EBSCO Health, Dartmouth and Option Grid™ Collaborative Founders Join Forces to Improve Patient Engagement and Evidence-based Shared Decision Making

~ Providers of DynaMed Plus® and Option Grid™ Decision Aids Come Together to Create the Future of Well-Informed Patient/Doctor Discussions for Choosing Healthcare Options ~

IPSWICH, Mass. — April 19, 2017  — EBSCO Health, a division of EBSCO Information Services and the creator of DynaMed Plus®, has entered into a licensing arrangement with Dartmouth College and the founders of the Option Grid™ Collaborative to advance evidence-based shared decision making. With this new collaboration, EBSCO Health will combine methodologies utilized at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI) at the Geisel School of Medicine with EBSCO Health’s expertise in evidence-based medicine to develop a multitude of new patient decision aids to be distributed under the Option Grid trademark.

Shared decision making is becoming an essential part of the patient-doctor relationship and an emerging focus in health care. The National Learning Consortium of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says shared decision making is important in situations where “there is no single ‘right’ health care decision.” The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of HHS sees shared decision making as a way to provide consistent, evidence-based information to patients and “increase knowledge, improve risk estimates, increase patient’s involvement in decisions, and help clarify treatment preferences.”

Patient decision aids are tools to help achieve shared decision making by enabling patients to understand and compare their healthcare options in the context of their personal preferences and values, and arrive at informed decisions. State and national efforts to require and incentivize shared decision making are underway, including legislative changes in Washington State that afford enhanced legal protection to physicians who use evidence-based decision aids, requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the use of evidence-based decision aids to be eligible for payment for certain procedures, and the availability of funding opportunities from CMS to test shared decision making models.

Option Grid decision aids are brief, easy-to-read decision aids that can be used in the clinical encounter, allowing patients and their doctors to compare healthcare options based on high-quality, evidence-based answers to patients’ commonly asked questions. Research shows Option Grid decision aids increase patient knowledge and shared decision making without increasing the length of a clinical visit. 

Since 2012, TDI has operated the Option Grid Collaborative — a network of researchers, practitioners and other individuals who have developed and disseminated Option Grid decision aids. The Option Grid Collaborative was founded by Glyn Elwyn, MD PhD, and Marie-Anne Durand, PhD, CPsychol, professors at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, who are key opinion leaders in the field of shared decision making, having published international research and served on national advisory committees in United States and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Elwyn notes that, as the demand for shared decision making resources increased, the Option Grid Collaborative recognized that a much larger-scale operation than that conducted by the Collaborative was required to keep pace with this demand. “As we began mapping out how to expand, we realized that EBSCO Health, with its product experience and search expertise, its evidence-based expertise, and its technological savvy has the wherewithal to expand significantly the resources needed to support shared decision making.” Professors Elwyn and Durand will serve as consultants to EBSCO Health, applying their expertise to the development and dissemination by EBSCO Health of new patient decision aids. Dartmouth will serve as EBSCO Health’s “preferred academic research partner” for conducting research primarily on the Option Grid decision aids that are developed by EBSCO Health.

EBSCO Health Senior Vice President of Medical Product Management Betsy Jones says as a point-of-care provider, EBSCO Health is always looking for ways to impact the clinical workflow. “We created DynaMed Plus as a reaction to the way clinicians search for information and their research expectations. This research allowed DynaMed Plus to better fit into the clinical workflow and we expect to take the same approach with shared decision making. By having resources available during a patient/doctor encounter, shared decision making is more natural and better informs treatment decisions.”

An April 4, 2017 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “Prime Time for Shared Decision Making” calls for “the implementation of high-quality and achievable shared decision making,” including trustworthy decision aids that can be easily integrated into clinical practice with minimal burden. EBSCO Health believes that the new generation of EBSCO Health Option Grid decision aids will provide a considerable step forward to achieving that vision, allowing shared decision making to become a reality in the routine practice of healthcare.


About EBSCO Health
EBSCO Health, part of EBSCO Information Services, is a leading provider of clinical decision support solutions, healthcare business intelligence, and medical research information for the healthcare industry. EBSCO Health users include professionals in medicine, nursing, and allied health. Flagship products include CINAHL®, DynaMed Plus®, Nursing Reference Center™, clinical e-books and e-journals, EBSCO Discovery Service™, licensed databases (such as MEDLINE®), plus EBSCONET®. EBSCO databases are powered by EBSCOhost®, the electronic resource favored by libraries around the world.

About EBSCO Information Services
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the leading discovery service provider for libraries worldwide with more than 11,000 discovery customers in over 100 countries. EBSCO Discovery Service™ (EDS) provides each institution with a comprehensive, single search box for its entire collection, offering unparalleled relevance ranking quality and extensive customization. EBSCO is also the preeminent provider of online research content for libraries, including hundreds of research databases, historical archives, point-of-care medical reference, and corporate learning tools serving millions of end users at tens of thousands of institutions. EBSCO is the leading provider of electronic journals & books for libraries, with subscription management for more than 360,000 serials, including more than 57,000 e-journals, as well as online access to more than 1,000,000 e-books. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com. EBSCO Information Services is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., a family owned company since 1944.


For more information, please contact:
Kathleen McEvoy
Vice President of Communications
(800) 653-2726 ext. 2594

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