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Are you a Provider?

June 13, 2013

I say tomato, you say tom-ah-to

I say provider, you say Doctor.

I say care team, you say Doctors, nurses, caregiver(s) and patients.

Typically, when we talk about managing our health and we refer to providers and care teams, we immediately think about the medical providers involved. But as we continue to dig deeper into managing overall health, I believe we will begin to understand there are many more players (aka providers) who are involved in managing everyday health.

In recent posts, I encouraged everyone to look at themselves as both a patient and a caregiver.  Do not worry, I am not actually going to encourage everyone to view themselves as a provider (with that being said, yes, every provider can be both a caregiver and patient).  On the Vidapost, homepage you will see the following three definitions defining a caregiver, patient and provider:

Patient.Caregiver.Provider

 

Provider = An Organization or individual providing professional services that manage and improve the ongoing health of a patient or community.

Care collaboration, communication and managing chronic condition are three hot topics in the health care world these days.  In an effort to improve all the above, there is a big emphasis on patient/provider communication and engagement but again, this is typically only referring to the doctor/patient communication.

The problem with this is that we currently have an estimated 800,000 physicians in the United States.

That is 800,000 Physicians who are suppose to manage the everyday health of 133 million americans with chronic conditions.  But wait, what about the 65 million caregivers and what about you and me?  Don’t we need some of the physician’s time as we focus on preventative health?

For those who are managing a chronic condition either as a patient or as a caregiver, you already know there are many more providers involved that just your medical providers.  You are also aware, that quite frequently the doctor is the person that you see the least and it is these other “players” that are involved on a daily, weekly, monthly basis who are pertinent players to improving everyday care.

What if we included Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Home Health Aides, Personal Trainers, Nutritionists, Teachers (Special Ed Teachers), Behavioral Therapist, and other day-to- day providers into the care team mix?

If we only included the providers mentioned above (and trust me, there are many other types of everyday providers), we would add roughly another 460,000 providers to the everyday care team mix.

We would then have 1,260,000 Providers helping manage everyday care for the 133 Million individuals with chronic conditions.  I would say that is a step in the right direction…

I believe as we continue to learn more about everyday care, we will learn that we can easily double and even triple this number by redefining who are everyday providers and care teams members are.

Are you a provider?  We hope you will join the Vidapost network and commit to working together to improve the everyday management and overall health of individuals with chronic conditions.

 

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