Patients’ experiences with their doctor involving them in care decisions | HQCA Focus

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Patients’ experiences with their doctor involving them in care decisions

How patients rated the way their family doctor involved them in decisions about their care at their most recent visit. (see data dictionary)

What do you think?

  • How important is being involved in decisions about your own care?
  • When speaking with your doctor about your care options, what would you expect to experience?

Understanding “felt involved in decisions about my care”

In surveys conducted between October 2018 and March 2023, the HQCA asked patients who recently visited their doctor:

  • How would you rate the way your doctor involved you in decisions about your care in your most recent visit?

Patients could choose “excellent / very good / good / fair / poor”.

Patient experience is likely better if the doctor invites patients to provide input into care decisions. A family doctor ideally balances the patients’ right to make decisions about their own care with his or her medical knowledge and expertise about what they believe is best. If patients feel involved in their care and empowered, they are more likely to take action to improve their care.

Considerations when viewing the results

As primary care providers work to develop a better understanding of how they could improve this rating, other questions can be asked, such as:

  • How do patients want to be involved in their care? This may differ based on the decisions that need to be made or the life context of the patient.
  • What is important to the patient regarding their care?
  • How is decision making shared with the patient? Does the patient feel ownership over the decisions made?

For information about the HQCA’s patient experience surveys offered to individual clinics in Alberta, please visit the HQCA website.

Available resources

The HealthChange Methodology workshops held by Alberta Health Services offers doctors and teams tools to effectively involve patients in shared decision making.  To learn more about the workshops, visit: AHS Provider Education

Alberta Quality Matrix for Health

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess primary healthcare’s performance in these dimensions of quality: Acceptability, Appropriateness, and Safety.