The quality scorecard rates health care organizations through a five-star system on more than 30 health measures outlined by an advisory council composed of consumer advocates, providers, community organizations, state agencies, and payers. The range of measures focus on the quality of care provided by primary care providers and span more than 10 areas, including behavioral health, children’s health, women’s health, chronic conditions, and preventative health.
Health care organizations are also evaluated on patient experience in four categories: office staff, provider communication, timely care, and an overall patient experience rating.
Users can access interactive tables and graphs to compare provider networks, like Hartford HealthCare and Western Connecticut Health Network, to each other and the state average for any given health measure, such as asthma or diabetes. In addition, users can compare the overall performance rating of provider networks against all networks across all quality measures.
What does it mean for someone to flourish? Flourishing is more than just being happy—although that’s a part of it. But the idea of flourishing expands beyond happiness to look at a person’s overall well-being, taking into account things like life satisfaction or someone’s sense of purpose. That’s why studying flourishing is an interdisciplinary science drawing on public health, philosophy, psychology, and more.
In this week’s episode we’re talking to two researchers from Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University who are tackling big questions about flourishing: What does it mean for people to flourish? How do we measure it? And are there things that make people more or less likely to flourish?
“Doctors and patients are increasingly recognizing the benefits of palliative care. People want care that helps them live as well as possible for as long as possible. Once people learn what palliative care is, they want it. So we’re training experts to meet this growing demand. We have one of the largest fellowship programs in the state, and we also train nursing students, medical students, and residents. We want all clinicians to know the basics of palliative care: how to manage pain, shortness of breath, and nausea and how to talk to patients about the things that matter most to them.”
What is palliative care?
It’s medical care focused on improving the quality of life for people with serious illnesses. If you’re facing heart failure, cancer, dementia, ALS, or another such disease, we can help you live as well as possible for as long as possible. Palliative care is not about dying but, rather, about living.
“Virtual care has great potential for the routine treatment of chronic conditions, as well as minor acute illnesses like rashes and ear infections. Digital sensors already make it possible to monitor blood glucose, heart rhythm, blood pressure, temperature, and sleep.”
From time immemorial, an invariable feature of doctor–patient interaction has been that it takes place in person. But the status quo is changing. A large portion of patient care might eventually be delivered via telemedicine by virtualists, physicians who treat patients they may never meet.
The burden of disease has changed dramatically in the past century, shifting from acute infectious illnesses to chronic diseases. Clinic visits are poorly suited for the treatment of chronic diseases, yielding only single-point measurements of labile, continuous variables like blood pressure. Within the time constraints of an office visit, it can be difficult for the physician to make an accurate diagnosis, much less educate the patient about treatment and self-care. And after the patient leaves the doctor’s office, only limited monitoring of the condition is usually possible, without a return visit.
Fragility fractures occur in structurally weak bones due to aging and bone loss – osteoporosis. Dr. Anthony Ding explains what “fragility fractures” are, where they occur, what they mean to you, and how they are treated. Series: “Mini Medical School for the Public”.
“Will price transparency lower health care costs? Economic theory and hospital opposition suggest it would, but the answer is not as straightforward as you might expect and could differ from market to market. Health care is a really strange economic sector, and it doesn’t always follow the usual rules.”
…hospitals with low fees may demand the higher prices charged by sister institutions. Since 70% of hospital markets are so consolidated that they lack effective competition, the ability of low-priced institutions to push fees up should not be underestimated.
…some research also shows that in the absence of understandable quality information, some consumers assume that high price means high quality and are actually drawn to higher-priced institutions. There’s a reason, after all, that the Ritz is more expensive than Motel 6.