History of Shared Decision Making at MGH
The program began as a pilot project in 2005 distributing decision aids to patients within a select primary care practice. It quickly expanded to all the 15 adult primary care practices including six Community Health Centers in Boston and the surrounding communities that collectively provide care for over 200,000 patients.
The program’s early work suggested that increasing the ease with which clinicians could provide materials to patients was a crucial first step in facilitating shared decision making and collaborative care. The team invested in developing the necessary IT system support to allow primary care providers to prescribe shared decision-making programs through the electronic medical record. Clinicians are able to order shared decision-making resources in real time during a primary care visit.