Health Planning Over a Lifetime

appalachian-trail-chrisbianchinj-by-michelepapaleoThree weeks ago I wrote about navigating our experiment of one. This navigation is health planning over a lifetime. Health Planning over a Lifetime includes having destinations or goals and deciding what needs to happen to get there. Who’s going to do what, by when? How will we  recognize when we’ve arrived. It helps to anticipate risks and barriers (those unexpected forks in the road), and have a plan to prevent or manage those unexpected forks. We’ll want to track and share progress. We need a table to sit down and process what we’ve learned, so we can change course when necessary. The health and wellness industry hasn’t provided us with the setting, the skills, or the technology for this vital health planning over lifetimes. It’s nowhere.

What is the roadmap to get us to this personal health planning with our full health team?  The roadmap needs to include the entire health team (People, families, care partners, clinicians, direct and support staff, communities and community services) and other stakeholders (policy makers and insurers). The technology should be EHR/app agnostic so it works with any technology. This roadmap will take the whole ecosystem into account. To be sure the paper and digital data collected is useful and understandable for clinicians and lay people, we’ll have a decision-making process to set data standards. We’ll consider the skills that clinicians will need as well as the skills you and I will need, so our relationships can plan health. We’ll appreciate the workflow of clinicians, the life flow of people, and the forces in play for insurers and policy makers. We’ll have open source the technology (anyone can use it to build software and apps to automate it). We’ll think through privacy and data access. We’ll have a place to learn from our experiments. So my vision is open source, public, accessible, inviting, welcoming, learning, and life and work-friendly. OMG, this is HUGE. What the heck, let’s take the first inch of this Appalachian Trail-length adventure. Actually, in the past week I’ve found other people and teams working on this. The first steps have been taken. Hang on. I’ll keep you posted.


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