Ben is senior vice president of policy and advocacy for the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation. He provides health policy analysis and guidance to all advocacy activities to support sustainable models of health care that include medical decision making and improved quality of medical decisions.
More than 30 years ago, a Reagan-era Presidential Commission urged the national adoption of “shared decision making” (SDM) as a way to improve communication and informed consent in health care. Since then, many patient decision aids (PDAs) have been developed — tools that present information about common medical choices in standardized, user-friendly formats. More than 100 published, randomized trials using PDAs have shown many benefits.