Greetings from Boston! As we all know, 2013 has been quite an eventful year for the health care industry as a whole. While the government and other agencies have been working on implementing the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Foundation has been extremely busy expanding the reach of shared decision making and cultivating new partnerships to make this patient-centered care process an everyday norm in health care.
Read more about our new partnerships and expanded reach
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, our implementation manager, Megan Bowen, received her health coach certification from the High Value Healthcare Collaborative (HVHC). This certification gives Megan the ability to coach and guide patients through medical decisions, taking into consideration their own thoughts and preferences.
Read more about the High Value Healthcare Collaborative's health coach training
New guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association on the assessment of cardiovascular risk and the manipulation of cholesterol levels to mitigate that risk have certainly been in the news. The guidelines appropriately use high quality evidence to abandon old untested or unproven paradigms such as treatment to LDL targets and manipulation of non-HDL cholesterol as a secondary goal. In many ways, the new guidelines should simplify lipid management.
Read more about the guidelines for cardiovascular risk and cholesterol management
In 1621, just 40 miles south of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation headquarters, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag joined together to give thanks for the first successful harvest. Although today’s annual celebration is quite different from that first Thanksgiving, one thing remains the same—Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. As this autumn holiday nears, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the many blessings of 2013, as well as those of years past.
Read more about what we're thankful for this Thanksgiving
Recently two of our staff members, Vickie Stringfellow, research methodologist and Megan Bowen, implementation manager, gave an informative webinar about how we collect patient-reported measures. They discussed it in relation to our demonstration sites and how exactly all of the sites went about gathering and reporting data via the program DatStat Illume.
Read more about how we collect patient-reported measures
The month of November has just begun and so has the sprouting of mustaches. The mustaches aren’t necessarily a response to the colder weather, but a sign that “Movember” is here -- a month dedicated to raising awareness about various men’s health issues through facial hair growth. While there are many topics within the men’s health umbrella, this charity chooses to focus on the most prominent ones, mental health, testicular cancer and prostate cancer. While all of these topics are important, prostate cancer tends to receive the spotlight as it affects 1 in 6 men.
Read more about the importance of understanding the pros and cons of the PSA test
Earlier this month, I attended a conference held in honor of Jack Wennberg recognizing his many years of work on geographic practice variation in health care and the huge impact his work has had. For two days, folks from around the world who have collaborated with Jack or have been influenced by his work, gathered together to discuss his legacy. During the event, Dartmouth College announced the establishment of the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professorship in Jack’s honor.
Read more about Jack Wennberg's impact on health reform
Patients have always been at the very core of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation. We believe that patients should be informed and engaged in their health care. We always speak to patients first before creating a decision aid in order to learn from their experience in making a health care decision, and to understand what they wish they had known about their options. With every decision aid we work on, we conduct focus groups at several levels of the creation process. We take what the patients have to say during the focus groups very seriously and always take their opinions into account.
Read more about the findings of our focus group on maternity care
In addition to being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is also Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month. Hosted by Planetree, the theme for 2013 is “Compassion in Action,” which ties to the core of Planetree’s philosophy that compassion is essential for care to truly be patient-centered. For organizations wanting to participate in the month, Planetree provides many ideas to promote patient-centered care practices and spread the message.
Read more about Planetree's Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month
Last month we acknowledged our fantastic medical editors and some of their recent achievements. We love seeing our medical editors achieve such great things, but we love it even more when we are able to be a part of their achievements. Recently, one of our medical editors, Dr. Richard Hoffman, and his colleagues, based at the University of New Mexico Prevention Research Center, were awarded a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grant will support conducting formative research to identify patient and provider barriers and facilitators to engaging in shared decision making for lung cancer screening and smoking cessation among under-served minority populations. Rich emphasizes that this research is important because, “lung-cancer screening is a preference sensitive decision and patients should be supported in making informed decisions.”
Read more about how Foundation staff will contribute to CDC grant