(Logo via Kaiser Permanente)

Kaiser Permanente: International Program Inspires Global Health Care Leaders

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

High-tech facilities. Integrated health care. Environmentally friendly hospital design.

These are just a few groundbreaking successes that health care leaders from around the globe hope to see when they take part in a program designed to showcase Kaiser Permanente’s operations and care delivery approach.


“I’m hoping to get a glimpse of Kaiser Permanente’s ‘secret sauce,'” said Elizabeth Carlton, vice president of Policy and Public Affairs for Ontario Hospital Association in Toronto, Canada. Carlton made the trip to Oakland recently to take part in one of Kaiser Permanente International’s programs. “Integration is key how does Kaiser Permanente incent quality and efficiency, and get patients engaged in their own health” she asked. “How has Kaiser Permanente been able to evolve over the years, adapt to new populations and health challenges, and stay ahead of the curve while continually innovating”

Kaiser Permanente is viewed as an international model for high-quality, integrated health care and leading health information technology. To share best practices and lessons learned, Kaiser Permanente International tells the Kaiser Permanente story to a wide variety of international audiences through engaging education programs and speaking engagements. Since 2013, Kaiser Permanente International has attracted health care leaders from 74 countries to participate in visits ranging from two hours to three days at Kaiser Permanente, and provided speakers in 17 countries.

“In Japan, we need to get doctors and engineers to talk to one another and co-create good technological solutions while also embracing the different cultures between the industries, to emerge with a successful facility like Kaiser Permanente’s San Diego Medical Center,” said Atsuhiro Nakagawa, MD, PhD, associate professor and deputy director of the clinical immersion program at Tohoku University Hospital. He also made the trip to Oakland, California, from Japan with hopes of learning more about how Kaiser Permanente effectively integrates technology into care practices to get people healthy and keep them healthy.

Sharing best practices and lessons learned with global health care leaders

Kaiser Permanente International manages the steady stream of inquiries from international entities for visits and for speakers abroad, and partners with Kaiser Permanente employees and physicians who refer international engagements to Kaiser Permanente International and who contribute to its programs. Kaiser Permanente International provides a consistent approach to help maximize the value of international interactions and ensures Kaiser Permanente’s message is delivered consistently.

“More countries are being asked to look at Kaiser Permanente’s model as one to emulate in their health care reform efforts,” said Karin Cooke, director of Kaiser Permanente International. “Whether visitors are from Brazil, China, or Canada, there is an eagerness, and almost urgency, to understand how we integrate primary and specialty care.”

Kaiser Permanente International’s roots date back to 1964 when Kaiser Industries established the not-for-profit Kaiser Foundation International to administer foreign medical care programs. With Kaiser Permanente’s reputation on the rise, requests for consulting started to come from places where Kaiser Industries didn’t already have a presence. Between 1964 and 1969, the international group was engaged for medical care projects in 15 African countries. When it closed in 1975, KFI had been hired and paid for projects in 30 countries around the globe, including rural locations in California, Utah, and West Virginia. KFI was replaced by Kaiser Permanente International, a self-supporting subsidiary, in 1996.

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