Personal Healthcare

Taking care of yourself or someone else.

Achieving health goals

Achieving any goal
RBC has focused on helping people realize their health goals. As it turns out, there has been considerable work done to understand the best way to achieve a personal goal, whether health-related or otherwise. There has been a lot written about how to accomplish a goal.[1] Standing back, the recommended steps are basically the following:
  1. Describe your goal in writing.
  2. Set your end date.
  3. Identify what you need to do daily in order to achieve your goal by the target end date. (You MUST be realistic about what YOU can do.)
  4. Log your daily progress.
  5. Change your daily actions as necessary to stay on track.
Achieving a health goal
Achieving a health goal involves following the general steps described above where the objective is to either maintain or improve ones’ health. A health plan is created when there are concrete answers to steps one through three.

Health goal success can then be predicted by the patients’ adherence to their plans (tracking daily/weekly progress towards the health goal). Nothing inspires new successes like past ones. For example, watching weight drop, watching blood pressure improve, etc. inspires staying the course.

This feedback is essential. Imagine starting out on a road trip and not tracking your progress on a map.

Creating a health plan

We will take a closer look at meeting health goals.
Disclaimer: To be clear, Red Boat Care (RBC) cannot offer any medical advice. Users of our product must confer with licensed heath care professionals to identify specific medical treatments.
Specifying the health goal
Looking at the example of heart disease. Not surprisingly, there are some generally recognized life style changes considered to lower the risk of heart disease.[2][3]

“Lifestyle Changes
  • Stop smoking
  • Choose good nutrition
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Be physically active every day
  • Aim for a healthy weight
  • Manage diabetes
  • Reduce stress
  • Limit alcohol“
Working with a physician, you can discover what YOU can do to improve your “risk factors”.
According to the CDC 47% of Americans have at least one risk factor.[4]
Identifying the daily/weekly activities
Adopting lifestyle changes can make a difference. Consider the example of daily physical activity offered by the World Heart Association:
“Studies show that doing more than 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate physical activity every week or an hour of vigorous physical activity every day will reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by about 30%.“
The American Heart Association offers some specific examples of exercise that can help reduce the risk of heart disease:[5]
  • Brisk walking.
  • Gardening and yard work.
  • Moderate to heavy housework.
  • Pleasure dancing and home exercise.
  • Hiking or jogging.
  • Stair climbing.
  • Bicycling, swimming or rowing.
  • Aerobic dancing or cross-country skiing.
  • Take a walk for 10 or 15 minutes during your lunch break
  • Take stairs instead of escalators and elevators.
  • Park farther from the store and walk through the parking lot.
There are techniques that can be used that will help patients figure out what specific activities make sense for them. RBC finds one of those techniques, Motivational Interviewing (MI)[6] to be compelling.
Motivational Interviewing
Simply stated (very simply) people trained in MI work with subjects to identify their desired health goals, realistic timeframes to achieve the goals, realistic daily/weekly steps and how to track their progress.

The appeal of MI to Red Boat Care is its patient-centered focus. Instead of relying strictly on prescriptive medical advice, MI works with patients to figure out how their preferences can be leveraged in their own health plans. This may improve outcomes, especially in cases where the patient has some ambivalence about their goals or treatment.[7]

Tracking a health plan

Once you have specified the first three steps to achieving your health goal, you have a plan. Consider the following plan to lose 20 lbs:
  1. Describe your goal: Lose 20 lbs.
  2. Set your end date: 20 lb weight loss 6 months from now.
    1. Identify your daily (or weekly) steps:
    2. Start taking stairs.
    3. 15 minute walk at lunch.
    4. Park farther from destination.
    Once you have your plan, you can start to move on to step four:
  3. Track your daily/weekly progress:.
    1. Daily/weekly take your weight.
    2. Daily/weekly log your specific activities.
Tracking weight may be recommended for people who have suffered heart failure.[8] [9]
Now the question becomes what will it take for you to follow (adhere) to this health plan? The extent to which people follow their medical plan is Medical Adherence.[10][11]

Medical Adherence
Medical Adherence is a key component of a successful health plan and therefore has been a key consideration in Red Boat Care’s product design. Medical Adherence has received particular recognition for the case of taking medications. There are a lot of factors that impact patients taking the correct medication at the correct time. They can forget to take it, not be able to afford the medication, not believe it is necessary, etc.

Paying homage to the importance of medical adherence we have included the following questionnaire in our product to flag potential medication adherence roadblocks:
  1. What is your confidence in your diagnosis?
  2. Do you understand your diagnosis?
  3. Is your medication working?
  4. Does your medication have any side effects?
  5. How expensive is your medication?
Peace of Mind comes from achieving a health goal:
  • Seeing day to day progress.
  • Knowing the right medications were taken.
  • Knowing the right activities were performed.
  • Knowing what helps a care recipient take a medication or perform a necessary activity.
  • Having all medical and contact information is available any place, any time.
  • Having enough help to give someone necessary care.

Caregiving with a team

Healthcare Providers
Anyone with cronic health issues
    or their primary caregiver
A long journey can require a crew.
  • Healthcare of a family member can be a long journey.
  • The health of the caregiver and the person receiving care can be dependent on their obtaining help.
  • Getting that help requires assembling an enabled team.
What a caregiver needs to know:
There are basic questions that must be answered to take care of someone:
  • What is needed? - The medications, activities and appointments.
  • Who needs to do it? – Which caregiver is scheduled for this time of day.
  • Why is it needed? – What is the reason for the medical activity?
  • What happened? – Notes and task complete.
How Red Boat Care can help:Medical Activity Planner (MAP) >
The needs of a caregiving team:
The care giving team has communication and coordination needs:
  • Need to cover the daily care needs: From rides to appointments to administering medications.
  • Need to cover the different care times: Different times of day.

Software for healthcare

In the past, home caregivers have been advised to keep three-ring binders or use disparate office software tools to manage the home care of a loved one. Now there is a better way.

Red Boat Care offers software for caregivers for the same reasons banks offer electronic banking.
  • Recording information: Electronic entry instead of writing on paper.
  • Sharing information: Electronic transport instead of physical (allowing secure access any place, at anytime, on any device).
  • Finding information: Electronic search instead of physical (physical search is prohibitively slow).
  • Securing information: Electronic and physical security instead of just physical.
How Red Boat Care can help:Medical Activity Planner (MAP) >
To wrap up, using Red Boat Care to follow a health plan will result in:
  • Improving health day by day.
  • Taking the correct medications at the correct time.
  • Performing the correct activities at the correct time.
  • Sharing heathcare information; what works and what does not.
  • Accessing essential health information any place, any time (especially when a care recipient has a medical event).
  • Knowing when a medication was changed and why.

[1] An easier way to set and achieve health goals (

[2] Lifestyle Changes for Heart Attack Prevention

[3] KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT Heart Disease (CDC)

[4] Heart Disease Risk Factors (CDC)

[5] Why Should I Be Physically Active? American Heart Association

[6] Motivational Interviewing - Third Edition -Helping People Change - William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick (2012)

[7] Shared Decision Making and Motivational Interviewing: Achieving Patient-Centered Care Across the Spectrum of Health Care Problems

[8] Heart Failure: Monitoring Your Weight & Fluid Intake

[9] Heart Failure: Tracking Your Weight

[10] Adherence to Long-Term Therapies - Evidence for action (World Health Organization 2003)

[11] “The word “adherence” is preferred by many health care providers, because “compliance” suggests that the patient is passively following the doctor’s orders and that the treatment plan is not based on a therapeutic alliance or contract established between the patient and the physician”, Osterberg NEJM 2005

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