MaineHealth, a demonstration site of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, will be hosting a conference on May 17th, featuring national and local experts on shared decision making (SDM). Attendees will have the opportunity to attend a number of sessions on topics such as end of life care, risk communication, decision aids, patient engagement and preference-sensitive care.
Last week, MaineHealth, an Informed Medical Decisions Foundation demonstration site, held its first conference dedicated to shared decision making (SDM). The conference, entitled “Shared Decision Making: The Patient Voice in Health Care,” featured presentations from national and local experts on SDM, and focused on bringing the patient perspective into the health care delivery system.
There is considerable debate about when, in which circumstances, and to what extent, patients should be encouraged to participate in decisions about their care. This issue of "Health Expectations" includes some important contributions to the debate. Many advocates of shared decision-making suggest it should be restricted to preference-sensitive decisions, i.e. those where the patient's values out to guide the choice. Informed consent, on the other hand, is perceived to be appropriate, and indeed necessary, for all decisions of significant risk even if there is only one treatment possibility.