Getting Home

Perinatal Journey Home — Completed 2003


This project began as a way for Kaiser to learn how to approach innovation and design. In 2003, Kaiser executives were exposed to the innovation firm IDEO and were eager to try to understand if their process would work within Kaiser Permanente. We engaged IDEO with the design challenge to help us internalize their approach so we could develop our skills and capacity to lead efforts on our own.

For our first project using this approach, we were asked to focus on the experience of our Kaiser moms from the time they found out they were pregnant to six weeks after they went home with their new baby.

We partnered with three sites, where our members, clinicians and managers helped us understand their experiences. There were many possible areas to focus on, and we decided to begin with a new way to communicate at a key emotional moment in the mom's journey, the final time of her hospital stay before she goes home.

Did you know?

Women are the primary drivers of healthcare decisions in the household.


The key outcome of the project was the "how to" of innovation and design within our organization.
We also created solutions that had since been spread across all Kaiser hospitals:


Surveys showed that both moms and the care team felt that the Journey Home tools helped their communication and understanding. These solutions have been spread to all Kaiser Hospitals. This project kick-started the Innovation Consultancy, driving the development of design approach.