Utah Conference Focuses on Improving Health Care Through Better Communication Efforts

Conference focusing on the role of the marketplace and consumers in improving health care quality

On September 25–27, 2006, the Center for Information Therapy sponsored its fifth annual conference, entitled Catalysts for Innovation, in Park City, Utah.

The center, based in Bethesda, Md., is a nonprofit organization that aims to advance the practice and science of information therapy (Ix)® to improve health, consumer decision-making and healthy behaviors.

Key Results

  • The 2006 Information Therapy Conference—entitled Catalysts for Innovation—drew 187 participants from a diverse range of perspectives. Attendees represented:

    • Consumers.
    • Health care providers.
    • Large health plans.
    • Disease management companies.
    • World Wide Web and information technology companies.
    • Nonprofit organizations (e.g., Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making and Institute for Alternative Futures).

    The conference featured 17 presentations, including:

    • "Proactive Technologies for More Targeted Ix Delivery."
    • "Market Drivers and Demands for Ix Innovation."
    • "Elevating the Dialog Between Patient and Physicians: New Ix Research.

    According to Project Director Joshua Seidman, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funding allowed project staff to include consumer speakers at the conference. These speakers shared their experiences trying to obtain the information they needed to make informed decisions both as patients and as caregivers. For example:

    • In a plenary session on "Harnessing the Power of the Web for Consumers," the presenter, an ovarian cancer survivor who runs a listserv for others with ovarian cancer, examined the need for consumer-clinician shared decision-making.
    • In a presentation entitled "When Will Consumers Demand Information Therapy?", two speakers presented their personal experiences and observations on dealing with serious, life-threatening conditions as patients and/or caregivers.

Afterward: The Center for Information Therapy held its sixth annual conference—entitled Ix Inside: Embedding Information Therapy in Health Care—on October 8–10, 2007, in Park City, Utah.

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