Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Call for Abstracts!! Do You Have a Good Story to Tell About the Care of Populations?

If so, you should strongly consider submitting an abstract for the DMAA Forum '09 Meeting. You or your colleagues may be put off by the prospect of assembling a presentation and having to present it in a mini-lecture format, but keep in mind that its a heluva lot easier than you may suspect. The abstract reviewers from DMAA are not only interested in a sufficient degree of methodologic rigor but they are more interested in new and meaningful approaches to employee, insured, uninsured or community-level populations. Folks in the audience are supportive and enthusiastic. They'll be counting on the same level of support from you when they make their presentation.

How does the Disease Management Care Blog know this? Because it has served as an abstract reviewer. It likes new program descriptions from newcomers. That's where all the innovation is.

Ask yourself:

Thanks to your novel program, did people lose weight or exercise more often? Stop using tobacco? Have better control of their chronic illness?

After your unique intervention, did enrollees see their primary care physicians more frequently? Stay away from emergency rooms? Have lower claims expense?

Once you were done, did persons express greater confidence in dealing with their chronic illness? Did they like their relationship with your health coaches?

While your excellent initiative was being launched, did the physicians change their approach? Were they willing to participate? What feedback did you get?

And let's not forget the Patient Centered Medical Homes. This is a perfect setting to share preliminary results about the many pilots underway and share notes with others at the Forum who are undoubtedly going to be talking about the same topic.

There are many reasons to submit. It's not only a reason to go to sunny San Diego, it's a chance to gauge the reactions of other experts in the field and solicit their input. It may help you spot changes that could be made to further improve your program going forward. You may be approached by the media for a quote. Various peer review journals representatives may ask you to submit a manuscript for possible publication. You may get an award for best presentation. You'll be labeled an expert. You can put this on your CV. Once you break the ice, you'll be even better at submitting for Forum '10. DMAA is a good place to trial run your abstract prior to submitting it to another meeting. This is a good way to not have to think about the prospect of how badly healthcare reform will be messed up in D.C. The DMAA 'Faculty' name badge makes a great fashion accessory and memento to show your relatives. Finally, you'll also get to meet the most excellent DMAA staff and their indefatigable leader, Tracey Moorhead.

Face it: when you and your colleagues launch a population-based care program, you probably have a pretty good idea of what the baseline is like and you probably have at least a good idea of what you'd like to see happen. By performing at least partially complete measurements and having an adequate comparison group, you have the ingredients necessary to submit your abstract along with all the big boys.

Go ahead.... the Disease Management Care Blog dares ya. You have until 8 PM EST Feb. 20 to pull it together. Mark your calendar, close down your web browser and hammer out a preliminary Word document. You thought about it last year, this year is your chance to actually do it.

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