National Academy of Medicine

Creating a Culture to Promote Shared Decision Making at Group Health

By Scott Armstrong, David Arterburn
April 05, 2013 | Commentary

Decades of research from the Dartmouth Atlas have shown that unwarranted variations in elective surgery are pervasive in the United States. Decision aids (DAs) are evidence-based sources of health information that can help patients make informed treatment decisions about elective surgery. Growing evidence suggests that using DAs improves the quality of patient decision making and potentially reduces unwarranted variations in care, mitigating unnecessary health expenditures. Unfortunately, little is known about how DAs affect patient satisfaction and health care use, and few health systems have attempted large-scale implementation of DAs to support shared decision making (SDM).

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.