Health care has become a buzz word. It falls into the arena of insurance, politics, and government. Google searches of the term “health care” retrieve plenty of hits on insurance companies, what the news is reporting on political issues, and how the government is handling everything.
The term does little for the actual care society needs to be healthy and have better quality of life.
Obesity rates are sky rocketing, mental health issues are becoming widespread, heart disease is leading causes of death, and type 2 diabetes can be prevented in many cases but not much is being done.
The “system” of heath care is flawed and it needs to change. It is not addressing these preventable health issues plaguing our country. We need to evolve the model.
Enter “Care of Health”. This is where the focus needs to be. We need to take care of our health. Our annual doctor visits are a good start to launching this new and evolved quality of care. The annual check-up, consistent screenings, regular blood work offer the hard data society needs to start change.
Doctors can provide insight if the test results are of concern.
If BMI levels are high…
Blood pressure is elevated…
Blood sugar is above normal standards…
LDL needs to come down…
The list could be longer, we have all been to the doctor. But unfortunately, this is where the hard data stops. After this point, the recommendations to follow are generally vague and leave more to interpretation by the patient.
“You need to lose weight.”
“You need to eat better.”
“You need to be more active.”
And so on. The test results offer specific data which directs the doctor. However, the recommendations for healthy changes lacks the specificity found in the test results.
Up until now, this is all common practice for a doctor visit. Now we need to evolve into the “care of health” model.
Our doctor visits are few and far between. Most people visit their doctor’s office less than 5 times per year, unless specific circumstances are present. Any recommendation made this infrequently is likely to not be followed.
Think about this for a second, marketing experts say a consumer needs to see an advertisement more than 8 times to make a purchase. Think about yourself for a moment, if you think or hear about something, do you act right away. Most of us would say “No.”
Now back to the patient that needs to make positive lifestyle changes, will they respond to the 1 – 5 times they see their doctor face to face. Not likely.
The motivation and desire to change takes times. It requires a consistent message, like in marketing, to connect needs and wants.
How can medical professionals offer more connections with patients to help these changes occur? Embrace technology!
The doctors of today can provide the “house call services” of the past, by using technology to send their patients consistent information to lead a healthy life.
How are your reading this article? Most likely, on your phone! In today’s world, our phones are our lives. So why not embrace this and deliver information to patients using the one constant in their lives.
To view quality care as only being offering during office visits would be short sighted. The hard data presented during an office visit is just the starting point for change. It’s the other 364 days of the year where the impact is needed.
Simply sending periodic emails consistently to patients can help to invoke the change that is required. Doctors can go from being viewed as a negative (no one likes going to the doctor), to a positive. Receiving a regular email from your trusted doctor helps keep “health” top of mind.
It adds a new element of communication which enhances the doctor – patient relationship. The patient has a better experience because they believe their trusted doctor cares about their health. This leads to better patient outcomes, which should mean improved health.
Happy, healthier patients translate to lower numbers of preventable health issues. Health care does not seem to be addressing these issues. A new “Care of Health” model can do this.
Better communication, more touch points,
enhanced level of care…healthier society!