Tuesday, November 08, 2011

#OccupyHealthCare - Health Engagement Scores for all?

As we talk about how we improve the chronically broken health system in the USA i keep coming back to a thought that I have discussed with people at various HealthCa.mp events.
The Health Engagement Score
This is like Klout for HealthCare. 
I am NOT talking about measuring how healthy we are. 
What I am talking about is measuring ALL the parties involved in our health, including ourselves.
I am talking about measuring how engaged we are in managing health.
From a patient perspective this would be a measurement of our engagement and awareness. Do we know our numbers such as weight, BMI, Cholesterol etc? Do we carefully measure our essential data. e.g. diabetics measuring their blood sugar levels.
From a medical professional perspective this should be a measure of how that professional performs in a team setting both with fellow professionals and with their patients.
A robust Health Engagement score that is widely adopted would provide a basis for judging the reliability of different data sources. For example, a patient with a high engagement score ought to provide the confidence to the medical team to utilize data generated by that patient. 
This starts to get to quality measures. It can help reduce defensive testing in the health system because Providers would have a basis on which to place reliance on information and tests provided from other sources.
A Health Engagement Score is NOT a Health Score
I want to re-iterate. We are NOT talking about measuring how healthy a patient is. What we are talking about is measuring how Engaged a patient or their primary caregiver is in managing their health.
Someone who is critically ill, or managing a long-term chronic condition may indeed end up with a higher Health Engagement score than a healthy person who pays little attention to their health.