Visions

Positive Medicine Inc. believes that to lead in the face of change, an organization’s visions must be sufficiently powered to fire the imagination and exceed the pace of change. The following seven visions provide a roadmap for health leadership in today’s changing health care environment:

I. Health is Political:

Health is universal and common to the people of the world, independent of geography, race, income, gender, and culture. Health is an active state of well being that encompasses mind, body and spirit. It is the capacity to reach one’s full human potential, and, on a larger scale, a nation’s potential for development. Today the notion that health is a preferred state of being, rather than a set of disconnected functions or services, is increasingly being embraced. With this in mind, it becomes impossible to ignore a significant modern-day truism. Health is profoundly political. Why is this the case? For multiple reasons: Health is a collection of resources unequally distributed in society. Health’s “social determinants” such as housing, income, and employment, are critical to the accomplishment of individual, family, and community well being and are themselves politically determined. Health is recognized by many throughout the world as a fundamental right, yet it is irreparably intertwined with our economic, social, and political systems. And growth in health, health care, and health systems requires political debate and political consensus. (Read More)

II. Home-Centered Health Care

Nearly 100 percent of the assets we currently include in our definition of the healthcare system have little to offer us, in their current form, to assist in the build-out of a truly preventive healthcare system. Instead, these elements are original, or second or third, iterations of a century-old interventional care system that stubbornly survives largely in its original form because we have been unsuccessful in managing and executing the creation of a more inclusive and anticipatory healthcare system. Prevention is grounded in education and behavioral modification. It begins before birth and extends beyond death. To be successful, a preventive healthcare system must advantage multigenerational relationships to provide multiple, repetitive inputs in real time that allow micro-adjustments in one’s daily life. Such a system demands intimately informed, highly motivated, and deeply committed individuals willing to gently prod those under their charge toward health and wellness. In the build-out of such a healthcare system, there is only one location that is both geographically identifiable and politically viable as a candidate upon which to center the program —  the home.  While the home may be where the heart is, it is most certainly not currently where the health is, and in this way represents an opportune site for constructive change to take place. (Read More)

III. Reconnecting The Family

The most pressing health demographic in the U.S. and worldwide is aging and its associated chronic burden of disease. By 2050, the American family will be  5 generations deep – great-grandparent, grandparent, parent, child, grandchild.This translates into enormous complexity and unmanageable cost. One of the greatest challenges and opportunities in health reform today is the leveraging of virtual networks and wireless internet technologies to reconnect the family and advantage family relations.

Rather than segment off any portion of the American family, we must now use technology and social networking to aggressively reconnect the generations to manage modern family complexity, mobility, health data and the distribution of responsibility. The challenge is twofold. First, capture the learnings and insights of our elders to inform prevention for younger family members. Second, reinforce a culture of compassion that allows family caring to flow up the generational ladder. (Read More)

IV. Techmanity:

Health Information leaders of the 21st century need to be more revolutionary. Were they to achieve at their full capacity, we would see improvement on 10 different fronts simultaneously: access, efficiency, team care coordination, multi-generational family linkages, inclusion of informal family care givers in the health care team, targeted interventions for vulnerable populations, informed mutual decision making, lifespan health planning, evidenced based personalized care, and palpable presence of physicians, nurses and care team members in the home. Paul Dinsmore, in the AMA Book of Project Management said, ” … designed properly…technology can be a great gift to humanity.” We no longer can afford to simply accept technology. We must embace “techmanity” for all it is worth. (Read More)

V. Lifespan Planning Records:

Prevention and wellness require engaged consumers and providers who are capable of adopting healthy behaviors and avoiding health risks in the pursuit of full human potential for themselves and their families. To achieve healthy homes, consumers must anticipate, plan, coordinate, and execute consistently. This requires action that is based on good information – customized, personalized and accessible to them. A Lifespan Planning Record as envisioned is a participatory technology application designed to assist individuals and families in data gathering and forward facing planning in the pursuit of optimal health and wellness.  This application recognizes that consumer data entry is essential for the creation of personalized and customized strategic health plans; that ease of data entry and telescoping, dynamic time lines are efficient tools for tracking data and maintaining a forward planning focus; and that data collected can be refashioned to create positive participatory feedback loops – a system of customized rewards that reinforce loyalty to the application, to the hosting site, and to prevention and wellness. (Read More)

VI. Collapsing Databases:

Three enormous health databases are in the process of going virtual or electronic. The first  is the Clinical Research Database or CRD containing the published results of studies required to launch new products and discoveries. The second database is the Continuing Medical Education or CME database.  The vast majority of health professional education is now online. The third database, the CCE or Continuing Consumer Education, includes information that more and more consumers access through Google and other search engines. As the consumer movement continues to evolve, health consumers and health providers will utilize the same hardware (like Apple’s i-Pads) and the same information databases. This will help avoid any confusion that might arise from multi-tracked information and accelerate the need for simple and well-designed educational products and applications for mobile devices. By sharing the same devices and educational platforms, issues of incompatibility that might compromise the primary “home to care team to home” loop will melt away. Within a short time, the three databases will actively speak to each other or collapse together. When that happens, discoveries will instantaneously be brought to practice for immediate distribution to the people and the people caring for the people. (Read More)

VII. The Planetary Patient:

If health is defined today as the capacity to reach one’s full human potential, our environment – including the quality and availablility of water, air, soil, and plant and animal life are critical determinants of human health. For too long health professionals have considered the planetary patient as beyond their domain. In reality, it is the health of this patient that provides the basis for all other health endeavors. In embracing and caring for this “patient”, we learn that integrated solutions, forward thinking, wise prioritization and investment, and careful governance are essential to the future well being of our human population. In caring for the planet, we are instructed and guided on how best to care for each other. But in reality, improving the health of our planetary patient requires changes in human behavior. Changing behavior is both a function of the message and the messenger. And studies consistently affirm that there are no more powerful messengers in society – when it comes confidence and trust – then physicians and nurses. (Read More)

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