better health by designLearn More

Innovate to enable rather than motivate

  A perennial issue is how to trigger behaviours that are likely to result in good outcomes for the individual. Smoking cessation, regular exercise, more fruit and vegetables, less alcohol....the list is long. There is no magic bullet. Again … [Read more]

What triggers health practitioners to act?

There are four circumstances in which health practitioners might need to act, again with reference to BJ Fogg. High motivation and easy to do Imagine a patient who presents with a typical history of some potentially life limiting pathology. Health … [Read more]

Research to solve rather than explore

To make an appreciable contribution to health research must address real world problems. The recurring dozen themes at primary care research conferences have hardly changed in decades. Many projects are exploratory and despite a plethora of peer … [Read more]

What factors trigger an urgent and appropriate medical consultation?

There are circumstances in which it is critical for a patient to consult a doctor sooner rather than later. Imagine someone with symptoms of a stroke or a myocardial infarction ( heart attack), or with a breast lump. In these circumstances timely … [Read more]

What motivates evidence based practice?

It is assumed that doctors will always provide evidence based advice. Evidence based advice will be offered when three factors are aligned- Motivation, Ability and Trigger (BJ Fogg). Looking at the picture, assuming whatever is required is relatively … [Read more]

Prevention- better but harder

It is often stated that one of the key contributions of the primary care sector is prevention . However evidence of successful prevention, at least in general practice is equivocal. Risky behaviors are a leading cause of preventable morbidity and … [Read more]

Primary care is not a panacea

Barbara Starfield's thoughts still resonate with many of us who work in primary care. Primary care serves to reduce costs in a health care system essentially by keeping people out of hospital. ¬†However, recently there have been attempts to tinker … [Read more]

Advertising can’t rescue a bad idea

A few weeks ago I was invited to comment on a website to help doctors find assistance from an NGO. The designers were clearly very invested in their technology. The team said: The website is supposed to serve two purposes-as an educational tool … [Read more]

What’s needed to get doctors online?

Anyone who doubts that doctors will consult patients on line hasn't heard of the hugely successful Sherpaa. It's happening already in the US and in some other parts of the world. Elsewhere doctors will soon consult via the internet. It is only a … [Read more]

Will social media end the conference circuit?

Submit an abstract, pay the fee, book the travel and accommodation, cancel meetings, set up your outlook auto reply before taking a taxi to the airport en route to the annual conference. You might end up in a different time zone, so you try to adjust … [Read more]