Patient Decision Aids 101

patient decision aids 101

All too often, clinicians create care plans that are missing a critical component—patients' input.

Patients are less likely to follow guidance that doesn’t reflect their daily routine, financial resources, or other key factors.

This toolkit gives managers the resources they need to help frontline clinicians incorporate patient input into care decisions.

Why patient input can be hard to capture

Capturing patient input isn't as simple as it might seem, for three reasons. First, patients often don't know or understand their care options, and can't convey their preferences to clinicians.

Second, some patients are embarrassed to share sensitive information—such as what they can afford to spend on a medication or their concern about a treatment option causing weight gain. Third, clinicians are already time-crunched and concerned about the feasibility of extending patient interviews.

Clinicians can overcome these challenges by using patient decision aids to incorporate patient input into care decisions.

How patient decision aids help

Patient decision aids can help clinicians capture patient input by making it easier to show patients the pros and cons of options in a way that is unbiased and easy to understand. Once patients better understand their treatment options, they can more easily express their preferences. With this information, clinicians can build better care plans.

For example, by using a patient decision aid on diabetes medications, a clinician may find out a patient is afraid of needles. With this information, the clinician can prescribe a medication that doesn't require injections—making it more likely for the patient to take the medication.

How to use this toolkit

This toolkit gives managers the resources to help frontline clinicians use patient decision aids effectively by familiarizing them with patient decision aids and providing an opportunity to practice using them in a simulated role-play exercise.

Tools to help clinicians incorporate patient input into care decisions

  Manager's Cheat Sheet on Patient Decision Aids

  Ready-to-Use Patient Decision Aid

  Patient Decision Aid Conversation Road Map for Clinicians

  Patient Decision Aid Role-Play Workshop

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