Pritpal S Tamber: How does innovation get traction in clinical practice?
Dr. Pritpal S. Tamber - TEDmed
Pritpal S. Tamber - Setting the Stage
Medicine X 2015 - Pritpal S. Tamber
Dr Pritpal S Tamber is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bridging Health & Community, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming how we approach health so that it goes beyond health care and public health to include fostering the ‘agency’ of a community – its ability to make purposeful choices.
Dr Tamber the former Physician Editor of TEDMED, TED's dedicated health event. In that role, he reviewed over 1600 innovations and helped shape the 40 talks that made it into the 2013 program. It was through that role that he became convinced that current efforts in health innovation will fail to meaningfully impact population health or health equity.
In response, he founded the Creating Health Collaborative, an international group of innovators exploring health from the perspective of people and communities. Their work adopts a broader understanding of health to encompass things like safety, physical functioning, financial security, emotional security, and nourishing relationships.
The Collaborative’s membership includes individuals from Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, the California Endowment, FSG, HealthPartners, MIT, the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund, ISAIAH, the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund and the Democracy Collaborative.
Common to all of their innovations is the key insight that risk factors alone cannot explain why people are healthy or sick. The missing link is whether people have a sense of control over their lives, something that requires individuals and communities to have ‘agency’.
The Collaborative is now part of Dr Tamber’s Seattle-based nonprofit, Bridging Health & Community, which takes a radical approach to ‘health equity’ and the ‘social determinants of health’. It explores how health systems can intentionally foster a community’s ‘agency’ so as to collectively agree priorities and derive, implement and evaluate solutions.
Together with his Co-Founder, Dr Bridget B Kelly, formerly of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), they have described 12 principles to fostering agency to improve health. They work with health care, public health and philanthropy to radically transform how they approach a community’s health.
Dr Tamber is the former Medical Director of Map of Medicine, a company that produces 'clinical pathways' to improve the flow of patients through health care systems. He's also the former Editorial Director for Medicine for BioMed Central, the company that disrupted academic publishing by making open access commercially sustainable. He started his career as an editor at the BMJ.
To book Dr. Pritpal S. Tamber call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.
Population Health vs Health Equity
Most organizations limit their definition of population health to ‘the outcomes experienced by a group of individuals’. By failing to embrace the full definition, which includes ‘the distribution of outcomes within the group’, they render their population health efforts inert before they even start. Truly embracing the full definition forces organizations to face their role in health equity. Dr Tamber shows how members of the Creating Health Collaborative are acknowledging their (often inadvertent) role in driving health inequity and how they’re changing what they do to truly embrace population health.
Twelve Principles Key to the Future of Health
It has been understood for some time that risk factors alone cannot explain why someone is healthy or sick. The missing link is whether people have a sense of control over their lives, something that requires individuals and communities to have ‘agency’ – the ability to make purposeful choices. Through the work of the many innovators in his Creating Health Collaborative, Dr Tamber has gleaned 12 principles for how health systems can intentionally foster a community’s ‘agency’ so as to improve its health.
Reconceiving the Social Determinants
It is increasingly recognized that social factors and the environment contribute up to 70% to our health. However, health care is struggling to effectively translate these ‘social determinants’ into new pathways to help people be healthier. Dr Tamber shows how seeing social circumstances solely through a biological lens limits not only our ability to influence them but also our opportunity to reconceive the role of the health sector in society. The examples he’ll share illustrate a future for health care that goes beyond ‘community benefit’ and ‘corporate social responsibility’.
What Workplace Wellness Should Really Be
Employers worried about health care costs and absenteeism continue to embrace wellness programs that purport to reduce the likelihood of sickness. The evidence that they work is mixed, at best. Dr Tamber will illustrate why just trying to change health-related behavior will always be limited given the day-to-day realities of people’s lives. He’ll share examples of how businesses – including those in the health sector – are embracing the idea that 70% of our health comes from social factors and the environment to change how they contribute to their employees’ health – from sickness-preventing organizations to health-creating ones.
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