Strategies to Engage Patients in Clinical Decision Making

December 14, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


While numerous studies support increasing patient engagement in clinical decisions, there is little guidance for providers on how to effectively engage patients, states an article in the December 2012 Journal of Patient Safety. According to the article, increased patient engagement is expected to reduce healthcare costs, inefficiencies, and errors by enhancing the communication between providers and patients. Patients are an important source for information regarding medical history and unanticipated side effects, states the article, and they are a valuable part of the care team because the patient is the best person to convey their symptoms to a healthcare provider. According to the authors, the physician’s role is to convey the risks, benefits, costs, and treatment options available—but it is the patient’s job to make the final decision based on personal preference and values, which may conflict with the physician’s preference.

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