Last week the Association of Health Care Journalists held their Health Journalism 2012 conference in Atlanta, GA. Each year the conference seeks to provide context and clarity around health care issues that have taken center stage thanks to advances in medicine, political activity and public interest. So it's no surprise that shared decision making was a hot topic at this year’s conference. Dr. Michael J. Barry, president of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, was a member of the panel A reporter’s guide to medical decision making.
I’ve been fortunate to be the Publisher of HealthNewsReview.org, leading a team of physicians, researchers, journalists and others trained in the evaluation of evidence as we try to improve the public dialogue about health care in the US. The team has evaluated more than 1,800 stories, applying 10 criteria that we think address issues that consumers need addressed whenever they hear claims about health care interventions. Nearly 70% of the 1,800+ stories we’ve reviewed get unsatisfactory grades for covering costs, and for quantifying harms and benefits.