Boston, MA
Apr. 3-4, 2017

Leigh Simmons

Medical Director of the MGH Health Decision Sciences Center
Massachusetts General Hospital

Leigh Simmons, MD, is a native of Tennessee. She is a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she served as a chief resident in 2007-08. Dr. Simmons is a medical student educator and directs the internal medicine clerkship for Harvard Medical School students at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her clinical practice is with the Internal Medicine Associates, where she actively engages medical students in practicing primary care. 
Her research interests include patient engagement in care and shared decision making. Dr. Simmons is the medical director of the MGH Health Decision Sciences Center (http://www.massgeneral.org/decisionsciences/) where she studies the use of decision aids to help patients and clinicians in the shared decision making process.

April 4, 2017
2:05pm - 2:40pm
America South – Fourth Floor

The concept of engaging patients in their health decisions is more than 20 years old, but in a fee-for-service environment, they were often ignored if they dissuaded patients from lucrative elective procedures. 

Shared decision making, a practice where patients and providers make health care decisions together results in reduced costs and healthier, happier patients. Implementing such programs requires cultural change and can be challenging. Physicians must cede some control to the patient and that change can be hard. 

 Ten years ago, Massachusetts General Hospital initiated a shared decision making pilot program in a single primary care practice. Today that program has grown to include all adult primary care practices and has been extended to specialty practices in orthopedics, cardiology and obstetrics/gynecology.

Through the program, patients now better understand their testing and treatment options and partake in higher-quality conversations with their physicians. 

In this session, attendees will learn first-hand the best practices that lead to shared-decision making success.

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