Kaiser IT: Whistleblowing in Internet Time

The Wall Street Journal published a front page story today about Justen Deal, who last year confronted Kaiser Permanente management about a 4 billion dollar IT project he thought had gone awry, and a projected 7 billion dollar budget deficit at Kaiser. In "How an E-mail Jolted a Big HMO", (temporary link) the Wall Street Journal noted, "flicking away whistle-blowers isn't as easy as it once was".

Acronym Required wrote an account of the story, "Healthcare IT: The Perfect Storm", last November. Why this story bubbled up on the front page of WSJ now, (albeit in their middle, soft news, people focused column ), when there's not exactly a dearth of seemingly critical world news, we don't know. Local papers have pretty much spurned the story. The IT aspects have been mentioned sporadically in healthcare blogs, the IT media, and the LA Times. This is an interesting business case not only in terms of dealing with internal IT implementation strategy and PR, but also for corporate human resource teams, who in this case, perhaps anachronistically, underestimated his kamikaze-like persistence.

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