What we’re doing to improve health and health care
Healthier people are happier and more productive. They are better able to take care of their families and contribute to their communities. At The Dartmouth Institute, we recognize that with the right tools, information, and health care partners, people can dramatically improve their health! Similarly, with the right tools and information, we can re-design health care delivery and ensure that the care given aligns with an individual’s needs, goals, and preferences.
With the right tools, information—and the will—we can transform our health systems, providing higher quality care while reducing costs by 50% or more.
Achieving such a dramatic transformation will not be easy. But we believe strongly that with hard work, a certain fearlessness, and willingness to ask difficult questions and ‘go’ where to the evidence takes us, we can achieve the necessary revolution in health and health care. We can improve our care today, and we can spare future generations the waste and harm that plague our health care systems in the United States and around the world.
To realize these goals, we at The Dartmouth Institute are working to bring about three key transitions in health care/working in three key areas:
Applying Systems Thinking to Health Care
Health care providers and hospitals cannot improve health and health care on their own. Radical change requires examining and understanding the whole system that produces health— from how health care is paid for, to how information on treatment outcomes is communicated, to how integration with social services affects health outcomes. At The Dartmouth Institute, our research on health systems and new and existing medical interventions is helping us to understand how the most expensive health care systems in the world too often produce poor or uneven health outcomes. Using data from diverse sources, we can rapidly evaluate delivery system innovations and state and federal policy challenges. Our goal is to create agile, equitable health systems which rely on timely information flow and collaboration.
There is a growing recognition that much of the work of improving health and treating chronic disease is done by patients and their loved ones—and only if care focuses on what matters most to them will they be willing to do this work. At The Dartmouth Institute, our shared decision making and co-production research teams are working with patient partners, specialty societies, and foundations to engage and empower patients and strengthen the information environment. They are developing tools and measures to increase patient engagement and facilitate communication between patients and health care providers. They are developing and improving clinical processes that allow patients, caregivers and clinical teams to continuously update goals, adapt treatment choices, and track outcomes. By fully engaging patients as partners in their health and health care, we can create a model for others to follow, and we can achieve dramatic improvements in public health and health care delivery.
Educating health care innovators and change-agents
To achieve the dramatic health improvements we need, the entire health care workforce must learn new ways of thinking and working. At The Dartmouth Institute, students become part of a close-knit community of scholars, researchers, and thought leaders. They learn how to assess health system performance, develop and test new models of health care delivery, and enact change at the community, regional and national levels. Through applied learning projects, community service, and internships in the Upper Valley, across the United States, and in locations around the world, Dartmouth Institute students are having an immediate impact on health and health care.
The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice is where Knowledge Informs Change. We are working to re-design health care delivery and ensure that the care given aligns with an individual’s needs, goals, and preferences.
Past 30-day use of e-cigarettes increased from 1.5% in 2011 to 11.3% in 2016 among high school students.