July 19, 2007
Garfield Center Celebrates First Year of Innovation - and Many More to Come
More than 200 Kaiser Permanente employees and clinical partners gathered July 13 to celebrate the first of many years of health care excellence at Kaiser Permanente's Sidney R. Garfield Health Care Innovation Center.
The center opened in June 2006 as a laboratory for the people of KP to test and evaluate facility designs, materials, workflows, and new technologies. More than 30 simulations and prototyping activities have tested or evaluated architectural designs, clinical care processes, and new products and technologies. Numerous products and processes now being built into new Kaiser Permanente facilities were evaluated at the Garfield Center, which is in San Leandro, Calif., 10 miles south of KP's national headquarters.
"Innovation is in our DNA," said Jennifer Ruzek, director of the Garfield Center, in kicking off the July 13 event. "When you bring a diverse group together and take them out of their daily environment, they really do think differently about solving problems. We have seen here, first-hand, how this process truly speeds up the pace of decision-making."
It's also cost-effective because it gives KP's physicians, managers and employees, and KP's business partners, the ability to test new products and designs without shutting down space in existing medical centers or medical office buildings. Environments in the Garfield Center often can be reset overnight to adjust to lessons learned the day before.
One of the center's many successes in its first year was validating Nurse Knowledge Exchange, a system for nurses to share critical information at shift change while engaging patients and their families. NKE was modeled and validated with KP HealthConnect™ at the Garfield Center in January 2007. Today it's cited by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement as a top 10 improvement idea and is being put to use throughout KP.
Learn more about the Garfield Center through its website.