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Jennifer Ramona

2018 CSA Conference


Jennifer Ramona

Homewatch CareGivers, LLC
National Director of Business Development


Improve Healthcare Outcomes, Satisfaction and Engagement Through Shared Decision Making

As outlined in the National Quality Partners’ Action Brief, Shared Decision Making (SDM) is a process of communication in which clinicians/healthcare providers and patients work together to make optimal healthcare decisions that align with what matters most to the patient. This two-way communication model is critical to improving person-centered care. It is of particular importance when an individual has more than one medical condition, potentially conflicting medical advice, personal circumstances, and financial concerns that may complicate the decision-making process. SDM has the potential to improve the healthcare experience, increase engagement, and enhance value and decrease costs for patients.

However, this process is just emerging as the standard of care for all patients. SDM may be applied to specific medical interventions (e.g. surgery or not) as well as decisions such as care setting (e.g. personal home vs. nursing home). Case studies will be utilized for a group activity to discover how you or your clients can participate in shared decision making, and considerations to take into account. We will discuss the barriers encountered, and the benefits SDM would have to the patient, healthcare provider, and those invested in their success - you.

For SDM to be successful, clinicians/healthcare providers and their patients must feel comfortable discussing risks, benefits, and care alternatives, as well as potential burdens, impact on quality of life, and costs even when costs are not always easy to determine. It requires:

  1. clear, accurate, and unbiased medical evidence about reasonable alternatives - including no intervention - the risks and benefits of each;
  2. clinician/healthcare provider expertise in communicating and tailoring that evidence for individual patients; and
  3. patient engagement in communicating values, goals, informed preferences, and concerns, which may include treatment burdens

Although the process may seem straightforward, encounters are generally not. Some instances call for adapting SDM, particularly when working with individuals with impaired or limited decision-making capacity, specific cultural or religious beliefs, or emergent/urgent situations. We will utilize a fictitious, though realistic scenario and related decision-aid to experience the value of decision-aids bring to the SDM process, and experience how different individuals come to different decisions based on their unique perspectives and desires. You will be encouraged to share your experiences as part of a group discussion.

Finally, you’ll get to “ink it”. Through an active idea exchange, you will hear and share thoughts on how you can support your clients, loved-ones, and yourself in being engaged in shared decision making. You’ll be encouraged to put down one idea on which you can take action.

Learning Objectives

  1. Define Shared Decision Making (SDM).
  2. Describe the value of SDM and decision-aids.
  3. Formulate strategies to support SDM for your clients.

About Jennifer

Jen Ramona is the National Director of Business Development at Homewatch CareGivers, LLC. Her expertise includes over 15-years of operations and marketing management in services supporting older adults and individuals with disabilities, including the development and roll-out of the Neurorehabilitation and Cardiopulmonary Specialties for the nation’s largest home health and hospice provider. Her passion for the industry was ignited from childhood as the side-kick to her superhero father who was the conservator, guardian and caregiver for several aging family members.

Jen has been a speaker at conferences such as Dementia Action Alliance, Post-Acute LINK, and National Association of Home Care and Hospice.  She is a member of the National Quality Partnership’s (an initiative of National Quality Forum) Shared Decision-Making Action Team and Leadership Consortium. She received her B.A. from Boston University.

Her downtime is enjoyed camping, playing darts, and sampling craft beer with her husband.

Visit the Schedule at a Glance for session dates, times, and locations.  

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