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Case Study

How VA San Diego used patient activation to uncover barriers to self-management

15 Minute Read

Overview

The challenge

Clinicians often overlook patient activation as a factor that can drive non-adherence to care plans and poor clinical outcomes.

The organisation

United States Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in San Diego, California, US, with one medical center and six community-based outpatient clinics, developed standard interventions that link to individual heart failure patients’ activation level.

The approach

VA San Diego measured heart failure patients’ activation levels to help shape their care plan. They did this using the Patient Activation Survey (PAM) to proactively uncover a patient’s barriers to self-management and elevate support accordingly.

The results

After six months, leaders at VA San Diego observed a 34% decrease in readmissions and a 4.5x increase in raw activation scores among programme enrollees, compared to patients who received standard care.

 

Approach

How VA San Diego implemented the Patient Activation Measure (PAM) with heart failure patients

United States Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in San Diego, California, US, developed a structured approach to personalise interventions for heart failure patients based on activation level.

 

The two components

How leaders at the VA San Diego implemented the PAM with their heart failure patients using two key components:

  • Component

    Survey patients using the Patient Activation Measure (PAM)

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  • Component

    Tailor patients’ care plans to match their activation levels

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Results

Activation linked to better quality and experience 

VA San Diego’s results demonstrate the value of tailoring care plans to each patient’s activation level. After six months, leaders at VA San Diego observed a decrease in readmissions and an increase in raw activation scores among programme enrollees, compared to patients who received usual care.

More broadly, studies of adult patients with chronic conditions show a strong correlation between higher activation and better medication adherence, self-management, and satisfaction with care.

34% 

Decrease in readmissions for enrolled patients.

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