Analysis of Kaiser Permanente Company

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Introduction

According to (Blumenfeld, 2003), Kaiser Permanente is a health organization in California that was started in 1945 and provides services to eight regions with each comprising of three or two legal entities. Two organizations are operating in each region one offering health plans in prepaid terms to employees, individual and employers while the other one arranges and provides medical care for each region’s members. Kaiser Permanente leads in California in terms of offering insurance services on health and goes on to offer the medical insurance at affordable prices. There are a large number of subscribers to whom Kaiser Permanente provides plans for health insurance which include; insurance on child health, insurance on individual health, health insurance for small groups as well as for large groups, and insurance on family health. In early 20th century, Kaiser Permanente was characterized by the hospital’s expanding work and its administrators’ responsibilities and although a hospital administration theory’s definition lacked, a model was provided by the management of private sector.

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The software was purchased

(Rundall, 2005) found that, the company has purchased software called Netscape internet which is an online network to help in efficient working throughout the whole world. The technology is a progress in providing professional services through the web by connecting its members to important resources dealing with healthcare at global level. According to the report made by the corporation of Netscape communications, more than 1000 members in the company living in Silicon Valley are efficiently applying the software through what was recently launched as Kaiser Permanente online. This is a pilot project that made use of enterprise TM software, TM client software and community system software as the publishing software. Kaiser went an extra mile to obtain the best services from the worldwide professionals of Netscape to know the most workable technology fitting Kaiser’s requirements. Kaiser was targeting to implement the blueprint system that had been proposed and which had been developed as part of the initial project. This had been studied as among the professional services of Kaiser and Netscape on one hand and design and produce system on the other hand. The system was meant to be the site organization providing an interface based on graphical user to enable the users to be competent in using the online system. The online designed by Kaiser Permanente can connect its members and also provide easy access to the details regarding healthcare. This includes prescription of drugs by providing the necessary information. It also provides support groups as well as the phone directory for efficient functioning of Kaiser. (Eddy, 1996)

Privacy and security concerns

Majority of those who participate in using the software do it on voluntary basis but following a planned procedure. However, the health center ensures that the shared information is controlled by keeping it confidential and only available to the individuals.

When these online services were introduced, the first phase comprised of 1000 members from Kaiser who were based in different locations such as Santa Clara and Milpitas as well as Mountain View, all of whom were targeted to be involved in the pilot study on the effectiveness of the online system. The working model of the system is designed in such a way that, when the member logs in the system with his/her personal identification number, it can be possible for that member to access almost every detail regarding health information such as basic care for oneself and other related tips. When the members gain access to the tips, it would be easy for them to diagnose various health problems because the tips are arranged in such a way that, the symptoms as well as conditions are have been given hyperlinks to various words that are related to their definitions as well as their entries. The online services would also ensure the members can hold discussions online with other members on issues related to healthcare and this will facilitate quick transfer of information as opposed to where the members are specialized to one area therefore limiting continuous learning process. This services would however be moderated to avoid passing on of substandard information that has not been verified in which case it would be unprofessional. (Garvican, 2002)

According to (Colleen, 1974), through the same access of information, the Kaiser members have been able to gain detailed information that involves large volume of prescription on medication. In the modern technology where every sector is going online, the software has benefited the members of Kaiser as they can now connect to other healthcare links on the web. They have therefore not been left behind in any required advancement regarding healthcare at global level. The members will also be able to link to all schedules and classes meant to educate them on matter directly and indirectly related to health. Research has shown that, this will be saving the organization much time in terms of arranging for physical classes for different members depending on their specialization. Such information also comprises the general information about Kaiser’s general facilities. Such facilities that the members can access include phone numbers and organizational maps as well as the directory on Kaiser’s health care provisions.

Key features and functions of system

Research has shown that, the online technology will impact positively on matters of health because people with health problems will be in a capacity to connect to most of the information related to the required medicines. This will be possible because most of the symptoms will be linked to the kind of ailment they are suffering from thereby helping them to make efficient diagnoses through computers at home as long as they are connected to this software. According to Robert who is the chief physician at Kaiser medical center based at Santa Clara, Kaiser Permanente decided to rely on Netscape in updating its members with issues regarding health because Netscape has a wide range of experience on internet leadership. He argues that, Netscape services at global level are in a capacity to satisfy the needs of the medical center and provide the best solutions to most of the problems even when there is an extreme shortage of time in the center. Kaiser Permanente is targeting to obtain maximum benefit from the modern technology that is web-based in providing more reliable benefits to all its members in both the current situation as well as in future. (Wyatt, 2003)

