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A new approach to shared decision making

If patient-centered care is the current winning game plan for health care, then shared decision making (SDM) is the secret weapon. But we physicians need a new way to approach it.

SDM, as defined by the Society for Medical Decision Making, is “a collaborative process that allows patients and their providers to make health care decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available, as well as the patients values and preferences.”

Multiple studies have verified the value of SDM in improving quality of care and the patient experience, not to mention patient engagement. The problem is decisions are no longer between patients and providers. Health care today is a fragmented fray of “teams of teams.” And for all the knowledge and research on SDM, we need solutions for this new reality.

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