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Teamwork, Technology, and Coordinated Care Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs
Date:7/24/2009

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A national forum hosted by the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Institute and the National Labor College highlighted best practices for ensuring high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Speakers discussed proven strategies for incentivizing coordinated care and better outcomes.

"Changing the way we cover health care, without actually reforming care delivery is a mistake," said George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente. "As a nation, we need to improve access to care, reduce costs and ensure quality care for all. Team-based care, supported by technology, is essential to achieving that vision."

Speakers emphasized how improving outcomes and lowering costs are possible with coordinated care by teams of people supported by the right technology and information. Kaiser Permanente's approach is fueled by a unique high-performance partnership with the unions representing 96,000 employees. A Kaiser Permanente Colorado-based care team comprising physicians, clinical pharmacists, nurses, and medical assistants showed how this unique approach helps staff integrate technology and collaboration, significantly improving high blood pressure control and reduced heart disease risk for hundreds of patients.

Using the teamwork tools of their labor management partnership, the Colorado team designed a new process to use data from Kaiser Permanente's electronic health record Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect(R), to identify at-risk patients and engage them regarding their condition. A special rapid-flow hypertension clinic was set up to perform blood pressure tests, adjust medications, and discuss treatment plans. Patients were called every three weeks to improve compliance. After two years, more patients
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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