Research at Kaiser Permanente medical center has shown that, if Netscape software is properly utilized, the medical center will be supplying the entire members with healthcare information. This is because they will be able to access the details of what they want easily and fast to match with the current shortage of time in accessing the same information through other resources. Kaiser Permanente online is being targeted for further development by Kaiser medical center to make additional services to its members; a process that is already being done. Plans are underway to have the 1000 members based in Santa Clara and Mountain View as well as those in Milpitas making medical appointments through online schedules on non-urgent health problems. This will be done through filling of online forms by the concerned physicians to book the appointments. After booking the appointments, the health center will then facilitate its client to express the history of their health problems by filing a form regarding general health assessment and all this will be done online. This implies that, Kaiser Permanente will be able to serve many clients compared to the past. Whenever the members require to make consultation to the nurses, they will easily be able to do so online thus receiving much advice within a short duration of time. Among the major objectives of the Kaiser Permanente was to make its online services accessible to all members in North California before the year 2000 and research shows that this has already been achieved. (Keltner, 2001)

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Development and implementation of the system

Today, it is possible for all the members at Kaiser Permanente as well as the rest of members of public to get link to HMO’s website on matters of general health information. Kaiser Permanente has therefore benefited much from the services of Netscape professional that capitalizes its services in internet as well as designing of intranet solutions. It also offers validation services as well as those that regard implementation and organizational management especially in consultancy. Large enterprises at global level both in private as well as those in the public domain also benefit from these services. Kaiser Permanente has therefore being a client of Netscape professional be able to maximize its organizational objectives through advancement of the current technology at global level. It has been able to implement most of its products especially in the custom design in a way that enhances satisfaction of the needs of the client as well as its objectives. Kaiser Permanente health center has benefited in implementation of the software because each step in the project has been receiving enough support from the project managers. The managers are selected by Netscape professional to dedicate their effort in seeing proper guidance on the offered services has been followed to the letter. (Keltner, 2001)

Research has shown that, in Northern California, Kaiser Permanente has been able to provide health services to close to 3 million members who have enrolled on voluntary basis. Kaiser Permanente has its headquartered at Oakland and research has indicated that, the organization is the largest at global level among the non-profit organizations that provide health maintenance. Netscape Corporation is on the other hand the largest provider of software designed to link members of public all over the world as well as enterprises with information networks over the internet. Kaiser Permanente has received large volume of clients and servers through Netscape professionals. In addition, the software has become a tool for the health center to develop commercial applications which acts as platforms for future generations in health care through online services. (Raebel, 2004)

How multiple user needs for data and data exchange are met

Research has shown that, during the clinical trials, members of the public are linked to the health care through the facility and provide much information to the doctors on matter regarding betterment of healthcare through research studies. Most of the studies comprise of scientific questions on how to prevent and diagnose as well as better ways on how to treat these diseases. The main objective of these trials is to research on the safety standards regarding various medicines that are being used to treat a particular disease at both individual and general level. The outcome of these trials is used to draw a comparison between the medicine being studied and the standard medicines that are already in use after being accepted. However, in case a standard does not exist, a placebo is used. When there is a new medicine, the initial tests are carried on a few healthy people or those suffering from specific diseases and followed by an evolution by the researchers to determine its safety. This includes determination of the right dosage and appropriate schedule when being used as well as possible side effects. The same procedure is repeated on an increased number of people suffering from specific diseases. The major objective of this second procedure is to determine the effectiveness of the medicine in treating a specific disease. The third phase of the trial is done on a very large population to find out how the drug would be effective in comparison to standard treatment and if it can improve certain areas in ones life such as keeping up with usual routine. At the end of phase three, the medicine may be approved and the participants receive the medicines without being specific on who receives which drug. The final phase of the experiment is based on finding other side benefits as well as any additional safety especially for a particular population. (Blumenfeld, 2003)

Conclusion

With the application of the software at Kaiser Permanente, healthcare studies have become very effective because the researchers can receive a wide range of information. After Kaiser Permanente purchased the software, it has continued to derive its maximum utility in-house with its major application being based on data exchange. Majority of those who participate in using the software do it on voluntary basis but following a planned procedure. However, the health center ensures that the shared information is controlled by keeping it confidential and only available to the individuals.

References

Blumenfeld A. (2003): Group Model at Kaiser Permanente: Blackwell Synergy pp67-72

Rundall J. (2005): Kaiser Permanente’s experience of implementing an electronic medical record: Br Med Assoc pp34-39

Eddy D. (1996): Clinical Decision Making: From Theory to Practice: Jones & Bartlett Publishers pp86-92

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Garvican L. (2002): Clinicians’ Assessments of Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Alert: Hanley & Belfus pp45-48

Colleen M. (1974): Planning and Implementing Large Medical Information Systems: The Management of Health Care: Ballinger Pub. Co pp59-64

Wyatt P. (2003): Evaluating computerized health information systems: Br Med Assoc pp97-103

Keltner J. (2001): Integration of Personal Digital Assistant Devices into Healthcare: Storming Media pp29-34

Raebel M. (2004): Compliance with Dosing Guidelines in Patients with Chronic Disease: Blackwell synergy pp46-50

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