Kaiser Permanente Share » Regions » National http://share.kaiserpermanente.org News, Views and Moves from Kaiser Permanente Thu, 30 Oct 2014 23:09:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Receive Highest Ratings in Latest Patient Safety Scorecard http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-hospitals-receive-highest-ratings-in-latest-patient-safety-scorecard/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-hospitals-receive-highest-ratings-in-latest-patient-safety-scorecard/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:00:04 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11781 OAKLAND, Calif. — When Hal Miner was rushed to a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Southern California several years ago, complaining of severe headaches and unable to write his own name, the emergency room medical staff immediately sized up the situation and ordered a CT scan. After the results came back, there was no time to wait: Hal needed brain surgery that night.

“We have to do brain surgery tonight on both sides of the brain,” Barbara Miner, Hal’s wife, remembered the neurosurgeon saying. “If we don’t, he won’t be alive by tomorrow.”

In situations like Hal’s, the care team has little time to make the right diagnosis and come up with a safe and appropriate care plan. Hal and Barbara credit the quick-acting care team and skilled emergency room physicians for saving Hal’s life. It’s this standard of safe, high quality care that has become the hallmark of Kaiser Permanente hospitals.

This week, the Leapfrog Group’s biannual Hospital Safety Score report recognized 32 Kaiser Permanente hospitals with “A” grades and five others with “B” grades.

“We take patient safety seriously and, having established a culture of continuous improvement, we consistently look for new and improved ways to prevent illness, detect disease and treat chronic conditions more effectively,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.

While 32 of Kaiser Permanente’s hospitals included in the report received an “A” grade, the majority of the nation’s hospitals, notably those in California, did not fare as well:

  • Of the 2,520 hospitals nationwide included in the report, only 31 percent (790) received an “A” grade.
  • In California, it was only slightly better. Among the 215 non-Kaiser Permanente hospitals in the state, only 36 percent (77) received an “A” grade.
Hospital Safety Score

The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage, created the Hospital Safety Score to help consumers decide which hospitals to go to and which to avoid. The report card assigns an A, B, C, D or F letter grade to hospitals based on 28 variables, including rates of infections, medication mix-ups and health care-acquired injuries. It uses data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the American Hospital Association and its own Leapfrog survey.

The complete list of Leapfrog Hospital Safety Scores can be found at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

Kaiser Permanente operates 38 hospitals — 35 in California, two in Oregon, and one in Hawaii. In this new report, based primarily on 2013 data, one Kaiser Permanente hospital, Westside Medical Center (Hillsboro, Ore.), which opened in mid-2013, was not included in the report because it was too new.

This Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score honor is the most recent in a string of accolades for patient safety, quality, and service earned by Kaiser Permanente hospitals and health plans:

About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national nonprofit organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-hospitals-receive-highest-ratings-in-latest-patient-safety-scorecard/feed/ 0
The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work For in America http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/the-44-healthiest-companies-to-work-for-in-america/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/the-44-healthiest-companies-to-work-for-in-america/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:32:49 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11783 Considering work is the second most common source of stress (after money), and that 42 percent of respondents in one survey reported a stressful work environment as the reason they jumped ship, it’s about time more offices promoted a healthy lifestyle, no? And we’re not just talking about standard health benefits or a bowl of mealy apples in the conference room.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/the-44-healthiest-companies-to-work-for-in-america/feed/ 0
Culturally Competent Care — Race/Ethnicity with Winston Wong, MD http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/culturally-competent-care-raceethnicity-with-winston-wong-md/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/culturally-competent-care-raceethnicity-with-winston-wong-md/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:34:00 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11778 Medical and Community Benefit Director at Kaiser Permanente gives a lecture on culturally competent care.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/culturally-competent-care-raceethnicity-with-winston-wong-md/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Lifesaving Protocol Semifinalist in Harvard Health Innovation Challenge http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-lifesaving-protocol-reaches-semi-final-round-in-harvard-health-innovation-challenge/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-lifesaving-protocol-reaches-semi-final-round-in-harvard-health-innovation-challenge/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:52:19 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11774 An innovative Kaiser Permanente program aimed at reducing heart attacks and strokes is a semifinalist in Harvard University’s Health Acceleration Challenge, a national competition looking for ideas to enhance health care value in the United States.

The judges, a mix of clinicians, health care professionals and academics, selected Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit’s adaptation of the ALL/PHASE program as one of the top 18 applicants from an original pool of 478. ALL, which stands for aspirin, Lisinopril and a lipid-lowering medication, involves administering a fixed dose of these low-cost, low-risk medicines. (PHASE stands for Preventing Heart Attacks and Strokes Everyday).

Kaiser Permanente first developed the program in 2003 to reduce cardiovascular disease among its diabetic patients over age 50. A three-year study showed that 70,000 Kaiser Permanente members who took both Lisinopril and the lipid lowering pills lowered their incidence of heart attacks and strokes by more than 60 percent. “Based on this great success, we knew we wanted to share ALL/PHASE more broadly,” said Jim Dudl, MD, diabetes clinical lead for Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute.

Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit supports the dissemination of ALL in people at high risk for heart attack or stroke in the safety net care setting. Since 2007, more than 60 of Kaiser Permanente’s community partners in California, the Northwest, Mid-Atlantic States and Colorado have implemented ALL/PHASE, improving the health of nearly 100,000 low-income diabetic patients.

Illustration of medications from video

The ALL (Aspirin, Lisinopril, and a lipid-lowering medication) initiative was developed by Kaiser Permanente in 2003 to reduce cardiovascular disease among our diabetic patients over age 50 by prescribing the ALL triad of medications.

Those interested in reducing cardiovascular risk can weigh in on this issue during an Open Forum period until Nov. 15. The forum allows candidates in the innovation challenge to refine their projects by considering feedback and advice from others.

“With this program, we predict that we will be able to prevent 7,500 heart attacks and strokes, generating a potential savings of over $390 million over 20 years,” says Winston Wong, MD, medical director and community benefit director, Disparities Improvement and Quality Initiatives.

The applicant pool for this challenge included such institutions as Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, Stanford University and Intermountain Healthcare.

Winning innovations become subjects of Harvard Business School case studies and are likely to attract the attention of a broad network of health care experts. Winning teams are invited to attend the Forum on Health Care Innovation Conference in April 2015.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-lifesaving-protocol-reaches-semi-final-round-in-harvard-health-innovation-challenge/feed/ 0
Strong Message From a Flu Survivor http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/strong-message-from-a-flu-survivor/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/strong-message-from-a-flu-survivor/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:48:48 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11770 Lesley Bunning does not mince words. The 62-year-old Sacramento-area woman nearly died of the flu earlier this year and has come forward with an important message. She says she was “a fool” not to get the flu vaccine in the past, and now she’s hoping to save lives by urging the public to get vaccinated this year, and every year. Watch a short video to see her story.

