Shared Decision Making is the process whereby health professionals and patients collaborate on medical decision-making with a more structured process that takes into account both the best evidence and patient values. Shared Decision Making has been shown to improve decision satisfaction and fulfillment of the patient’s treatment plan. The psycho social stressors of decision making can also be reduced. This service fills a gap through development of sustainable decision supports which is widely integrated into all of Children’s Hospital. The service is also innovative in that the model involves unbiased decision support from outside the patient’s circle of care, which can be helpful when the treating health care team is recongnizing obstacles or limitations to engaging in shared decision making.
As Health Care Professionals (HCP) we see families struggling to make treatment decisions, and many patients and families maybe looking for different ways to truly engage in their health care decisions and they look to health care professionals to make decisions for them. In many cases of decision-making, despite best efforts to reduce bias and to account for patient's values, cultural obligations and stress levels, a hierarchical paradigm, generally, continues to prevail in our typical hospital setting.
London Children’s Hospital, is committed to creating as positive a patient and family-centred experience as possible. The opportunity to improve decision skills and providing greater support to families navigating treatment and care decisions is of particular importance to those patients and families facing long health care journeys with recurrent challenging health care decisions. We are committed to providing children, youth and families with support across a range of decisions at critical times in their health care journey.