Using Purpose to Align Community Healthcare

Human systems such as Healthcare, exist for a purpose. Purpose is the one unifying point where we can begin to grow a new system and making purpose actionable in an adaptive open network is the key to make each point of care high quality and affordable. Purpose is abstract in the beginning but becomes tangible as we design systems with deliverables. Purpose’s powerful point of operating leverage† makes it a common focus for the social interdependence necessary for robust and resilient systems.

Table 1 illustrates a view of healthcare in a community; six disciplines with purposes align around each member of the community. Successful integration of care depends on alignment of purpose more than structure. Putting structure ahead of purpose puts “how” ahead of “why”. The why is always to serve the unique needs of every member of the community. In this way we focus, align, and understand achievement of purpose only as measurable outcomes for each member.

Table 1
SystemPurposePoint of integration
Community HealthcareStrong and healthy membersMember
Medical CareHeal and comfort the sickMember
Dental CareOral healthMember
Behavioral HealthPsychological and Emotional StrengthMember
Social ServicesSafe and nurturing societyMember
Public HealthPrevent DiseaseMember
Research and DevelopmentValidation and create new possibilityMember

The social determinants of health show the interdependent nature of community. Failure in one discipline propagates, and sometimes multiplies, failure to others. 

For example, poverty tends to create neighborhood dysfunction and inadequate social networks. Of course, these create and sustain poverty too. We now also know these factors make people sick and slower to recover. We should see lower medical cost because of social interventions in affected neighborhoods. There is observational evidence of a connection but this is based on spending levels. Integrating Social Services as part of healthcare can improve the social infrastructure that all of us need to be successful. We can all do better by accepting shared responsibility for outcomes at the individual member level. 

Successful management needs early identification and rapid adaptation to change. The best place to do this is the intersection of purpose at each member. We do this using shared responsibility for a common set of outcomes.

Figure 1

This is the first step of a new way to manage the whole of healthcare by incorporating the interdependency that makes communities strong and resilient. This leads to new adaptive networks that will change the way we think and work.

The Curandi Model® and its associated technology will enable stronger, more productive communities where healthcare is better and less expensive. Curandi members are building a new future for our organizations, citizens, communities, and the nation. Join today. 

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† Donella Meadows; Thinking in Systems: A primer (Kindle location 2918-2919). Chelsea Green Publishing