The following was produced in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, which delivers high-quality health care and coverage all from one place. Now it’s easier than ever for parents to stay on top of their family’s health.
Living in the on-demand era affords modern parents conveniences their mothers and fathers could not have imagined. Toddler demanding to know why the sky is blue? Personal assistant is on it. Eight-month-old out of diapers? A fresh pack will be there this afternoon. Kid got a fever? Well, there’s nothing for that–just a long wait.
Given how much everything else has improved, the health care experience can feel doubly frustrating for lacking an on-demand element. There’s no voice command or button to respond to illnesses, accidents, injuries, and other inglorious moments parents know all too well. One minute everything is cool, the next Junior has an action figure stuck in his ear. Now you gotta deal with that.
Enter: Kaiser Permanente, a care and coverage health care system that has been inventing the future of health for more than 70 years.
Thanks to Kaiser Permanente’s digital integration, physicians are available 24/7, either in person, by phone, or online. Half of their website usage is mobile, and their physicians conduct a quarter of a billion “digital visits” every year.
“Our model is based on connectivity and availability to maximize parents’ ability to quickly and confidently get the right answer for their child and understand the next step,” Kaiser Permanente Senior Vice President of Marketing Christine Paige explains. “Because with kids, we know anything can happen at any time.”
When parents call for clinical advice, they’re connected to a nurse who can provide immediate advice. The nurse – or parents themselves – can then schedule a phone visit with a physician, schedule a clinical visit if the issue can wait until the morning, or even email a doctor with a picture of the action figure fiasco or that mysterious rash. Clinicians work as a group practice, so if a family’s primary physician isn’t available for some reason, another one will be.
All of this is possible because of another innovation: integrated data storage. Kaiser Permanente, which provides services to nearly 12 million members, houses all data in one fully integrated system. So by the time that nurse picks up the phone or that doctor admits a child to the ER, they’ve read up on the patient’s medical history. They’re ready to talk next steps instead of just getting up to speed. Speaking of which, say goodbye to filling out all those forms every checkup. That June 2004 copy of Highlights is finally going to get the attention it deserves!
The second way Kaiser Permanente is optimized for modern families is that their integrated digital offerings and physical services all live under one roof in one-stop shops. Everything a parent might need during a doctor’s visit, from an imaging center to a lab to a pharmacy, is available at most of Kaiser Permanente’s care sites. Which means test results in your inbox before you get home from your post-vaccination ice cream detour. Who’s a big brave boy? You are!
Kaiser Permanente’s third big innovation is a philosophical one. “From the beginning, it’s been about one thing: how do you keep people healthy? We do it by emphasizing prevention, and it has been a really powerful approach,” Paige says.
Kaiser Permanente uses its integrated database of comprehensive medical records to better understand exactly where every patient is in terms of checkups, immunizations, preventative screenings and the other fundamental measures involved in keeping people generally healthy. For kids, especially, they use that knowledge to take care of as much as possible during any given doctor’s appointment, as opposed to waiting for the next inglorious moment to happen. Paige explains:
“Say you bring your baby in with the sniffles and we see they’re about ready for their next immunization. Or, for an older child, maybe they’re getting close to requiring a particular exam. We can then say, ‘Let’s take care of that now.’ We call that a proactive office visit. It’s an incredibly convenient way to maximize the efficiency of parents’ time–because getting kids to the doctor is an effort.”
Ultimately, Paige says, health care is the thing parents should care about, and the thing Kaiser Permanente provides. Health care coverage is just the mode by which families access that care.
“Having kids changes everything,” says Paige (and every parent everywhere, at some point). “When people become parents, great health care dramatically elevates in their value systems from just having a doctor they can see to a true lifeline.”
This article was produced in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, which delivers high-quality, integrated health care and coverage. To learn more, visit kp.org.