Saturday, October 28, 2017

Wellness: A Proposed Definition


There has been much written about the importance of promoting "wellness" in value-based care. Yet there is no definitive definition of the concept. In this post I offer a conceptual framework for discussion in which I attempt to delineate many of the key factors discussed in the literature, along with my observations as a clinical psychologist. 

Proposed definition: Wellness is a measure of a person’s overall state of health, which is greatest when a person has and uses a set of abilities, desires, behaviors, and resources to avoid, manage, and cope with physiological, psychological (mental and emotional), and mind-body health problems to the extent possible.

The Following delineates some of the concepts in this proposed wellness definition.

1.      Health problems include (but not limited to):

1.1.   At-risk, acute, subacute, chronic, catastrophic, and end-of-life conditions.

1.2.   Illness, injury, dysfunction, disability, disfigurement, and debilitating distress with associated causes (e.g., contagion, trauma, genetics, etc.) and signs and symptoms (physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive).

1.3.   Mind-body (biopsychosocial) health problems in which psychological distress adversely affects a person’s physical health and vice versa.

2.      Requisite abilities, resources, and desires include:

2.1.   Abilities:

2.1.1.      Psychological capabilities that enable people to cope effectively with their health problems in a way that reduces the likelihood of denial, ignorance, self-deception, debilitating depression, irrational despair/discouragement and fear, hostility, blame, shame, and self-destructive behavior. These capabilities include focused awareness, rational and adaptive beliefs/thoughts/cognitions, open-mindedness, adequate drive/motivation/will and impulse control, self-determination, reasonable self-confidence, self-understanding, self-acceptance, sound/logical reasoning, reliable knowledge, and intelligence.

2.1.2.      Behavioral capabilities characterized by proactive, competent, and responsible actions that include adherence to evidence-based care plans/guidelines and making recommended lifestyle changes.

2.2.    Social, economic, and environmental resources (e.g., having access to quality healthcare, good health literacy, money, time, a healthy/safe living environment, social/family support, education and access to useful information, access to foods that support healthy eating patterns.

2.3.    Desire to live and develop one’s potential for a fulfilling life characterized love, learning, accomplishment, and other positive activities, experiences, and feelings.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC) IEEE Presentation

A Healthcare Transformation Strategy Supported by a Novel Spreadsheet-Based Software Framework


I will be presenting at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC) in San Jose on Oct. 20, 2017. GHTC focuses on bringing together people to address critical issues for the benefit of the people around the globe through the deployment and application of humanitarian technologies.

The presentation will describe a healthcare transformation strategy called Whole Person Integrated Care (WPIC). I will discuss how WPIC couples a novel Spreadsheet-based Software Framework (SSF) and a care delivery model that focus on increasing efficiency and effectiveness through evidence-based knowledge and action.

This strategy: 1) integrates “sick care” (treatment of health problems) with “well care” (prevention and self-management) and 2) addresses both physical and psychological problems affecting a patient’s health. The SSF currently utilizes Microsoft Excel to create simple, low-cost, and flexible software solutions that capture, import, export, transform, integrate, organize, store, analyze, render, and exchange data and information. Using a node-to-node (point-to-point) network architecture, clinicians, researchers, patients, and others can connect securely and resiliently, anywhere and anytime, across national and organizational boundaries. This allows collaborators to build, share, evaluate, and evolve evidence-based knowledge and analytic models. The shared knowledge and models are used to make projections, reveal existing problems, identify risks, and offer solutions that support decisions for clinical and business process improvement. 

Included will be a live demonstration of an SSF application recently piloted in a Federal health information technology program, a review of existing SSF tools, and a proposal for an open source community to enable the SSF to develop apps that work on all platforms and devices.