Designing and Developing Effective Disease Management Programmes: Key Decisions for Programme Success
Ann Scheck McAlearney
The effectiveness of disease management programmes hinges on a combination of factors, all of which are important to consider when selecting a programme for implementation. This article provides a brief overview of disease management programmes commonly found in healthcare organisations, highlighting the issue of programme effectiveness. Seven factors critical to the design and development of an effective disease management programme are outlined to guide practitioners and healthcare managers who are responsible for making decisions about such programmes. These decision factors are: 1. defining and establishing programme goals; 2. defining a target population; 3. selecting measures of programme success; 4. determining data availability and information systems capability; 5. deciding to build or buy all or parts of a programme; 6. determining and enhancing the level of physician involvement; and 7. selecting strategies to enhance organisational support. Careful consideration of these factors in the decision stage for a disease management programme will help ensure effective and appropriate programme development and implementation. Healthcare managers applying these considerations will be better able to develop disease management programmes that achieve their objectives and provide a foundation for organisational success.
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