Lesley Bunning’s near-death experience with flu virus has turned her and her family into fierce advocates for the flu vaccine. Bunning, 62, and her daughters recently visited the Kaiser Permanente Roseville Intensive Care Unit in California, where she spent more than 50 days fighting for her life last flu season. She returned to thank her caregivers and let them know she’s learned a life-changing lesson about the flu vaccine.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/strong-message-from-a-flu-survivor/feed/ 0
How Thriving Local Economies Shape Community Health http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/how-thriving-local-economies-shape-community-health/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/how-thriving-local-economies-shape-community-health/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:40:25 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11704 What does a thriving local economy have to do with health?

Well, everything.

People’s social and economic conditions have an immense effect on their lives and on their health and well-being. According to the World Health Organization, the “circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness” are all factors that affect an individual and a community’s overall health.

Those same circumstances are, in turn, shaped by a wider set of forces: economic, social environmental and political. When communities prosper, people prosper. Building communities that are more healthy and sustainable, with vibrant and dynamic local economies serving as the backbone, means that health can be more attainable for community residents.

Recently, we sat down with Tyler Norris, vice president for Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente and Michelle Long, executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, to discuss this connection between thriving local economies, thriving communities and health and to explore the synergies between both organizations: their work and how their missions are interconnected.


Listen to the podcast Interview with Tyler Norris of Kaiser Permanente & Michelle Long of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies

Tyler Norris, MDiv, Vice President of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente

Tyler Norris, MDiv, vice president of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente

Michelle Long, Executive Director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

Michelle Long, executive director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)


BALLE was founded in 2001 to connect leaders, spread solutions and attract investment toward local economies with eye on building communities that support health, prosperity and happiness for all. Speaking for BALLE, Long explains:

“We’re really about reconnecting businesses with their communities, farmers with those who eat food, investors with entrepreneurs. We work with tens of thousands of community entrepreneurs in every sector…who all care about the health of their particular places and we help these communities of entrepreneurs to share ideas across communities around a vision of an economy that really works for everybody.”

Business Alliance for Local Living Economies logo - orange graphic flower next to text treatmentThis past June, BALLE held its annual conference near Kaiser Permanente’s headquarters in Oakland, Calif. The conference provided an opportunity for the two organizations to share their work on both the local and national levels — building conversations around resilient local economies, community entrepreneurship, food systems and policies that support healthy, walkable communities.

Tyler Norris underscores how BALLE’s focus on building local, thriving communities fits well with Kaiser Permanente’s mission to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve:

“As a large integrated health delivery system, we have a stake in the health of our members and in the health of the residents of the communities we serve. The economics in communities, education levels, safety, access to healthy affordable foods, housing, transportation – those very qualities of a local economy, a local community…are the very precursors of healthy people. So we know that in order to improve health, yes, we need people to eat better and move more and find ways to find joy…but if we can create conditions in communities that give rise to health…[those] actually are health-producing communities where people can thrive.”

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/how-thriving-local-economies-shape-community-health/feed/ 0
Therapy Treats Lung Cancer Based on Patients’ Genetic Markers http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/therapy-treats-lung-cancer-based-on-patients-genetic-markers/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/therapy-treats-lung-cancer-based-on-patients-genetic-markers/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:30:35 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11764 A new type of clinical trial for lung cancer patients getting under way at hospitals in the Bay Area and around the country may change the way drugs are tested in the future.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/therapy-treats-lung-cancer-based-on-patients-genetic-markers/feed/ 0
Make this Halloween Pure Fun, Not Pure Sugar http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/make-this-halloween-pure-fun-not-pure-sugar/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/make-this-halloween-pure-fun-not-pure-sugar/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:00:42 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11776 Before becoming a parent, there were many things I thought I’d never do. You know, like just wiping off the pacifier and plugging it back in. Or buying them a cell phone. Or letting teens wear sagging jeans. Or allowing my kids to eat as much Halloween candy as they want.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/make-this-halloween-pure-fun-not-pure-sugar/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Northern California Bargaining Updates http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-northern-california-bargaining-updates/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-northern-california-bargaining-updates/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:00:02 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=10791 Kaiser Permanente is currently involved in contract bargaining with the California Nurses Association. We will regularly add updates to this page with additional information throughout the bargaining process.

Kaiser Permanente has a long and productive relationship with organized labor. But we know actions speak louder than words, and that’s why we are proud to employ more union workers than any other health care organization in the country. In fact, nearly two-thirds of our workforce is made up of union-represented employees. Kaiser Permanente is one of the largest employers in all of California, with more than 60,000 employees in Northern California alone. We employ roughly 16,000 nurses throughout Northern California and more than 48,000 nurses throughout the country.

Detail of infographic - health care transformation, committed to quality

How Kaiser Permanente is transforming care.
Download .pdf »

We believe the bargaining table should be a place of mutual respect and we are prepared to listen carefully and respond respectfully to the union’s bargaining team, and as always, bargain in good faith to reach agreement. At Kaiser Permanente, we believe that bargaining should consider both the needs of our employees, and what will best help our organization meet the needs of our members and patients.

Bargaining updates are posted below:


Bargaining update from October 28, 2014:

Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association’s (CNA) are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on Thursday, Oct. 30, the only date on which the union agreed to meet. We are ready to conclude bargaining around the open proposals that CNA brought to the table.

Kaiser Permanente is bargaining in good faith
CNA is now representing that we “have no intention of settling a contract” and that we are “not bargaining in good faith.” Nothing could be further from the truth. For example:

  • We asked for another contract extension; the union did not respond.
  • We offered to meet every day, including weekends; the union agreed to meet on only one day.

Throughout our 19 sessions, we have been actively bargaining over 39 proposals that CNA brought to the bargaining table. CNA has stressed that agreement on these proposals is vital to the safety of our patients and our nurses. We want to resolve a majority of these issues before adding new issues to the table, and have been consistently trying to push forward in this process.

What about Kaiser Permanente’s wage and benefit proposals?
We are prepared, and wish to move immediately to our wage and benefit proposals, once we have resolved a majority of the proposals CNA brought to the table. CNA is spreading fear based on speculation about what our economic proposals might contain.

As we continue to say: We will keep Kaiser Permanente the best place for nurses to work. We look forward to bargaining in good faith with CNA to resolve those proposals now on the table.


Bargaining update from October 23, 2014:

Today, at the 19th bargaining session, Kaiser Permanente came to the table ready to bargain to resolution the open noneconomic proposals. We were disappointed in the California Nurses Association’s (CNA) unwillingness to negotiate productively. The union declined to sign any of the 10 tentative agreements we gave them yesterday with our signatures in place.

Today in bargaining

Discussions today revolved around several open proposals, including the following:

  • Kaiser Permanente’s Ebola readiness: Kaiser Permanente continues its readiness preparation, and once again invited CNA to participate in a regional work group of representatives and infectious disease experts to expeditiously discuss and resolve any real issues between the parties.
  • Tuition reimbursement: We offered to include certain approved educational apps and journal subscriptions as part of the tuition reimbursement benefit.
  • Break relief: We have verbally agreed to the union’s proposal to avoid having our nurses take breaks in the first or last hours of their shifts. Today we presented options for making this happen, and asked for CNA member participation in local meetings to help resolve this issue.
  • Uninterrupted training time: We shared with the union the work now underway to refine and enhance the system that alerts call center nurses to take training.

CNA failed to commit to bargain tomorrow, the last day of the contract extension. Kaiser Permanente continues to bargain in good faith to resolve the proposals now on the table.


Bargaining update from October 22, 2014:

Kaiser Permanente Gives California Nurses Association (CNA) 10 Tentative Agreements to Sign

We urge the union to sign these agreements and resolve their open proposals.

CNA Proposal Kaiser Permanente Offer/Agreement CNA Response
Training Positions Kaiser Permanente agreed to 310 training positions over 3 years, in areas including OR, L&D, Home Health, ICU and more; and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Break Relief Kaiser Permanente agreed to stop having nurses take breaks in the first and last hour of their shifts, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Uninterrupted Training Time Kaiser Permanente agreed to uninterrupted training time, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Education Funding Kaiser Permanente agreed nurses may submit up to $500 for education-related travel expenses as part of the recently announced tuition reimbursement policy enhancement, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Leaves of Absence Kaiser Permanente agreed to a work re-entry process for nurses who have been on long-term leaves of absence, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
Safe Patient Handling Regulations (CA) Kaiser Permanente agreed to place a reference to the new state regulations in the collective bargaining agreement, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
GRASP® Regional Meetings Kaiser Permanente agreed that GRASP® educators can attend Regional GRASP® meetings, agreed to provide one GRASP® educator per medical center, and gave CNA two tentative agreements to sign. None yet
GRASP® Educators
PPC Committee Kaiser Permanente agreed to add one chief nurse representative to the PPC, and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet
RN Response Network Kaiser Permanente agreed to this proposal and gave CNA a tentative agreement to sign. None yet

Also in bargaining today, we continued discussions with CNA over Kaiser Permanente’s readiness to diagnose and treat Ebola.

We are firmly committed to protecting our nurses with PPE that meets or exceeds CDC standards. We believe that Kaiser Permanente and CNA fundamentally agree on the standards to follow and the steps we need to take to protect our employees and patients. Kaiser Permanente proposed to meet with CNA in a small group of representatives and infectious disease experts to expeditiously discuss and resolve any real issues between the parties.


Bargaining update from October 16, 2014:

Today, Kaiser Permanente responded to CNA’s revised proposal related to Ebola preparedness. We understand our nurses’ — and all our employees’ — concerns that we stay safe should we be called upon to treat a patient diagnosed with this disease. We offered to meet as a small work group to discuss and resolve our mutual concerns regarding this vitally important issue. We await the union’s response.

We are well prepared to safely screen and treat for Ebola

Kaiser Permanente is committed to ensuring that any and all patients we admit for treatment of Ebola virus disease get the best care possible, using reliable clinical evidence and safety approaches.

We have implemented extensive protocols, training and simulations to ensure our staff is prepared to screen all incoming patients, and our care teams are prepared to treat any patient who may be diagnosed with Ebola virus disease, with the safety of all our employees and members being of our utmost concern.

Today in bargaining

In today’s session, CNA refused to bargain over 36 proposals they themselves have put on the table, demanding that we first make a wage and benefit proposal. We explained once again that we believe negotiations will move more expeditiously if we focus first on the issues already on the table before moving to wages, benefits and other issues. And, as we have stated in the past, the union is also free to bring economic or any other proposals it would like, at any time.

CNA has not yet committed to another bargaining session. We told CNA that we are anxious to continue bargaining and are available tomorrow, this weekend, and every day next week to meet.


Bargaining update from October 14, 2014:

Today was the 16th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). We made progress on a number of the 37 remaining noneconomic proposals the union brought to the table. Despite this incremental progress, however, much work remains to be done on these proposals.

The union has pushed for a date by which Kaiser Permanente will provide proposals on wages and benefits, and has accused Kaiser Permanente of delaying — which could not be further from the truth. We have bargained in good faith, responded to each union proposal, and continue to work diligently in an effort to gain more tentative agreements.

Typically during contract bargaining at Kaiser Permanente and other organizations, the union and management have agreed to bargain noneconomic proposals to resolution before bargaining economic proposals. This approach allows proper attention to be paid to proposals having to do with our nurses’ working conditions — issues that are important to keeping Kaiser Permanente the best place for nurses to practice their profession and calling. With this in mind, we made the same agreement with the union when we started bargaining. We have repeatedly told the union that we would be able to present wage and benefit proposals on Oct. 16 — IF we were able to show significant progress on the proposals already on the table.

Given the number of proposals that remain open, it is unlikely that we will be able to start discussion on economic proposals this coming Thursday. The union is, of course, free to make wage and benefit, or any other proposal it likes. We believe, however, that the most expeditious way to reach overall agreement on a collective bargaining agreement is to narrow the issues already on the table before taking on new issues.

Today in bargaining

 In today’s session, there was discussion about the following:

  • Long term leaves of absence: Discussion from both parties concerns minimum qualifications required for nurses who have been on long-term leave to be able to bid on posted positions.
  • GRASP®: Kaiser Permanente made a counterproposal regarding the number of GRASP® educators in the region, and guidelines for their work, geared toward advancing Kaiser Permanente nurses’ knowledge of the GRASP® patient acuity system.
  • Resource nurses: CNA gave a presentation regarding the need to have additional nurses on standby, without patient care assignments, to provide assistance as needed.
  • Educational expense reimbursement: The union provided a counterproposal that included examples of additional materials and mobile apps they propose be covered under Kaiser Permanente’s tuition reimbursement policy, as well as related travel expenses.
  • RN Response Network: Kaiser Permanente presented a counterproposal that agreed to the union’s request for 25 nurses regionwide being granted unpaid leave in the event of disasters, to participate in the union’s emergency response program.

Our next scheduled bargaining session is Thursday, Oct. 16.


Bargaining update from October 9, 2014:

Today was the 15th bargaining session between Kaiser Permanente and California Nurses Association (CNA).

To date, the union has presented Kaiser Permanente with 39 proposals, to which we have responded. We are waiting for CNA to consider the counterproposals we have made and further respond. Today the union ended the session at about 12:15 p.m., after discussing only a few items.

