November 23, 2014

UBT Basics

Imagine a workplace where all employees in every type of job use their knowledge and skill to help Kaiser Permanente continuously improve: This is the vision of unit-based teams. UBTs allow frontline employees to become directly involved in making decisions affecting their work—and help make KP the best place to work and to receive care. In a time of change for health care, UBTs help improve performance and ensure we provide the best service, quality, affordability and job satisfaction. 

What is a unit-based team? 

A unit-based team is a group of frontline employees, managers, physicians and dentists whose work brings them together naturally and who collaborate with one another to improve member and patient care. They are accountable for the performance of their unit and determine the methods and metrics of their performance improvement projects. Those projects line up with the region’s business strategy and with one or more of the points of the Value Compass: best quality, best service, most affordable and best place to work. Team members should always keep their efforts focused on what is best for the patient and the member. 

Why are we working in UBTs? 

The people who negotiated the 2005 National Agreement envisioned unit-based teams as a way to improve care by tapping into the knowledge and experience of frontline staff, managers and physicians. Each National Agreement since has reaffirmed UBTs as a platform for improvement. These teams are transforming Kaiser Permanente by changing the roles of union members and managers and creating an environment in which all employees are encouraged to think critically about problem solving and work innovations. 

In this section, you will find practical information and tools to help you create and sustain improvements in your day-to-day work. Whether you are new to UBTs or a member of a veteran team, there is something here for you.