The shared decision making story at Group Health
Driven by a combination of organizational leadership and Washington State’s political context, Group Health (GH), a consumer-governed, non profit health system, is committed to integrating patient decision aids (PDAs) and shared decision making (SDM) into routine practice. Since January 2009, GH has distributed over 40,000 video-based PDAs related to elective surgical procedures for 12 preference-sensitive health conditions. Key factors that contributed to the successful distribution of PDAs included strong leadership and provider engagement, financial support, a well-defined implementation and monitoring strategy, and a commitment to ongoing process improvement. Despite the large volume of PDAs distributed, major challenges persist: many patients are still not receiving PDAs, large knowledge gaps exist among patients who receive PDAs, and providers’ SDM skills and behaviours vary greatly and require on-going training and support.
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