Team-Tested Practices

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Thanks to an innovation spearheaded by appointment clerks, KP health plan members are getting vital information faster and more efficiently. 

Emails Lick Stamps and Envelopes on Savings

“How can we reach patients faster?” That question spurred a performance improvement project that yielded surprising results for one Southern California team. Clerks at the Woodland Hills Specialty Services Appointment Center relied on phone and mail to reach patients because email wasn’t an option. Then, team managers requested — and received permission —  for this group of employees to use Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect® to email patients securely (something normally only doctors and nurses did). Union members identified different ways to use email to enrich the patient care experience and created smart phrases to speed up communication. In 2 weeks, the team reduced the volume of mail by 151 letters per week. Now they’re on track to save $5,000 in mailing supplies this year.

Here's What Worked

  • Using the Rapid Improvement Model to identify goals and the steps needed to improve performance
  • Tracking the number of paper envelopes mailed to patients
  • Developing smart phrases to expedite email communication

What can your team to do expand the use of existing technology to provide patients faster service? 

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