The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation was founded in 1989 to advance evidence-based shared decision making (SDM), a collaborative process that allows informed patients and their providers to make decisions together. It was founded by two physicians:

  • Dr. John Wennberg, M.D., an international leader in outcomes research
  • Dr. Albert Mulley, M.D., an international leader in SDM theory and implementation

It included an extensive network of medical editors and clinical advisors from some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the world.

The organization funded research grants and fellowships to learn more about SDM, including factors such as:

  • How medical decisions are made.
  • How to increase patient involvement in the process.
  • Which methods are most effective when presenting information.

In 1990, the foundation published its first Shared Decision-Making® Program, a benign prostatic hyperplasia decision aid for VHS.

In 2005, the foundation began supporting research and implementation projects at primary and specialty care sites. These “demonstration sites” provided insight into overcoming barriers to SDM. This knowledge became the building blocks for a six-step framework for engaging patients in an SDM conversation and an eight-phase model for successful SDM implementation across an organization.

The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation became a division of Healthwise in 2014.