Remember when we used slap our kids in school to raise them as proper citizens? We kind of figured out that this was not such a good idea and improved our educational system.
Put well-being first
Now, in health care, we generally don’t slap our patients to become healthier citizens. But we have a strong focus on things that go wrong and I think we can do better. I want to put well-being first. My goal is to measure well-being, so we can help our healthcare professionals put well-being of their patients first.
Let me tell you why, and introduce Joy van der Stel, a good friend of mine. When she was born, the doctors told her father not to make any baby-cards. She was, and still is, severely spastic and they claimed she would never make it. She is now 40 years of age, has a loving family, has written two books and is a successful public speaker. She has stunned everybody with her strength and will to flourish.
Held down by the system
Joy tells me about the success she has made for herself and how this success was despite the care rather than thanks to the care. She has lived in healthcare institutions and has received a lot of medical attention. Joy claims she was held down by the care system. But how?
Our care system is aimed at reducing problems, rather than stimulate people to flourish, like Joy did for herself.
For example: when Joy wanted to live on her own, they replied: “why would you want to and make it difficult for yourself? We have everything provided for you here.” And when she wanted to make something of herself, they figured she would never be able to work and so she wasn’t educated properly.
What we measure is what we strive for
Now I want to change the system and put well-being first. So that all our long term patients can experience what Joy has created for herself. And to do so, I just want to add one little thing. I want to add measurement of that what matters most: well-being. Because we know, what we measure is what we strive for. We measure money nationwide, the GDP, that’s what nations strive for.
So let’s start measuring what matters most, let’s start measuring well-being. And help our health care workers to strive for the greater well-being for the greater number of patients.
This blog was part of the 'Open Mic TEDxSaxionUniversity' that was held in the summer of 2015. Find the video here.
Find Joy's website here: Joy van der Stel