Shared Decision Making Training for Clinicians

We host several different types of training to improve clinician skills for shared decision making (SDM). Some of our workshops focus on effective communication skills and risk communication, as well as use of in-visit Decision Worksheets or other state-of-the-art online tools to support shared decision making. These training sessions have been customized for different departments and clinical practices, and delivered at team meetings, department meetings, and grand rounds. Longer workshops and offsite training sessions have also been offered.

The HDSC currently offers the following training programs:

Harvard Medical School Webinar for Clinician Training (3 CME Credits)

Drs. Sepucha and Simmons, and staff at the Health Decision Sciences Center have developed a 3 hour interactive webinar to improve clinicians’ ability to engage patients in shared decision making. The webinar provides a brief overview of SDM, specific examples of how to engage patients in SDM, and clinical vignettes of patient-physician interactions with commentary about the strengths and weaknesses of the cases. This online training highlights the main gaps and challenges to engaging patients in shared decision making, demonstrates practical strategies to overcome those challenges, and focuses on how to elicit patient preferences and ways to communicate the likelihood and probability of risks and benefits of tests and treatments.

To register for the webinar, please click here.

Designing A Decision Aid Workshops

We conduct workshops for clinicians and staff interested in learning how to create their own Decision Worksheet — a short decision aid to be used during a visit. Workshop attendees have come from 14 different specialties and created Decision Worksheets such as Goals of Care after Traumatic Brain Injury, Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgical Treatment, Colorectal Cancer Screening after age 75, and Diabetic Foot Ulceration. Clinicians across the hospital have implemented their worksheets in routine care, launching several successful projects and published work.

These handouts are great resources as you are thinking about designing your own decision worksheet.

Medical Student and Resident Training

During in-depth training with internal medicine residents, we provide an overview of shared decision making and its role in routine care, an introduction to tools to facilitate SDM in clinical practice, and a forum to discuss cases and conduct role plays to apply skills to everyday practice. These workshops focus specifically on the Six Steps to Shared Decision Making, including risk communication and techniques to elicit patients’ goals and preferences.

Quality Improvement (QI) Projects

We work with clinical departments to support quality improvement project work. We’ve successfully conducted a series of QI projects focused on SDM  in both primary and specialty care. For example, we have collaborated with the orthopedic department to integrate decision aids into routine care for patients considering joint replacement or spine surgery. In addition, we have worked with several primary care practices to implement patient-directed ordering of decision aids to promote SDM systematically to understand the patients’ health agenda. In June 2018, we had our 50,000 decision aid ordered.

Primary Care Practice Transformation

We work with primary care practices to develop skills and processes to support SDM in primary care. These workshops enhance shared decision making conversations by promoting the use of decision aids, providing site specific updates, introducing newly available tools, and discussing best practices for implementation.