Group Health Cooperative’s Effective Use Patient Decision Aids: Key Success Factors
The successful deployment of patient decision aids by the Seattle-based health system Group Health Cooperative (now a part of Kaiser Permanente) was highlighted in a case study published in the Spring 2014 issue of
Leadership. A number of key success factors are identified, including the following:
- Most of Group Health’s physicians were employed by the health system, so financial incentives were aligned in a way that would discourage unnecessary and unwanted treatments.
- To ensure physicians give patients the decision aids, Group Health would track how many elective surgical patients had not completed the decision-aid process and then would share the reports with health system leaders for each specialty and each medical center.
- Washington state had passed informed consent legislation that provides increased legal protection for physicians whose patients have signed an acknowledgement that patient decision aids were used during informed consent.
- Physician leaders have stepped forward to champion the use of patient decision aids—for example, advocating for the idea that success is not measured by the volume of service, but by clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.