As we’ve said before, CNA has asked that we present our “economic” proposals, but the union is not bargaining actively over the many proposals it has already placed on the table. We have urged CNA to work through these proposals, some of which have clear economic impacts, with a greater sense of urgency. To keep things moving, we have repeatedly summarized for the union what is still outstanding. We have asked if additional information is needed in order for them to respond to our counterproposals. We have offered to meet additional days, but the union has said they are not available next Monday or Wednesday. And to be clear, the union is free to bring its own “economic” proposals to the table, as it already has done. The union’s suggestion that Kaiser Permanente is stalling, as we have heard, is simply untrue.

Today in bargaining

Today, there was discussion about the following:

  • GRASP Regional Education Committee — The union made a counterproposal around the number of inter-rater reliability audits conducted.
  • Nurse Practitioners — CNA gave a presentation on nurse practitioners. We explained the process used to determine Nurse Practitioner staffing needs.
  • Educational Expense Reimbursement — The union will be providing more specific examples of reference materials they propose be covered outside of the current policy.
  • Proposed language in the contract about appropriate use of sick leave.
  • Updating side letters and appendices.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 14.


Bargaining update from October 8, 2014:

Kaiser Permanente and California Nurses Association (CNA) engaged in productive discussion on multiple proposals on the table yesterday and today.

What happened in today’s negotiations

So far this week, we have given the union our responses or counterproposals on topics including:

  • Training opportunities for our nurses
  • Donations by nurses to the union’s RN Response Network
  • GRASP® use, GRASP® Educators and GRASP® committee participation (GRASP® is an acronym for Grace Reynolds Application and Study of PETO [Poland, English, Thornton and Owens] )
  • Professional Performance Committee membership clarification
  • The inclusion of state regulations on safe patient handling in the text of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • Appropriate engagement of traveler nurses
  • Re-entry protocols for nurses who have been on extended leaves of absence

We have received tentative agreements from the union on only two of the 39 operational proposals we have addressed. These proposals focus on key aspects of nurses’ working lives, and it is important that we resolve as many of them as possible before moving our attention to the economic proposals.

We await responses from CNA on those proposals that remain open for negotiation. The next bargaining session is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 9.


Bargaining update from October 1, 2014:

Progress Made in Today’s Negotiations
Kaiser Permanente and California Nurses Association (CNA) signed two tentative agreements and engaged in productive discussion about proposals on the table today.

What happened in today’s negotiations

  1. Tentative agreements
    • Kaiser Permanente and CNA tentatively agreed that nurses will be able to access BRN-approved courses that provide continuing education or continuing medical education units during non-scheduled work time without pre-approval from managers. Educational leave for employees on any leave of absence would require management pre-approval. We also tentatively agreed to add one quality liaison.
  2. Kaiser Permanente gave the union responses to seven operational proposals.
    • Included was a response to the union’s concerns about Kaiser Permanente’s level of preparedness in the event we receive patients suspected of being infected with Ebola virus. We assured the union that Kaiser Permanente has comprehensive plans and procedures in place for such events and that we continue to develop a proactive approach.

Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining team is eager to complete bargaining on operational proposals. This would pave the way to begin discussing economic proposals on Oct. 16. CNA’s bargaining committee requested that we cancel tomorrow’s bargaining session so that the union bargaining team can caucus.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 7.


Bargaining update from September 30, 2014:

Today was the 11th meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). Kaiser Permanente and CNA mutually agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement to Friday, Oct. 24, in order to provide more time for negotiations.

What happened in today’s negotiations
Today, CNA’s bargaining team expressed a desire to begin negotiating economic proposals. We told them we would make economic proposals on Oct. 16, provided that sufficient progress has been made on the operational proposals that are currently on the table.

We are waiting for CNA to respond to 20 pending counterproposals that Kaiser Permanente made at the table Sept. 17 and 18 in response to CNA’s proposals on operational issues — including our counterproposals on specialty training for nurses, break and relief timing and nurses’ participation in reviewing new technology. CNA has not yet responded to our counterproposals, and instead brought seven items to bargaining today that added to their existing operational proposals. Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining team is considering these additions.

In response to CNA’s information requests, we have furnished extensive materials and will continue to do so, as appropriate.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 1.


Bargaining update from September 18, 2014:

Today was the 10th meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). Negotiations continued to be respectful and productive, as Kaiser Permanente presented proposed solutions that we believe will resolve the challenges described in the union’s proposals, while supporting Kaiser Permanente’s ability to deliver on its mission of delivering high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve.

Report from today’s negotiations
As of today, we have responded to all 38 of CNA’s current proposals. We await 20 responses from the union.

Educational leave
Today, we presented a counterproposal regarding educational leave. We share a mutual interest in ensuring our nurses can swiftly access BRN-approved courses that provide continuing education or continuing medical education units during non-scheduled work time.

Optimal break/meal timing
We also presented two letters of intent, to answer seven union proposals. We share a mutual interest in avoiding scheduling nurses to take breaks in the first or last hour of their shifts — these are important times in which our nurses assess their patients and exchange information on patient care with nurses coming in to work the next shifts. Kaiser Permanente presented its plan to solve this issue without needing to hire additional nurses, but instead by facilitating movement of staff nurses to achieve and maintain balanced staffing levels in each medical center, unit and shift.

Training nurses in new specialties
We presented a letter that details our commitment to creating a nurse fellowship program that will allow us to post and fill training positions, to ensure that into the future we will have nurses where our patients need them and that our nurses have the opportunity to enhance their professional practice.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 30.


Bargaining update from September 17, 2014:

Today was the ninth meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association. Negotiations continued to be respectful and productive.

Report from today’s negotiations
To date, we have presented 11 counter proposals to CNA. Today, the union responded to one regarding education leave approval. Kaiser Permanente is reviewing the union’s counter proposal.

Kaiser Permanente gave a counter proposal regarding CNA’s RN Response Network (RNRN), a charitable organization that organizes and supports disaster relief. The union is reviewing our counter proposal. We share a mutual interest in supporting nurses who wish to help care for those affected by disasters. If agreed upon, Kaiser Permanente will:

  • Add RNRN as an option for charitable donations listed in the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Grant up to 30 days unpaid leave for up to 15 nurses region-wide during each event requiring emergency response.
  • Allow nurses to use accrued vacation time when responding to disasters where relief efforts are not sponsored by Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente and CNA share a commitment to protect nurses from workplace injuries. We described this today in a presentation response to the union’s proposals for lift teams. We presented detailed information about our Patient Mobilization Safety Program and reinforced our invitation for nurses to participate in Regional Workplace Safety Steering Committee meetings.

Additional bargaining dates
The union gave eight dates on which it will be available for bargaining from Sept. 30 to Oct. 16. The union agreed to consider another contract extension as the Sept. 30 expiration date nears.


