Welcome to the Kaiser Permanente
Clinical Decision Unit (CDU)
Clinical Decision Unit (CDU)
What is the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU)?
The Kaiser Permanente Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) is a short stay observation unit (typically 24 hours or less) that is staffed by Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and technicians. While CDU patients may be physically located in one of our Kaiser Permanente Advanced Care Centers (ACCs), our hospital-based physicians coordinate care with primary care physicians (PCPs), specialists, and case managers
Why do I need to stay in the CDU?
In the CDU, we have the capability to perform further testing, provide high level monitoring and treatment including medications and intravenous fluids to stabilize and improve your medical condition.
What can I expect during my stay in the CDU?
- Food – you will have microwave meals served in your room based on your doctor’s diet order. Snacks will be allowed, as appropriate. Please ask the CDU staff if your family can bring in food from outside the CDU.
- Visitors – Please ask the staff about the current visitor policy. To ensure privacy, we ask that your visitor stays in the room with you and does not access other areas of the building.
- Calling your nurse – Please use the call light attached to the television controls to call your nurse.
- Shift Changes – Our nurses change shifts throughout the day so we will likely need to check your health history and make sure we continue your plan of care accurately.
- Medications and Testing – Your CDU providers will discuss all your medications and testing, and these may change over the course of your stay. The treatment team will coordinate with you on whether your usual home medications can or cannot be taken during your stay. Please do not take any medications without the approval of your care team.
What happens after my CDU stay?
After your CDU stay, the next steps in your care will be determined by your care team and after discussion with you and/or your family, may include one or more of the following steps:
- Home – You may be discharged to home after your stay in the CDU. You will receive after-care instructions, including directions on filling prescriptions and follow-up visits. Many of these instructions will also be available on kp.org.
- Hospital – If your condition requires additional or higher-level treatment and/or testing, you may be transferred to one of our partner hospitals, such as Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital or Emory University Hospital Midtown for further care.
- Emergency Room – In rare cases, you may be transferred to one of our partner hospital emergency room departments for further care.
What happens if I need to be transferred to the hospital?
- In most cases, an ambulance will pick you up from the CDU, and they will transport you (with your CDU medical record) to one of our partner hospitals.
- A team from our partner hospital will take your vitals and check you into the hospital when you arrive there. You may need to show your identification and insurance information.
- You will very likely have additional blood work and/or procedures performed as your care continues.
- A hospital-based provider who has received your information from the CDU will see you, develop a plan of care for your hospital stay, and communicate any changes.
What happens if I need to be transferred to the emergency room?
- An ambulance will pick you up from the CDU, and they will transport you (with your CDU medical record) to the most appropriate emergency facility.
- You will be greeted by emergency room staff upon arrival. You will have additional testing completed as your care continues.
- If you are admitted to the hospital, you will be seen by a team of hospital staff, nurses and physicians who will have your CDU records available and will discuss the continuation of your care with you. members who may have limited English proficiency or are visually or hearing impaired.