Patient decision aids are tools that help people make specific and deliberate choices about healthcare that take into account the best available evidence alongside patients’ values and preferences. Decision aids are a part of a shared decision making process, complementing but not replacing clinical counseling. They are best used when there is more than one reasonable option for care.

The International Patient Decision Aids Standards has a checklist of criteria to use when developing a high-quality decision aid.  The National Quality Forum also has minimum standards for decision aids, and the SUNDAE checklist can help with reporting guidelines for publications evaluating decision aids.

Decision aids should be created with attention to health literacy principles.  Please see this resource for developing a decision aid with these principles in mind. The Center for Health and Science Communication can provide consultations for those looking to simplify their materials.

The Sydney Health Literacy Lab (SHeLL) Editor can also help simplify materials into plain language.

EHR Integration

Many people want to integrate their decision aids or decision support tools into practice. Washington University and BJC have a systematic process for doing so. 

Please click here to learn more about the Washington University and BJC process for electronic health record (EHR) integration of clinical decision support to get started.

Key References
Sample Decision Aid Inventories

Resources from other institutions are for educational purposes and not an endorsement.