Here’s an example. Let’s say you were diagnosed with cancer. After seeing your doctors, you would set about to understand your diagnosis, and would likely have many questions.
Perhaps you wouldn’t know where to begin or what questions to ask. You would be calling family members and friends and getting on the Internet to try to learn more about what your doctors told you. You would be researching the various choices available to cure the cancer, to control it, and possibly to treat other problems it was causing. The information would quickly become overwhelming.
Whether you had the Curadux benefit from your employer, or signed up individually, you would be a “Member” and would use the credentials provided (login or code) to enter the Cx Nexus (secure portal). You could have a family member or caregiver do this for you if you preferred.
First we would collect critical background information — your health history, current diagnosis, medications, treatments — along with your unique goals and values. Then you would select a time to meet with your physician Care Guide.
In your first meeting, held via video conference, your Care Guide would set about to fully understand your situation, get to know you, and listen to you. The Care Guide would learn what your doctors had recommended and would discuss treatment options with you. You could invite your family members, medical professionals, or other advisors and friends — from anywhere in the world — to be on these video conferences with you.
Your Care Guide would explain in simple language whatever you wanted to know more about. They would talk to you about your fears. They would tell you about the reality of what would happen with each treatment option. They would point out the side effects of different drugs. They would suggest follow-up questions to ask your doctors.
Note that your Care Guide, although a seasoned physician, would not take the place of your doctors, nor would he or she be practicing medicine. Care Guides impart to you their extensive medical wisdom so that you can take control of your healthcare.
The Care Guide would continue to “walk alongside you” by meeting with you periodically throughout your illness, guiding you to make healthcare decisions that were right for you.
“Health” is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and accordingly, “healthcare” is the culmination of decisions and actions which deal with illness in a way that allows people to get the most out of life, on their terms.
Curadux Care Guides take the complexity and uncertainty out of your healthcare decisions. They don’t take the place of your doctors.
For a variety of reasons, primary care physicians aren’t always able to spend the time with you that you would like. In addition, if you’re seeing more than one doctor, your health records and medications might be uncoordinated. This is often referred to as “fragmentation.”
The result is that decision-making falls on your shoulders, and your family’s shoulders, and you are already overwhelmed by having to deal with your illness. The Care Guide removes the enormous stress that comes with not knowing which way to turn. They integrate information coming from numerous sources, they help you figure out what’s most important, and guide you towards care that is best for you and your life goals.
“Integration is particularly crucial during periods in our lives when we really need health care the most….They involve frequent visits to hospitals and clinics and interactions with a range of providers. These are the moments when patients and families crave a system where the funders and providers are working together to offer whole-person and whole-family care.” (Harvard Business Review, December 2014)
That’s right — your Care Guide is not practicing medicine. However, the Care Guide uses his or her medical experience to make sure the pertinent facts about you are integrated, then takes you under wing.
Your Care Guide will answer your questions. The Care Guide might propose questions that you should ask your doctors, or they will speak directly to your doctors if you prefer. The Care Guide may share data that aids decision-making. The Care Guide will discuss your options with you and help you to determine what is best in your situation. Care Guides have a physician’s brain and also a patient’s heart to assure you get care aligned with your values and goals. They are your partner and collaborator as you decide on the best plan of action.
The Personal Health Story is a short, organized summary of your health status. It serves as the basis for your unique plan for wellness.
In addition to your health history, current diagnoses, medications, and any proposed treatments, the Personal Health Story includes information about familial, cultural and social aspects of your life that might affect your health and well-being. It is a holistic view of who you are.
Even if you don’t currently have a serious health situation, putting a Personal Health Story in place is a worthwhile thing to do. Should a health event occur in the future, you would be ahead of the game.
You are invited to upload X-rays, test results, and other documents which help fill out the picture of your health. Anyone who desires may also keep their advance directives and durable power of attorney right alongside their Personal Health Story in their vault on the Cx Nexus.
Research shows that the mere reflection required to create a Personal Health Story results in higher patient satisfaction and more focused and patient-centered care.
In addition to having strong clinical skills and broad experience, our physician Care Guides importantly connect with what they see as a worthy cause — helping individuals get just the kind and amount of care they need and desire when facing illness. For Curadux Care Guides, it’s about returning to the primary reason they entered medicine — to care for unique individuals in challenging times.
Our Care Guides have a range of backgrounds. Some come from a critical care background, others from pain medicine, and others from internal medicine for example. Their rich careers have afforded them relevant experience dealing with a broad range of issues. Many of them have experienced complex illness situations of their own, allowing them to understand very well the plight of patients in the midst of healthcare challenges.
Care Guides hold no preconceived notions about your treatment options. Each situation is unique, and the Care Guides blend their physician brain with their patient heart to advocate for for what is best for you. If you are receiving care that is inconsistent with your goals, we help you figure out what to do to change that. In every situation, our Member or the Member’s family/caregiver has their hands on the controls; we merely provide relevant information to help you make well-informed decisions.
The Cx Nexus is available 24/7/365. You will be able to schedule a meeting with your Curadux Care Guide via the Cx Nexus any time. If you have an emergency or urgent question and your Care Guide is not available, another Care Guide will assist you, or a Curadux associate will immediately set about to locate a Care Guide for you.
Curadux is unique in three important ways:
Dr. David L. Brown founded the company in 2015. A year earlier, he had recovered from a serious illness, including multi-organ failure.
What he came to understand more clearly as a patient himself was how the ill individual was so often forced to fit into established algorithms and protocols, rather than be allowed to make decisions that addressed their own goals and preferences.
Dr. Brown practiced medicine and held senior leadership positions for more than 35 years in some of the world’s most renowned medical establishments, including Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The latin words, “cura” and “dux” mean “care guide” in English.
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, DECEMBER 2014
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