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Case Study: Kaiser Permanente


The Challenge

Kaiser Permanente – the largest non profit health plan serving over 8.6 million members with 2008 revenue of $40.8B – was looking to improve their medical office building standard, in particular for exam rooms.

In addition, they wanted to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) to address the protection of personal health information. Finally, they wanted to find a way to reduce construction costs while maintaining a consistent privacy standard.

The Solution

Lencore had worked with Kaiser Permanente’s Manager of Standards in over 40 facilities. For this Kaiser Project, Lencore leveraged a simple approach by asking, “What do you want to achieve?” Lencore listened to the challenges and the specific requirements of Kaiser and custom designed the system around those needs.

The result: A specific acoustical solution by room type – verified by an independent acoustical consultant – that surpassed the acoustical requirement. According to Kaiser’s acoustical consultant, they exceeded the standard with the Lencore solution. Furthermore, by looking at alternative construction, significant cost savings were realized.

The Outcome

Kaiser describes the successful outcome as providing significant cost savings through alternative construction while maintaining their privacy requirements for HIPAA. They anticipate hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.


The challenge was to develop an alternative to their previous slab to slab building standard that would work with architectural details, reduce cost and still meet the HIPAA requirements.

“Based on a client’s requirements, sound masking is a very viable solution when used in conjunction with the architecture. It really is about understanding the application and then determining whether or not the right solution is a combination of increasing the level of noise in a controlled and predictable way within the space to increase speech privacy.”

“The introduction of sound masking should have a positive effect on moving the sliding scale towards ‘Good’ or even ‘Excellent’ speech privacy in floor-to-ceiling applications.”

– Erik Ryerson, Shen Milsom & Wilke, LLC Chicago