SAN RAMON -- They were to start receiving patients Thursday, but the new three-story Kaiser Permanente offices in San Ramon have already had the neighbors in for a housewarming.

The new, high-tech medical facility is designed to provide area members with convenient access to health care services. Located at 2300 Camino Ramon in the Bishop Ranch office park, the new 67,000-square-foot building was designed to bridge a 17-mile gap between Kaiser facilities in Pleasanton and Walnut Creek. It has space for 42 medical providers and is equipped with a pharmacy, a physical therapy gym and a house laboratory.

On Nov. 7, visitors were given the grand tour of the site that will also be able to provide primary medical care along with women's health and X-ray services, dermatology and other types of care. However, there won't be surgeries or urgent care, hospital officials said. There is also a ground floor "healthy living center" that will be open to nonmembers.

"This was not an accident -- this was a planned pregnancy, and the vision doesn't stop at opening," said Kaiser Physician-in-Chief David Niver, an obstetrician who enjoys medical analogies. "This [facility] is a child and a young adult that we see down the road being a key player for the sake of Kaiser Permanente medicine but also for the community for which we serve and live."


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Kaiser officials giving building tours at the open house touted the facility's' technologically advanced features. For example, the site is entirely wireless, allowing caregivers to communicate, set up appointments and check patients' medical records with their tablets.

Doctors will be able to video-chat with their off-site colleagues for second opinions during appointments, which can improve the accuracy and efficiency of diagnoses and treatment, said family doctor Sam Tseng, who is moving to the new San Ramon offices from the Kaiser building in Walnut Creek.

Because records can be stored and checked electronically, there is less of a need for chart rooms, which lets more space be used for patient medical services, said Niver.

Mayor Bill Clarkson cut the ceremonial ribbon at the open house, and a number of chamber of commerce representatives were on hand, as well as San Ramon Valley School Board President Ken Mintz. Also, Councilman Scott Perkins, who recently became a Kaiser client because of this facility, was among the first members of the public to tour the new building.

"We are really excited, both as the City of San Ramon but also individually," said Clarkson, himself a Kaiser client. "And the fact that within walking distance are nearly 30,000 employees who work for a variety of companies."

Kaiser Permanente is still looking to build a facility in Dublin and is also expected to open three new hospitals in Oakland, San Leandro and Redwood City by fall 2014.

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