Shared decision making (SDM) is a key component of patient-centered care. It is defined as, “a process in which clinicians and patients work together to make decisions and select tests, treatments and care plans based on clinical evidence that balances risks and expected outcomes with patient preferences and values.”
SDM can be boiled down into a three-part question framework:
“What” questions are really about observation and awareness by asking patients what they think and feel about something. They can pertain to an experience; they can follow a video or a visit, or a test. For example, “What did you learn?” or “What questions do you have after you’ve watched a video?” or “What did you learn that you didn’t already know?
These are questions about meaning and reflection. For example, “So what is going through your mind?” or “So what should I have done differently?” or “So what do I know now that I didn’t know before?”
These are about action, about application, and they’re about change. They help to build ownership as well as start the steps towards planning and implementation. For example, “As a result of the education information, now what’s one thing you want to start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing?” If so, now what can we learn from the change so it will stick and allow me to sustain it?”
pCare can help healthcare providers achieve success with SDM by providing the communication platform that connects providers and patients. It provides a tool that fosters meaningful interactions between clinicians and patients that can result in open, honest dialogue.