Bargaining update from September 10, 2014:

Sept. 10 was the seventh meeting between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA). The process of negotiations continued at a steady rate, reflecting the extensive work being done in a short amount of time to prepare responses to the union’s proposals. We want to acknowledge the time and efforts of the bargaining team and the many Kaiser Permanente professionals supporting bargaining, in addition to their regular duties.

Report from bargaining
Today, CNA gave verbal responses and requested clarification about counter-proposals Kaiser Permanente gave the union last week, in which Kaiser Permanente:

  • Announced an increase in our tuition reimbursement policy.
  • Proposed to extend reimbursement for continuing education units.
  • Proposed an increase in quality committee nurse practitioner representatives.
  • Proposed uninterrupted time for completion of legally required compliance training.

Kaiser Permanente then presented responses to five previous union proposals, some of which involved multiple elements, including:

  • A Kaiser Permanente counter-proposal with enhanced nurse residency training programs for needed specialties based upon business needs.
  • Our mutual interest in supporting nurses who want to volunteer to provide disaster relief, including facilitating leave requests for a mutually agreed upon number of nurses, and Kaiser Permanente’s existing policy to consider paying travel expenses on a case-by-case basis.
  • Reiterating that we value our nurses’ professional judgment along with the judgment of our managers — and that the contract already provides for this judgment to prevail concerning the complexity of a home health patient’s condition — by allowing extra time for consultation as well as a process to ensure safe staffing predictions in home health care.

Follow-up to last week’s bargaining
After last week’s bargaining, CNA published an alert that incorrectly described Kaiser Permanente’s proposal for a voluntary program for call center nurses to work remotely. The union incorrectly characterized our proposal as an attempt to “outsource” work. Our proposal is intended to respond to what we have heard from nurses about their desire to work from home, as well as for Kaiser Permanente to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Also following last week’s session, CNA prompted an article in a labor-friendly local publication with untrue allegations about staffing and equipment at the Oakland Medical Center, reflecting CNA’s recent statements resisting the use of technology in health care. The allegations made in the article are unfounded. We use appropriate technology as an adjunct for our care teams because it benefits our patients and leads to better, more reliable and consistent patient outcomes.


Bargaining update from September 4, 2014:

To date, Kaiser Permanente has met six times with the California Nurses Association, receiving 38 proposals from the union as of last week. On Sept. 4, in respectful and productive negotiations, we presented nine written responses — eight counter proposals and one letter of understanding. In addition, we engaged in positive discussion about union proposals we have not yet responded to in writing. Over the next several days, Kaiser Permanente’s bargaining team will send additional counterproposals for the union’s consideration. The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 10, and Thursday, Sept. 11.


Bargaining update from August 28, 2014:

Today, Kaiser Permanente met with the California Nurses Association (CNA) to continue negotiations. To date, the union has presented 38 proposals. Our bargaining team has responded to 15 of these, and is working diligently on responses for those that remain. We are identifying areas of mutual interest and look forward to discussing these with CNA.

In today’s negotiations, CNA gave two stirring presentations — one on violence against care team members in the workplace, and another on the union’s RN Relief Network (RNRN), which provides nurses in rapid response to natural disasters in the United States and abroad. We told the union that we agree in principle with the need to support our nurses in these vital efforts, and that we will develop a response to CNA’s RNRN proposal that builds on Kaiser Permanente’s existing policies. In addition, we let the union know that we have mutual interest in finding agreement about the union’s proposal related to workplace violence, to support our nurses’ well-being.

In bargaining this week, Kaiser Permanente and CNA mutually agreed to extend the current collective bargaining agreement to Sept. 30, 2014, in order to provide additional time for negotiations. This means that all of the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, including the no-strike provision, will remain in effect through Sept. 30.

By mutual agreement, negotiations will continue on Thursday, Sept. 4.


Bargaining update from August 20, 2014:

In the first day of bargaining last week, Kaiser Permanente management’s bargaining team presented an overview of the changing health care environment and what we need to do today in quality, service and affordability, so we can be sure that the organization will be here in the future to provide high quality, affordable health care for generations to come. The Kaiser Permanente team also was proud to use the opportunity to acknowledge how our nurses are influencing and transforming health care, for the good of our patients and the nursing profession. And we stated our unwavering commitment to keeping Kaiser Permanente the pre-eminent place for nurses to work in health care.

In our presentation we shared with the union bargaining team, and the assembled nurses, the principles that will guide us through bargaining.

We will:

Ensure that Kaiser Permanente continues to be the best place for nurses to work
This includes continuing to provide competitive wages and benefits, a safe workplace, the right resources and technology, and providing for a secure retirement.

Do the right thing for our patients
Our members and patients are at the center of everything we do. As health care transforms, we have a responsibility to change as well, for the benefit of our patients, our members and our communities.

Make health care more affordable for our members and others in the community
We believe that the cost of health care in this nation has reached a level that is unsustainable and out of reach for most people, and we are committed to lead the effort to change this.

Lead the way in quality, value and affordability
Every one of us in health care has a choice – either seize the opportunity to be an architect of change, or choose to wait and see what others do and hope for the best. We choose to lead.

Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA) met again on August 20 for contract negotiations, during which the union shared 11 proposals. Dialogue was productive and respectful. Negotiations will continue on August 21, and are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week, as well.


Bargaining update from August 7, 2014:

Statement by Gay Westfall, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Northern California

Oakland, Calif., August 7, 2014 – Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association (CNA) were scheduled to start on July 31. The current bargaining agreement is set to expire on Aug. 31.

Initiating negotiations has been problematic due to issues we are trying to resolve, including agreement on a neutral site for bargaining as well as basic ground rules for how the proceedings will be conducted.

For bargaining to be productive, it is important that it take place in a neutral location and with ground rules that foster reasonable discussion. We asked a federal mediator to assist us in coming to agreement on some simple yet important principles before negotiations begin, for example, that each party be given the opportunity to present and explain proposals without interruption, and be assured that the parties will conduct themselves professionally and not be disruptive during the bargaining proceedings.

We were in discussions with the union through late last night and early this morning, but were unable to resolve the outstanding issues. As a result, we notified CNA that we would not be bargaining today.

Meanwhile, today, there were approximately 200 union members rallying at our downtown Oakland offices to divert attention from negotiations. We are concerned about this disruptive behavior at the outset of what are important negotiations for our nurses and the organization.

We care deeply for our nurses and for what they do every day for our patients. We take seriously our commitment to keeping Kaiser Permanente the preeminent place for our nurses to practice their profession and calling.

Kaiser Permanente is ready to come to the bargaining table, confident that we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement and look forward to a meaningful dialogue and an atmosphere of mutual respect.


