NQF releases patient education resources standards

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Filling a void, the National Quality Forum released Tuesday the first national standards for healthcare decision aids, used to improve shared decision-making between providers and patients.

Previously, no national standard existed to validate the quality of patient decision aids like videos, online tools and pamphlets, according to NQF.

"Both consumers and physicians urgently need healthcare resources they can trust that meet a reasonable threshold for quality," said Helen Burstin, MD, NQF's chief scientific officer. "National standards to evaluate decision aids are critical to ensuring that these resources offer accurate information to patients so they can evaluate healthcare choices that reflect their goals, values and preferences."

NQF convened a panel of 21 experts to draft the standards. According to the panel, decision aids should be screened for accuracy and appropriateness. If the tools meet that baseline screen, other criteria should be used to determine if the resource can help patients have more informed conversations with their providers, such as presenting a balanced approach to options and description of risks and possible outcomes.

View the standards here.

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