Patient Engagement Strategy - Shared Decisionmaking

PUBLISHED: May 11, 2018
Relevant to: All Healthcare Organizations

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) SHARE Approach is a five-step process for shared decisionmaking that supports meaningful dialogue about what matters most to the patient. Shared decisionmaking occurs when a health care provider and a patient work together to make a health care decision that is best for the patient. The optimal decision considers evidence-based information about available options, the provider's knowledge and experience and the patient's values and preferences. Health care professionals and patients benefit from using shared decisionmaking.

Benefits to health care professionals include:

  • Improved quality of care delivered
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Improved trust and relationship between health care professionals and patients

Benefits to patients include:

  • Improved patient experience of care
  • Improved patient adherence to treatment recommendations
  • Improved trust and relationship between health care professionals and patients

AHRQ’s SHARE Approach is a curriculum designed to support the training of health care professionals on how to engage patients in thier health care decisionmaking. The curriculum consists of an introduction, four content modules and a module with training tips. A link to the curriculum is provided below.

At its essence, shared decisionmaking consists of five steps:

  1. Seeking the patient’s participation
  2. Helping the patient explore and compare treatment options
  3. Assessing the patient’s values and preferences
  4. Reaching decision with the patients
  5. Evaluating the patient’s decision

Implementing shared decisionmaking can be challenging. It encourages patients to be more involved in their health care decisions and may be different from “usual practice” that, according to numerous studies, does not always include asking patients their preferred role in the decisionmaking process, adjusting care to meet patients’ preferences, or the use of evidence-based decision aids and other tools to support patient decisionmaking. In addition to the belefits listed above, involving the patient in his/her own care is a key component of both individual patient rights and informed consent. Strengthening processes that support shared decisionmaking is one way to demonstrate organizational commitment to patient empowerment.

Included with today’s notice are links to AHRQ’s SHARE Approach. Also included are example policies related to aspects of shared decisionmaking.

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