First bullet point is that this should be embedded at organisational level! Includes:
- provide access to patient decision aids (PDAs) or information about risks and benefits
- review how “information systems” might help record discussions and decisions, for example through patient held record
- prompt patients (through media, posters, letters) to ask questions about options, and “making the decision that’s right for me“
- evidence based model eg three-talk model (introduce choice, describe options, help explore preferences and make decision)
- communication skills – avoiding jargon, explaining technical terms
- communicating with families and others the patient would like involved
Note that NHS England has “accessible information standards”.
- Agree an agenda
- Ensure the person understands they can take part as fully as they want in making choices about their treatment or care
- When it comes to tests or treatments, explain what the health care aim is of each option, and discuss how that might align with patients “aims, priorities and wider goals”
- chunk and check information
- check understanding eg teach back
- Give information away at time of discussion or very soon after, including contact details
- Write letters to the patient rather than to their doctor, in line with Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ guidance on writing outpatient clinic letters to patients (and to patient, unless they don’t want a copy).
- Make clear how information applies to them personally, and how much uncertainty applies
- Use mixture of numbers, pictograms and “icon arrays” (repeated icons, with different colours, to see proportions), to allow people to see both positive AND negative framing
- Be aware that different people interpret terms such as ‘risk’, ‘rare’, ‘unusual’ and ‘common’ in different ways
- Use absolute risk rather than relative risk. For example, the risk of an event increases from 1 in 1,000 to 2 in 1,000, rather than the risk of the event doubles.
- Use 10 in 100, rather than 10%
- Use the same denominator
- State both positive and negative framing