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 ( 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