Be Your Own Chief Wellness Officer
Have you ever felt powerless in your healthcare experience? Sitting in a light blue, open-backed robe in a doctor’s office may seem like the most empowering spot to be, however, you do have an important role to play in your personal healthcare. This is the issue at heart: to learn how to treat your healthcare like a CEO treats a business: with a vision, measured results, and with a passion to see a healthy return on investment.
Americans spend a lot of money on healthcare each year. They also spend a lot of time: scheduling appointments, sitting in waiting rooms, time away from work, etc. Health “consumers” need keys to more effectively utilize the health care system.
A good CEO has many attributes that aids her in running a business. Some of the skills of a good CEO are the very same skills you can use to become the CWO (Chief Wellness Officer) of your own life.
A Good CEO:
Sets a vision for the company and communicates it to stakeholders. Most CEOs have a passion for their business and that keeps them going during good and not-so-good times. Do you know what your vision is for your personal wellness? Is it merely to keep breathing or are you hoping for something a little more? It’s important to think of whole-person care when scribing this vision for your wellness – considering your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Recruits and hires a talented team and holds them accountable. Most people in the US assume quality when it comes to healthcare. But assumptions can be dangerous and that holds true in the healthcare arena as well. Thousands of people die each year as a result of medical errors. Patients need to become active participants in their healthcare, including knowing their healthcare team. Do you have a strong relationship with your healthcare team? Do you consider yourself front and center with that team or are you a passive participant in the process? Do you know if your primary care practice uses an electronic health record (EHR) system? Having an EHR has been linked to providing higher quality care, which means an increased emphasis on patient safety.
Drives the operating and financial model for the company. The details of a health insurance plan can be difficult to decipher. How well do you understand your health insurance coverage plan? Do you know how much you’re charged for various services be it primary care or sub-specialist? Do you know what hospitals or specialists are included in your coverage? Understanding your health insurance along with how they impact the kind of care you receive can help you achieve that important Return On Investment (ROI) for your wellness dollars.
Builds Relationships. A good CEO is not a dictator but a collaborative relationship builder. You should do the same as CWO for your life. Think about the relationships you can develop and foster to help reach your health goals. For example, find ways to understand the members of your healthcare team and work with them. Create a vision for your health and be aware of how that impacts those around you such as your family and friends. Having them sign on to support you in your goals can make a difference in their own wellness goals too. Understand the support systems available in your community. Do you have a strong parks and recreation program? Are there community-based wellness advocates? There are lots of innovative approaches to garnering support to help you achieve your vision for yourself and your family.
Becoming the CWO of your life can take you out of the passive “patient-as-victim” role and into the driver’s seat on the road to optimal health.