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Patient decision aids (PDAs)

Patient decision aids (PDAs) are tools that can help people engage in shared health decisions with their health care provider.

What are patient decision aids?

Patient decision aids are tools that can help people engage in shared health decisions with their health care provider. Research shows that use of patient decision aids leads to increased knowledge, more accurate risk perception, and fewer patients remaining passive or undecided about their care. For example, a patient decision aid could help a pregnant woman who previously had a cesarean section to determine if she is a good candidate for a vaginal birth after cesarean.

How do we ensure the quality of patient decision aids?

Washington State law recognizes that certification plays a significant role in assuring the quality of decision aids used by consumers, providers and payers.

With a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we have been working with state and national stakeholders to develop a process to certify high quality patient decision aids for use by providers and their patients in Washington State. Washington State’s leadership in creating the decision aid certification process provides a model that other states can adopt.

HCA began accepting patient decision aids for certification in April 2016. A list of certified patient decision aids can be found on our website.

What priority areas are currently being accepted?

The Health Care Authority is now accepting submissions to certify a third round of patient decision aids. The call is for decision aids to assist in shared decision making around end of life care.

The Health Care Authority is now accepting submissions to certify a third round of patient decision aids. The call is for decision aids to assist in shared decision making around end of life care. The submission period will be open from October 2, 2017 until November 17, 2017.

In Scope:

  • Potentially life sustaining care
  • Palliative or Hospice Care

Out of Scope:

  • General Advanced Care Planning Documentation
  • Aid in Dying
  • Obstetrical health care providers, state agencies, and other stakeholders have successfully been working together to improve maternity care in our state. The HCA, which pays for 50 percent of births across the state, intends to build on these successes by making available certified decision aids for use in maternity shared decision making.
  • The submission period for maternity decision aids remains open indefinitely.
  • Persons with hip or knee osteoarthritis who are considering joint replacement surgery.
  • Persons considering lumbar fusion who meet disability criteria despite non-surgical therapy as defined by the Bree Collaborative lumbar fusion bundle. As noted in the Bree Collaborative bundle, "excluded from consideration are patients <18 y.o.; repeat surgeries; and use of spinal fusion in the care of patients with spinal trauma, tumor, infection, inflammatory conditions and scoliosis."
  • The submission period for Joint Replacement/Spine Care closed on March 31, 2017.

What is the application process for developers?

  • Provide background information about the application and a general overview of the decision aid.
  • Use the Patient Decision Aid Certification Criteria Checklist to check the PDA content against specific certification criteria within the PDA itself, including the location of the criteria within the PDA.
  • Provide information about the process used to develop the decision aid.
  • Download and submit all documents, including the application and attachments A, B, and C, along with your patient decision aid. 

Application documents

What happens after HCA certifies patient decision aids?

After notifying the developer of our decision to certify, the HCA posts information about the decision aid and the developer so health care providers know where they can get the certified aids to use with their patients. The information below includes a direct link to the developers website, and if available, to the certified patient decision aid.

In some cases there may not be a direct link to the certified patient decision aid. This is because there may be a fee that providers must pay to use the aid with their patients. Not all decision aids are free because they may be proprietary and only available through your provider or health care system.

While they are "patient" decision aids, it is important to remember that these tools are meant to be used as part of shared decision making with their provider.

The patient decision aids are different from educational materials available online and in clinical practices, because they include information that helps patients make decisions about whether to have a specific treatment or screening based on their personal preferences, and assumes there is a choice that needs to be made. Therefore, when we certify aids the immediate target audience is the clinical provider.

Contact

Email: shareddecisionmaking@hca.wa.gov
Name: Laura Pennington​
Title: Practice transformation manager
Phone: 360-725-1231