Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Root Causes and Health

One of the processes used in Engineering, is Root Cause Analysis. There are several different methodologies for Root Cause analysis, including 5 Whys.

What I want to do here is more of a thought experiment than a formal engineering process.

In Monday's post, I started to discuss the things that help to maximize human potential, things like:
  • Healthy relationships (not abusive ones)
  • Proper nutrition
  • A body as healthy as possible
  • Adequate sleep
  • Limited stress
The thing of it is, none of these begin in adulthood. Workplace health costs will continue to rise until we learn to address these issues at the root. Because our health doesn't begin when we become adults.

Our health as adults depends in part upon our health care (diagnoses & preventive care, prescription coverage, etc), vaccination status, and nutrition factors throughout our childhood.

Our health as children builds on our health as infants, with influences from length of gestation, to how we were born, how we were fed, and prenatal care.

Before that, the health of a baby is affected by both the health of a mother, and her nutritional status.

And epigenetics show that your health is also influenced by your grandmother's experiences.

So if we want to reduce the cost of health care for one company's employees, and we want to address the root causes, then solutions begin to look something like:
  1. Take good care of the employees we have.
  2. Take care of our employees' families. *Support* prenatal care, adequate parental leave that supports sleeping when the infant sleeps, truly support breastfeeding (more than Mothers' Rooms), etc.
  3. Begin addressing the entire community's health, the environment & pollution reduction, preventive care, prenatal care, medical insurance for all. Because not everyone in the next generation of employees will come in from legacy.
  4. Teach healthy relationships, attentive parenting techniques, trauma awareness, anti-bullying
  5. Secure the social safety net, to help ensure nutrition, shelter, limit the stress of poverty.
  6. etc.
So... do you want a surface solution, or do you want to address the root cause of increasing health costs?