For 24 years the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has been a leader in advancing shared decision making across the United States and more recently, across international waters. We have been working with providers, patient groups and policy makers abroad to promote the value of shared decision making and provide guidance on implementation based on learnings in the U.S.
Our interest in shared decision making began with a question: Why do rates of surgical procedures for prostate disease vary so much from one geographic location to another? We discovered one main reason for this practice variation was that patients were not being informed of their available treatment options. Determined to address this issue, we developed our first patient decision aid for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and through implementation of the tool, we saw a glimpse of a remarkable trend that medical research has proven time and again. When patients are fully informed of all their available treatment options, they make choices that are more aligned with their preferences and values; therefore, leading to a higher quality of care. This knowledge was just the beginning of our work to engage patients and providers in a shared decision making process.
In this video, our historical leaders describe the organization’s journey toward improving the quality of health care around the world by advancing shared decision making.