Contribute to quality improvement at Kaiser Permanente

Join us to deliver great outcomes, advance patient safety, and make health care accessible at a Permanente Medical Group

Throughout their daily practice of medicine, physicians at Permanente Medical Groups identify opportunities to implement programs that improve care quality. These quality-improvement possibilities create an environment of clinical exploration that is at the heart of our success delivering quality care to our patients.

Our pursuit of improving care experiences and outcomes is ingrained in our culture. Since 1945, thousands of quality-improvement projects have helped ensure that people experience high-quality care and live better lives.

Permanente physicians regularly complete specific clinical projects that improve care delivery, increase equitable access to care, and ensure patient safety. In collaboration with other professionals throughout Kaiser Permanente, we continually seek improvements in numerous aspects of medicine, such as:

Care gaps Cancer screenings
Chronic conditions Diagnostic errors
Infection prevention Medication safety
At-home recovery Virtual care

Improved care quality leads to improved outcomes

Two Permanente physicians collaborate on a quality-improvement project.
Collaboration is key to quality improvement at Kaiser Permanente.

By embracing continuous quality improvement, the Permanente Medical Groups have improved health care delivery and patient outcomes through evidence-based practices and innovative approaches. We refine our medical protocols and treatment plans with experimentation, data analysis, clinical research, and collaboration with expert colleagues.

One example of how it works: American hospitals often admit patients experiencing chest pains for observation and cardiac stress testing. However, no clinical studies had evaluated whether this strategy improved these patients’ health.

So, a team of Permanente physicians created new diagnostic criteria called HEART. This is a measure of history, electrocardiogram, age, risk factors, and troponin (a blood test that measures heart injury).

“By assessing patients who come into the Emergency Department using HEART, we were able to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and cardiac testing for many patients without increasing their risk of heart damage,” said Adam L. Sharp, MD, MSc.

Continuous quality improvement in safety, access, and care

Our focus on improving the overall quality of care, supported by our integrated care model, is paying off. Today, Kaiser Permanente:

Permanente physicians regularly review processes, identify potential hazards, and implement new strategies and tactics to mitigate risks. For all projects, we monitor our performance against specific goals to measure whether our efforts are effective.

Finally, once we accept the success of any quality-improvement project, we don’t keep it to ourselves — we share best practices throughout the nation. It’s all in an effort to fulfill the promise of medicine and transform health care in America.

If practicing medicine in an environment that encourages continual improvement in care and health appeals to you, we’d like to meet you.