Merchandising Healthcare: How Kaiser Permanente Creates Value for Patients and Clinicians

Devoted to digital-first strategies, Jeanine Maier, VP of consumer experience at Kaiser Permanente recently shared how Kaiser is elevating the way care is accessed and delivered to promote member and workforce satisfaction.

Here are some of the ways Kaiser elevates the experience for both.

Streamlining the Patient Experience

To minimize the need for patients to make multiple appointments, Kaiser takes a proactive approach. When patients are in a virtual visit in any department – primary care, specialty care, or virtual urgent care – Kaiser informs its members about gaps in their preventative care and ensures that it’s addressed, even if it’s in a different department.

In addition, the Kaiser staff takes the initiative to schedule follow-up and preventative care during the visit. This removes the onus on the patient to remember and manage their healthcare appointments. It’s all handled in a single visit.

Creating a Win-Win with Clinicians Operating at Top of Scope

When looking at creating value for both patients and care teams, Jeanine talked about how operating at top of scope is key. Kaiser staffs their on-demand virtual queues with MDs, both primary care and emergency medicine physicians. But Kaiser discovered that not all patients in the queue need a physician.

Kaiser is partnering with DexCare to optimize capacity and maximize internal resources by pulling other clinician types into the virtual on-demand queue. Nurses can see the reason for visit in the queue and select patients with low acuity conditions that they can assist. The benefits include:

  • Increased patient satisfaction due to shorter wait times for on-demand care.
  • Increased Nurse satisfaction since they will operate at top of scope.
  • Increased Physician satisfaction since it allows them to focus on the patients who most need their services.

Becoming Truly Omni-Channel Focused

Kaiser believes in taking an omnichannel approach to care. The team is working to enable patients to enter the on-demand virtual queue regardless of where they enter the system – from an urgent care center to the call center. Kaiser call center staff and care teams can put patients directly into the on-demand virtual queue. Patients get a text message or email when it’s time for them to join their visit. This helps balance capacity as well as shortens wait times for patients.

Offering Care Nationwide

During the pandemic, Kaiser noticed that their members were spending extended time periods outside of their current service areas. With the intent of serving members regardless of where they are, Kaiser’s Care Away from Home Program now provides its members with virtual care across all 50 states. They have two pools of MDs that are scheduled in the queue for coverage 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Kaiser members now have the peace of mind that no matter where they go, they can get care with a click of a button. Furthermore, the virtual platform offers physicians the appreciated flexibility to work from home.


It’s about how care is merchandised and delivered to patients. Kaiser Permanente is evolving the care experience and continuing to double down on a consumer-focused approach. Kaiser is committed to reducing the barriers to care – making it easy and friction-free to get care quickly – while protecting and managing its precious workforce capacity.