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Helping patients choose wisely

A new article in the BMJ today titled “Helping patients choose wisely”, which is part of a drive to tackle the current overreliance on medication and other expensive interventions and help patients make more informed decisions.

BMJ subscribers can access the article here:

This article echoes the sentiments of a piece published last month in the Pharmaceutical journal which stated that “Shared decision-making should become a mandatory part of training for all healthcare professionals to improve collaboration with their patients, save the NHS billions of pounds, and ultimately improve patient outcomes”

Read that article here:…/…/20204970.article…

The “Choosing Wisely UK” campaign states that there are four questions that patients should ask their healthcare providers:
What are the Benefits?
What are the Risks?
What are the Alternatives?
What if I do Nothing ?

Do you cover those four questions during your report of findings with patients? It can be difficult to do nothing when under pressure from patients to do something, but by informing patients of the benefits, risks, alternatives and options available to them, it has been shown that informed patients often opt for less intervention, not more.

What we know from the Choosing Wisely UK campaign is that It is essential that (currently non-existent) skills for shared decision-making and evidence-based practice are incorporated as a mandatory educational tool in undergraduate and postgraduate medical training for all healthcare professionals.

Second, clinical guidelines (by providing shared decision-making tools) must emphasise that making the ethical care of the patient is the top priority.

We are always working hard to provide workshops and training for healthcare professionals who would like to learn skills that can help them with patient communication and shared-decision making. Begin your training here.

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