If your organization has consumers who are engaged in their health care, chances are, you have an edge over your competitors – because your consumers are better informed, are more proactive in their health care and insurance coverage, have better outcomes, and cost less (see Making Consumer Engagement A Reality). If you don’t, the question is simple – how do you engage your consumers so that both they and your organization can reap the benefits?
One option for enhancing consumer engagement that I read about recently in Psychiatric Times (see The Truth About Shared Decision Making) is shared decision making (SDM), which Dawn I. Velligan, Ph.D. defined as:
SDM is a process in which both the provider and the patient are involved, the provider shares information about the alternatives, risks, and benefits of specific treatments and elicits input from the patient; the patient shares information about his or her preferences, values, and concerns and ask questions; and both parties work toward an agreement on the treatment to be implemented.”
I had heard of this before – last summer my colleague Athena Mandros reported on the work being done by Nicole Schechter, Psy.D., Rehabilitation Psychologist, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, which includes offering shared decisionmaking with consumers and their families (see Is Consumer Engagement A Habit At Your Organization?). The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality includes shared decisionmaking among their list of best practices, noting that to attain the most effective form of consumer-centered care, provider organizations need to view the consumer as a knowledgeable partner who often has “knowledge of their own physical and psychological responses to their specific health and health care circumstances” (see Creating Patient-Centered Team-Based Primary Care).
How to ensure that your organization and team are using a shared decisionmaking approach? Dr. Velligan presents a three-step process developed in, Shared Decision Making: A Model for Clinical Practice, which includes:
- “Choice talk,” which involves making a statement that the consumer must think about what to do next, offering choices, emphasizing individual preferences
- “Option talk,” which involves checking the consumer’s knowledge, describing options in terms of harms and benefits, providing decision support, and summarizing using the teach-back method
- “Decision talk,” which involves eliciting a preference and moving to a decision
This sounds basic, but I think it’s a great frame for provider organizations to build the health literacy of their consumers, and keep those consumers interested (i.e., engaged) with treatment. Many of the executives I work with, if they are forward thinking and strategically minded, are driven to adopt the tech and tools needed to help consumers make informed decisions. While provider organizations need consumer-focused tools, they first need a consumer-focused mindset and business model that relies on consumer education and engagement at every step of the process.
For more, check out these resources from the OPEN MINDS Industry Library:
- Is Consumer Engagement A Habit At Your Organization?
- How One Payer Is Upping Its Consumer Engagement Game
- Consumer-Directed Therapies – Where Consumer Use Has Outpaced Science
- Solving For Engagement With Technology
- Consumers Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
Provider organizations may need to spend more time explaining health issues with consumers. This is essential to the future of effective care. For more on supporting consumers through the use of technology, join Arel Meister, Founder & President, Sprout Health Group and OPEN MINDS Senior Associate Matthew Chamberlain, on November 8 for their session, “How Technology Is Shaping Addiction Treatment: Remote Monitoring, Mobile Apps, & More,” at The 2017 OPEN MINDS Technology & Informatics Institute.