Kaiser Permanente Botches Its Kidney Transplant Center Project

944 Words Feb 22nd, 2013 4 Pages
Kaiser Permanente Botches Its Kidney Transplant Center Project
Kaiser Permanente is one of the country’s foremost health maintenance organizations (HMOs), also referred to as integrated managed care organizations. HMOs provide health care that is fulfilled by hospitals, doctors, and other providers with which the HMO has a contract. While Kaiser is a non- profit organization, the company earned $ 34.4 billion in revenues in 2007. Kaiser has approximately 170,000 employees, over 13,000 doctors, and serves 8.7 million members in nine states. The company is headquartered in Oakland, CA. Kaiser is known for pioneering electronic medical records and currently boasts the world’s largest electronic medical record storage system. The company also
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Despite Kaiser’s longtime experience with electronic medical records, the new center’s records were stored primarily on paper. Kaiser had no comprehensive transplant patient master list or database. Many other transplant programs have multiple IT professionals assigned to maintain the complicated databases required for a transplant program. Kaiser attempted to run such a program without similar resources. Kaiser employees dedicated to processing information on prospective trans-plant recipients were overworked, logging 10- to 16- hour days as they tried to keep up with the avalanche of information. The company did not accurately anticipate the personnel requirements of their under-taking. These were by no means the company’s only mistakes, however. There were no specific procedures for transferring data on the initial patients to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which oversees national transplant waiting lists. There were no systematic processes for tracking or responding to patient complaints or requests. The Kaiser staff lacked guidance and training regarding their job requirements and uniformly lacked prior experience with transplant programs. And there was no executive governance to identify and correct any of these procedural problems that arose almost immediately after the beginning of the project. Kaiser had seemingly made no attempt to identify and define the processes required to ensure a smooth transition from external transplant programs

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