Strategic Health Care Planning: Kaiser Permanente – Health System Example

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"Strategic Health Care Planning: Kaiser Permanente" is a wonderful example of a paper on the health system. Kaiser Permanente (KP) is an integrated health care organization, founded in 1945 by a physician named Sidney R. Garfield and an industrialist Henry J. Kaiser. Over the years, the organization has grown from a small establishment that provided medical care to industrial workers to the largest non-profit health care institution. KP focuses on providing progressive health care products, advancements, and services to patients. The organization achieves its success through its focused management practices and a culture that enhances growth towards becoming the best health care provider in America (Craft, 2013).

The primary drivers of the company’ s success are effective strategic plans that address nurse staffing, resource management, patient satisfaction, and network growth. Strategic Plan for Network Growth Kaiser Permanente has a well-defined strategic plan for network growth characterized by the integration of multiple entities. These entities work under maximum cooperation and coordination to provide quality health care services and products to patients. KP owns many clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, and works in collaboration with others to enable members to access health care services from one clinic.

Proving the integrated care necessitates the sections involved to focus on the particular specialization and also on the overall goal of the organization under the umbrella of Kaiser Permanente. KP growth also entails working with other hospitals it does not own. This is in a bid to reach out to as many patients as possible. The organization views it as a partnership that translates into KP serving its members (Rodak, 2014). In the process, it helps the partner hospitals attain high-quality standards that match KP’ s.

The integration into these partner hospitals is deep-rooted since Kaiser Permanente physicians manage their clinical departments. This enables the organization to monitor the costs of operations. As a result, KP is billed appropriately by the partner hospitals, and the services it promises its customers are not compromised. Ultimately, Kaiser Permanente achieves growth and maintains if not raise the quality of services and products it gives to the clients. Strategic Plan for Nurse Staffing The shortage of nurses remains a menace that continually bothers major stakeholders in the health care sector.

There is a growing demand for health care in recent times with projections suggesting even higher demand in the future (Cook & National Bureau of Economic Research, 2010). The rising demand for health care coupled with high rates of nurse turnover has seen the remaining nurses becoming overloaded and the quality of care given compromised. Issues relating to nurse staffing stem from many directions such as nurse satisfaction, retention, and recruitment. Kaiser Permanente recognizes the need for a satisfied and an adequate number of nurses in its establishment. For it to continue achieving its goals of becoming and maintaining the top position as the leading health care provider, it needs to have and implement an effective staffing strategy.

One component of the KP’ s strategy is the adoption of the staffing ratios proposed by UNAC (United Nurse Association of California). The ratios stand as one nurse to every four patients. These ratios intend to reduce the workload by every nurse thus impact on the quality of care extended to the patient. According to Kochan (2009), the ratios are a step forward towards dealing with nurse fatigue thus enhancing nurse satisfaction. Workplace issues are a significant factor that affects the retention of health care workers such as nurses.

Kaiser Permanente has put in place practices that promote the presence of a favorable working environment (Craft, 2013). This boosts the morale of the workforce in their establishments. KP has a practice that involves the staff in making adjustments and decisions that impact their ability to perform their duties. This practice has been instrumental in preventing staff turnover. To a larger extent, KP is successful in curbing high turner-over rates. Strategic plan for resource management Kaiser Permanente’ s spectrum of resource management covers its partners, nurse, and physicians.

All of them function insight into KP’ S goal of providing high-quality medical care. Based on several considerations such as the local product delivery channels, individual medical needs of clients, necessity and appropriateness of care, benefit coverage and the safety need of patients, physicians at Kaiser Permanente make resource management decisions. It is the goal of KP to nurture physicians who utilize their professional judgment in making resource management decisions.

Members are let in by the physicians on the treatment options available. The options fall within the standards of the profession and are medically appropriate. In the event of members’ ineligibility, benefit coverage limitations, and lack of medical necessity, denial of the demanded services occurs. However, Kaiser Permanente's strategy in resource management decision-making does not incline towards undue denials in a bid to make financial headway. On the contrary, its physicians are instructed to offer advisory services on the same and assist in the reconsideration process. Strategic Plan for patient satisfaction Patients’ outcomes are an important factor in patient satisfaction.

When patients rate the quality of services they receive from a medical establishment, significant information arises to measure the extent to which the institution is fulfilling its goals. Kaiser Permanente participates in the CAHPS survey that measures the degree to which members are satisfied with the manner medical institutions address their health plans (Kaiser Permanente, 2014). Additionally, some of KP’ s establishments such as Kaiser Permanente Colorado have its surveys that are meant to identify feeble areas that necessitate being attention. Kaiser Permanente's patient satisfaction strategy entails member experience initiatives that give members information on the cost of care and improve the billing and claims experiences.

The aim of this initiative is to allow members to have all the information they need, approach KP’ S clinics with claims, and have them solved smoothly. The strategy also entails improving the experience of patients at the hospitals through noise and stimuli reduction. Additionally, the approach ensures that service time is kept at a minimum such that a patient can have his/her food or medication delivered within the shortest time possible.

From this, patient’ s satisfaction scores are on the rise as seen in the latest satisfaction scores recorded in surveys. Kaiser Permanente has received numerous member satisfaction awards and continues to remain ahead of its competition in the health care delivery sector. Conclusion Kaiser Permanente maintains a high level of alertness when it comes to patient satisfaction, growth advances, resource management, and nurse staffing. In a competitive segment like the one KP is in, this is not a luxury but a necessity. It has acted swiftly to keep its strategic plans for growth, nurse staffing, resource management, and patient satisfaction in check.

Through this, Kaiser Permanente rose to the top and will remain at the top. Still, Kaiser Permanente recognizes that there is a need to monitor its strategic plans and maintain focuses on its goals in the ever-changing dynamics of the healthcare services industry. Kaiser Permanente thrives from the maintenance of high patient satisfaction levels, robust network growth initiatives, good resource management, and proper staffing.  

References

Cook, A., & National Bureau of Economic Research. (2010). The effect of hospital nurse staffing on patient health outcomes: Evidence from California's minimum staffing regulation. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Craft, C. H. (2013). Kaiser seen as a model for health care overhaul | The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved from http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article2576657.html

Kaiser Permanente. (2014). Resource Management. Retrieved from https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health/care/consumer/center/!ut/p/a1/hZBBT4QwEIV_yx44QgcaELwVhA2g4kbjYi-mS7ossVAs3SX8e4GNBxONk0wyk7z3ZeYhikpEO3ZpaqYb2TGx7NR7T7LnIgxtAoVbuJA-uNsg8x4diG7QHmWI1kIeVvHbSev-1gADxr6vZKd5p6u5uTIAUaZ0UwmOSjfxI9_Dnglx4pi2HdumH4WxGRNM3DiAkLh3_9KuU8faGfh5ZqLRkzmwI9fTYiXdAfs1ooofueLKOqv5voU3XIHjaNVS1oJblWxn3C-Wkxw0Kn8q53_pGgngdLdGsn3yAFI_f8lfgxwDON-CP4oA6lt_wuJyz_fmx45sNl9S52Kf/dl5/d5/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/

Kochan, T. A. (2009). Healing together: The labor-management partnership at Kaiser Permanente. Ithaca: ILR Press/Cornell University Press.

Rodak, S. (2014). Learn, Apply, Share Kaiser Permanente's 3-Step Strategy for Healthcare Quality Improvement. Retrieved from http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/learn-apply-share-kaiser-permanentes-3-step-strategy-for-healthcare-quality-improvement.html

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