Archive for: 2013

Could Good Health Be Contagious?

Nov 18, 2013, 6:00 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

teamup4health group exercise

A study released this week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions provides early evidence indicating that social networks can be leveraged to spread good health. The study, which is the first long-term randomized trial of its kind in the U.S., recruited friends and families in rural Kentucky into "microclinic" social network clusters. Together, the microclinic groups attended weekly social events, such as physical activity sessions and nutrition classes.  Collectively called Team Up 4 Health, these activities were supported with gifts from Humana, a health care company focused on wellness, as well as funding from the Mulago Foundation and the Goldsmith Foundation. Microclinic members lost more weight and more inches from their waistlines than those who received standard individual care. Microclinic participants sustained these results over time, lasting beyond the 10-month program period to even six months later.

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Dr. Bruce McCarthy of Columbia St. Mary’s on Adopting OpenNotes

Nov 4, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

bruce mccarthy Dr. Bruce McCarthy, Columbia St. Mary’s Health System President, Physician Division

On Nov. 1, Columbia St. Mary’s Health System in Milwaukee became the first hospital in Wisconsin to implement OpenNotes. Beginning this month, some 1,100 multi-specialty doctors, nurse practitioners, and others who write visit notes will be sharing them with more than 300,000 patients via a secure online portal. Columbia St. Mary’s is part of Ascension Health, the largest nonprofit Catholic health system in the country. This month, it also becomes the first hospital system to share hospital discharge summaries with patients. Bruce McCarthy, MD, President, Physician Division, an internist who oversees the system’s medical group, spearheaded the rollout of OpenNotes here. An innovator who "puts patients first," Dr. McCarthy talked to Pioneer about why it’s time to make the idea of sharing medical notes a routine practice.

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Trying Something New: Pioneer Pitch Day

Oct 22, 2013, 10:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Pitch Day Judges, Staff, and Emcee Emcee Thomas Goetz and Pioneer Pitch Day judges Lori Melichar, John Lumpkin, Paul Tarini, Mike Painter, Nancy Barrand, Shankar Vedantam, Ben Sawyer, Fred Mann, Rodrigo Martinez, Esther Dyson, Ben Heywood, John Maeda and Steve Downs. Deborah Bae and Ben Schiller not pictured.

The Pioneer team is always on the lookout for new thinking about how to transform health and health care – not just from visionaries in these fields, but also from big thinkers in other disciplines.

Discovering big ideas from diverse sources was the idea behind Pioneer Pitch Day, an event we hosted last week at the offices of AppNexus, a tech startup in New York City. Eight finalists (culled from more than 500 applicants) had five minutes each to share their vision, then answered five minutes of questions from a panel of judges, as well as audience questions. The judges included designers, investors, entrepreneurs, journalists and others, in addition to foundation staff. Our entrepreneur-in-residence, Thomas Goetz, was the master of ceremonies.

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Power Shift: Open Access, High Quality Medical Education

Oct 21, 2013, 6:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Rishi Desai, Khan Academy program lead - medical partnerships Rishi Desai, Khan Academy program lead - medical partnerships

By Rishi Desai

We’re at a pretty remarkable time in health care education. Things are changing rapidly; good ideas are flying—free online content, shared question banks, mastery-based education, gamification. Some are pretty excited about the potential; many are frankly pretty anxious about these new changes and even more so about the potential for even bigger change. Some might feel lost. At the Khan Academy, count us in the excited camp.  

I came to Khan Academy a year ago to realize my own dream of getting the best health and medicine content out to students. I had big hopes, but astoundingly we are already moving well beyond what I imagined. This summer we identified through our nation-wide MCAT video contest in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Association of American Medical Colleges, 15 new smart, talented, leaders—people, like me, who are ready for this big change and committed to making it happen.

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Six Ideas for Reducing the Use of Low-Value Health Care

Oct 17, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Lori Melichar

Lori A. Melichar Lori Melichar, director

Two years ago, my colleagues and I knew very little about how to use behavioral economics to improve health care decisions. Today, we know more. We also know how much there is to learn and do in this field.

That’s why we’re excited to announce six new grantees who will continue to build on the work we’ve funded over the last two years to apply principles from behavioral economics to challenges in health care.

The new grantees are as follows:

  • Amber Barnato and Rebecca Sudore, University of Pittsburgh and University of California, San Francisco, Consumer-directed financial incentives to increase advance care planning among Medicaid beneficiaries
  • Jeremiah Schuur, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc., Decision Fatigue in the Emergency Department and the Use of Hospital Services
  • Jeffrey Kullgren, University of Michigan Medical School, Decreasing Overuse of Low-Value Health Care Services through Physician Precommitment
  • Mark Vogel and Scott Halpern, Genesys Health System and University of Pennsylvania, BEACON -  Behavioral Economics for Advanced Care OptioNs
  • Richard Frank and Abigail Friedman, Harvard Medical School, Behavioral Experiments in Improving Medicare Coverage Choice
  • Mark Schlesinger and Rachel Grob, Yale University and University of Wisconsin – Madison,  Precommitment, Provider Choice, and Forgoing Low-Value Health Care

If you’re curious about why we’re funding these particular projects at this specific moment in time, read on.

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