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"Machine Head 1" Heather Thompson using the medium of Midjourney 2023
Advantages of The Arts
In a landmark initiative, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Jameel Arts & Health Lab announced a research series in The Lancet earlier this month. Rooted in a 2019 WHO report, the series explores the impact of the arts on health and well-being, from prevention to treatment across various conditions.
There is value in art as part of a treatment plan that goes beyond patient care. From music therapy for pain management to painting for emotional well-being, art has a positive impact on outcomes, yes. However, Home Care organizations can also use art therapy as differentiation and competitive edge. The arts offer multiple benefits because the treatments are holistic, outcome-driven, and translate well for marketing initiatives.
"Social Prescriptions" for Art
Sir Jeremy Farrar, Chief Scientist at the WHO, points out that science and the arts should no longer operate in silos but should work together. The effort aims to create collaborations that would introduce “social prescriptions," where art-based interventions become a treatment offered at the site of care. We expect this will translate to the home or even bedside for those in home or hospice care.
"Machine Head 2" Heather Thompson using the medium of Midjourney 2023
Redefining "Health" and "Wellness" for Chronic Illness
In reading the terminology in the WHO announcement, however, it seems important to challenge the definitions of the terms "health" and "wellness.” WHO Arts & Health Lead Christopher Bailey stated that health is "more than merely the absence of disease and infirmity, but the attainment of the highest level of physical, mental, and social well-being." What does "the highest level of well-being" mean for those living with chronic conditions? For organizations working with a chronically ill population, this is a definition that needs refining.
"Machine Head 3" Heather Thompson using the medium of Midjourney 2023
The Agency of the Future & Artful Innovation
The Agency of the Future will recognize that there is an opportunity to enhance service delivery for patients with chronic illnesses. Programs that include the arts should be considered alongside other organizational efforts, as they directly benefit the patient. Leading providers will take this opportunity to redefine the landscape of "health" and associated outcomes for those who are chronically ill.
"Effervescent Escape" Heather Thompson using the medium of Midjourney 2023
Where is the Patient's Voice?
Where is the patient's voice in all the talk of survival, burnout, efficiency, and payment cuts? What does it mean to have a patient-centered delivery model today? This is among the most glaring opportunities for healthcare providers willing to innovate and deliver on the promise of empathetic care, especially at a time when people with chronic illnesses and disabilities are feeling more marginalized than ever before. Stay tuned, as I will write more on this in the coming weeks.
About Heather Thompson
Heather Thompson began writing for the Home Care Technology Report in March 2023 with a focus on Artificial Intelligence, Growth Strategy, and The Agency of the Future. Having earned her reputation as a Healthcare Futurist, Heather brings over three decades of experience in the healthcare sector. She has dedicated 25 of those years to home healthcare, delving deep into diverse domains such as business intelligence, technology, association management, provider consulting, sales/marketing/business development, strategic planning, financial management and more.
Heather has walked the path as a caregiver and a patient living with chronic illness and rare disease. A peek into her story reveals she is a rare acquired savant and polymath, an internationally published writer, award-winning artist, practicing contemplative, and seasoned entrepreneur. To get in touch with Heather, you can reach out through:
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