Monday Memo
Monday Memo
Monday, December 12, 2016
What's NEW at Athena Forum

Case Managers: Patient Engagement and Shared Decision-Making

Why should Case Managers promote shared decision-making? Because last week CMS announced two new models from the CMS Innovation Center that will increase patient engagement in care decisions by putting more information in the hands of Medicare beneficiaries. These two Beneficiary Engagement and Incentives (BEI) Models are the Shared Decision Making Model (SDM Model) and the Direct Decision Support Model (DDS Model). For more information, check:

Beneficiary (patient) engagement broadly refers to the actions and choices of individuals with regard to their health and health care, and these decisions impact cost, quality and patient satisfaction outcomes.

Shared decision making, a term first coined in 1982, can ensure that treatment decisions, for the many medical conditions that do not have one clearly superior course of treatment, better align with beneficiaries' preferences and values. In order to achieve shared decision making, patients must be included in the discussion of treatment alternatives and engaged in selecting their preferred treatment. One facet of shared decision making is the use of patient education tools that present information about common medical choices. These tools do not supplant provider-beneficiary conversations about treatment options; instead, they better prepare beneficiaries to engage in those conversations.

A key factor in the success of case management is communication. Case managers routinely communicate with patients, families, clinical staff, payers, durable medical equipment vendors and community resource providers about treatment alternatives. Communication is used not only to obtain or convey information but also to build relationships and establish trust.

With patients, the establishment of trusting relationships allows for patient engagement, which ensures the best health outcomes and positively impacts the patient for a longer term of self-care and self-advocacy. Athena Forum courses advocate patient engagement and prepare case managers with key concepts of patient engagement, shared decision making and communication strategies. The concepts are woven throughout the various courses.


Tips from our featured course

Discharge Planning Core Element: Patient Engagement

Discharge planning is authored by the patient, patient's family and the transdisciplinary care team. It reflects a process of engaging the patient in planning while monitoring and managing the patient's progress toward discharge.

Patient Engagement

  • Maximize patient involvement in all phases of intervention by promoting self-determination and informed decision-making.
  • Provide educational information to support the patient's participation in the plan of care.
  • Protect patient's right to privacy and safeguard confidentiality when releasing patient information.
  • Affirm patient dignity and respect cultural, religious, socioeconomic, and sexual diversity.
  • Assess and promote the patient's efforts to participate in the plan of care.

[Discharge Planning, Module A, Philosophy and Standards]

Patient Engagement and Ethics of Patient
Health Information Access

In order for patients to engage in meaningful and informed self-determination they must be given access to their patient health information (PHI) in a way that is not fraught with unnecessary roadblocks.

The goal behind encouraging patient access to health information lies in improving care outcomes. Organizations should look to develop processes and policies that get actionable patient information out in real time for patients to make healthcare decisions.

The ability to obtain that information facilitates patient engagement and fosters their ability to make better choices and take greater responsibility for managing their health.

[Ethics in Case Management, Module F, Ambulatory and Community Based Care]


Notice from the Publisher

I want to thank our 20,000 healthcare professionals for requesting new topics on Athena Forum.

Thomas A. Rasmussen
CEO & Publisher
Athena Forum Institute

Monday Memo Editor

Cathy Wright, BSN, RN

Clinical Editor

Athena Forum

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