CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 26

W O R D S F R O M A PA S T P R E S I D E N T

STANDARDIZED
VERSUS PERSONALIZED
CARE PLANS
BY JEFF FRATER

C

ase managers have
long been committed
to the idea of patientcentric care planning,
recognizing the patient
as a three-dimensional person with
specific needs and wants, strengths and
limitations. While provider and payer
organizations can sometimes be viewed
by patients as faceless monoliths, the
one-on-one relationships between care
managers and patients have offered
a personalized and individualized care
relationship to help offset this reality.
It is perhaps for this reason that some
care managers may view the idea of
standardizing care plans warily, at best.
After all, the patients referred to care
management are necessarily complex,
often with a variety of comorbidities
across medical and behavioral health.
Treating them with a one-size-fits-all
approach would be disastrous. I would
offer that the opposite (i.e., care plans
and care management approaches that
are as numerous as the patients themselves) do not serve our patients nor our
profession well.
Care managers should embrace evidence-based care plans as a blueprint for
treating complex patients. This blueprint
will be shaped by a variety of factors,
including comorbidities, demographic
and socioeconomic factors, as well as
26

CMSA TODAY

the patient's ability and willingness to
engage in his or her own care.
BENEFITS TO PATIENTS
A care plan that uses evidence-based
best practices can benefit patients in
the following way:
1.	B y providing a common starting
point for all patients, via a standardized assessment
2.	B y measuring patients' progress
both against their own goals and
against standardized benchmarks
The care manager who works with a
standardized care plan template must
incorporate the individual's needs and
limitations. For example, a standardized
goal for patients with diabetes might
be to achieve an HbA1c of less than 7.
However, for a specific patient, that
goal may be unrealistic or simply not
the patient's focus. Thus, an individualized short-term goal of 9 percent or the
avoidance of severe diabetes-specific
complications may be more realistic.
In the patient's terminology, this might
mean "avoid dialysis" or "avoid amputation." In this scenario, the care manager would record the patient's stated
goal as well as the standardized goal
while simultaneously tracking progress
toward both. Naturally, patients will
more actively engage in pursuit of their
identified goals.

Issue 7 * 2017 * DIGITAL

BENEFITS TO THE PROGRAM
AND PROFESSION
While there is a tremendous amount
of evidence-based research to support
particular interventions in medical disciplines such as cardiology and obstetrics,
a relatively thin body of evidence exists
to support certain care management
approaches over others. This has to
change.
In a time of vast data resources and
sophisticated health IT analytics solutions, we need better direction on what
works, what doesn't, for which patient
populations and why.
By adopting standardized patient
assessments and using standardized
goals as a starting point for care plans,
care managers can create a wealth of
apples-to-apples data that can be used
to advance best practices in the field.
Increasingly, we may need to demonstrate that experienced care managers
cannot be replaced by technology solutions, and that both, working in tandem,
is the best way to attain optimal patient
outcomes. Data from groups of patients
making progress toward standardized
goals will contribute to this body of
knowledge.
WHAT'S NEXT?
If we embrace the idea that standardization in care management does not erase



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017

President's Letter
Association News
CMSA Corporate Partners
Care Transitions: Remember the Basics
Leveraging Family Caregivers, Clinical Protocols and Technology to Improve Person-Centered Care
Development and Implementation of Relational Building in the Virtual Work Environment
Patient and Provider Satisfaction
The Case Management Model Act: Professional Case Managers Transforming Health Care
Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - Intro
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - cover1
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - cover2
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 3
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 4
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 5
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - President's Letter
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 7
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - Association News
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 9
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - CMSA Corporate Partners
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 11
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - Care Transitions: Remember the Basics
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 13
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 14
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - Leveraging Family Caregivers, Clinical Protocols and Technology to Improve Person-Centered Care
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 16
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 17
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - Development and Implementation of Relational Building in the Virtual Work Environment
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 19
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - Patient and Provider Satisfaction
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 21
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - The Case Management Model Act: Professional Case Managers Transforming Health Care
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 23
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 24
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 25
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 26
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 27
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 28
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - 29
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - cover3
CMSA Today - Issue 7, 2017 - cover4
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