Transforming care

Transforming care

As one of the nation’s most productive research institutions, Kaiser Permanente and our research scientists are transforming the future of health and health care. Through our national and regional research centers, we continue to make important contributions in health services and medical research that translate into benefits for individual patients, health care delivery systems, and society-at-large.

Our researchers use their deep expertise, strategic partnerships, and the rich resource provided by our electronic medical record system to conduct groundbreaking research.

Cancer research

Kaiser Permanente researchers study many aspects of cancer, including screening programs, the possible role of genetics in cancer risk, and developing new treatments for cancer.

For example, in 2018 we published a study in Gastroenterology that shows a decline in deaths from colorectal cancer since we launched our screening program.

The National Cancer Institute recently awarded Kaiser Permanente $32 million to improve screening in lung, colon, and cervical cancer screening.

Heart disease

Kaiser Permanente researchers investigate a number of aspects of cardiovascular conditions, including care improvement and treatment. While the national average for hypertension control is 54 percent, at Kaiser Permanente the control rate is 91 percent for Medicare members and 83 percent for commercial plan members.

Research published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2018 showed that Kaiser Permanente is outpacing the nation for reducing deaths from heart disease and stroke. We also published research in 2018 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine showing that we are improving emergency care for patients with chest pain.

Vaccine safety

Through the Vaccine Safety DataLink — a partnership involving Kaiser Permanente, other health care systems and the Centers for Disease Control — our researchers investigate the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

For example, we published a study in early 2015 that confirmed the safety of two common measles vaccines. A 2018 study published in the American Journal of Preventive medicine showed that web-based interventions can improve parents’ attitudes about benefits of vaccination. A 2019 study showed that flu vaccine is safe for hospitalized patients.

Firearm injury prevention research

In 2018, we announced a $2 million investment in research focused on reducing firearm-related injuries and deaths through the Kaiser Permanente Task Force on Firearm Injury Prevention. In 2018, the task force collaborated with experts, clinicians, and researchers to help shape the focus of research aimed at identifying evidence-based tools to guide health care systems in preventing firearm injury and deaths.

Kaiser Permanente Research Bank

The Kaiser Permanente Research Bank is a collection of health information and blood samples shared by member volunteers. This information helps doctors and researchers learn about disease, make discoveries, find treatments, and help people live healthier lives.