Our Research

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Science to serve one goal: Better health

Scientists at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) have a rare advantage: We work within a system that provides both care and coverage. With a 360-degree view of people’s everyday health experience over time, we discover what works best to serve Kaiser Permanente's mission: better health.  

We collaborate closely with Kaiser Permanente Washington's medical staff and other providers — gaining from their perspectives on practical approaches to health care’s toughest problems. Together, we create a learning health care system — a place where research strengthens practice and practice strengthen research.

Access researcher directory


Scientists

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Working in the public interest

Our faculty work on interdisciplinary research teams, conducting about 300 studies at any given time. They partner with affiliate researchers and others from academic institutions and health systems and share findings in the public domain to serve the public good.

See our KPWHRI researcher directory.

Year in review

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Top 10 research highlights in 2021

We look back at 2021 research findings, including on COVID-19 vaccines, health equity, dementia, and suicide risk factors.

COVID-19

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Greater infection risks linked to COVID-19 disparities

New work by Susan Shortreed, PhD, finds infection risks drive worse outcomes for some racial and ethnic groups.

Funding sources

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A broad base of support

Most of our support comes from federal agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health. We also contract with biomedical companies and receive grants from private foundations. About 5 percent of our budget comes from Kaiser Permanente Washington.

See our list of funders.

Practical findings

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Is blood pressure reading better at home or clinic?

Home blood pressure monitoring shown to be an excellent alternative for making new diagnoses of hypertension.

Research

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COVID-19 pandemic research at KPWHRI

Having long tracked infectious diseases and tested vaccines, KPWHRI now focuses on the novel coronavirus.

Recent publications

Muench J, Hoopes M, Mayhew M, Pisciotta M, Shortreed SM, Livingston CJ, Von Korff M, DeBar LL. Reduction of long-term opioid prescribing for back pain in community health centers after a Medicaid policy change. J Am Board Fam Med. 2022;35(2):352-369. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.02.210306. PubMed

Duca LM, Helmick CG, Barbour KE, Nahin RL, Von Korff M, Murphy LB, Theis K, Guglielmo D, Dahlhamer J, Porter L, Falasinnu T, Mackey S. A review of potential national chronic pain surveillance systems in the United States. J Pain. 2022 Apr 11:S1526-5900(22)00285-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2022.02.013. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Gatz JL, Armstrong MA, Postlethwaite D, Raine-Bennett T, Chillemi G, Alabaster A, Merchant M, Reed SD, Ichikawa L, Getahun D, Fassett MJ, Shi JM, Xie F, Chiu VY, Im TM, Takhar HS, Wang J, Saltus CW, Ritchey ME, Asiimwe A, Pisa F, Schoendorf J, Wahdan Y, Zhou X, Hunter S, Anthony MS, Peipert JF. Association between intrauterine device type and risk of perforation and device expulsion: results from the APEX-IUD Study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 Apr 5:S0002-9378(22)00264-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2022.03.062. [Epub ahead of print.] PubMed

Tuzzio L, Wellman RD, De Marchis EH, Gottlieb LM, Walsh-Bailey C, Jones SMW, Nau CL, Steiner JF, Banegas MP, Sharp AL, Derus A, Lewis CC. Social Risk Factors and Desire for Assistance Among Patients Receiving Subsidized Health Care Insurance in a US-Based Integrated Delivery System. Ann Fam Med. 2022;20(2):137-144. doi: 10.1370/afm.2774. PubMed


Collaborate with us

KPWHRI oversees all research conducted at Kaiser Permanente Washington, ensuring that all studies involving Kaiser Permanente Washington members are aligned with the organization’s primary mission: to improve health.  Researchers from outside Kaiser Permanente Washington can learn more about our processes for collaborating with KPWHRI faculty members.