In the realm of modern healthcare, a pivotal challenge lies in the integration and effective utilization of shared decision making (SDM) within clinical practices. Despite its recognized importance in enhancing patient care and outcomes, there remains a significant gap in its systematic application across individual practitioners, healthcare teams, and the wider healthcare system. This gap manifests in several key areas:

  1. Individual Practitioner Level: There is often a lack of awareness or understanding among healthcare providers about the principles and benefits of SDM, resulting in missed opportunities to engage patients in their care decisions actively.
  2. Healthcare Team Dynamics: Interprofessional teams frequently encounter difficulties in coordinating and implementing SDM strategies due to varied communication styles, levels of engagement with patients, and understanding of SDM's role in patient care.
  3. Systemic Barriers: Healthcare systems may not always have the necessary structures or processes in place to support SDM, such as patient education materials, decision aids, and training programs for staff. This absence hinders the consistent practice of SDM across different settings and specialties. These gaps collectively contribute to suboptimal patient outcomes, decreased patient satisfaction, and may even lead to increased healthcare costs due to inefficiencies and misaligned care priorities.

The proposed CME activity focused on Shared Decision Making (SDM) is designed to have a profound impact on the interprofessional healthcare team by:

  1. Enhancing Knowledge Across Professions: By providing a comprehensive overview of SDM, its principles, and its benefits, the activity aims to elevate the baseline understanding of SDM across all team members, fostering a common language and approach to patient care.
  2. Building Competence and Skills: The activity will equip team members with the necessary skills to implement SDM effectively. This includes training on communication strategies, the use of decision aids, and methods for engaging patients in discussions about their care preferences.
  3. Improving Team Performance: By fostering a culture of SDM within healthcare teams, the activity will encourage more cohesive and coordinated efforts to involve patients in their care decisions. This collaborative approach is expected to lead to better health outcomes, higher patient and provider satisfaction, and more efficient use of healthcare resources.
  4. Promoting System-Wide Change: The activity will also address systemic barriers to SDM by providing strategies for overcoming these challenges, thereby facilitating a more supportive environment for SDM within healthcare organizations. Overall, this CME activity aims to catalyze a shift towards more patient-centered care by embedding SDM into the fabric of interprofessional team dynamics and the healthcare system at large.

Target Audience

  • Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners (CRNPs)
  • Physician Assistants (PAs)

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the concept of shared decision making
  • Define why shared decision making is helpful
  • Utilize methods of incorporating shared decision making in clinical practice
  • Identify resources about shared decision making at UPMC.

Disclaimer Statement:

The information presented at this activity represents the views and opinions of the individual presenters, and does not constitute the opinion or endorsement of, or promotion by, the UPMC Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, UPMC / University of Pittsburgh Medical Center or Affiliates and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Reasonable efforts have been taken intending for educational subject matter to be presented in a balanced, unbiased fashion and in compliance with regulatory requirements. However, each program attendee must always use his/her own personal and professional judgment when considering further application of this information, particularly as it may relate to patient diagnostic or treatment decisions including, without limitation, FDA-approved uses and any off-label uses.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AAPA Category I CME
  • 1.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
United States

Planning Committee:

  • Aimee Smith, DPAS, MS, PA-C - Emergency Medicine, UPMC
  • Deborah W. Byrns, CRNP - Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, UPMC

Course Directors:

  • Christine Bishop, MD, MA - Director of Perinatal Supportive Care, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics

Conflict of Interest Disclosure:

No planners, members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships to disclose

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Physician Assistant (AAPA)

The University of Pittsburgh has been authorized by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) to award AAPA Category 1 CME credit for activities planned in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 1 AAPA Category 1 CME credit. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.

Nursing (CNE)

The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 1.0 contact hour.

Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AAPA Category I CME
  • 1.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.00 Attendance
Please login or register to take this course.

The educational content for this course is posted on Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research - WISER (pitt.edu) website.  This site should be used by those seeking to earn credits and obtain a certificate by completing the evaluation for this training. 

You should only log in or register here AFTER you review the educational content for this course.

Choose Register/Complete Course to complete the module.

First time Users: If you have never completed training on this website, please select register in the upper right hand corner of the webpage.

Returning Users: If you have completed training on this website, please log in in the upper right hand corner of the webpage.