In a trial studying exercise for older hospitalized patients, Dr. Siebens quickly learned that exercising depended on many factors: the patients’ burden of disease, the demands on their coping, what type of movement their bodies tolerated, access to exercising space in their homes or neighborhoods, and availability of encouragement from family and friends. The research also proved the value of an organized binder that included clear instructions and illustrations. (This initial research success evolved over many years into the current Siebens Health Care Notebook.)
In 1990, when Dr. Siebens was a member of a National Stroke Rehabilitation Guidelines expert panel, she led a group writing the chapter, “Screening for Rehabilitation and Choice of a Setting.” She identified five factors to determine what setting was appropriate for rehabilitation care (medical stability, cognition, functional loss, physical endurance, and social supports). Both the committee and an internationally-known reviewer agreed with her findings. The degree of consensus support indicated to her that this 5-item organizational framework could be refined and much more widely applied to educate and plan care for all patients.
Encouraging feedback from colleagues and patients over the years, along with research evidence, motivated Dr. Siebens to develop the SDMM™ approach. This includes a personal notebook for patients, the Siebens Health Care Notebook, organized by the SDMM™’s four domains using plain English. Patients, with the help of care partners if needed, can keep their essential health information organized in one place, helping them to manage their care and prepare for doctor visits.
The SDMM™’s simple approach helps patients and care teams more efficiently collect, organize, and access information needed to plan and implement good care, whether in a hospital, hospice, or home setting. Documentation is improved, rehabilitation team conferences are more energized and effective, resources are used more efficiently, and even some clinical outcomes are better.