What is shared decision-making?
Shared decision-making is something that is promoted probably without you even knowing it. You are actually advocating for this every day, simply by asking the patient/client, "What do you think is best for you?"
By definition shared decision-making is a process that respects the rights of patients to be fully involved in decisions about their care, by evaluating all available healthcare options and weighing in for personal values of the patients and preference against available unbiased evidence. Patients and healthcare professionals can make health related decisions together as partners.
Shared decision-making fosters ethical practice and is a systematic approach that encourages and supports effective, trusting, and open communication between the provider, the care team, and the patient. It includes a multidisciplinary approach and it may also include the patient’s caregivers, family members, or whomever the patient would like to include in their care.
This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the webinar, Ethical Responsibility to the Nephrology Social Work Profession: Improving Patient and Provider Outcomes, presented by Tiffany N. Brown, MSW, LMSW.