Four Powerful Elements of Shared Decision Making
Our lives are full of choices and healthcare decisions are perhaps the most important choices of them all. Yet, when the time comes to make healthcare decisions many individuals are unsure where to turn and as a result, do not understand all of their options. When faced with which type of treatment to receive or whether or not to undergo surgery, navigating the all resources and advice available can be daunting. Shared decision making prepares individuals to comprehend these tough choices and have engaging discussions with their physicians – this process empowers them make the right treatment decisions.
Through our personalized, unbiased health coaching, individuals gain access to health coaches that really get to know them, their concerns, and values. This guidance enables patients to take charge of their health. What makes shared decision making effective? Here are four elements of our shared decision making program that health coaches find most powerful:
Trusted Tools: In making medical decisions, it’s crucial to have all of the possible resources available; however, that can also be overwhelming. Our decision aids – online tools, videos, and booklets — present facts about treatment options and disease management in a way that is clear and informative. With these easy-to-understand aids, patients can evaluate potential risks and benefits, weigh the pros and cons, and have meaningful, productive discussions with their doctors.
Personalized Support: It’s all about building personal relationships with patients. Shared decision making is successful when health coaches connect with members on an individual level. Coaches make it a priority to provide support by understanding each patient’s background and preferences, and learning about their family, their lifestyle, and their community. Some even refer to these relationships as some of the most rewarding and special experiences of their professional careers.
Help with the Patient- Physician Dialogue: Positive treatment decisions happen when doctors understand the unique needs and situations of their patients. Our shared decision making process and customized health coaching enables patients to better express their concerns and preferences to physicians, resulting in better quality medical choices and higher satisfaction rates.
Lifestyle Guidance: In many cases, individuals are unaware of how their lifestyle is affecting their health. In one-on-one conversations, health coaches are able to educate patients about their health statuses and help them understand their condition risks, treatment options, and small steps they can take toward better health. This step approach helps patients open up and start the process of making meaningful behavior changes and treatment decisions. For example, an individual with diabetes had a habit of drinking a liter of soda every day. His diet was negatively impacting his health, and affecting his self-confidence — he felt out of control. By working with his health coach and learning how to make small, yet powerful changes in his daily routine he was able to modify his behavior by drinking fewer sugary drinks. This experience renewed his confidence and empowered him to make more changes for a healthier, happier lifestyle that would allow him to better manage is diabetes.
Contact us to learn about our award winning decision aids and how Health Dialog's shared decision making solution can help you support your patients in their decision making process and facilitate a stronger alliance between doctor and patient.