SONNET Consultations

SONNET Steering Committee members are researchers and evaluators who work in various Kaiser Permanente regional research and other departments. They have expertise in program design, implementation, measurement, outcomes, evaluation, advanced analytics, and dissemination. By leveraging these intellectual resources, the SONNET consultation process aims to match social needs-related programming questions with a SONNET Steering Committee member’s area of expertise, regional familiarity, and availability. Note: SONNET does not have resources to lead or conduct social needs programming. Our scope is limited to consulting on design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination.

Types of social needs program questions that could be addressed through a SONNET consultation:
  1. We’d like to start a program that addresses food insecurity. Do you have advice on the best way to design it? We want to be able to analyze results to find out if it’s effective.
  2. We have a program we think is working. How can we confirm that, and spread it to other clinics or even other regions?
  3. What screening tools should we use to find out if our members need assistance with issues such as housing or legal aid?
  4. How do we analyze the data we’ve collected from our social needs intervention?

The Consultation Process

Step 1: Preliminary information about your question or problem
  1. What question or problem do you want to address?
  2. What decision(s) or action(s) do you want to result from the consultation?
  3. What outcome(s) will be used to evaluate the project, or answer the question?
  4. How do we analyze the data we’ve collected from our social needs intervention?
    • Patient outcome (such as resolution of the social need or improvement in disease control)
    • Process/utilization efficiency (such as changes in staff time or member utilization of ED services)
    • Improved affordability
    • Provider or patient satisfaction
    • Other
  5. How soon do you need this question answered or problem resolved?
  6. Please identify the regional, or medical center executive or other leadership sponsors (if any) involved in the question/program/consultation.
  7. Indicate if your question is of regional or KP program-wide importance. Explain how answering your question or addressing your problem will inform others (within your region and across regions) about effective ways to screen for and or address social needs in our members.
  8. Please identify the people who should attend consultation calls or meetings and provide their contact information.

Step 2: Submitting your request

Next Steps:

Step 3: SONNET staff will review your request

SONNET staff will review your request, offer feedback to align your consultation request with SONNET’s consultation criteria, or will match your question or problem with a Steering Committee member or members who have the expertise to help. If SONNET does not have the expertise or resources to help, we will let you know promptly.

Step 4: SONNET response

You will receive a response within 10 business days describing next steps.

Step 5: Phone consultation

Our experts will arrange a time for a phone consultation.

Final Step: Feedback

Once the consultation is complete, we’ll contact you with a request for feedback. We’re still learning, so your input helps us improve how we conduct consultations to bring maximum benefit to requestors. We hope you’ll take the time to complete this step.