Leveraging lifestyle medicine and social policy to extend the triple aim from the clinic into the community
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Despite spending more per capita on health care than any other country, health outcomes in the United States rank low. In 2001, in an attempt to improve the situation, The Institute of Medicine defined ideal health care as safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient centered. In 2008, to more clearly define the goals of health care, Berwick, Nolan, and Whittington of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) introduced the concept of the Triple Aim—the simultaneous improvement of population health and patient experience while controlling costs. In 2011, the 3 goals of the IHI Triple Aim were adopted by the US National Quality Strategy. Whereas the IHI Triple Aim represents a powerful innovation in health care, population health extends far beyond the care delivery system. To increase the potential impact of efforts that promote the Triple Aim, we offer a model that includes the addition of lifestyle medicine and social policy initiatives to provide a bridge from the clinic to the community and address nonmedical determinants of health. Addressing lifestyle and social policy will require the engagement of nonmedical sectors of the community in new partnerships with health care. The power of these partnerships could result in large and sustainable improvements in health, economic status, and well-being.
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