Kaiser Permanente COVID-19 playbook Offers Return-to-Workplace Strategies

Friday, May 29th, 2020

Kaiser Permanente has released a playbook, “Planning for the Next Normal at Work,” to guide employers and businesses through health considerations they will need to address as they safeguard workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare to bring employees back to traditional work environments. As the nation’s largest nonprofit, integrated health system serving 12.4 million members, Kaiser Permanente provides health coverage to approximately 14,400 large and 74,000 small businesses.

“Kaiser Permanente’s goal with this playbook is to provide trusted, expert-informed guidance to help businesses restart their workplaces in a way that best safeguards the health of their employees,” said Arthur Southam, MD, MPH, executive vice president for health plan operations at Kaiser Permanente. “As stay-at-home restrictions ease and people begin to return to their workplaces, the ability for employers to protect the physical, mental, and social well-being of their employees will be paramount.”

Made in response to Kaiser Permanente business customers’ requests for its guidance, the playbook aims to prevent a resurgence of the virus while acknowledging that professional life and productivity will look different than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic. Examples of recommended safety modifications to the workplace include:

  • Reconfigure office space to allow at least 2 arms’ length of space between workstations and provide hand sanitizer in multiple locations.
  • Limit meetings and gatherings to 10 people or fewer.
  • Create processes for potential employee diagnoses, including evaluating leave-of-absence policies.
  • Reinforce a psychologically healthy workplace where employees feel safe, respected, and empowered.

The 98-page playbook includes information and guidance from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and county health departments, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It also provides details on how Kaiser Permanente will support its members across the health care delivery spectrum.

Kaiser Permanente will update its ”Planning for the Next Normal at Work” playbook regularly as official guidance continues to evolve.