New contest aims to understand the entire patient: health + money + family + work

When the problem is noncompliance, the solution often has nothing to do with pills. Patients often don’t follow treatment plans because they are taking care of someone else or they don’t have a ride to the doctor’s office or they don’t have the money to buy the medications. The California Healthcare Foundation is taking on […]

When the problem is noncompliance, the solution often has nothing to do with pills. Patients often don’t follow treatment plans because they are taking care of someone else or they don’t have a ride to the doctor’s office or they don’t have the money to buy the medications. The California Healthcare Foundation is taking on this problem. The organization’s latest challenge is Putting Care in Context: Empowering Patients to Share Their Barriers to Good Health. For healthcare providers to fully understand a patient’s life, they must understand more than just a person’s health status. Unfortunately, this information isn’t regularly sought out, making it more difficult to understand what the patient is going through.

This challenge is meant to create tools to allow patients to share their thoughts with healthcare providers and create a complete picture of the person’s life. CHCF has partnered with the design agency Mad*Pow and Health 2.0 to present a design challenge aimed at helping patients recognize, chronicle and share information about the burden of healthcare.

To take into account the many factors that impact health, the challenge wants these new tools to gather information about food insecurity, housing insecurity, stress, and social connection and isolation.

The challenge is to develop a solution that:

  • Prompts patients to think about one or more of the factors listed above, and understand how it impacts their health
  • Explains the reasons for discussing these barriers with providers, in a way that highlights how providers can help
  • Helps patients feel comfortable sharing relevant social and financial problems with healthcare providers, and accomplish that sharing on their own terms
  • Collects data to serve as a foundation for patients and providers to have the best possible conversations, either during or between visits
  • Provides the opportunity to record, reflect and possibly ask for help around the time a patient notices or experiences problems (e.g., an eviction notice, a loss of a loved one, or a job loss)
  • Creates a compelling, intuitive experience for the patient

Judging criteria include: promoting awareness related to good health, collecting data that help providers understand patient issues, and easy and cost-efficient implementation in health centers.

To enter the contest, preregister to get access to the final submission form. The submission deadline is June 27, 2014.

Judging starts June 30. The first-place winner will receive $5,000, the second-place winner will receive $3,000, and honorable mention receives $2,000. Winners will be announced August 11, 2014.
[Image from flickr user Dana]