Kaiser Permanente's 'Health Hub' Design Named a Finalist in Fast Company's 2016 Innovation Awards

The hub serves as a "real-world laboratory" to fine-tune the physical features and workflow.

Kaiser Permanente's (No. 1 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) Health Hub Experience has been named a Health category finalist in Fast Company's prestigious 2016 Innovation by Design Awards.


"The health hub experience is part of Kaiser Permanente's strategic framework for a life-integration concept, which acknowledges that health care must be integrated into the lives of patients, that it must be intuitive, pervasive and aspirational," said Jodie Lesh, senior vice president, strategic planning & new ventures, for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. "The life-integration approach expands access to health care beyond our traditional system and challenges us to utilize a variety of innovative options to deliver the highest quality care to each member."

"Health hub is Kaiser Permanente's physical manifestation of an intentionally designed ambulatory experience," notes Lesh. "Health hubs represent a total overhaul of the patient experience, from pre-arrival to the check-in process to the engagement of the waiting area to the way providers and care teams interact with members and one another."

One of Kaiser Permanente's first health hubs, located in Manhattan Beach, was featured in Fast Company's April 2016 "life-changing ideas" issue. The hub serves as a "real-world laboratory" to fine-tune the physical features and workflow. Nine other health hubs will be built in Southern California, and aspects of the health hubs will be introduced in the design of Kaiser Permanente medical centers across the country.

The "Health Hub Experience" was designed by HDR for Kaiser Permanente's Reimagining Ambulatory Health project.

"Health hub is more than a specific building design. Health hub is an experience model that scales to different facility sizes and configurations," said David Grandy, FACHE, CMPE, managing director of HDR's Strategic Innovation Group. "This collaboration with Kaiser Permanente to improve the health and health experience of their patients through human-centered design resulted in truly advancing the thinking and models of care for the future."

The Innovation by Design Awards program, now in its fifth year, honors the most innovative and disruptive design solutions to today's business problems. This year's judging panel, which included some of the world's best design minds, selected the finalists from more than 1,700 international submissions across 11 categories — the most ever.

Fast Company is one of the world's leading business media brands, with an editorial focus on creativity and innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with its sister publication Inc. and can be found online at fastcompany.com.

Kaiser Permanente: It's Men's Health Month

A look at the top health threats that face men, prevention tips and how to get additional help.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

As we celebrate Men's Health Month, it's important to stay aware of the most pressing health problems the men close to you may face, and to encourage early detection of these problems.

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Reducing Opioids Not Associated with Lower Patient Satisfaction Scores, Kaiser Permanente Study Finds

Opioid use has been a major health concern in the U.S. Opioid use increased in the United States by 300 percent from 1997 to 2010, and overdose deaths increased 200 percent from 2000 to 2014.

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

A Kaiser Permanente study of nearly 2,500 patients who used high doses of opioids for at least six months showed that reducing their opioid use did not lower their satisfaction with care. The study, "Satisfaction With Care After Reducing Opioids for Chronic Pain," was published today in The American Journal of Managed Care.

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Abbott Introduces the Afinion™ 2 Analyzer Rapid Test System for Diabetes Management

State-of-the-art multi-assay test system helps people with diabetes get the HbA1c results they need within three minutes — allowing more time for consultation and care during a single healthcare visit.

Originally Published by Abbott.

Abbott announced the launch of its Afinion™ 2 analyzer in the U.S., the newest generation of the Afinion test system. The Afinion 2 builds on Abbott's heritage in diabetes care by empowering patients with information about their health that they can discuss with their providers during a single visit.

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Five Questions with Dr. Ronald Copeland of Kaiser Permanente on Addressing Mental Health in the Workplace

Depression and other mental health conditions are a leading cause of workplace disability in the form of lost productivity because of how common they are–1 out of every 5 people are suffering from a mental health condition at any given time–and because they tend to occur when people are young.

Originally Published by National Organization on Disability.

Kaiser Permanente's focus on reducing mental health stigma for consumers and members also applies to its own employees. The National Organization on Disability caught up with Ron Copeland, MD, to understand how to best create a supportive and inclusive workplace for people who are experiencing a mental health condition.

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Kaiser Permanente Researchers Develop New Models for Predicting Suicide Risk

Approach may offer value to health systems and clinicians in targeting interventions to prevent suicide

Originally Published by Kaiser Permanente.

Combining data from electronic health records with results from standardized depression questionnaires better predicts suicide risk in the 90 days following either mental health specialty or primary care outpatient visits, reports a team from the Mental Health Research Network, led by Kaiser Permanente research scientists.

The study, "Predicting Suicide Attempts and Suicide Death Following Outpatient Visits Using Electronic Health Records," conducted in five Kaiser Permanente regions (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, California and Washington), the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and the HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis, was published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Combining a variety of information from the past five years of people's electronic health records and answers to questionnaires, the new models predicted suicide risk more accurately than before, according to the authors. The strongest predictors include prior suicide attempts, mental health and substance use diagnoses, medical diagnoses, psychiatric medications dispensed, inpatient or emergency room care, and scores on a standardized depression questionnaire.

Dr. Simon shares what inspired him to study mental health.

"We demonstrated that we can use electronic health record data in combination with other tools to accurately identify people at high risk for suicide attempt or suicide death," said first author Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, a Kaiser Permanente psychiatrist in Washington and a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

In the 90 days following an office visit:

  • Suicide attempts and deaths among patients whose visits were in the highest 1 percent of predicted risk were 200 times more common than among those in the bottom half of predicted risk.
  • Patients with mental health specialty visits who had risk scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 43 percent of suicide attempts and 48 percent of suicide deaths.
  • Patients with primary care visits who had scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 48 percent of suicide attempts and 43 percent of suicide deaths.

This study builds on previous models in other health systems that used fewer potential predictors from patients' records. Using those models, people in the top 5 percent of risk accounted for only a quarter to a third of subsequent suicide attempts and deaths. More traditional suicide risk assessment, which relies on questionnaires or clinical interviews only, is even less accurate.

The new study involved seven large health systems serving a combined population of 8 million people in nine states. The research team examined almost 20 million visits by nearly 3 million people age 13 or older, including about 10.3 million mental health specialty visits and about 9.7 million primary care visits with mental health diagnoses. The researchers deleted information that could help identify individuals.

"It would be fair to say that the health systems in the Mental Health Research Network, which integrate care and coverage, are the best in the country for implementing suicide prevention programs," Dr. Simon said. "But we know we could do better. So several of our health systems, including Kaiser Permanente, are working to integrate prediction models into our existing processes for identifying and addressing suicide risk."

Suicide rates are increasing, with suicide accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in the United States in 2016; 25 percent more than in 2000, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Other health systems can replicate this approach to risk stratification, according to Dr. Simon. Better prediction of suicide risk can inform decisions by health care providers and health systems. Such decisions include how often to follow up with patients, refer them for intensive treatment, reach out to them after missed or canceled appointments — and whether to help them create a personal safety plan and counsel them about reducing access to means of self-harm.