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Health Aff (Millwood). 2013 Feb;32(2):294-302. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2012.1067.

Group Health's participation in a shared decision-making demonstration yielded lessons, such as role of culture change.

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University of California Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA, USA.


In 2007 Washington State became the first state to enact legislation encouraging the use of shared decision making and decision aids to address deficiencies in the informed-consent process. Group Health volunteered to fulfill a legislated mandate to study the costs and benefits of integrating these shared decision-making processes into clinical practice across a range of conditions for which multiple treatment options are available. The Group Health Demonstration Project, conducted during 2009-11, yielded five key lessons for successful implementation, including the synergy between efforts to reduce practice variation and increase shared decision making; the need to support modifications in practice with changes in physician training and culture; and the value of identifying best implementation methods through constant evaluation and iterative improvement. These lessons, and the legislated provisions that supported successful implementation, can guide other states and health care institutions moving toward informed patient choice as the standard of care for medical decision making.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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