The Center for Informed Choice is dedicated to a simple proposition: that patients deserve to be equal partners in making choices about their health care.
We know that when patients and their families have good information about procedures, treatments, and therapies, they make good decisions - decisions that reflect their values and preferences. Our research shows that those of our patients who benefit from our shared decision making process are making well informed choices that match their goals and values. Most importantly, research has shown that these patients have better clinical outcomes and higher rates of satisfaction.
The Center for Informed Choice believes in the patient's right to "no decision about me, without me" and is leading the way toward offering patients the power of informed choice. An informed choice is a high quality decision made by a patient that takes two important factors into consideration: knowledge and values. In order to make an informed choice, the patient must be given unbiased medical information, and allowed to consider their personal values and preferences for their own care.
Shared decision making (SDM) is a collaborative process that allows patients and their providers to make health care treatment decisions together, taking into account the best scientific evidence available, as well as the patient’s values and preferences.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) has world-renowned clinical models in Shared Decision Making in the Comprehensive Breast Program and at the Spine Center. Patients also have access to a library of patient decision aid videos and health coaches at DHMC's first-in-the-nation Center for Shared Decision-Making. Topics include back pain, breast cancer, heart disease, prostate cancer and women’s health, among others. A complete list of available programs can be found here.
Dale Collins Vidal, MD, MS, is a board certified plastic surgeon, a Professor of Surgery and of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, Section Chief of Plastic Surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Co-Director Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice, and Medical Director of the DHMC Center for Shared Decision Making.