Complementary and Alternative Medicine
6620 Via Del Oro | 2nd Floor
San Jose, CA 95119
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed for Lunch
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is defined as any treatment that arose outside of Western scientific medicine, or not generally practiced within Western medicine. This may include many different healing approaches and techniques, which come from specific cultures around the world.
CAM is often used to improve wellness and quality of life. In recent years, more people have been turning to CAM to also help manage a wide variety of medical conditions.
Some people feel very strongly – for or against – these healing methods.
Our approach to CAM is to evaluate whether it is safe, and whether it is effective, and to counsel our patients about the relative risks and benefits as best we can with the current level of scientific evidence available. This is in fact no different than what we would do for any conventional care. In fact, Kaiser Permanente is distinguished because it is an integrated medical care program, for all aspects of medical care. CAM will be no different. When shown to be a safe, effective method of care, we will define how to provide quality assurance, and then consider how to integrate it into our total medical care program. We know many patients are interested in and using these methods, and want to discuss these with us.
Our approach is to directly provide the information available to assist patients in the health care decisions they are making, and not to ignore or avoid their interest or use of these methods. This should not imply support or condoning of these choices. However, when appropriate, therapies that have reasonable evidence of safety and effectiveness are integrated into our health care program with quality supervision.
We have provided resources to assess the evidence of safety and effectiveness for CAM methods to support clinicians. TPMG will continue to monitor, and participate in, the research and evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of CAM.
The success of CAM clinical integration will depend on total patient care management, on choosing the appropriate therapy, for the appropriate patient, at the appropriate time. It is now essential to talk with your doctor or health care provider about the specific methods you are using.
We can provide you with more information about the safety and risks of CAM therapies, and how you can choose what is right for you. We encourage you to partner with Kaiser Permanente and your doctor and health care team, by taking an active role in your health care. CAM begins with responsible self care – of body, mind, and spirit. Visit your Health Education Department, and talk with your doctor and health care team about what Kaiser Permanente offers you.
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