Bargaining update from July 31, 2014:

Statement by Gay Westfall, senior vice president, Human Resources, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Northern California:

Oakland, Calif., July 31, 2014 – Today was supposed to mark the opening of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement between Kaiser Permanente and the California Nurses Association. The current agreement is set to expire on Aug. 31, 2014.

Both parties agreed to meet on July 31. For the benefit of both, we believe it is best that bargaining take place in a neutral location. We have been in discussions for a number of weeks on this topic and proposed multiple sites. In an effort to facilitate an agreement, we secured a neutral location, and invited the union to meet us there. We said we would be there ready to bargain and we were. The nurses’ union refused to meet us there, or at any other neutral site, to bargain. Instead, the union continued to insist that today’s session had to be at its own headquarters. We are disappointed that the union used this approach at the outset of what are important negotiations for our nurses and the organization.

Kaiser Permanente is ready to come to the bargaining table, confident that we can reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and look forward to a meaningful dialogue and an atmosphere of mutual respect. We care deeply for our nurses and for what they do every day for our patients.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-northern-california-bargaining-updates/feed/ 0
Ebola Volunteers are Heroes, Not Threats. Here’s How We Should be Welcoming Them http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/ebola-volunteers-are-heroes-not-threats-heres-how-we-should-be-welcoming-them/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/ebola-volunteers-are-heroes-not-threats-heres-how-we-should-be-welcoming-them/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:59:48 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_link&p=11749 The fight against Ebola must begin at ground zero — and that is in the countries of West Africa tragically impacted by this frightening disease. While I’m proud to share that Kaiser Permanente donated $1 million to Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Medical Corps., the reality is Aid organizations working in West Africa say they need more health care workers on the ground, not just more money.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/link/ebola-volunteers-are-heroes-not-threats-heres-how-we-should-be-welcoming-them/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Calls For Highest Honor and Best Treatment For Volunteers Returning From Fighting Ebola in West Africa http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-calls-for-highest-honor-and-best-treatment-for-volunteers-returning-from-fighting-ebola-in-west-africa/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-calls-for-highest-honor-and-best-treatment-for-volunteers-returning-from-fighting-ebola-in-west-africa/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 01:44:57 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11746 OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente today called upon public officials, public health experts and leaders in health care to join in helping ensure that Americans who volunteer to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus are treated with the gratitude and respect of a grateful nation.

The following statement was issued today by Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc.:

“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is being fought by local health workers, family caregivers and volunteers from countries outside that devastated region. The only way to stop the virus from killing more, and spreading outside the region, is for these brave people to be successful. We all need them to be successful.

“As a nation, we have to find a way to enable health care professionals to participate in treating those infected with the Ebola virus, and to establish treatment facilities in West Africa, to stop the progression of the epidemic. That’s the only way the epidemic will be contained, and the fight against this virus can be won.

“The volunteers who are going to West Africa have accepted the risk that the Ebola virus poses to them. We have the duty to protect and support them in their work. This means first and foremost we need to ensure they are well trained, and have the right protective gear, equipment and facilities they need. While it’s a work in progress, that work is already underway.

“But it also means we need to ensure they are provided with safe travel to West Africa and home, comprehensive monitoring of their health upon their return and, if needed, rapid access to the best care available, should they demonstrate evidence of having contracted the disease.

“We call on public health authorities and public officials to align quickly around whether and how to sequester and monitor the health of returning volunteers, based on science and evidence, and put that in place consistently. Our request — and our commitment — is that our volunteers be treated under the best conditions that can be provided to them, with their physical safety, comfort and emotional wellbeing at the forefront of our concerns.

“America’s volunteers fighting Ebola in West Africa deserve our highest praise for their choice to selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to help others. They deserve a hero’s welcome home, not fear and stigmatization.”

Amy Compton Phillips, MD, chief quality officer, The Permanente Federation, added the following foundation for this call of support.

“We have physicians, nurses and others right now serving or ready to volunteer in West Africa. We are intensely proud of the work they are doing and stand ready as an organization to support them and others from our organization who volunteer to do this critical work. It is with them in mind as well as all the others from across the country making the same decision that we make this call for compassionate, safe and consistent support.”

Our Shared Goals

Kaiser Permanente leadership has begun reaching out to U.S. government agencies and non-governmental organizations to quickly organize what’s needed to meet the following goals:

  1. Treat these courageous individuals honorably, and support them upon their return; recognize the personal risk they have taken in pursuit of the humanitarian goal of stopping a great public health crisis.
  2. Ensure that these volunteers are provided safe, timely transport home to the U.S. We support the development of a more coherent transport, return and if necessary repatriation system. One solution may be to have the federal government (e.g., the Defense Department) manage the entire process. Another, which we are prepared to help lead, is to assemble a public-private partnership of hospitals, public health authorities and private sector logistics and hospitality companies to deliver on these objectives at the designated entry points in the U.S.
  3. Ensure that we have robust systems in place to protect these volunteers’ health care colleagues, patients, families and friends; and to provide assurance that returning volunteers create no public health risk. Our shared goal should be to welcome our volunteers home safely, treat them honorably and at the same time avoid any risk of Ebola virus exposure to anyone here in the U.S.
  4. Provide vigilant and comprehensive monitoring of their health, upon their return, to protect both them and those they will care for after their return.
  5. Should any of our volunteers contract the disease, provide them with immediate connection to the best treatment possible.
  6. Ensure that the family and friends of our nation’s volunteers also feel our gratitude and support and that nothing we do results in them being stigmatized or treated unfairly.
  7. Remain vigilant to ensure that communication to health care workers and the public is based on science, and the best available evidence.

Some Steps Already Taken

All of the goals above already apply to health care workers serving in our facilities here in the U.S., who could be called upon in the future to treat patients who contract the disease. These caregivers will also deserve our deepest gratitude, and the most honored treatment possible.

Kaiser Permanente has also taken the following actions to make sure it is prepared to honor returning volunteers, treat them with gratitude and ensure their work to help stop the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is strongly supported.

  1. Kaiser Permanente already facilitates leave for staff volunteering and those subject to quarantine upon their return, and will continue to make sure our treatment of our volunteers meets the highest standards.
  2. Kaiser Permanente also stands ready to care for any of our returning volunteers who contract the disease, while ensuring our staff, patients and communities are protected from the virus’ spread. Kaiser Permanente has been and will continue working to ensure that its medical centers are prepared with the recommended personal protective equipment needed to protect caregivers from exposure to the virus, and that staff are trained in how to use this equipment and how to treat any future patient with Ebola Virus Disease who seeks our care.
  3. Kaiser Permanente has donated $1 million for West Africa Ebola relief to support direct medical care and safe clinical treatment practices. This includes a $500,000 charitable donation to Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres, to support the treatment and isolation of patients and training of local and volunteer health workers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The organization has mobilized hemorrhagic fever experts and experienced medical and logistical staff, many of whom have returned multiple times to the region in recent months. Kaiser Permanente also donated $500,000 to the International Medical Corps to support the creation and operation of two roving teams of trainers — in Sierra Leone and Liberia — to rapidly expand the number of trained health care workers equipped to treat Ebola patients and help ensure the safety of patients, health workers and Ebola Treatment Unit staff. Teams will quickly help relieve the existing limits on training capacity by training local health care workers in both West African countries.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-calls-for-highest-honor-and-best-treatment-for-volunteers-returning-from-fighting-ebola-in-west-africa/feed/ 0
A Message from Kaiser Permanente About Ebola http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/a-message-from-kaiser-permanente-about-ebola/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/a-message-from-kaiser-permanente-about-ebola/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:48:32 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11733 The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa and recent cases here in the United States are serious. We want you to know that Kaiser Permanente is monitoring the situation closely and taking direct action in response to be sure we’re ready. As always, your health and well-being are our top priorities.

