May 21, 2020

COVID-19 playbook offers return-to-workplace strategies

Kaiser Permanente’s “Planning for the Next Normal at Work” provides guidance around health considerations for returning to the workplace.

Contact: Hilary Costa

OAKLAND, Calif. — 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.

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.4 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health.