New Shared Decision-Making Tools on FAIR Health Consumer Website
June 23, 2022
We often count on our doctors to tell us what care we need. But to get the best care, you and your doctor should make choices together. This process is called “shared decision making” (SDM). Your doctor shares medical expertise, and you share what you want out of your care. If you have a caregiver who attends visits with you, he or she also can help in this process. Then, you make a decision together. To help you in that process, FAIR Health has added a new set of SDM tools to its free, award-winning consumer website, fairhealthconsumer.org.
SDM is helpful if there’s more than one way to treat your health problem, with no clear “right” choice. These situations, where the preference of the patient is a key factor, are often called “preference-sensitive” conditions. In these cases, patients’ preferences are balanced with clinical evidence about the costs and benefits of different choices.
Patient (and/or caregiver) participation in SDM is a key part of treatment planning for preference-sensitive conditions. Decision aids, like those on FAIR Health Consumer, inform patients about their options and help patients talk with their doctors. These tools can help patients grasp the trade-offs involved in each medical choice. That way, patients can work with their doctors to choose the option that aligns with their priorities and values.
The new decision aids just added in May to FAIR Health Consumer are for patients with three conditions. They are uterine fibroids, slow-growing prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes. For uterine fibroids, there are two decision aids: one for procedures and the other for medications. The new decision aids offer both clinical options for the conditions and estimated costs for those options. The costs are based on FAIR Health’s private healthcare claims database. That database includes over 36 billion claim records from across the country.
Along with these new tools, FAIR Health Consumer also features new educational content about the three conditions. There also are checklists with suggested questions that patients can ask their providers. And there are links to external resources relevant to the three conditions.
The new tools pair FAIR Health’s cost information with EBSCO Option Grid™ decision aids. FAIR Health launched the tools as part of an initiative supported by a generous grant from the New York Health Foundation. The initiative seeks to advance SDM between patients of color and their healthcare providers. It does so through decision aids about conditions that disproportionately affect minority populations. FAIR Health is conducting the initiative in collaboration with Dr. Chima Ndumele, a professor at Yale University and a member of the FAIR Health Academic Advisory Board.
The new decision aids join a set of three existing decision aids on palliative care. That set was launched with a generous grant from The New York Community Trust. The decision aids in that set are for dialysis for people who are seriously ill, nutrition options for people who are seriously ill and ventilator for people who are seriously ill.
To access all the SDM tools, click here.