Cover: Choosing Doctors Wisely

Choosing Doctors Wisely

Can Assisted Choice Enhance Patients' Selection of Clinicians?

Published in: Medical Care Research and Review [Epub November 2017]. doi:10.1177/1077558717743822

Posted on Jan 24, 2018

by Steven C. Martino, Rachel Grob, Sarah Davis, Andrew M. Parker, Melissa L. Finucane, Jennifer L. Cerully, Lise Rybowski, Dale Shaller, Mark Schlesinger

We conducted a simulated clinician-choice experiment, comparing choices and decision-making processes of participants (N = 688) randomized among four experimental arms: a conventional website reporting only quantitative performance information, a website reporting both qualitative (patient comments) and quantitative information, the second website augmented by a decision aid (labeling of patient comments), and the decision-aided website further augmented by the presence of a trained navigator. Introducing patient comments enhanced engagement with the quality information but led to a decline in decision quality, particularly the consistency of choices with consumers' stated preferences. Labeling comments helped erase the decline in decision quality, although the highest percentage of preference-congruent choices was seen in the navigator arm. Engagement with the quality information and satisfaction with choices available were likewise highest in the navigator arm. Findings held for high- and low-skilled decision makers. Thus, navigator assistance may be a promising strategy for equitably promoting higher quality choices in information-rich contexts.

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