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Posts tagged ‘health’

The Human PRIMARY Operating System is Not Rational

The Human Primary Operating System is Not Rational

We are not rational beings who emote; we are emotional beings with the capacity to think rationally. Big difference. Emotion trumps reason. Absent primordial prevention, sickness trumps wellness and survival trumps thrival.

It’s time for a new social health contract.

Let’s be very clear, society (government, healthcare providers, employers) must take the lead role when it comes to responsibility and accountability. This is a partnership, a social contract whereby—we, the people—voluntarily relinquish the freedom of action we have under the natural state (a state of existence that is not contingent upon man-made laws or beliefs) in order to obtain the benefits provided by the formation of social structures. Building on the philosophy of John Locke, who said, “…no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” Thomas Jefferson et al, framed government responsibility under the umbrella of securing inalienable—natural—rights including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” By obeying man-made laws and complying with accepted standards and mores, we implicitly agree to our part of the social contract. In turn, we have the legal, moral and ethical ground to demand that the custodians and protectors of our natural rights—our elected officials, medical providers and employers—be held accountable.  This speaks directly to the issue of healthcare access and affordability.

In its simplest form, our implied social health contract requires that society provide:

  • Awareness of the consequence and benefits of lifestyle choices
  • Education needed to initiate and sustain healthy living
  • Access to affordable primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare
  • Evidence-based medicine and prevention measures
  • Supportive infrastructure (parks, healthy worksites, recreation, green, etc.)

And, when provided with all of the above, individuals representing themselves and their minor dependents are responsible for:

  • Making healthy choices
  • Self-exams (paying attention to changes in personal health)
  • Keeping up with recommended age and gender clinical screenings
  • Seeking timely and appropriate medical attention
  • Complying with evidence-based recommendations and directives involving lifestyle habits, medications, lab work and rehabilitation protocols

Evaluate your contribution to this social health contract.  Are we, as a society,  providing awareness, education, full access to treatment, evidence-based medicine and prevention and a supportive culture for ALL of our citizens?  If not, why not?  And, as an individual, are you keeping up your end of the bargain?  If not, why not?

The Health and Wellness Industry FAQ: Vendors – How Do You Sort Out the Good, Bad and Truly Ugly?

Wellness Exists at the intersection of Contentment and Aspiration.

To live  there, You Must First Choose to Move Out of the Village of Someday…

 NOTE :

Over the years I’ve been asked a number of questions about the health and wellness industry. This is question #7 of the top 10 most frequently asked questions. The responses are, of course, neither right nor wrong. They are simply my impressions from over 35 years of field experience.

QUESTION #7: 

“We are bombarded with individuals and organizations selling wellness (health promotion, disease prevention and disease management) products and services.  How do you sort out the good, bad and truly ugly?”

RESPONSE: 

Thirty years ago, there were only a handful of quality programs available through national vendors. Choice was not that difficult. Today, with the growth of the Internet and the flood of scientific data, there are hundreds of vendors anxious to sell you their services.

Caution: A “Desk Drawer” wellness initiative will burn out your staff and simply will not work (tweak…maybe…but not transform). Avoid a scattergun or one-off approach. Success requires a dedicated internal project manager working with an experienced and field-tested 360 degree vendor.

Questions to ask include:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Who are the individuals behind the products?
  • Do you have an advisory board? If so, who are the members?
  • Can you prove net health care and/or productivity cost reductions while improving population health?
  • Any accreditations and/or awards?
  • Are you open to risk sharing or pay-for-performance contract provisions?
  • What are the delivery options?
  • What outcome analytics are in place to track program results?
  • Who are your client references?

A vendor should be much more than a provider of drop-off products and services. They need to be comprehensive, accessible, flexible and experienced. Sound simple? It’s not. Due to limited dollars, you need as much quality one-stop-shopping as possible. You do not have the time, dollars or energy to have multiple contacts for each of your offerings. Find an experienced multi-component provider and stick with them. They will not only help you with paperwork and sanity, they will also help with triage, crossover, data collection, analysis and strategic planning. Like a good pharmacist, they will also help you avoid unhealthy program interactions. An excellent provider will have a pattern, philosophy and support network that is consistent throughout their offerings; this will help you, immensely. A good vendor is, at a minimum, equal to one FTE.

The ideal vendor should be able to assist clients with each and every phase of a  “comprehensive” wellness initiative, including:

  • A health awareness component, including health education, preventive screenings and health risk assessments.
  • Marketing and promotion efforts to maximize employee participation and engagement.
  • Research supported programs and methodologies to change unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle choices, including counseling, seminars, online programs and self-help materials.
  • Supportive environment efforts, including assistance with workplace policies to encourage healthy lifestyles, healthy eating, increased physical activity and improved mental health.

Introducing excellent programs without a comprehensive corporate audit (readiness) and indicated culture adjustments ⎯ policies, procedures, senior management visible buy-in and health-driven food services ⎯ is akin to throwing fertile seed on untilled and nutrient-poor soil. It won’t work; you will lose money and credibility.