The Promise of Electronic Health Records to Promote Shared Decision Making: A Narrative Review and a Look Ahead

Alyce Mei Shiuan Kuo, Berry Thavalathil, Glyn Elwyn, Zsuzsanna Nemeth, Stuti Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Background. Shared decision making (SDM) involves the sharing of best available evidence between patients and providers in the face of difficult decisions. We examine outcomes that occur when electronic health records (EHRs) are purposefully used with the goal of improving SDM and detail which EHR functions can benefit SDM. Methods. A systematic search of PubMed yielded 1369 articles. Studies were included only if they used EHR interventions to support SDM and included results that showed impact on SDM. Articles were excluded if they did not measure the impact of the intervention on SDM or did not discuss how SDM had been supported by the EHR. Results. Five studies demonstrated improved clinical outcomes, positive lifestyle behavior changes, more deliberation from patients regarding use of imaging, and less decisional conflict about medication use among patients with use of EHRs aiding SDM. Discussion. Few EHRs have integrated SDM, and even fewer evaluations of these exist. EHRs have potential in supporting providers during all steps of SDM. The promise of EHRs to support SDM has yet to be fully exploited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1040-1045
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Decision Making
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018



  • chronic diseases
  • electronic health records
  • shared decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

Cite this