Episode 41: Enhancing patient-provider collaboration for better health outcomes (Part 1)

In this episode we delve into the world of healthcare decision making. Dr. Simmons and Dr. Sepucha, who collaborated on a study funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, discuss the importance of shared decision-making and its impact on patient care. Collaboration between patients and their care teams empowers patients to actively participate in their treatment plans, factoring their values and goals. Samira also shares her personal decision making struggle during her breast cancer treatment.

This episode was supported by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and features 2 studies (Study 1 & Study 2) by Dr. Sepucha & Dr. Simmons.

Check out our Podcast Club with our partner Bay Area Cancer Connections here.

About our guests

Dr. Karen Sepucha

Dr. Karen Sepucha is the director of the Health Decision Sciences Center in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and an associate professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research is focused on helping patients and families become meaningfully involved in significant medical decisions. Dr. Sepucha oversees efforts to promote shared decision making in primary and specialty care at MGH and across MassGeneral Brigham Health Care.

Dr. Leigh Simmons

Dr. Leigh Simmons is the Medical Director of the MGH Health Decision Sciences Center where she studies the use of decision aids to help patients and clinicians in the shared decision making process. Dr. Simmons develops and conducts training of physicians and staff in communication skills focused on improving decision making with patients. Her clinical practice is with the Internal Medicine Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to her clinical and research interests, Dr. Simmons is a medical student educator and directs the internal medicine clerkship for Harvard Medical School students at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Watch the video of our episode on YouTube

  • 10 minutes:

    On the power of shared decision-making.

    We really see this shared decision making, it's a process, right? And ideally it's a process that really fosters good communication and also sort of built on the foundation recognizing the expertise that different parties bring to the table.

  • 25 minutes:

    On the value of decision aids in elevating conversations.

    While we would never make the case that it's going to save time to use a decision aid, the goal is that it would be fairly time neutral if introduced properly, if it's done as pre-work for a visit, getting this to patients at the right time, when they're facing a decision and getting them to watch it and review it.

  • 41 minutes:

    On the importance of the patient perspective.

    Care usually only gets better if we invite the people who are living with the condition every day to contribute the thoughts they have been having about their disease.

Podcast Club featuring BACC

Podcast clubs are a way for our community to engage in and respond to podcast episodes that matter to them. In this Podcast Club, Molly Lindquist welcomes two guests, Erika Bell, Director of Cancer Information & Education at Bay Area Cancer Connections and ovarian cancer patient Janet, to discuss cancer support and shared decision making. Erika introduces Bay Area Cancer Connections, a nonprofit organization that provides personalized support and information to individuals affected by breast or ovarian cancer. Janet shares her personal experience with cancer and the challenges she faced in making informed decisions. The conversation explores the importance of shared decision making and aligning personal goals with clinical recommendations. Erika explains her role as a guide and translator, helping individuals understand their diagnosis and treatment options. Learn more about BACC here.

Watch video

Disclaimer: This podcast blog is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this podcast blog or materials linked from this podcast blog is at the user's own risk. The content of this podcast blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have, and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions.