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Working Papers | November 24, 2020

A Case Study of Integrating Technology and Work Systems at Kaiser Permanente’s Health Hubs

Anubhav Arora, Barbara Dyer, Thomas Kochan


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Kaiser Permanente (KP), one of the largest managed care systems in the United States,
envisions a care system that is fully integrated into the everyday lives of its patients (members).
As a step toward this future, the Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSCAL) regional
team began in 2015 to introduce a group of modern, technology-enabled ambulatory care
clinics. These clinics deploy technology and workplace innovations to address some of the pain
points of traditional clinics and to bring health care more seamlessly into members’ lives.

In this case study, we examine KP’s approach to developing and implementing these
innovations. KPSCAL followed an integrated design process that resulted in changes in not only
deployed technology but also the broader work system. Instead of being driven by popular
technological innovations, KPSCAL focused on specific member concerns with the ultimate aim
of improving their experiences. A diverse set of workers and their union representatives—including those from the frontlines—were engaged in the design, implementation, and ongoing
operation of the clinics.

The case study helps illustrate one of the central propositions of the MIT Task Force on the
Work of the Future: technology produces better outcomes for organizations and the workforce
when integrated with work processes and workforce development.

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