Our Values

2.3 About Us - Our Values - Main Page Image

We believe everyone deserves more for their health care dollar - higher quality, a better patient experience, and less wasted expense on services you don't need. Our set of unwavering values begins with putting the patient at the center, and then using evidence to drive the right care, at the right place, at the right time.

Permanente Physicians are dedicated to delivering more of what patients want by adhering to the following set of unwavering values:

Patient-Centered Care

We put the patient at the center and their needs before our own. The patient's membership in Kaiser Permanente is what provides the funds for operating our medical practice, not extra tests or services. Patient satisfaction, loyalty and our patients' health - over the long-term - comprise the benchmark of organizational success. Our patient-centric approach is exemplified by the fact that every medical center in which Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group primary care doctors work earned the highest level of recognition possible as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. 30 out of 30 locations are Level III PCMH practices as recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Our core value of patient-centered care is central to every conversation we have about workflow improvement - from sparing patients the work of navigating their own referrals to online tools that circumvent unnecessary and time-consuming doctor office visits and beyond. Every day we ask ourselves, "how would this impact the patient?"

Evidence-Based Medicine

Medicine is neither 100 percent art nor 100 percent science. We respect the clinical judgment of our expert physicians, while maintaining our deep belief in the premise that deviation from a known body of evidence requires justification. Patients should uniformly get preventive services proven to reduce mortality instead of waiting to "fix" problems later. But they should not receive care that is either clinically proven ineffective for their age, gender, race/ethnicity, personal history or condition or remains unproven to provide more benefit than harm. Even when a treatment is effective, if an alternative exists with fewer side effects or that is less invasive or less expensive, the alternative should be used. Unfortunately, the United States suffers from a lot of deviation from evidence - from overuse of antibiotics and unnecessary caesarian section deliveries to unindicated radiology imaging, and the list goes on. Our value system drives us to:

  • Use best practice alerts that automatically appear on patients' charts as physicians are treating them, reminding the physician about screenings, tests and safety protocols that improve quality.
  • Invest in physician-led committees that choose recommended pharmaceuticals and medical devices based on efficacy.
  • Govern one another as physicians, holding each other accountable for clinical decision-making that is justifiable and appropriate.

Measurement and Accountability

We do not attract or retain physicians who don't want to be measured or held accountable. To deliver on patient-centered care, we measure satisfaction. To deliver on evidence-based care, we measure screenings, testing, prescribing and much more. Because we have access to so much data through our integrated medical records, we have an industry-leading ability to assess performance. What we do with these results demonstrates how measurement and accountability are a core value. Physician leaders take our data on quality, safety, wait times, and more to their peers to discuss how improvements can be made. Rather than business people telling doctors how to change medical care, physicians work together to make changes. Training and support is provided wherever needed, but physicians who don't deliver on quality and service are removed from the medical group and no longer able to treat members of Kaiser Permanente.

Innovation

Research has been a fundamental part of Permanente since its founding. But innovation goes beyond the extraordinary clinical trials and epidemiological studies our research institute performs. This core value is necessary to increase the value of medical care for patients and continues to make a career as a Permanente physician a career of choice for the best physicians. Our innovation directly impacts the practice of medicine and the outcomes patients have. Recent examples include improving clinical pathways for colon cancer screening, Hepatitis C screening, HIV care, and cancer care, implementing cutting-edge and minimally invasive surgical techniques, and applying technology to enable telemedicine. Our collaborative environment, unlike that of most disparate-doctor communities, ensures efficient spread of innovation. The result is increased, consistent use of the latest findings for the care of all of our patients.

The value system held by MAPMG is synergistic with the pillars of our model of care, ensuring that our patients - the members of Kaiser Permanente - can be confident knowing they will get the prevention focus and seamless patient experience they deserve, as well as terrific experts when advanced and complex care is needed.