Monday, October 29, 2012

Shared Decision Making: Population Health Management Bridging Academia and the Real World

In the prestigious medical journal JAMA, Georgetown University's William Novelli, Kaiser CEO George Halvorson and Consumer Reports' John Santa summarize the results of a patient survey and focus group results on the topic of shared decision making. The study was sponsored by the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

The results show that when it comes to treatment, patients want their doctors to present all relevant options, including the option of doing nothing.  Most also want to know each option's risk.  Once they have good understanding, the majority are comfortable with letting their physician lead on chosing the "best" decision.  This approach is likewise associated with greater patient satisfaction.

Yet, despite their preference on how to best reconcile competing treatment options, few can recall it actually happening that way.

While this may be newsworthy to JAMA readers, the results should be of no surprise to anyone working in the population health management (PHM) field.  PHM service providers have been advocating for shared decision making for years. They've also developed business models that bridge the gap between JAMA's academic ideals and the real world inhabited by flesh and blood patients with busy doctors who need help now.

As testimony to the blurring between the theoretical and the possible, the Disease Management Care Blog has pasted 4 quotes below.  One is from a concluding paragraph of the JAMA paper, while the remainder are from the web sites associated some commercial care management vendors.

See if you can spot which is which:

physician-guided health care delivery system designed to develop and engage informed and activated patients over time to address both illness and long term health (link)

can ensure that in the trilogy of opinions, the patient's opinion and perspective are core, helping fulfill the promise of better health at lower cost (link)

constantly make decisions that impact their health and provides them with the tools they need to make the decisions that are right for them (link)

based on each individual's readiness-to-change and what health issues they want to address, personalized interventions connect the widest range of health management solutions, devices and diagnostic tests (link)

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