Diabetes Discoveries & Practice

The Truth About Shared Decision-Making

If you don’t have time for shared decision-making, you might be missing the point.

Shared decision-making is time well spent, and that’s not just what we think. Hear it from:

  • Linda M. Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE from the University of Pittsburgh,
  • John B. Buse, MD, PhD, from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine,
  • Monica E. Peek, MD, MPH, MSc, from The University of Chicago Medicine,
  • Tim Wysocki, PhD, ABPP, from Nemours Children’s Health System, and
  • Ann Albright, PhD, RD, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is the first in our series that will highlight shared decision-making through the eyes of thought leaders.

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(Dr. Linda Siminerio) So, I happen to think that shared decision-making is the centerpiece of patient-centered care. You know, there’s a lot of buzz now about patient centeredness—the patient is the center of the team, think about the patient. Well, if the patient isn’t informed and doesn’t define what they want to do, then how can we really be patient centered?

(Dr. Ann Albright) So I think for many of us, it’s getting in the habit of having that shared decision-making conversation. It’s a way of interacting with each other that’s proving to be very effective for helping everybody involved—not just the patient, but everybody involved—buy into the decision.

(Tim Wysocki) I try to make it very clear from the beginning that we are all in this discussion for the same reason: We want life with diabetes to be as smooth, easy, and trouble-free as it could possibly be. So we look for middle ground first. What goals do we share? We might differ somewhat about the right path to take to get there, but establishing areas of agreement is very important.

(Dr. John Buse) If a patient has a question about what they should do or what the next step is, it’s almost always easier to get to that next step than if you, as a provider, decide “we really need to do this,” and you try to make it your agenda. The most important thing is to listen for what it is that the patient is concerned about.

(Monica Peek) Shared decision-making is really just a way for patients and providers to talk together and think about the best treatment options for them. We have a lot of difficult challenges ahead. We are in it together. I am going to be your advocate. You tell me what is most important for you and my job is to make that happen.

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