Compliance Management, Privacy

Kaiser Permanente partners with Microsoft on health records

Kaiser Permanente, the largest integrated managed care organization in the United States, and Microsoft are partnering on a new pilot program to provide patients with better access to their medical records.

Information currently accessible from Kaiser Permanente's My Health Manager will be transferred into Microsoft's HealthVault consumer health platform.

HealthVault is premised on the principle that people should have a copy of their own health information, have control over it and have the ability to privately share information with whomever they choose in a security-enhanced environment.

Before using a health solution like HealthVault, people want to trust that their data will not be lost or misused by Microsoft or anyone else, a spokesperson for the software giant told on Tuesday.

“Microsoft designed and built HealthVault with a strong foundation of security and privacy while consulting with experts inside and outside the company to augment our significant expertise in these areas,” the spokesperson added.

Patients have control over the information that is included in HealthVault, including who would be able to see the records. Also, Microsoft's HealthVault systems and databases operate with extra precautions.

“We isolate traffic in our data centers onto a virtually separate network and locate our servers in physically separate, locked cabinets. HealthVault grants access to third-party solution provider programs and devices only to the extent a user allows such access. A solution provider program or device cannot access a user's HealthVault record without the permission of a record custodian,” the spokesperson said.

Kaiser Permanente invested heavily into the security infrastructure as well, according to Jan Oldenburg, practice leader of the Internet Services Group, a website design firm.

That infrastructure governs not only internal records, but also how patients are able to access their information on the web.

“The security infrastructure is a component of how we're architecting this with Microsoft,” Oldenburg told “We want to ensure that as the records are transmitted, they are kept as safe and secure as the two organizations can jointly possibly make them.”

The announcement by Microsoft and Kaiser is part of a growing trend to provide patients with increased access to their data. Google launched a similar service in February.

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