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Anne Timmins is the quality improvement operations director at HealthInsight New Mexico. She provides strategic oversight and leadership to the operations of the teams that support both federal- and state-funded quality improvement initiatives.

With eight years of experience in quality improvement and a 15-year clinical and public health background, she has helped to develop and coordinate hospital and community efforts around patient safety and related topics, providing analysis, learning and technical assistance to health care providers. Among her key accomplishments is the successful implementation of several statewide collaboratives to reduce healthcare-associated infections. A native of England, Ms. Timmins has a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery and a master’s degree in public health from the University of New Mexico.

Medication Management: No Simple Task

Closeup pills

$320 billion – this is how much money was spent in 2015 on prescription medications, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Office of the Actuary National Health Statistics.

10 percent – this is the percentage of people who are taking at least five medications a month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

We know that older adults are likely to be on more medications to manage their chronic conditions, and we also know that four out of every 1,000 patients visit the emergency room for adverse events related to their medications. Patients see many different providers. New drugs are coming into the market that may interact with others. Transport to the pharmacy may be an issue. Older patients may not be able to hear the prompts to refill a prescription. And, of course, costs continue to rise. How do patients and their care givers keep on top of all of this?

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Desperately Seeking Support: Motivating Myself and the Link to Active Involvement in Health

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I like "to do" lists. I was reminded of that last weekend as I was planning a remodel of my bathroom. This is a change I have been thinking about for a while – nearly two years, actually – ever since I purchased the vanity. I know it needs to happen. I know what's involved, as I've done it before. I'm in charge. So, why have I waited so long?

That process got me thinking about motivation and a term we have been talking about at HealthInsight: patient activation. There is actually a way to measure patient activation and it is the basis of many self-management programs for diabetes and other chronic diseases that we are involved in.

Designed for persons with chronic conditions, the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a 13-item scale that asks people about their beliefs, knowledge and confidence for engaging in health behaviors and then assigns them to one of four levels:

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I Choose Joy

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Two decades ago when Professor Martin Seligman and others decided to focus on exploring well-being instead of human despair the field of positive psychology was born. What makes people flourish? Which factors contribute to a fulfilling life? As more research is conducted in this emerging discipline, light is shone on multiple facets of our day-to-day lives.

JOY: three letters describing a feeling of happiness and well-being. A word I associated with photos of giggling babies or that person standing on a lone mountain top. Recently though, the word has come up several times in different contexts and has really made me think.

Marie Kondo, goddess of organization and decluttering and the subject of a recent national radio segment, says that when you are deciding whether or not to keep something you should think "does touching this spark joy?" Keep only those things that speak to your heart. A different way of looking at the numerous white binders of neatly divided meeting minutes in my office indeed...

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