Data-driven Health Care at Kaiser

Kaiser Permanente
Health Care

Kaiser Permanente is a not-for-profit healthcare provider founded in 1945. Kaiser's 200,000+ employees serve more than 12 million members nationwide.


A physical therapy department in a Kaiser hospital wanted to make more data-driven decisions. They knew their profession relied on numerous tests that could be performed in with patients in the hospital rooms and corridors. But, the tests had multiple steps and varying scoring systems. It's too much for a therapist to perform from memory. Carrying a reference book or text book around the hospital is not practical.

The challenge: to create a set of field references that therapists could take with them throughout the hospital to enable data gathering.


When interviewing the therapists about their needs, the elements of content strategy emerged:

  • Documentation must be portable, either easy to carry or fits in the pocket of a lab coat.
  • Documentation needed to stand up to daily use and handling in a hospital in-patient environment.
  • Document needed to contain all the necessary information to generate patient test scores in the field.

With these criteria in place and armed with the full description of various PT tests, I created a document set consisting of

  • one pocket guide containing several common tests.
  • three single-sheet references for test too complex to fit in the pocket guide.


A custom content strategy supports data-driven physical therapy for Kaiser patients.

A custom content strategy supports data-driven physical therapy for Kaiser patients.

All printed items received sturdy lamination to withstand daily use in the hospital environment.

Throughout the project, I worked with physical therapy subject-matter experts to verify that the condensed versions of tests remained useful and accurate. I also worked with existing Kaiser print vendors to produce the final work.

Laminated, quick-reference pages help physical therapists generate data on patient health and recovery.


Therapists now have at hand the notes necessary to conduct 11 tests with patients and score the results.

The tests cover mobility and range of motion while sitting, standing, and walking.

Test scores inform decisions about the course of patient care, readiness for discharge, and referral to continue care facilities and programs.

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