Online improvements benefit Kaiser Permanente patients - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Online improvements benefit Kaiser Permanente patients

Dr. Peggy Latare Dr. Peggy Latare
Linda Oba Linda Oba

By Leland Kim - bio | email

MOANALUA (KHNL) -  Seeing your doctor isn't necessarily at the top of anyone's wish list, but advancements in online technology mean easier access to your own medical records and fewer visits to the hospital.  Continued improvements make it simpler for Kaiser Permanente members to care for a family member.

The hospital system has had an online component since 2005, but recently it's allowed family caregivers to have access to vital medical information and services.  It's something that directly benefits more than 49,000 Kaiser Permanente members here in Hawaii alone.

Linda Oba came in for a routine doctor's visit Tuesday.  At Kaiser Permanente, gone are the days of thick medical charts.  Dr. Peggy Latare keeps track of Oba's health on a computer.

"I can be on the phone with the patient, or even on a secure email message encounter with the patient," said Dr. Latare, a Kaiser Permanente family practice physician.  "And exchange that information and educate them, and answer their follow up questions."

This system has streamlined the health care process dramatically.

"I think this is the most significant advancement in my career of twenty years," said Dr. Latare. "Because we can organize the patients' medical information in a way that helps us practice better and educate them better."

And patients like Oba are also educating themselves.

"This Web site: kp.org allows me to access all of our needs," she said.

As her husband Joe's medical needs continue to grow, Oba can keep track of his health online.

"For example, last night I got test results for my husband and I thought one of his electrolytes was a little high, off the chart," she said.  "Immediately pressed past results, put it on a graph. It's where it's been the last two years. I stopped worrying."

Oba can make appointments and stay on top of their medical history.

"When I can see the result and when I can chart," she said.  "I can chart and I can graph my past lab results. I can see whether I'm making any progress with say cholesterol."

This 66-year-old says it's a piece of cake to use, and encourages other seniors to get online.

"You get yourself a mouse and if you can point, and when you're my age, you point at everybody, all your kids," said Oba. "If you can point, you can click, you can find it. It's right there."

Right there at the tip of her computer mouse.

"It's a good feeling," said Oba. "I love the computer and I love exploring."

Oba also says she no longer has to go to the pharmacy.  Her medicine gets delivered to her home.  It's cheaper and she gets one month free.

And Oba is so tech savvy, she even has a Facebook account.  She's writing on walls and uploading photos.

For more information about Kaiser Permanente's online care, click here or go to the link on this page.

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