The business of healthcare has become less about simply treating the sick and more about addressing a wide range of factors that impact patients' health. And one major provider has bet big on a more holistic approach to health.
Kaiser Permanente recently opened a new health center in Manhattan Beach, California, that aims to give patients all the necessary information while providing a healthcare experience that revolves around them, according to FastCoExist. In the next 18 months, the non-profit chain will also unveil 10 "health hubs" in Southern California. This effort represents a patient-centered overhaul for the entire care delivery process, according to the article, right down to the exam chairs, which are positioned so that patients and their providers are literally eye-to-eye. Even the waiting areas incorporate features such as natural light and automated check-in kiosks to shorten wait times.
"The culture of healthcare has been to get you in and out," Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson told the publication. "We're inviting you to linger. This is more than a physician visit; this is about your total health."
Kaiser has long applied this approach to healthcare innovation as well, working to decentralize health systems to make them more level with their communities, FierceHealthcare reported last year when the health hubs were announced.
Beyond the health hubs, it's taken a similar tack in its facilities nationwide, according to a statement from the chain. For example, in Colorado, Kaiser is partnering with the nonprofit Hunger Free Colorado to offer clinic-based hunger screenings due to the links between food insecurity and poor health outcomes. Similarly, the organization and its affinity partners are working to meet Medicare beneficiaries' needs on their own terms in home settings. Kaiser also aims to improve its capacity to assess population health needs, according to the statement, adding an assessment tool to its electronic health record that allows patients to self-report their needs.