A member of Lakeview Health System, Stillwater Medical Group is a multi-specialty group practice serving Minnesota’s beautiful St. Croix Valley and western Wisconsin. Stillwater Medical Group seeks to provide patient-centered, compassionate care to the tens of thousands of patients the group encounters every year.
Stillwater Medical Group became a Foundation-funded demonstration site in 2009, with the goal of system-wide implementation of shared decision making for a broad variety of conditions. Stillwater Medical Group is guided by the needs of the patient as it works to create patient-provider partnerships that are effective and personal. Health care providers guide patients in shared decision making to help align treatment options with what is most important to patients.
In this short video from our colleagues at Stillwater Medical Group, providers and patients describe how the practice of shared decision making is becoming a reality.
Current Shared Decision Making Activities
The health care providers of Stillwater Medical Group currently have access to over 16 decision aids, developed by the Foundation and Health Dialog, on topics including breast cancer, women’s health issues, chronic pain, mental health, low back pain and prostate cancer.
An Innovative Model for Shared Decision Making
Stillwater Medical Group has implemented three models of providing patients with decision aids:
- Prescription Model: A patient is referred to a Care Coordinator through the electronic medical record (EMR) order entry process. This process includes care coordination and decision making support from the time of diagnosis. Prior to the initial consultation with the specialist, patients meet with a nurse care coordinator to assess knowledge of disease, review pathology results, and discuss treatment options. Care coordinators go through the decision aid (DA) with the patient and request that the patient reviews the materials before she or he returns to the specialist for medical care planning. The team provides support and coordination of care throughout treatment based on individual patient needs.
- In Consultation: A provider and nurse introduce the decision aid to the patient during a consultation and provide the patient with an educational packet that includes the decision aid, a cover letter, a consent form, a survey to assess knowledge of the condition and to capture patient values and preferences, a self-addressed pre-paid return envelope and other supplemental information depending on the patient’s condition or medical decision. Support is provided by the Care Coordinator should the patient need help with values clarification and other coordination of care for the decision they are facing.
- Patient Request: A patient may submit a request to have a decision aid mailed to them. A follow-up appointment with a nurse is offered so the patient may discuss any questions or concerns she or he may have about the information presented in the decision aid.
Future Program Goals
The team at Stillwater Medical Group plans to sustain and expand its work of implementing shared decision making with the support of patient decision aids over the next few years.