Title: Enhancing Patient-centered Care and Health Promotion through Shared Decision Making: A Best Practice Approach
The delivery of client-centered care and the promotion of health have become cornerstones of modern healthcare. In recent years, one practice that has gained recognition as a best practice in achieving these goals is shared decision making (SDM). This approach involves the collaboration between healthcare professionals and patients in making informed healthcare decisions. This paper aims to discuss the best practice of shared decision making and highlight two reasons why it is considered important and effective in improving patient care and promoting health.
Best Practice: Shared Decision Making
Shared decision making is a process in which healthcare providers and patients engage in a collaborative exchange of information, preferences, and values to reach a mutual decision about healthcare treatments or interventions (Elwyn et al., 2012). It acknowledges the patient as the central participant in healthcare decisions and recognizes the importance of incorporating their unique values, preferences, and experiences.
Importance and Effectiveness:
There are several reasons why shared decision making is considered a best practice in delivering client-centered care and promoting health. The following two reasons highlight the importance and effectiveness of this approach:
1. Enhancing Patient Autonomy:
Shared decision making empowers patients by facilitating their active involvement in healthcare decisions. Traditional models of care often adopt a traditional paternalistic approach, where healthcare providers make decisions on behalf of their patients without considering their preferences or values. However, this approach may overlook crucial factors that can greatly impact healthcare outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Through shared decision making, patients are able to actively participate in the decision-making process, increasing their sense of autonomy and control over their own healthcare. This involvement places patients in a position where they can make informed choices that align with their personal values, priorities, and goals. By allowing patients to play an active role in decision making, shared decision making not only respects their autonomy but also acknowledges their expertise in their own health and well-being.
Moreover, when patients are actively involved, they are more likely to adhere to treatment plans and engage in health-promoting behaviors. This promotes better patient satisfaction, improved treatment outcomes, and a higher likelihood of successful health promotion.
2. Improved Communication and Patient Trust:
Shared decision making fosters effective communication between healthcare providers and patients. When healthcare professionals engage in meaningful discussions with patients, it helps build trust and a therapeutic relationship. This patient-provider relationship is crucial in facilitating open and honest communication, where patients feel comfortable expressing their concerns, preferences, and fears.
By actively engaging in shared decision making, healthcare professionals can better understand their patients’ needs, values, and priorities. This two-way communication allows healthcare providers to tailor treatment options to suit individual patient circumstances, taking into consideration the patient’s values, beliefs, and concerns. This level of collaborative decision making encourages patients to share their thoughts and concerns openly, leading to improved patient satisfaction and engagement in the healthcare process.
Moreover, shared decision making helps bridge the gap in healthcare knowledge and empowers patients by providing them with comprehensive information about their condition, treatment options, risks, benefits, and uncertainties. This information sharing not only increases patients’ understanding of their healthcare options but also enables them to make well-informed decisions that align with their preferences and values.
In a nutshell, shared decision making is a best practice in delivering client-centered care and promoting health due to its ability to enhance patient autonomy, improve communication, and facilitate shared knowledge and decision making. By involving patients in the decision-making process, healthcare providers can better understand and respond to patients’ unique needs and preferences, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.
Elwyn, G., Frosch, D., Thomson, R., et al. (2012). Shared decision making: A model for clinical practice. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 27(10), 1361-1367. doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2077-6