Health Dialog Teams with Sutter Weight Management Institute to Help Patients Make Informed Decisions about Bariatric Surgery

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Award-winning shared decision making aid helps patients make decisions based on best medical evidence and personal preferences

Health Dialog, a leading provider of people and technology that help patients make better health care decisions, announced today that it is working with Sutter Weight Management Institute (SWMI) to help empower patients to make informed decisions about bariatric surgery. SWMI patients join individuals across the country who have engaged with Health Dialog's library of shared decision making (SDM) aids more than 700,000 times to help them make better health care choices. Using these award-winning aids, these patients made informed decisions based on the best medical evidence available, their physician’s expertise and their personal preferences and lifestyle. SWMI patients will access the “Weight Loss Surgery: Is It Right for You?” decision aid at their physician’s recommendation to help inform them of their surgical as well as non-surgical options.

Bariatric surgery is a life-changing procedure that can result in significant weight loss for the treatment of obesity. According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, an estimated 18 million adults in the United States are eligible for surgical weight loss procedures. Studies show bariatric surgery can resolve or improve many obesity-related co-morbidities such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Many patients also report a significant reduction in depression, anxiety and overall improvement in mobility, self-esteem and quality of life. However, all types of bariatric surgery come with risks as well as lifestyle and behavior changes that patients should understand completely before making a decision about surgery.

The SDM aids provide SWMI patients with unbiased, evidence-based information that explains the different weight loss surgeries. Videos detail stories of patients who made the decision to have or not have weight loss surgery as well as interviews with weight loss experts. The decision aid presents a clear view of what surgery can and can’t do, which helps patients have realistic expectations and a complete understanding of their role in achieving success. Data show this level of learning, combined with interactive and collaborative discussion with both a health coach and the treating physician, help patients make decisions that are better suited to their personal preferences and lifestyle.

“We chose to work with Health Dialog for a simple reason: Data show patients who are informed and participate in their treatment decisions are happier with their care,” said Amy Fox, R.D., CDE, operations director at Sutter Weight Management Institute. “Health Dialog’s decision aids have one of the highest patient participation rates in the industry, ensuring our patients have access to the best resources available to achieve success with their decision. Many patients enjoy and comment on the shared decision making program and how it helps them navigate through a complex process. Whether they ultimately choose surgery or not, they find it to be a very enlightening program,” Fox said. One participant remarked, “They show different points of view to which I can relate. It really helped me to see what would be the best option for me.”

About Health Dialog:
Health Dialog is a leading provider of healthcare analytics and decision support. Health Dialog helps health plans, employers and physician groups improve health-care quality while reducing overall costs. Company offerings include health coaching for medical decisions, chronic conditions and wellness; population analytic solutions; and consulting services. Health Dialog helps individuals participate in their own health-care decisions, develop more effective relationships with their physicians, and live longer, healthier, happier lives. For more information, visit http://www.healthdialog.com.

About Sutter Health:
Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, not-for-profit hospitals, home health care and other health-care service providers share resources and expertise to advance health-care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Association. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women's and children's services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology.

For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health network, please visit
http://www.SutterHealth.org | http://www.Facebook.com/SutterHealth | http://www.YouTube.com/SutterHealth |http://twitter.com/sutterhealth.

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Shanti Skiffington
Samvega Public Relations
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