LK 120Care plans: a path to driving better outcomes
It is how most patients feel at one point or another as they leave that sterile-smelling, fluorescent-lit doctor’s office. They have just spent 10-25 minutes being hastily examined, diagnosed, and, if they are lucky, educated about how to address their medical problem. They either leave the office empty-handed, or they walk out holding a generic pamphlet, which will likely end up under an unmanageable pile of papers or in the trash. Unless there was a major change in their treatment plan, many patients go home, forget what the doctor ordered, and continue on their usual journey of whatever harmful behaviors landed them at the doctor’s office in the first place.
This vicious cycle can be curbed by care plans.
A care plan is a synthesis of all plans of care produced by the patient and his or her providers to manage the patient’s day-to-day health. It serves as a shared conceptual framework to guide all care team members. Typically, care plans have been inconsistently implemented, but I envision a much brighter, more patient-centered future for the care plan.
In my presentation, I will demonstrate a newly designed care plan that encourages doctors and patients to work together to customize a standard, clinically valid template to fit the patient’s needs. This care plan will encourage positive behavior changes, as it is designed to intervene in the patient’s everyday life. Designed as a dynamic framework, the care plan will “learn” from patient input, ambient sensors, and population health metrics. The care plan will give patients ownership of their data, help them understand it, and empower them to take this knowledge and make healthier decisions. Patients will be able to easily share their plans and collaborate with their chosen care teams, comprised of both professional and nonprofessional care providers. Clinical quality metrics can then be used to assess anonymized health data to improve care plan efficacy and outcomes.
I aim to do more than simply educate my audience about what care plans are and why they are important. My presentation is a call to action. I hope to engage the audience in my effort to jumpstart the self-care movement by proposing a design strategy for a new care plan. At the core of this strategy are:
- Deciphering health history through summative self-quantification
- Making information visualizations insightful and actionable
- Facilitating behavior change through contextual step goals
- Creating collaborative power in an expansive care team.
I aim to instill the importance of these principles in researchers, designers, and others creating innovative health services, as well as invite them to join my efforts. Only in this new era of digital, standardized, adaptive care plans can we truly promote preventative self care.