Are you ready for shared decision making?

Shared decision making needs to align with organisational priorities, tap into organisational systems and be owned by clinical teams

There are a number of questions that should help you to assess how ready your organisation and clinical team are to implement shared decision making.

Questions for the organisation/partnership

  • Has the board/executive team/partnership considered and given its clear support to shared decision making?
  • Has the board/executive team/partnership communicated this support widely?
  • Do other managers and clinical leaders understand and give their support to shared decision making?
  • Is shared decision making aligned with the strategic aims and priorities of the organisation (primary care practice/hospital/trust)?
  • Does the organisation currently collect and monitor data that relates to shared decision making? (e.g. patient experience, patient engagement and involvement).
  • Can you identify one or two key care pathways that offer decision points with realistic treatment options and where patient preferences could readily be applied?
  • Is there any data indicating that your organisation could improve patient experience in this area (e.g. patient surveys, complaints, litigation)?
  • Are there existing organisational structures that responsibility for shared decision making could fit into?
  • Do you currently have people, skills and support systems for service improvement or change management within the organisation / practice?
  • How can these support the implementation of shared decision making?
  • Have you identified a lead person (or people) with the responsibility and time for planning and taking forward the process of implementation?

Questions for the clinical team

  • As a team, have you carefully considered the impact of implementing shared decision within specific care pathway(s) or across the whole of your work, and given your explicit support to making it happen?
  • Have you dealt with any differences or conflict that may have arisen within the team in approaching shared decision making?
  • Have you communicated with, and gained the support of, any other healthcare professionals or members of other teams who need to be involved?
  • Have you, as a team, defined and agreed your specific aims for shared decision making and how you will measure progress and success?
  • Do you possess, or have access to, change management or service improvement skills to help implement the changes required to make shared decision making a reality?
  • Have you identified the key people responsible for taking forward implementation?
  • Have you identified key stakeholders and agreed a communications plan to keep everyone informed with progress?

Read more about how to start work on shared decision making within a clinical team.

All resources on shared decision making