This June, members of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation learning collaborative of shared decision making (SDM) demonstration sites gathered in Boston to meet and share their successes and challenges in implementation. The collaborative, which was formed three years ago, represents a diverse community of both large academic medical centers and private practices throughout the country who are implementing SDM into routine practice using our Shared Decision-Making® program decision aids.
This learning collaborative has culminated a wealth of knowledge and data over the past three years. “We are so thankful for the good work, positive energy and enduring commitment to shared decision making that our demonstration sites possess,” says Richard Wexler, Foundation director of patient support strategies.
During the meeting, each site presented the unique way in which they are able to make the routine practice of SDM a reality. This included their scope of work, specific findings and in many cases, how they’ve worked with various departments—from clinical leaders to IT personnel—to review processes and determine where SDM and patient decision aids (DAs) can “live” within their current pathways.
For those still on the fence about shared decision making, our demonstration sites prove day in and day out that SDM can indeed be implemented successfully in real world clinical settings.
“The goal line still lies ahead, but it’s in sight and we truly believe that together we have the knowledge, experience, will and credibility to cross it,” says Richard.
To date, our demonstration sites have distributed more than 20,000 DAs, collected 6,000 pre- and post-DA viewing surveys and 1,400 post-visit surveys. Our research team analyzes this data and shares the findings with the members of the learning collaborative. This unique data set illustrates shared decision making behaviors and allows us to compare findings with past research, as well as test some commonly-cited hypotheses around the usefulness of DAs.