I am currently in the Atlanta area, visiting colleagues in the Kaiser Permanente Georgia Region, my first Gemba-walk in my position with The Permanente Federation. In order to be able to do what I am going to do for my new employer, I need to go where value is created (to use a Toyota derived concept), which is where patients/members receive care. Of course in this system, members can receive care outside of the medical office, too, because of kp.org’s My Health Manager.
If you’re asking: “What’s the Gemba, Ted?” : I’ve written a few blog posts on what it means to do a Gemba Walk in health care click here to read more about what the Gemba is and how a Gemba Tour in health care can work -there is a method to this.
I shadowed three primary care physicians today at the Kaiser Permanente Southwood Medical Office. I learned that there is good proficiency with the installed Electronic Health Record (KP HealthConnect) and with the idea that patients have secure, private access to their personal health information, through their use of kp.org.
Kristyn Greifer, MD is the Associate Medical Director for Ambulatory and Hospital Medicine here, and is my Southeast Permanente Medical Group host. She and her team are supporting my learning through observation at the point of care. It makes a huge difference to start here – I encourage it of anyone interested in improvement – and I appreciate the hospitality of the members and staff here in teaching me how they get and stay healthy in a modern healthcare system.