NQF guide aims to help doctors include patients in care decisions
- The National Quality Forum released new guidance aimed at making shared decisionmaking a standard of care for all patients.
- The guide — National Quality Partners Playbook: Shared Decision Making in Healthcare — offers tools for organizations to improve shared decisionmaking, including patient decision aids that provide information on the risks, benefits and challenges of care options as well as possible alternatives and how to communicate their personal preferences to their physician.
- The guide builds on earlier NQF efforts to assess and promote national standards for decision aids. A team of 20 public and private sector experts provided input for the document.
The guide comes as value-based reimbursement models are putting more emphasis on coordinated care teams and patient satisfaction ratings. In one recent study, patients rated their doctors 10 to 20 percentage points lower when requests for medications, tests or referrals were refused.
NQF wants to give patients and providers the communication skills and other tools to navigate care and treatment options and reach decisions that align with the patient’s values and desires.
“Even though patients have access to more healthcare information than ever before, in reality, they often may not fully understand important (basic) information about the risks and benefits of treatments and alternatives, and even if they do, they often are not given the opportunity by their clinicians to provide meaningful input into their healthcare decisions,” Maureen Corry, senior advisor for childbirth connection programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families and co-chair of the National Quality Partners Shared Decision Making Action Team, said in a statement.
To improve shared decisionmaking, the guide identifies a range of actions organizations can take, including:
- Educating patients and families about how shared decisionmaking works;
- Raising care team awareness and training around best practices for shared decisionmaking;
- Using technology to integrate shared decisionmaking into the care delivery process;
- Monitoring patient, clinician and care team engagement in shared decisionmaking; and
- Establishing accountability and incentives for engagement.
The guide includes real-life examples of how healthcare organizations are incorporating shared decisionmaking in clinical practice. It also provides examples of how to implement recommended actions, potential barriers and solutions, as well as resources that can be applied across care settings.
NQF is hosting a public webinar on April 12 to discuss the topic.