Please note: this post is based on an extract of an earlier post by @ClaireOT, available here: http://claireot.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/a-health-commons-using-a-peer-to-peer-p2p-approach/

Health Commons

The idea of a Commons is the product at the end of the peer-to-peer process described earlier this week. We might regard the health of the nation as a health Commons, increasing health being the “product” of this work.

Why work towards a health commons?

One of the principles of the Commons is that we all have a stake in the outcome. In health commons, we may see a collaboration between public and private organisations, and individuals, both based internally within and external to those organisations, working together as peers.

The promotion of population level health initiatives could enrich us all because they result in a greater number of economically active citizens, a reduction in overall health spending, and most importantly, an increased level of health and happiness in the population.

We all benefit from working towards a Commons (in this case, we all want to be individually as healthy as possible, and promoting health of our fellow citizens also benefits each of us individually and as a group). This idea leads on to the notion that we are all peers in the Commons, that we exist in a dynamic that is as flat (non-hierarchical) as possible when working in this way.

Why adopt this approach now?

As we move into a time where resources will be stretched, the new way of working represented by these ideas offers an alternative to the cuts-based solution so frequently enacted by organisations attempting to survive in the new climate. Where we are seeing transformational change within health organisations, we are not yet embedding a truly transformational way to enact new ways to enrich our health Commons.

This approach has already been trialed in countries with more intractable issues in population health than our own, for example, a quick Google search led me to this study based in New Mexico.

How can we get involved?

Why not come to our Digital Health Conference and Hack on 29th and 30th June in Leeds, where we will use a peer-to-peer approach to work towards a health commons, together. For updates, follow us on Twitter as @digihealthcon, or email digihealthcon@gmail.com to register your interest in the event early. Tickets will be released through Eventbrite soon.

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