Shared decision making (SDM) is a collaborative process that allows patients and their providers to make health care decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available, as well as the patient’s values and preferences.
SDM honors both the provider’s expert knowledge and the patient’s right to be fully informed of all care options and the potential harms and benefits. This process provides patients with the support they need to make the best individualized care decisions, while allowing providers to feel confident in the care they prescribe.
See a video featuring Stillwater Medical Group discussing the benefits of shared decision making.
SDM is particularly important when it comes to preference-sensitive conditions. These types of medical decisions require an understanding of the patient’s needs, desires and lifestyle. Unfortunately, patients often make decisions about medical treatments without complete understanding of their options.
To help patients work with their providers to make complex care decisions, the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has developed over 30 Shared Decision-Making® programs. These decision aids present unbiased, balanced health information to patients and are used as a tool to facilitate the shared medical decision process between the patient and provider.
Interested in learning more about shared decision making?