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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. 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. The Health Care Authority's (HCA) Medical Director has certified the patient decision aids shown on this page.

The Health Care Authority is now accepting submissions to certify a second round of patient decision aids. This submission period will close March 31, 2017. Please see application documents below.

What priority areas are being accepted?

Maternity and labor/delivery

  • 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 will remain open indefinitely.

Joint Replacement/Spine Care

  • 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 decision aids will close March 31, 2017.

What is the application process?

  • 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.

Application documents

Certified Patient Decision Aids

  • Organization: The Option Grid Collaborative, an initiative of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.
  • Topic: Women’s health, maternity, prenatal testing
  • Audience: Women around week 15 of their pregnancy.
  • Description: Helps women decide whether or not to have amniocentesis testing during prenatal care. PDA can be found on the Option Grid website.
  • Organization: The Option Grid Collaborative
  • Topic: Women's health, maternity, prenatal testing
  • Audience: Women between 9 and 22 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Description: This decision aid addresses the question of whether or not to undergo prenatal screening tests for Down syndrome and other chromosomal conditions.
  • Organization: Healthwise, Inc.
  • Topic: Women's health, maternity, birth options
  • Audience: Healthy pregnant women who are carrying babies that may be big. The decision aid indicates up front that the information may not be appropriate in the case of a medical problem that could require early delivery or cesarean delivery.
  • Description: Helps women decide whether to wait for labor to start on its own or to induce labor when estimates suggest that the baby may be getting big.
  • Organization: Healthwise, Inc.
  • Topic: Women's health, maternity, birth options
  • Audience: Women who have had a previous cesarean delivery. The decision aid indicates up front that a trial of labor and vaginal birth may not be an option for some women.
  • Description: Helps pregnant women who have had a previous cesarean delivery decide whether to schedule a repeat C-section or to attempt a trial of labor with the goal of having a vaginal delivery.
  • Organization: Emmi Solutions
  • Topic: Women’s health, maternity, prenatal genetic testing
  • Audience: Women before conception or early in the first trimester.
  • Description: Educates patients about prenatal genetic testing options.


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