An equation of health: Role of transparency and opacity in developing healthcare efficacy measures and metrics

Russell Jaffe (Health Studies Collegium, Sterling, Virginia, USA)
Robert A. Nash (Nash Medical Center, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA)
Richard Ash (Ash Center for Comprehensive Medicine, New York, New York, USA)
Norm Schwartz (Integrative Medical Clinic, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Robert Corish (Integrative Clinic, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)
Tammy Born (Born Medical Clinic, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)
Harold Lazarus (Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA and the ASIMP Working Group on Healthcare Transparency, Health Studies Collegium, Sterling, Virginia, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 29 May 2007



This article aims to present an equation of health to allow measurement and more precise comparison of what is more or less effective in promoting health or managing ill health. It builds upon and extends a prior report (JMD, Volume 25 Number 10, 2006, pp. 981‐995).


Applying basic scientific methods and empiric observations, the equation proposed in this article is a state of the current science. Such an equation allows for more systematic and predictive comparison of health initiatives.


The pace of scientific progress is outstripping our institutional adaptive response mechanisms. An approach to the causes of ill health appears more promising than re‐configuration of current disease reactive, symptom treatment care. This paper starts from first principles and builds a model that results in an equation of health.

Research limitations/implications

Refinement of the model and replication by others are needed to fully determine the predictive value of this approach.

Practical implications

The opportunity to reduce costs while also reducing adverse events, healthcare morbidity and morality.


This article calls attention to areas of opportunity to fund out of savings the transition from our current “sick care” system to a health promotion/proactive prevention approach to caring.



Jaffe, R., Nash, R.A., Ash, R., Schwartz, N., Corish, R., Born, T. and Lazarus, H. (2007), "An equation of health: Role of transparency and opacity in developing healthcare efficacy measures and metrics", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 441-458.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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