About This Program

This program enables clinicians to electronically “prescribe” problem-specific information to patients who are faced with routine screening options or health care treatment decisions. Eligible patients may receive one of 23 shared decision-making videos or DVDs through the “e-prescription” function that is integrated into the electronic medical record.

During an office visit, the clinician can discuss the shared decision-making program with an eligible patient and, if the patient is interested, the clinician will order the video or DVD to be sent to the patient using a “Netflix” kind of model. The clinician “writes the prescription” in the electronic medical record system, which sends a message to the MGH Blum Patient & Family Learning Center with the order information. The Blum Center sends the video or DVD to the patient with a prepaid return envelope so the patient can send the program back.

Clinicians also have to option to prescribe programs before or after a patient’s office visit.  If a video is prescribed after the visit, the clinician can indicate in their follow-up letter to the patient that a video will be sent to them.

In addition to ensuring that shared decision-making becomes and remains an integral part of routine clinical care in the primary care setting, we continue to do research to evaluate a wide range of components of shared decision-making.

The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making provides funding to the Stoeckle Center to help support the implementation and evaluation of a shared decision-making (SDM) project in primary care practices at MGH. This work is part of a national collaborative with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, the University of North Carolina, the University of California-San Diego and the University of California-LA to improve patient involvement in decision-making and to integrate the use of decision aids into routine primary care.

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