We need to shake up our health leadership. There are two perspectives that are necessary to look at in order to do this: Personal Care and the Healthcare System.
- Personal Care includes our eating and exercising habits, frequency of doctors’ visits, and considerations like whether we take vitamins or not
- The Healthcare System view includes the availability of our health data, who is paying for our healthcare and how, and what the real costs of our health procedures are.
Whole Health is the intersection of these two perspectives. Being personally healthy AND personally engaged with our health data and system. So how do we, as a society, become Whole Health passionate? With patient engagement through health leadership.
Patient Engagement combines Patient Activation, a patient’s knowledge, ability, and willingness to manage their own health and care, with interactions designed to increase motivation and promote positive behavior. A shift in action is needed. We need to take a leadership role in our health, as do the doctors that we interact with. However, to make Patient Engagement work we need to address the Sphere of Frustration, which can happen from both sides.
From the Personal Care side:
- If we want to manage our data but our clinic won’t give it to us, we get frustrated
- If we are committed to ensuring our health is on track but our doctor is only willing to spend 15 minutes or less with us, we get frustrated
- If we need prescription refills or to schedule an appointment but there’s no patient portal so we have to wait and hold on the phone for countless minutes, we get frustrated
- If we need to see a provider but our PCP is on vacation and we’re stuck waiting until they return because of a lack of patient care team, we get frustrated
- If we have to re-register all our information at another medical site because our PCP isn’t connected with the care network, we get frustrated, and all of these examples make us enter the sphere
Then from the Healthcare System side:
- If physicians try to get patients to exercise and eat healthier, but they ignore it, physicians get frustrated
- If doctors want to share information on how to address health issues with patients, but they delete it, physicians get frustrated
- If patients self-diagnose online and ignore all prescribed treatments, their doctors get frustrated
- If patients read online that vaccines are dangerous and then refuse immunizations, their doctors get frustrated
- If patients are in denial about being sick, and don’t take it seriously, their doctors get frustrated. All of these make them enter the sphere.
It is a continuous system of who is pulling whom down. Instead, we should be engaged in a spirited health leadership model where everyone is willing and committed to being healthier and happier! We all play a leadership role in advancing healthcare, no matter if you’re a patient, provider, nurse, dietitian, trainer, the list goes on. It is a mutually beneficial partnership and a very important one. So the real question is, are you ready for real health leadership? I sure am.
If you’re interested in working with an organization who’s all about advancing healthcare, contact Galen below: