Thursday, December 17, 2015

Future of Healthcare Scenario: Joint Effort Success For All

By Ann Olson
HCA:507.90 Organizational Innovation, Creativity & Change Management in Healthcare
Post University

The New York newscaster blasted into my bedroom from my 3-D holographic projector at 5:30 am, which was set to awaken me from my typical deep sleep.  It had been a restless night since I was anticipating today.  The weather robot was predicting rain, and as I stretched in my bed, I began to allow myself to think about the day’s happenings, despite the threatening weather.  How could things have changed so much in the past two years?  I took a deep breath as Judy, my community coordinator had taught me to do, and felt an energetic charge go through my body since I was able to breathe that deep breath, without any discomfort, chest pain or shortness of breath.

Judy continued to race in my head, reminding me to use my positive internal voice and I started the mind mantra we had practiced.  I’m 63, I still have CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) but I feel better than I did than when I was 60!  I have worked hard, and have the support to help me do what is important to me.  I can control what I can control, and it’s making a difference!   I rolled over and having finished my morning pep talk, I started to let my mind ease into what brought me to this special day.  What I was going to wear for the awards dinner?  My JESFA (Joint Effort Success For All) wellness team, as well as other State wellness teams, would all be at the event.  “Just tell your story,” Judy guided me over our remote call device yesterday. “Stories make a difference!  It will inspire others to hear that by taking control and advantage of what the JESFA wellness team offers, you gained control of this disease instead of it controlling you!”  I slowly emerged from my cocoon and rehearsed my three talking points in my mind as I walked into the bathroom – Judy’s coaching, SMART phone game, JEFSA collaborative team.

After rehearsing in the shower, I came back in the bedroom to hear the President’s “Breaking Point Address” – his daily morning health message broadcast on every news station.  What were the chances that he would be talking today about the national contest for the state wellness teams that reduced premature deaths and disability due to chronic diseases like mine?  I felt the butterflies in my stomach get a little more active when I allowed myself to think that our group might be getting the Governor’s award today, and that would put us in the running for the national award!  Getting back to reality, I moved over to the desk in my bedroom to my SMART phone, to start my daily JESFA game.   I turned on the encrypted wireless connection and got on the scale, put my finger on the sensor and got ready for the Jeopardy like question game, to play and then get my score.  I only needed 10 more points to the win the free JEFSA You-Ride packet that I wanted.  I wanted the JEFSA You-ride packet so I could get to my granddaughters dance recital in NH.  As I waited for the score to tally, I recalled that I couldn’t have gone to the recital 2 years ago, in the state I was in.  The recital was one of my goals that Judy helped me identify to motivate me to get control of this condition.  As I felt good thinking about that, the phone game rang with score bells and I got the last 10 points to reach my goal!!

Thinking of food, I looked at the clock and decided I better get dressed and eat breakfast, so that I’m not late.  As I tied my last shoe, I moved a little faster when I remembered that it was the first Monday of the month, and I could have an egg for breakfast today!  As I walked quickly into the kitchen I remembered Judy agreed I could still enjoy an egg once a month.  The phone rang and I answered it while fixing my plate.  Only 15 minutes till my ride for work arrived, so breakfast moved quickly, I grabbed my gym bag and followed the regimen to go down the stairs.  I saw the car waiting out front, and moved quickly to head off to work.

I was in my office just five minutes when my boss came in because he received a call from the corporate office.  Since the company was a JEFSA member, they were hoping to get their incentive because of their successful work / life wellness program, if JEFSA won the award.  Before I knew it, the company “Move It” music streamed in, and my group headed to the activity center for our 15 minute exercise routine.  I remembered how stressed I used to feel before the company designated this time and was reminded of Judy reminding me of stress toxicity.  A deep breath was welcomed, as I headed to lunch and then back to the office to finish the day.

My boss came by promptly at five, to head out to the dinner together.  We were busy in conversation as we walked in, and I saw my JEFSA team gathered by our table.  As I walked up to the table of eight, I was still amazed that mine was the story they wanted to share!  Judy immediately came over to us, and since our corporate CEO couldn’t be there, and she introduced my boss to the pharmacy director, the food collaborative president, the transportation coordinator, the housing manager and the physician lead.  I summoned my inner voice as I felt a surge of emotions emerge.   Of the clients with the JEFSA team collaborative, and the other 3 team collaborative in New York State, I was chosen to share my story.  Thankfully, my big thoughts were humbled when the Governor arrived and he was led to his table in the front of the room.

Following dinner, I was mesmerized when the New York Commissioner of Health and Wellness started the program.  He congratulated each of the teams for improving the State’s chronic disease data that they made available through the national health information exchange (HIE), and then highlighted other initiatives.  I was amazed to learn that New York was selected to continue work on innovations to alleviate chronic disease overall.  He described a scanning device that was in its final testing phase to identify risk for diseases at birth, and annually, similar the annual mammograms earlier this century.  With that information, combined with socio-economic analysis and customized DNA pharmacologic medicines, he reported that the results are promising to eradicate chronic disease altogether.  I couldn’t help thinking that I should have been born 60 years later!

As I was lost in the thought of how different my life would have been, I realized that the Governor had been introduced.  He presented statewide statistics on the positive chronic disease outcomes including reduced overall health costs, hospitalizations, mortality and disability, while promoting consumer satisfaction.  He congratulated all of the collaborative, and mentioned that the national winner would be announced that evening.  The Commissioner thanked the Governor and began to introduce me.  It was hard for me to hear him tell my story of how sick I had been; what bad choices I had been making before I was able to be part of the JESFA team.

As I got on the stage, I felt empowered.  The words came easily, as I described my community coordinator Judy.  I explained that our calls and her coaching and coordination, helped me identify what I wanted out of life; what I needed to do to get control of my disease came easily after that.  As planned, I had the crowd laughing at how I tried to win my SMART phone games and how the incentives helped me to cure myself!  I talked about how JEFSA facilitated my housing, helped my company join and offer a health friendly company, recruited participating food and pharmacy distribution centers, and arranged for the transportation You-Ride program so I could make all of my appointments.   But it was when I told my stories – of achieving my goal to being able to get to my granddaughters recital, and wanting to still be able eat my eggs, that the crowd was truly moved. Because JEFSA educated me on my disease and my control, listened to me and helped me through its diverse team, I explained that I would stay on this track of recovery.

Well – we won the state award and now I’m waiting to hear about the national award.  While I know that national success will be hinging on the SMART phone technology, the comprehensive HIE, the collaborative team, the outcome statistics and the cost savings, I am grateful to know that the story matters.  My story, the patient’s story is the one that matters most of all.

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