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Health Aff (Millwood). 2016 Apr;35(4):630-6. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1376.

Ten Years, Forty Decision Aids, And Thousands Of Patient Uses: Shared Decision Making At Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Karen R. Sepucha ( is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), both in Boston.
Leigh H. Simmons is a physician at MGH.
Michael J. Barry is a physician and medical director of the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation at MGH.
Susan Edgman-Levitan is executive director of the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation at MGH.
Adam M. Licurse is assistant medical director of the Brigham and Women's Physicians Organization, a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and associate medical director for population health management at Partners HealthCare, all in Boston.
Sreekanth K. Chaguturu is vice president for population health management at Partners HealthCare, a staff physician at MGH, and a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School.


Shared decision making is a core component of population health strategies aimed at improving patient engagement. Massachusetts General Hospital's integration of shared decision making into practice has focused on the following three elements: developing a culture receptive to, and health care providers skilled in, shared decision making conversations; using patient decision aids to help inform and engage patients; and providing infrastructure and resources to support the implementation of shared decision making in practice. In the period 2005-15, more than 900 clinicians and other staff members were trained in shared decision making, and more than 28,000 orders for one of about forty patient decision aids were placed to support informed patient-centered decisions. We profile two different implementation initiatives that increased the use of patient decision aids at the hospital's eighteen adult primary care practices, and we summarize key elements of the shared decision making program.


Decision Quality; Patient Decision Aids; Patient Engagement; Shared Decision Making

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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