By Jay Sheehy, Senior Vice President, Product Innovation, EmblemHealth
National Women’s Health Week (NWHW), an observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, should be celebrated all year long as females play the most integral role in the health care system.
The purpose of NWHW is to empower women to make their personal health a priority, and to raise awareness to the numerous resources offered that work to improve women’s health. To build on the initiative, we as health care professionals must continually strategize on ways to most effectively educate the female population.
Women look at health differently — focusing on spiritual and emotional well-being, physical fitness and financial security — and make a majority of health decisions for themselves and for their families.
Studies show that 77 percent of women know what constitutes as healthy activities, but do not uphold the lifestyle because the vast majority doesn’t have the time. Additionally, women tend to be caregivers, not only for their children but for adult family members. And most women work, however still experience tremendous financial pressure when navigating through the health care system. It is so important to focus on preventive care and keeping people healthy through creative approaches for the consumer. However, should they encounter a health issue, the goal is to get them back to the highest quality of health possible.
Undeniably, the Affordable Care Act has significantly altered the way health care organizations operate and has shifted the industry’s focus toward the consumer. As the system continues to evolve, and women continue to play a larger role, we need to consistently find ways to educate women to make informed and intelligent health care decisions for themselves, and for future generations.
Collectively, if health care organizations are able to create innovative partnerships while keeping the female consumer, patient and member front of mind, we will see positive shifts in the system that not only lower costs, but improve population health and financial well-being.
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