Can We Define Quality Health Care?

Everyone deserves quality health care! Models used for illustration purposes only   © Glowimages

How do you measure quality? Even though good or high quality is important, how each one of us measures “it” can be quite different. Having some measure of quality is important because it can be the basis on which we evaluate many things. Often it might be why we choose one thing over another, or why we make a particular recommendation. And, having commonly agreed upon standards of quality provides a vehicle for groups of all kinds to make collective decisions. Quality in health care is Continue Reading

Taking Responsibility For Our Health – Will It Make Us Healthier?

Patient responsibility for making health decisions is important for healthy outcomes.

Taking care of my grandchildren reminds me of all those parenting years, from birth to striking out on their own. Once my kids left the nest I sort of forgot just how dependent they were on my wife and me for most of their needs. As they got older their dependency shifted to learning to make wise choices on their own. Depending on others to occasionally help us is not unwise. But why does depending on others to manage our health seem to be the norm? To some extent the well meaning Continue Reading

A Softer Side of Health Care

Dr. Pamela Wible
Photo used with permission

Not long ago I had an email exchange with Dr. Pamela Wible, a physician in Eugene, about the recent documentary Escape Fire. The movie examines the problems with health care in the United States, and possible solutions. Unhappy with the “conveyor belt” system of medicine that she had found herself in since medical school, “pushing pills into patients as they flew past me,” Dr. Wible got off the racetrack and stopped to consider what kind of health care system she wanted to work in. The Continue Reading

Health Apps, or an Inner Spiritual Sense?

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By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon Simplifying our life seems to be getting more complicated. But never fear, there is an app for everything nowadays. Managing each aspect of the most intimate everyday details is being digitized through applications running on ever faster and smarter devices in astounding numbers. Almost everyone I know owns one of those ubiquitous smartphones or tablets. They seem to be able to do everything a computer can, and then Continue Reading

Does the health care system know best?

@ iStockphoto/Tom Hahn

Americans are an independent lot. It’s rooted in the very fabric of this country. We are accustomed to having a choice and making our own decisions. That’s what we expect in our homegrown version of democracy. We can choose virtually any product or service we want. Any size, shape, color, or model. Except when it comes to our health care. It seems to me from much of what I’ve read that the patient-doctor relationship is mostly unbalanced. The doctor tells the patient what’s wrong, and what Continue Reading

Chronic Pain, we don’t have to depend on it.

©iStockphoto/Squaredpixels

We seem to be creatures of habit. Most of us feel comfortable when at least a portion of our lives is predictable and our relationships are dependable. That’s certainly true for me. I get comfort in knowing that from day to day my life won’t change dramatically. There are some parts of our life, however, that we might not want to stay the same. Perhaps we’d like to get rid of those extra pounds we’ve been lugging around. Or maybe we feel a change in employment would be a good thing. Some Continue Reading

Essentials for better physical & financial health

©iStockphoto/Igor Dimovski

How does an insurance company keep a positive bottom line and still provide real customer service? That’s an important question. I suppose It’s a delicate balance, deciding what benefits to provide at what cost, and still be competitive in the market. After all, everyone needs to make ends meet. Here’s an interesting piece showing how one managed care plan found that including spiritual care actually benefitted them financially. My colleague in Texas recently talked with its chief medical Continue Reading

Health Insurance–Everyone pays but is Everyone covered?

©iStockPhoto/courtneyk

I heard someone recently talking about an acupuncture treatment that had helped him. He joked, “It may have been a jab well done, but I sure wish it was covered by my insurance!” All over the country, the question of health insurance is being pondered by governments, uninsured individuals, and employers, as they try to sort out what the new laws will require of them. And the insurance companies are looking at what coverage they can provide and at what cost. The US spends more per patient on Continue Reading

Placebo … not the endgame

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By John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon This is an updated version of a post I put up over a year ago.  I  recently posted it on my Oregonian blog "Health and Spirituality." ____________________ The Institute of Medicine released a report in June, 2011 describing the prevalence of chronic pain in America. They report that it “affects at least 116 million American adults—more than the total affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Pain also costs Continue Reading

A Boomer’s Reflections on Aging

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by John D. Clague, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon When I was a young boy my grandparents seemed really old.  I laugh at that because even though I’m now their age, I still think of myself as young.  I’m sure there are a lot more like me, and the number is growing. But can the fact that I think of myself as young actually affect the aging process?  Recent research on aging points in this direction, and considering the demographics it’s no wonder why the conversation has Continue Reading