Changing habits – for people and payers

I love my health team. They help me stay tuned up with my chronic challenges and they get me through unexpected crises. Still, I  see them way too often. 3-5 times a month and I’ve never been an inpatient. Professional contact is a drop in the pond of my health. The rest of the time (also known as my life) I set and track goals and habit changes. I have questions about my plans and treatments. I deal with changes in my life that affect my ability to do the work of habit change.  I network and I research. I worry and I celebrate. I have tools to help me that are largely disconnected from my health team. I track steps with my iPhone, my diet with MyFitnessPal, the support communities of MyTreatment and PatientsLikeMe.  I can communicate with some professionals via portals and can receive one way data via OpenNotes, also with some professionals.

My health is directly related to my habits and my response to crises.  Habit change is hard work until I have new habits. I need help changing habits. It’s impressive how little interactive capabilities exist with professionals even with portals. Nowhere are my life and habit goals listed and tracked in a viewable and writeable form with my team. Nowhere are details about my treatments, drugs (beyond dose and frequency), or exercises listed with links to further information, pictures, and frequently asked questions.  Crises are often predictable: What should I do when I’m in pain or scared or if I fall or bleed? Nowhere can I find such risk management help tailored to me. If I had better access to my EHR I still couldn’t find any information  about habits or crises.

With alternative payment methods increasing  – from fee-for-service to pay for value, medical institutions have increased coordination efforts for people with more complex challenges using navigators, case managers, and peer professionals. Evidence has shown much impact of such support in improving health and reducing cost. Much improvement without integrated communication. Amazing! Imagine what improvements could be had if the communication and tools were better?  Such technology and workflow are not rocket science, but really rather simple. Why don’t EHR vendors, insurance companies, governments find enough value to invest in this? How do we support their change in habits?

Readers of my last post: I’ve gotten lots of emails about last week’s post – a tongue in cheek, fictitious LinkedIn recommendation that I didn’t accept. I wrote the recommendation as a spoof on myself. Some of you thought it was hysterical.  Many of you were outraged and disturbed.  Who could write such a recommendation?!!  I did. Thanks for caring:)

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