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Contributing Writer · Apr 1, 2011

Evidence-based health: Is America Too Hypnotized for It?

It’s a backbone-brilliant concept that actually produces better healthcare, and better health, for significantly less money—and a concept that America may be too politically hypnotized to ever put into wide practice. “Evidence-based” means it’s about what really works, “health” because that’s the goal.

Dr. Pauline Chen, in her blog on the NY Times website, profiles the emerging concept of “evidence-based health.”

“Medicine” is not the goal, it’s a tool. “Evidence-based medicine” doesn’t get you there. “Evidence-based health” hooks up advanced “medical home”-style primary practices with community health, behavior health, and other staff right in their office, to help patients do what they need to do to get healthier. Most interventions in chronic disease fail for reasons that have nothing to do with medicine. To make them work, you have to get out there in the community and deal with what gets in the way of health. This concept re-brands and sharpens the ideas of “community determinants of health” and the “healthy city/healthy community” initiatives that derive from Dr. Len Duhl, ideas that I’ve been talking about for 20 years, and connects them directly to the medical world.

Joe Flower

Futurist Joe Flower, a member of the faculties of the American Hospital Association and the American College of Physician Executives, writes and speaks about healthcare economics and the future. For more on where healthcare is headed go to