Last week I had the privilege of giving Geriatrics Grand Rounds in Denver at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, coupled with a site visit to the Shared Decision Making Core run by Dr. Dan Matlock and Dr. Larry Allen. Their group is doing innovative work in developing decision aids for patients facing a variety of choices, including implantable cardioverter defibrillators, left ventricular assist devices, and colon cancer screening. Their work is available free online (patientdecisionaid.org). Materials are developed by their multidisciplinary team through an iterative process that involves patients and clinicians, in order to develop an easily understandable and user-friendly end-product.
The ultimate goal is to have patients make more informed choices about their care. Myself and other aging specialists have discussed at-length the need for this, and the Denver group is at the forefront of turning this concept into actionable steps. I look forward to their continued work as they develop these aids for other conditions and scale up their efforts across a broad range of healthcare institutions.
By: John Dodson, MD
Photo credit: Bonella Photography by Amy Jenkins