Health decisions often have no single ‘best choice’ and require choosing from multiple options. For patients (and carers) to understand risks and have the opportunity to actively be involved in sharing decisions, clinicians need to provide relevant and clear information about treatment options, and the potential benefits, risks, trade-offs and uncertainties of each. This information should reflect the best available evidence and take into account the patient’s personal opinions, preferences, values and priorities.
To support clinicians develop and refine their skills in communicating effectively about the benefits and risks of treatment options with patients, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has developed a 2-hour e-learning module: Helping Patients Make Informed Decisions: Communicating benefits and risks.
Three short videos for clinicians on shared decision making have also been developed. These provide an overview on shared decision making, challenge myths about shared decision making in practice and explain how to use patient decision aids and where to find them.
Together the module and videos promote shared decision making and risk communication in practice, enabling clinicians and patients to work together to share in decision making.