Tag Archives: health care

Celebrating 15 Years Exploring the Science of Healing

photo of staff members

To celebrate its 15-year anniversary, Samueli Institute invited guests to gather and share stories of the positive impact the Institute’s research has had in helping patients, policymakers, service members and veterans find evidence-based alternative, complementary and integrative treatments for chronic pain and illness.

In 2001, Henry & Susan Samueli launched Samueli Institute to explore the science of healing and expand the evidence base for complementary and integrative medicine. In the ensuing decade and a half, Institute researchers published more than 700 peer-reviewed articles and hosted scientific conferences of global experts, developed programs for pain, stress and performance for the military and supported healthy communities across the United States.

 

Now, after 15 years of service to the integrative health, healthcare, and military communities, Samueli Institute will cease research and programmatic operations in 2017.

 

“I am enormously proud of the work that Samueli Institute and all of its staff, fellows and grantees have accomplished. And I am grateful to Henry and Susan Samueli for their investment in time, money and expertise in supporting the work of the Institute,” said Wayne Jonas, MD, Samueli Institute President & CEO.

The Future of Integrative Medicine, an Interview with Dr. Jonas

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What does the future hold for health and wellness research? Wayne B. Jonas, MD, discusses this and more with the staff at the Natural Medicine Journal, an electronic peer-reviewed journal and open access website dedicated to the field of integrative medicine (IM).

Listen to the interview in Episode 6 of the
Integrative Medicine Research Series.

Mainstreaming of Healthy Values

In recent years it seems there is little “health” in the nation’s health care system. By its actions, the health care system showed its laser focus on disease and illness management rather than health promotion.

However, as we look ahead, we begin to see the wellness-focused values of those in the non-traditional wellness field appearing in the lexicon of the mainstream health care system. Continue reading “The Future of Integrative Medicine, an Interview with Dr. Jonas” »

Integrated Before Integrative

Wayne - Fountain pen

Let’s cut the confusion.  One hears a lot of talk these days about “integrative” health care.

In fact, the name of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recently changed to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. We also hear a lot about the need to have “integrated” systems built into our health care. Approaches such as the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), Accountable Care Organizations (ACA) and improved systems of care are built into the Affordable Care Act.  Continue reading “Integrated Before Integrative” »

From SOAP to HOPE: Adding Healing into the Traditional Medical Encounter

Wayne - Fountain pen

It’s time we got rid of the SOAP note.  

The SOAP note is the subjective-objective-assessment and plan around which every medical encounter in the country is framed. The priority is to identify the disease, measure it to confirm that it is a disease, and develop a treatment plan to try to control and eliminate it. This disease-based approach frames everything that goes on in health care.

It works well when a cause of a disease is easily identified and eliminated. However it works poorly for the factors that are now seen to impact most of health— prevention, lifestyle and holistic practices.

We now know that 80 percent of health care actually comes from outside of the clinic, and it won’t fit into that particular diagnostic plan that we create with SOAP. Patient’s goals and their decision-making are crucial for the creation of health and healing, even more so than the specific treatments of disease medical professionals sometimes provide.

Putting all encounters into a framework of subjective-objective-assessment and plan, around a specific diagnosis and verification of treatment, is no longer the model needed in the health care box. 

From SOAP to HOPE

We need a new model for structuring the visits within the health care system. To achieve patient-centered care this new model must include the factors that change behavior and create health. These include social determinants of disease, holistic and integrative medicine, the importance of lifestyle, as well as the key role of purpose and meaning in the patient’s life. 

In this new Healing Oriented Practices and Environments (HOPE) model, the patient and their own goals in life would be part of the diagnosis and the plan – all components that don’t currently fit into a standard SOAP note. Expectations and beliefs are a key part of healing, and so are social support and the relationships that are essential for recovery and the optimization of any kind of treatment. Thus, the social components must be part of the note. 

Interested in incorporating HOPE in your practice? Here are 4 questions to add to your patient encounter.

4 Questions for Medical Providers to add HOPE to Health Care

iPad and stethescope

Doctor with patientWhat would a medical encounter look like if we were focused on Healing Oriented Practices and Environments (HOPE) in health care?

I propose it would consist of four components that are essential to creating health. These would be in addition to the areas already included in the traditional medical assessment called SOAP, which are the subjective-objective-assessment and plan assessment that come in making a traditional medical diagnosis and treatment.

The four components of HOPE are reflected in the following questions:

1. What is your goal and intention for your healing? What do you want to heal?

  • This may be  a certain percentage less pain, ability to climb stairs or play with a grandchild
  • Rate your health and what you expect can happen (1-10)
  • Why are you here in life? What is meaningful for you? What is your purpose?

This addresses a person’s the inner environment — their desires, their beliefs, and their needs—their  reason for getting up in the morning, their purpose in life—what’s meaningful for them?  What gives them a sense of wellness and motivation? 

Sometimes a simple thing such as spending time in the woods, or with family, is the primary avenue into treating their pain. Sometimes the goal of being able to play with their grandchildren will generate the physical activity necessary to prevent a future illness or disease that could impair them. Sometimes it’s the desire to serve their country, or their God.  

2. What are your connections and relationships?

  • Do you have family, friends, live alone, have hobbies, and have fun? Can you get rides to airport?
  • Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your traumas. Do you have a best friend? Are you part of a group? A club? How often do you meet?

So often the reason and process for healing has to do with social relationships — with family, friends, communities and colleagues.  Therefore, after we finish putting lines around the box of the diagnosis and the treatment, let’s capture the social components and the interpersonal components that drive an individual in their daily life. 

3. What do you do during the day? What is your lifestyle like?

  • Do you smoke or drink? What about diet, exercise, sleep and water?
  • What do you do for stress management? How do you relax, reflect and recreate?
  • What is your CAM use (supplements, herbs, other practitioners)?

Lifestyle and behavior can impact up to 60-70 percent of chronic illnesses; therefore these behaviors are essential for creating health.

4. What is your home like? Your work environment? Do you get out in nature?

  • This includes light, noise, clutter, colors, plants, walls.

The communities, the work sites, the schools and the environment in which our patients live, often dictate what they’re able to do, what happens, how long they live, and how well flourish, and how well they function. The physical environment, then, needs to be explored.

Let’s make asking these questions a routine part of medical care. 

The HOPE note is one powerful component in transforming your practice into an Optimal Healing Environment. To learn more about Samueli Institute’s research into Optimal Healing Environments, visit SamueliInstitute.org.

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