Health Decision Sciences Center

Distribution process for decision aids at MGH

Decision aid distribution generally follows a standard process, including the following steps:

  • The provider determines that a patient is eligible for a shared decision-making program and if it is during a visit, discusses the program with the patient;
  • The provider “prescribes” a shared decision making program through the electronic medical record;
  • Staff from the health decision sciences center mail the decision aid to the patient along with an evaluation questionnaire;
  • A note is automatically created in the electronic medical record documenting that a patient education program was sent.

The distribution model continues to adapt to meet the needs of the different practices, including the development of automated mailings and a provisional referral process.

Creative and consistent “advertising” through the use of brochures, emails, and newsletters has also worked to heighten awareness of the programs.  The total distribution volume of decision aids has increased consistently over the years. We currently average over 300 programs monthly.  Provider and patient feedback has been very positive in that over 80% find the programs to be important tools to assist in their decision making process. 

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