BOISE, ID--(Marketwired - August 25, 2016) - Healthwise is one of the first organizations in the nation to receive certification for its patient decision aids, part of an effort in the state of Washington to bring consistency and rigor to health education and put evidence-based information into the hands of its residents. Last week, the Washington State Health Care Authority announced the certification of decision aids to ensure that patients have the information they need to make informed decisions.
Healthwise received certification on two decision aids, "Pregnancy: Your Birth Options After Cesarean" and "Pregnancy: Birth Options If Your Baby Is Getting Too Big." These decision aids present the options available in an unbiased manner, explain the risks and benefits of each option, and capture the women's values and preferences in a summary that can support a shared decision making conversation with their physician. To receive certification, both decision aids met strict criteria, including steps taken to ensure zero conflicts of interest, a review of the content and cited clinical evidence, documentation of user testing, readability, and health literacy.
"We're committed to providing the highest-quality health education, and this certification reinforces our work to develop tools that put the patient at the center of their care," said Miriam Beecham, chief strategy and product officer at Healthwise. "Supporting Washington State's innovative approach helps thousands of women make educated health care decisions that fit their values and preferences, and it aligns with our nonprofit mission to help people make better health decisions," Beecham added.
Research shows that patient decision aids lead to improved knowledge of options, a more accurate expectation of benefits and harms, higher patient engagement, and to decisions that are more consistent with their own values. Washington State recognizes the importance and positive impact of these tools and is certifying decision aids to promote patient and family engagement. Physicians in the state who use the certified aids as part of a shared decision making conversation will not only improve patient satisfaction by engaging patients in their own care, but also receive higher protection against malpractice lawsuits.
"Certifying decision aids is a crucial step to perfecting informed consent," said Benjamin Moulton, senior vice president of policy for the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, a division of Healthwise that pioneered work in shared decision making. "Instead of merely signing a form, patients who take part in shared decision making understand the risks and benefits of their decision, and they make informed decisions that align with their values."
Beyond the two decision aids certified by Washington State, Healthwise offers over 170 decision aids, covering a wide range of topics from knee replacement surgery to heart disease medication.
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 1.8 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. www.healthwise.org. 1.800.706.9646
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