Since the beginning of Western medicine–when a patient had a few swigs from the whiskey bottle before a procedure–the practice of medicine has been reactive. And for good reason: someone has a medical problem so a doctor would address it. Why would someone see a doctor if they’re not even sick?
Well, progress is a strange thing. Today, we don’t think twice (sadly, some don’t think about it at all) about yearly physicals or a mammogram every one to two years. Proactive health care is here (that shouldn’t be much of a surprise). Preventive medicine can help to control disease–even prevent disease in some cases.
This post at the World Health Care Blog addresses the issue by discussing whether or not hospitals are moving from a model dedicated to health instead of the more traditional sickness; it was inspired by a report published by the American Hospital Association with a section titled “Focus on Wellness.”
our own system will focus on wellness. Traditionally, the post says, “efforts often address one or two wellness initiatives, such as flu shots for their own employees and the medically underprivileged, or focus on the poor and frail, as part of their mission, PR and tax-exemption maintenance strategies.” our own system will make a concerted effort to dedicate the system’s complete efforts in order to focus on wellness. More from the blog describing that mission:
This wellness focus included the call for efforts to prevent or at least reduce the incidence and prevalence of illness and injury in the first place, along with measures to manage chronic illness once it has arisen. It addresses the health risk conditions and behaviors that employee and population health management efforts by employers, insurers, and governments have been investing in for some time. This suggests, at least, that hospitals are finally being asked to become part of the solution to the healthcare/cost crisis, rather than the part of the problem they have been up to now.
Of course, sickness care will still need to be a big component of our care for patients. However, our own system will be the impetus for the paradigm change amongst our stakeholders required to make the shift to wellness. The shift will take considerable patient education, third-party payer support, and physician buy-in. As the meeting place for all three of these groups, our own system can be the uniting component of a fundamental shift in thinking and practice.
Principle #7: We will focus on the health portion of the phrase health care. our own system will bring together key stakeholders in the delivery of care and provide the needed platform to make a complete effort dedicated to comprehensive care for our patients, with an important focus on wellness.