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National Standards for the Certification of Patient Decision Aids 

Date of Publication:
DEC 2016
Associated Project:
Decision Aids
As patients take a more active role in making decisions about their healthcare, many use decision aids. Decision aids are evidence-based tools designed to inform patients about their options (including known pros and cons) and help them to participate in making specific, deliberate choices among viable healthcare options. Decision aids facilitate shared decision making which has been shown to improve patient outcomes. However, several barriers impede widespread use, including the lack of national standards for the quality of decision aids. To address this issue, the National Quality Forum, through a grant from the Gordon and Better Moore Foundation, convened a multistakeholder Expert Panel to recommend criteria for the certification of decision aids. The Panel also created recommendations on how performance measurement can be used to incentivize the use of shared decision making. To support this work commissioned a white paper from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice to summarize previous efforts and propose options for national standards for decision aids and conducted an environmental scan of performance measures and instruments related to assessing SDM quality. The report summarizes the Expert Panel’s recommendations.