SOURCE: Healthwise


April 02, 2015 08:00 ET

Healthwise Launches Healthwise® Shared Decision Making (SDM) Skills Course for Providers

Enhancing the Provider-Patient Conversation on Important Decisions

BOISE, ID--(Marketwired - Apr 2, 2015) - A gap exists between what patients want in care and what they experience. Today, Healthwise -- a nonprofit with a mission to help people make better health decisions -- announced a solution to bridge that gap, the Healthwise® Shared Decision Making (SDM) Skills Course.

Studies show that more than 80 percent of patients want their providers to listen to them, but only 60 percent of patients say it actually happens. And less than half of patients say their providers ask them about their goals, preferences, and concerns when it comes to their care. The SDM Skills Course, a scalable and interactive online program, gives providers the tools they need by:

  • Enhancing their communication skills so conversations are built on patient understanding, goals, and preferences.
  • Offering easy access to training, anytime, from anywhere, so they don't have to take time out of their busy schedules to attend an in-person training.
  • Making SDM real with engaging activities that allow them to react to a variety of realistic situations and have "practice conversations" with patients.

Based on more than 25 years of pioneering experience in SDM by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, which merged with Healthwise in 2014, and a decade of implementing SDM programs in diverse clinical settings, the SDM Skills Course is built on best practices and real-world experience.

"This training program grew organically from our SDM work with providers," said Dr. Richard Wexler, chief clinical integration officer at Healthwise. "It's engaging and gives the learner a pragmatic structure to support SDM conversations. More importantly, it brings the care experience more in line with what patients want and deserve."

Group Health is one such organization trying to create a culture where patients' preferences are better aligned with their treatment decisions. In 2014, they piloted the SDM Skills Course with 39 providers across two sites. "One key component of successful SDM implementation is having a large toolbox in terms of available decision aids that providers can prescribe," said Dr. David Arterburn, associate investigator at Group Health Research Institute and an internal medicine physician at Group Health. "The other key component is having providers who are trained on the steps of SDM and who understand how to incorporate decision aids into clinical practice. You have to have both components to be successful, and that's what we're aiming for at Group Health."

The SDM Skills Course joins a suite of Healthwise offerings available in the Healthwise® Shared Decision Making Solution.

About Healthwise
Healthwise is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help people make better health decisions. In 2014, Healthwise merged with the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation to further advance the mission. People have turned to Healthwise information more than 1.5 billion times to learn how to do more for themselves, ask for the care they need, and say "no" to the care they don't need. Healthwise partners with hospitals, electronic medical record (EMR) providers, health plans, care management companies, and health websites to provide up-to-date, evidence-based information to the people they serve. 1.800.706.9646.

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