Improving Value

Shared Decision Making

The U.S. healthcare system is notorious for being complex and difficult for patients to navigate on their own. Although there have been many efforts to increase patient activation, such as consumer-directed health plans and changes in delivery, today's health system is far from reflecting consumers' true needs and preferences.1 

Patient shared decision-making (PSDM) incorporates patients' needs and preferences into their individual treatment plans. PSDM goes beyond traditional informed consent in healthcare - it is an interpersonal, interdependent process in which healthcare providers and patients collaborate to make decisions about the care that patients receive. Shared decision-making not only reflects medical evidence and providers' clinical expertise, but also the unique preferences and values of patients and their families.

The evidence around shared decision-making is fairly strong. Strategies to address PSDM include: patient activation and increasing the consumer voice in clinical settings; adopting shared decision-making techniques to help patients establish trust with their providers; and reimbursing poviders based on quality metrics instead of fee-for-service models. To learn more about what the evidence says, read the Hub's research brief on Patient Shared Decision Making. 



1. Ditre, Joe, "Consumer-Centric Healthcare: Rhetoric vs. Reality," Healthcare Value Hub, Research Brief No. 18 (May 2017). 

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