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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