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Scott Shreeve, MD

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I'm the CEO of Crossover Health, a patient-centered, membership-based medical group that is redesigning the practice, delivery, and experience of health care. We offer urgent, primary, and online care to our members who can access our technology platform, practice model, and provider network from anywhere and anytime to optimize their health. Email Me



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Innovation Stewardship: The Kaiser Garfield Innovation Center

Steward (stū‘ərd) n.

  1. One who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs.
  2. One who is in charge of the household affairs of a large estate, club, hotel, or resort.
  3. An official who supervises or helps to manage an event.

I have written a few notes (here and here) regarding Kaiser Permanente (KP), including their continuing rise to lead the next wave of health care organizations creatively adopting and successfully implementing disruptive innovations. They have all the requisite features of disruption – the adoption of technology enablers, new business models of care, and due to their vertical integration value networks that reinforce one another through virtuous cycles.

While KP is clearly not perfect, the scale and scope of KP is now allowing them to do things that acclerate their push to leadership with a primary example being the The Garfield Innovation Center. As soon as I heard about this concept I have been figuring out how to get a first hand look at exactly what they are doing. I am thankful to my  friends at KP (shout out to Holly Potter, Ted Eytan, and Anna-Lisa Silvestre) for giving me an opportunity to experience a test drive in an exclusive setting on February 4, 2009.

Here is what is on tap for the day:

  • A general tour of the first of a kind center that brings together technology, architecture, workflow and frontline nurses, doctors and patients to spawn innovation and successful failures. The center is used as a living lab to brainstorm, test tools, and implement programs for patient-centered care in a mock hospital, clinic, office and home environment. The center is infused with innovation inspired from  Cisco Systems, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and others to leverage collective design and innovation resources to push new thinking.
  • A presentation from Intel’s Digital Health Group showcasing their latest technology prototypes designed for physicians, nurses, and members.
  • A demo by a KP physician on how they are using KP HealthConnect (Epic Systems) to intelligently enhance interactions between physicians, nurses, and patients via the the world’s largest civilian electronic health record.
  • A physician and IT expert from KP’s Innovation & Advanced Technology Group demo how they evaluate new technology and assess features/function/performance in the Garfield Center as part of a 3-5 year forward looking implementation perspective. Currente projecs include touch/surface computing, advanced robotics, telehealth and remote monitoring, the connected medical home, and health gaming with the Nintendo Wii.
  • A KParchitect shows how they use human-centered design with health care providers to prototype the “Micro Clinic”, a new kind of technology-driven clinic being developed.
  • The lead researcher of our  Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health (RPGEH), describes how KP creating the world’s largest genetic biobank (500,000 samples) to study everything from bipolar depression to breast cancer to personalized pharmacology.
  • The Director of Research explains how KP researchers utilize HealthConnect to conduct cutting-edge medical and scientific research
  • One of our innovation experts provides a case study of how human design and workflow concepts can dramatically improve improve medication administration / error reduction using a simple system being implemented throughout KP and other US based health systems.
  • Environmental Stewardship Officer (you have got to love that title!) shows how KP is leading the industry to create greener health care environments by removing potentially toxic materials and focusing on energy saving design

Again, the scale of KP creates a pretty big canvas from which to paint. More impressive to me, however, is the organizational commitment to pushing the boundaries by dabbling in all the colors of the innovation rainbow in creating a next generation health care masterpiece. KP’s leadership, or stewardship,  over its potential catalyzing role in this transformation continues to impress.

5 comments on “Innovation Stewardship: The Kaiser Garfield Innovation Center

  1. Alex Burgess says:

    I, too, am a big fan of KP’s and the work they have done in tying Health IT to patient safety/quality.

    However, extrapolating KP to the general physician community isn’t realistic. THEY are being VERY kind to a known blogger which is good from a marketing perspective, but let’s keep the idea of true HIT adoption at a more realistic level. KP has spent tens/hundreds of millions of dollars and YEARS creating what they have. A PCP in rural KY has a few hundred dollars to play with per year… A specialist/PCP in the upper Midwest doesn’t have $25K to pay (just for software/consulting) for an EMR/Decision Support/Reporting infrastructure like KP.

    Again, I’m a big fan of KP and YOURS, but let’s stay focused on the prize, which is providing common physicians simple, effective and affordable HIT that ACTUALLY demonstrates improved care (a basic house) rather than the shiniest bells and whistles available on the market (a mansion) affordable by the few.

    I live in the poorest of poor neighborhoods in Milwaukee, WI. I love my neighbors even though I have an advanced degree from a prestigous school and many haven’t graduated high school. EVERYONE has a cell phone and MANY have internet access (you have no idea how incorrect the stereotypes are about this). Let’s focus on keeping things SIMPLE and connected with evidence-based guidelines driving care delivery with physicians getting PAID for the quality/quantity of care delivered rather than creating the PERFECT digital physician’s office.

    THANKS for your blog!

    1. Alex,

      Thanks for your note and your ongoing interest in reading. Your point is well taken.

      I don’t think I, nor actually even KP, think it is either realistic nor ideal to extrapolate the KP experience to community clinics. I have been very critical of KP’s $10B investment into a proprietary solution (think what that $10B investment in an open source VistA solution would have done!) but given that they have the wherewithall to have made the investment, they become stewards of this massive endowment that they are actually interested in experientially sharing with others.

      If you listen to George Halvorson, he speaks about the virtual KP’s that can and should be created, building of both the good and bad that KP has experienced in getting us to a simple, effective and affordable HIT solution for EVERY community. Perfection is the enemy of Good right?! My intent in highlighting KP is to showcase the very forefront of the very best of the very best funded to get us thinking about possibilities.

  2. John Maloney says:

    Hi —

    Here is a robust, comprehensive and low-cost solution for soc/org/val network analysis in healthcare.

    Very popular application in healthcare.



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