Do you like the decisions that are made on your behalf?
We all need to make decisions on a daily basis. Some are simple, some are tough. Some decisions are about us, sometimes they affect other people.
Some people work in jobs that require them to make complex decisions day-in and day-out and in order to do so they use a variety of decision-making models to help make sense of the available information.
Sometimes decisions are controversial. For instance the decision by the UK in 2003 to support the USA in the invasion of Iraq. This led to the rise in use of the slogan 'not in my name', which is now widely used to cover a range of high profile topics and makes clear the feeling that people want control of decision making.
The problem with mass outpourings of sentiment based on limited information is that there is a differentiation between unpopular decisions and controversial decisions.
In the age of social media and snippet based news we should remember that headlines aren't the full story and that decision making is as complex as it ever was.
Shared Decision Making (SDM): good for your health
We have been working with Helicon Health to deliver their innovative e-learning course to support patients self-testing oral anticoagulation.
Self-testing of Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs), where the patient measures their INR using a portable coagulometer has clinical and lifestyle benefits and has been endorsed by NICE. Educational preparation to undertake self-testing is essential to ensure safe management and to increase patient confidence. However, there is no standardisation of this education and no nationally endorsed programme for patients in the UK.
Self-testing of VKAs falls within the broader agenda of shared decision making (SDM). For SDM to be successful both parties need to be informed and to understand what is important to the other person. Making this resource available to both clinician and patient should allow them to reach a common understanding to facilitate SDM.
The comprehensive e-learning course for patients undertaking self-testing of VKAs is the first of its kind and is a rewarding example of how online education can support better decision making for better health.