This summer, Health Policy PhD student John Giardina is working as a research assistant at the Health Decision Sciences Center (HDSC) at Massachusetts General Hospital. Led by Karen Sepucha and Leigh Simmons, HDSC is focused on improving the quality of healthcare decisions that patients make with their doctors. HDSC is a leader in developing and evaluating interventions that promote shared-decision making between patients and their providers.
John is working on a project titled “Matching the Right Patient to the Right Treatment: Shared Decision Making for High Cost Elective Procedures,” which is funded by the Donaghue Foundation. This project studies patients’ decisions surrounding elective surgeries, including knee and hip replacements and spinal surgery, and seeks to determine how patients’ interactions with their surgeons are associated with the quality of their decisions and their overall health outcomes. Specifically, the project will: evaluate the quality of decisions for patients undergoing joint replacement and spine procedures using National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed shared decision-making performance measures; engage clinicians, patient advisors and administrators to explore how the data and measures may be used to design incentives to promote SDM and increase value; and examine whether providing feedback on shared decision making measures results in changes that improve quality.