Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

DC Health Innovation Week to spur health care innovation -- Clinicians, Technologists, Patients, Governmnet (Post #1)

Kaiser Permanente, a not-for-profit health care provider organization, and the DC Government have launched "Health Innovation Week," focused on technologically-based improvements focused on improving health care systems and outcomes--data. Over the next 4 days there are four main events, two of which are open to the interested and engaged.

Today, Weds. June 8: HealthCamp DC -- an unconference, at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health, 700 2nd St. NE, in DC. This "conference" is a grass-roots health care innovation event, focused on the theme is “Vitality Through Data.” The conversation will focus on creative ways to inspire patients to be more engaged in their own health care and how we can best utilize mobile technology like smart phones and iPads to keep people well.

See the article, "Understanding the Unconference." From the article:

Unconferences are gaining popularity in the high-tech community as self-organizing forums for idea sharing, networking, learning, speaking, demonstrating, and generally interacting with other geeks. The unconference format is based on the premise that in any professional gathering, the people in the audience—not just those selected to speak on stage—have interesting thoughts, insights, and expertise to share. Everyone who attends an unconference, such as those put together by organizations like BarCamp or BrainJams, is required to participate in some way: to present, to speak on a panel, to show off a project, or just to ask a lot of questions. As an event, the character of the unconference falls somewhere between that of a bazaar and that of an intellectual salon. It is, to borrow a phrase, a free “marketplace of ideas.” There are no themes or tracks to guide you, as in a typical conference; the whole event is centered on what might be called the discussion group.

Thursday, June 9th there is the Health Data Initiative Forum at the National Institutes of Health.

Friday June 10th there is the Health Innovation Summit, involving federal agencies and others, held at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health.

Saturday June 11th there is a apps development Health 2.0 Code-a-Thon, also at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health. People will get an overview of health care issues, tools and data sets, attendees will then creatively design new tools for "the health care space." At the end of the day, teams will present their applications, and the best solution will be chosen and recognized.

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health is open to the public and is pretty cool. They have some impressive displays, including various mobile health technologies, and the space will be used for conferences and other activities.

I also got a demonstration of Kaiser-Permanente's health record software system and it was damn impressive. It's a master record of care, with a highlighted list of the patient's conditions, allergies, medical test data including online access to X-rays, comprehensive list of "medications" including herbal and vitamin supplements that people may take, and a health maintenance checker in terms of general health assessments (e.g., at a certain age men should get their prostates checked, women should have a mammogram, etc.).

A dashboard (Care Point) allows each practice (K-P calls them "panels") to monitor overall and individual patient care on a daily and weekly basis.

You understand that if we did create, societally, master health care records, paired with a health care system that focused on ongoing health improvement and wellness, rather than the provision of catastrophic care, that we could change the US from a lagging nation in terms of the amount of health care spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, ever rising health care costs, skyrocketing rates of chronic diseases (most a function of health behavior), and middling outcomes to a world leader.

The whole "Obamacare" pejorative misses the mark so widely to the point of almost being criminal. The issue is health care, not health insurance.

Most people don't know that the health insurance system was not set up to maximize health care outcomes, but to regularize income for hospitals during the Depression. That's why health insurance is focused on catastrophic care, especially that delivered by hospitals.

We need a different kind of system that can address the reality of the state of health and wellness in the United States today, and in the future.

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