Thomas Barber, MD

Orthopedic Surgery, East Bay Area


"Through CyberKaiser, I found out how much fun it is to run a project. It was fabulous to have a team work together to create a product that made people happy and resulted in better patient care."

Dr. Barber first applied technology in a medical setting at age 13 when he built a couple of Heathkit calculators for his father’s medical office. Fast-forward three decades: in 2002, Dr. Barber put together a team of colleagues at Oakland to create CyberKaiser, the first secure messaging system in Kaiser Permanente. Undaunted by the failure of a secure messaging system in another KP region, Dr. Barber and his team developed a system that was appreciated by both physicians and patients at Oakland.

“The most rewarding part for me was when physicians started to see that CyberKaiser made it easier for them to care for their panel of patients,” says Dr. Barber. “And it was great that patients loved it too.” Most of the features of CyberKaiser were incorporated into the current “E-mail your Doctor” on KP HealthConnect, and positive experiences with CyberKaiser gave TPMG physicians the confidence to embrace the regionwide secure messaging system.

Dr. Barber’s latest technological creation is expected to debut in 2008: a password-protected Personal Electronic Medical Record on a USB drive the size of a key fob, allowing KP members to easily carry it with them should they require care in a non-KP setting.