Integrating patient decision aids into routine care

Started in 2005, Massachusetts General Hospital has one of the first Shared Decision Making Programs in the country. We have extensive experience supporting the delivery of patient decision aids (PtDAs) in primary and specialty care. Mass General clinicians are able to order PtDAs through the electronic medical record for a variety of health topics including cardiology, mental health, women’s health, orthopedics, men’s health and geriatrics. When the order is placed, a note is automatically put in the patient’s chart and the order is fulfilled by staff at the Health Decision Sciences Center.

We work with departments and practices at Mass General and across Partners to design processes that reliably identify eligible patients and distribute PtDAs. In some practices, the ordering is driven by physicians, in others it is driven by patients, health educators or other staff. We also work hard to take advantage of health information technology to increase the use of the tools. For example, at Mass General we have integrated with our Clinical Referral Management System (CRMS) to link decision aid orders at the point of referral from primary care to orthopedics.

Please contact us if you are interested in exploring how to promote shared decision making and the use of patient decision aids in your practice or setting.

List of decision aids available for Mass General and Partners Providers

Breast Cancer Initiative

The goal of the Breast Cancer Initiative (BCI) is to disseminate breast cancer decision aids and evaluate the implementation of decision aids in different settings across the United States. There are five decision aids available that cover the major decisions that women with breast cancer may face. Organizations that sign up for this initiative are eligible to receive up to 10 copies of the programs to use with their patients.

Learn more about BCI 

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