What is Shared Decision-Making?

What is Shared Decision-Making?

Shared Decision-Making is a way to give doctors and their staffs a better way to make sure patients are partners in decisions about their health care. ​

This process helps patients balance risks and expected outcomes with what is most important to them, such as concerns about how to organize their lives and their ability to have the energy to enjoy it.

Why is Shared Decision-Making Important?

Health care workers have a responsibility to talk to patients who want to own their decisions about treatment, medical tests, costs and other health issues.

In many situations, there is no single right decision because there are often many health care choices.

Shared Decision-Making is especially important in these types of situations

  • When there is more than one reasonable option, such as a screening test or a treatment decision.
  • When no single option has a clear advantage.
  • When the possible benefits and harms of each option affect patients differently.