Sharing the decision – putting patients first

February 19, 2018

As Bela Schick said, “First the patient, second the patient, third the patient, fourth the patient, fifth the patient, and then maybe comes science.

In years past, patients didn’t question doctors. That’s not the case anymore. Our patients engage in their health care. They are informed. They come to their appointments and tell us about new treatments they’ve heard about and want to know if those treatments are right for them.

Our role is one of informing versus telling. Informing our patients of the risks and benefits of any treatment can only help them make the right decision for them.

Isn’t that shared decision-making? Shared decision-making is how we take care of patients. It’s the normal course of good patient care – nothing new. I like to think that I do it all the time and know you do too.

But what about these shared decision-making tools? There are a lot of them out there. How do you decide which are right for your practice? The College is here to help. We are developing allergy-specific shared decision-making tools to support you in your treatment conversations.

The first is for immunotherapy. The Immunotherapy Shared Decision-Making Toolkit was created in partnership with the Allergy and Asthma Network and is supported by ALK. As a patient moves through the interactive tool, they find information on the risks and benefits of both subcutaneous and sublingual tablet immunotherapy. The toolkit includes downloadable customizable handouts and a video for you to review about best practices in shared decision-making.

Don Bukstein, MD, FACAAI, who was on the team of members who helped develop the online tool, reports that, out of five patients who initially used the tool, four decided to start on allergy shots.

We currently have teams of members working on online shared decision-making tools for severe asthma and atopic dermatitis. We will let you know when these are available.

Try using the immunotherapy shared decision-making toolkit and let us know how it works in your practice.

Bradley E. Chipps, MD, FACAAI
ACAAI President