Most public health experts continue to believe it’s very unlikely that Ebola will become an epidemic in the U.S. Even so, we’re committed to being prepared in the rare event the virus does spread beyond the recent cases in Texas.

What is Kaiser Permanente doing to prepare?
We’re dedicated to protecting our patients, members, physicians, nurses and entire staff. We’ve taken a wide range of steps to be ready to safely evaluate and treat anyone who might have Ebola:

  • We’re meeting or exceeding all recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are working closely with public health officials. This includes making sure our caregivers have the right equipment and training in case they do need to treat a patient with Ebola.
  • We’ve updated our clinical procedures and training protocols based on the latest information from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the handful of cases here in the U.S.
  • We’re following national and state standards for early detection and care.
  • We have an expert team of infectious disease and emergency management specialists overseeing the process to make sure our patients and staff are protected.

What to do if you have symptoms or think you’ve been exposed
Public health experts have confirmed that Ebola can only be spread through direct contact with the body fluids of someone sick with Ebola, or objects contaminated with the virus (like needles).

This means:

  • Ebola is NOT spread through casual contact.
  • Ebola can only be spread when people who have the virus are actively showing symptoms.

If you recently traveled to Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia and have a fever or are otherwise ill, or you’ve been in contact with someone who was diagnosed with Ebola, call our appointment and advice lines for additional instructions.

Region Telephone numbers Hours
California-Northern
California-Southern
1-866-454-8855
1-888-256-2039
Colorado 303-338-4545
or 1-800-218-1059
Georgia 404-365-0966
Oregon/Washington 1-800-813-2000
Maryland/Virginia/Washington D.C. 1-800-677-1112
Hawaii-Oahu
Regular Hours
1-808-432-2300 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon
(not including holidays)
Hawaii-Oahu
After Hours
1-808-432-7700 Monday-Friday 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.
the next morning and Saturday
noon to Monday, 8 a.m.
(including holidays)
Hawaii-Maui
Regular Hours
1-800-243-6400 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon
(not including holidays)
Hawaii-Big Island
Regular Hours
1-808-334-4400 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon
(not including holidays)
Hawaii-Maui/Big Island
After Hours
1-800-467-3011 Monday-Friday 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.
the next morning and Saturday
noon to Monday, 8 a.m.
(including holidays)

Please call us before coming to a Kaiser Permanente facility. This will help our medical staff direct you to the right location and quickly provide you with the best care possible. However, if you reasonably believe you’re experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

What are the symptoms?
The most important early symptom of Ebola in someone who’s been exposed to the virus is a fever. Patients may also have: headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, lack of appetite or abnormal bleeding. Symptoms may appear anytime from 2 to 21 days after exposure to the Ebola virus, though 8 to 10 days is most common.

For more information
Visit kp.org for updates about Ebola from Kaiser Permanente. For the latest information, including details about prevention and symptoms, please visit the CDC website.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/a-message-from-kaiser-permanente-about-ebola/feed/ 0
Mother’s Gestational Diabetes Linked to Daughters Being Overweight Later http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/mothers-gestational-diabetes-linked-to-daughters-being-overweight-later/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/mothers-gestational-diabetes-linked-to-daughters-being-overweight-later/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:00:59 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11723 OAKLAND, Calif. — Women who developed gestational diabetes and were overweight before pregnancy were at a higher risk of having daughters who were obese later in childhood, according to new research published today in Diabetes Care.

Based on long-term research that included a multi-ethnic cohort of 421 girls and their mothers (all members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California), the study is among the first to directly link maternal hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) to offspring being overweight later.

“Glucose levels during pregnancy, particularly gestational diabetes, were associated with the girls being overweight, and this association was much stronger if the mother was also overweight before pregnancy,” said Ai Kubo, PhD, the study’s lead author and an epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

Logo for the CYHNET study - swans with a purple background

Cohort study of Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET)

The girls were part of the Cohort study of Young Girls’ Nutrition, Environment, and Transitions (CYGNET), part of a National Institutes of Health-funded consortium examining early determinants of puberty.

“This research builds on our long-term study of pubertal development in girls, which has been underway since the girls were between 6 and 8 years old,” said Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, a study co-author and CYGNET study principal investigator at the Division of Research.

The girls were followed from 2005 to 2011, with annual clinic visits to measure each girl’s height, weight, body fat, abdominal obesity and other parameters. Pregnant women in the Kaiser Permanente system take glucose tolerance tests during gestational weeks 24 to 28. Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive electronic medical records allowed researchers to link data collected on the girls to information about their mothers.

Twenty-seven mothers in the study had gestational diabetes. If a girl’s mother had gestational diabetes, her risk of having a body mass index at or above the 85th percentile was 3.5 times higher than that of girls whose mothers did not have gestational diabetes. This association was independent of other important factors that influence girl’s obesity, such as race/ethnicity, maternal obesity and girl’s pubertal stage.

Furthermore, the study found that if the girl’s mother was also overweight and had gestational diabetes, her subsequent risk of being overweight was about 5.5 times higher. Similar associations were observed for a girl’s increased body fat and likelihood of having abdominal obesity.

Kubo said the study suggests that behavior modifications in women to reduce weight gain and improve lifestyle before and during pregnancy may also help reduce the risk of obesity in their offspring.

“Once obesity happens, it’s really hard and expensive to reverse,” Kubo said. “Working with mothers during and before pregnancy to make lifestyle improvements could have long-term benefits for their children as well.”

Funding support for the study came from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Center for Research Resources.

In addition to Kubo and Kushi, co-authors of the study were Assiamira Ferrara, MD, PhD, Charles P. Quesenberry, Jr., PhD, Cecile A. Laurent, and Anousheh S. Mirabedi, of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research; Gayle C. Windham, PhD, California Department of Public Health; Louise C. Greenspan, MD, Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center; Julianna Deardorff, PhD, University of California, Berkeley; and Robert A. Hiatt, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco.

About Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and the society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being, and to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Currently, DOR’s 500-plus staff is working on more than 250 epidemiological and health services research projects. For more information, visit www.dor.kaiser.org or follow us @KPDOR.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.5 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/mothers-gestational-diabetes-linked-to-daughters-being-overweight-later/feed/ 0
Study Finds Significant Increase in Rates of Type 1 Diabetes Among U.S. Non-Hispanic White Youth http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/study-finds-significant-increase-in-rates-of-type-1-diabetes-among-u-s-non-hispanic-white-youth/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/study-finds-significant-increase-in-rates-of-type-1-diabetes-among-u-s-non-hispanic-white-youth/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:00:11 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11715 PASADENA, Calif. — The rate of non-Hispanic white youth diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased significantly from 2002 to 2009 in all but the youngest age group of children, according to a new study published today in the journal Diabetes.

The study included data from more than 2 million children and adolescents living in diverse geographic regions of the United States. Within this population, researchers identified 5,842 non-Hispanic white youth, 19 years old and younger, newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over the 8-year study period. They found that from 2002 to 2009, the rate of type 1 diabetes rose from 24.4 per 100,000 youth in the first year of the study to 27.4 per 100,000 youth in the last year of the study. The study is based on the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth registry, one of the largest and most contemporary studies of diabetes in U.S. youth.

“Type 1 diabetes is the predominant form of diabetes diagnosed in childhood. The incidence has been rising in many other countries, particularly in Europe, but data from large populations in the U.S. were limited,” said study lead author Jean M. Lawrence, ScD, MPH, MSSA, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. “This project provides a much larger and more geographically diverse sample than previous studies in the U.S.”

The study also showed that the increases were most pronounced among children aged 5 to 9, with smaller increases among those 10 to 14 years old and 15 to 19 years old, but there was no increase in incidence among children 4 years old and younger. In addition, the rate of increase was slightly higher for boys than for girls, according to the researchers.

“Our findings indicate that the rates of type 1 diabetes in youth are increasing,” Lawrence said. “These trends will continue to be monitored in the U.S. by the SEARCH study to help identify trends in type 1 diabetes in non-Hispanic white youth and youth from other racial and ethnic groups, and to identify potential causes of these increases.

“We have been seeing more children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over the 8 years of this study and these children will require specialized health care as they enter young adulthood.”

Girl who appears very tired at a desk writing or drawing in a notebook

Classical symptoms of type 1 diabetes include frequent urination, increased thirst, dry mouth, increased hunger, fatigue and weight loss. Find out more on kp.org »

The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study is a national multicenter study aimed at developing a deeper understanding of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among children and adolescents in the United States. The study, which started in 2000, involves centers located in five states — California, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington — and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in childhood, with only 5 percent of all people with diabetes having this form of the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. In type 1 diabetes, the body loses its ability to produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy for daily life. Insulin therapy and other treatments are required to help people with type 1 diabetes manage their condition, live long, healthy lives and to prevent or delay diabetes-related complications that may affect their eyes, nerves and kidneys.

Additional study authors include Giuseppina Imperatore, MD, PhD, of the Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD, of the Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Denver; Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, PhD, of the Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina; Barbara Linder, MD, PhD, of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Sharon Saydah, PhD, of the Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Georgeanna J. Klingensmith, MD, of the Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Lawrence Dolan, MD, of the Division of Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati; Debra A. Standiford, MSN, CNP, of the Division of Endocrinology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Catherine Pihoker, MD, of the Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle; David J. Pettitt, MD, of the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute; Jennifer W. Talton, MS, of the Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Joan Thomas, MS, RD, of the Department of Nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Ronny A. Ball, PhD, of the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, Wake Forest School of Medicine; and Ralph B. D’Agostino, Jr., PhD, of the Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, for the SEARCH For Diabetes in Youth Study Group.

About the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation
The Department of Research & Evaluation conducts high-quality, innovative research into disease etiology, prevention, treatment and care delivery. Investigators conduct epidemiology, health sciences and behavioral research as well as clinical trials. Areas of interest include diabetes and obesity, cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, aging and cognition, pregnancy outcomes, women’s and children’s health, quality and safety, and pharmacoepidemiology. Located in Pasadena, California, the department focuses on translating research to practice quickly to benefit the health and lives of Kaiser Permanente Southern California members and the general population. Visit kp.org/research.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.3 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to kp.org/share.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/study-finds-significant-increase-in-rates-of-type-1-diabetes-among-u-s-non-hispanic-white-youth/feed/ 0
Kaiser Permanente Revs Up Car Charging Stations http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-revs-up-car-charging-stations/ http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-revs-up-car-charging-stations/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:00:41 +0000 http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/?post_type=kp_article&p=11713 Taking additional steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, Kaiser Permanente is adding electric vehicle charging stations to its medical centers and other locations nationwide.

Three charging stations opened at the Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center last week, and another five California locations are expected to install stations over the next six months: the San Francisco, Roseville and San Rafael medical centers, the Garfield Specialty Center in San Diego, and the Kaiser Permanente administrative offices in Pasadena. Within two years, another 50 locations across the country are scheduled to host at least three stations.

A blue car parked at a blue charging station at Vacaville Medical Center

A car charging up at the eVgo station.

“Hosting charging stations is a natural fit for our medical centers, where thousands of people come daily to work and to access the care and services they need to manage their health,” said Ramé Hemstreet, vice president of facilities operations and Kaiser Permanente’s chief energy officer. “By promoting sustainable transportation and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, Kaiser Permanente is taking concrete steps toward reducing air pollution and conditions that can harm health.”

Electric vehicles dramatically reduce smog and greenhouse gas emissions. Passenger vehicles release roughly 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the environment each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, contributing to global climate change. Driving an electric vehicle can reduce the greenhouse emissions associated with its travel by as much as 70 percent in some locations, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s GHG emissions calculator at www.fueleconomy.gov.

A close-up view of the blue charger

eVgo charging station

Kaiser Permanente is partnering with NRG eVgo, which will operate and maintain the stations. Visitors and staff can use a credit card or subscribe to one of NRG eVgo’s monthly plans to pay for use of a charging station.

Kimberly Yang, MD, a physician at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, drives a Chevy Volt.

“I’ve cut back on fuel by over half, even taking into account the cost of electricity,” she said of her electric plug-in hybrid car. “I liked the idea of reducing my carbon footprint.”

She also likes that Kaiser Permanente is supporting the use of electrical vehicles by hosting charging stations at its medical centers and administrative offices.

“I think one of the things holding people back from getting electric cars is the limited availability of charging stations,” Dr. Yang said.

For more information about electric vehicles and EV charging, visit the NRG eVgo website at http://www.nrgevgo.com/.

]]>
http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-revs-up-car-charging-stations/feed/ 0