really ever since the executive order in 2004 and David Brailer coming to the ONC in 2006, Health Information Exchange has really taken off and obviously the HITECH Act and the money from ARRA, that came toward in 2009 has really accelerated the HIE market. So it’s really exciting.

Amy Monagan: What is on the horizon technology wise for HIEs?

Glenn Keet: Well we are very excited about the fact that we are producing a healthcare cloud and what that means is that the security and the interoperability of the applications are going to be built right into the Optum healthcare cloud. So we are porting all of our Health Information Exchange tools to this cloud so that it can be accessible really to any one within the country.

Amy Monagan: All right Glenn. Well thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us today.

Glenn Keet: You are welcome.

Amy Monagan: This is Amy Monagan with EHRtv at HIMSS 2012.

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