Ep 192 – Empowering Health Literacy: Information as a New Social Determinant of Health, with Debbie Welle-Powell

The Race to Value Podcast

20-11-2023 • 56 min

Many factors impact our health beyond genetics and aging.  Collectively, these are called social determinants of health and include factors such as education, housing, income, occupation, hunger, language, literacy, where we live, and access to affordable healthcare services. However, there is a gap in the current list of social determinants of health, and that is the influence of “information” or an “information ecosystem” on patients’ behavior, engagement, and health outcomes. It is critical to consider “information” as another social determinant of health since it can be used to drive positive patient health outcomes.  How we deliver it, where we deliver it, and who delivers it is crucial to value-based health care transformation and patient-centeredness. So, how do we harness this idea that information can change health outcomes?  To answer this question, we have invited Debbie Welle-Powell back to the Race to Value!  As a 30-year healthcare executive veteran, value-based care thought leader, and educator, she is committed to the empowerment of change management principles to drive population health at the intersection of patient engagement and information sharing. In this episode, we discuss what is needed to empower the patient and clinician, technology-enablement and value-based payment to fine tune the delivery system, and the information ecosystem needed to drive healthy outcomes. As a companion to this podcast, make sure to read Debbie’s new article on this topic.  It is available for download on the Race to Value webpage for this episode! Information as a Social Determinant of Health Episode Bookmarks: 01:30 Introduction to Debbie Welle-Powell, a healthcare executive veteran whose work focuses on delivering affordable and accessible high quality care. 02:45 Reference previous R2V episode - “Climbing the Mountain: Reaching New Heights for a Transformative Future”) 03:00 Read the companion article to this interview on the Race to Value episode website! 03:45 Debbie provides a brief update on her professional work in value-based care (and her mountain climbing adventures!) 05:30 The influence of “information" or an "information ecosystem” on patients’ behavior, engagement, and health outcomes. 06:30 Should we consider information as another Social Determinant of Health (like transportation, education, housing, and food security)? 07:30 “Information only really matters if it helps patients change behaviors.  The delivery of information is crucial to empowering health outcomes.” 08:30 “The American healthcare system is not as patient-centric as it claims to be because of a failure to provide empowering information.” 09:00 The roles of clinicians and patients to improve health literacy. 10:00 Patient noncompliance – Ex: 20-30% do not pick up prescriptions, 30-40% do not follow-through on referrals. 10:45 The challenges of interpreting and addressing SDOH challenges to avoid unnecessary utilization. 12:00 The importance of the patient-provider relationship. (Eric shares insights from his healthcare trip to Cuba.) 14:30 Technology enablement and health system evolution to better address patient information needs. 15:00 Improving patient engagement through the online user journey (i.e. the digital front door). 15:45 Debbie shares a personal example from her cancer journey where the care team failed to provide adequate information. 17:00 Half of patients seeking receive misleading information when independently searching online sources. 17:30 The opportunity for clinicians to provide trusted and reliable online educational resources. 18:00 The hyper-saturation of online content (e.g. 500 hours of content uploaded to YouTube per minute!) 18:30 How the value-based care movement provides incentives for improving patient engagement. 19:30 The use of Generative AI in the clinical setting to help patients better navigate their care journey. 20:45 Merging the science of medicine with the art of informat...

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