Richard S. Isaacs, MD, shares pandemic insights at SXSW Online

Richard S. Isaacs, MD, FACS, discussed how systemic challenges that hampered the pandemic response also spurred innovation during “Reimagine, Reboot, Retool: Healthcare Post-COVID,” a virtual panel at SXSW Online last week.

Richard Isaacs, MD

The pandemic uncovered a “striking lack of coordination” at the federal, state, and local levels, said Dr. Isaacs, CEO and executive director of The Permanente Medical Group and president and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. His comments appeared in a MedCity News story about the SXSW Online panel. Dr. Isaacs added that the absence of coordinated guidance meant health systems competed to purchase masks and other protective equipment.

Testing was also in short supply, a fact that prompted Kaiser Permanente to think outside the box. Test results were taking up to 10 days to process by outside vendors, rendering the results useless for tracking and tracing COVID outbreaks, Dr. Isaacs said. That challenge spurred Kaiser Permanente to build a new testing center in Northern California within 8 weeks that gave the organization the added capacity to process up to 20,000 tests per day in California.

The panel also included Jennifer H. Mieres, MD, cardiologist and chief diversity and inclusion officer, Northwell Health; and Lisa Suennen, Digital and Technology Group lead, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and lead partner of Manatt Ventures. Reed Abelson, health care reporter with The New York Times, served as moderator.

Note: To read the full article, visit MedCity News.