National Academy of Medicine
Discussion Paper

Communicating with Patients on Health Care Evidence

By Chuck Alston, Lyn Paget, George Halvorson, Bill Novelli, Jim Guest, Patrick McCabe, Karen Hoffman, Christopher Koepke, Melissa Simon, Sharyn Sutton, Sally Okun, Paul Wicks, Tresa Undem, Valerie Rohrbach, Isabelle Von Kohorn
September 25, 2012

“Communicating with Patients on Health Care Evidence,” presents tested messages and insights for engaging effectively with patients on medical evidence. Developed by individual participants from the IOM’s Evidence Communication Innovation Collaborative, the authors surveyed the landscape of existing efforts to communicate evidence effectively and then fielded focus groups and a nationally representative survey. The authors’ research revealed that patients want to be deeply engaged in decisions about their health, but current conversations with their clinicians fall short. Furthermore, patients believe that evidence is at least as important as their clinician’s expertise and their own preferences when making health care decisions. In its conclusion, the discussion paper notes action areas to promote improved health care decision-making — culture change, incentives alignment, infrastructure support, quality standards, and accountability.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this Perspective 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 Perspective is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It has not been subjected to the review procedures of, nor is it a report of, the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.