Patient complexity: more than comorbidity. the vector model of complexity
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Quantitative Health Sciences
Document TypeJournal Article
Delivery of Health Care
Health Status Indicators
*Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
*Quality of Health Care
Health Services Research
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractBACKGROUND: The conceptualization of patient complexity is just beginning in clinical medicine. OBJECTIVES: This study aims (1) to propose a conceptual approach to complex patients; (2) to demonstrate how this approach promotes achieving congruence between patient and provider, a critical step in the development of maximally effective treatment plans; and (3) to examine availability of evidence to guide trade-off decisions and assess healthcare quality for complex patients. METHODS/RESULTS: The Vector Model of Complexity portrays interactions between biological, socioeconomic, cultural, environmental and behavioral forces as health determinants. These forces are not easily discerned but exert profound influences on processes and outcomes of care for chronic medical conditions. Achieving congruence between patient, physician, and healthcare system is essential for effective, patient-centered care; requires assessment of all axes of the Vector Model; and, frequently, requires trade-off decisions to develop a tailored treatment plan. Most evidence-based guidelines rarely provide guidance for trade-off decisions. Quality measures often exclude complex patients and are not designed explicitly to assess their overall healthcare. CONCLUSIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS: We urgently need to expand the evidence base to inform the care of complex patients of all kinds, especially for the clinical trade-off decisions that are central to tailoring care. We offer long- and short-term strategies to begin to incorporate complexity into quality measurement and performance profiling, guided by the Vector Model. Interdisciplinary research should lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of the multiple sources of patient complexity and their interactions, and how provision of healthcare should be harmonized with complexity to optimize health.
SourceJ Gen Intern Med. 2007 Dec;22 Suppl 3:382-90. Link to article on publisher's site
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/47204
Related ResourcesLink to Article in PubMed
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Policy Brief: Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Community Health Workers: A Call to ActionLondon, Katharine; Damio, Grace; Ferrazo, Meredith; Perez-Escamalla, Rafael; Wiggins, Noelle (2018-01-30)This technical report was compiled by the Hispanic Health Council in partnership with Southwestern AHEC and a panel of Community Health Worker Policy Research Experts which included our Katharine London from the Center for Health Law and Economics. The report offers a number of policy recommendations for community health workers for communities that might benefit from community-based services. The report offers recommendations on; payment of community health workers; community health worker caseloads; community health worker recruitment; community health worker training; reflective and trauma-informed mentoring and supportive supervision of community health workers; integration of community health workers into care teams; documenting the effect of community heal worker services on social determination of health. The Hispanic Health Council believes a service design that effectively supports community health workers would incorporate the seven areas of policy recommendation included in this report.
A Public Health Framework for the State Mental Health Authority: A Call for Action by Massachusetts Consumers and Family MembersDelman, Jonathan (2006-01-01)During the Spring of 2006, Consumer Quality Initiatives (CQI) conducted 20 focus groups across the state, 12 with adults with mental illness, 3 with parents of youth with serious emotional disorder, 2 with youth with SED, 1 with family members of adult consumers, and 2 with youth in transition. Supported by a contract with Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), the goal was to assist DMH in framing the criteria for its upcoming reprocurement. Our findings reveal a frustration with an approach to health care delivery that focuses primarily on the provision of psychiatric care (egs, medication, therapy, hospitalization). We reviewed the focus group reports to identify the most significant themes, which clustered within eight broad categories.
Making the Case for Sustainable Funding for Community Health Worker Services: Talking to Payers and ProvidersLondon, Katharine (2018-01-27)In this presentation, Katharine London of the Center for Health Law and Economics makes her case for offering sustainable funding for community health worker services. Research has shown community health workers can have a distinct impact on health systems, helping them improve population health and contain costs, while also promoting health equity and community engagement. This presentation was designed to assist CHWs and other advocates in engaging with policymakers and payers to support CHW sustainability and develop a financial plan for their CHW work. It was presented as part of a CHW Sustainability event held at the Families USA’s annual conference, Health Action 2018: Staying Strong for America’s Families, in Washington, DC. See Katharine London's blog post on payment delivery methods for community health workers here.