In 1960, Harriet Gudenburr embarked on a nursing career that would span more than five decades and would touch the lives of hundreds of patients. In September 2011, Harriet retired from her position at Allegheny General Hospital where she had established the Informed Decision Making program at the hospital's Breast Care Center. In partnership with the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, Harriet and her team ensured patients were provided shared decision making (SDM) opportunities on their breast cancer journey.
This June, members of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation learning collaborative of shared decision making (SDM) demonstration sites gathered in Boston to meet and share their successes and challenges in implementation. The collaborative, which was formed three years ago, represents a diverse community of both large academic medical centers and private practices throughout the country who are implementing SDM into routine practice using our Shared Decision-Making® program decision aids.
This short book outlines the importance of strong communication skills and illustrates how health care providers might using shared decision making in their consultations with patients. Inspired by Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley's phrase "nothing about me, without me," the authors aim to expand on the meaning of Lansley's vision. The authors define the term "shared decision making", provide examples of skills necessary to implement this process and outline actions necessary to make this vision a reality.
Most doctors are good doctors in the eyes of most patients. Despite the media's fixation with medical errors and damaged patients, doctors come high in popularity stakes in almost any poll, compared with other professions or trades. Furthermore, familiarity tends to breed contentment, not contempt. Patients who have recent experience of medical care tend to give higher, less critical ratings than patients who experience is less current. The medical profession does, however, attract criticism from patients -- sometimes deservedly so.